One popular candidate running for the Democratic presidential nomination claims to be a socialist. Well, many Communists call themselves socialists. The fact that he has so much support reveals how dangerously ignorant the American people are. (Gerald Flurry, The Roots of America’s Dangerous Turn Left, January 2016, p. 6.)Guess who else called himself a Socialist?
David Ben-Gurion, first Prime Minister of the State of Israel. Would Flurry dare speak with such scorn about this self declared Socialist?
Is Bernie Sanders a Communist? No. He was in the Liberty Union then declared himself an Independent and has now joined the Democratic Party. He is not a Communist.
Actually Flurry's discussion of Communism and Socialism is quite ill informed and strikingly ignorant. The Communists came from the Socialists. The split between the two stems from World War I.
In Europe before World War I various left wing parties came to identify themselves as Socialist. Some of these parties such as the Socialist Party in France and the Social Democratic Party in Germany are still in existence. When World War I erupted most of these left wing, Socialist parties voted to go to war. Lenin, then leader of the Bolsheviks, was furious at this development and opposed going to war.
After he and Trotsky were able to seize power in a coup the Bolsheviks (later renamed as the Communist Party of the Soviet Union) proceeded to reach out to other leftists disillusioned with the Socialist parties' decisions to go to war during World War I. And from them sprang the other Communist Parties, many of which split from the various Socialist parties.
Furthermore in 1917 Lenin wrote a book entitled The State and Revolution. In this book Lenin said that when his party gained power it would usher in a "socialist" society which would later advance in the distant future into a "Communist" society. Following this book the Communists constantly referred to their societies as "socialist" with the implication that such a society would later lead into a Communist society.
But their parties tended to be named the Communist Party in order to distinguish themselves from the older Socialist parties.
But Flurry seems utterly unaware of any of these matters. But even if he understood these matters he is still utterly wrong to slur Bernie Sanders that he might just be a Communist. He is not.
Red baiting thrives on ignorance. Red baiting is not about condemning the Communists. It is about slurring American leftists like Bernie Sanders with the crimes of Lenin and Stalin to silence unwanted voices and ideas.
It is a terrible rhetorical trick. It is shameful for Gerald Flurry to practice this McCarthyite trick.