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Fri Nov 20, 2015, 04:06 PM

The New Yorker: "Bernie Sanders’s New Deal Socialism"

Interesting article! Here's an excerpt:

Speaking on his political philosophy at Georgetown yesterday, the Vermont senator and Democratic Presidential candidate opened with a long invocation of Franklin Roosevelt and the social protections that the New Deal created: minimum wages, retirement benefits, banking regulation, the forty-hour workweek. Roosevelt’s opponents attacked all these good things as “socialism,” Sanders reminded his listeners.... “Let me define for you, simply and straightforwardly, what democratic socialism means to me,” Sanders said. “It builds on what Franklin Delano Roosevelt said when he fought for guaranteed economic rights for all Americans.”


This isn’t the first time Sanders has defined his position from the right flank of history. Pressed in the most recent Democratic debate to say how high he would take the marginal income tax, Sanders answered that it would be less than the ninety (actually ninety-two) per-cent level under the Eisenhower Administration. He added, to cheers and laughter, “I’m not that much of a socialist compared to Eisenhower.”... Bernie Sanders’s socialism is Eisenhower’s and F.D.R.’s world if Reagan had never happened: economic security updated by the continuing revolutions in gender, cultural pluralism, and the struggle for racial justice. In a word, Denmark... The mid-century political settlement between government and markets that Eisenhower took for granted never really had a name. ... “Welfare capitalism,” which is a pretty accurate name for a market system that redistributes for common benefit, sounds like the worst of both worlds. “Socialism” is historically inaccurate, and using it to name Eisenhower-era welfarism may come at the cost of further burying its other, more radical meanings. But some of the term’s appeal, as a name for Sanders’s program, is that it sounds more radical than it is. ... In this way, Sanders’s use of the word harkens back to pre-Soviet, even pre-Marxist socialism. Then the term named a clutch of objections to industrial capitalism: the physical toll of the jobs, the equal and opposite toll of unemployment and economic crisis, widespread poverty and insecurity in a world where some lived in almost miraculous luxury. ... Eisenhower’s world lacked a name for its settlement between government and markets partly because that settlement was the new normal, and the normal doesn’t need a name. Mature capitalism was supposed to produce only a moderate level of inequality. A strong government, staffed by public-minded experts, would iron out economic wrinkles. The remaining problems for reformers were remedial: bringing in previously excluded populations, especially African-Americans and isolated Appalachians. For those already on the inside, the challenges were those of what the liberal economist John Kenneth Galbraith called “the affluent society”: how to want less, enjoy life more, and help build a post-materialist paradise of humanism. It is no coincidence that L.B.J., who supported the civil-rights movement and launched the War on Poverty, also promoted the National Endowment for the Humanities to enrich the lives of those whose historical labors were over. He described his Great Society program as seeking an economy that satisfied “the desire for beauty and the hunger for community,” where “the meaning of our lives matches the marvelous products of our labor.”

That is the lost world to which Sanders’s “socialism” points back. The return of the label, though, doesn’t mean that anyone knows how to get more radical than tacking toward Scandinavian social democracy, with its socialized health care and higher education and generous family leave. Sanders isn’t much of a socialist compared to F.D.R., either. At the heart of Roosevelt’s program was the National Labor Relations Act of 1935, which greatly strengthened the hand of unions, essential parts of every welfare-capitalist order in the twentieth century, from Scandinavia to Canada. Sanders, astonishingly, didn’t once mention unions in his Georgetown speech. Roosevelt proposed a maximum income of twenty-five thousand dollars (the equivalent of about four hundred thousand dollars today), which we won’t be hearing from Sanders. Sander’s socialism is a national living wage, free higher education, increased taxes on the wealthy, campaign-finance reform, and strong environmental and racial-justice policies.... The heart of Sanders’s program, like F.D.R.’s, is economic security: like F.D.R., he argues that “true freedom does not occur” without it. In the same way, he sees a strong government as protecting individualism from an economy that bats people around like the gods in Greek dramas. Calling this once mainstream idea socialism is a way of saying how far it feels from where we find ourselves now, how radical a step it would be to get back to it.

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Arrow 25 replies Author Time Post
Reply The New Yorker: "Bernie Sanders’s New Deal Socialism" (Original post)
Attorney in Texas Nov 2015 OP
AgingAmerican Nov 2015 #1
Attorney in Texas Nov 2015 #2
RiverLover Nov 2015 #3
femmedem Nov 2015 #4
Doctor_J Nov 2015 #5
Attorney in Texas Nov 2015 #6
Gregorian Nov 2015 #10
Attorney in Texas Nov 2015 #12
Enthusiast Nov 2015 #15
jwirr Nov 2015 #18
Armstead Nov 2015 #7
jwirr Nov 2015 #19
DirkGently Nov 2015 #8
Gregorian Nov 2015 #9
nashville_brook Nov 2015 #11
cprise Nov 2015 #13
tecelote Nov 2015 #14
Attorney in Texas Nov 2015 #21
Enthusiast Nov 2015 #16
Uncle Joe Nov 2015 #17
jwirr Nov 2015 #20
Attorney in Texas Dec 2015 #25
LWolf Nov 2015 #22
Attorney in Texas Nov 2015 #23
LWolf Nov 2015 #24

Response to Attorney in Texas (Original post)

Fri Nov 20, 2015, 04:07 PM

1. Queue the McCarthyists

 

5....4.....3.....2....1

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Response to AgingAmerican (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 20, 2015, 04:19 PM

2. I've already taken my anti-nausea medication in anticipation.

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Response to Attorney in Texas (Original post)

Fri Nov 20, 2015, 04:39 PM

3. "In the same way, he sees a strong government as protecting individualism from an economy that...

In the same way, he sees a strong government as protecting individualism from an economy that bats people around like the gods in Greek dramas. Calling this once mainstream idea socialism is a way of saying how far it feels from where we find ourselves now, how radical a step it would be to get back to it.


Wonderful article. Thanks Attorney in TX!!

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Response to Attorney in Texas (Original post)

Fri Nov 20, 2015, 04:48 PM

4. Eloquent article! I wish the author, Jedediah Purdy, was Sander's speechwriter.

Not complaining about his speech, but this analysis soars.

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Response to Attorney in Texas (Original post)

Fri Nov 20, 2015, 04:50 PM

5. I'm surprised at how many so called dems are against these ideals

 

I read on du today that we can't have uhc because there aren't enough doctor.

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Response to Doctor_J (Reply #5)

Fri Nov 20, 2015, 04:55 PM

6. Some pick their candidate based on ideology and some pick their candidate based on brand loyalty.

You can argue with them, but you will have no luck.

Just as you cannot persuade me to prefer the Texas A&M Aggies over the Texas Longhorns, you cannot persuade someone who has chosen a candidate based on brand loyalty to change their mind.

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Response to Attorney in Texas (Reply #6)

Fri Nov 20, 2015, 05:46 PM

10. And in a system that promotes that style of thinking...we're kind of in trouble.

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Response to Gregorian (Reply #10)

Fri Nov 20, 2015, 05:51 PM

12. If we're worried about that phenomenon, imagine if we were sitting at the country club and looking

at Donald Trump and Ben Carson and Ted Cruz beat the hell out of our boy Jeb!

Those rich white men must be shitting their tennis whites.

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Response to Doctor_J (Reply #5)

Fri Nov 20, 2015, 06:56 PM

15. How can they be Democrats if they're against these ideals.

These are traditional Democratic Party ideals. How about we just erase the 1990s.

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Response to Enthusiast (Reply #15)

Fri Nov 20, 2015, 07:17 PM

18. Amen. Whatever name we want to call it. This is what Bernie

believes in. And he is by far not alone in that belief. It comes as no surprise that he calls what FDR did socialism. One of the facts about the Great Depression is that a very big socialist movement was part of that era. He took what they were asking for - the social movement - and kept capitalism - and combined them. Even today historians tell us that he saved capitalism from the traditional meaning for socialism.

I lived through those eras and until the 80s it was working. And then along came the trickle down theory followers and look were we are now.

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Response to Attorney in Texas (Original post)

Fri Nov 20, 2015, 04:59 PM

7. Great article...This hits nail on head

 

"Bernie Sanders’s socialism is Eisenhower’s and F.D.R.’s world if Reagan had never happened: economic security updated by the continuing revolutions in gender, cultural pluralism, and the struggle for racial justice. ... Eisenhower’s world lacked a name for its settlement between government and markets partly because that settlement was the new normal, and the normal doesn’t need a name.

Mature capitalism was supposed to produce only a moderate level of inequality. A strong government, staffed by public-minded experts, would iron out economic wrinkles. The remaining problems for reformers were remedial: bringing in previously excluded populations, especially African-Americans and isolated Appalachians."

It's amazing how that basic goal is now branded as "radical" by too many Democrats as well as Republicans.

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Response to Armstead (Reply #7)

Fri Nov 20, 2015, 07:26 PM

19. One of the things I know that Eisenhower did was add a

whole bunch of people to Social Security - farmers like my dad and I think waitresses like my granddaughter. And as the article said AA and isolated people.

I have long said I do not care that people are rich - I care that people are poor. Today the Rs and the businesses that support them no longer understand or care about the lives of those on the bottom. They want ALL the money and do not care that we need jobs, a roof over our heads, education for our children, health care, and a living when they are old - in other words they want those of us who are not in the 1% to live as if we are in a third world country. And they are keeping the people who do live in those third world country in poverty as well.

As Bernie says they do not want to pay their share of the taxes.

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Response to Attorney in Texas (Original post)

Fri Nov 20, 2015, 05:07 PM

8. Bang-on. Sanders isn't radical. Present-day America is.


I liked this bit a lot as well:

The mid-century political settlement between government and markets that Eisenhower took for granted never really had a name. It was not a fighting faith. “Welfare capitalism,” which is a pretty accurate name for a market system that redistributes for common benefit, sounds like the worst of both worlds. “Socialism” is historically inaccurate, and using it to name Eisenhower-era welfarism may come at the cost of further burying its other, more radical meanings. But some of the term’s appeal, as a name for Sanders’s program, is that it sounds more radical than it is. The radical label accentuates the feeling that something has gone wrong in economic life. It marks the intensity of dissent.

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Response to Attorney in Texas (Original post)

Fri Nov 20, 2015, 05:44 PM

9. That sums it up pretty accurately.

I'll be honest, I expected more from Bernie's speech.

Like this sentence in the article:

"Worker-owned co-ops would out-compete traditional enterprises by aligning workers’ motives with the company’s success. "

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Response to Attorney in Texas (Original post)

Fri Nov 20, 2015, 05:50 PM

11. k and r

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Response to Attorney in Texas (Original post)

Fri Nov 20, 2015, 06:04 PM

13. K&R

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Response to Attorney in Texas (Original post)

Fri Nov 20, 2015, 06:54 PM

14. I love to publish this to show how far right our country has gone...



This is why "status quo" is not good enough.

America needs Bernie Sanders if we are ever going to reclaim America for Americans.

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Response to tecelote (Reply #14)

Fri Nov 20, 2015, 08:08 PM

21. 100 years ago the Democratic Party was conservative and the Republican Party was liberal. FDR, JFK,

and LBJ flipped the parties' relative positions, and while LBJ's Great Society and desegregation pushed the pro-segregation South away from the Democratic Party, the new alignment wasn't really firmly cemented until Reagan (Nixon, for example, passed more progressive legislation than Carter).

Ike was an anomaly in the transition period between FDR and JFK -- Ike was a war hero without a partisan background and both parties recruited him (in fact, FDR's son lobbied hard for Ike to replace Truman on grounds that Ike was more progressive than Truman and so was a better choice to carry FDR's legacy forward).

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Response to Attorney in Texas (Original post)

Fri Nov 20, 2015, 06:57 PM

16. Kicked and recommended to the Max!

Excellent article.

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Response to Attorney in Texas (Original post)

Fri Nov 20, 2015, 07:05 PM

17. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for the thread, Attorney in Texas.

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Response to Attorney in Texas (Original post)

Fri Nov 20, 2015, 07:36 PM

20. Regarding the European Democratic Socialism. These countries

adopted this form of government very soon after WWII. I suspect the Marshall Plan had a lot to do with it. We knew that poverty in Germany after WWI had a lot to do with Nazi's rise and WWII and helped set up a plan to insure that there was a very good safety net for Europe. One like FDR and Eisenhower set up for the US.

Both us and them would do well to remember that. EU and its bankers may have forgotten like our bankers have.

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Response to jwirr (Reply #20)

Sat Dec 5, 2015, 05:30 PM

25. There are those who seem blind to history (hell, half of them can't remember back to 2008)

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Response to Attorney in Texas (Original post)

Fri Nov 20, 2015, 08:52 PM

22. "Bernie Sanders’s socialism is Eisenhower’s and F.D.R.’s world if Reagan had never happened:

economic security updated by the continuing revolutions in gender, cultural pluralism, and the struggle for racial justice."

And that is exactly why he has my support.

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Response to LWolf (Reply #22)

Sat Nov 21, 2015, 05:55 PM

23. best line in the article

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Response to LWolf (Reply #22)

Sat Nov 21, 2015, 10:38 PM

24. Yep. nt

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