Sunday, February 16, 2020

Remembering history, per George Santayana

George Santayana noted: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

During "CBS Sunday Morning" on 16 February 2020, in a report by Martha Teichner on the holocaust, one finds the text:

According to a recent Pew poll, fewer than half of U.S. adults (45%) know that six million Jews died in the Holocaust. A 2018 study found that more than six out of ten American millennials can't identify what Auschwitz is, and more than one out of five haven't heard of the Holocaust, or aren't sure.


An opinion piece by Charlotte Alter, also on the February 16 episode, included the text:

Here's the thing: Baby Boomers who grew up during the Cold War were taught that socialism led to communism, and communism threatened American freedom. When they think of socialism, they think of the Soviet Union – its gulags and bad economy.

But the millennials who support Sanders, or Elizabeth Warren, didn't grow up with that history. The oldest of them turned eight the year the Berlin Wall fell. To many of them, "socialism" means universal health care, child care, and free college – like in many parts of Europe.


One suspects that George Santayana would assert that millenials DID GROW UP with [potential] knowledge of the 1950s and 1960s, whether or not they decided to learn from it.

In the IPBiz post The TODAY show of NBC began on January 14, 1952 , one had the text:

Recall back in May 2019

“Alfred E. Neuman cannot become president of the United States,” the president told POLITICO in a 15-minute telephone interview, when asked what he thought of the South Bend, Ind., mayor. Neuman’s freckled, gap-toothed face and oversized ears have for decades graced the cover of the humor magazine Mad.


"I’ll be honest. I had to Google that," he said. "I guess it’s just a generational thing. I didn’t get the reference. It's kind of funny, I guess. But he’s also the president of the United States and I’m surprised he’s not spending more time trying to salvage this China deal." (Trade talks between the U.S. and China in Washington ended Friday without an agreement, raising the prospect of an extended tariff war.)



Newsweek reported on 17 Feb 2020:

Forty-six percent of voters say they would not consider casting their ballot for a presidential candidate who calls themselves a "democratic socialist," a recent poll has found.

The primary survey, conducted by Yahoo! News and YouGov between February 12 and 13, found that only 35 percent of voters would consider voting for a "democratic socialist," while 18 percent said they were "not sure."

While the poll's findings might sound like bad news for 2020 presidential candidate Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a self-proclaimed democratic socialist, the same study also put Sanders ahead of each of his Democratic rivals in a one-on-one race. In many cases, the Vermont senator was ahead by double-digit margins.


Of course, that result might be colored by what people think a democratic socialist is.

Is it a person who advocates the imposition of socialism (government control of production) by democratic means, or is it a person who wants merely to modify capitalism without imposing socialism? Salvador Allende might be considered to have been a democratic socialist. So might Francis Julius Bellamy.

Merely for interest,


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