Democratic Left

WTF Is Neoliberalism?

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By Brandon Richard

Neoliberalism is inescapable. Yet as frequently as the term is used, there’s a remarkable amount of disagreement about its usefulness – and sometimes its very meaning. Some argue that the word should be abandoned as jargon, or a meaningless term of abuse. Others protest that it is politically confusing, since it describes Reaganomics and Thatcherism just as easily as Clintonism and Blairism. Nevertheless, the term is too important and too widely used to be jettisoned. So let’s nail it down: What actually is neoliberalism?

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Puerto Rico: Uncle Sam's Colony

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By Jose Cortes Sanchez

A century ago on March 2, 1917, President Wilson signed the Jones Act, granting citizenship to the 1.2 million residents of U.S.-occupied Puerto Rico, though almost 300 rejected the sainted Wilson’s offer. A month later, the U.S. entered WWI, and after some 18,000 Puerto Ricans fought on the metropole’s behalf, they came home to an island of second-class citizens ruled by sugar monopolies. We’ll see if today’s islanders will have the foresight and resolve of their forebears as they prepare to vote in a referendum this June on either statehood or independence. What is clear is that Puerto Rico’s status as an “unincorporated territory” has exacerbated the effects of a cruel imposed austerity requirement to pay back the island’s staggering $72 billion of publicly-held debt. The status quo is unsustainable. 

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DSA Condemns the Bombing of Afghanistan

A Statement of the National Political Committee of Democratic Socialists of America

April 14, 2017

DSA condemns the first military use of the largest non-nuclear bomb in Afghanistan on April 13. Allegedly used to attack a cave used by ISIS in Afghanistan, the GBU-43 bomb (which contains 11 tons of explosives) poses a threat to all human existence within a one-mile radius of its target. The Trump administration’s praise for massive bombings, first in Syria and now in Afghanistan, as “the US military doing their job as usual” shows the Trump administration’s commitment to the United States’ tradition of using brutal and indiscriminate military force as the primary response to complex foreign policy problems.

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Socialists and Immigration

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By Duane Campbell

In spite of the economic boom for the wealthy, working people in the U.S. have yet to receive a significant improvement in their standard of living for over 30 years.  At the same time, democratic forces are once again confronted with anti-immigrant campaigns- this time fostered and promoted by a president of the U.S.

As socialists, we stand with and among the U.S. working class in opposition to the rule of the transnational corporations and their exploitation of the economy and their despoliation of our lives, our society and our environment.

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DSA Chapters Raise Money for Abortion Funds

By Caroline Reid

Socialist feminists know that people deserve free abortion on demand, a full range of reproductive health care and family services, and an economic system allowing for full employment and compensation for caregiving of the elderly and young. "Reproductive justice" is a concept that moves beyond the notions of "choice" and "rights." It links the calls for reproductive choice (a person's right to control their own body) to the broader issues of economic justice and human rights (creating conditions that enable people to have children, not only to not have them). Access to abortion is one small, but critical, part of reproductive justice.

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Kitchen Table Socialism: Taxes

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By Steve Max

Do you find yourself having arguments about public policy with your loved ones or relatives you might see once a year? “Kitchen Table Socialism” is here to help. When you gather around the table, these talking points could be useful, especially at tax time. —Ed.

Many of us have seen the Disney film about Robin Hood and heard the villain, King John, rant, “Double the taxes. Triple the taxes.” With this message imprinted on young minds and old, it seems logical to read all of human history as one long tax revolt. Indeed, that is how the right would like us to think of it and how the history of our own country is often presented. Remember that tea dumped in Boston Harbor?

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Democratic Socialists of America Condemns the U.S. Bombing of Syria

A Statement of the National Political Committee of Democratic Socialists of America

April 8, 2017

Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) has consistently opposed U.S. military intervention in the civil war in Syria and condemns the Tomahawk cruise missile attack by the Trump administration. DSA has also supported from spring 2011 onwards the massive and democratic Syrian uprising against the brutal Assad regime, a regime that has shown no hesitation to use massive force, including chemical weapons, to suppress its people.

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The Implications of Legal Torture

By John L. Elwell

With Donald Trump’s repeated attempts at executive orders to halt the Refugee Resettlement Program and to halt immigration from certain majority Muslim nations, the focus of many (and rightly so) has been centered on that front. Daily news images of refugees, their families, and the protests which took place at what seems like every major airport have shown this new administration that the opposition is real and that it is strong. But with all the attention focused on those executive orders, a secondary piece of news has largely been able to pass by without much attention from the media; and that is our new president’s feelings about torture. President Trump’s views on the subject, in combination with the similar views held by Supreme Court nominee Neil M. Gorsuch, should be of extraordinary concern to us all.

When I was a senior in college, my roommates and I had a fairly large cardboard sign that covered the entire front window of our apartment. On this sign, in giant black Sharpie block letters, were written the words “Torture Creates Terrorists.” It was a heady decision for a group of young, privileged, white males who considered themselves, if not yet radicals or even progressives, at the very least solid liberals. It was 2009, Barack Obama had just become president, and we patiently awaited the withdrawal of United States troops from Afghanistan and Iraq, the closing of Guantanamo Bay, and the passage of healthcare reform. After eight years of a second Bush presidency, some of us considered this the dawn of a new liberal U.S. and we, as naïve college students, wanted to brand ourselves as part of that new U.S.

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