The Democratic Socialist Alternative - What Is It?

By Jack Rothman

The following is the first few paragraphs of a paper which was originally presented at the Left Coast Forum and later published by the LA Progressive. While it is not an official DSA publication, we believe it can serve as a useful basis for discussion and reflection, especially with new members. You can read the whole document here.
- Editor

American Capitalism in Crisis       

Americans in large numbers are becoming puzzled and agitated. Every day newspaper headlines blare out that the US is in trouble, together with our Western free market allies. The government doesn’t work, as political divisiveness freezes decision-making. The extent of inequality is “obscene,” to borrow an oft-used description by Bernie Sanders. The elected president comes over as an egomaniac and buffoon. The middle class is in continuing decline, struggling to survive through multiple jobs. The infrastructure is decaying and CEOs dismantle industry, transporting production to more profitable global domains. Racism abounds, punctuated by recurring protests against police brutality. Workers face unemployment, declining wages, reduced benefits, and weakened unions to fight their cause. Homelessness is a continuing, intractable shame. All around us students agonize about being able to afford college and old people worry about whether Social Security will hold firm for them.

At the same time, America’s foreign policy (its imperialist cast ever more obvious) has fomented a sequence of unwinnable wars that have damaged our reputation and drained our treasury—while destroying the lives of so many of our young people and of populations around the world. Increasingly Americans have disturbing doubts about what has been happening to and around them. Why else do almost a hundred million eligible voters fail to go to the polls?  Scholars generally agree that capitalism is in deep crisis and many see it positioned at cliff’s edge.

The dysfunctions and heartaches of capitalism are no mystery. It stands to reason that a greed-based model emphasizing maximum profit accumulation as a philosophical value, together with dog-eat-dog competition, inevitably will cause an amassing of social ills. . . .

Jack Rothman is professor emeritus at the UCLA School of Public Affairs and a member of Los Angeles DSA.

Individually signed posts do not necessarily reflect the views of DSA as an organization or its leadership. Democratic Left blog post submission guidelines can be found here.

New Member Orientation Call

February 25, 2018

You've joined DSA - Great. Now register for this New Member Orientation call and find out more about our politics and our vision.  And, most importantly, how you can become involved. 

Sunday February 25th

9 PM ET; 8 PM CT; 7 PM MT; 6 PM PT.

Click here to RSVP

Webinar on Compliance and Endorsement Process

February 28, 2018

Click here to RSVP

The National Electoral Committee is sponsoring the first of a series of webinars on electoral organizing. This session will focus on compliance issues and chapter endorsement processes.

This call in on Feb 28th at 8pm ET/7pm CT/6pm MT/5pm PT

Click here to RSVP

Talking About Socialism Webinar

March 06, 2018

Click here to RSVP.

Join Steve Max, a founder of the legendary community organizing school, the Midwest Academy, to practice talking about socialism in plain language. Create your own short rap. Use your personal experience and story to explain democratic socialism. Prepare for those conversations about socialism that happen when you table or canvass. This workshop is for those who have already had an introduction to democratic socialism, whether from DSA's webinar or from other sources. Questions? Contact Theresa Alt <talt@igc.org607-280-7649.

This training is at 8:00pm Eastern, 7:00pm Central, 6:00pm Mountain, 5:00pm Pacific, 4:00pm Alaska, and 3:00pm Hawaii Time.

Click here to RSVP.