Sanders, Socialism, and Garry Kasparov

Sanders, Socialism, and Garry Kasparov

photo: DonkeyHotey


Bernie Sanders posts often go viral on Facebook — though not always in the way the Vermont senator might hope.

Earlier this week, Russian chess legend and political activist Garry Kasparov posted the following analysis of Bernie Sanders’s campaign and political platform on his Facebook account:

I’m enjoying the irony of American Sanders supporters lecturing me, a former Soviet citizen, on the glories of Socialism and what it really means! Socialism sounds great in speech soundbites and on Facebook, but please keep it there. In practice, it corrodes not only the economy but the human spirit itself, and the ambition and achievement that made modern capitalism possible and brought billions of people out of poverty. Talking about Socialism is a huge luxury, a luxury that was paid for by the successes of capitalism. Income inequality is a huge problem, absolutely. But the idea that the solution is more government, more regulation, more debt, and less risk is dangerously absurd.

Kasparov’s Facebook post has gotten over 40,000 shares and nearly 50,000 ‘reactions’. (‘Reactions’, you may recall, are the new word Facebook uses for its shiny new fleet of emoticons that recently replaced the old, ‘Like’ button.

In addition, stylized screen shots of the quotation are now making the rounds on social media, though they are not counted in the official counts.

In addition, Kasparov has been actively engaging with Facebook commenters on this post.

The most popular response, which was written by Kasparov himself, presumably in relation to Scandinavian socialism is quoted in full below:

Yes, please take Scandinavia as an example! Implementing some socialistic elements AFTER becoming a wealthy capitalist economy only works as long as you don’t choke off what made you wealthy to begin with in the process. Again, it’s a luxury item that shouldn’t be confused with what is really doing the work, as many do. And do not forget that nearly all of the countless 20th-century innovations and industries that made the rest of the developed world so efficient and comfortable came from America, and it wasn’t a coincidence. As long as Europe had America taking risks, investing ambitiously, and yes, being “inequal,” it had the luxury of benefiting from the results without making the same sacrifices. Who will be America’s America?

If the past is prologue, this post may continue to trend upward.