Many in the newly reborn American socialist movement fervently hope that someday, in the face of numerous structural barriers, they can get a viable new party off the ground. But unfortunately, we can expect unions to be among the last to get on board with such a party.
Chris Maisano is a Jacobin contributing editor and a member of Democratic Socialists of America.
Instead of prompting the coordinated, national response that’s needed, this pandemic is exacerbating one of the most destructive and enduring themes of US political life: the sectional conflict between states, and between town and country. Progress in battling coronavirus will continue to be hamstrung by our dysfunctional federalist system.
The US’s federalist system undermines even the most basic attempts to carry out effective national action. In pandemics, that’s a recipe for death and disaster.
Our global crisis of democracy is real, but its solution isn’t rebuilding political norms. It’s rebuilding working-class power.
People tend not to rebel against their oppressors, because the cost is simply too high. But sometimes they do, overcoming extraordinary odds — and understanding how and why rebellions like the Civil Rights Movement happen is crucial for socialists today.
We cannot afford to come out of the coronavirus crisis without ending a health care system that decides whether we live or die based on our ability to pay the bill. Luckily, we already have working models to do just that.
The United States would be much better off with a multiparty, proportional representation system. But we shouldn’t delude ourselves that this “one quick fix” would root out the rot that pervades America’s political economy.
Forty years of neoliberalism have beaten down and disorganized the US working class. The Bernie Sanders campaign is showing how electoral politics can be used to re-politicize working people — and organize collectively for their class interests.
Unions are more popular than ever, but union membership just hit a new low. We need to elect Bernie Sanders, make his “Workplace Democracy Plan” a reality, and encourage a new wave of workplace militancy to stop the decline and end the devastation of working-class communities.
If we want to make Bernie Sanders’s political revolution a reality, we can’t just propose bold policies to make people’s lives better — we have to rebuild popular confidence in the possibilities of politics itself. And we can’t rebuild that confidence without democratizing the United States’s decidedly undemocratic political institutions.
The uneven geography of economic development and a “winner-take-all” system make our electoral system stacked against left-wing parties. But that doesn’t mean leftists living under that system can’t still win.
Research shows that the organized working class, and industrial workers in particular, have been the driving force for democracy around the world. The question is whether the erosion of the industrial working class will weaken our prospects for democratic politics.
The political revolution needs mass protest mobilization. But to be completed, it will also require a radical reconstruction of the United States’ undemocratic political institutions.
After decades of decline, left parties are in the midst of a renaissance. But without a commitment to social roots in the working class, twenty-first century “digital parties” could decline just as their predecessors did.
Kim Moody reflects on his time in the New Left, turning to the working class, and opportunities for socialists in the labor movement today.
The Supreme Court Janus decision is a devastating defeat for labor. Public-sector unions now have two choices: continued decline, or a reversion to the kind of militant collective action of the movement’s early years.
A new book offers a flawed road map for rebuilding the Left.
The history of the 1970s New York City fiscal crisis shows how power under capitalism is ultimately located outside electoral politics — and must be defeated at its source.
Today, there’s a real chance Unidos Podemos will become the most important force in Spanish politics. What do they stand for?
No, socialism isn’t just more government — it’s about democratic ownership and control.