Social democracy is an American tradition

Social democracy is an American tradition. If you hate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for her views, you would have hated every single one of America's Founding Fathers too!

People that denigrate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for being a "socialist" are stupid. When Bernie Sanders and AOC call themselves socialists, they're talking about "social democracy," which started as a form of socialism but rejected socialism (government-ownership of industry and a centrally planned economy) in favor of capitalism (private ownership and markets) alongside a social safety net and welfare state. And welfare, in social democratic terms, does not mean food stamps and handouts but rather Social Security, Medicare, and single-payer. This third-way social democracy, such as we see in the Nordic model, is far more in line with the ideas of the American Founding Fathers than with those of Marx.

In 1850, Marx condemned the social democrats, saying "the democratic petty bourgeois want better wages and security for the workers, and hope to achieve this by an extension of state employment and by welfare measures; in short, they hope to bribe the workers with a more or less disguised form of alms and to break their revolutionary strength by temporarily rendering their situation tolerable."("Address of the Central Committee to the Communist League") Social democracy, according to Marx, is the greatest enemy of socialism because it makes the working class better off and, therefore, makes them less likely to rebel against the established order.

Karl Marx did not support social democratic welfare measures, but the American Founding Fathers did. Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine supported progressive taxation. John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Alexander Hamilton (three individuals who seldom agreed on anything) all supported an early proposal for a mixed single-payer and socialized medicine system. This was, as far as I know, the first time single-payer or socialized medicine had ever been suggested. And they unanimously agreed and passed it into law. (Of course, it was not universal, but it did cover all sailors, including those employed by private companies.) Thomas Paine laid out a plan for a citizen's dividend reminiscent of universal basic income, a plan which was partially implemented as Social Security in America. And all of the Founding Fathers thought that maintaining a widespread distribution of wealth was necessary for preserving democracy.

The bottom line is, Karl Marx and other socialists reject everything that Sanders and AOC stand for, but the American Founding Fathers did not! Marx hated the welfare state and social democracy, because it made the sort of violent revolution that he supported unnecessary. The Founding Fathers supported policies directed at ensuring a widespread distribution of wealth and at promoting social welfare. Marx opposed such policies. Social democrats, who were originally Marxists, ended up rejecting Marxism in favor of classical republicanism, and ultimately ended up importing ideas from the American Founding Fathers. Social democracy is an American tradition, borrowing more from Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt than from any socialist theorist. Social democrats only call themselves "socialists" in a very loose sense because they agree with the "spirit of socialism" (opposition to exploitation and inequality), and because social democratic parties had originally been socialist, prior to rejecting Marxism in favor of liberal democracy (republicanism and capitalism).

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