The emergence of socialism in the 21st century
WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) – The Democratic Socialists of America endorsed 45 candidates running for office nationwide this election cycle.
Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., in 2016 put socialism on the national stage for the first time in decades.
In 2018 democratic socialist candidates like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York found surprising success, during the Midterm elections.
It wasn’t long ago that socialism was considered a dirty word in American politics; conjuring up images of the old Soviet Union. But in 2018?
“It’s very hard to point to what exactly socialism means because it’s been interpreted in different places and in different times in such dramatically different ways,” said Sheri Berman, a political science professor at Barnard College.
Venezuela is a socialist country run by a dictator and has evolved into one of the worst economic disasters in history. In the capital city of Caracas people are eat garbage and scrounging through trash for anything of value.
Citizens looking to access their funds in the bank must wait in lines that stretch around the block to withdraw cash. Even after the wait for access to their accounts, there are no guarantee individuals can withdraw their funds.
Venezuela is the extreme. Half a world away in northern Europe, the form of socialism they’ve adopted is much different. These are rich, capitalist countries with a social safety net and high taxes.
“We think that the northern European social democratic countries are a very good step in the right direction. But they aren’t fully socialist,” said Maria Svart, National Director of the Democratic Socialists of America.
Svart says membership is skyrocketing. A new poll suggests half of all millennial democrats now identify as socialists or democratic socialists.
“Millennials know the system is not working and so millennials are not afraid of the socialist boogeyman,” Maria said.
About 15 years ago, Brazil took a turn to the left, embracing social democratic policies. We traveled there, and some of the people we met told us everyone should be afraid of socialism.
Journalist Felipe Moura Brasil lived through Brazil’s socialist policies and said they eventually became unsustainable.
Just a few years ago, Brazil was on the brink of becoming a global superpower. Now it’s a country in crisis.