V. Saxena explains why Bernie Sanders’ socialism is irreconcilable with liberty:
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders believes that fixing America requires handing out a bunch of free stuff, but the lessons of nineteenth-century French intellectual Alexis de Tocqueville suggest otherwise.
Writing for The Federalist, Samuel Gregg, director of research at the Acton Institute, explained that everything Sanders wants to implement — “Medicare-for-all single-payer health care system, massive public works to create jobs, significant minimum-wage increases, and any number of measures designed to reduce wealth and income inequalities” — would trample our personal liberty and individual reason.
In defending this assertion, he pointed to a statement made by Tocqueville in 1848:
A third and final trait, one which, in my eyes, best describes socialists of all schools and shades, is a profound opposition to personal liberty and scorn for individual reason, a complete contempt for the individual.
They unceasingly attempt to mutilate, to curtail, to obstruct personal freedom in any and all ways. They hold that the State must not only act as the director of society, but must further be master of each man, and not only master, but keeper and trainer.
For fear of allowing him to err, the State must place itself forever by his side, above him, around him, better to guide him, to maintain him, in a word, to confine him.
They call, in fact, for the forfeiture, to a greater or less degree, of human liberty, to the point where, were I to attempt to sum up what socialism is, I would say that it was simply a new system of serfdom.
Like Gregg himself pointed out, socialism’s focus on “material welfare” creates a “profoundly anti-human society” that transforms we the citizens into just “an instrument, a number.”
In doing this, socialism exacerbates the root causes of income inequality and societal disarray, namely “family breakdown, single-parent households and mental illness,” all of which contemporary liberals think can somehow be resolved with mere material solutions.
But the truth is that they cannot be solved like this.
The devastating effects of former President Lyndon B. Johnson’s “War On Poverty” demonstrate this to a T, but unfortunately, it appears contemporary liberals refuse to learn from their predecessor’s mistakes.