This article unwitting shows why Sanders is taping into new energy: he has almost broken the mold of older thinking, but in the process, to be sure, sailing into the FDR brand of non-socialism. But the definition given here is marxist dogmatism: “The term means many different things to many people, but one mostly undisputed core belief is that under socialism workers control the means of production.”
I don’t think proponents of this understand the working class.
Is that really the right approach? It is tantamount to revolutionary communism yet crippled in its socialist limits, which I support, but as a ‘neo-communism’ still undefined. I myself speak of the Universal Class instead of the working class. We can’t hope to succeed with middle class idealists promoting something for the sake of a working class that has no interest either in socialism of the idealists claiming to represent them. Sanders reverts to the old fashioned obvious approach: the anyone who shapes up to vote approach, and this is really a tacit invocation of the Universal Class: voting is a universal property. The emphasis on the working class belongs to the nineteenth century and made sense up to the 1950’s, but now we need a new approach. We can’t realistically handle over everything to the working class anymore. That would ophan almost the whole population, who would be left out. The demographics now is totally different. I see no problem with working class ownership of means of production in principle, but in practice it wouldn’t work anymore. Will the working class show any more compassion to the homeless than the %1? The question is ridiculous for intelligent marxists. Working clasa? all of them, exclusively? and noone else, now the majority, nowhere near the working class? That idea was always problematical. Why would we trust the working class in that case anymore than the ownership by capitalists. Are working class people socialist saints. Will they extend their ownership to the larger working class, or solely those employed at the factory in question. We are losing factories and losing the working class. What’s left is the victim of sociological engineering to create racists.
We should start over with the idea of the Universal Class, and this includes all classes, and can certainly adjust to a working class subset should such surge in leftist vigor. But the example of Sanders merely shows the obvious: it is much more viable to invoke the Universal Class, which refers to all classes….
Defining “Democratic Socialism”
On November 19, Sanders gave his highly anticipated “socialism” speech at Georgetown University. His goal, he said, was to explain to the American people what “democratic socialism” means to him and what it would mean for the country if he were elected. One goal of the speech, to be sure, was to ease the fears of voters who, throughout decades of Cold War propaganda, had been told the word is synonymous with Soviet gulags.
Sanders’ speech was largely praised by liberal supporters. But he didn’t really promote socialism – at least not as most socialists see it. The term means many different things to many people, but one mostly undisputed core belief is that under socialism workers control the means of production.
Sanders, however, was preaching the liberalism of Franklin D. Roosevelt, not the socialism of Eugene V. Debs (one of his heroes), who ran for president as a Socialist five times between 1912 and 1920. Roosevelt “saw one-third of the nation ill-housed, ill-clad and ill-nourished,” said Sanders. “And he acted, against the ferocious opposition of the ruling class of his day.”
Sanders has no problem conceding this point and never has. “I am not suggesting that all things should be publicly owned and that everyone should make $58,684.34 a year,” Sanders told me in 2009 at an event in Stowe, Vermont. “We are talking about making sure everyone has access to basic things: education, health care and decent roads.”