Thor Havlorssen Discusses Socialism and Bernie Sanders With Fox News

Thor Halvorssen of the Human Rights Foundation recently did an interview on Fox News with Trish Regan where he was asked about about socialism, its effect on human rights, and Bernie Sanders. The interview on ‘The Intelligence Report with Trish Regan’ began with a typical introduction and then Halvorssen was asked about the relation between socialism and violations of human rights. Thor Halvorssen quickly qualified the discussion by saying that countries that are not socialist can obviously also violate human rights and that just having a socialist government is not an automatic violation of rights. As long as there is a proper separation of powers, he said, and constitutional rights are enforced, a socialist government can be “perfectly OK”, and noted examples like Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. He then went on to say that the issue was when socialism is co-opted as cover by authoritarians. Socialism can easily be used to mask dictators and populists who will use socialism as an excuse and end up exploiting the country and taking money for themselves.

Trish Regan then turned the discussion back to Bernie Sanders by saying that she believes that Bernie supporters don’t really understand how socialism works as a system of government. Halvorssen countered by saying that many if not most democratic countries have some socialist policies and that although some people believe socialism, communism, and Marxism to be the same thing, this is incorrect and socialist policies can be well implemented and popular. Regan then tried to turn the discussion back to Halvorssen’s objections with socialism, asking what him to define his major objection to the way socialism is practiced in some countries. Halvorssen explained his major objections were not only the looting of wealth from a country by authoritarians, but the way trying to control prices causes shortages and crises. Halvorssen declared that he has also made the largest contribution possible to the Sanders campaign because Hillary had taken donations from many authoritarian governments.

Regan then went more personal and asked Halvorssen about personal experience with socialism. Halvorssen recounted that his father had been a political prisoner and his mother had been shot by the government of Hugo Chavez, and that his views on dictators were based on personal experience. He went on to say that in general he believes the important point is the rule of law is essential and socialism can work under that, however he doesn’t believe redistribution of wealth is the answer, rather the creation of more wealth is the best way forward.

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