213 points

FDR was much closer to being a Social Democrat than a Democratic Socialist. They sound similar but are quite different. Hell I think Bernie is closer to a Social Democrat, too. He praises the Nordic model and they’re textbook social democracies.

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62 points

I’ve always felt that’s just pragmatism from Bernie, and in truth he’s ideologically a democratic socialist. If it makes any difference this is coming from a democratic socialist who’s a member of a social Democrat party.

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33 points
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I’ve always felt that’s just pragmatism from Bernie,

If you read his book “It’s Okay to Be Angry About Capitalism” it becomes very very obvious that this is the case. From quoting very radical anti-capitalists to tongue and cheek (somewhat) insider jokes such as naming the chapter on his time in mayoral politics “Socialism in one City”, it shows he’s definitely way more ideologically aligned with socialism than people give him credit for.

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11 points

As an European, I have never understood why so many American leftists don’t see that, even by simply listening to what he is saying or looking at what he is doing. I mean he literally has a picture of Eugene Debs on his desk and mentions how he is this political role model and hero any chance he gets, that alone should tell you where he stands on an ideological or philosophical level…

And of course, he has been involved in various socialist groups his whole life and literally still calls himself a democratic socialist. Why would he do that if it wasn’t true? To gain a political advantage, in America of all places, where calling yourself a socialist would have generally been political suicide?

And then are his policies, where many will focus on healthcare and say “he just wants healthcare” and ignore anything else. But of course, healthcare is a major issue because it makes the working class even more dependend on their employers because they lose tgeir healthcare if they get fired, so it makes sense for him to focus on tgat first. And of course, he also had other policy in his program, like transfering 20% of ownership over major corporations to their employees and having workers electing half of the board of directors.

You can call him a reformer, you can call his participation ineffective, but why deny his political believes?

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41 points
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He wasn’t even a social democrat. At the time, social democrats were democratic socialists, the shift away from reformist socialism happened around the 80s (some social democratic parties still hang onto reformist socialism, at least in theory).

He was a smart liberal who realized that in order to save capitalism from collapsing again, some regulations are necessary. In Europe, similar policy was often pushed by social democrats, which sometimes leads to confusion. But actual social democrats at the time went (or at least wanted to go) further, like nationalization and socialization of major industry, worker representation at companies, and increasing worker and union power in general.

Social democrats stated endgoal was a socialist society. FDR’s endgoal was to protect and maintain capitalism.

Edit: Also, Bernie is definitely a reformist socialist, I will never understand why people think otherwise. He literally mentions Eugen Debbs, one of the most influencial socialists in American history, as his role model and hero every chance he can… And he praises the nordic model because the nordic model was literally pushed by reformist democratic socialists… Here is Olaf Palme, one of the most important figures when it comes to the nordic model and prime minister of Sweden (until he was murdered), explaining why he is a democratic socialist:

https://youtube.com/watch?v=7i2Ws1X5DSA

Just imagine a conservative politican, calling themselves a fascist, keeping a picture of Mussolini on their desk, saying he is their political role model. Would you claim that he isn’t really a fascist? It’s not even as if Bernie Sanders was dog whistling, he couldn’t be any clearer about his believes… Yet somehow, so many American leftists seem to sonehow doubt his intentions? Why? Because he isn’t radical enough? Because he isn’t throwing molotov coctails at the police? What does he have to gain from falsely calling himself a socialist??

The man’s presidental campaign was giving 20% of major corporations to it’s employees and having about half of the board of directors be elected by workers, among other stuff…

if you don’t even want to acknowledge his values and his ideology simply because he is playing the politics game and is a reformist, send him to Europe, we would love a genuine leftist like him with so much charisma. I don’t think you appreciate him…

Imagine dedicating your life to fight for a better life, involve yourself in the civil rights movement, work in various socialist groups, calling yourself a socialist and calling for major industry to be socialised, being constantly attacked by right wingers for your socialist believes, etc, only for fellow leftists denying that you are a “real socialist”…

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3 points

Thanks for write-ups, there are certainly some things I have to read up on

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3 points

I appreciate the positive response, if my tone might have been a bit aggressive, that was not my intention. I understand why people were mislead about Bernie, there was a ton of media reports about how Bernie “isn’t a real socialist” and it’s not like Bernie is god or anything, there are obvious limits to his approach. It forces people to make compromises and water down their believes. But I do believe he is genuine, or at least the most genuine seeming politician I have seen.

Also, AOC seems to be very similar, although she doesn’t have the same knowhow yet about politics and mostly focuses on rethoric. But she is basically a leftist activist who, with a shit ton of luck, managed to get into politics.

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1 point
  1. When people in the modern day call someone a social democrat, they generally refer to the modern definition. The modern social democrat aims to reform capitalism to be more fair, as opposed to democratic socialists, who want to achieve socialism.
  2. Social liberals like FDR are rather similar to modern social democrats. They have a different lineage, but in terms of policy the main distinguishing factor is a distaste for state-owned enterprises.
  3. While I do not discount the possibility that he is intentionally moderating the positions he espouses publicly, he does not want to do away with private ownership, which is the goal of socialism. That being said, he goes much further than most social democrats in how much he wants to nationalize, how much he wants to incentivize coops, and how he wants 20% of major companies to be owned by the employees.
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1 point

I really appreciate this write up. As when I saw this post I started questioning my own understanding of FDR. Which aligns with yours. That his intention was to find a middle ground between the working class and the capitalists. Whereas Bernie is much more about reforming capitalism.

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1 point

I appreciate the positive response, if my tone might have been a bit aggressive, that was not my intention. I understand why people were mislead about Bernie, there was a ton of media reports about how Bernie “isn’t a real socialist” and it’s not like Bernie is god or anything, there are obvious limits to his approach. It forces people to make compromises and water down their believes. But I do believe he is genuine, or at least the most genuine seeming politician I have seen.

Also, AOC seems to be very similar, although she doesn’t have the same knowhow yet about politics and mostly focuses on rethoric. But she is basically a leftist activist who, with a shit ton of luck, managed to get into politics.

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0 points
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11 points

Can I see the venn diagram on this?

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21 points
*

Socialists want the workers to own the means of production.

Capitalism/liberalism wants capitalists to own it (though the workers can be the capitalists in question). Social democracy is a form of liberalism that seeks to improve quality of life and economic outputs through the creation of a well regulated welfare state (typically).

Other than that, it depends. The two groups mostly agree that poor people shouldn’t starve, that living wages should be a thing, and democracy and human rights matter, and one of the best ways to accomplish this all is the empowerment of worker unions. Everything else gets complicated.

FDR was definitely not a democratic socialist. He also wasn’t what modern views would consider a social democrat, but if it wasn’t for America still being segregated he probably would have counted as one easily enough. For the time? Probably. Some Greek Social Democrats wanted to conquer Turkey and expel the Muslims…

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7 points
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Not to be agist, but bernie is rapidly approaching his UBD. Closest we have to him in a viable position is AOC

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32 points
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Hey, nothing wrong with being agist in this situation, let’s be honest. Nobody - not Biden, not Bernie, not Trump - will be as cognitively-sharp when they are 80 as they were when they were 50, 40, 30. We wouldn’t want an 80-year-old lifeguard or firefighter, right?

And until an 18-year-old can be president, we’re already agist in one direction.

That we think putting geriatrics in the White House to run one of the most stressful jobs that is on-call 24/7 is a good idea… I mean it’s absurd. Just look how much Obama aged in 8 years. Forget the fact that the general risk of all-cause mortality is far greater, that’s just another risk-factor for running the country.

So yeah unfortunately I agree… Bernie’s opportunity was missed. When AOC runs one day, I will campaign as hard as possible for her victory.

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13 points

I would happily see an elderly Bernie in office. Why? Because he would fill the system with younger, capable individuals, and trust their opinions. He would leave the system a better place.

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-27 points

She’s a Democrat. If she doesn’t fall in line she doesn’t keep her job. You’ve been conned.

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14 points

Not

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90 points
Deleted by creator
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56 points
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It’s almost like supporting progressives down ballot provides greater success than crucifying the Democratic Party up ballot especially during a presidential race.

It’s almost like Bernie working with Biden was better than “Bernie or Biden but fuck the possibility of both”. I mean just ask Bernie what he did…

Like we are living the benefit of compromise while folks keep saying any possible compromise is the end times…

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-3 points

Never forget Bernie’s legacy…

https://youtu.be/ZlZaVtCT5HI

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2 points

TOGETHER by millions. Not ripping each other apart…

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-11 points

Like we are living the benefit of compromise

Oh fuck off. Who’s this “we”? Glad to hear your life is going well bud. Good for you.

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10 points

Meanwhile what? You describe what? What specifically do you mean? Go go gadget what?

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74 points
*

We have to face that loads of high ranking “moderate” Dems would prefer a Republican to a progressive.

If a Republican gets in office, it makes it easier to get people vote lesser of two evils.

If a progressive gets in office, it’s really hard to unseat them. They can barely manage to get House Reps out for moderates even with AIPAC money.

If Bernie had won 2016, he’d have gotten to name the DNC chair, he could of solidly ended in the failed neo liberal experiment.

We were really fucking close to fixing things, but after NH got their delegates stolen, I don’t think itll happen.

I honestly think if a real progressive wins a presidential party primary, the standing party might disregard it.

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13 points

I largely agree with you. Could you elaborate on your last sentence though?

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21 points

presidential party primary

There was an autocorrect there, but if that doesn’t clear it up:

A primary isn’t binding.

That was the DNCs legal argument for why if they rigged it, that would be legal.

The entire primary process is merely a survey.

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15 points

This is really a good argument for nonpartisan blanket primaries, which in other countries would be known as the first round of a two-round system. And it really should be advertised that way so people don’t just write it off as “just a primary”.

California adopts this system. You vote for one candidate in the primary. The top two candidates appear on the second round ballot. Most votes in the second round wins.

However, the fact that parties choose the candidates is really not unusual at all. In fact, the US is pretty unique in terms of how much influence voters have over the process. In most countries, interested candidates apply for the party’s nomination, and then the party’s central leadership or local party committee vets the applications and nominates their favourite candidate. Only the chosen candidate gets to stand with the party’s rosette.

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1 point
Removed by mod
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66 points

This is all Hillary and the DNC’s fault and I will never fucking forgive them.

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8 points

DWS. I know it wasn’t just her, but I will forever curse the name of Debbie Wasserman Schultz

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7 points

European here. I’m curious, what did Hillary and the DNC do exactly that is unforgivable?

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24 points
*

You can think of it like nepotism in the DNC. Bernie was the more electable candidate. The candidate the liberals and the left preferred. They went with Hillary anyway and they underestimated Trump’s electability in the actual presidential race. Essentially giving Trump the presidency in 2016.

You can watch all of their surprised Pikachu faces during Hillary’s concession speech. They had a huge glass ceiling they were going to shatter all of this stuff. And it all fizzled out.

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7 points

From what I understand, the DNC made a Faustian deal with the Clinton Foundation. They were in debt up to their eyeballs during the Obama Administration and the Clinton Foundation offered to pay off their debts in exchange for making Hillary the nominee and replacing key DNC staff with Clinton Foundation personnel.

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-1 points

You can tell they’re telling the truth because they didn’t mention how the vote tallies have Hillary beating Bernie by an even wider margin than she beat Trump by in the popular vote.

Figures the people still moaning about Bernie losing twice now would think other people voting is the DNC putting in a fix, these loons have actually said that votes shouldn’t count and we should have counted individual donations instead. Because if anything says democratic process, it’s a literal donor class literally buying the candidate they want over the candidate who got more votes.

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14 points

Have Bernie Sanders as their public enemy #1

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10 points

Not-an-American, but what I heard was that BOTH DNC and RNC do not choose the more “popular” candidate. The parties choose the candidate that their “donors” actually want. In RNC I think they straight-up just rig the process and push their choice.

But in the case of the DNC I believe the DNC “promises” to choose the candidate that is the most popular. BUT DNC “donors” have what is known as “super-delegates” or some bullshit ( Extra Votes for Money ? ) Soooooo Hillary went around ALL the states “buying” up all the super-delegate votes… so in-effect Bernie lost even before the voting had even started! And on top of all that I think that so many candidates ran at the same time that it split most of Bernies votes down the middle which might have been the strategy engineered by DWS and the DNC.

Those are not the only problems with the DNC… I believe that Hillary and DWS and DNC ran political ads PROMOTING Drumpf because he would be “easier” for Hillary to beat. So effectively the DNC and Hillary were campaigning for Drumpf! !!!

I think 'Murica has a lot more serious problems and a lot more roadblocks but breaking the fundamentals of democracy by rigging votes and installing puppets seems almost comical and farcical if it wasnt so damaging and dangerous.

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-6 points

Yeah how dare Hillary and the DNC respect that more people voted for her instead of applying EC logic to make Bernie win despite him losing by a wider margin than Trump lost the popular vote, and how dare the moderates still be more popular than Bernie to the point that all it took was there being only one in the primary field for Bernie’s chances to be “sabotaged”.

Harry Potter and the magical thinking of Bernie bros who still can’t get over other people not voting the same way they wanted them to while also not voting themselves.

Bernie deserved better than fucking all of you.

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3 points

Not going to argue with you, but super deligates are why Hillary was the candidate and super deligates are bullshit and the definition of everyone is = but some are more = than others.

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1 point

That why the delegate counts actually tilt the scales in Bernie’s favor?

In any case, any argument you could make about the superdelegates basically amounts to “look what you made me do!” for not going to vote against this supposed she devil everyone had a violent hatred for. Y’all didn’t vote. You just didn’t. I’m saying this as a guy who did vote for Bernie, there was no fix, you all just abandoned Bernie at the one place it matters and have been trying to shift blame for your own slackoff asses since.

Bernie deserved better than every last fucking one of you!

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1 point

Millions more people voted for Hillary Clinton.

If it wasn’t for the undemocratic caucuses, Bernie would have lost earlier in his primary run.

I’m not a big fan of centrist democrats but Lemmy (and most of internet) is not representative of the broader electorate.

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41 points

He also put Japanese Americans into internment camps, his New Deal policy led to institutional racism (red lining), and he ordered the FBI & IRS to investigate someone further left than him because he was worried they posed a political threat.

(Source on that last one: https://www.history.com/topics/crime/huey-long )

His left wing credentials are a bit lacking.

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47 points

You’re correct, but also missing the point. He implemented economic policies that were further left than any other US president.

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3 points

Absolutely. I just don’t think we should use him as a symbol of social democracy, because we can do much better. We need better than FDR, not just for leftwing politics, but leftwing social issues.

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5 points
*

What I like about this conversation is the parallels to today.

Edit: To be clear, I mean FDR did some bad things, just like Biden. But we still remember all the good that came from him, of which there was arguably more.

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39 points

I am pretty sure racism was institutionalized prior to New Deal…

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17 points

Red Lining itself was definitely established well before the New Deal, and the practice had spread across the US by the end of the 1920s

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8 points

People don’t remember how awful Wilson was

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5 points

It would’ve been more accurate for me to say that it continued institutional racism, and denied black people from benefiting equally from the New Deal. It led to further economic disparities, and Democrats overall should’ve used the opportunity to chip away at institutional racism.

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27 points

There isn’t a single leader in history who would pass your smell test. The reality is every human is complex and no one is all good or all bad. Except Andrew Jackson. Fuck that guy

But really, take a look, for example, at Lyndon Johnson. He was a renowned racist who ushered through the Civil Rights Act among many other progressive policies. He also escalated the Vietnam War. Dude did a lot of great things and a lot of bad things, and there’s no single policy or act in his life that defines the entirety of his administration.

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18 points

Actually just to wrench your caveat, Andrew Jackson was a major figure in the voting rights battle of the day, the right of non property owners to vote.

If it weren’t for the Jackson admin, we wouldn’t have the language we used to expand voting rights even further when those fights came to their crescendoes, and this country would still be entirely governed as a landowner oligarchy instead of just significantly like it is now.

That sounds sarcastic and cynical but there is a big difference.

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9 points
*

I appreciate the info. You’re totally right, and this further proves my point. People deride “the founding fathers” for the racist, capitalist state they created, but the reality is that what they created was absolutely radical for their time. The idea that white people of common birth could have power was incredibly radical in the late 18th century.

Since the US was founded, it’s been a steady march to increase rights, first to white landowning men, then to poor white mean, then to white women, and then to black, brown, and indigenous people. Many will say “well we haven’t gone far enough,” and that’s true, but that doesn’t discount the progress that’s been made since we were literally beholden to the whims of a king

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9 points

Oh I’m not denying that at all. I’m just saying that FDR is a flawed human and we shouldn’t lionize him as a symbol of social Democrats.

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9 points

He is a symbol of social Democrats, though, but he’s also a realistic product of his time. I heard an interview with a historian awhile back I wish I could find again. They basically described how if you try to judge a historical figure through today’s moral lens, you’ll always be disappointed, because history is rife with racism, dehumanization, slavery, and genocide. The most ardent leftists will point to the handful of white people who were actively fighting racism in the 1930s and say “See? Roosevelt didn’t have to implement racist policies!!” But the reality is that the majority culture was racist. The concept of not being racist just didn’t exist to 95%+ of white people at the time. Abraham Lincoln didn’t believe in racial equality, but I don’t use that to discount his positive contributions

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24 points

And annoyingly he is (along with the other Roosevelt) still among our best presidents in history. We really shoupd demand more from our representatives.

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-1 points

We get what we deserve unfortunately. If we had 100% turnout and more of us considered running for office ourselves, we would see huge improvements.

I’ve thought about doing local politics in retirement, and maybe see where it goes. I don’t think it’s my primary calling – but then again, perhaps that’s the exact issue I’m pointing out.

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2 points

Most of the country didn’t even have voting rights when FDR was elected.

And today we still see tons of voter suppression as well as outright cheating from the right and dismissal of the will of the people, by institutions like the DNC.

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14 points

Nobody said economic leftists can’t be racist.

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4 points

Did somebody say George Wallace?

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10 points

Fair points! But Bernie’s are not… (Unfortunately I think he’s legit too old now anyway, and I would bet he would agree.) Not saying I wouldn’t vote for him, but I think age alone would stop many. (insert Biden/Trump swipe here)

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4 points

Yeah unironically Bernie is further left than FDR when you look at it holistically. FDR may have been further left economically (which he also had to be pushed on a bit), but Bernie is left all around.

I think at this point in his career, the Senate is probably best for him. We need powerful progressive senators to pass progressive legislation. The Inflation Reduction Act could only go as far as it did because of Bernie’s influence and cooperation with Biden.

Which is something important I want to highlight – Clinton scorned Bernie, while Biden welcomed him. Biden was friendly to him in the Senate, and that set them up for a successful cooperative future. Lemmy could learn a lot from that. We’re stronger when we ally together.

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4 points

I think at this point in his career, the Senate is probably best for him. We need powerful progressive senators to pass progressive legislation.

I’ve seen this sentiment expressed before and I agree, it’s a reasonable view. I’d still enthusiastically vote for him tomorrow if he could be on the ballot instead of Biden. I am not a strident hater of Biden, but I agree with most of the (non-maga) criticisms against him to one degree or another. No doubt I’m picking him over Trump, but I wish we had better choices.

Which is something important I want to highlight – Clinton scorned Bernie, while Biden welcomed him. Biden was friendly to him in the Senate, and that set them up for a successful cooperative future.

Yep, I don’t keep a spreadsheet of these sorts of things or anything, but I remember claims during the 2020 runup that he would at least take advice from progressives under advisement, and I get the feeling that he’s lived up to that much, at least.

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0 points

His left wing credentials are a bit lacking.

No one in the US political establishment has any “left wing credentials” or ever has. FDR (and every other so-called “social democrat” then and now) are merely advocating for measures to make the status quo more stable and resilient - not for dismantling it (which is what an actual leftist wants).

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1 point

Making people happier is bad, actually!

/s

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1 point

Making a small minority of people happier at the expense of everyone else is bad, actually!

FTFY - note I also removed your /s, as this is your actual belief.

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-7 points

You’re right. Whenever somebody makes a post like op I can just smell the authoritarian bs leaking from hexbear and lemmygrad.

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3 points

Nah this isn’t authoritarian or Tankie at all. It is a valid point that economically left-wing policy was very successful in the past (and it’s just a meme anyway, it’s tongue in cheek).

Now there’s a lot of discussion we can have about why left-wing economics aren’t as popular among Americans anymore – I don’t think FDR’s policies could win an election today necessarily. But I think they can in the future. Reagan made us a deeply conservative nation and we’re only just coming out of that now.

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-4 points

You’re right, we should abolish term limits to make a forever leader whose opposition gets disappeared, and we should start apprehending and sentencing to death any wealthy who disagree with that leader. Trump seems to claim he’s the opponent of corruption and big money, right? He can be our leftwing supreme leader. /sarcasm

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