Hartmann: Meet a Real Democratic Socialist



with the gang of twelve deadline looming in Washington DC Occupy Wall Street is taking their message on the road a group of patriots who've been camped out in Manhattan Zuccotti Park be part of the Big Apple today to begin a 240 mile march to the nation's capital hoping to arrive in Washington DC by November 23rd the deadline for the gang of twelve super committee since Washington DC and Wall Street have forged in unholy alliance or at least an alliance it also it only seems appropriate for occupy DC and Occupy Wall Street to do the same that's not unholy in any case unfortunately it's unlikely that the gang of 12 is listening to the ninety nine percent movement calls to address massive wealth inequality in America but that message is resonating with the American people cover your ears Joe the Plumber most Americans want redistribution of wealth with the wealth gap between the rich and poor in America larger than it's historically ever been a majority of Americans want the federal government to step up and address it according to a new Washington post/abc News poll 61% of Americans want Washington to quote pursue policies that try to end quote reduce income inequality as in tax the rich so I guess we're all Democratic socialists now huh joining me for more on this is a Maria sparked national director of the Democratic socialists of America Maria welcome thank you for having me thanks for joining us you know for people who don't know what a Democratic Socialist is I often refer to myself as one but then I have to explain it your turn although I'm not part of I'm not a member of a part of your party or anything but I what what is the Democrats well first let me explain that DSA is the largest socialist organization in the United States but we're not a political party and we are part of the socialist international but we believe that it's more important to organize people at the grassroots level and provide an alternative narrative to the ultra-right than to run candidates for office although we do engage in electoral politics so democratic socialism what is it it's essentially the idea that our political system is not Democratic enough and our economy certainly is not democratic so we believe that we need to democratize the economy and Frank that means everything from making it easier to form unions and getting more people a voice in even larger economic decisions I mean if you look at what happened a few years ago on Wall Street that was a few people that were screwing the rest of us and then they turned around to the government and said we've been gambling with the public's money and now the economy is about to crash so you better bail us out or the economy is gonna crash and they essentially force the public to bear the brunt of their mistakes once they stopped making money now the old you know socialism has had many definitions and the definition that Karl Marx definition was basically the state owns everything the means of production and supply that's not at all what you're talking about what you're talking about is something that is that like the system in Norway or Finland or Denmark or Sweden or or France in Germany our Democratic Socialist Nations so what is it or why is it that these nations that are democratic socialists call themselves that you know everybody understands that they have higher health care results they have lower wealth inequality they have fewer social ills they're all around happier why is it that Americans don't get this well you know in this country we have a history of the idea of the rugged individual so Americans are very tied to the idea of individual rights and democracy and the good thing about democratic socialism is we actually believe that that's very important but if you look at American history the government was always there supporting the corporations and making money and corporate welfare it was happening all the time so we need to what's so exciting might Occupy Wall Street is its drawing attention to that fact and it's really saying that you know ordinary people having the kind of things that allow them to take part in our society you know having decent jobs and enough leisure time and enough access to higher education they can truly and meaningfully participate is important and I think that is a very patriotic that we need to democratize our economy and we need to provide an opportunity for ordinary people to participate even more does does the Democratic socialists of America DSA right do you have a position on for example things like workaround cooperatives we support them we think that's definitely a step in the right direction as an adjunct to the traditional capitalism or as an alternative or both I would say both because if you think about it there are we think of ourselves as long-distance runners towards a more just future so we are not trying to advocate some violent revolution we want to put more power into people's hands in the here and now we see cooperatives is one way to do that and ultimately you know at the bigger picture we see a place and a role for the state but the problem is it needs to be democratically controlled and right now it's not really exactly yeah this is this is it's it's amazing how Jeffersonian it is actually read his correspondence Madison and in 1789 when the Constitution was being put together and he was saying that the Virginia delegation would withhold their ratification if they didn't have specifically a one of the amendments the Constitution saying that there shall not be monopolies in commerce no corporate monopolies lack that's like that thing so right now there's a the Labor Department just came out with a report that shows that there are four people looking for every open job right now in the United States what would Democratic Socialist how would you respond to that well we would respond that that's a natural result of the capitalist system because if you look at capitalism it's always in lose a fair cow has a right completely unregulated cutthroat capitalism so what's going on is every corporation is in search of profit and the way they do that is they lay off workers they Institute you know machines they you know make people work harder for Less pay and when there's a recession with such high employment levels it's easier for to get more out of people so we're not surprised by this it is absolutely inevitable result and and that's what makes the right wing's arguments that poor people are lazy and that people are without jobs are lazy it just makes it so clear that it is a a cover for them to pursue their agenda of cutting the kinds of public programs that we support Social Security and Medicare Medicaid Head Start heating oil assistance all of the idea that you know people are lazing it's their fault that they're poor is just a way for them to pursue their agenda which is to privatize cut programs and provide opportunities for them to make more profit and and yet this is you know the core of the Republican Party you have you know Ron Paul you know let them die in the streets if they didn't have the the wisdom or the wealth to have health insurance Herman Cain if you're unemployed blame yourself I just heard I read a story written by Barbara Ehrenreich is actually an honorary chair of DSA and she said that she's been reading about communities that are actually pushing for laws to limit the number of meals that churches can feed to the homeless I mean what kind what kind of person does it take and what kind of society is that when that kind of thing is going on when people are dying because of poverty it's the the right wing and the neoliberal agenda is reaching its logical conclusion it's not a pretty thing I call it the cancer stage of capitalism and and and for the record neoliberalism is not liberals as Americans understand them it's a European term that maybe would refer to as Reaganomics or conservative Thatcher nama conservative economic policies Mariya keep up the great work thank you thanks for dropping by and thanks for the education for more signs that Occupy Wall Street is having a huge effect on our economy last week's bank transfer day was a success according to numbers from the credit union National Association over forty thousand Americans moved their money from big banks on Wall Street to local credit unions on Main Street remember credit unions garnered eighty million dollars in new savings in just one day attack that money on to the four point five billion in new savings and six hundred fifty thousand new customers that have flocked to credit unions over the last five weeks since Occupy Wall Street started and there's clearly a huge movement afoot in America to make the big banks pay for the mess they caused if the Justice Department won't put banksters in jail people will put banksters out of business and maybe vote into office a few more democratic socialists too

37 thoughts on “Hartmann: Meet a Real Democratic Socialist

  • Radical collective ideology like Socialism or Democratic Socialism are no different than any other radical collectivism like Marx or Mussolini. Radical collective ideology is meat and drink for dictators. I'll pass on your preseption and stick with capitalism and my faith in the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

  • 3:45 Constant propaganda and shitty education is why democratic socialism cannot happen in America. We are way too brainwashed.

  • "We the people have been brain washed for years to love the capitalist system….While we keep getting less and less the 2% keep getting more and more…..Wake up America! The way we come out of this alive is to take the "bull" by the horns and shake out the greedy and tax them at a much higher rate! Read up on how Roosevelt brought us out of the great depression!

  • I am a Biblical Christian and comfortable with the life God gave me. I don't believe in coveting other peoples wealth, nor stealing it in the name of justice, because coveting and stealing are sins against God.

  • "But here's the thing that no one will tell you. America is already socialist."
    — Francesca Fiorentini, comedian, 5 Ways America Is Already Socialist, https://youtu.be/0zq-2cKENOc?t=54s, August 6, 2015

  • Marx didn't advocate the state owning the means of production, also we democratic socialists aren't in favor of German Socialism, we want cooperatives and decentralized public ownership

  • Socialism is a prerequisite for maximum individual liberty. It is possible to have socialism within a totalitarian state like the Soviet Union which had very limited individual liberty. But then there are countries like Sweden which are democratic socialist and protect individual liberty and dignity much more effectively than a country like the US. You can't have individual liberty for the majority of citizens under modern capitalism. You have private tyranny and wage slavery which is great for a handful of people and terrible for the vast majority of people.

  • Democratic Socialists believe that that direct democracy should determine all economic system.
    Social Democrats believe in capitalism with common sense regulations and a good safety net. I support the latter. The Scandinavian countries agree.

  • I think it's a good thing that there's a rising interest in Socialism in the U.S. However, I would like to suggest to anyone who's sincerely interested in a well-rounded and sophisticated understanding of Socialist thought to read the actual works of socialist theoreticians.

    Namely, I'd recommend: "What is Property?" and "The Philosophy of Misery" both by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon; "Socialism, Utopian and Scientific" by Friedrich Engels; “The Working Man's Programme” by Ferdinand Lassalle; "Self-Government in Industry" and "Guild Socialism Restated" both by G.D.H. Cole; and "Progress and Poverty" by Henry George. All of these books can be downloaded for free onto your Kindles or as PDF docs from the Internet Archive.

  • If Americans got rich via "Hard Work"  the wealthiest of them would have had to put away their telephones.  Funny how relative to huckstering, Hard Work does't pay as well, yet that's what people go to school to avoid doing.  How much easier is it to be an "expert" then to ache and sweat?  Meritocracy, look it up.  Its got to suck, otherwise its a hobby.

  • The govt forced the bailout on the taxpayers because they also have wealth and property tied up in those businesses and in "green" energy. Democratic socialism will fix nothing, we already have it in the form of the oligarchy.

  • Its funny. This is an old video but there are a lot of views and comments on this lately because of the uprising of Bernie Sanders during the national election of 2016. This is good. Continue to do your research – people have been saying this stuff for a very long time. Bernie Sanders 2016!

  • 3:17 no these are social democracies, not democratic socialist nations. There is a big difference. Democratic socialism means same old socialism but with democratic elections. Social democracy means implementing socialist policies within the framework of a capitalist economy. Things like free healthcare, free education, free daycare, unionizing, guaranteed jobs program etc. etc.

  • What this lady is saying is great, but it like this there is no such thing as a half truth. part of the truth with part lie= Lie Lie Lie.  This chick is just a patsy just like Oswald. Of course  Russia  made Iceland work more like a republic than America is. This should show you how well they manipulate your Webster's dictionary. We are not suppose to be a democracy fuck tards. We are a Republic. IF any of you fuck tards endorse socialism you might as well take a big greasy dump on a WWII veterans grave.  FIRST OF ALL THIS IS THE REAL PROBLEM. The real reason the capitalist system does not work is because it adopted social systems. Any time you add social systems you take more money of the bottom. The answer is to get rid of all social systems and almost everyone will be a millionaire. You do not need someone to pay for anything for you everyone if you take all the money given to the social systems….yes even social security  and devided the money up…..everyone would be multimillionaire's ….Literally.  

  • A great proposal to decentralize the economy is to start with democratizing the workplace through Workers' Self-Directed Enterprises. These work similar to cooperatives except that the workers themselves democratically make the decisions at the top, including the choice of board members or the allocation of funds. If we could reform major and minor institutions to this model, I think the economy could democratize. Read Richard Wolff's book "Democracy at Work" and visit it's website. This form of socialism has nothing to do with the totalitarian governments of the 20th century who used rigid planned economies.

  • I'm glad Russian News is here to discuss how essential it is for the U.S. to be more democratic.

  • Here's another word for a Democratic Socialist: a Marxist.
    People think the USSR was his wetdream. His vision of the U.S. in the future was his wetdream.

  • The only point that they made and that was factually correct was the no one is worth billions of dollars, and likely not even hundreds of millions. Even if you were the sole inventor of the iphone and it was the only smartphone available…you still cannot factually argue that you're worth anymore than perhaps $100 Million, at most. You need people to mass produce it, transport it, support it, retail/customer service, etc., etc.

  • "it's very patriotic" oh for fucks sake, usanians, can't you argue any point without a waving flag and natioal anthem in the background?

    they even make fun of it themselves. but for some reason when it comes to political groups, noone seems embarassed about making sure that they are totally "patriotic" and "pro-american" and whatever meaningless bullshit appeals to te feeble-minded.

  • Isn't it just convenient that we all way have problems and that as government gets bigger we get more problems.

  • All of our favorite Democratic Congressmen & Senators are members of the  “Democratic Socialists of America”  …see list of members below.

    Merriam-Webster Dictionary – Socialism…”A way of organizing a society in which major industries are owned and controlled by the government rather than by individual people and companies” 

    Hon. Diane Watson (CA-33)
    Hon. Sheila Jackson-Lee (TX-18)
    Hon. Bernie Sanders (VT)
    Hon. Dennis Kucinich (OH-10)
    Hon. Barney Frank (MA-04)Hon. 
    Hon. Maxine Waters (CA-35)
    Hon. Charles Rangel (NY-15)
    Hon. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (IL-02)
    Hon. Henry Waxman (CA-30)
    Hon. Alan Grayson (FL-08)

    Oh and let's not forget the other 60 Democrats who are members!

    Hon. Steve Cohen (TN-09)
    André Carson (IN-07)Senate Member
    Elijah Cummings (MD-07)
    Hon. Mazie Hirono (HI-02)
    House Members
    Hon. Neil Abercrombie (HI-01)
    Hon. Tammy Baldwin (WI-02)
    Hon. Xavier Becerra (CA-31)
    Hon. Madeleine Bordallo (GU-AL)
    Hon. Robert Brady (PA-01)
    Hon. Corrine Brown (FL-03)
    Hon. Michael Capuano (MA-08)
    Hon. Donna Christensen (VI-AL)
    Hon. Yvette Clarke (NY-11)
    Hon. William “Lacy” Clay (MO-01)
    Hon. Emanuel Cleaver (MO-05)
    Hon. John Conyers (MI-14)
    Hon. Danny Davis (IL-07)
    Hon. Peter DeFazio (OR-04)
    Hon. Rosa DeLauro (CT-03)
    Rep. Donna F. Edwards (MD-04)
    Hon. Keith Ellison (MN-05)
    Hon. Sam Farr (CA-17)
    Hon. Chaka Fattah (PA-02)
    Hon. Bob Filner (CA-51)
    Hon. Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11)
    Hon. Luis Gutierrez (IL-04)
    Hon. John Hall (NY-19)
    Hon. Phil Hare (IL-17)
    Hon. Maurice Hinchey (NY-22)
    Hon. Michael Honda (CA-15)
    Hon. Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30)
    Hon. Hank Johnson (GA-04)
    Hon. Marcy Kaptur (OH-09)
    Hon. Carolyn Kilpatrick (MI-13)
    Hon. Barbara Lee (CA-09)
    Hon. John Lewis (GA-05)
    Hon. David Loebsack (IA-02)
    Hon. Ben R. Lujan (NM-3)
    Hon. Carolyn Maloney (NY-14)
    Hon. Ed Markey (MA-07)
    Hon. Jim McDermott (WA-07)
    Hon. James McGovern (MA-03)
    Hon. George Miller (CA-07)
    Hon. Gwen Moore (WI-04)
    Hon. Jerrold Nadler (NY-08)
    Hon. Eleanor Holmes-Norton (DC-AL)
    Hon. John Olver (MA-01)
    Hon. Ed Pastor (AZ-04)
    Hon. Donald Payne (NJ-10)
    Hon. Chellie Pingree (ME-01)
    Hon. Laura Richardson (CA-37)
    Hon. Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-34)
    Hon. Bobby Rush (IL-01)
    Hon. Linda Sánchez (CA-47)
    Hon. Jan Schakowsky (IL-09)
    Hon. José Serrano (NY-16)
    Hon. Louise Slaughter (NY-28)
    Hon. Pete Stark (CA-13)
    Hon. Bennie Thompson (MS-02)
    Hon. John Tierney (MA-06)
    Hon. Nydia Velazquez (NY-12)
    Hon. Mel Watt (NC-12)
    Hon. Peter Welch (VT-AL)
    Hon. Robert Wexler (FL-19)

  • I think these are the early sounds of America's future.  This will not sound so foreign to Americans in 2050.  What WILL sound foreign is corporate greed getting its way at the expense of the working classes.

  • Hang on a second. If they want to implement a universal welfare state while retaining a capitalist economy, shouldn't they be called the 'Social Democrats of America' and refer to themselves as such instead of 'democratic socialists'?

  • Both of these people are idiots. Thinking like this is the downfall of our Country. Turn it into a third world shithole huh…so sad to see this coming

  • I'm a U.S. citizen and I hate our capitalist, imperialist, unfair government. I'm all for democratic socialism 🙂

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