Category: Left Politics

Socialists and the Rank-And-File Strategy

It is a very good time for socialists and other union and left activists to take a step back and take a deeper look at some of the structures and dynamics of unions under capitalism.

In Defense of Black Sentiment

A Comment on Cedric Johnson’s Essay Re: Black Power Nostalgia

Johnson asks the reader not to pivot on certain ethnically motivated political affiliations lest we lose our class-conscious focus, and yet I find myself thinking about the ways Blackness is constructed in the arguments presented and how that matters.

Black Exceptionalism and the Militant Capitulation to Economic Inequality

Cedric G. Johnson’s “The Panthers Can’t Save Us Now” is a compelling, historically grounded critique of contemporary anti-racist campaigns against police brutality and mass incarceration. While Johnson is encouraged by the swell of organized opposition to the carceral state and . . .

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Only a Class Politics Can Save Us From Police Violence and Fascism

Lessons from Rosa Luxemburg and Cedric Johnson

How Johnson’s critique of the Black Lives Matter movement elaborates on Luxemburgist themes and provides a path to addressing not only police killings, but also the larger capitalist assault that drives them.

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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Venezuela: The Hour of the Lackeys

The tremendous economic, political and moral crisis that Venezuela is going through has not only sunk millions of people’s living and working conditions, but also the political programs that appear confronted to the death in a highly politicized stage. It . . .

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A Radical Direction for the Environmental Movement

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Climate scientists tell us we face a “climate crisis”: Since the 1990s, scientists have been trying to convince governments to keep atmospheric CO2 concentrations below 350 ppm in order to keep the global temperature below 1.5 degrees Centigrade above pre-industrial . . .

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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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Inequality and the Ecological Transition

Last month Branko Milanovic published a blog post about the Yellow Vest movement against the fuel tax in France.  He was worried – like many analysts – that the uprising proves it will be virtually impossible to roll out the policies necessary . . .

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Russian Revolution

Muraskin and Epstein criticize Harrison’s view of the Russian Revolution; Harrison replies.

The Philippine Left in a Changing Land

Under Duterte’s authoritarian rule, the Philippine left is faced with new difficulties.

Why no socialism in Sweden?

The Wage-Earner Funds in Sweden is one of the few serious attempts in an advanced capitalist society to socialize the means of production. Developed by Rudolf Meidner and Anna Hedborg, two economists at the powerful social-democratic union confederation LO, the . . .

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A Labor Movement 2020 Election Strategy

Organized labor has an opportunity to play an important role in the upcoming selection of a presidential candidate in the Democratic Party’s primaries and the eventual November 3, 2020 U.S. presidential election. The stakes couldn’t be higher, not only for . . .

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The American Left After Black Lives Matter

Historian Cedric Johnson’s essay “The Panthers Can’t Save Us Now,” published in 2017 in the new socialist journal Catalyst, generated a lot of discussion and won the Daniel Singer Memorial Prize. 
Addressing a historic discussion about the . . .

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Who’s Afraid of Left Populism?

Anti-Policing Struggles and the Frontiers of the American Left

My 2017 Catalyst article, “The Panthers Can’t Save Us Now,” was addressed to a specific conundrum within contemporary left politics and anti-policing struggles in particular: that is, the strategic problem of building a counterpower capable of winning in the context . . .

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Syria, the United States, and the Left

As the war in Syria draws to a close, the debate on the U.S. left over that conflict seems as intractable as ever.

100 years after the death of Rosa Luxemburg

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The deaths of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht have haunted the imagination of the left for a century. Joe Sabatini reviews a recent publication exposing the events of their deaths, Klaus Gietinger’s The Murder of Rosa Luxemburg, as well as providing an introduction to some of the literary works inspired by the events of 15 January 1919.

On Revolution and Internationalism: Socialist Strategy Today

With the revival of the socialist movement in the U.S., and the phrase “political revolution” having briefly entered the political mainstream as a result of Bernie Sanders’ Presidential campaign, it’s a good idea for contemporary socialists to look back upon the political strategies of our predecessors to examine what they thought “revolution” signified, and to draw appropriate conclusions.

The Housing Affordability Crisis and What Millennials Can do About It

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Randy Shaw, Generation Priced Out: Who Gets to Live in the New Urban America. University of California Press, 2018. 304 pp.

When millennials head home for the holidays this month, many who are city dwellers will be hosted by parents or grand-parents whose housing is far more spacious and financially secure than their own. Even guests with well-paid jobs in relatively stable rental markets will cast an envious eye at the benefits of baby boomer house buying decades ago.

Press Release

A New North American Political Network Emerges from the Grassroots

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 7, 2019
Press contact: Katie Horvath, katie.s.horvath@gmail.com, 720-838-8051
  • Local direct democracy groups across North America are assembling a revolutionary confederation
  • A congress of these grassroots organizations will be take place September 18-22, 2019, in Detroit, MI
  • Individuals can join and will be given guidance and support to organize where they live and work

The Key to the Key: A Socialist Feminist Rank-and-File Strategy

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Kim Moody’s “Rank and File Strategy” has influenced much of DSA’s approach to labor organizing. To draw out what he calls socialist “class consciousness,” Moody recommends fomenting member-led struggles in unions that advance self-empowerment. By joining “transitional organizations,” or rank-and-file reform caucuses such as Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU), he believes, workers gain experience directly confronting management over working conditions. These organizations prepare workers for larger fights to come.

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