Saturday, September 24, 2016

Laura Flanders: Is A Socialist Future Possible? Sarah Leonard & Bhaskar Sunkara

Source: Laura Flanders-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

"Is a socialist future possible? Well I guess anything is possible at least in the future. I don't think this is the right question, becau..."

Is a socialist future possible? Well I guess anything is possible at least in the future. I don't think this is the right question, because it's sort of like asking will we one day see cars that fly for people who don't want to sit in traffic on the way to work. I guess that is possible, but who is expecting that. We need to separate the possible and the reasonable and realistic, because they're different things. The next President of the United States, won't be a Socialist or Social Democrat. (Sorry Jill Stein supporters) The next President will either a moderate pragmatic Progressive (which is what Progressives are) in Hillary Clinton, or a right-wing authoritarian fascist in Donald Trump. Whoever controls the next Congress, the Speaker of the House won't be a Socialist, even if it is Nancy Pelosi and the Speaker's members won't be social-democratic, at least the majority. Once you get past the Black Caucus and Progressive Caucus. The next Leader of the Senate, won't be a Socialist or Social-Democrat, even if it is Chuck Schumer. And his members won't be social-democratic by nature. Once you get beyond Bernie Sanders and Tammy Baldwin. So Socialists and Social-Democrats, won't control the next Congress in either chamber.

People point to the Millennial Generation as reason to believe we're moving in a socialist or social-democratic direction as a country as far as ideology. But go back to the late 1960s and early 1970s and yes George McGovern did win the Democratic nomination for president in 1972. But most of his support came from young Baby Boomers in their twenties. And look at the Baby Boom Generation today and you see a generation (with all due respect) that grew up. They got jobs (once they started showering and got hair cuts) and started paying taxes. They go involved romantically outside of their radical political movement and got married and had kids. They got comfortable in American society and became very successful in life and perhaps also learned about the limits of socialism and what government can do for people with their taxes. And didn't become Conservatives necessarily, but certainly moderated and became what Hillary Clinton is today. And took more of a pragmatic center-left approach to what government should and can do for the people.

Again to go back to my original point about what is possible, twenties years from now can we see an America that is a social-democratic country that looks like Canada or Scandinavia when it comes to economic and foreign policy, again what isn't possible until it's proven impossible. But I'm more interested in what's reasonable and realistic. I guess I'm just not very romantic and if the Millennial's are anything like the Boomers or even Gen-Xers and a lot of Millennial's are the sons and daughters of Boomers and Gen-Xers, they'll moderate as well. Some might even move to the Center-Right. We don't know where we'll be as a country even four years from now politically. A lot of that will depend on how the first term of the next president goes. But to say that a large percentage of the young adult generation (Millennial's) like socialism and  based on that America is moving in a socialist direction, I would ask you 5-10 years from now if you still believe that. If the Baby Boomers were Socialists, than Ronald Reagan probably never becomes President. So just I believe it's way to early to decide what direction America is moving in politically until we actually get there.
Laura Flanders: Is a Socialist Future Possible? Bhaskar Sundara & Sarah Leonard