- Aug 12, 2013
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
- Very Conservative
Lean Socialist - In These TimesA new New Deal alliance would bode well for the liberal-Left, but playing a role in rejuvenating American liberalism will only be a means to an end. That’s where Michael Harrington and his co-conspirators, many of whom were leaders of the labor movement, erred. Their folly wasn’t a hostility to engagement with liberals, like that of today’s anarchist youth, but that their political strategy by design played second fiddle to, and eventually became indistinguishable from, that of their liberal counterparts. Given the chance during the high-water mark of American liberalism, they were unable to build their own institutions and struggle for dominance within the broader progressive coalition.
Through outreach and agitprop, today’s democratic socialists will need to push popular analysis and display organizational talents more dynamic than liberalism can offer. This will mean working openly under the socialist banner, identifying capitalism as a social system that benefits a tiny minority at the expense of everyone else, and organizing within our communities, schools and workplaces to challenge the structures and relationships that dominate our lives. It’ll mean creating parties and organizations distinct from those on the American political scene today, but not remote from ordinary people’s lived realities.
The only way back to political relevance for socialists lies through realistic engagement with politics as it exists today. And that involves messiness and compromise—reaching out to liberals as friends and allies—while not losing sight of the need to decisively transform a political framework built on a self-destructive and morally intolerable mode of production.
Socialism, over the past centuries, has meant a lot of things - brutal repression, democratic workers' states, experimental communities, even anarchism. But no matter what was said about it, we couldn't shake it. It's remained a powerful force, taking part in crucial global revolutions and countless domestic initiatives.
So share your opinions here, but first... your definition.