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Hope in a Dark Era: In the Face of Barbarism, Thousands Turn to Democratic Socialism


#1

Hope in a Dark Era: In the Face of Barbarism, Thousands Turn to Democratic Socialism

Jake Johnson

In his book The American Left and Some British Comparisons, published in 1971, the renowned economist John Kenneth Galbraith sought to analyze the persistent shortcomings of the Democratic Party. The stakes, he believed, were quite high, as the collapse of the New Deal order seemed imminent.

Almost fifty years later, Galbraith's study makes for striking reading. Take, for example, the following observation.


#2

At present, it is difficult to justify even the most cautious optimism. But if one looks hard enough, and in the right places, one will find that people are turning not to despair, but to mass politics. - Jake Johnson

Only 82 people left the shores of Mexico on a the yacht, Granma, in an effort to end the oppressive neo-colonial government in Cuba. Bastista's military killed all but twelve. After loosing most of their supplies, these 12 then came under attack by the Bastista military too. What did Fidel Castro say to his compatriots?

"Se jodio Bastista. Ya ganamos la guerra." (Bastista is f___ed. We've won the war.) - Fidel Castro

Trump didn't win because the majority of the people want to hand what little they have to plutocrats, endure more repression domestically, and have they're kids go far away to get killed so that rich can get richer. Life under The Donald will undoubtedly become much more difficult. But, lets not fool ourselves, both the Democrat and Republican Parties exist to promote the status quo military imperial plutocracy and, therefore, should be abandoned. Whether through the DSA, the Greens, or other groups, we need build grassroots movements. As Trump tanks the economic, wrecks havoc on social structures domestically, and sends more kids to fight his wars, more people will be motivated to join grassroots organizations fighting for social justice. As bad as things look now, and as bad as they will get, we have a unique opportunity to build strong community based organizations and to make significant advances in social justice. It is already happening. ÂĄYa ganamos!


#3

Bernie could/should have used that awesomely simple graphic.


#4

The last time a POTUS candidate use a graphic was Ross Perot. Except for the Green and Reform parties it has been all smoke and mirrors ever since.

The Democratic Party once again confirmed it will not change when the House Democrats voted yesterday to retain Nancy Pelosi as House Minority Leader.


#5

Grassroots organizations are part of the formula to advance socialist and progressive ideals, but they alone are not enough. They tend to be scattered across the political landscape, operating in exclusion from each other and, too often, have short lifespans. More importantly, they take time to grow and time is running out. Either a strong third party develops to take down the 1% and their two corrupt parties or this country continues to spiral down into fascism and, possibly, violent civil war.

it pains me to say this because I am a Green, but it is time for the Green party to either re-organize and re-strategize or partner up with other parties under a new banner for the sake of a strong united front. A strong united front is the key. Without a politically viable and centralized home for all socialist and progressive factions to stand up against the Republicans and Democrats, there is no hope of breaking the duopoly. This is the missing part of the formula and it continues to elude us.


#6

Thanks for this Jake and for remembering the important work of JKG.

Never going back to the Democratic Party, which I have supported throughout my life. "Winning" for them merely means being first in line at the gravy train hand-out. Will investigate the DSA movement in the 'Burgh that was mentioned.


#7

The Democratic Socialists of America and the Green Party would be a good fit, in my opinion, and a good start to building a strong third, (progressive), party.


#8

We need all the small/medium size groups and large groups to come together and work as one and agree on an agenda. Together America works! DSA is a beginning but DSA should work to take over the Democrat Party. This two party system has been in place how long? Change it from within and if we can't then we need something bigger then the Greens and DSA, it has been proven over and over again that they don't work alone.


#9

Democratic--by the people
Socialist--for the people
Capitalist--of the people

Direct Democracy


#10

This article is relevant also to the UK, New Zealand, Australia and Canada where former Labour Parties and their equivalents have sold their souls to the corporate devil and where the majority of Labour MPs are merely time-servers waiting for their lucrative Parliamentary pensions. Jeremy Corbyn seems to be of the few who have remained honest to the reasons that the Labour movement was created.


#11

Thank you Jake Johnson, you continue to write timely and insightful articles that enhance our conversation.

The Fair Labor Act Of 1938 so infuriated the Manufacturers Association and The Chamber Of Commerce, that they began almost immediately to dismantle it. That work is on-going. One of FDR's key appointments was Frances Perkins, please read her impressive story. The War delayed the struggle between the New Dealers and business until FDR's death and the Democrats never again had that kind of organized political influence. It will be up to those of us who are the benefactors of The New Deal to fight again for their basis in law and the natural extension into health care that FDR envisioned.

https://www.dol.gov/oasam/programs/history/flsa1938.htm


#12

Bernie should have had the courage, honesty, and brains to use not only that simple graphic that you reference, but also the simple and full 'action sentence' WITH an effin 'object' of "Political Revolution against EMPIRE" --- instead of his 'collapsing like a cheap suitcase' and using the vague, meaningless gutless, and incomplete two-word hollow sound-bite campaign slogan of merely "Political Revolution" (against what, Bernie? Against WTF, Bernie?? You useful idiot sheepdog!)

This is the most meaningful and constructive article on CD in ages --- which leads to the only solution of democratic socialism. I've ordered Philips and Brick's book, although as a student in and of the 60's, it may or may not add to my agreement in this only sane and effective path forward.

I can't say enough of JKG, although I've never read his book on American / British Left Comparisons (post WWII to early '70s), I'm also sure that it comports with my own belief that England and the other former European Empires which shit-canned imperialism in favor of social democracy could have led America not to the phony "third way" but to the only serious 'anti-Empire way' --- but instead America perverted this path of sanity for the people and instead infected Europe with turning back to a new form of Global Empire that we have as a metastasized stage-four cancer today.

And as far as the Democratic 'D' Vichy Party of Clinton and Obama are concerned, all I can say is that both their deadly and deceitful legacies will mirror what I wrote in the Boston Globe (Jan 2001) about Bill's own Legacy:

"Clinton's legacy? It will be as the Neville Chamberlain of the Democratic party, and for the same reason: that he caved-in to fascism ---- not the old personalized, nationalist fascism, but a newer ‘friendly fascism’ of global corporate empire.

Clinton tried to triangulate corporate fascism with a slightly friendlier version, which could feel our pain while applying it also. He learned too late that you can’t co-opt fascists by applying half their programs for them. They will only grouse and continue to do the second half with rougher hands on the controls.

Clinton has left America without the defense of a democratic party ---- without an opposition party to the rule of global corporate empire.

Clinton and the DLC hijacking of the Democratic party were a 'one trick pony', as proven by Gore's loss.

Christopher Hitchens has summarized better than anyone, "The Democratic party is not so much dead, as actually, visibly, palpably rotting on the slab".

Clinton, like Chamberlain stepping off the plane, is smiling to the crowd, while waving the death certificate of the Democratic party, which he has just negotiated."

Socialism, as Warren Beatty sang in the 'Luncheon Fund Raising' scene in "Bulworth" is the essential 'dirty word' to save of burning democracy from this Disguised Global Capitalist Empire.


#13

Bernie should have had the courage, honesty, and brains to use not only that simple graphic that you reference, but also the simple and full 'action sentence' WITH an effin 'object' of "Political Revolution against EMPIRE" --- instead of his 'collapsing like a cheap suitcase' and using the vague, meaningless gutless, and incomplete two-word hollow sound-bite campaign slogan of merely "Political Revolution" (against what, Bernie? Against WTF, Bernie?? You useful idiot sheepdog!)

This is the most meaningful and constructive article on CD in ages --- which leads to the only solution of democratic socialism. I've ordered Philips and Brick's book, although as a student in and of the 60's, it may or may not add to my agreement in this only sane and effective path forward.

I can't say enough of JKG, although I've never read his book on American / British Left Comparisons (post WWII to early '70s), I'm also sure that it comports with my own belief that England and the other former European Empires which shit-canned imperialism in favor of social democracy could have led America not to the phony "third way" but to the only serious 'anti-Empire way' --- but instead America perverted this path of sanity for the people and instead infected Europe with turning back to a new form of Global Empire that we have as a metastasized stage-four cancer today.

And as far as the Democratic 'D' Vichy Party of Clinton and Obama are concerned, all I can say is that both their deadly and deceitful legacies will mirror what I wrote in the Boston Globe (Jan 2001) about Bill's own Legacy:

"Clinton's legacy? It will be as the Neville Chamberlain of the Democratic party, and for the same reason: that he caved-in to fascism ---- not the old personalized, nationalist fascism, but a newer ‘friendly fascism’ of global corporate empire.

Clinton tried to triangulate corporate fascism with a slightly friendlier version, which could feel our pain while applying it also. He learned too late that you can’t co-opt fascists by applying half their programs for them. They will only grouse and continue to do the second half with rougher hands on the controls.

Clinton has left America without the defense of a democratic party ---- without an opposition party to the rule of global corporate empire.

Clinton and the DLC hijacking of the Democratic party were a 'one trick pony', as proven by Gore's loss.

Christopher Hitchens has summarized better than anyone, "The Democratic party is not so much dead, as actually, visibly, palpably rotting on the slab".

Clinton, like Chamberlain stepping off the plane, is smiling to the crowd, while waving the death certificate of the Democratic party, which he has just negotiated."

Socialism, as Warren Beatty sang in the 'Luncheon Fund Raising' scene in "Bulworth" is the essential 'dirty word' to save of burning democracy from this Disguised Global Capitalist Empire.


#14

No clearer sign is needed. Chuck Shumer and Nancy Pelosi did it for me. I was just waiting to see who they put in these prime positions, now if Dean goes in as Chair of the DNC I will never give another dime to the Dems. Not a vote or a dime. DSA or Green Party, or any other group that offers us a way to transform our government into a true democracy will work for me, or I should say I will work for them.


#15

I have been with the GP also. It's been around for over thirty years, yet thereare no reps in congress.


#16

Yes, I agree.


#17

In the sixties I voted Democratic Socialist for two presidential elections before Mccarthy attracted my attention and have stuck with the Democrats as the party that was most likely to stand for the people and win.the Clintons and their minions changed that and the betrayal by Obama with a severely flawed "trade" agreement was the final straw. I shall be voting for the Socialist Party for the rest of my life and waiting for the rest of America to catch the Hell up to us.


#18

T-Shirt Time in the Commons.


#19

Wishful thinking can not feed people. Socialism miserably failed wherever tried. I was born and finished university in one of those socialist countries that fell apart after its old dictator, Tito died. The political correctness and cultural relativism had fried the brains of such misguided people, just as an EX-KGB agent had warned Americans already in 1985 when he talked with Charley Rose about his KGB "work" of demoralization of Americans about their system of government as envisioned by the Founders of USA in 1776 and guaranteed individual freedom under the US Constitution in 1789. An Ex-KGB agent warned us about this in 1985: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlpODYhnPEo

Discouragement and demoralization of Americans was a part and parcel of his "work" as a KGB agent in USA during cold war, which shows particularly strongly in the US Academia. It took 40 years to complete and it is almost finished as these elections clearly show. Lies of Hilary Clinton and B. Hussein Obama win over the truth of Trump and Dr. Ben Carson. The main stream media defamation of Trump and spinning of everything he said and did is another example of this brainwashing at US academia in the politically correct cultural relativism.

Don;t forget Nationalist Socialsit Workers party, NAZIs...


#20

My post from 19 days ago from the article "Rep. Keith Ellison, Progressive Favorite, Announces Run for DNC Chair":

"'In addition to Sanders and other progressive allies in the House, Ellison also received the endorsement of Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, and outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Utah.'

Hmmm...I'll stick with
http://www.dsausa.org/ for grassroots support and organization."

The Democratic party will not survive with neoliberals and neoconservatives in power. I plan to tell that to Tom Udall if he attempts to run for governor of NM in 2 yrs.