Democratic Left

Remembering Martin Luther King's Last, Most Radical Book


by Peter Kolozi and James Freeman

Marking an anniversary of a book’s publication is, appropriately, reserved for books that were widely read when they first appeared many years ago. Books we commemorate with an anniversary are ones that ushered in a new way of thinking and influenced the way society tries to make sense of the world. Martin Luther King Jr.’s last book, Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community did neither of these things.1

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The Second Amendment is a Threat to us All

By Lion Summerbell and Joshua Smith

How do you describe what we saw in Florida? Obscene? Hideous? Monstrous? These words sound perfunctory, performative, like they’ve been read from a script. The fact is that we’re too used to this now. Our language of outrage has been debased. The shooting in Parkland is something we’ve grown accustomed to, just like in Texas, Las Vegas, Sandy Hook, and a thousand other names between.

The plain fact is that our political class did nothing to prevent any of them. And they won’t do anything about this. We know that now. So we say obscene, hideous, monstrous — and the sentiments all vanish into thin air. The scale of the tragedy doesn’t matter. The identity of the victims doesn’t matter. America touts itself as being a meritocracy, and we laugh, but on firearms policy it is truly need-blind. No matter your age, race, gender, creed, or sexual orientation, your inalienable right to life is perfectly alienable to keep guns pouring into public and private life.

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No Workers Win In Imperialist Economic Competition


By  Ramsin Canon

It would be an odd democratic socialism that acted as an engine for more acute international economic competition, because the features of international economic competition are features of late capitalist imperialism. To say it simply, if democratic socialism achieved nationally maintains the international system of international capitalistic competition, it isn’t really democratic socialism at all--it’s a house of cards.

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Luke Harding on Trump, Russia, and 'Collusion'


Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win  

(There is a vigorous debate in the mainstream media about the memo prepared by David Nunez and the Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee.   In the post below, we recommend that readers look past the memos debate to understand the important issues -- what happened between the Russians and the Trump empire and then the Trump campaign.  Readers will have an improved understanding of the important issues in context by reading the views of skilled journalists who know Russian society and government well rather than sound bites from the talking heads on cable T.V.  – Editor)

There may not be a smoking gun, but there’s a mountain of evidence tying Trump to the Kremlin.

By Joshua Holland in the Nation.

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Hubert Harrison: Black Griot of the Harlem Renaissance, By Brian Kwoba

We recommend your attention to this tribute to one of the lesser-known Black socialists and intellectuals. - Editor


The historical restoration of Hubert Henry Harrison (1883–1927) calls for a rethinking of the Black radical tradition in the early twentieth century. As a journalist, educator, and community organizer, this “Black Socrates” influenced a whole generation of Afro-diasporic intellectual and political innovation. Thanks to the decades-long and groundbreaking efforts of independent scholar Jeffrey B. Perry, a growing interest has emerged regarding the life and legacy of Harrison, whom A. Phillip Randolph called the “father of Harlem radicalism.” Because he remains such an under-appreciated figure, his recovery requires us to expand and reframe multiple histories—including that of the socialist left, the New Negro movement, Garveyism, and the “Harlem Renaissance”—that have marginalized him. Harrison had a critical impact on all of these social movements, and exploring his angle of vision illuminates previously invisible connections between them. . .

This article originally appeared in Black Perspectives, published by the African-American Intellectual History Society (7/8/2017) Photo: African American Humanist Society.

For the rest of the article, click here.

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.

The Future China-U.S. Competition and Democratic Socialism

The Washington Socialist <> February 2018

By Daniel Casey Adkins

The US and China will compete more directly both economically and politically in the next decade.  The competition may strain American politics and change the US political balance if the US is to be more than second place to China.  The US will become second if left to its current politics and the goals of its 1%.  To compete with mercantilism, our nation needs to be organized by democratic socialism whose goal is to empower its entire people, not just the 1%.

China’s accomplishments include raising more people out of poverty than any other country in human history.  China seeks to become the Middle Kingdom that it has always been in its own perception; the center with all the rest of the world at its periphery.  Unlike most American billionaires, China can think in terms of decades and centuries.  Using its wisdom and will, China has a program to make China great again that is based on science, technology, and education.  China accounts for 21 percent of the world’s research and development (R&D) (the comparable figure for the US is 26 percent) and China’s R&D is growing at 18 percent annually (the US is growing at 4 percent).  

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Archives for Activists

By Casey Westerman

The winners may write history, as the saying goes, but as the years go by, historians will write and rewrite based on what’s been preserved in archives. Memories fade, members drift away, and for future chroniclers, the best source of information about the history of any organization is that organization’s archives. Any group interested in preserving its own past should take care to preserve its archives.

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Being Edged Toward War With North Korea

by David McReynolds

One feels a bit helpless trying to deal with Trump and his push toward war -- who is listening? If you think the points I'm making should be shared, by all means share them widely.

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