Bernie Sanders never fails at a chance to lecture the American people of the differences between Democratic Socialism and Socialism. Bernie Sanders is not ashamed to admit his socialist tendencies, but he does appear to define it in more palatable terms. Democratic is good, right? If the majority votes for something that just happens to be socialist, should the will of the people not be enacted? American children learn at an early age the virtue and desirability of a democratic society. One person, one vote. Every person enjoys a voice in matters of government. Despite what Bernie Sanders actually says, democracy and socialism compliment each other quite well. The end results of socialism and democratic socialism are the same. There is no discernible difference.
The Democratic Socialists of America claims to be the largest socialist organization in the United States. They strongly endorse Bernie Sanders for president, as he most aligns with collectivist values of socialism. They extol democracy as a means to an end, the best method of achieving socialist goals. Contrary to Communists, who favor violent revolution to achieve their political aims, socialists prefer non-violent democratic means of social change. As a staunch supporter of democracy, Sanders himself rejects violence to progress to his socialist utopia. Like the Democratic Socialists of America, Bernie likely sees democracy simply as the best means of achieving a socialist society. Preying on the American people’s soft spot for democracy, Bernie is merely manipulating the political process that will ultimately end with a larger bureaucracy and less liberty.
No one can deny Bernie’s commitment and authenticity. As far back as the 1980s he has openly praised socialist policies of other nations and tried to sell his irrationality to voters. As said above, Americans are taught to love and appreciate “democracy.” That it is good to have a say in politics. It is good to choose leaders, representatives, and have a say in not only local policy, but national policy. Good in this sense refers to morality, rather than simple aesthetic preference. Is this true? Is voting a right? Further, is democracy itself good? Clearly if democracy can lead to a system as evil as socialism, then there are some inherent flaws. To come to an informed and rational conclusion, one must carefully examine the principles behind democracy.
Quite simply, democracy means majority rule. The majority determines the laws that affect the entire nation. Sounds nice, right? The government should only do what most people want it to do. What if however, the majority wants to deprive the minority of free speech? Or take their property? Or exterminate them? Despite majority favor, these hypothetical government actions would be immoral. To win, a candidate or policy need only have support of 51% of the population. In this instance, the 49% are dominated and subjugated to the will of those who win. In a nation as large as the United States, 49% is tens of millions of people. Even if a election is 90% to 10%, 10% is still many millions of people. To Bernie’s credit, he argues from a moral perspective rather than one of consequence, but as shown with this basic thought experiment that even an 8 year old child could understand, mere majority support has absolutely no effect on the moral content of government policy.
This is precisely why the Founding Fathers detested democracy so much. America was never intended to be a democracy. The Founders designed a republican form of government with guaranteed rights not up for a vote. Bernie Sanders’ vision of majority rule will likely be very democratic, but very tyrannical. This “Tyranny of the Majority” translates into one group of people benefiting from state violence at the expense of an oppressed minority. Democracy and socialism harmonize so well because they both rely on an envious, lethargic majority voting to use coercive state power for stripping the minority of their property rights. The redistribution of wealth and economic equality socialists desire so badly are perfectly acceptable under democracy provided the majority approve.
Democracy can indeed work in the short run, but ultimately collapses under the weight of fools in charge of national policy. The will of the majority can be seized with abject insanity, but democracy imposes supremacy over the electoral losers. Emotional whims and temporary fads can lead to real loss of freedom and liberty for those unfortunate enough to lose on the political landscape. Socialism is one of these irrational whims. As a career politician with zero philosophical comprehension of economics, Bernie benefits greatly from democracy. To a relatively uninformed electorate, socialism sounds wonderful. A nation however, with rule of law, strong property rights, and mechanisms that limit arbitrary majority overreaches, would never endorse socialism.
Democracy is extravagantly overrated. Throughout history brutal dictators ascended to power through completely democratic means. Democracy is devoid of principle and virtue; majority support does not determine morality. Right is right, regardless of what another man’s opinion is. This is exactly why Bernie reveres democracy so much. As a man with an entirely immoral and evil philosophy he cannot impose his will upon the nation through pursuing integrity. This blog will not give Bernie the benefit of the doubt because of his sincerity, rather his sincerity makes him even more dangerous. In addition to ripe historical examples of murderous socialist societies, socialism itself is quite simply irrational. Socialism is a gross distortion of property rights and theft, with no universal standards each individual can act on. The moral inconsistencies only lead to economic inconsistencies from shortages and surpluses to suppression of economic incentives for success, socialism is a system of abysmal failure.