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Does Bernie Sanders Really Support Socialism?

Robert Dimuro

Posted on July 28, 2019 16:48

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Socialism cannot be responsible for the success of the Scandinavian model that Bernie wants America to emulate; America already exceeds that success.

The most relevant buzzword in today’s political discourse seems to be the word “socialism.”

Democrat candidates compete with one another on the breadth and scope of social programs they are willing to promise to the American people under the guise of socialism. Bernie Sanders even explicitly brands his campaign as one that advocates for “democratic socialism,” citing the success of Denmark and Sweden as being exemplary of Bernie’s platform. However, I assert that Bernie Sanders and others are misguided as to what socialism actually means and, therefore, are mistaken about what makes Scandinavian countries marginally successful.

The first matter to address is what has made the Western world in general so immensely successful. The simple answer to this question is capitalism!

Concurrent with the Industrial Revolution, the flourishing of private industry and the preservation of individual rights have created a world in which immense wealth can be generated without confiscation of anyone else’s wealth, allowing for anyone in society to rise up and become successful. Although success is not guaranteed in a free society, the assertion made by socialists that wealth creation is a zero-sum game is completely fallacious.

This fact has not escaped the Scandinavian "utopias" that Bernie Sanders idolizes and wants America to emulate. The common projects throughout modern Western history have been the projects of wealth creation and free enterprise, although no nation has quite matched the commitment of America to upholding these ideals. However, it’s incorrect to claim that America is no longer the ideological leader of the Western world.


America had competition in the 20th century with the rise of socialism in places such as Germany and Russia. Besides some of Eastern Europe, which is still under the vassalage of the former Soviet Union, most of Europe still supports and relies on America to combat tyranny whenever it poses a threat. Even if Europe is less capitalistic than America, Western European nations have more in common with freedom and capitalism than tyranny and socialism.

The simple fact is that socialism, in practice, abolishes private industry and transfers the means of production to the state. In this light, the nationalization of healthcare insurance is a socialistic initiative that Europe and Canada have embraced. However, public healthcare and the plethora of social welfare programs that Scandinavia provides come at a cost - a cost to the taxpayers.

The burden to fund these programs falls on the entire population because, by necessity, taxation is high across the board, poor and rich alike. Ironically, this runs counter to the notion espoused by American socialists that the rich should pay the lion’s share of the overall tax burden.

Bernie needs to understand that the amount of taxpayer money needed to fund social programs in Scandinavia wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for at least a quasi-capitalist system that allows for the preservation and expansion of individual wealth. Therefore, socialism cannot be responsible for the success of the Scandinavian model that Bernie wants America to emulate; America already exceeds that success.

Robert Dimuro

Posted on July 28, 2019 16:48

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