Special to In Defense of Communism.
Let's get directly to the point: Many progressive americans support Bernie Sanders because they can't stand the Republicans or Hillary Clinton. The possibility of a Trump presidency is a nightmare, while Mrs.Clinton is nothing but the continuity of Barack Obama's administration. Senator Sanders has been presented in various ways: socialist, social-democrat, democratic socialist etc. Even Sanders himself has called himself a "socialist". But, does he really know the meaning of "socialism"? Is he confused with the political terminology or he does that by purpose?
Senator Sanders has as much relation to Socialism as Alexis Tsipras does. Tsipras, the leader of SYRIZA and current Prime Minister of Greece, was elected based on radical slogans, socialist rhetoric and illusions about "humanizing Capitalism". What Tsipras' government did is well known: he signed a new bailout agreement with the creditors and applied the same- and in some cases even harder- austerity measures. In fact, he did what his conservative predecessors did.
The- supposed- "socialism" and "radicalism" of SYRIZA remained only in slogans. In practice, Tsipras' government has been proved the best friend of the capitalists: privatizations of state property, total submission to EU and NATO policies, anti-people measures and laws, destruction of social security etc.
Sanders, like Tsipras, is not a threat to the capitalist establishment. Not at all. On the contrary, such cases (like Sanders and Tsipras) are used by the bourgeoisie in order to funnel working class' radicalism back to the capitalist system. People usually get fooled by radical, socialist rhetoric - however, the important is not what you say, but what you really want to do.
Senator Sanders, like Tsipras, has praised the so-called "scandinavian model". But, in fact, the scandinavian countries have nothing to do with real Socialism. They are free-market, capitalist economies with a- continuously decreasing- dose of social-welfare state. Maybe Bernie Sanders has in his mind the improvement of the welfare state in the US but, still, the means of productions will be in the hands of the capitalists. The monopolies, the large corporations will remain as powerful as they are today.
If Senator Sanders and his supporters continue to claim that he is a "socialist", we ask the following: What kind of a "socialist" would advocate the 1999 NATO massacre in Yugoslavia? A look at Sanders' voting record on foreign policy issue shows that there is no big difference between him and Hillary Clinton. While he voted against the Iraq War, he voted in favor of authorizing funds for this war as well as for the one in Afghanistan. Senator Sanders voted in favor of a $1 billion aid package for the fascist government of Ukraine and supported Israel's assault in Gaza.
The people of the US, the working class in America, must fight against the monstrous phenomenon of Donald Trump. But on the same time, the working people must not fall in the trap of supporting politicians who are simply the other side of the coin. The vote on Sanders won't change a thing, if the people, the workers, the unemployed, the youth will not organise themselves, against capitalist exploitation, in every neighborhood, in every city, in every part of the country.
In Defense of Communism ©.