Video: Marxism, Socialism, and Bernie Sanders (Brandon Turner Pt. 2)

Brandon Turner (Political Theory Professor) joins Dave Rubin to discuss Alexis De Tocqueville, Karl Marx, Bernie Sanders, Socialism and more.

This is part of our collaboration with Learn Liberty featuring interviews with classical liberals. Check out Learn Liberty on YouTube:

The Rubin Report is fan funded:

The portion of the interview starting at approximately 9 min is of particular interest dealing with the mythology of socialist nations not being socialist:

From the YouTube transcription:

Brandon Turner: if you look at Venezuela you look at Chavez you look at things like that I mean that’s what socialism looks like.

Dave Rubin: I always see people saying that you can’t look at Venezuela because it doesn’t give you the right example of socialism. The socialists will say that it didn’t work out the way they wanted it to.

Brandon Turner: Yeah I don’t know I mean the 20th century is a pretty long advert.

Brandon Turner: I think a lot of libertarian 20 century libertarian thought offers good arguments as to why socialism will always look like that so in other words this wasn’t an accident. This is how it’s always going to play out and here are reasons for that so if you look at Mises, if you look at Hayek they make that case and those are really good resources.


Fascist Left Follies 2017-05-04

“A lie told often enough becomes the truth.” Vladimir Lenin

” If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” Adolf Hitler

Two items from the news to be considered:

From Right Wing News: Communist Speaker To Coach Berkley How To Drive Trump Supporters From Campus

A flier being distributed to promote the event attempts to make her communism more attractive by invoking the name of Bob Avakian, UC Berkeley grad and chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party.

Following in the footsteps of Vladimir Lenin and Adolf Hitler, these folks have the mistaken belief repeating a lie will make it the truth. But repetition alone cannot disguise the fact that it is they who acting in the role that they project on others.

They also are using the same tactics as the Socialist regime of Nicholas Maduro to impose their vile ideology by force.

From the PanAm Post: Why Venezuela’s Dictatorship Is About To End

Violence, on the other hand, is the strategy of those who are starting to lose power. It’s a tool used by the dictatorship to maintain what it has already lost. But that’s just the point: they already lost it.

Today we are seeing a dictatorship in its worst form: unprecedented violence from a fascist and criminal regime that has tried to repress its people.

We must understand that those who give the orders today have nothing to lose. It’s completely natural for them to react brutally, because they feel increasingly threatened. The fact that repression is worsening only shows that we are moving in the right direction.

The more violent, criminal and fascist the dictatorship becomes, the closer we are to victory. The beast-like display of repression and crimes are evidence of the final stage of a dying project.

The toys of Socialist Oppression

Anyone viewing the horror of the typical oppression borne of a Socialist regime may have noticed some of the kit utilised by the Maduro regime. The Caracas chronicles gives us a run down on the major pieces:

Military-style gear is one thing the regime’s never scrimped on. The trend started by Hugo Chávez in 2005 renewed Venezuela’s military gear, supposedly to prepare for battle against the countless imaginary enemies chavismo created through the years. But really, we always knew who the real target was, because it stared back at us from the mirror each morning.

Even as the economic crisis hit hard, forcing the Maduro government to reduce its military expenses —by more than 90% compared to the Chávez years, according to some NGOs, — they continued the “Eternal Commander’s” tradition. That’s why, in a country where food and medicines are nowhere to be seen, there’s a squad of armored personnel carriers (APCs), fully equipped with tear gas canisters and rubber pellets, waiting for every march and protest to reach them.

Armored Vehicles: APC’s (a.k.a., “Tanquetas”)

Its official designation is the VN-4 armored vehicle, manufactured in China by the Chinese Defense Company, NORINCO. Unlike most people tend to think, they are quite modern and versatile, able to carry two drivers and up to eight soldiers inside, reaching up to 115 km/h and being able to go for about 700 km. without refueling.

VN-4s can do a lot of damage. The original, warfare-oriented units have a central turret that is usually armed with a 7,5 mm. heavy machine gun. The units deployed in Venezuelan protests, however, have been modified for riot-control purposes with the machine gun being replaced for a more “friendly” tear-gas launcher. The little white beasts can also be equipped with several Bond-like gadgets, including an infrared night-vision system and a central tire inflation system that prevents them from being disabled by a flat tire. These perks, however, are optional, and we doubt if Baduel sprung extra for those.


The ABV-1, better known as el murciélago (“the bat”) is a really peculiar vehicle. It was named after bats because of their two “wings” —a pair of about 3-meter tall barriers that can be deployed laterally from both sides of the truck, creating a cover for officers behind them and solidly blocking people from going beyond a certain point.

In Caracas, they have been used to literally divide the city in half.

Remember Freddy Guevara’s already famous video in which he lent his parliamentary immunity to an almost-captured protester by hugging him while some GNBs tried to separate them? It all happened right in front of a couple of these things.


Water cannon trucks, or “whales,” are one of the most storied machines of riot control. Unlike the “bat,” they’ve been around since the 1930s, widely used around the world. They became infamous during the American Civil Rights Movement in the 60s. They are no less new in Venezuela; police forces have been using them for quite a long time, even before chavismo’s rise to power. Their usage, however, has been dramatically reduced lately in most parts of the world, mainly because under certain circumstances, they may cause death or severe trauma.

Venezuela bought 10 of these things a few years ago from —who else?— China. The model is NORINCO’s WTC-1 and most units are also currently deployed in Caracas. Now, 10 water cannon trucks might not seem like much of a threat, but countries like the UK have only six of them and strict limitations restrict their use. As with most of the Government’s deals, the price of these trucks is unknown, but similar versions might cost as much as 1 million USD in Europe.




Why Isn’t Communism as Hated as Nazism?

When people think of humanity’s greatest evils, why is “communism” rarely mentioned? After all, it has caused more suffering than any other ideology, including Nazism. Watch Dennis Prager’s account of communism’s horrific legacy.

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The national socialist left is overplaying their hand on critical theory – and the push back is hilarious!


Often times it is the comedic set that is in the van of society, such is the case with critical theory or political correctness. It’s axiomatic that comedy needs ring of truth and that is the case with the pieces that openly mock the denizens on political correctness. Socialist Justice Warriors have been bullying the rest of the country with their insane demands that contravene science, but they have for far too long overplayed their hand and now comes the hilarious push-back:

The first example comes from ‘Birthday Boys: The Contemporary Family

Then there is this from ‘The Onion’:

Trump Voter Feels Betrayed By President After Reading 800 Pages Of Queer Feminist Theory.

But this dissertation wouldn’t be complete without including a Classics from the history from: Spike Jones – Der Fuehrer’s Face:

How’s that for you Leftists?

Today’s example of why the Economic and Liberty scales are intertwined May 3, 2017

A few days ago the Washington Post published the article: As the poor join protests, Venezuela may be hitting a turning point.

The following passage highlights the fact that social and economic scales are inextricably intertwined:

The thousands of demonstrators pouring into the streets in recent weeks are mostly middle class, outraged by Venezuela’s economic collapse and the government’s increasingly authoritarian rule. But Venezuelans from longtime chavista strongholds are starting to join them, at considerable risk. Residents of Castillo’s neighborhood protested openly against Maduro for the first time last week.

Pro-government block captains in neighborhoods like El Guarataro have responded by threatening to deny food rations to those who march with the opposition or fail to join pro-Maduro rallies. Militia groups armed by the government and known as “colectivos” are deployed to intimidate would-be defectors and are suspected in the deaths of several protesters.

If people decide to turn out and protest the regime, it’s supporters will cut their food supply. Thus their social desires are held hostage to their economic needs.


Mayday 2017: The schizophrenic national Socialist Left

Mayday is more than a time for worker protests where they are permitted (outside of so-called “Worker’s Paradises), it is also a season celebration and a changeover from warnings of Climate Change to Global Warming. These days it also highlights a very curious phenomena of those on the Left side of the political spectrum. This the presence of contradictory beliefs espoused by the left, with some trying to claim virtually everything the government does is socialistic while other’s parrot the traditional claim that it has never really been tried before.

One of the best examples of part of this schizophrenic phenomena is the infamous screed “75 Ways Socialism Has Improved America”. In order to prove this contention the author makes up a very curious ‘definition’ of the word socialism.

For reference, this is how the Oxford English dictionary defines the term Socialism:

a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole. policy or practice based on the political and economic theory of socialism.
(in Marxist theory) a transitional social state between the overthrow of capitalism and the realization of Communism.

Curiously enough, this factual definition didn’t find it’s way into the opinion voiced by the author of this bit of socialist propaganda. For those on the nation’s socialist left, making up their own facts is a cottage industry. In this case the author creates an absurd definition wholly disconnected from reality.

Socialism is taxpayer funds being used collectively to benefit society as a whole, despite income, contribution, or ability.

With this rather unique ‘definition’ of the word in tow, the author is then able to have ‘socialism’ take credit for virtually every positive governmental action since the dawn of time.

Unfortunately for the author the factual definition of the word references ‘the means of production, distribution, and exchange’ and fails to mention the taxation and normal actions taken by most governments. And of course, there is also that pesky little ‘overthrow of capitalism’ part that invalidates the rest of the author’s socialist screed.

The plain fact is that words only have value if they have set definitions. Without this vital reference point words have no meaning and the resulting discourse means nothing. But it does help indicating the divide within the left that we celebrate today. Because if this is what part of the left holds as fundamental belief, then virtually every government since the beginning of time was ‘socialist’.

For example, one of the left’s favourite little lies is that a certain Socialist workers party wasn’t actually a Socialist workers party. Given the definition presented the contradiction is manifest since the nation under the dictates of said Socialist workers party certainly had roads, libraries, sewer systems and other vestiges of normal governmental service.

And then there is another faction of the national socialist left who parrot this absurd claim:

In fact, socialism has never been tried at the national level anywhere in the world. This may surprise some people — after all, wasn’t the Soviet Union socialist? The answer is no. Many nations and political parties have called themselves “socialist,” but none have actually tried socialism.

Apparently the national socialist left gives themselves a neat excuse for every time their base ideology has crashed and burned to the detriment of billions of people. They simply claim that the overarching apparatus necessary to ‘redistribute the wealth’ and keep the people in line in the constant state of terror to maintain power really isn’t really socialism.

The problem for the national socialist left is that those two assertions are completely adverse to each other and reality itself. The ‘definition’ of socialism conjured up by the Left has no logical bearing to it’s real definition and is merely a veiled attempt at claiming success for socialism where none has ever existed. While the ‘socialism has never been tried’ claim is blatant attempt at excusing the failure of socialism down through it’s 500 year history.

These two assertions highlight a major rife within the left, indicative of an ideology that is contradictory in nature and is about to rip itself apart. Let us hope that it does so soon before it’s body count increases a few more million.