Bernie Sanders’s Revolution Has Already Been Won - part 2
by ANDREW MIILLER
Unless something drastically changes, the future of the United States lays in the hands of those who favor democratic socialism over limited government.
A majority of Americans no longer seem to understand that the democratic socialist proposals of Bernie Sanders require more than just accepting tax increases. Such proposals require a massive federal bureaucracy to administer such a massive expansion of the welfare state. Of course, Sanders tries to assuage people’s fear of the government by saying things like: “The government, in a democratic society, is the people.”
A more accurate statement would be: “The government, in a democratic socialist society, is 51 percent of the people.” America’s founders knew that an individual’s rights could be trampled by an out-of-control majority just as easily as by an autocratic king. That is why they instituted a system of checks and balances that limited the power of the government, especially the federal government. They wanted to reduce threats to individual liberty.
This is why the difference between democratic socialism and authoritarian socialism is said to be the thin line between a mob voting for the seizure of private property, and a dictator, elected by a mob, ordering the seizure of private property. In America, it is the checks and balances of the Constitution that keep people away from this line!
In Norway, a so-called “democratic socialist utopia,” it isn’t uncommon for the state bureaucracy to step in and confiscate the children of those they deem to be unfit parents. While parents are technically allowed to appeal such decisions, bureaucratic red tape often prevents such appeals from happening the way they are supposed to. The checks and balances between the executive and judiciary branch erode when you have a bureaucratic apparatus as big as the one in Norway.
The socialist supporters of Bernie Sanders are the ideological—in some cases literal—grandchildren of 1960s student radicals. Inspired by the writings of Communist philosophers like Antonio Gramsci and Herbert Marcuse, these student radicals of the New Left movement believed cultural revolution must precede economic revolution. While this radical movement definitely favored socialist economic reforms, its supporters were more interested in matters of sex, gender and race than who owns the means of production.
Gramsci theorized that the radical left never gained control of America and Western Europe—like it gained control of Russia—because faith in God, family loyalties and lawful limits on government power were thoroughly represented in cultural institutions. He therefore concluded that one must first capture the culture of a nation before he can capture the power of the state. By culture, Gramsci meant churches, unions, political parties, universities, educational centers and a vast myriad of other non-government institutions.
As the passions of the 1960s cooled, many of the student radicals inspired by Gramsci’s writings flooded into two professions in particular: community organizing and academia. As professors, they taught that the classic American narrative about individual liberty and the checks and balances of the Constitution were a mask for the power of the wealthy, white, European males. Instead, they touted alternate histories, such as Howard Zinn’s Marxist-inspired textbook People’s History of the United States.
Tragically, the first generation in American history that could afford mass higher education was taught that traditional American principles—like personal responsibility, individual liberty, free markets and limited government—were racist and elitist. They were taught that democratic socialism was the only way to create utopia on Earth.
“So while Sanders’s millennial supporters may not be able to define socialism or recount its despotic legacy, they have absorbed its debunking critique of our democratic liberties and are drawn to the hardball tactics of its organizer-activists,” wrote Stanley
Kurtz for the Washington Post.
In Love Letter to America, Soviet KGB defector Yuri Bezmenov waxed even more critical of the radical left’s influence on American universities:
The American romance with state-run education … has already produced generations of graduates who cannot spell, cannot find Nicaragua on a world map, cannot THINK creatively and independently. I wonder if Albert Einstein would have arrived at his theory of relativity if he had been educated in one of today’s American public schools. Most likely he would have “discovered” marijuana and variant methods of sexual intercourse instead.
Sanders’s popularity with young voters isn’t just some shallow fad. After four decades of socialist influence in America’s institutions of higher learning, millennials are taking Sanders’s democratic socialist ideas to heart.
“He’s not moving a party to the left. He’s moving a generation to the left,” Harvard University researcher Della Volpe said of Sanders. “Whether or not he’s winning or losing, it’s really that he’s impacting the way in which a generation—the largest generation in the history of America—thinks about politics.”
There is a great danger here. Remember, the line between democratic socialism and authoritarian socialism is a thin one. Most democratic socialist revolutions throughout history end up progressing to more authoritarian models.
Late Trumpet columnist Ron Fraser taught in his Herbert W. Armstrong College International Relations course that there are only two broad theories of political thought: realism and utopianism. A realist accepts the biblical truth that human nature is basically evil; a utopian, on the other hand, believes that human nature is basically good.
America’s founders were realists. They understood human nature was evil, so they devised a system of checks and balances intended to keep the power out of the hands of a single branch of government.
The world’s socialist and Marxist movements are rooted in utopian thought. Generally speaking, they believe that 99 percent of humanity is basically good, yet they are being restrained by a corrupt upper class. If the 99 percent can overthrow their oppressors, the reasoning goes, then out of their goodness, they can establish a government that will abolish poverty, racism, sexism and income inequality. To accomplish this, you do not need to limit government and maximize personal responsibility and freedom. Instead, you need an administrative state.
Millennials seem to view the current crop of Washington politicians as part of the corrupt upper class. They reason that things will be different if they can get a political outsider like Sanders into office—a man who can reform the bureaucratic apparatus of the U.S. government to be for the people. What they don’t realize is that the young people who supported the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia or the Communist Revolution in Cuba thought the same way!
That’s the trouble with empowering the state to a point were it could give you everything you want: It then has the power to take everything you have. When confronted with the truth about the astronomically high death tolls of past socialist movements, most utopians respond that the movement failed because a corrupt dictator hijacked the system. But is it possible that they are simply wrong about human nature?
Dictators will always try to hijack governments—that is, until the day all human beings develop righteous character. And because that righteousness comes only from God, humanity is much better off having a constitutional system of checks and balances that prevents the concentration of power in the hands of the state. Such a system may occasionally restrain the state from doing some good things, but it also protects people from the tyrannical excesses of an out-of-control government run by carnal men!