Democratic Left

DSA National Electoral Strategy

DSA Electoral Committee

Our national electoral strategy was formulated by a coalition of electoral organizers from our chapters across the country and was recently unanimously passed at our National Political Committee meeting on January 27th, 2018. You can read it in its entirety at the link below.

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How to Raise Money Without the Rich

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By Colleen Shaddox

Say what you will about capitalists, they’re good to have at a fundraiser. But as DSA chapters raise bail money for comrades arrested at protests, few capitalists will be riding to the rescue. So, I share the story of a fundraiser mounted by an ongoing resistance group in the small, rural town of East Haddam, Connecticut, without benefit of the usual philanthropic class. 

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Review: When Karl Marx Was Young and Dashing

By Michael Hirsch

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Photo (left to right): Vicky Krieps, August Diehl, Stefan Konarske in The Young Karl Marx.  Credit: The Orchard.

Raoul Peck’s The Young Karl Marx is the best buddy movie since George Roy Hill’s Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in 1969. It’s also among the most important films in decades, bringing to a mass audience not just the revolutionary ideas of Marx and his friend and collaborator Frederick Engels in the early days of modern capitalism, but an approach to politics and history that still has no peer. Charting the world as he saw it, Marx wrote: “Accumulation of wealth at one pole is at the same time accumulation of misery, agony of toil, slavery, ignorance, brutality, mental degradation, at the opposite pole.” Has anything changed?

The film is the story of two young men, beginning in 1844 when they challenged not only leading thinkers of the academy but radicals abstracted from real struggles. It ends with the publication of the Communist Manifesto in 1848 when neither of the authors was yet 30 years old

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This International Women’s Day, Fight for Health Care, Fight for Women

By Christine R. Riddiough

March 8 is International Women’s Day – celebrating the struggles and achievements of women around the world. While IWD was initiated by the Socialist Party in the United States, for decades it was ignored in the U.S. until the second wave of the women’s movement revived it in the 1970s.

Yet its revival isn’t reflected in the actions of Congress. For example, on January 28, Republican leaders in the Senate scheduled a vote on the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” a bill that would ban abortion after 20 weeks. The procedural vote set by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell failed as expected, but the attempt to further restrict reproductive rights came just a week after the Trump Administration introduced new rules granting health care workers the license to discriminate against women seeking an abortion. These two measures expose both the Trump administration and GOP perspectives on women and health care and are in stark contrast to the Medicare for All bill introduced by Bernie Sanders last September.

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Swing Low, White Women

By Brigitte Fiedler

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Twitter/Corey Townsend

[As Black History Month is followed by Women’s History Month, we are sharing here a brief excerpt from an important article about black women’s perspectives on the Women’s March and its context. It is published in “Avidly,” a channel of the Los Angeles Review of Books. Please read the full article here.  - Editor]

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Socialism and International Competition: A Response to Daniel Adkins.

By A. P. Winslow

Upon the outbreak of WW1, the socialist parties of Europe were swept up in a patriotic fervor; national chauvinist tendencies broke out into the open and their factions were victorious in all established political parties of the belligerent countries with the exception of the Russian Bolsheviks.

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Paul Robeson: Life, Legend, and Contradictions

By Paul Buhle

Review: No Way But This: In Search of Paul Robeson. By Jeff Sparrow. Melbourne: Scribe (US: Cursor Marketing), 2018. 304pp, $19.95, paperback.


Much like C.L.R. James, the heterodox Pan African Marxist who inspired sections of the New Left (including my own), Paul Robeson is now the object of a rapidly expanding scholarship and commentary. These two historical giants, destined to be known across the world, actually collaborated in a 1930s London stage production about Toussaint L’Ouverture, leader of the Haitian revolution, the only known successful slave revolt. These heirs to L’Ouverture presaged the end of centuries of oppressive colonial and post-colonial domination, as the descendants of the original inhabitants would liberate their native lands after the Second World War. In the process, the masses would prove, as well, that the struggle for their own freedom was a vital struggle for civilization at large. An insight not pursued in much recent scholarship is that Robeson and James also validated the cultures of black spirituality, including crucial elements of Christian folklore in the saga of struggle.

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Building Socialist Majorities

 

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Photo: Alice Bacon/NYC-DSA 

by Luke Elliott- Negri

In 1920 the Socialist Party hit its national peak, when nearly one million people gave Eugene Debs some 6% of the popular vote for president. But you have to dial back a few decades more to find a truly successful third party in the U.S. electoral system – not to the People’s Party of the 1890s, but all the way back to the Republican Party of the 1850s.

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