Category: Electoral Politics

Trump Takes Another Step Toward Authoritarian Government

Socialists must organize a national movement against Trump’s national emergency.

Peel Back Tulsi Gabbard’s “Progressive” Veneer

Tulsi Gabbard is getting a pass from people who should know better, first from Glenn Greenwald and then from the folks at Democracy Now! They describe her as “progressive except that some leftists on some issues say…”

On Capitalism, Authoritarianism and What Is New about Trumpism

Below is a revised version of a presentation given to a panel on “Mass Incarceration and the Global Rise of Authoritarian Capitalism” at the Los Angeles Peace Center on September 23, 2017.
In this paper, I would like to address four . . .

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The Left and the Democratic Party

The Experience of Almost a Century

What can socialists today learn from the experience of the left in the past as it grappled with the issue of electoral politics? Over the last 50 years, American leftists have in general adopted two alternative strategies for dealing with . . .

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Whistling Past the Graveyard

Notes on the 2018 Midterm Elections

For those who expected the midterm elections to be a slow grinding of the far right and the nation’s wax museum-Bonapartist president, the mills of the gods on election night operated as if on seasonal layoff.

The Green New Deal Promises Peace and Progress. Will Nuclear Advocates Undermine it?

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The environmental policy centerpiece of the incoming Democratic House of Representatives is what’s now known as “The Green New Deal.” But it’s already hit deeply polarizing pushback from the old-line Democratic leadership. And it faces divisive jockeying over the future of nuclear power.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador Promises the “Rebirth of Mexico”

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Andrés Manuel López Obrador took the presidential oath on December 1 and then gave an hour and a half oration to the legislators as well as another lengthy speech to the people of Mexico City gathered in the zócalo, in which he reiterated his campaign promises to end corruption, to bring about economic prosperity, and to lead Mexico into a new historic fourth period of Mexican history, a period of "rebirth." The speech made clear that AMLO, as he is called by his initials in the press, is a reformer, but not a radical and certainly not a revolutionary as his opponents have claimed. His call for an end to neoliberalism and to corruption are accompanied by invitations to Mexican and foreign capitalists to invest and make a profit.

Why I'm Not Voting Green in New Jersey

ImageThe case for voting for Green candidate Howie Hawkins for governor of New York is a strong one and were I a New Yorker (I live in New Jersey), I would do so.

Howie Hawkins for Governor: A Step in the Left Direction

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I write this largely for my comrades in the Democratic Socialists of America but also for all who are interested in building a more democratic, egalitarian, and just society. I argue here for voting for Howie Hawkins for governor, the only progressive candidate for that office on the ballot in New York State, and the only open socialist.

I am convinced that any future mass working class or socialist party in the United States will arise largely out of developments in the Democratic Party.

MST Open Letter on Brazil Election

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Comrades and Friends of MST () around the World,

We would like to share some of our views on this delicate moment of Brazilian politics in the last week of the election campaign:

Gangster Politics

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In The Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels referred to the state as “the executive committee of the ruling class.” Reflecting the collective capitalist interest in maintaining its accumulation process, capable of forging compromises among competing sectors of its own and other classes, this committee was also meant to enforce legal norms, contracts, and other rules of the game.

"They Count on You Not Knowing"

East Bay DSA Blows The Whistle On Corporate Dem Donor Class

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Wealthy Bay Area investor David Crane is a leading promoter of the neoliberal agenda within the California Democratic Party. A former advisor to Republican governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Crane is a widely-published critic of state and local tax initiatives, publicly-funded health care, public education, public employees and their pensions. He raises lots of money for “courageous” candidates willing to put “citizen interests” ahead of such “special interest” causes.

Brazil’s Racial Capitalism at a Turning Point

Rising Militarization after Two Decades of Workers’ Party Government

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In February, I published an article in the International Marxist-Humanist reporting that the political scene was horrible in Brazil. Five months ago, I had in my mind how fascism was growing quickly under the hegemony of identity politics, especially with social movements’ fragmentation, and the increase of anti-communist thought, with slanders against Marx as totalitarian, Eurocentric and colonial. I said that all of this, in addition to the legacy of almost 15 years of Workers’ Party government that ended via an institutional coup d’état in 2016, was leading to the destruction – ideological and material – of the left.

NYC DSA's Endorsement of Cynthia Nixon: A Reply to Dan La Botz

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I appreciate Dan La Botz' well-reasoned article, but do not agree with his conclusion.

As usual, Dan's argument is judicious and clear, courteous to other points of view. Such civility is essential to maintaining the health and vitality of a diverse big tent organization like the Democratic Socialist of America (DSA).

The Movement-Building Potential of Socialist Electoral Victories

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On June 26th, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defeated, against all odds, the incumbent Congressman from New York’s 14th district, a safe Democratic seat, in the party’s primary. Spectacular as it was to see a Democratic political boss (the “King of Queens”) humbled by a left-wing challenger, the real spoils of this victory do not lie in the House seat itself.

Taking Some Distance from Dan La Botz's Demurrer of the DSA Endorsement for Cynthia Nixon

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Dan's sober and sobering comment on why he opposed an endorsement by DSA of the Cynthia Nixon campaign to dethrone Andrew Cuomo, New York's corporate deny-the-corporate-class-nothing's two-term governor [see "Why I voted Against Endorsing Cynthia Nixon"] is sharply and smartly posed. It deserves a similar if brief reply, one crafted in what I hope encapsulates the same spirit. 

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What I Saw at the (Political) Revolution

ImageThis memoir of sorts by Fordham University sociology professor Heather Gautney, who became a policy fellow in Bernie Sanders’ Washington DC office and a volunteer researcher and organizer for his unexpectedly popular 2016 presidential campaign, has a very specific focus: to “offer insights from up-close work with Bernie, mixed in with historical and sociological analysis, to perform an autopsy of the 2016 election” (2). Given the sheer number of insightless (to put it mildly) autopsies that have been proffered across the political spectrum—perhaps none more useless than Hillary Clinton’s own What Happened (Simon & Schuster, 2017)—Gautney’s book is more than welcome and even slightly overdue.

Why I Voted Against Endorsing Cynthia Nixon

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The leadership of the New York City chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) voted this past weekend by a two-thirds majority to endorse Cynthia Nixon in the Democratic Primary race for New York State governor. The decision reflected similar majorities for Nixon among the total membership of the New York City branches. An accompanying motion also passed that linked DSA’s work on the Nixon campaign to the Julia Salazar campaign in the Democratic Primary for State Senate and tied it to our organization’s support for the New York State Health Act and the a city campaign create for expanded rent stabilization.

Since the majority of my fellow New York City socialists voted to endorse Nixon, I feel obligated as a member of the City Leadership Committee  (CLC) to explain to our members why I cast my vote against, as did eleven other members of the 34-member body, while one person abstained.

Dan La Botz on his New Book on Trump and the Resistance

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Dan La Botz is a member both Solidarity and of the Democratic Socialist of America (DSA), and a co-editor of New Politics. Trained as a historian of the United States and Mexico, he is also a teacher in the graduate Labor Studies program of the Murphy Institute of the City University of New York. New Politics interviews him here about his new book The New American Populism: Resistance and Alternatives to Trump (Nouveau populisme américain: Résistances et alternatives à Trump).

New Politics: You’ve written a book on Donald Trump and the Resistance that most of won’t be able to read because it has only been published in French. In this book you discuss both the rise of the new populism of Sanders and Trump and its social and historical roots, but you also look at the Resistance and discuss its strengths and weaknesses, as well as examining the strategies of the left and its future. That’s a lot. Tell us a little about your book. What distinguishes it from the many books on Trump that have hit the market since he became president?

AMLO, Mexico’s New President, Promises End to Corruption, Makes Peace with Capitalist Class

AMLO and Business: All Peace and Lover - Bloomberg Photo

The leftist candidate Andres Manuel López Obrador, has been carried to victory in the Mexican presidential election by an enormous popular outpouring of voters hoping to improve their lives and those of their fellow citizens. Promising to drive out the political mafia that runs the country, to end the pervasive corruption in government, and to bring an end to the violence that in the last dozen years has taken more than 250,000 lives, AMLO, the left’s perennial candidate, won such a decisive victory this time that the Mexican establishment finally had to recognize his achievement.

Lessons and not Myths about the Portuguese non-model

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 Jacobin published on June 9 an essay by Catarina Príncipe under the title “The Portuguese Myth.” We’ve deeply appreciated her thoughts on the political changes in the country since 2015, considering it was written by a spokesperson for a minority current inside the Left Bloc, a status Príncipe failed to mention. This should have been stated, for transparency’s sake, since Príncipe offered an alternative political resolution and a competing list for the leadership of the Party in 2016, which were defeated.1

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