In May, three young progressive women running for the state Legislature in Pennsylvania, each endorsed by the Democratic Socialists of America, won decisive primary victories over men heavily favored by the political establishment.
These developments, along with cracks in the superdelegates system, bode well for using the Democratic Party for change. But first, Big Money must be addressed. Moreover, those so disenfranchised as to have fallen entirely out of the voting habit (yes, it’s a habit) need to be educated on how to effect change for their lives. The socialists have the right ideas. They must reclaim the Democratic Party as the third party concept is great in theory, but impractical in the near future. It’s time to roll up our sleeves and save the commons.
I don’t know, O Wise One. We are looking at decades of results of electing one of the two corporate sock puppets, who do the bidding of the 0.01%. No matter which one wins, the result is more poverty, more expensive health care, more repression. The only difference I see between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party is that the Democrats occasionally use a little Vaseline. The result is always the same and We the People wind up poorer, sicker, and more regulated and restricted. Both parties are led by millionaires and billionaires who owe their wealth and power to the 0.01%.
*If the new DSA can manage to purge the autocrats from the Democratic Party and make it a party of the people, it might be worth rebuilding, but not just to chose a blue sock puppet over the red one.
*I believe it was Einstein who said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result.” That is what we have been doing for decades, and there is almost nothing left for We the People, for the 0.01% own and control almost all of it for their own use.
*Time for a serious change, and it looks like not only the DSA, but a huge segment of the population is going to make that change. Let’s help them do it!
“They have no memory of the widespread failure of Communism.”
Such a superficial expression and the overall angle of this article when defining democratic socialism. This author equates Democratic Socialism with Communism (implemented and interpreted as the dictatorship if the proletarians)? Very strange. And further. Failure of Communism? Which one?
Also, Social Democratic parties have existed all over Europe for a long time, during and after the fall of the Berlin wall.
I agree - the New York Times isn’t going to be an ally in understanding and presenting the goals and plans of the DSA. There is just no analogy between DSA and the USSR, but the analogy to Scandinavia is reasonable. It isn’t hard to get this right, so I’d be embarrassed for the NY to throw at that trope if I actually believed they wanted to be objective as opposed to wanting to undermine us (which seems more likely).
Very good point. This could just be intentional from the good old establishment serving NY Times. I just thought it was pure gross ignorance of this author. This is a very important topic in this moment in time. And it is precisely in articles like this, seemingly progressive that the devil hides.
“popular control of resources and production”
I don’t think that is the way Bernie Sanders has portrayed democratic socialism. That sounds more like socialism. There seems to an important difference regarding the definition of democratic socialism. Is it like Sweden as Sanders would say or more like Venezuela?
The Times is not friendly with so-called establishment Dems either, especially the Clintons. They have some good reporters, but the political desk is made up of people with deep connections to Republicans on the Hill. Look at how much Benghazi bullshit came straight from Jason Chaffetz’s baloney committee, for example. Much of it turned out to be crap, but the Times gave the nonsense front page billing only to issue quiet corrections after the fact. Hell, we are talking about a paper that contracted with Steve Bannon (read: Mercers) supported Breibart writer, Peter Schweizer, for his Clinton Cash baloney. The Times said no money was exchanged, but did they promote the book? You bet. Do you think Bannon’s publishing arm knew what it was doing? You bet. Do you think the Times knew it was perpetuating propaganda? I’ll put money on it.
If you think the political desk will be any nicer to Bernie, think again. There’s something deeply wrong with it.
Unfortunately, the oligarchy rigged the system. Letting us win a few will only make us feel the system is working.
minitrue, I agree! What the hell is she doing in the Democratic Party? Why doesn’t she go over to the Greens and win there? If she is a shoe in, and she could win as a Green, wow, would that ever send a message!! What do you think?
PS -I ran my plea on a YouTube video on Ocasio-Cortez. Here is the reply I got:
The “green” party is just as misanthropic, violent, and hateful as communists. To think one could give legitimacy to the other is laughable.
I agree with your assessment of the last few decades when it comes to GOP and the DNC being owned by corporate America. But I also agree with WiseOwl in that what the article is talking about is the youth movement and the socialism they are bringing with them. While one can always make the argument that “they’ll get bought out just like all of those who came before them,” I prefer to have hope that perhaps with the new views of socialism that are beginning to take root, we will see the political middle be pulled Left-wards for a while. Change doesn’t happen overnight and I’m willing to support those who are leading the fight for a more just and equitable society, even if their values begin to wane eventually. If they advance a socialist agenda for a while and then pass the torch to those who follow, we’ll eventually get there–that is, if the nation manages to survive the current descent into chaos and madness that the present administration and its GOP enablers is taking us all for a ride on.
To add, I urge everyone to listen to Josh Marshall’s latest podcast:
We are in a spot where our conversations, while very important, need to be put in context. We basically are arguing about imperfect allies and our hopes while the Right amasses unchecked and partly criminal power. They’ve lost multiple elections since 2000, but retain power because they’ve made voting more difficult and have gerrymandered legislatures. Now, they are adding untold corruption with likely foreign interests to the mix. This could equal fundamental changes to our country, a revolution to Right not Left.
Scandinavia is nit a country. If you are referring to Sweden, Denmark, Norway, they are not socialist countries. They are all capitalist. what makes then different is the huge amount of taxes imposed on their citizens to cover social programs.
“Its constitution envisions “a humane social order based on popular control of resources and production, economic planning, equitable distribution, feminism, racial equality and non-oppressive relationships”
If that’s not Socialism i don’t know what is.
The main problems with Socialism is that nobody own anything hence nobody cares about what happens to it. There has yet to be a successful Socialist country. Humans are not built for that kind of order. They want to compete and succeed. If Joe sees John, slacking but getting the same rewards, guess what? Joe gonna stop putting any effort in. I’ve seen it happen first hand.
“Many of the D.S.A.’s goals, reflected in Ocasio-Cortez’s platform, are indistinguishable from those of progressive democrats. But if the D.S.A. is happy to work alongside liberals, its members are generally serious about the “socialist” part of democratic socialist. Its constitution envisions “a humane social order based on popular control of resources and production, economic planning, equitable distribution, feminism, racial equality and non-oppressive relationships.””
I guess good ol Bernie missed to read the DSA consitution. More likely he chose not to mention that part as it would have alienated a lot of people. Instead he pushed the “free stuff” for which most of us will go for.
That may be true but the establishment DINO Dems will not support or work for people’s issues, they will sabotage as usual, a first salvo coming from Tammy Duckworth who rejects change and works for the DP status quo to her shame…nothing worse than a sellout shill! .
"Senator Tammy Duckworth cautioned her party not to become too starry-eyed about the success in New York of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Duckworth rejects the issues Ocasio-Cortez supports…medicare for all, fully funded education, jobs guarantee, housing as a human right, Justice and immigration reform, and environmental action via a “New Green Deal” and more.
Duckworth represents the worst of the DP elite sellouts to capitalist usury and status quo. Those are the Quislings that must be challenged and shown they are wrong about what the people will support!
Actually, what you are describing is communism, not socialism. Communism was premised on common ownership of most property (real and to some extent personal). Socialism is about how we structure our economy to assure that the benefits it creates are not all concentrated at the very top. Most importantly, it focuses on minimizing total costs for basic necessities that we all need. For example, our capitalist healthcare system siphons off immense resources to fund management
salaries and benefits and vast bureaucracies which do nothing except fight over the money and don’t actually deliver any healthcare. Social medicines spreads the costs and benefits of heath care to all individuals without regard to economic status and results in a much lower cost, and immensely more humane system.
Our roads are socialist. Our defense system is socialist. Medicare and Social Security are socialist. Our police and fire departments are socialist. We choose to make them socialist because 1) they are broadly affected with the public interest and 2) it is more economical to socialize them. Even our public utilities (at the distribution and transmission level), which are often large corporations, are subject to price regulation and are required to not discriminate in pricing among similarly situated customers, because they are broadly affected with the public interest and it is more economic to operate them as monopolies, socializing their costs, than it is to have multiple companies competing with one another. At the same time, some components of the utilities, like power generation, are largely unregulated because the impact of an individual generator is not sufficiently affected with the public interest.That’s why we don’t socialize pizzas and hamburgers or clothing – they don’t meet these criteria.
I don’t own our roads (except in the collective sense that we all do), but I do care what happens to them. Same for our other socialized institutions.
You stop with with conflation of communism and socialism. Maybe you need to do some reading about these topics before spouting off about them.
Better yet, don’t even bother with the labels – just focus on the best solutions to our problems. If the best answer is socialist or capitalist, so be it. But it is an act of ignorance to fight or support something because of its label. Sort of like what Trump is currently doing with immigrants – ignorant and inhumane.
Agreed. However, what pays for them is not socialist. It’s pure capitalism. The government taxes private enterprise to pay for all the stuff you enumerated.
Ultimately, we all pay. Capitalism doesn’t pay anything. It’s simply a system of commerce. Even in capitalism, someone owns the wealth.
Of course government taxes private enterprise and individuals – who else could it possibly tax? We should be delighted to pay taxes for activities that reduce total cost and increase total welfare because we’re better off doing so. The “all taxes are too much” mentality is a senseless dogma unrelated to real economics or rational thought. It’s typically espoused by those who have accumulated excess wealth.
Capitalism causes wealth to percolate to the very top. When left to its own devices, the wealth concentration becomes excessive and unsustainable. If Jeff Bezos ends up with all the world’s wealth, who’s going to by stuff on Amazon? (Answer: “No one.”) There is a point, far short of that extreme, where the economic system collapses because far too many people are destitute or simply scraping along with no prospect for prosperity, while too few people gather themselves behind their neighborhood gates fearing the “others” who are outside those gates.
For a healthy society and economy, capitalism must be moderated by socialism. There is no other workable formula. It’s not about some pseudo-religious belief system (capitalism vs socialism), it’s about pragmatic choices based on real-life challenges and real-life solutions, all impacting real-life people and our overall ecological system.
You do realize those two are totally opposite and cannot coexist?
What you Americans call Socialism is actually is actually a welfare net, which is totally fine, BTW.
“a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole”
an economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.
a system whereby the government undertakes to protect the health and well-being of its citizens, especially those in financial or social need, by means of grants, pensions, and other benefits. The foundations for the modern welfare state in the US were laid by the New Deal programs of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
It seems Sanders was not that forthright in saying he is democratic socialist. He said he supported capitalism as long is businesses are not corrupt, greedy, etc. He said he did not support the views of Eugene Debs. He said the US could should be something like Denmark but that is a capitalist country. I doubt if Oscasio-Cortez is a really democratic socialist either. Basically as Bernie said what democratic socialism is like FDR’s social programs. I don’t think the millennial socialists are coming because there aren’t that many of them. I think what most of these people want is something like the Scandinavian countries with their capitalist economies but better treatment of workers and generous social programs compared to the US.