A socialist is someone who believes, in its simplest form, in redistribution of wealth and income from those who have and make the most to those to have and make the least. That belief generally is without considering why people make more or less than other people, and follows the writing of Karl Marx: “From each according to their ability. To each according to their need”, meaning people will work as hard as they can to get rewards (money) and then it will go to those in the most need.
However, socialists and Marxist do not really mean what they say when they talk about wealth and income redistribution. How do we know?
The most recent example comes from the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullora is a self-described Marxist. Yet now that she is rich, she is not quite so fond of giving “to each according to their need”, as Marx said. Last week, Cullora said she will step down from her post as Executive Director of BLM. Her resignation comes amid controversy surrounding revelations that she owns four properties, including a $1.4 million house in Malibu and a ranch in Georgia.
A true Marxist would redistribute that wealth. Maybe set up a homeless shelter on the ranch or sell the house in Malibu to give to charity. But in true capitalist fashion, Cullora has kept them all.
And, of course, there is the long-running example of the most well-known, self-proclaimed socialist in the country, Bernie Sanders. You may recall that shortly after the 2016 campaign for president, Sanders bought his third house, on Lake Champlain. Again, that begs the question of a true socialist as to why he has two more houses than he needs to live in?
Additionally, Sanders wrote a book and made more than a million dollars in royalties. Being a good capitalist, this author is fine with that. But being a socialist, one would think Sanders would redistribute that money to others “… according to their need”. However, in one of the most ridiculous explanations in political history, when asked about that Sanders repeatedly has said “I won’t apologize for writing a book.” Yet, Sanders very much expects a business owner who makes a million dollars to apologize and then to give up much of his or her money. And in a further indication of the lack of intellectual development in Sanders thinking is that when someone such as Sanders writes a book, the money goes primarily to him. But when someone makes the same amount of money by starting a business, they hire people and create jobs for others and this create income for other people and so many benefit from the person who takes the risk to start a business. Sanders isn’t even generous to others. If you look at his financial statements which he released while running for office, the money he gives to charity is far less than a good portion of the country and dramatically less than a large number of other people with his wealth. Hardly a ringing endorsement of what Sanders says he believes.
What would Karl Marx think of the two most visible “socialist/Marxists” in the country being multi-millionaires? Isn’t it sort of an oxymoron to be a multi-millionaire socialist? Of course it is and that is how we know that Sanders and Cullora believe what they say only applies to others…and socialism isn’t for everyone, specifically not them.