Democratic Left

Honoring American Black Socialists

W.E.B DuBois

A. Philip Randolph

Paul Robeson

Black socialists have long provided important leadership in the several struggles to improve the lives of African Americans in the U.S.

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To Censure Donald Trump

Jules Bernstein talks with Eleanor LeCain about an unusual strategy

 

Disgusted by Donald Trump’s numerous violations of the U.S. Constitution and his other misdeeds, longtime DSA member and labor lawyer Jules Bernstein initiated his own citizen activism project this past summer via an online petition to get Congress to censure Trump. Journalist and political consultant Eleanor LeCain talked with him about this form of activism. As we went to press, the petition had 55,600 signatures and can be located at censuredonaldtrump.com.—Ed.

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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.

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Mike Harrington and his Legacy

By Maurice Isserman

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Michael Harrington       Photo Credit: Gretchen Dohart

If there is a heaven, and it reserves a place for virtuous skeptics, I imagine the late Michael Harrington looking down with celestial satisfaction at the recent growth of Democratic Socialists of America, having played such an essential role in its founding 35 years before.

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The Republican Shut Down of the U.S. Government

 

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Popular sign at Women’s March

by DSA's Immigrants’ Rights Committee

Let us be clear.  The shut down of the U.S. government on January 19  was due to a dispute over spending because Donald Trump ordered the end of the the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The proposed spending bill assumes the end of DACA and demands a vast increase in spending on the border, including a wall.  At present the  critical issue  is restoring DACA.  Note: restoring.  We had a DACA program that protected the lives of some 800,000 young people who came to the U.S. as children.  Trump created this crisis and the Republicans are using the crisis to promote their anti-immigrant agenda.

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The “Merchants of Death” Survive and Prosper

By Lawrence Wittner

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During the mid-1930s, a best-selling exposé of the international arms trade, combined with a U.S. Congressional investigation of munitions-makers led by Senator Gerald Nye, had a major impact on American public opinion.  Convinced that military contractors were stirring up weapons sales and war for their own profit, many people grew critical of these “merchants of death.”

Today, some eight decades later, their successors, now more politely called “defense contractors,” are alive and well.  According to a study by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, sales of weapons and military services by the world’s largest 100 corporate military purveyors in 2016 (the latest year for which figures are available) rose to $375 billion.  U.S. corporations increased their share of that total to almost 58 percent, supplying weapons to at least 100 nations around the world.

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The Rise of the Solidarity Economy Working Group

Brandon Payton-Carillo

In 2017, several leaders in the DSA came together to form the Solidarity Economy Working Group(SEWG) . In our mission, as much a reaction to more social democratic initiatives as well as a love of anti-capitalist economics, we set out to create the most democratic socialist working group in DSA.

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The New Poor People’s Campaign:

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In Celebration of the Life and Contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The new Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival is an outgrowth of Rev. William J. Barber II’s “Forward Together, Not One Step Back”/ Moral Monday campaigns that confronted the conservative North Carolina legislature during 2013- 2016 and became a model for similar campaigns in several other states.   The new Poor People’s campaign was organized nationally in 2017.  The campaign website provides a good description of the progressive principles on which it is based.  The following history of the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign is from their website – edited for length. -  Editor

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