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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Bernie Sanders campaign winds down—but socialist ideas have just begun to take root

After Tuesday night, there may be little left of the Bernie Sanders campaign for US president. For the Marxist-Leninist left this has not usually been a popular campaign. Some Marxists that I correspond with on Facebook are quite negative against Bernie. They see him as nothing more than a faction of the capitalist enemy trying to look left-wing. They dismiss all of his politics as nothing more than reformist capitalism. And there is certainly some truth to that.
Bernie's foreign policy is terrible. It is not that different from Clinton's and neither are that different from the Republican candidates. Although on the point of Israel, he may not be such a pro-Zionist as some are painting him. Consider this from Alternet:

"Thousands are urging 2016 presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders to refuse an invitation from the right-wing American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) to speak at its upcoming policy conference in WashingtonDC
“As the main arm of the pro-Israel lobby in the United States, AIPAC has sworn to promote the racistmilitaristic, and anti-democratic policies of the most right-wing government in Israel's history,” states a petition, which was created by AlterNet senior editor Max Blumenthal and has garnered 4,000 signatures in just four days. “Its conference this year will feature Islamophobesanti-immigrant activists, and religious extremists.”
“With his promise to seek a 'level playing field' on Israel-Palestine, Bernie does not belong on the same stage as these figures,” continues the petition, whose prominent signatories include Roger Waters, well-known musician and co-founder of Pink Floyd. Israeli activist and author Miko Peled, Palestinian-American civil rights campaigner and commentator Linda Sarsour and scores of other leading campaigners for Palestinian human rights have lent their names to the initiative."

Also many Marxist are quick to point out that Bernie is not a Marxist-Leninist and he is not a true socialist. Again this is true. He is not. He often makes the point that his version of socialism is not like such Marxist-Leninist countries as the Soviet Union, China or Cuba, that our elite ruling class has used as examples of boogie men that are supposed to scare the working class away from the word socialism or Marxism. He is not really an ally of ours at all. At times he may be our enemy.
But as I said at the beginning of his campaign my support is not really about Bernie the candidate. It is about using this campaign as an educational tool. To begin to break down the idea that socialism is just another bad word, like heroin dealer, rapist or pedophile. For the first time in 100 years an American politician ran a campaign using the label "socialism" and that label did not kill his chances of being successful.
The campaign is nearly over. The term socialism and the debate over it didn't materialize very often. It was largely ignored. But we can look forward to others carrying on such debates and campaigns in the future. For more information on the elections and the Bernie campaign see: The Idiot Factor: corruption folly.
One important point is that a lot of young voters turned out to vote and caucus for Bernie. These people were not scared away with threats against those who want "free stuff" from the supposedly evil "government" as decried by the far-far-far right Republicans. The far-far-far right Republicans have controlled the media and public opinion since the presidency of Ronald Reagan. We now have the possibility of a whole generation of young people willing to ignore these stereo types. They have the willingness to try out new ideas. We can start to imagine a different kind of future for our country and the world.
The Bernie campaign is almost over, but new campaigns for new ways of government are just beginning.    



Anonymous said...

America Must Decide! Bernie Sanders or Bob Avakian?

SJ Otto said...

He He! Good one.