Democratic Left

Social Democracy Is Good. But Not Good Enough.

By Joseph M. Schwartz and Bhaskar Sunkara

We need a socialism that goes beyond capitalism. And not just for moral reasons.

John Judis has all the right intentions. He’s looking at the resurgence of openly democratic socialist currents in the United States with a mix of excitement and trepidation. Excitement, because he knows how desperately the country’s workers need social reforms. Trepidation, because he worries that the new left might fall into the familiar traps of insularity and sectarianism.

But while Judis wants us to change society for the better, his response to the failures of twentieth-century state socialism would lead us into the dead end of twentieth-century social democracy.

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Don’t Punish the Dreamers — Punish the Corporations Driving Forced Migration

By David Bacon

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On September 5, 2,000 people demonstrated in front of San Francisco's Federal Building, blocking intersections and marching through the streets, to protest the announcement by Attorney General Jeff Sessions that the Trump administration will repeal the DACA order protecting young undocumented immigrants from deportation. (David Bacon)  

The "dreamers," young recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program—are the true children of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). More than anyone, they have paid the price for the agreement. Yet they are the ones punished by the administration of President Donald Trump, as it takes away their legal status, ability to work and right to live in this country without fear of arrest or deportation. At the same time, those responsible for the fact they grew up in the United States walk away unpunished—and even better off.

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The Genius of Bernie’s Gradualism

Sanders’s Medicare for All bill is built on the understanding that revolutions take time.

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Olivier Douliery / Abaca / Sipa via AP Image

Senator Bernie Sanders holds a press conference on his Medicare for All bill on Capitol Hill.

I’m a fervent supporter of Bernie Sanders’s Medicare for All bill, which he introduced Wednesday along with 16 Senate Democrat co-sponsors—and not only because I believe health care is a right and that a universal single-payer system is the best way to ensure that right.

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NY Renews: Building a Labor-Environmental Justice Coalition

By Mark Schaeffer

New York City and Albany DSA chapters are members of New York Renews (NYRenews.org) a coalition formed in 2015 to bring unions, environmentalists, and communities of color to work together based on their common interests. NYR is dedicated to a just transition to 100% renewable energy in NY State, living-wage jobs, and justice for communities on the front lines of climate disruption and toxic pollution and for workers displaced from jobs dependent on fossil fuels. Crucial to the coalition are commitments to fair labor standards and access to jobs and funding for communities of color as well as the understanding that massive investments in clean energy would create a jobs bonanza.

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Still Inching Toward a Democratic Left

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Michael Harrington

 By John L. Elwell

Imagine a time when the United States of America was reeling from a race riot with a social activist having been murdered in a southern town. Imagine a time when poor and middle class youth of the nation were fighting overseas in a seemingly endless war that elites had declared.  Imagine a time when a presidential candidate would exploit fear and hatred in order to win votes. And finally, imagine a time when another presidential candidate would try to unite us all against those who would oppose progress. It would be all too easy to assume that you’re imagining the current state of the United States in 2017, but if you know our history, then you know this is an all too familiar feeling. It was nearly the same context into which Michael Harrington, a founder of DSOC and eventually of DSA, would publish Toward a Democratic Left in 1968. 

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On the Centrality of the Struggle Against White Supremacy

The Growing Importance of Theodore W. Allen’s Work On the Centrality of the Struggle Against White Supremacy 

by Jeffrey B. Perry 

Theodore W.  Allen (1919-2005) was an anti-white supremacist, working class intellectual and activist. In the 1960s he developed his pioneering, class struggle-based analysis of “white skin privilege.” In the 1990s he authored the two-volume “classic” The Invention of the White Race. In these and other writings he consistently maintained that the struggle against white supremacy was central to efforts at radical social change in the United States. 

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Statement Condemning HR 620 and Supporting the Disability Integration Act

Condemning HR 620 and Supporting the Disability Integration Act: A Joint Statement of the Disability Working Group and the NPC

September 15, 2017

Disability is a social restriction that affects people of every class, race, and gender. As socialists, we recognize that liberation can only be universal. In order to win the struggle for justice we must confront and dismantle the capitalist institutions that oppress people with physical, mental, and developmental impairments.

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Review: Ken Burns’ “The Vietnam War”

 Review: Ken Burns’ “The Vietnam War”

 By Maurice Isserman

Say what you will about the Vietnam War, it had a great soundtrack. Feature and documentary filmmakers have, of course, long appreciated this—cue “The End” by the Doors for the unforgettable opening sequence of 1979’s Apocalypse Now, and, about a decade later, Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” for a long, wet, and ominous combat patrol sequence in HBO’s documentary, Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam (1987).

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