|Jason Schulman March 27, 2016|
I must admit that I’m somewhat reluctant to write a response to my friend Barry Finger’s response to my article in the Winter 2016 issue of New Politics on Bernie Sanders while the Democratic presidential candidate race between Hillary Clinton and Sanders is still going on. Nevertheless, I will do so.
First, it should now be clear, in the wake of Sanders’ victories in yesterday’s Democratic caucuses, that Barry’s assertion that “the Sanders challenge within the Democratic Party has come to its natural conclusion” is not justified. Let’s not make grand pronouncements of this sort until we’re far closer to the Democratic National Convention.
|Dan La Botz March 25, 2016|
Part 9 of A New Politics in America. This concludes the series. All nine parts can be fond on the New Politics website, newpol.org
So what does this era of a new politics in America mean? How significant are new right and new left in America today? Where do we go from here? What are we in the left to do? Should we be building progressive Democratic Party campaigns? Should we just go back to building the movements? Or is there another option? To figure this out, we have to understand that though we are in a new political era, many of the old problems still remain.
|by Barry Finger March 21, 2016|
There is much to admire and learn from in Jason Schulman’s article “Bernie Sanders and the Dilemma of the Democratic ‘Party.’,” not least of which is Jason’s implicit insistence that the base of any future American left is composed of people who are currently in the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, and in its best elements represented by the Sanders’ insurgency. Obvious as this might be to readers of New Politics, this is still a disputed opinion on the radical left in America. We – Jason and I – both look forward to that movement developing a breakaway consciousness as it confronts an implacable Democratic establishment proudly wedded to the status quo.
|Dan La Botz March 21, 2016|
This is party 7 of A New Politics in America. Part 6 and links to earlier parts can be found here.
Occupy, though it had eschewed politics, had important political ramifications. A few liberal Democrats soon appeared to give expression to the new movements within their rightward moving party.
|Dan La Botz March 20, 2016|
This is Part 6 of A New Politics in America. Part 5 and links to early parts can be found here.
The Tea Party
The Great Recession and the government’s response to it gave a new impetus to the right. President Barack Obama’s election in 2008 in the midst of the recession proved an ideal catalyst for the bringing together of a new far right movement.
|Dan La Botz March 18, 2016|
This is Part 5 of A New Politics in America. Part 4 and links to earlier parts can be found here.
If American politics have changed in the 2010s, however, it is in large measure due to disappointment in the Obama presidency. Many Americans thought in 2008 that they had elected a progressive, but they soon found out that the new president was nothing of the kind.
|by Jean SmilingCoyote March 17, 2016|
For most of human history, people could directly get from Nature the resources they needed to survive. It was your skill in hunting, fishing, gathering, and sometimes farming that earned your living. People could even leave their group permanently for unoccupied land. Now, a cordon of laws and landowners stands in the way of people who need these natural resources. It is one’s success in pleasing the powerful people which gets one money to use to buy these resources, including a secure shelter of one’s own. These people pretend to represent Nature in selecting who is fit to survive and who isn’t. Because they don’t use Nature’s rules, they make wrong choices. We are all trapped in the money economy. Even the bush pilots serving the remote villages of Alaskan subsistence hunters, bring supplies from the money economy of the outside world.
|Dan La Botz March 17, 2016|
This is the fourth part of A New Politics in America. Earlier parts of the series can be found here.
The Republican Party responded to the white middle class and working class voters who had lost status, income, and pride in their country by working to turn their disappointment and depression into ressentiment and political power. Richard Nixon famously first saw how whites' resentment could be turned in the Republicans' direction during his 1968 presidential campaign, adopting the “southern strategy” of winning over the South’s racist white voters—the former Dixiecrats of the Democratic Party.
|Dan La Botz March 16, 2016|
This is the third part of A New Politics in America. Part 1 looked at the Civil Rights movement and the White Backlash; Part 2 examined the impact of the economic crisis of the 1970s; Part 3 discusses the decline in American power, and then turns back to look at how all three elements contributed to the growth of a New Right from the 1960s to the 1980s.
The United States: A Declining World Power
While the United States remained a world power—and the greatest military power on earth after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991—U.S. military might did not necessarily always lead to military victory and modern weapons could not always ensure its place as the leading world power.
|Dan La Botz March 15, 2016|
This is the second part of an article about the new politics in America today. The first part can be found here.
Deindustrialization and Downsizing Gut the Labor Movement
The second development that led to a new far right was the economic crisis of the 1970s, or, to be specific, the two recessions of the 1974-75 and 1979-82. These two downturns caused employers to close steel mills, auto plants and other manufacturing plants throughout the Northeast and the Midwest with a devastating impact on the working class and on the labor movement.
|Dan La Botz March 14, 2016|
This is the first part of an article about the new politics in America today.
The presidential election campaign of 2016 represents a turning point in American politics, raising issues and political agendas that would have been unthinkable in the United States only a few years ago. The major media and the public debate whether or not Republican Donald Trump is a fascist, while at the same time there is a discussion about whether Democrat Bernie Sanders’ version of democratic socialism is the answer to the country’s problems. Trump’s political rallies have, at his instigation, become violent and he now threatens to send his followers to disrupt Sanders’ rallies.
Determination in the Cause of Justice
|by Joan McKiernan March 6, 2016|
[Sandy Boyer, a veteran socialist, radical journalist and treasured contributor to Socialist Worker and New Politics (see his review in our current issue), died last month after a short illness. Joan McKiernan, a longtime comrade and friend, offered this tribute to Sandy that speaks so well for all of us at NP and SocialistWorker.org.]
SANDY BOYER, socialist fighter, died last week. His death is a loss to all the working-class struggles and the social justice movements in the U.S., Ireland and, indeed, the world that he was involved in.
Whether it was Teamsters or teachers in the U.S., political prisoners in Ireland, Puerto Rican independence activists, Palestinian solidarity campaigners or the Black Lives Matter movement, Sandy was tirelessly exercising his brilliant organizing skills on their behalf.
Countering the Confederate "Spring": the Assault on Black Political Power in Jackson, MS
|by Kali Akuno March 4, 2016|
|by Bryant Sculos February 28, 2016|
A while ago, I wrote a piece here that, among other things, argued that if Bernie Sanders were to lose the Democratic primary he should not, as he has promised several times to do, support Hillary Clinton for President. Many people on the Left, most recently Chris Hedges in an article for Truthdig, have argued that this promise makes Sanders a wolf-in-sheep’s clothing for the Left, and that he will inevitably betray the movement supporting him and the ideals he has campaigned on. For Hedges and others, this promise (along with running as a Democrat) is precisely why the Left should not be supporting Sanders and his campaign at all. While I disagree with Hedges that we should not support Sanders because of this promise, we should absolutely be wary of the likely possibility that he will keep this terrible promise; Sanders if anything has a tendency to keep his word. This is what he is known for, after all—being the rare honest politician.
|by Doug Henwood February 27, 2016|
The Sanders campaign has certainly sharpened the contradictions, hasn’t it? It’s been very clarifying to see Hillary Clinton and her surrogates running against single-payer and free college, with intellectual cover coming from Paul Krugman and Vox. Expectations, having been systematically beaten down for 35 years, must be beaten down further, whether it’s Hillary saying that to go to college one needs some “skin in the game,” or Rep. John Lewis reminding us that nothing is free in America. A challenge from the left has forced centrist Democrats to reveal themselves as proud capitalist tools.