By Terry McGaheyAssociate Writer / Historian
In the past several years I have heard many statements made by the progressive left and others such as some of the Bernie Sanders followers, referring to our country's political system as a "socialist democracy". This is simply not true!
Even though we may have some socialist programs, such as welfare and others, we are not a socialist run country. Our political system is a republic, not a democracy, and surely not a socialist system.
Even though a republic and a democracy system are very much alike, there is one major difference between those two and the socialist system of government. In a republic or democracy system, there are laws which limit the governments power, in contrast in the socialist system there are no laws prohibiting such.
In other words, the socialist system of government is the law and this puts that system only one small step away from becoming a communist system of government.
As Roger Baldwin, the founder of the ACLU and self proclaimed communist had stated in 1920, "the end goal of socialism is communism."
It's my opinion that socialism and democracy, by the very interpretation of the two are like apples and oranges and the two do not mix, period! Sooner or later one has to overtake the other.
The social democracy ideals began as an ideology that advocated an evolutionary and peaceful transition from capitalism to socialism using political processes in contrast to the revolutionary approach to transition associated with Orthodox Marxism.
In Western Europe, they rejected this Stalinist model by not committing to either and took an alternate path to socialism or to a compromise between capitalism and socialism. Countries which refer to themselves as "social democracies" are, Bangladesh, India, North Korea, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania.
Below are the rates of poverty within those countries as opposed to the United States:
1. Bangladesh has a rate of poverty at 32 percent.
2. India's rate is 29.5 percent.
3. North Korea rate of poverty is at half of their 24 million people or approximately 50 percent.
4. Sri Lanka's rate is at 23 percent.
5. Tanzania has a rate of 33.3 percent.
The poverty rate here in the United States of America stands at 14.8 percent so why anyone would want to live under a socialist democracy is beyond me. The numbers don't lie. And as we crawl out of the major recession, which we have been mired in for the past many years. the poverty rate here in the United States will drop even further. The difference is the countries listed above are not as likely to do so. Also, below are the examples of the human rights records of these so-called "socialist democracies."
In Bangladesh such human rights offences are, torture, persecution of minority communities, attacks against Hindus, attacks against atheists, attacks against Santels, and control of many other aspects of life through the use of intimidation.
In India, from 2002 through 2008, over four people per day died while in police custody with hundreds of these deaths due to police torture. India has the highest number of people living in conditions of slavery which is 18.3 million times more than the next highest nation. Also in India, there are about 12.6 million children under the age of 14 involved in hazardous occupations, and human trafficking is an 8 million dollar illegal business.
North Korea remains among the worlds most repressive countries and all basic freedoms are severely restricted. North Korea practices extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, and forced abortions as well as other sexual violence against it's people.
In Shi Lanka, Amnesty International stated that since 2006 there has been an escalating amount of political killings, child recruitment, and abductions. There is also concerns with violence against women, several reports of torture while in police custody, and state sponsored disappearances and murders.
Tanzania has a forced labor program which allows the government to compel individuals and groups to forcibly work for purposes of economical development, and trafficking of persons. It's also a source and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking, specifically under conditions of forced labor and or prostitution. In Tanzania, there are also uses of excessive force, torture, arbitrary arrests, and corruption throughout the country.
The ideals of a socialist democracy government in the minds of many within our country are not as they perceive it to be. As I stated earlier in this article, the two types of governing ideals of socialism and a democracy are like apples and oranges and mix about as well as oil and water. It would only be a matter of time until one would have to overtake the other.
Socialists and Communists have been trying to gain a foothold within our country for years now and by using this so-called idea of a socialist democracy, or as others like to use the term, progressives, they believe their agendas will gain more steam then by using the term socialist which seems to be working, especially within our schools and colleges among our young people.
Again, as I have written above, Roger Baldwin, the founder of the ACLU stated, "The end goal of socialism is communism."