Is Bernie Sanders a Crypto-Communist? By Bryan Caplan.
During the Cold War, numerous communist intellectuals and politicians deliberately concealed their commitment to Marxism-Leninism. Why? To be more successful intellectuals and politicians.
A few crypto-communists even managed to become national leaders. Fidel Castro gained power in 1959, but only announced his communism in 1961. Nelson Mandela presented himself as a reasonable democratic reformer. Yet after his death, the African National Congress openly admittedly that Mandela had been on the politburo of the South African Communist Party for decades. Ho Chi Minh joined the Communist Party in 1920, but in 1945 he loudly posed as a moderate democratic reformer — famously quoting the U.S. Declaration of Independence to charm the West. Juan Negrin, last prime minister of Republican Spain, was also very likely a crypto-communist.
Which brings me to my question: What about Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders? Is he a crypto-communist?
Sanders has sent decades worth of frightening signals — praising Soviet bloc regimes, honeymooning in the Soviet Union, and such. Indeed, he’s said and done almost exactly what you would expect a sincere Marxist-Leninist who wanted to be a U.S. Senator would say and do. Note, moreover, that Sanders came of political age during the 60s and 70s, when communism made a big comeback in the U.S. radical left.
True, this hardly proves that he’s a closeted communist. Alternately, Sanders could be a communist dupe, or a even a true believer in “finding the good in the bad.” The upshot: We have to settle for a probability that Sanders is a crypto-communist, all things considered.
Well yes, more or less.