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Thursday, 27 February 2020

A new Moscow on the Hudson (5)

In March 2015, I wrote my initial blog A new Moscow on the Hudson. Four more followed: 2018-Aug2019-Jan2019-Feb and 2019-April. Currently, US media are writing a lot that self-declared "democratic socialist" Bernie Sanders might well become the Democratic nominee for the 2020 US presidential election. If that would indeed happen then it would be (much) sooner than I foresaw in 2015.

Liberal-left media are now writing about how to stop Sanders (eg, "brokered convention"). Their main argument is electability (eg, NYT-2019). The arrogant liberal-left think that they know better than their voters. The ignorant conservative right assume that socialism cannot and will not happen in USA. The mere fact that Sanders is surging (amongst voters and polls) is telling.

A (business or vacation) trip to America is enough to show you its vast and ever-increasing inequality (eg, racial, wealth). It's telling that billionaires like Warren Buffett and others are worried by this (eg, CNBC-2019, Forbes-2020). They publicly urge the US government to raise taxes on the rich and lower inequality. Trump did, however, the exact opposite.

By lowering taxes on the rich and increasing US budget deficits, Trump is preventing future US governments from increasing public spending and decreasing social inequality. It's a perverse but smart strategy. It may explain why budget deficits are usually soaring under Republican presidents and are mitigated by Democratic presidents (eg, the Balance-2020, Forbes-2017).

The 16th US President and Republican Abraham Lincoln (allegedly) once said: "You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time" (Quote Inspector). I suppose this statement is now being tested in the USA. It could indeed explain a choice for a self-declared "democratic socialist".

The American population has never experienced socialism, apart from a few US cities (Wiki). In my West-European view, the arrogant liberal-left are falsely romanticising socialism, while the ignorant conservative right are fearing it without even knowing about it. A U-turn from "blunt" capitalism to "equalitarian" socialism is, however, doomed to fail.

The resulting American chaos and disruption would benefit other Superpowers, like China and Russia. The (alleged) Russian support for the Bernie Sanders 2020 presidential campaign should be seen in that context (eg, Guardian-2020NYT-2020, WaPo-2020). Moreover, Trump and Sanders would both guarantee further disruption, which has always been in Russian interest, whether in Europe or USA.

It will probably take decades before the USA will "invent" the Canadian and/or West-European solution of "democratic capitalism" also known as "social democracy". I suppose finding a balance or equilibrium requires making mistakes first and then learning from it.

“By seeking and blundering we learn.” A quote by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832), a German writer and statesman.

You Learn (1996) by Alanis Morissette 

You live, you learn 
You love, you learn 
You cry, you learn 
You lose, you learn 
You bleed, you learn 
You scream you learn

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise.

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