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conseil wrote

My case has always been that Democratic Socialism fails; its either incorporated into the status quo either as a total failure or a Social Democracy for the sake of complacency, purged, or it neuters itself before even getting elected so it can get elected.

Where I'm from, there were self-avowed Marxists in power (including Prime Minister) at varying points in the 20th century, and in the past couple decades as well in some more minor roles.

The result? Absolutely nothing. We have healthcare, and a minimum wage. Unions are broken, and the average person now views socialism as part of the default corrupt system. If anything, its hurt progress by making 'socialism' look like another part of the standard bullshit we already have.

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celebratedrecluse wrote

A very thoughtful article, thank you for posting. Some of what I found to be the most salient points:

So when I hear that campaigning for a progressive Democrat is the best means of advancing working-class politics, I can’t help but think that the imagination of American socialists is severely limited. Aren’t there a host of prominently working-class issues that socialists can take up as their main struggle in the coming two years? Even in the realm of electoral politics, aren’t there a decent number of socialists who could run credible races for positions in local legislatures, or even for Congress, even if a victory is less likely?

Putting hundreds—or even thousands—of people to work canvassing, phone-banking and registering voters for the Democratic Party is hardly an activity that will help them move toward breaking with the dead end of bourgeois politics or help carve out a space for the growing socialist movement in the United States. It will only bring young new socialists into the Democratic Party’s fold.

“engaging in intraparty squabbles is not a strategic use of activists’ time. To the extent it does anything, it creates [false] illusions about the progressive potential of the Democrats.” - Neal Meyer and Ben B

In 2018 a wave of teachers’ strikes shook the country and ignited hopes in an uptick of class struggle. There are other compelling signs that we are in the midst of a new wave of labor unrest: The victory of hotel workers in Chicago and Boston, the UTLA teachers’ strike and a host of smaller struggles and victories point to a revitalization of the labor movement. The role of socialists in these struggles is paramount.

...universal health care will be achieved only through mass mobilization and the threat of disruption. This means that the struggle for Medicare for All will be waged more outside Congress than inside it. The DSA has the opportunity and the capacity to mobilize its thousands of members to organize in their unions, schools and workplaces and to become the main driving force of a national campaign for universal health care. Prioritizing Sanders’ electoral campaign for the next year or two will eventually run [counter to those goals].

If the DSA is serious about its aim of transforming its social composition from predominantly middle-class to a working-class organization, upholding working-class independence in political endorsements is a good place to start.

All the votes of the people would do us no good if our party ceased to be a revolutionary party, or only incidentally so, while yielding more and more to the pressure to modify the principles and program of the party for the sake of swelling the vote and hastening the day of its expected triumph. - Eugene Debs

The tendency to see elections as the primary battlefield, or the main tool to educate socialists who are just awakening to political experience, follows a logic of continuity—not rupture—with the institutions of capitalism. It is based on the illusion of progressive growth and a smooth transition to socialism through the vote. It is a myth, like believing that going regularly to the casino will eventually enable us to beat the house in the long run.

However, I think that points like this are patently absurd:

The DSA could run its own candidates or form a coalition with other organizations of the socialist left, like Socialist Alternative, the ISO and a variety of local socialist groups. This would be a small but important step toward building a left that could eventually represent a threat to capitalism.

They spend the entire article talking about how running politicians for office would be a huge waste of time, making cogent arguments against electoralism as a praxis, and then wave in this contradictory assertion with utter banality. Lol

Tankies

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n_n OP wrote (edited )

Running politicians for office would be a huge waste of time

I think that his position is not against electoralism, but more about be against electoralism in coalition with liberals and do what Debs did with the Socialist Party of America in their time.

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celebratedrecluse wrote

yeah, exactly. My point, in turn, is that this is a self-contradictory argument. All of the legitimate criticisms that you can make about DSA supporting Sanders in 2020, in terms of the drain on the movement to investing energy in them, you could also make tenfold about supporting socialist fringe candidates in small jurisdictions.

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this_one wrote

The right have gained power by positioning the left against itself. Don't help them. The goal for 2020 is to get Trump out, not to get the perfect candidate in.

This tumblr post puts it well.

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ziq wrote

This is how neoliberalism functions. Convince people to choose neoliberalism out of fear.

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this_one wrote

And this is how fascists come to power: Convince people to do nothing out of 'praxis'.

I know that's not your intention - you intend 'not voting' to make people do other stuff - but when you encourage people not to vote without also immediately following it up with, "Here are examples of other things you can do to stop fascists", all you're doing is encouraging apathy.

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conseil wrote

So, what do we do? Every four years we accept neoliberalism out of fear of fascism for eternity?

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celebratedrecluse wrote

DO NOT ALLOW yourself to think negatively about ANY of the possible nominees.

This tumblr post puts it well.

You can't be serious

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