Carl Sagan died almost 24 years ago. But his work, his ideas and his quirky pop personality have lived on. Now an old video of the scientist talking with CNN founder Ted Turner in which he defends socialism has resurfaced and gone viral.
The footage is from a 1989 interview on CNN.
You would think that people would be more interested in Carl Sagan’s scientific theories. Like did his predictions about the universe, planets, space travel, etc. prove true? But who cares if he was a socialist or not.
Today everyone gets to give his two bits about just about anything under the sub, especially with social media. An actor or a singer is somehow taken seriously for his views on medical care or a new law being debated in the Congress. And a serious scientist will get on Real Time with Bill Maher or Fox and Friends to spout off about his views on the economy or America’s foreign policy.
Long gone ae the days when they had serious round table discussions with panels of experts. These usually aired on weekend mornings, either on public television or a local channel. They had genuine experts engaging in real debates. But they were boring and few, if anyone, actually tuned in.
Carl Sagan was controversial in his time, to be sure. But mainly it was his peers who decried his celebrity status and side career as a talk show guest. They felt that he was known for his personality, but not for his scientific breakthroughs.
A Jew by birth, Carl Sagan was an atheist who once said, “I do not know of any compelling evidence for anthropomorphic patriarchs controlling human destiny from some hidden celestial vantage point, but it would be madness to deny the existence of physical laws.”
So what did Carl Sagan say about Socialism. Well in answer to a questions he says in the video, “I’m not sure what a ‘socialist’ is. But I believe the government has a responsibility to care for the people.”
“I’m talking about making people self-reliant, people able to take care of themselves,” he continued. “There are countries which are perfectly able to do that. The United States is an extremely rich country, it’s perfectly able to do that. It chooses not to. It chooses to have homeless people.”
So do you agree or disagree?
Three decades ago, billionaire Ted Turner asked astronomer Carl Sagan if he was a socialist. pic.twitter.com/djWCLaX3kN
— raf (@rafaelshimunov) October 5, 2020