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State and Corporate Responsibility

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Bernie Sanders’s Democratic Socialism
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Abstract

This chapter makes the case that the corollary to the concept of enduring injustice is necessarily that of enduring responsibility. In the wake of the Occupy Wall Street movement, in the context of a nation that, according to Bernie Sanders, should have worked for the 99% and not just the 1%, who should be held accountable? Reparations for the descendants of victims of past economic injustices may seem utopian when 99% of Americans remain the victims of economic injustice in the present. While Bernie Sanders pleaded that the state had a political responsibility to repair injustices—in other words that the state, directly or indirectly, was politically responsible for corporate greed—this chapter deals with the complex issue of taxation as the logical tool for redistributive justice.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Spinner-Halev, p. 79.

  2. 2.

    Sanders, Where We Go from Here, p. 5.

  3. 3.

    Spinner-Halev, p. 81.

  4. 4.

    Sanders, Outsider in the White House, p. 174.

  5. 5.

    Id.

  6. 6.

    Spinner-Halev, p. 79.

  7. 7.

    Sanders, “Senator Sanders on Occupy Wall Street,” The Guardian, October 21, 2011, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HSaZOSWfrU.

  8. 8.

    David Miller, “Distributing responsibilities,” Journal of Political Philosophy, vol. 9, n° 4, 2001, pp. 453–472. Spinner-Halev, p. 82.

  9. 9.

    Ibid.

  10. 10.

    Sanders, Outsider in the White House, p. 223.

  11. 11.

    Id., Our Revolution, p. 224.

  12. 12.

    Id., Twitter post, November 7, 2019, https://twitter.com/berniesanders/status/11924784356937 80992.

  13. 13.

    Id., “CEO & Worker Pension Fairness Act,” U.S. Senator for Vermont website, February 27, 2020, https://www.sanders.senate.gov/download/ceo-tax-breaks-fact-sheet?id=BA69C607-1E52-4557-A723-BC9543B57613.

  14. 14.

    See supra, p. 415.

  15. 15.

    See supra, p. 551.

  16. 16.

    John Haltiwanger, “Bernie Sanders When Asked About Reparations Says There Are ‘Better Ways’ to Help People Than ‘Writing Out A Check,’” Business Insider, March 1, 2019, https://www.businessinsider.fr/us/bernie-sanders-reparations-better-ways-help-writing-check-2019-3.

  17. 17.

    King Jr., “I Have a Dream,” op. cit., p. 147.

  18. 18.

    Sanders, Our Revolution, op. cit., p. 198.

  19. 19.

    Sanders, “Bernie Sanders On Reparations - Town Hall February 2019,” CNN, February 26, 2019, https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=74&v=ze7fKop9jeo.

  20. 20.

    Spinner-Halev, pp. 82–83.

  21. 21.

    Ibid., p. 83.

  22. 22.

    Sanders, Our Revolution, p. 18.

  23. 23.

    Ibid., p. 210.

  24. 24.

    Michael J. Sandel, Liberalism and the Limits of Justice, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1982. Rpt. 1998, p. 1.

  25. 25.

    Ibid., p. 2.

  26. 26.

    U.S. Constitution, Preamble, op. cit., p. 61.

  27. 27.

    Sanders, Our Revolution, p. 260.

  28. 28.

    Adolph Reed Jr., Michael Francis, Steve Striffler, “Hurricane Katrina and Bernie Sanders: From Neoliberal Disaster to ‘Political Revolution,’” Common Dreams, August 29, 2015, https://www.commondreams.org/views/2015/08/29/hurricane-katrina-and-bernie-sanders-neoliberal-disaster-political-revolution.

  29. 29.

    Sanders, Facebook post, August 30, 2015, https://www.facebook.com/berniesanders/posts/must-read-hurricane-katrina-and-bernie-sanders-from-neoliberal-disaster-to-polit/891706100884395.

  30. 30.

    Kenneth T. Walsh, “The Undoing of George W. Bush ,” U.S. News and World Report, August 28, 2015, https://www.usnews.com/news/the-report/articles/2015/08/28/hurricane-katrina-was-the-beginning-of-the-end-for-george-w-bush.

  31. 31.

    Reed Jr., Francis, Striffler, op. cit, p. 208.

  32. 32.

    Ibid.

  33. 33.

    Ibid.

  34. 34.

    Ibid.

  35. 35.

    Adolph Reed Jr. was a Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania, Michael C. Francis, M.D. a native New Orleanian, practicing anesthesiology and pain medicine in the city, and Steve Striffler Director of the Labor Resource Center at the University of Massachusetts-Boston.

  36. 36.

    See supra, p. 207.

  37. 37.

    Sanders, Our Revolution, p. 43.

  38. 38.

    Ibid., p. 159.

  39. 39.

    Ibid., p. 299.

  40. 40.

    Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, edited by D. D. Raphael, A. L. Macfie, Indianapolis, Ind., Liberty Fund, 1976, pp. 184–185.

  41. 41.

    Joseph Stiglitz makes a similar point: “Adam Smith, the father of modern economics, is often cited as arguing for the ‘invisible hand’ and free markets: firms… But unlike his followers, Adam Smith was aware of some of the limitations of free markets, and research since then has further clarified why free markets, by themselves, often do not lead to what is best. … [T]he reason that the invisible hand often seems invisible is that it is often not there.” Daniel Altman, “Managing Globalization: Q & A with Joseph Stiglitz,” International Herald Tribune, October 11, 2006, https://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2006/10/joseph_stiglitz.html.

  42. 42.

    Simon Caney, “Environmental Degradation, Reparations, and the Moral Significance of History,” Journal of Social Philosophy, vol. 37, n° 3, 2006, p. 464.

  43. 43.

    Sanders, “The Green New Deal ,” Not me. Us. (2020 campaign website), https://berniesanders.com/issues/green-new-deal.

  44. 44.

    Ibid.

  45. 45.

    The National Union of South African Students was an important force for liberalism and later radicalism in anti-apartheid movements.

  46. 46.

    Robert F. Kennedy , Day of Affirmation Address, University of Cape Town, South Africa, June 6, 1966, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, https://www.jfklibrary.org/learn/about-jfk/the-kennedy-family/robert-f-kennedy/robert-f-kennedy-speeches/day-of-affirmation-address-university-of-capetown-capetown-south-africa-june-6-1966.

  47. 47.

    Robert Davies, Capital, State and White Labour in South Africa, 1900-1960, Brighton, Harvester Press, 1979; Christopher Saunders, The Making of the South African Past: Major Historians on Race and Class, Cape Town, David Philip, 1998; Nicoli Nattrass, “Controversies About Capitalism and Apartheid in South Africa: An Economic Perspective,” Journal of Southern African Studies, vol. 17, n° 4 (1991), pp. 654–677; in Bonny Ibhawoh, “Rethinking Corporate Apologies: Business and Apartheid Victimization in South Africa,” The Age of Apology: Facing Up to the Past, edited by Mark Gibney, et al., Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008, p. 274.

  48. 48.

    Ibhawoh, p. 275. The liberal school, on the other hand, considers that apartheid was founded on state interventionism in all sectors of society and therefore that it conflicted with the basic tenets of free market capitalism. Ibid.

  49. 49.

    Ibid., pp. 275, 277.

  50. 50.

    Ibid., p. 271.

  51. 51.

    Ibid., p. 272.

  52. 52.

    Ibid.

  53. 53.

    Ibid., p. 273.

  54. 54.

    Ibid., p. 274.

  55. 55.

    Sanders, Our Revolution, p. 307.

  56. 56.

    Ibid., p. 269.

  57. 57.

    Ibid., p. 286.

  58. 58.

    One argument sometimes leveled by opponents to slavery reparations is that African Americans are better off today in the contemporary United States than their enslaved ancestors and, therefore, that they are not confronted by historical or even enduring injustice.

  59. 59.

    See supra, p. 206.

  60. 60.

    Andrew Carnegie , The Gospel of Wealth, New York, Carnegie Corporation of New York, 2017, p. 4.

  61. 61.

    Ibid., p. 19.

  62. 62.

    Ibid., pp. 24, 25, 28, 29.

  63. 63.

    Andrew Carnegie , “Wealth,” North American Review, vol. 148, n° 391, June 1889, pp. 653–665, June 1889. The article was later published as part 1 of The Gospel of Wealth. See: The Gospel of Wealth, The Carnegie Corporation of New York, https://www.carnegie.org/about/our-history/gospelofwealth.

  64. 64.

    Debs, “Andrew Carnegie on ‘Best Fields for Philanthropy,’” Locomotive Firemen’s Magazine, vol. 14, n° 2, February 1890, pp. 104–106, E.V. Debs Internet Archive, https://www.marxists.org/archive/debs/works/1890/900200-debs-carnegieonphilanthropy.pdf.

  65. 65.

    Ibid.

  66. 66.

    Ibid.

  67. 67.

    Sanders, Our Revolution, p. 197.

  68. 68.

    Jane Mayer, Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right, New York, Anchor Books, 2016.

  69. 69.

    Sanders, Our Revolution, pp. 197–198.

  70. 70.

    Id., “I’m Running for President,” Bernie Sanders YouTube Channel, February 19, 2019, https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=s7DRwz0cAt0.

  71. 71.

    Blake Morgan, “10 Powerful Examples Of Corporate Apologies,” Forbes, October 24, 2018, https://www.forbes.com/sites/blakemorgan/2018/10/24/10-powerful-examples-of-corporate-apologies/#6b25b6df40de.

  72. 72.

    Sara Salinas, Anita Balakrishnan, “Mark Zuckerberg Has Been Talking and Apologizing About Privacy Since 2003,” CNBC, December 19, 2018, https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/19/facebook-ceo-mark-zuckerberg-privacy-apologies.html.

  73. 73.

    Geoffrey A. Fowler, Chiqui Esteban, “14 Years of Mark Zuckerberg Saying Sorry, Not Sorry,” Washington Post, April 9, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/business/facebook-zuckerberg-apologies.

  74. 74.

    Ruben Carranza, Cristián Correa, Elena Naughton, “More Than Words: Apologies as a Form of Reparation,” International Center for Transitional Justice, January 27, 2016, https://www.ictj.org/publication/more-than-words-apologies-form-reparation.

  75. 75.

    Sanders, Outsider in the White House, p. 291.

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Correspondence to Nicolas Gachon .

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Gachon, N. (2021). State and Corporate Responsibility. In: Bernie Sanders’s Democratic Socialism. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-69661-0_11

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