Bernie Sanders Touts Marxist Economists

America's most prominent Marxist economist backs Bernie

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.

In response to criticism of his financial proposals, the Bernie Sanders campaign posted a list of “economists and financial experts” who support his plans. 

Left-wing websites describe it as a list of the “nation’s top economists”, but it includes financial planners, some with no degree in economics at all, an instructor at Chemeketa Community College, and PhD candidates, including Mohammad Moeini-Feizabadi, an Iranian PhD candidate studying Marxian Political Economy. Also present is Michael Meeropol, the son of the Stalinist atom bomb traitors.

Not only isn’t this a list of the “nation’s top economists,” but the Sanders list is thick with economists defined by their interest in Heterodox economics, encompassing everything from Marxian economics to feminist economics. There aren’t many Austrians on Bernie’s list, but there are a whole lot of Marxists.

The Bernie list of economists who endorse his financial program includes Richard D. Wolff who has been listed as “America’s Most Prominent Marxist Economist”. Wolff is quite popular among the left, which pretended until now that it wasn’t Socialist and is now busy pretending that it’s not Marxist.

Wolff has been quoted as being thrilled that Bernie Sanders isn’t “shying away from the label ‘socialist’” which “raises questions of whether you are a Soviet agent”. In that same interview, he complains that “The left became lost in the kind of leftism in which Karl Marx became more and more irrelevant.”

Perhaps Bernie Sanders is meant to redeem the old monster and reintroduce him to the American left.

By putting up this list on his campaign website, Bernie Sanders is openly touting his support from “America’s Most Prominent Marxist Economist.“ That should have been beyond the pale not too long ago, but once Socialism comes through the door, Marxism hitches a ride to America along with it.

The Bernie Sanders economist list is one where Karl Marx is extremely relevant. You might even say that Marx is the grand unifying principle of the list.

There’s Hans G. Ehrbar who teaches a class on Marx’s Das Kapital at the University of Utah. His webpage asks whether there are “alternatives to capitalism.” It includes Saule T. Omarova, whose thesis at Moscow State University was on “Karl Marx’s Economic Analysis and the Theory of Revolution in Das Kapital.”  Currently Omorova teaches financial regulation at Cornell University Law School.

The focus on Marxism is pervasive among many of the names on the Bernie Sanders economist list.

John Weeks is described as a Marxist who has called for the “nationalization of finance” so his appearance on the list is not terribly surprising. Weeks is a Sanders fan and wonders whether “his class-focused political message can realize the long term dream of American populist progressives.” 

Antonio Callari is the author of “Marxism in the Postmodern Age: Confronting the New World Order,” Nancy Folbre has been described as a Marxist and Yavuz Yaşar is the author of “Teaching Macroeconomics by Bringing Marx into the Classroom.” Ilene Grabel appeared at Marxism Now, a forum sponsored by Rethinking Marxism, a publication to which many on the Sanders list had contributed.

Xuan Pham teaches “An Introduction to Neoclassical and Marxian Perspectives on Inequality.” Anwar Shaikh contributed to “A Dictionary of Marxist Thought,” Wolfram Elsner wrote, “Marx, Veblen, and Contemporary Institutional Political Economy: Principles and Unstable Dynamics of Capitalism,” Philip Pilkington wrote the article, “Was Marx Right?”, Jon D. Wisman wrote his article on, “Why Marx Still Matters” and Matias Vernengo states that his view is partly based on that of Karl Marx. 

Beneria Lourdes was a Marxist feminist economist, as are a number of others on the list. Gary Mongiovi has been described as a Marxist. Spencer J. Pack is the author of Reconstructing Marxist Economics, Michael Nuwer authored “Harry Braverman’s Marxism” and Mayo C. Toruño authored “Marxism, Institutionalism and Social Evolution”. William Darity is the author of “Contemporary Marxism: Ideology or Science?”, John F. Henry authored “Marx, Veblen and Contemporary Institutional Political Economy” and delivered a presentation on “Racism and the Economics of Privilege” at the Marxist School of Sacramento.

There is Radhika Balakrishanan, a feminist economist, who in a paper on “Sexual and Economic Justice”, writes that, “Capitalism was aptly characterized by Marx as a system that “overthrows the narrow parochialism of earlier society, destroys traditions, and disrupts personal dependence in favor of impersonal connection of the ‘cash nexus.’”

While not everyone who writes a book or article about Marxism, or who teaches Marxism, is necessarily a Marxist, it does indicate a certain interest in the subject of a totalitarian radical economic philosophy. And, along with Veblen fandom, it is shared by significant numbers of the economists whose support Bernie Sanders boasts.

Radical policy programs are ubiquitous among the list members. Pavlina Tcherneva has called on Bernie Sanders to offer job guarantees for all. Antoine Godin demanded guaranteed green jobs and John Weeks wants to nationalize financial institutions.  Richard Wolff has written that, “When regulation proves inadequate or insufficient, nationalization is often a logical next step.”

Albena Azmanova complained that, “Not even leftist parties are proposing the de-privatisation of parts of the economy, thus failing to pursue a genuine left agenda exactly when the time seems to be ripe for it.”

All of this is at variance with Bernie Sanders’ attempts to claim that he is no more radical than Truman or Teddy Roosevelt. This list of economists whose support for his program he touts suggests that he is far more radical than we have been led to believe, that his jaunts to Communist countries were not mere amateur diplomacy, but support for ideological left-wing comrades on the red side of the map.

Bernie Sanders supporters are told that they will only be getting the same style of Socialism that has failed in Western Europe, but it is disturbingly possible that they will instead be getting the style of Socialism that had to be violently overthrown in Eastern Europe.

Larry Sanders, the brother of Bernie who had a huge influence on his politics, said that his brother will “flex his muscles” and go big, no matter what Congress or even the Democratic Party might say. According to him, Bernie Sanders believes that “the cause of socialism” is more important than anything else. He also describes turning on Bernie to his studies of “Marx and Hegel” to “help him get started.”

A discerning reader may have noticed that many of the names on the list of economists are foreign. There is an extensive organization abroad aiding the Bernie Sanders campaign. It includes the “Corbynists,” the worst elements of the radical left in the UK, who are openly supportive of Islamic terrorism, hate America and Israel, and promote a radical Marxist economic program. They are considered well to the left even within Labour. Their support means that Bernie Sanders isn’t just too radical for the Democratic Party, but for many European Socialists. 

There’s something fundamentally wrong with a campaign that boasts of its support by “America’s Most Prominent Marxist Economist” and is fueled abroad by left-wing extremists that hate America. 

The media has given Bernie Sanders the image of a cuddly grandpa. His staffers describe an angry and impatient radical with no patience for people who was fanatically bent on his cause. Behind the selfies with smiling teens is a political radical opposed to the cause of human freedom coming into his own.