Democratic Left

Class Struggle and the Fight for Freedom

By Thomas Wells

The day after the election, I was involved in an online discussion with an activist. After expressing my deep concern about the potential consequences of a Trump presidency, he replied with the following statement: “Yesterday’s election was deeply troubling. We know that HRC would have been a disaster. Trump may or may not be a bigger disaster. Hail be to the clairvoyant!” I am no fan of Clinton. I think she is a disingenuous American politician who displays a remarkable tone deafness to the conditions of working people, coupled with an obsessive preoccupation with political calculation. But if only she were unique in that regard, among the neoliberal power brokers of Washington! Returning to the comments of the activist, I should say I found them fairly astonishing. I must confess I had to regroup after reading them.  After some reflection, I replied saying the following: “Clairvoyance is not required to make a reasonable prediction of future events based on tangible evidence. Statisticians, information technologists and social scientists have been doing it for many decades. My ability to coexist with oppression may or may not equate with the Latino immigrant, the Muslim or the police profiled African-American. Hail be to the minimizer!”               

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Review: Necessary Trouble: Americans in Revolt

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By Michael Hirsch

One might be tempted to read Sarah Jaffe’s book with a kind of archaeological nostalgia, to look upon it as a remnant of a bygone-era when the left had confidence in the gains it was making, before a meteor named Trump struck earth.

But the people Jaffe describes don’t have to become fossils buried beneath the sediment of the nascent Trumpian-era. The struggles her heroes and heroines face prefigure future battles to come.  Writing from the not-so ancient times of pre-election America in 2016, Jaffe offers example after example of what ordinary people can do when pushed too far and the Trump White House will likely push most of us to our limits.

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Keith Ellison for Democratic National Committee Chair

Statement from DSA's National Political Committee
December 17, 2016

Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) is proud to endorse Representative Keith Ellison for Chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

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Hillary Clinton Won the Rich Suburbs, But Not the Working Class

By Matt Karp 

In the wake of Donald Trump’s stunning and disastrous Electoral College victory, analysts have zeroed in on one demographic group that bears the burden for Hillary Clinton’s defeat: white voters without college degrees.

Crudely grouped under the rubric “white working class,” these voters helped push Trump past Clinton in the battleground states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

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With Surging Membership, DSA Braces for President Trump

By Ben Dalton

After immigrating from China, Lynn Wang’s parents lived in the United States for three decades without encountering discrimination or racial abuse, until the final months of the 2016 presidential campaign.

“My mom was leaving yoga, and a woman from our hometown just pulled up next to her, leaned out of her car and started calling her racial slurs,” said Wang, a student at the University of Southern California. “We’ve been in Manhattan Beach for decades and never had that kind of thing happen before.”

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Fighting Faux Populism

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By Joseph M. Schwartz

Brexit has come to the United States. For 30 years now, in Europe and the U.S., a bipartisan neoliberal consensus has embraced the benefits of globalization and the rise of the “knowledge economy.” If only workers would go back to school, retrain, and send their children to college, the good jobs that disappeared would somehow return. But those good jobs did not arrive, and voters have opted for a faux populism that promises to reverse globalization. The rise of mass parties of the far right coincides with the failure of both conservative and neoliberal-led social democratic parties to offer a viable alternative to austerity for the many and unrestrained affluence for the few. The same is true for Democratic Party elites.

 

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Next Steps in the Political Revolution

By Maria Svart 

I’m writing this column two weeks after the election, and the weight is only getting heavier on my shoulders. From the moment I wake up until I go to bed, my mind races. I worry about my vulnerable loved ones. I imagine my own future. I wonder how we can meet the challenges of our times and emerge in a place of collective liberation.

You, however, are my antidote. Two days after the election, when we held an emergency conference call for chapter leaders, more than 100 DSA and YDSers crowded the phone lines, first to mourn, then to brainstorm about organizing. At this writing, 2,800 additional people have joined DSA. And everywhere, new chapters are sprouting from these seeds and established ones are growing. By the time you read this column, and by the time Donald Trump takes the oath of office, we will have a new cohort of organizers already fighting back.

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What Are We Trying to Figure Out?

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Newspapers React to Trump Victory

By Nikil Saval

Since the election results of November 8, shock has compounded shock. The initial shock was the surprise victory of Donald Trump, and the Republican Party throughout the country. The second has been the immediate turnaround on the part of commentators from shock and surprise to confident analysis and prognostication. It took virtually no time for the intelligentsia—pseudo- and otherwise—to reheat an old dish and serve up the culprit to be feasted on: the white working class. Endlessly discovered and rediscovered, from the hardhats of 1972 through the Reagan Democrats of 1984 and the Angry White Men of 1994, professionals have also wasted little time in projecting fantasy after fantasy onto this impossibly vast and intellectually diverse group of people (around 42 percent of the country). Barbara Ehrenreich dissected the lurid imaginings of the middle classes about the working classes in Fear of Falling (1989) in the wake of the victories of Nixon and Reagan. Now, as then, writers have launched blithely into trivial essays on what the voters wanted, more often through modes of inquiry resembling divination than actual reporting or analysis.

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