Socialists, Democrats, the Working Class, and Our Future

The question of the socialist left’s relationship to the Democratic Party has been a controversial
issue for decades, in truth, for as long as we have had the modern two-party system. At various
times the issue has been whether or not to break with the Democratic Party and construct a
socialist party or a labor party instead. Today, the controversy tends to revolve around whether
or not we can further the socialist movement by running candidates in the Democratic Party,
either by running open socialists or supporting progressive Democrats, and perhaps also supporting Green Party or other independent candidates as well. We present here Kim Moody’s
argument against working within the Democratic Party together with responses by Amelia
Dornbush, Luke Elliott-Negri, and Sam Lewis, as well as our board member Michael Hirsch.

In this symposium:

The Two Souls of Democratic Socialism

By:

ImageSome New Politics readers will recognize the title of this article as a paraphrase of Hal Draper’s “Two Souls of Socialism,” which appeared in New Politics in 1966. The first version, however, appeared in the socialist student magazine Anvil in 1960, just as a new generation of youthful activists was emerging, inspired to a large extent by the civil rights movement.

Fighting for the Soul of Socialism

By: , ,

ImageAfter a huge bump in membership thanks to Bernie Sanders, and an even bigger one thanks to Donald Trump, the DSA continues to grow. Since its national convention in August, membership has increased from 25,000 to 30,000. We have known since 2011 that millennials have a more positive association with the word “socialism” than the word “capitalism”;1 Sanders gave this demographic shift from the cold war era a political expression, and DSA has given it an organizational expression. Now thousands on the left are scrambling to answer the question, “What do we do with this newfound energy?”

Independent Politics Doesn’t Start With Walling Off the Democrats

By:

I first met Kim Moody some 50 years ago. He was then organizing chapters of the California-based Peace and Freedom Party as an alternative to the Democratic war machine. If memory serves, he came to Park Slope, Brooklyn, then a predominantly Irish and Italian working-class neighborhood—not the gentrified picture from House Beautiful it has since morphed into—but also inhabited by a smattering of déclassé radicals. Moody wanted to interest a few of us in taking up the electoral mantle.

Kim Moody Replies

By:

Reply to Dornbush, Elliott-Negri, and Lewis

Dornbush, Elliott-Negri, and Lewis are right that ideology is not enough and an analysis of “the actual, material terrain” is necessary. Simply repeating the well-known realities of the first-past-the-post U.S. electoral system that favors the two-party duality is not such an analysis. It’s old news. Not altogether wrong, but still yesterday’s political science.

Note from the editorial board:
If you’ve read this article to the end, you probably thought it was worth your time.
We hope you’ll also think it’s worth a few bucks (maybe more!) so that New Politics, run entirely by volunteers, can continue to give readers informative, timely analysis that is unswerving in its commitment to struggles for peace, freedom, equality, and justice — what we call socialism.
You have only a few weeks to donate to our annual fund appeal, during which we raise the money to publish. You can also subscribe, if you haven’t already. A digital-only sub is shockingly inexpensive and gets you our print issue weeks before the material is posted.
We won’t send you  a coffee mug, T-shirt, or tote bag.  What you’ll get instead is our thanks and a  deep, fuzzy satisfaction that you’ve contributed to bringing ideas that are more relevant than ever to new readers, helping to change the world.