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Tags: utopian | capitalism | socialism

Yes, There's a Method to Bernie's Madness

sen bernie sanders democrat of vermont running for the us presidency

Presidential Candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vt.,  Campaigns in N.H. NH Ahead Of Primary. The candidate spoke during a Town Hall campaign event held at the Derry Opera House on Feb. 5, 2020. Mr. Sanders is campaigning before the primary on Feb.11. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Ralph Benko By Wednesday, 05 February 2020 01:05 PM EST Current | Bio | Archive

Regardless of any stray voltage coming out of Iowa there’s a lesson for conservatives in Sen. Bernie Sanders’s extraordinary popularity. His prospects after the early contests seem less formidable. That said, there’s a political secret hidden in plain sight here.

What’s Sen. Sanders’s secret?

Scintillating socialists and communists have run rings around we boring capitalists in the "vision thing"department.

No matter how many times the left fails to produce the promised goods — every single time — socialists still confidently declare how much better things will be for us worker bees in the "Socialist Workers Paradise."

That confidence draws some people to socialism.

Proof that Prohibition Party’s Judge Groo was right.

You can fool some of the people all of the time!

Friedrich Hayek, one of the great champions of liberal capitalism, nailed this secret sauce in a 1949 essay, "The Intellectuals and Socialism," as in The University of Chicago Law Review, Vol 16, No. 3 (Spring, 1949):

"What we [(capitalists)] lack is a liberal utopia, a program which seems neither a mere defense of things as they are nor a diluted kind of Socialism, but a truly liberal radicalism … which is not too severely practical, and which does not confine itself to what appears today as politically possible. We need intellectual leaders who are willing to work for an ideal, however small may be the prospects of its early realization. They must be men who are willing to stick to principles and to fight for their full realization, however remote.

"The main lesson which the true liberal must learn from the success of the socialists is that it was their courage to be utopian which gained them the support of the intellectuals and therefore an influence on public opinion which is daily making possible what only recently seemed utterly remote."

So what exactly is up with that?

Hayek, again, from: "The Intellectuals and Socialism,"

"[S]o long as the people who over longer periods determine public opinion continue to be attracted by the ideals of Socialism, the trend will continue. If we are to avoid such a development, we must be able to offer a new liberal program which appeals to the imagination. We must make the building of a free society once more an intellectual adventure, a deed of courage."

Capitalism has been a counsel of practicality, not dreams.

Capitalism has in practice proved, repeatedly, to bring us closer to the ideals of which Socialists can only dream. For instance, the "Supply-Side" flavor of capitalism, mocked by the Establishment right as "Voodoo Economics" and by the Establishment left as "trickle-down," propelled The Dow Jones Industrial Average from 813 to 27,000 plus.

Truly liberal radicalism.

Our cardinal sin has been that we have been "all action, no talk."

Capitalists have been far too demure in articulating the dream that, in practice, rescued some billions of people from dire poverty. Socialism and Communism abjectly failed. The evidence indicates that capitalism, not socialism, holds the greater promise for restoring the Earth to ecological health.

What can we, intrepid capitalists, adversaries of socialism in all its guises, learn from Friedrich Hayek’s prophetic advice which anticipated Sen. Sanders’s amazing political success?

Many, especially the intelligentsia and the youth, need us to excite their imaginations, speak to their aspirations, appeal to their appetite for intellectual adventure and deeds of courage.

Instead we gave them counsels of prudence.

Napoleon Bonaparte summed it up best. Per R.M. Johnston in "The Corsican: A Diary of Napoleon's Life in His Own Words," story of an encounter on June 17, 1800,

"Many began to shout, with apparent enthusiasm: 'Vive Bonaparte!' Napoleon observed:

"What a thing is imagination! Here are men who don't know me, who have never seen me, but who only knew of me, and they are moved by my presence, they would do anything for me! And this same incident arises in all centuries and in all countries! Such is fanaticism! Yes, imagination rules the world. The defect of our modern institutions is that they do not speak to the imagination.  . . . "

A writing by Napoleon also declares, "Yes, imagination rules the world."

In the words of the visionary capitalist Steve Forbes, commenting on a book which I recently co-authored, "The Capitalist Manifesto" not only devastatingly demolishes the false god of socialism but also makes the exciting and uplifting case for free markets. capitalism 'delivers the goods' precisely because it is a moral system that liberates the human spirit."

So, bravo to you Bernie Sanders!

Bravo for your willingness to appeal to the imagination that rules the world.

Bravo to you for propounding a Utopian vision.

Capitalists! Rise to the occasion. Let’s recover from our timid reliance on counsels of prudence and do Bernie one better by proposing a truly radical liberalism to inspire our youth to intellectual adventure, to the deeds of courage that are capitalism.

Ralph Benko, co-author of "The Capitalist Manifesto" and chairman and co-founder of "The Capitalist League," is the founder of The Prosperity Caucus and is an original Kemp-era member of the Supply Side revolution that propelled the Dow from 814 to its current heights and world GDP from $11T to $83T. He served as a deputy general counsel in the Reagan White House, has worked closely with the Congress and two cabinet agencies, and has published over a million words on politics and policy in the mainstream media, as a distinguished professional blogger, and as the author of the internationally award-winning cult classic book "The Websters' Dictionary: How to Use the Web to Transform the World." He has served as senior adviser, economics, to APIA as an advocate of the gold standard, senior counselor to the Chamber of Digital Commerce and serves as general counsel to, a stablecoin venture. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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What can we, intrepid capitalists, adversaries of socialism in all its guises, learn from Freidrich Hayek’s prophetic advice which anticipated Sen. Sanders’s amazing political success?
utopian, capitalism, socialism
Wednesday, 05 February 2020 01:05 PM
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