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The Left in Purgatory

Cover Art by Liam Eisenberg
After the failure of every revolution or counterrevolution, a feverish activity develops among the fugitives, who have escaped to foreign countries. The parties of different shades form groups, accuse each other of having driven the cart into the mud, charge one another with treason and every conceivable sin. At the same time they remain in close touch with the home country, organize, conspire, print leaflets and newspapers, swear that the trouble will start afresh within twenty-four hours, that victory is certain, and distribute the various government offices beforehand on the strength of this anticipation.
—  Friedrich Engels, “The Program of the Blanquist Fugitives from the Paris Commune,” 1874

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Front Matters

Front Matters

Locked Out of Heaven

Party Lines

Bhaskar Sunkara

The Left in Purgatory

Socialists in the United States are stuck. How do we become masters of our own fate?

Struggle Session

Interview with Jared Abbott and David Shor

The Coming Democratic Minority

Without a radical change in its relationship to working-class voters, the Democratic Party is hurtling toward doom.


The End of the AOC Honeymoon

Natalie Shure

In 2018, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was heralded as the millennial successor to Bernie Sanders. Today, some on the Left are starting to have doubts.

Illustration by Paul Tuller
Reading Materiel

Reading Materiel

We Were No Years In Power

Illustration by George Wylesol

Canon Fodder

Chris Maisano

The Liminal Left’s Bid for Power

Like our leading figures, our new left is young and highly educated. Is that tanking our chances at building a mass working-class coalition?


Are These the Last Days of Die Linke?

Loren Balhorn

Die Linke was founded on the promise of unifying Germany’s left and rejuvenating what was once the world’s leading socialist movement. Fifteen years later, it’s struggling to survive.

Cultural Capital

Cultural Capital

The Compromised Second Draft

Ways of Seeing

Marianela D’Aprile

Palaces of Lost Promise

Berlin’s new Humboldt Forum is German neoliberalism in one building — retrograde, pompous, and built on the ruins of socialist modernism.

Bass & Superstructure

Fergal Kinney

The Beatles and the Revolutionaries

Peter Jackson’s Get Back, the latest revisionist Beatles product, has glimpses of the political moment that made the band possible — and how distant we are from it today.

Red Channels

Owen Hatherley

The Tenured Radical on the Telly

The 1980s BBC series The History Man was a venomous takedown of academic pseudo-radicals. How does it stand up today?


A Historian of Economic Crisis on the Fire This Time

Illustration by Rose Wong

Adam Tooze interviewed by Daniel Finn

Adam Tooze is the leading expert on how economic crises have remade the modern world. Here, he tells Jacobin that the COVID-19 pandemic will transform global politics even more than the 2008 financial crash, inaugurating an age of instability.

The Tumbrel

The Tumbrel

Tankies Without Tanks

Illustration by Daniel Haskett


Ross Barkan

Working-Class Politics Without the Working Class

Born at the height of the Clinton era, the Working Families Party thought it had found a way to build a labor party in America. Today, it’s advancing progressive politics with a far narrower base than it expected.


The New State Church

In our era, state capacity is faltering, and the size and scope of NGO activity is expanding.


From Post-Politics to Hyper-Politics

Anton Jäger

If everything is political, then nothing is political.

Illustration by Yoshi Sodeoka


In Exile

Popular Front

Liza Featherstone

The Political Isn’t Personal

In a world where the political is personal, we signal our political goodness — and hunt for political badness.

Illustration by Christoph Kleinstück