Democratic Left



We are presently developing an editorial policy. This roundtable is a discussion of how to handle political differences in a multi-tendency organization and our role as an editorial board in that process.

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Op-Ed: An Untold Specter of Labor Unrest

By Chris Maisano

As the Supreme Court deliberates over Janus v. AFSCME, the contours of the likely post-Janus order are beginning to come into view.

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The Death of Stalin: Socialist History as Opera Buffa

By Jarek Ervin

There’s only one major problem with Armando Iannucci’s 2017 film Death of Stalin: it isn’t about Stalin, dead or alive.

Of course, on one level, the movie is obviously about Stalin. The topic is a power struggle that ensued following the dictator’s death in 1953, eventually culminating in the military coup that brought Nikita Khrushchev to power. Given that this prickly subject matter is presented as comedy, it’s also generally well-executed (though the hamfisted finale suggests reports of Iannucci’s virtuosity are exaggerated).


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Charlottesville DSA: Transforming Virginia Politics

(Photo by Charlottesville DSA).

By Michael Payne

On August 12, 2017, Heather Heyer was killed in Charlottesville, Virginia. The tragedy made national news. At Heather Heyer's memorial service, Heather's mother Susan Bro defiantly said, “They tried to kill my child to shut her up. Well, guess what? You just magnified her.”

Her words have proven to be prophetic. Since Heather’s death, thousands of residents have gotten involved in local politics for the first time, and the pervasive institutional racism long present in Charlottesville is being openly challenged and dismantled.

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Remembering Wars, From My Lai to Iraq

Fifteen years ago this week, the U.S. invasion of Iraq began. I was teaching a class at the City College of New York, and we were reading Yeats. Despite the fast-breaking news of U.S. bombs falling on that nation, we nonetheless had to discuss what was on the class syllabus – Yeats’ response to the 1916 Easter Rising.  I and my students noticed many literary parallels to that 2003 moment. My students even spoke up against the Iraq war, and the pride I felt at their moral courage during those early days of the then-popular invasion cannot be overstated.

As that morning came back for me this week, I imagined that a similar courage likely came to those who discovered another tragedy that happened 50 years ago this week: the massacre of 500 civilians by U.S. troops in My Lai on March 16, 1968. Most of the public only learned about this tragedy 19 months later due to the stellar reporting of Army veteran Seymour Hersh.


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A Reflection from the DSA Veterans Working Group on the 15th Anniversary of the Invasion of Iraq

Today is the fifteenth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. On March 20, 2003, the United States began a large-scale bombing campaign, proudly referred to as “shock and awe.” The hubris of those initial days was misplaced. On this fifteenth anniversary, let there be no doubt: the war in Iraq was an abject catastrophe.


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Letter from the Incoming Editor-in-Chief

Publishing pieces to the DSA website is a thankless job of behind the scenes work that often lurches along unnoticed. The outgoing editors of the Democratic Left, under the leadership of Barbara Joye, have been the stewards of this platform for a long time and I want to acknowledge their hard work. Thank you.

DSA is in the midst of a communications overhaul. Soon we will have new web forums, a bulletin, and a redesigned website. The print publication, Democratic Left, has already undergone an editorial transition.

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New Democratic Left Magazine: Focus on Medicare for All

From the National Director: This is How We Win

Socialists care about power. We want to win it, and we want to wield it. We want power because that is the only way to get free. But what is power? How do we build it?

Fighting Unequal Access

A program of universal healthcare such as Medicare for All would have a significant impact on African Americans.

Women’s Double Healthcare Jeopardy

Women of color and disabled women are even less likely than white women to have any paid time off from paid work to fulfill health or care needs.

Does Medicare for All Advance Socialist Politics?

If we are to talk about the strategic importance of M4A for socialist politics, we must make an honest assessment of the contemporary power of the left.

Devil in the Details: Disabilities and M4A

Medicare For All is a fight that needs to be joined. But it presents special challenges for disabled people, and a universal program will require remedial legislation on the congressional level with attention to the regulations that provide the foundations of the program.

Labor’s Stake in Medicare for All

If a united labor movement were to get behind the campaign, it would be a game changer. Not only would it benefit millions of people, it would revitalize a beleaguered labor movement.

Hospital Closings Threaten Survival of Rural Areas

Rural hospital closings are killing rural America. A strong push by DSA to combat the trend through building support for single-payer healthcare could give rural Americans hope.

Changing the Conversation: Igniting a Poor People’s Campaign

One commemoration to which democratic socialists should pay particular attention, in part because their forebears had so much to do with it, may be slighted in the mainstream media: the Poor People’s Campaign launched by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).

DSA Across the USA

A round-up of DSA Chapter actions and activities across the country.

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