I think the “textbook definition” of socialism is something along the lines of government owning or controlling the “means of production.”
Based on his website, Bernie Sanders’ “Democratic Socialism” involves using a progressive tax scheme (higher tax rates on higher incomes) to redistribute income from the “rich” to the poor and the middle class. However, this redistribution does not take the form of government cutting checks to the middle class and the poor from the taxes taken from the “rich,” but rather involves expanding existing government programs (e.g. social security) and creating new government programs (e.g. “single payer” health insurance, “free” college).
It is important to note that Sanders’ position is that in order to achieve “Democratic Socialism” the government must be able to limit and ban political speech which it disagrees with.
With that context, let’s discuss three unassailable criticisms of socialism, which apply both to the classic model and Sanders’ variation: socialism is intellectually vacant, morally reprehensible and socially corrosive. Continue reading