Thor Halvorssen gave an insightful interview with Fox News on his take on democratic socialism and how it is linked to human rights abuses. As the president of the Human Rights Foundation, Halvorssen is very much acquainted with the massive human rights abuses that go on all over the globe everyday. The reason Halvorssen was asked by Fox to speak about socialism is that socialist policies have played a central role in the campaign of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders for president. Sanders has promoted socialist policies as a way to deal with the economic problems in the U.S. because Sanders thinks it involves a more equitable distribution of resources and will help protect the poorest classes of society. Although Thor Halvorssen does support Senator Sanders’ presidential campaign, he thinks that there are some very real problems with socialist policies being adopted.
Halvorssen links socialism to human rights abuses based on the role of the government in a socialist society. The socialist government is given the right to set various prices of goods and services. Also, the socialist government may even control the distribution of various goods and services. Halvorssen says the problem with this is that there can be a scarcity of certain necessary goods. If those goods are things like food and water, the society could be headed towards a major problem on the order of a humanitarian crisis. According to Halvorssen, it is a basic human right to have access to adequate food and water everyday. Halvorssen points to the example of Venezuela and the humanitarian crisis the citizens are dealing with right now. The government is rationing access to electricity, food, water and medicine. In Venezuela, there is little hope for a change in policies while the socialist ruling party remains in power. Halvorssen further explains that the situation in Venezuela is demonstrative of wheat happens when an authoritarian leader is empowered through socialist policies.
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