Saturday, February 29, 2020

Sanders on Castro

Should Bernie Sanders have mentioned Cuba's Castro-era literacy program? I have no idea; I'm not a politician or political advisor. But what precisely did he actually say? Can we infer what he meant?

What did he say?

During the recent Democratic party debate:

SANDERS: What I said is what Barack Obama said in terms of Cuba; that Cuba made progress on education. Yes, I think....


SANDERS: Really? Really? Literacy programs are bad.

PETE BUTTIGIEG: Yes, because there's no comparing those two...

Examining Bernie Sanders' Comments On Literacy In Castro-Era Cuba

On 60 minutes in the 1980s

Sanders began by saying, “We’re very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba,” before adding, “but, you know, it’s unfair to simply say everything is bad.”

“When Castro came into office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program,” he told journalist Anderson Cooper during the interview. “Is that a bad thing, even though Fidel Castro did it?”

Sanders’s Cuba comments are bad politics

Like I said, bad politics? I dunno. This is what I found; did he say anything else? Let me know in the comments.

It seems perfectly clear that Sanders did not say that the United States should implement literacy programs exactly like Fidel Castro did. He said that just because it was Fidel Castro (whose "authoritarian nature" Sanders explicitly opposes) who did something, i.e. implemented a massive literacy program, does not mean that what he did was bad. This is true.

When I still bothered to talk about socialism with idiots in comment threads and message boards, the refrain was maddeningly consistent: If we do this thing that vaguely resembles something that a communist or socialist did, we will have hyperinflation, social collapse, gulags, and genocidal mass starvation. If we give free milk to poor children, like Chavez did in Venezuela, we will crash our economy. If we expand workers' rights, have government-provided or -controlled health care system, raise the minimum wage, regulate business, etc., well, that's what the socialists did, and look how things turned out for them! If we do any of these things, it will end with hyperinflation, gulags, etc.

It's a transparently bullshit argument.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please pick a handle or moniker for your comment. It's much easier to address someone by a name or pseudonym than simply "hey you". I have the option of requiring a "hard" identity, but I don't want to turn that on... yet.

With few exceptions, I will not respond or reply to anonymous comments, and I may delete them. I keep a copy of all comments; if you want the text of your comment to repost with something vaguely resembling an identity, email me.

No spam, pr0n, commercial advertising, insanity, lies, repetition or off-topic comments. Creationists, Global Warming deniers, anti-vaxers, Randians, and Libertarians are automatically presumed to be idiots; Christians and Muslims might get the benefit of the doubt, if I'm in a good mood.

See the Debate Flowchart for some basic rules.

Sourced factual corrections are always published and acknowledged.

I will respond or not respond to comments as the mood takes me. See my latest comment policy for details. I am not a pseudonomous-American: my real name is Larry.

Comments may be moderated from time to time. When I do moderate comments, anonymous comments are far more likely to be rejected.

I've already answered some typical comments.

I have jqMath enabled for the blog. If you have a dollar sign (\$) in your comment, put a \\ in front of it: \\\$, unless you want to include a formula in your comment.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.