Bernie Sanders is mistaken or he is outright lying about being a socialist ... maybe because of the negative connotations of the word capitalist? especially since the GOP likes to call it's robber baron like polices "true capitalism"? On the other hand Bernie Sanders may simply be using a European definition of socialism, meaning 'a person who helps society'' rather than it's economic definition. In other words, this whole "socialist" thing is a big misunderstanding no matter how you look at it. We can prove this by looking at his policies.
First, the definition of socialism;
Socialism by Robert Heilbroner(Article From Library of Economics)
Socialism—defined as a centrally planned economy in which the government controls all means of production
Socialism is when the government takes over the making and distribution of stuff. ALL of Bernie Sanders policies have to do with regulating that stuff and NOT taking over the production OR distribution of that stuff.
In other words, I dare you to examine Bernie Sanders's website and find ONE policy where the mode of production is turned over to the Government. You won't because he doesn't. His polices are designed to give everyone a fair shot at the American Dream.
The following post explains one of the problem's hes dealing with in his policies:
Cartoon of Basic Business Structure & Corruption Motivations With The Example Of Rupert Murdoch
i.e. Bernie seeks to regulate capitalism while leaving the mode of production & it's distribution up to private enterprise thereby following the Constitutional goals of provide welfare for the entire nation while keeping away from tyranny. In other words, if everyone can't get a fair shot at something then the system to messed up and needs to be fixed. This happens in human societies. You simply rebuild it better, as The Declaration of Independence outlines, and continue with life. You don't remove the system altogether and leave people without a Constitution/System which is what the GOP is doing while pretending it's not. Note: The Constitution outlines our system. Blocking economic activity and development for the sake of winning elections isn't 'seeking general welfare of the community' as per the Constitution. Somehow this is missed is right wing rhetoric and the focus is on more terrorist like activities.
My Posts On Bernie Sanders Thus Far
Second, A Response To The Ayn Rand Style Derugulators;
One might respond (from the right) that 'I think any form of regulation whatsoever is socialism or communism'. Since the Constitution is a set of rules and regulations of how to structure a Government of the people, I will simply have to ignore them as anti-constitutionalists or idiots/dufflepuds. I hope my readers can do the same. But just for kicks...
A Conservative Libertarian might argue that all regulations are bad, YET in the Constitution Article 1 Section 8 has to say;
Article 1 Section 8;
All of the above are basic functions of Congress and all constitute regulations that the writers of the Constitution (the Founding Fathers) EXPECTED future communities to employ in it's regulation cause that's how societies work and they knew that. The GOP establishment republicans will often argue that Government is bad or inefficient. Often by pointing out to their own administrations doings, i.e. 'Government is bad, just look what we did when we were in charge', ... but GOP politicians never answer the question of why these people are running for Government when they believe it doesn't, and more importantly, can't work because 'Government is inefficient'. A Government they run two branches of, Congress & The Supreme Court. They might as well be calling the Founding Fathers idiots by proving them wrong with thier own actions.
For more information see the developing section on economics on my website Liberal Libertarianism.Org