Democratic Left

The Blackhawks, Masculinity Studies and Socialism

By Judith Kegan Gardiner

As I walked to my Chicago neighborhood grocery store in late June, the streets were filled with people wearing red and black clothing. Crowds in a holiday mood spilled out of bars and partied in the streets.  Many people wore shirts depicting a stereotyped Native American man wearing face paint and feathers, that is, the insignia of the Chicago Blackhawks, which had just won the Stanley Cup trophy of the National Hockey League. Over a million fans reportedly gathered to celebrate the victory.

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DSA Supports BART Strikers

The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) joins with the broad labor and social justice community in the Bay Area (including Jobs with Justice and the Chinese Progressive Association) in supporting the strikers of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART).

The Strike has been settled.  See convention information below.

Even after the BART employees, represented by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1021 and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555, and BART management were nearing a difficult economic agreement, management insisted that workers sacrifice long established work rules. The union negotiators offered to submit the rules to impartial binding arbitration, but the BART management team, led by a highly paid union busting attorney, refused. This precipitated the strike.

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Manning, Empire, and the Politics of Pathologization

By Brandon Kemp

Chelsea-Manning-She2.jpgDuring the recent sentencing hearing of Chelsea Manning (formerly known as Bradley Manning), U.S. military prosecutor Joe Morrow referred to her role in leaking classified military documents to the public as “crimes that undermine the entire system.” In a sense, Morrow was not too far from the mark. Of course, acts of conscience directed against illegal wars, human atrocities, and official cover-ups are “crimes” only in a deeply criminal capitalist system. But he is right insofar as it’s true that the entire bloodbath that is the imperial spectacle, to say nothing of its gendered underpinnings, has in a sense been put on trial since WikiLeaks and Private Manning’s subsequent decision to out herself as a trans woman, an act of bravery of a different but arguably related kind.

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Rebirth and Renewal and Participatory Democracy in a Multicultural U.S.

Can't attend the full DSA convention? Here are some options for Friday and Saturday nights.

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Convention Speakers and Schedule

Confirmed Speakers:

David Bacon - Immigration writer and photojournalist for TruthOut, The Nation, The American Prospect, and others.

Clayborne Carson - Professor of history at Stanford University and director of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute.

Steve Early - Author of The Civil Wars in U.S. Labor and Embedded With Organized Labor: Journalistic Reflections on the Class War at Home.

Angie Fa - Recruiter for the National Nurses United and California Nurses Association,  Asian American Studies teacher, former member of the San Francisco School Board and former Chair of the DSA Youth Section.

Tom Hayden - Former California state senator and one of the founders of Students for a Democratic Society.

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What if we default on our debt?

“Sitting on the Pavement, Thinking About the Government” 

What if we default on our debt?  (Dylan, “Subterranean Homesick Blues”)













Bill Barclay

The debt ceiling, the dollar and hegemonic currencies

Let’s begin by clearing up a possible lingering misconception about debt and defaults.  If Congress does not raise the debt ceiling and we default, does that mean the U.S. is broke?  No.  The U.S., like any country that 1) controls the creation of its own currency and 2) issues its debt in its own currency, cannot go broke.  However, political calculations can impose deadbeat status on such a country. 

What about other countries, why don’t they have this problem?  The answer is equally simple.  With the exception of Denmark, no other wealthy industrial society has a debt ceiling – and Denmark’s is set at over twice their actual level of government debt – and it is not a political football.  So yes, the U.S. is, as our national meme says, exceptional.  The debt ceiling – and any associated problems – are our own creation.  

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Fed Up with Wall Street, Democrats Look to the Left

 Harold Meyerson

The Democratic Party's romance with Wall Street may finally be breaking up. In the past 10 days, a diverse group of Democratic senators scuttled Larry Summers's candidacy  for Federal Reserve chair and New York Democrats voted for the mayoral candidate  whose campaign was an attack on Michael Bloomberg's care and feeding of the super-rich at the expense of the rest of the city. Former commerce secretary (and JP Morgan Chase executive) William Daley's surprise withdrawal  from the Illinois Democratic gubernatorial primary is one more indication of Wall Street's diminished sway.

Democrats have reached a watershed. After two decades in which the party has moved leftward on social issues but has largely accepted the financial sector's economic preferences - for smaller government; a greater role for markets; and reduced regulation, particularly of finance - the abject failures of the market economy are pushing the party leftward. 

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Why the Revival of US Labor Might Start with Nonunion Workers

By Amy B. Dean

For workers in America, it can be hard to know where to turn when a boss pays you late or not at all, doesn’t provide benefits, or just yells at you for no good reason.

That’s why Working America, a “community affiliate” of the AFL-CIO that focuses specifically on nonunion workers, launched a website last month that makes it easy to get that kind of information. is a bit like WebMD, but instead of typing in your aches and pains, you tell it about problems at your workplace. Launched on June 5, the site quickly garnered 5,000 visitors, according to Working America organizer Chris Stergalas.

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