Is Sanders a Socialist?

March 9, 2016
Imran Khushal

Bernie 1



By: Imran Khushal

I know this should have been written weeks ago when so-called Pakistani left started calling the U.S senator Bernie Sanders a socialist in progressive circles. A few ‘red’ magazines portrayed him as a socialist messiah and Pakistani shortsighted socialists build a premise on this assumption. They wrote and said, “Look! Sanders is coming up with a socialist agenda, and he is a socialist in the heart of capitalism, what does that mean? Oh, that means capitalism has failed and Sanders wants to alter it with socialism.” Really?

Well, this is nothing new from the Pakistani socialists; they have a history of blunders. Remember, ‘Arab Spring’, what a fall that occurred. Pakistani socialist elite called that a revolution, but they couldn’t see what was beneath that. The thing, which destroyed Iraq, Syria, Libya and caused a whole lot of mess in the Middle East was never a revolution, but they called it one, and the socialist one. Now they are calling Sanders a socialist.


Does it really matter? For the masses it doesn’t matter. But for those who are standing with a socialist agenda and believe that capitalism has failed to deliver, what it promised, and needs to replace, it matters. But what happens after such shortsighted perspectives, youth get disappointed and demoralized. It creates ideological confusions among them by calling socialist what isn’t socialist.

For example, portraying Sanders as a socialist will bring more harm than good. And interestingly, there is a website, which can be reached at ( and says, “Stop calling Bernie Sanders a socialist; he is a social democrat!” it also tells the difference between two and provides links to further readings.

According to this, Sanders is not democratic socialist. “Although he often calls himself a socialist, and even a democratic socialist, he has clearly confused democratic socialism with social democracy. This is easy to see since he praises Scandinavian countries for being “the way socialism should be” (paraphrasing), even though all Scandinavian countries can be considered social democracies, and all of them are without a doubt still capitalistic.”

So, those who are portraying him as a socialist and building their thesis of a socialist revolution in the United States should stop doing so. A social democrat doesn’t advocate the overthrow of capitalism, he merely come up with a reformist agenda and tries to fix capitalism. Whereas a socialist wants to overthrow capitalism and wants to establish a whole new system, called socialism.


Voting for Sanders will not take America near to a Socialist change. Once elected Sanders can only change the policies once it will go through the U.S Congress. The same congress which is bought by the rich and corporations. Sanders can’t achieve anything socialistic in the current setup of the Government. It’s the time world gets realistic about the expectations from Sanders.