Socrates Meets Bernie Sanders by Rocket Kirchner

NYC - Metropolitan Museum of Art - Death of Socrates

Image by Wally Gobetz via Flickr

by Rocket Kirchner
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Rocket Kirchner (blog)
Rocket Kirchner (youtube channel)
December 7, 2015

Socrates: Very good speech, Senator.

Sanders: Thank you, sir.

Socrates: Would you mind if I ask a few questions?

Sanders: Not in the least. Please do.

Socrates: You said in your speech that you are not a Pacifist, correct?

Sanders: Correct.

Socrates: You also said that you believe in your country and its constitution and the Bill of Rights which includes the right to bear arms as stated in the Second Amendment.

Sanders: Yes, indeed. My record in Vermont is clear on this point. I would also like to add that I have been consistent on this as well as defending the rest of the Bill of Rights.

Socrates: Fair enough. Something puzzles me, however.

Sanders: What is that?

Socrates: With such a well armed citizenry, why are you pressing the point that you are not a Pacifist?

Sanders: To make it clear that as President I would protect our country from invaders.

Socrates: What invaders are these?

Sanders: The terrorists, other nations, who knows?

Socrates: Senator, in no disrespect to you sir, but this makes no logical sense to me. What invaders could possibly prevail against such a well armed citizenry? You contradict yourself.

Sanders: Well, uh… none of them directly, but indirectly.

Socrates: Explain.

Sanders: Overseas.

Socrates: Another contradiction. That is not an invasion of your country. Your country is here, not there.

Sanders: Yes, but we have many interests overseas.

Socrates: What kind of interests are these that would warrant such meddling overseas?

Sanders: Business interests.

Socrates: Are these the same businesses that you have spoken out against that don’t pay their workers a decent living wage? In fact many just about a slave wage?

Sanders: Uh, well… some of them.

Socrates: Then why support them by protecting them if they exploit their workers?

Sanders: They are good for America.

Socrates: But in your speech today you said that they are bad for America. Oh my, oh my, you are full of contradictions today. Just one after the other.

Sanders: Just who are you?

Socrates: I am Socrates. The Athenian Council thought it wise to meddle in other city states in the name of trade that were no threat to them at all. Then Athens got greedy and all hell broke loose into full out war and I died for speaking out against such folly. Athens lost, and it never recovered. So I ask you who was right, Socrates or Athens?

Sanders: Socrates.

Socrates: Correct. Now we are getting somewhere. Do you see the parallel between the losing proposition of military aggression between Athens in the 4th Century B.C. and America in the 21st Century?

Sanders: Well, umm.

Socrates: Yes or no, Senator. I am not the American media that throws softball questions because they also have a vested interest in such foolish interventionism. My interest is in one thing only: THE TRUTH.

Sanders: Well, umm.

Socrates: Let me spell it out for you so as to avoid yet another contradiction out of your mouth. You have met your quota for today. The gun laws that you support have such an armed citizenry that would make even Sparta be full of envy. There is no worry about attackers on your soil. And indirect invasion as you call it is only a code word for protecting American businesses overseas that exploit others without accountability. So, what is left is countless historical examples of what you support in reality which is military aggression for economic gain. Pure and simple. These larger city states and nations states that were the aggressors fell. Every one of them. They have found themselves on the wrong side of history. Do you also wish to find yourself on the wrong side of history by making their same mistake? Yes or no.

Sanders: No! Hell No!

Socrates: Then I suggest you change your foreign policy.

Sanders: I can’t.

Socrates: Can’t or wont?

Sanders: Look, whoever you are, I would never be elected President if I did. Don’t you see?

Socrates: I see very well Senator. I saw 60 men in Athens condemn me to death for the same ignorance.

Sanders: You can’t be serious, whoever you are?

Socrates: Oh, I am serious alright. Dead serious. I am dead, aren’t I? Read your history again. You don’t need to be President to enact the principles of Democratic Socialism as laid out by Micheal Harrington. Don’t look so surprised, yes, I have read him and he was no imperialist like you are. You don’t really represent Democratic Socialism, but rather you represent yourself and the need to always be in control of others, something I have noticed in the American dynasties that get into politics.

Sanders: Hold on just a minute!!! If you are so smart and claim to be Socrates who inspired Plato’s book The Republic, then you of all people know about the need for a Philosopher King.

Socrates: Indeed I do. But you are not a philosopher nor are you a king. You are a man who simply misrepresents the basic tenants of Democratic Socialism. Since you are a very well read man please allow me to give you a simple Syllogism that you will understand that is the language of deductive logic.

  1. Senator Sanders has a deep need to control others.
  1. A misrepresentation of Democratic Socialism is a way to control others.
  1. Therefore, Senator Sanders embraces a misrepresentation of Democratic Socialism.

Sanders: Wait just a minute, I resent that remark!!

Socrates: No, you resemble it.

Sanders: But if I don’t run for president, others lesser than I will.

Socrates: My questions today are not to others but to you sir. I will get to the others in due time. In the meanwhile, never forget my fundamental axiom for all existence, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” I bid you a good day.

from the archives:

Bernie Sanders Mentioned the Military Budget by David Swanson + Democratic Party Debate 11.14.15

Chris Hedges and Ralph Nader: The Death of Electoral Politics

Bernie Sanders’ “Political Revolution” VS A Real Socialist Revolution by Danny Katch

Bernie Sanders Has a Foreign Policy Now by David Swanson + Ralph Nader on Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders Again Insists That Saudi Arabia Should Kill More People by David Swanson

18 responses to “Socrates Meets Bernie Sanders by Rocket Kirchner

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  8. Socrates: Then I suggest you change your foreign policy.

    Sanders: I can’t.

    Socrates: Can’t or wont?

    Sanders: Can’t. If I propose to implement a policy that is too far outside accepted mainstream thinking, I’ll be opposed by everyone. The moneyed interests will fund my downfall and the media will turn the public against me. I’d never win office and therefore be in no position to implement any change at all.

    • Socrates : so you would rather win office on an Imperial policy and set back the real case for Socialism decades? I suggest you read this:

      Mainstream thinking does not need to be placated but challenged stem to stern . Not everyone would oppose you . In fact you might find that you have more support if you change your foreign policy .

      Regarding the moneyed interested . you are not taking big money anyway , so that argument won’t work . The media might more favor you too . also , this is a good way to make a clear cut distinction between you and Senator Clinton who is from what I can see another Margaret Thatcher .

      if you choose not to oppose her Imperial ambition because you have your own , you will not get the nomination and end up responsible for her Wall St chums oppressing your country if she wins the election .

  9. Socrates: Senator, in no disrespect to you sir, but this makes no logical sense to me. What invaders could possibly prevail against such a well armed citizenry? You contradict yourself.

    Sanders: Not all invaders are known, and it’s best to be prepared. And some invaders may press suicide attacks, martyring themselves just to further their cause. The only option in such cases is to suppress the attackers as quickly as possible.

    • Socrates : Senator , that is the same rationale that Athens used to attack Sparta . It is demagoguery pure and simple. You seek to further your cause instead of allowing real Socialism that is opposed to imperial ambition to prevail .

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  11. If it were possible for Socrates to ask 2016 presidential candidates the great questions, he surely would ask: “Is it acceptable to murder in wars of aggression innocent human beings for the sake of increased concentration of market share, wealth and power?”

    • Jerry , it depends on what candidate he would ask that to. Some might be as bold to say that the cost of life is worth it just as one tries to rationalize Hiroshima. Or another may dodge the question and seek to twist the question .

      if the former candidate says yes , then they are consistent with their lack of value of human life unless they claim to be pro-life against abortion . but if they are pro death across the board then Socrates would not have much else to say . why ?

      Because Socrates’ mission is to use deductive logic to pierce the wall of contradiction , and expose in public a faulty foundation in their reasoning that those in power use to mislead the public . That is another reason he was put to death . Because he did it all in public .

  12. It’s cute. But the fallacy is revealed at the end, the fallacy of the left’s constant attacks on Sanders:

    “Sanders: But if I don’t run for president, others lesser than I will.

    Socrates: My questions today are not to others but to you Sir. I will get to the others in due time.”

    But somehow the left never quite seems to get around to those others.

    The fact remains that =some= imperialist is going to get elected in November 2016. And Sanders may be bad, but all the others are considerably worse.

    So the left’s message ought to be “Sanders is an imperialist, but all the others are much worse, so we should be supporting Sanders.” Note that that message begins with “Sanders is an imperialist.” It’s a qualified support, not an unqualified support, not concealment, not spin, not dishonesty.

    But instead the left’s message is “Sanders is an imperialist. But some people on our side might not realize that, because Sanders’s views resemble ours far more than his opponents’ views do. And so we need to oppose Sanders.”

    Quite honestly, at present it looks to me like Clinton is going to win. Sanders could beat her, if he had enthusiastic support from the leftists. But it looks like he’s not going to get that, so Clinton will be our next president. She boasts that she can kill as well as any man.

    “Sanders: But if I don’t become president, Clinton will, and she’s far more of a hawk than I am.

    Socrates: My questions today, and every day, are not to others but to you Sir. I’m concerned with investigating the terrible things that will happen if you win. I’m not going to think about the even worse things that will happen if you don’t win. I will discuss those things on some other day that may actually never come.”

    In the Socratic Method, Socrates asks a bunch of questions. It’s Socrates, and only Socrates, who gets to choose the questions. No one else gets to ask why Socrates is avoiding certain other questions. This method of reasoning is extremely reliable in pure mathematics, but extremely unreliable in all other subjects.

    • Socrates does not play the evil of two lessers. Socrates does indeed ask the questions.

      Socrates will get to other presidential candidates in due time. Socrates shows no partiality. Socrates has seen this all played out before over and over. Socrates is warning the Senator to not succumb to his own ambition because it runs counter to truth.

  13. Virginia Simson

    Bravo! When I saw the title, I was .. um .. prepared to be sick, truth to tell. I just want no more excuses for the Bernie spin. Nice to read a good job on the weaknesses we’re supposed to swallow.

    I have such respect for Michael Harrington and the job he did. I think he’s not be pleased!

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