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The key difference between @AndrewYang and @BernieSanders is eschatological. I’ll explain.

#YangGang #NotMeUs

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Eschatology (defined here: merriam-webster.com/dictionary/esc…) is a religious concept, but politics is as much a matter of belief as it is of policy, if not more so. Eschatology concerns the end: what are we striving for, and what MUST happen to achieve the ultimate goal?
Sanders represents the moderate form of Marxist socialism that became popular in the West even as its twisted totalitarian cousins, Stalinism and Maoism, forever tainted the terms “Marxist,” “socialist,” and “communist.”
Sanders comes from a tradition of leftist thought that simultaneously distances itself from totalitarianism and insists that true socialism is, if not inevitable, certainly the desirable end point (eschaton) for society.
But it’s important to note that Sanders’ concept of socialism is derived from Marx; that is, it is bound up in concepts of labor value and an epic narrative of class struggle.
Socialism, broadly defined, predates Marx’s theories and is not necessarily placed in opposition to capitalism. Sanders and his contemporaries embrace a version of the concept that is fundamentally Marxist, if much softer in definition than other Marxist-derived ideologies.
Finer points of political philosophy aside, what matters here is the eschatology: not only the desired end state, but the narrative sequence that is necessary to immanentize the eschaton.
To Sanders, the eschaton is true socialism: a society that shares in common, where none do without, and no one takes advantage of another. A system of true equality and equity that lifts every valley and brings every mountain low. Although...
...this is NOT the goal of a Sanders’ Presidency. The goal of democratic socialists in America is to take as many steps — radical or practical — towards laying the *groundwork* for true socialism as possible. This is one major way that they differ from the totalitarians.
However, again, eschatology is not just about the desired end state; it is about the anticipated ending narrative sequence. Certain events are necessary for the fulfillment of the eschaton, such that simply skipping ahead to the happy ending would leave the narrative unfinished.
For example, for many evangelical Christians, the return of Christ without the rapture of believers, seven-year tribulation, Anti-Christ reign, and battle at Megiddo would not be recognizable as the eschaton.
Three of out four prophecies in that narrative are bad, but they are all necessary. It’d be like Star Wars without Darth Vader beating Luke on Bespin, or The Lord of the Rings without Gollum biting Frodo’s finger.
So it is with the Sandersian socialist eschatology: the rich must be depleted, the corporations must be socialized, and all forms of energy must be made “renewable” (this is a new addition to the narrative.) Whether these things might have unforeseen human costs is unimportant.
Meanwhile, Yang’s eschatology is open-ended. It’s tempting to leave it at that, but this agnosticism has massive philosophical and political implications.
Yang’s core political beliefs are not boxed in by the canon of Marxist theory or, as some believe, American libertarianism. Instead, they are perhaps closest to Mill’s utilitarianism — that is, they are philosophical first and political only by implication.
John Stuart Mill was a British philosopher who, along with his wife Harriet Taylor, argued for the emancipation of women during the 19th century. This, among his many other arguments, was derived from a principal of utility that put human welfare first (ring a bell?)
Indeed, many of Mill’s arguments were pragmatic, calculations weighing costs and benefits with the greatest weight given to human happiness. If the state helped achieve that, great! If private industry, fine!
Insofar as Mill’s personal biases enabled him, no duty or article of faith mattered more than utility. Utilitarianism is often misperceived as cold and calculating, immune to feeling — but Mill’s philosophy was the opposite. Human happiness was the point. The ONLY point.
If Mill had an eschaton, it was simply a society in which the greatest amount of happiness was created for the greatest number of people. Yang’s eschaton is identical. In this sense, it is open-ended; and thus, Yang is philosophically limber and responsive to reason and evidence.
Sanders owes more to Immanuel Kant and that German philosopher’s categorical imperative: he and all socialists are bound by duty to inviable directives. His eschatology is full of musts, of struggle and sacrifice. It is, by necessity, an apocalypse.
Yang’s eschatology is unconstrained by such tropes. He references Star Trek’s utopia (a socialist Earth, btw) but it’s not bound by particulars. There‘s no need for a cleansing fire; only meaningful action, here and now. The eschaton is imminent — it’s the good we can do today.
As such, Sanders and his supporters will forever be in struggle, anticipating the final war between socialism and capitalism. The eschaton is distant, viewed through a glass, darkly. In the meantime, there is shadow, and sacrifice.
For the #YangGang, the eschaton, like the Kingdom of God, is within us now: a better world is still possible, if we act to maximize human welfare. UBI isn’t important because of some class struggle; it’s important because it makes people happy and healthy. It has utility.

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