By Jon Dougherty
(NationalSentinel) A correspondent for the Heritage Foundation’s news organization went undercover to attend a socialism conference earlier this month and came away convinced that supporters truly do want “Venezuela-style hard socialism” for America, and are working towards that goal.
In an interview with One America News Network‘s Liz Wheeler, Jarrett Stepman said that American socialism supporters “make any distinction” between that kind of socialism and, say, another form of less tyrannical European style socialism.
Over the July 4 weekend, Stepman attended the Socialism 2019 conference at the Hyatt Hotel in Chicago, where he noted the event was billed as “No Borders, No Bosses, No Binaries.” He noted that the event “contained a cross-section of the most pertinent hard-left thought in America.”
“The idea that Swedish-style socialism is something that, you know, put a happy face on socialism…they just see that as a stepping stone” and “something to be more palatable to the Ameican people,” Stepman said.
He noted further that the organizers and speakers at the event managed to “mesh Marxism” with the kind of “identity politics” that Democratic Leftists already engage in — a “kind of updated Marxism for the 21st century.”
Stepman notes that the American Left is beginning to “inject” socialism and Marxist thought “into the mainstream” of the country.
In a column for The Daily Signal, Stepman made six observations:
— A common line from those on the modern left is that they embrace “democratic socialism,” rather than the brutal, totalitarian socialism of the former Soviet Union or modern North Korea and Venezuela. Sweden is usually cited as their guide for what it means in practice…
Of the panels I attended, all featured speakers who made paeans to traditional communist theories quoted Marx, and bought into the ideology that formed the basis of those regimes.
Mainstream politicians may dance around the meaning of the word “socialist,” but the intellectuals and activists who attended Socialism 2019 could have few doubts about the fact that Marxism formed the core of their beliefs.
— Gender and identity politics are forming a basis for American-style socialism — that is, “Transgenderism, gender nonconformity, and abolishing traditional family structures were huge issues at Socialism 2019.
— Open borders is a “litmus test” — which is to say, in order to be fully ‘socialist’ and be accepted as genuine, you have to insist the U.S. give up all claims to its borders (which means no border enforcement and anyone can come to our country):
The AFL-CIO used to support immigration restrictions until it flipped in 2000 and called for illegal immigrants to be granted citizenship.
As recently as 2015, Sanders rejected the idea of open borders as a ploy to impoverish Americans.
— There is a distinct effort among the intellectual Left to reach American youth, via traditional vehicles like pop culture:
It would be easy to write these articles off as mere “clickbait,” but it’s clear that the far-left nature of its editorials—and its attempt to reach young people with these views—is genuine.
Teen Vogue hosted a panel at Socialism 2019, “System Change, Not Climate Change: Youth Climate Activists in Conversation with Teen Vogue.”
Go for the youth — a common Marxist tactic.
“I know there’s maybe a contradiction in inviting Teen Vogue to a socialism conference … especially because the youth spinoff brand is a magazine so associated with capitalist excess,” Lucy Diavolo, news and politics editor at the publication, who is transgender, said.
“If you’re not familiar with our work, I encourage you to read Teen Vogue’s coverage of social justice issues, capitalism, revolutionary theory, and Karl Marx, or you can check out the right-wing op-eds that accuse me of ‘clickbait communism’ and teaching your daughters Marxism and revolution.”
— The “Green” movement is really a “red” (Communist) movement:
It’s perhaps no surprise that an openly socialist member of Congress is pushing for the Green New Deal—which would essentially turn the U.S. into a command-and-control economy reminiscent of the Soviet Union.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti recently said, according to The Washington Post: “The interesting thing about the Green New Deal is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all.”
“Do you guys think of it as a climate thing?” Chakrabarti asked Sam Ricketts, climate director for Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who is running for president in the Democratic primary. “Because we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.”
This isn’t new: We have reported on that as well (click here).
— Yes, the Democrats are embracing socialism:
What’s clear from my observations at Socialism 2019 is that traditional Marxists have successfully melded their ideology with the identity politics and culture war issues that animate modern liberalism—despite still being quite far from the beliefs of the average citizen.
In his interview with Wheeler, Stepman said “there is a lot of overlap” between what the hard socialist/Marxist Left and an increasing number of House Democrats (and 2020 Democratic presidential contenders) are pushing in terms of policy.
As for open borders, socialists believe that many people coming to the U.S. from around the world already have “class consciousness — that they’re going to overthrow the capitalist class in America, and they see it as a very encouraging sign.”
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