Taking inspiration from a recent CNN town hall which featured Bernie Sanders, Alejandro Chafuen, Acton’s Managing Director, International, offers some pointers in Forbes on how to argue against socialism. Such arguments can’t be reduced to slogans or simple black-and-white characterizations, and we should be wary of underestimating our opponents or demonizing their motives. Political campaigns, especially nowadays, are not conducive to intellectual arguments, but it is part of our task to elevate the level of public debate.
I recently watched a town hall meeting that CNN orchestrated for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). The questions were scripted, and all were more or less anticipated by the presidential candidate. I was especially interested in how Sen. Sanders would navigate questions on socialism. Today, most civilized Western countries are engaged in a battle to liberate Venezuelans from their socialist nightmare. On the other side of the globe, the United States is using different tactics to reduce the immense threat of communist North Korea, the only country that ranks worse than Venezuela in freedom.
For most readers of Forbes, the choice between socialism and capitalism is simple: capitalism works, socialism doesn’t. But when we look at the world and see the different ways of dealing with the Venezuelan and North Korean quagmires, we realize that dealing with socialist powers is more complicated, especially when we want to determine how the free world should interact with dictators. Even more complex is determining how each of us, as voters or policy influencers, should behave.
Read the entire article here.
(Homepage photo credit: Alejandro Chafuen.)