Why Bernie Sanders' Communist Misadventures Still Matter

you know it's funny sometimes American journalists talk about how bad the country is the people are lining up for food that's a good thing in other countries people don't line up food the rich get the food and the poor starve to death the distribution of wealth in this country is one of the most unfair and distorted in the entire world I think you change your food tax tax more I think you change it through public ownership of significant parts of the economy everybody was totally convinced that Castro was the worst guy in the world they thought that he educated the kids gave them health care totally transform a society throughout his career Vermont senator Bernie Sanders has explained away the inevitable downsides of massively increasing the power of the state over the individual it's a dictatorship it's a poor economy we want changes but have some good things went on in Cuba yes Sanders once identified as a radical socialist who admired the achievements of Cuba under Fidel of Nicaragua under the Sandinistas and of the Soviet Union right up to the fall of the Berlin Wall their public transportation was the cleanest most effective mass transit system that I've ever seen in my life the station's themselves were absolutely beautiful including many works of art chandeliers that were beautiful running for office in Vermont in the 70s Sanders sought a top tax rate of 100 percent saying nobody should earn more than a million dollars Sanders wanted to stop businesses from moving out of their original communities saying the ultimate solution to protect workers was national legislation that would bring about the public ownership of the major means of production he favored the public ownership of utilities banks and major industries without compensation to investors or stockholders face it you don't find too many socialists in elective office in this country and one is elected mayor of a sizable city well that's news shortly after he was elected mayor of Burlington Vermont in 1981 Sanders told a roomful of charity workers I don't believe in charities because only the government should provide social services to the needy though I believe that the profit motive is fundamental to human nature the answer is no I think the spirit of cooperation you and I can work together better rather than having to compete against each other in Detroit to destroy each other healthcare is a right today Sanders calls himself a Democratic Socialist and has himself become a millionaire I wrote a best-selling book he favors single-payer health care free public college for all and a $15 minimum wage what I'm talking about Venezuela we're not talking about Cuba so the next time that you hear me attacked as a socialist remember this I don't believe government should take over you know the grocery store down the street our own means of production but one thing has remained constant as Sanders has shifted his model for US policy from Nicaragua Cuba and the USSR to Denmark Finland and Sweden in all of these countries he's misled his followers about what's really happening as a socialist the word socialism does not frighten me and I think it's probably fair to say that the Nicaraguan government is primarily a socialist government the government there has the strange and unusual idea that they should attempt to do something for the people of Nicaragua rather than for the United States corporations they are now teaching poetry not only to peasants and to workers but in the in the military in the police department when Sanders was the mayor of Burlington Vermont he vowed that his city would defy the Reagan administration's embargo against Nicaragua and the Sandinistas who had overthrown an american-backed dictator and instituted a revolutionary socialist government in 1985 Sanders traveled to Nicaragua to attend a celebration in honor of the revolution sixth anniversary I mean if it's unbelievable to say that a mayor of the city of 38,000 is now the highest-ranking American to visit them during the celebration of that revolution might was treated you know in a special way surrounded by reporters at the airport upon his return Sanders was enthusiastic about what he had seen in Nicaragua many of the things that we saw were impressive there's a tremendous sense of energy Sanders praised the Sandinista leadership and President Daniel Ortega what a good is an impressive guy Ernesto Cardenal is that there's a funny looking guy's grey hair and he really does remind you of the hippie they are not to quote Ronald Reagan Looney tune characters I just went all around and stop people asking why are you with the government or not I kind of laughed they don't quite understand what you're talking about of course there was the government now obviously I will be attacked by every editorial writer and the Free Press were being a dumb dude maybe I am I was impressed by their intelligence and by their sincerity these are not has he praised the seizure of private farms and businesses in terms of land reform giving for the first time in their lives real land performance and people of Nicaragua the poor people respect that rich people needless to say who used to have the good life there are not terribly happy what Sanders didn't mention was that by 1985 international watchdog groups had exposed the Sandinistas significant human rights violations a 1981 report by the inter-american Commission on Human Rights revealed mass executions and persecution of indigenous peoples and just two years before Sanders made his trip Time magazine reported that hundreds of citizens were disappearing every month at the hands of the Sandinistas many of us get depressed about what's going on in Nicaragua today the absolute blocks that are coming out of the White House in fact we have a right to be very exhilarating Sanders accused the American government and media of conspiring to cover up a socialist success story the important story is not Nicaragua when you read the New York Times the real truth is not being told and how that's off escaped okay that's what the interesting story if you get on the air and you say I'm sympathetic to the sandanista government I think it was right they made their revolution they're trying to do the right thing nobody my point who Ortega is they are not getting their message of what they are trying to do out to the American people I just came back from a 14-hour trip so I the Sandinistas would remain in power for five more years after Sanders his visit and the Nicaraguan Permanent Commission on Human Rights would go on to document over 14,000 instances of rape torture and murder during their reign they really were talking about a transformation of society giving power to the poor people to the working people and that has caused the conflict needless to say in Nicaragua which was same thing I remember for some reason of being very excited when when Fidel Castro made the revolution in Cuba I was a kid learn about freedom that just seemed bright and appropriate the cool people were rising up against ugly rich people while Sanders was still mayor of Burlington he traveled to Cuba in 1989 to seek a meeting with Fidel Castro though he ended up settling for the mayor of Havana by this time Castro had seized private farms and businesses imprisoned artists created informant squad to monitor and arrest dissenters and forced gay citizens and other undesirables into labor camps everybody was totally convinced the Castro was the worst guy in the world all the Cuban people were gonna rise up in rebellion against Fidel Castro they'd forgot that he educated the kids gave them health care totally transformed the society you don't have to say that Fidel Castro of Cuba are perfect they are certainly not Castro was open about his need to limit individual rights in order to ensure collective rights he understood that curbing press freedoms was a prerequisite for the success of a socialist government saying he couldn't tolerate dissidents in the mass media because the people's cohesion is fundamental if you ask us if their paper could appear here against socialism like we say – please no it cannot be in that sense the freedom of the press a due process in u.s. but Sanders disagreed with Castro he thought the American press was similarly compromised because it was controlled by politicians and big-money interests beginning to read about the Cuban Revolution and find I was more impressed about how it was being reported in the United States President began to understand but you don't always hear all of the truth for example just last night I was watching Canadian television which we got down here there was a program on Cuba we're not allowed to see those programs here in the United States just because Ronald Reagan dislikes these people does not need to say that the people in their own nations feel the same way today the Cuban government censors the internet bans public displays of affection between gay couples and jails people for criticizing the government you could say there's some positive things in Cuba with some very negative things 50 years after the Revolution people still can't dissent with freedom the economy is terrible but you know it's somehow they've decided the Cuba is the only non democratic country in the world glory to the great Soviet people the builders of communism and then a problem with the word socialism is that very often it's been equated with what happens in the Soviet Union which is authoritarianism in totalitarianism I believe very strongly in the right of the sent Sanders traveled to the Soviet Union in 1988 three years before its collapse he had gotten married to his second wife Jane the day before leaving and the trip doubled is what he called quote a very strange honeymoon sandurz formalized Burlington's relationship with its russian sister city Yaroslavl and praised the communist government social and cultural achievements we went to a theater in Yaroslavl which was absolutely beautiful and three separate stages including a puppeteer area and the cost the highest price of a ticket that you can get was the equivalent of a dollar fitting and route home a journalist confronted him again at the airport with reporting by The Associated Press of dilapidated unsanitary living conditions and food shortages in Yaroslavl exhaust the study of living conditions I noticed later he said he was impressed by Soviet officials transparency and acknowledging their housing crisis which he found comparable to America's we have a major housing crisis which they acknowledge but they acknowledge that not only do they not have enough housing but the construction and the quality of the housing is also not adequate and they were very free a dimension Airy but you know one can't isolate a situation saying what socialism has failed of that compared to what you know that in the United States of America today the average married couple can no longer afford a home Sanders also appreciated the Soviets openness about other issues and believed policymakers in the US had much to learn from the communist system they are absolutely open in acknowledging that they are not a democratic society the healthcare system is free but they would be open to acknowledge that it is probably 10 years behind the United States in terms of medical technology we were willing to be critical of the United States we were there to say yes we have problems you have problems your strengths to your system their strengths to our system our goal was let's take the strengths of both systems [Applause] what I believe in has nothing to do with communism after a failed run for governor of Vermont in 1986 around the fall of the Soviet Union Sanders said his sights on higher office you know we freed the slaves a long long time ago but in many respects the average working person today has very little rights he rebranded himself a Democratic Socialist and won a seat in Congress in 1990 authoritarian communism has been a vicious political system which over its length of time has resulted in the murder of many many millions of people as an economic system it has not succeeded and I am delighted to see its demise that has nothing to do with democratic socialism today Sanders objects to comparisons between his policies and those of the Sandinistas or Castro's when I talk about democratic socialism I'm not looking at Venezuela I'm not looking at Cuba I'm looking at countries like Denmark and Sweden what hasn't changed is Sanders his unwillingness to acknowledge the political and economic realities of the countries he points to his models Scandinavia is a bastion of free market capitalism in the libertarian Fraser Institute's 2018 human freedom index Norway Denmark and Finland ranked higher than the United States and in 2015 the danish prime minister directly contradicted sanders his claims i know that some people in in the u.s. associate the nordic model was some sort of socialism therefore i would like to make one thing clear Denmark is far from socialist plant economy it might surprise some of you but Forbes last year named Denmark the best country in the world for business Denmark does offer expansive social benefits including single-payer health care free education and months of paid family leave what is the catch you could ask and the most obvious one is of both the high taxes the top income tax in Denmark is almost 60% when you think about 90 percent you don't think that's obviously too high no Danish citizens also pay a 25% sales tax and excise taxes on cars of up to 180 percent but tax revenue in Nordic countries isn't enough to pay for their social programs which are unsustainable in their current form we have no choice but to reform our society in order to preserve the welfare state and the public support wait Sweden is raising its retirement age and further privatizing parts of its health care system in Finland the coalition government recently resigned after it failed to pass reforms it viewed as crucial to averting financial ruin end mark is increasing its retirement age to 73 and cutting spending and taxes the answer cannot always be sent more money I want to improve our competitiveness reduce taxes for business remove red tape Sanders also points to Norway as a model a country where massive oil production subsidizes the welfare benefits of a population that's roughly 62 times smaller than in the US he never acknowledges fundamental differences between the Nordic countries in America or the true costs of the policies he champions Sanders wants to offer even more generous benefits than those in Scandinavia and thinks that the wealthiest taxpayers can simply foot the bill so you're saying we can pay for all this without raising taxes on anybody but the 1% may have to go down a little bit lower than that but not much lower Sanders has proposed a government takeover of the health care sector or about 18% of GDP at a cost of 32 trillion dollars over 10 years he wants to increase Social Security benefits offer free public college and grant the state sweeping new powers to tackle climate change to the green New Deal policies that would add at least another 50 trillion to the budget when you're dealing with the future of the planet I don't know how you go too far these are not radical extremist ideas I am NOT coming before the American people and say look I am this radical wild-eyed socialist crazy ideas but listen to me you know you have more and more growth producing products that we do not necessarily need I mean you know and the end of the day you don't necessarily need a choice of 23 under-armed spray do hearts or 18 different pairs of sneakers when children are hungry in this country it's all in keeping with his decades-long pattern of ignoring the downsides of centralizing authority and massively increasing the size of the government massive investments massive investments massive investments massive investments my vision is not just making modest changes around the edge it is transforming American society so when I use the word socialist and I know some people are uncomfortable about it I say that it is imperative that we create a political revolution and I hope you will be part of that movement because if you are we can in fact transform this country so as American voters consider whether to sign up for part 2 of Sanders is political revolution it should consider whether this time it really will be different they really were talking about a transformation of society healthcare in Nicaragua is now free it is terrible it is very primitive compared from what we get but they now have it free

  1. as bill bye once said "There's many ways to put it out. Are any of them free? NO! NOTHING IS FREE YOU IDIOTS! GROW THE FUCK UP, YOU'RE NOT CHILDREN ANYMORE"

  2. Well, free Healthcare and Free education being established in Scandinavia means that the most crucial parts of the service sector is publicly owned. This makes the Nordic countries Socialist

  3. He is a joke
    Only looking out for himself
    Selling a fake dream
    Even he knows he. But he is too full of himself to admit it

  4. To everyone who says “you don’t need a million/10 million/100 million or even a billion dollars”

    You do when you have a 1000000% inflation rate

  5. Sander's is selling nails for the coffin of freedom and prosperity. Are you seriously buying? If you are, finish yourself, there's no moral reason to take out everyone with you.

  6. Never trust a man whose parents never bothered to teach him how to comb his hair.
    Bernie Sanders is dull-witted, simple-minded, megalomaniacal, narcissistic, and sociopathic.
    He is a Communist, a would-be dictator, a hypocrite, and an ideologue.
    All his life, he has railed against “the rich,” even declaring that any “millionaih’ should be required to pay 100% income tax– that is, until HE became one. Now he rails against “BILLIONAIHS.”
    He is, frankly, an idiot.

  7. I love how ironic it is that a channel called 'ReasonTv' completely misrepresents Democratic Socialism as advocated by Bernie Sanders. Just one example: it is being suggested that Bernie's view on the media is comparable with Castro's view on media. If you don't see how completely stupid and lazy this comparison is, you to are beyond stupid and intellectually lazy. With this lazy analysis of Sanders, ReasonTv completely ignores the political and economic reality of America, where 3 families own as much wealth as the bottom half of the country.

  8. Canada is way to socialist for me. Our healthcare is terrible, taxes are high, government protected monopolies everywhere.. I'd ask America invade and liberate us, if I thought they would. What sanders supports is nuts, whats crazier still is the % who seem to support those proven terrible ideas.

  9. Like nearly all socialists, Sanders lives among the privileged and the elite, he doesn't have a clue what the poor live like and what's standing in their way. He would keep them in their place with a welfare state he and his elitist privileged class of idiot intellectuals get to control.

    Free markets and capitalism is the ultimate cooperation, it is the ultimate redistributive system, it is the ultimate community building… It brings us together while state intervention and socialism put as at each other's throats using violence, theft, division and oppression. There's no question about that.

    The sad part is many of his supporters pick up and identify real issues, and have real gripes, but then falsely attribute them to a "free market" we're not even close to having. Currently our economy is thoroughly intervened in by the state (all major utitilities, the currency, banking, capital investment, real estate, energy, healthcare and health insurance, education) – we're much closer to Bernie Sanders' vision than an actual free market. So much of the inequality and rising prices and the shrinking prosperity of the average person is a direct result of exactly the kind of policies Sanders wants to double down on.

    Sanders is a fool, and as much as I admire anti establishment figures, and welcome any anti-war foreign policy positions, I have trouble respecting him in any way. His philosophy is self serving and evil.

  10. He's been sucking down that sweet government salary and benefits for about 35 years. Being "socialist" has really helped him.

  11. We don't need 18 pair of sneakers and by we I mean everyone else but me bc I need 3 mansions & all my money should never be taxed. Fucking hypocrite.

  12. I’m sick of people criticizing him for supporting a fair system. None of those systems were real socialism. If Bernie is given the chance, he’ll bring about true socialism.

  13. If your dreams for government redistribution come at a cost that nears or even exceeds GDP, I don’t know how else to say this, but you suck at arithmetic.

  14. An investment is done with the intent to increase wealth. Knowing that a scheme will lose money and subsequently throwing money at that scheme is not an investment, it’s foolhardiness worse than that of buying a scratch-off state lottery ticket.

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