Toxic 'Liberal' Narratives, Part III: "There is no rise in Socialism in the U.S."

'The left' join their far right counterparts in tyranny and fascism by demanding conformity to their 'superior' ideas. While the far right veers toward theocratic tyranny, the far left is intent on controlling conversations about our most pressing issues, and making sure that 'others', who think differently than them, are ostracized, silenced, and even punished.

"Socialism is not Rising in America Today"

A Socialist Rise is a Political Reality

'Liberals' in the 2018 elections attacked those who say there is a rise in socialist sentiments on the left. Meanwhile, no one can stop the rush of news stories documenting the new political fervor toward socialism, and communism.

A shocking Gallup poll from the summer of 2018 showed that Democrats, and young people, have a more favorable view of socialism than capitalism. A rise in socialist sentiments was marked after Bernie Sanders' run for the Democratic presidential candidacy. At the time Sanders was the only Democratic Socialist in Congress. Since his run, however, Democratic Socialists have won a few more seats in congress--notably, the star of today's Dem party- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
The Democratic Socialists of America membership rolls have surged, from merely 5,000 members before the Sanders campaign to over 50,000 members in 2018.

It's the Economy
Economic hardship has left a power vacuum for individuals, driving them to seek government support out of desperation. Even before the 2008 recession, economic inequality in the United States was at strangling levels for most Americans. Variable rate loans, soaring housing, education, and healthcare prices, combined with low wages caused an implosion of real earnings. After the recession, millions lost their houses, and retirement savings. Occupy Wall Street protests swept the nation, with a populist cry against the 1% (a dubious target).

There is no clear sign that any of these causal problems are being solved by The People, or the government. Suicide rates are soaring, especially in the economically challenged communities of farmers, and working class 'white' men. Healthcare, housing, and education prices are prohibitively high. While unemployment is at 'full employment' levels, even increased wage rates of $15hr are not high enough to meet a living wage in any state.

America is ripe for a revolution.

A Call for a More Moral Capitalism, or a Socialist Utopia?

The main criticisms of capitalism that are driving socialist politics are a corporate control of the economy (a main component of fascism), and wage theft. These are true and important criticisms on which we should urgently deliberate.

The far left does not, however, house their concerns under such tangible targets. Instead the far left target groups for elimination--the one percent, capitalists, conservative racists, white men, and a racist and capitalist America.

Targeted attacks on general groups of people should be anathema to liberals, but we have a new 'liberal' faction in the U.S., heavily dependent on dividing the country into 'us and them', the 'good ones' and 'the evil ones'. More than any historically redundant argument for a renewed Marxist critique of capitalism, this targeting of groups should alarm all Americans.

The far left's political solutions to economic hardship are universal basic income, universal healthcare, universal education, eco-economics, and democratizing wealth. These solutions offer hope to desperate generations who have been decimated by a troubled economy, but jump far from correcting the immoral facets of capitalism, to invoking socialism and communism.

Extreme Left Solutions are Taking Hold
Demands for basic income, universal health and education, eco-economics, and 'democratizing' wealth are growing. These ideas used to be hallmarks of far left political factions like the Greens, Democratic Socialists of America, and the Communist Party of the USA, but have now captured the Democratic party. 

Democrat Andrew Yang is basing his 2020 presidential campaign on the promise of basic income, which he calls the 'freedom dividend'. He is running his own 'study' by giving one family $1000 a month, even as a nationwide study on basic income in Finland failed to incentivize participants to help themselves get to a better place financially. Yang sees free money as the inevitable solution to economic hardship, as he stated for Business Insider in 2018:

"When you realize how historic and unprecedented levels of inequality are, and that the trends are about to speed up and get worse, the numbers point to a clear disintegration of American society. People are waking up. There's no rational solution to these trends that does not include some form of universal basic income."

Embracing healthcare for all, a widely studied solution to inaccessible healthcare, is a requirement for Democratic 2020 candidates, according to Tim Rice, the deputy director of health policy at the Manhattan Institute:

"This is what you do if you're a progressive Democrat in 2019. You need to establish your single-payer bonafides. You need to do it early and you need to do it often..."

Universal healthcare is an enticing solution. It seems simple, and other western countries have this system. But, can the US actually deliver this Democratic promise? Or, are they playing desperate people for political power in 2020 by whitewashing the political and financial bulwarks toward their stated goal?

The same question should be asked of the Dems 'bold new moves' to campaign on free higher education. In September 2018, Inside Higher Ed reported on Democrats mainstreaming free college as a campaign. Reports show that 'free education' does not deliver, especially, ironically, to poorer students. Morley Winograd, president for the Campaign for Free College Tuition, said for Inside Higher Ed, "As a universal program, free college by design is not well targeted. When programs are means tested, he said, they lose broad-based support."

What is the motivation for so much populist socialist talk from Democrats? Are they desperate for political power, or truly trying to solve The People's problems? If it is the former, and Dems are moving farther left just to gain political power, how far will they go?

Conservatives have been complaining of being locked out of valued democratic institutions for some time (higher ed, media). Minorities complain of the non-profit industrial complex that feeds off of poor communities. We already see groups targeted with violent and bigoted rhetoric, and lack of accountability from the left. How far will they go if what they want is power, not policy?

A Frog in the Water Approach to Communism

'Liberals' are at once saying that there is no socialist rise and calling for socialism. While basic income, and universal health and education seem innocuous, looking at the goals for Green New Deal, and 'democratizing' wealth, shows far left advocates aim is more communist.

The New Green Deal
Democratic Socialist star Cortez retracted part of her Green New Deal immediately after releasing it as backlash ensued over her goal to provide "economic security for those unwilling to work." Her proposal includes government provisions for "high-quality health care, housing, economic security, and clean air, clean water, healthy food, and nature to all," and,

"stopping current, preventing future, and repairing historical oppression of indigenous communities, communities of color, migrant communities, deindustrialized communities, depopulated rural communities, the poor, low income workers, women, the elderly, the unhoused, people with disabilities, and youth."

That's a tall order! Seems like Cortez thinks she can fix all of the people's problems--economic hardship, corporate greed, environmental problems, racism, discrimination, education, housing, agriculture etc.-- with one big government bill. She proposes to do this by restructuring the US economy into a green economy. It is not hard to call this a socialist endeavor.

It is very difficult to separate this sort of solution from socialism, where the government centrally plans the economy, and severely curtails freedom of enterprise, which is unfortunate, because a lot of good work is already being done to move to a greener, more socially conscious society--individual people are making this happen, not the government.

In fact the Greens have had the exact same Green New Deal--yes, that is what Greens have called it-- for decades--it is essentially a plan Cortez stole from the Greens, with no credit given. This veiled attempt to co-opt the Greens agenda, and Cortez's inclusion, then denial of, the policy of "economic security for those not willing to work", makes a thinking person wonder what is it they are trying not to say, and why?

As well, this 'ownership' of sustainable strategies by the far left made me realize why many on the right side of politics developed the Agenda 21 conspiracy. Agenda 21 is part of a UN program that offers guidelines and voluntary involvement in green goals, and is embraced by people across the political spectrum. Fusing these international guidelines with far left activists' organizations is a disservice to the movement as a whole. But the left doesn't make it easy to disentangle green goals from their socialist, and arguably communist, vision of the future.

It is not a far jump from Cortez's vague and all encompassing plan to a disturbing and arguably communist plank carried by Greens in 2016--Ecological Economics.

Although the Greens specifically say that, "This new platform plank does not promote expropriation of privately owned small businesses and should not be interpreted as such. Rather, the plank outlines the type of businesses and type of economy we would like to create," upon further investigation in an interview with author of the Greens new Eco-Economics plank, Michael Trudeau was adamant that the Greens new platform is rooted in an anti-capitalist ideology. In his words:

"For us, being anti-capitalist means being for the democratization of enterprises such that all the workers in them and all the customers and residents of communities interdependent with those enterprises have democratic, equal input into deciding what they do and how they do it. For example, if all the workers in an enterprise contribute—each in a specific way—to the profits it produces, then all should have a democratic input into deciding how and for whose benefit it is to be used. For example, if a surrounding community is affected by the production processes, the wages and salaries paid, the choice of technological change, etc., of an enterprise, then democratization requires that the residents of that surrounding community likewise have their democratic input into those decisions.”

Proponents of the 'democratizaton' of the economy say that they reject state socialism. What they are calling for is grassroots ownership of the economy, or put another way--the people's ownership of the economy. That is communism.

The terms 'democratization of the economy' and 'new economy' can be traced to Gar Alperovitz, and his organizations, The Democracy Collaborative, and Next System Project (among other related institutions). Alperovitz is highly decorated as an intellectual, having fellowships at Harvard, Cambridge, and the Brookings institute. His solutions to social and economic insecurity are viable and good strategies, relying on co-ops and anchor institutions to stabilize insecure communities. However, targeted solutions to targeted communities is not the ultimate goal for him, and those who share his ideology.

In his article The Checkerboard Strategy for Regaining the Progressive Initiative, published in 2013, Alperovitz lists the common-sense strategies for addressing economic and social insecurities, but also includes a conspicuous nod to the communist vision of 'democratizing wealth', "What is striking about the new range of possibilities," he says, "is that most also introduce the concept of democratizing wealth ownership into practical and political reality."

Alperovitz's theory of a new system based on the 'democratization of the economy' is being absorbed by political activists on the left, housed under the goals of protecting and securing The People's lives. This can clearly be seen in Politico's article What Would a Socialist America Look Like? where 12 'left thinkers' were asked to describe their vision of a America's socialist future. Here are some excerpts:

"Establishing democratic socialism means democratizing ownership of capital, our jobs and our personal lives." --David Duhalde, Our Revolution, a Non-Profit spin-off of the Sanders campaign

"A democratically elected government should own natural monopolies such as utilities and rail transport; provide social services like health care, education, housing, child care and banking; and create a general welfare state that eliminates poverty through guaranteeing a minimum income, with assistance for people with disabilities, the elderly and families with children. 

But we have to go beyond that. We need measures to establish democratic ownership over the wider economy, and eliminate our dependence on industries that rely on pollution and war for their existence." --Peter Gowan, The Democracy Collaborative 

"The fundamental difference we expect from a socialist society is that we will all have a voice in the decisions that impact our lives. Workplaces will be owned by the workers who run them, rather than an authoritarian boss. "--Democratic Socialist of America Director, Maria Svart

"This will be actual socialism, rather than social democracy or liberalism, because it will have socialized the means of production—although in plural forms that do not all center on the state." --Joe Guinan, Next Systems Project/Democracy Collaborative 

"Socialists believe that without democratic control of capital and an end to imperialism, the goals of progressivism will be left unfulfilled. Socialists argue that capitalism is incompatible with democracy."--Sean McElwee, Data for Progress

In Yes! magazine, David Korten, of the Living Earth Economy, says that Democracy and capitalism cannot co-exist, but that the pure form of democracy is socialism, though he tries go around this conclusion:

"Democracy is a governance system in which power resides in the people. That power cannot be limited to voting for political representatives every few years. It must be rooted in economic structures that distribute power equitably and link it to the interests of communities of place. Such structures can come in many forms: Individual and family enterprises, community-owned enterprises, cooperatives–large and small—and even governmental and quasi-governmental bodies.

Democracy is the life-serving alternative we seek to the life-destroying capitalist tyranny under which we now live. Democracy, not the false dichotomy of capitalism or socialism, should be the election’s framing issue."

From CNN's interview with Maria Svart:

"Our vision is to build a mass, multi-racial, working-class movement that brings people together across our differences and demands that our society and our economy be run democratically. Most of us believe that this will not work under capitalism. Our north star is totally transforming the system, even though our immediate vision and our immediate political program is similar to Bernie Sanders'.

What's different is we want to democratize everything, ultimately. That's the goal."


The U.S. has grappled with greedy capitalism before. Unions and the Clayton Act of 1914 reigned in immoral capitalism. Co-ops, employee owned companies, profit sharing, social safety nets, and nearly all of the solutions touted as part of a 'new' economy have existed for centuries, and exist now in our mixed economic system. Our problems can be solved without destroying the idea of America, capitalism, or of a democratic republic.

Sustainability initiatives, or 'green' initiatives, that advocate a more moral capitalism are not exclusive to the far left, and their 'bold new moves' to own this movement come as society as a whole is widely accepting them--not by force, by a conscious choice to do what is right, and what is profitable.

One inescapable question, and complication socialists and communist will have realizing their utopian visions, are exactly the questions our founding fathers deliberated so much on--how to solve problems of direct democracies--specifically, tyranny of the majority, tyranny of the minority, and free riders. If America cannot get citizens to get out and vote every two years, what makes advocates of the New System think that they will get together to decide every business decision in their community? If co-ops and democratic ownership of production rely on direct democracy, how will they prevent tyranny of the majority or minority within these institutions?

Politics in America have been polarizing for nearly 30 years. With each passing election, the pendulum swings...more extreme left, more extreme right. We've come to a point where extremes have captured the two major parties in the U.S., and the new left advocate taking the Democrats to even further extremes.