[Marxism] Fwd: Bernie Sanders is no socialist: Socialism is his brand, but he’s a Democrat in every way but name - Salon.com

Ralph Johansen mdriscollrj at charter.net
Sun Jan 17 00:09:05 MST 2016

Louis Proyect wrote


“If he were running as an independent, I'd certainly support him. The problem is that he is a Democrat. The key to class politics is creating a pole of attraction to the left of the Democrats that can challenge wage slavery...”

No one argues with your analysis of who and where Bernie is. What I disagree with is that Bernie would be more effective for the cause that we espouse, socialism, if he were running as an independent. Can you imagine what response he would be getting as an independent, without access to the bully pulpit furnished by the debates?

Given our experience here in the US, where there is appreciably no left in existence, we might recall that Marx said “Hic rhodos, hic salta.” Here is where we are. Here is where we dance. While not entirely apposite, it’s close enough. It was a saying originating in Aesop that came to Marx through Hegel. It is about a man who boasts of his exploits in Rhodes. The respondent tells him to show us right here, where we are. This is where it will count.

Bernie has about as good a track record as a left advocate as anyone in the three branches of government, even if within the Democratic Party which we despise. The issue for me is, does he advocate changes which are consistent with the move toward a better life for all, which therefore are consistent with advance toward socialism. I say that he does, even if his rhetoric is reformist and he’s very weak on foreign policy, and he may well endorse Hillary if she becomes the Democratic candidate, without seeking to impose on her platform in the general election the program that he calls for and that brought him all this mass support. The point is for us to prevent her nomination from happening, if we can, and he is all we have. He is not, as Obama and Hillary and all the others repeatedly do, making the case for the glories of capitalism, and he is therefore anathema to the media and the establishment. His speeches resonate with millions, particularly young and insecure people who have no quarrel with socialism, whatever they may think it is. and who recognize their plight in what he describes. What he would do once in office would, as always, depend very much on us. As an old retired stiff with limited funds, I’m sending another $25 and will volunteer. I’m prepared to be disillusioned, again and yet, but not sit out the only game going.



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