I have heard many criticisms about Bernie Sanders from socialists who are more left-wing on the political spectrum than I myself am. They state that Bernie Sanders is not a real socialist and neither are other social democrats (Corbyn, Hamon, etc.) because they have not openly advocated for the collective ownership of the means of production. I will be responding to these criticisms in this post.
First of all, Bernie Sanders is a democratic socialist, or to use the original term, an evolutionary socialist (I think "evolutionary socialist" is a more accurate term, as "democratic socialist" could imply that non-reformist socialists aren't democratic, which is most often not the case). The ideology of evolutionary socialism was founded by the German philosopher Eduard Bernstein. It is prudent to point out that evolutionary socialists are still socialists, and still want collective ownership of the means of production, however the means by how they acquire the means of production are different to the means of revolutionary socialists.
Revolutionary socialists are those like Karl Marx and Rosa Luxemburg. These advocate for the direct overthrow of the capitalist system and the immediate replacement of it with a socialist system where the means of production are in the hands of the workers.
Evolutionary socialists are those like Eduard Bernstein, Bernie Sanders, Jeremy Corbyn, Benoit Hamon and myself. We advocate for the continuous reform of the capitalist system through Keynesian politics and labour and welfare reforms until it becomes fully socialist and the means of production are in the hands of the workers.
Now, Bernie Sanders has made himself very clear to be an evolutionary socialist, as he has advocated for numerous reforms such as the implementation of a single-payer healthcare system.
Another common criticism from revolutionary socialists towards social democrats is the death of Rosa Luxemburg, which happened under the Social Democratic government of the Weimar Republic.
Now, Rosa Luxemburg was part of a group of the Spartacists, and they had made themselves very clear to be a threat to the Weimar Republic as they had caused an uprising. The Republic was already suffering a great deal due to the Treaty of Versailles, and such an uprising threatened its stability and progress.
As well as that, Friedrich Ebert, the President of the Weimar Republic, did not order the death of Rosa Luxemburg by the Friekorps. It was instead carried out by them due to their own intentions.
Both of these allegations demonstrate a clear hostility towards the centre-left within the left-wing movements. This anti-reformist sectarianism is harmful to the left-wing progressive movements, as it causes us to become more divided and to splinter ourselves into tiny fragments. If the left is not unified, it will collapse. I have consistently embraced communists and anarchists, despite my disagreements with them, due to the fact that we share the same common goal: the end of a corrupt capitalist system and the collective ownership of the means of production. However, if we continue to fight amongst ourselves it will end up like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0BpfwazhUA
Marx said "Workers of the world, unite!", not "Workers of the world, get into petty squabbles, throw unfair allegations at each other and divide into tiny splinter groups so that we can't provide an effective opposition!".
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