September 18, 2022

Elizabeth II: A Symbol of Empire

Queen Elizabeth on a tour of New Zealand in 1953.

On September 8th 2022, Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, more commonly known by her royal title of Queen Elizabeth II, passed away. She was 96 and had lived a long life defined by the heights of privilege and wielded immense power, even if largely ceremonial. In the recent days after her passing, much has been made of…


September 15, 2022

Confusing Job Stats: August 2022

Source;: U,S. Board of Labor Statistics.

Several months ago, the Fed stopped talking about a “soft landing” –slower growth but no recession. Just to confuse the issue, Powell is now talking about a growth recession. What’s that? Normally recession means no growth or negative growth. How about using honest labels?


September 12, 2022

Barbara Ehrenreich: Groundbreaking Critic of U.S. Health Care

Barbara Ehrenreich died on September 1, 2022 at age 81. Coming from working-class roots, she was celebrated as an author, most notably for her 2001 Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, which dealt with the working lives of low-wage women workers. Working at these jobs herself to understand them better, she wrote…


September 8, 2022

To Win the Midterms and Beyond

The cover of Power Concedes Nothing.

Power Concedes Nothing: How Grassroots Organizing Wins Elections Linda Burnham, Max Elbaum, and Maria Poblet, eds. OR Books, 2022 If you want a timely and persuasive antidote to the conventional narrative predicting the inevitable loss of Democratic congressional majorities in November, read this book. In it you’ll find 23 essays and interviews summarizing the experience…


September 3, 2022

Mikhail Gorbachev’s Contested Legacy

Gorbachev in 1985, when he first became known to most of the world. (Photo: The White House)

When Mikhail Gorbachev came to power in the Soviet Union in 1985, he understood that the authoritarian repressive state and overly centralized planning system were responsible for the mulitplying economic and social problems afflicting the country. He believed that the solution lay in the trilogy of glasnost (openness), democratization, and economic reform, which he argued…


September 1, 2022

For Labor Day Weekend, Try a Labor Movie Festival!

Labor Day poster via Lehigh Valley DSA

Whether you’re watching in your own home or (better yet) sponsoring a showing with a discussion, labor films are a great way to reconnect with the passion and purpose of the labor movement. Nearly a decade ago, DL polled our then-editors, the Democratic Left board, DSA Fund board, and members of the National Political Committee…


August 30, 2022

Activist, Organizer, Scholar, Family Man: Milt Tambor, 1938-2022

The author's favorite Milt photo, with his fist raised. By Misty Novich, 2013.

Milt Tambor, founder of Atlanta DSA, died suddenly on August 23. Ever since he recruited me to help start the chapter in 2006, he was a close friend, mentor, confidante, and inspiration. I am both deeply sad and proud to have been asked to share this tribute with the readers of Democratic Left. If Milt…


August 22, 2022

Smart Cities – A Pipe Dream?

Cover of John Lorinc's Dream States: Smart Cities, Technology, and the Pursuit of Urban Utopias

As we work on programs for affordable housing, public transportation, clean water, this outline that Lorinc develops can guide us to think about each of these as a component of a larger drive for smart cities that takes into account the needs and desires of all members of a community. Planned cities of the past have often resulted in cities tailored to the needs of the managerial class.


August 17, 2022

Hybrid Convention: Toward a Socialist Future that Includes Us All

So many questions! Photo by Olya Kobruseva (pexels.com)

When we propose a hybrid convention, we do not do so because of caucus affiliations but because living as disabled people under capitalism forces us to confront an uncomfortable truth: Those who have good health, the resiliency of youth, and ability to withstand the intensity of labor demanded by capital, can easily overlook those of us without those abilities or those of us disadvantaged by structures of white supremacy and discrimination. What may seem like a minor inconvenience to one can pose an existential threat to another.