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Thread: Why Bernie Sanders is just the beginning of an American turn to the left

  1. #1

    Exclamation Why Bernie Sanders is just the beginning of an American turn to the left

    What you need to keep in mind is that these people are Jacobins, writing for a self titled Jacobin magazine.

    As such, when "democratic" reforms fail, when class warfare fails, they will just come and kill you.



    Why Bernie Sanders is just the beginning of an American turn to the left

    hxxps://www.salon.com/2020/02/22/why-bernie-sanders-is-just-the-beginning-of-an-american-turn-to-the-left/

    The United States may be on the verge of a huge leftward shift. Here's what to expect

    MICAH UETRICHT - MEAGAN DAY
    FEBRUARY 22, 2020 3:00PM (UTC)

    Adapted from “Bigger than Bernie: How We Go from the Sanders Campaign to Democratic Socialism,” by Meagan Day and Micah Uetricht, to be published on April 28, 2020 from Verso. All rights reserved.

    A new socialist movement is cohering in the US, thanks in large part to the popular class politics of Bernie Sanders. But as that movement grows and progresses, it is bound to run into dangerous obstacles and thorny contradictions. The new US socialist movement is without a single "line" or monolithic political position. That's a strength of the movement, since none of us has all the answers. Still, many people in the movement, ourselves included, feel strongly about certain approaches to strategy. One approach we feel strongly about is what we call "the democratic road to socialism," or the idea that we need to make good use of the democratic structures and processes available to us (and to improve and expand them) in order to advance our cause.

    A country like the United States has both a well-developed capitalist state, beholden to the capitalist class and armed to the teeth, and mechanisms for democratic participation in that state that allow people to exercise some measure of control over their representatives. Even though their choices are limited, their representatives are bought off by the rich, and the capitalist class holds the entire system hostage with the threat of devastating economic retaliation if things don't go their way, the system does have some basic democratic elements that its citizens largely affirm and occasionally participate in.

    This is a tricky situation to navigate. If the democratic capitalist state were less developed, it might be possible to convince people to simply storm the gates, tear up the old rules, and start fresh in a socialist society. This is what socialists tried to do in Russia in 1917: the state was weak and after centuries of autocratic rule it didn't have much legitimacy in the eyes of most Russians, so revolutionaries could get popular support for scrapping it and starting over.

    The United States is hardly an exemplary democracy, and socialists must push to further democratize elements of the state. But even if people are unhappy about much of our corrupt political system today, it does hold a strong degree of legitimacy in most citizens' minds. Despite Republicans' continued efforts to restrict the franchise, most people can vote, and they see the results of elections as basically lawful and valid. People often (rightfully) feel dejected and cynical about US electoral politics, but they don't consider the system so illegitimate that they're willing to risk their lives to destroy it anytime soon.

    Mass numbers of people are going to treat elections as the main arena for their political frustrations and aspirations, at least for the time being. These are objective conditions over which we have no control. The question we must face is whether we join them in the democratic sphere, giving socialist and class-struggle character to fights playing out in the electoral arena, or sit those fights out and miss the opportunity to engage with people by getting in the ring ourselves.

    The democratic road strategy does not assume that we'll simply stack up reforms until we look up one day and have socialism. Social change is more complicated than that, happening as it does in fits and starts, often with brief periods of great advance and long dry spells in between. Capitalists won't let us slowly but surely inch our way toward a new society; at some point, probably around the time our advances start decisively challenging their control over industry and their profits, they're going to try to tear us down by any means necessary.

    But reforms do have a major role in building socialism, and not just for the purpose of spreading our message. By engaging in mass democratic politics, and electing politicians faithful to our movement who can spearhead the fight for real reform (including democratizing the current state), we can tip the balance of power in favor of the working class.

    That balance is decidedly not tipped in our favor today. The power of the capitalist class is now so great that it can punish cities, states, and countries whose working-class movements have successfully won gains for workers against bosses. The punishment doesn't even have to be intentional: by simply following their mandate to maximize profits, employers are naturally inclined to close shops whose labor costs make them uncompetitive and move to regions where workers are less powerful, demoralizing movements and wreaking economic havoc on the people who fight back the hardest. This is the story of manufacturing in the United States, especially over recent decades—companies have constantly moved operations, first within the country, from high-wage markets to relatively low-wage ones, then across the border or overseas, to countries with even lower wages like Mexico or China. Bosses don't have to be evil to do this; the market compels them to. They may not want to tear down a community's economic foundation, but if they don't, their competitors will undercut them.

    To stop this race-to-the-bottom cycle undercutting workers' power and lay the groundwork for revolutionary change, we must erode the power of the capitalist class. We can accomplish that by, for example, imposing capital controls—measures that stop the free movement of capital in response to changing social and economic conditions. But to pass economic reforms as significant as these, we can't just agitate in the streets, as important as that is. We have to be in power.

    Luckily for us, while contesting for that power comes with plenty of dilemmas we must be careful to avoid, it's also a fantastic opportunity. Without capital on our side, the project of contesting for state power becomes by necessity a democratic one. We achieve success in the electoral sphere when we've won over masses of people to our political agenda. Elections can be used to build mass working-class movements, and the project of wielding state power can be used to clear the path for those movements as they confront their class enemies.

    Chris Maisano describes the democratic road as a strategy that pursues "election of a left government (likely over multiple contested elections) mandated to carry out a fundamental transformation of the political economy, coordinated with a movement from below to build new institutions and organizations of popular power in society."

    Eric Blanc offers a similar formulation. Eventually, after the Left has won significant gains at the ballot box and in civil society, the capitalist class will take the gloves off against socialists and do whatever it takes to destroy our movement. We'll need to fight back. The democratic road to socialism seeks not to elide this confrontation, but to make it possible. To replace capitalism with socialism, writes Blanc, "(a) socialists should fight to win a socialist universal suffrage electoral majority in government/parliament and (b) socialists must expect that serious anti-capitalist change will necessarily require extra-parliamentary mass action like a general strike and a revolution to defeat the inevitable sabotage and resistance of the ruling class."

    Though socialists are likely to be met with capitalist resistance that at times will turn violent, "revolution" doesn't necessitate mass bloodshed — and though we believe in self-defense, we certainly do not advocate violent means. A future socialist government, the late Marxist thinker Ralph Miliband wrote, "has only one major resource, namely its popular support." To pull off a revolution in our circumstances, that popular support would need to be mobilized both inside and outside of government.

    Adherents of the democratic road strategy don't claim to know the precise sequence of events that will lead us to socialism, nor do we pretend it will be a cakewalk to eliminate capitalism, even with our people in power. Past attempts to make such transformations in countries like Chile and France have been stymied, as we'll get to later in this chapter. But we do know that the United States will not be able to achieve anything like socialist governance, and join other nations in the project of building international socialism, without both a mass movement of workers and the formal power to stop capitalists from undermining that movement as it engages in class struggle. We see engagement in electoral politics as an important tactic for accomplishing both of these goals, and ultimately bringing about a scenario in which the working class can actually win.

    We've seen that left elected officials can not only win office, but can widen the scope of political possibility even when they're only a small minority of legislators in a given elected body. For a socialist movement that's been in the wilderness for at least half a century, these new developments are crucial. But it's not enough for socialists to be a tiny minority in the House of Representatives, or run inspiring but failed campaigns for president, or hold only 10 percent of seats in a city council. Our aims have to be much bigger than that. We don't want simply to fight against some other political majority—we want to become the majority, and believe we can get there.

    Once we do, we will have to think very seriously about what our program should look like and how we will fight the capitalist backlash that will follow. If we aren't prepared for it, we're doomed to fail.

    MICAH UETRICHT
    Micah Uetricht is the managing editor of Jacobin magazine. He is the host of the Jacobin Radio podcast The Vast Majority and has written for the Guardian, the Intercept, the Nation, Bookforum, and elsewhere. He is the author of Strike for America: Chicago Teachers Against Austerity (Verso, 2014), a former labor organizer, and a member of the Democratic Socialists of America in Chicago, where he lives.

    MEAGAN DAY
    Meagan Day is a staff writer at Jacobin magazine. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Vox, Mother Jones, The Week, The Baffler, In These Times, and elsewhere. She is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America in California's East Bay, where she lives.



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  3. #2
    They will fail.

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    They will fail.
    That's my concern.

    When they do fail, a new Robespierre comes along and whips them up into just killing their perceived oppressors.

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Federalist View Post
    That's my concern.

    When they do fail, a new Robespierre comes along and whips them up into just killing their perceived oppressors.
    They will fail at that too.

    We should all be concerned because it won't be pretty but they will fail.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Federalist View Post
    That's my concern.

    When they do fail, a new Robespierre comes along and whips them up into just killing their perceived oppressors.
    Thank god for self-defense.

    Those who are in strong self-defense case states will be luckier than those who aren't.
    JULESWIN-ISMS
    Quote Originally Posted by juleswin View Post
    Bernie will bring about a more free market in the US than Trump. Hence the reason I wouldn't mind having him as my next president.
    Quote Originally Posted by juleswin View Post
    If the US govt ends their official and clandestine attacks on Venezuela, I can brush up on my Spanish and move there.

    @Ehanced_Deficit's real agenda on RPF :
    DNC-S (Soros)
    CLINTON-PELO-SCHIFF
    NYT-CNN-SOCIALIST
    CIA-B (Brennan)

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Federalist View Post
    That's my concern.

    When they do fail, a new Robespierre comes along and whips them up into just killing their perceived oppressors.
    Wish they'd go ahead and get this over with is my viewpoint. I'm not getting any younger.

  8. #7
    Weirdosexual in Maine running for senate reveals new campaign symbol


  9. #8
    So we've got a bunch of city-folk whose panties are in a twist because they know better about how things "should" be....

    Give 'em guns and ammo!

    Give 'em the soapbox!

    Stop giving 'em our crops-n-livestock!

    90 days is all it'll take.



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  11. #9
    Both parties have been moving to their respective extremes. One reason "independent" voters are starting to outnumber both Democrat and Republicans. By their respective party standards today, Bill Clinton would be considered "conservative" to Democrats and Ronald Reagan would be a "liberal" to Republicans.

  12. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    Both parties have been moving to their respective extremes. One reason "independent" voters are starting to outnumber both Democrat and Republicans.
    That's nonsense. Hardcore conservatives want government spending CUT. Trump hasn't cut a thing infact he's increased spending so how has he "gone to the extreme"?

  13. #11
    I just wish Sanders would just go away and go back to being irrelevant and having no name recognition.

  14. #12

    Lightbulb My Little Armalite

    Quote Originally Posted by eleganz View Post
    Thank god for self-defense.

    Those who are in strong self-defense case states will be luckier than those who aren't.
    There will be arms aplenty, regardless of State.

    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    You only show up to attack Trump when he is wrong
    DACA S**thole Dreamers - Make America Great Again?

  15. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Warlord View Post
    That's nonsense. Hardcore conservatives want government spending CUT. Trump hasn't cut a thing infact he's increased spending so how has he "gone to the extreme"?
    If that is the case, there are no "hardcore conservatives". That ended with "read my lips" losing his re-election bid. Political conservative is no longer associated with fiscal conservatism. They will call for tax cuts to buy voters but don't call for spending cuts. And don't care about the deficit any more.

  16. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    Both parties have been moving to their respective extremes. One reason "independent" voters are starting to outnumber both Democrat and Republicans. By their respective party standards today, Bill Clinton would be considered "conservative" to Democrats and Ronald Reagan would be a "liberal" to Republicans.
    Reagan did sign the machine gun ban, increased federal spending by 70%, the national debt almost tripled, and he added more than 300k people to the federal workforce. Reagan was always a liberal.

  17. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Federalist View Post
    Weirdosexual in Maine running for senate reveals new campaign symbol

    Wonder if the exclamation point on the blade is a coincidence?
    When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies? - Miguel de Cervantes, (Don Quixote)

    Quote Originally Posted by Voluntarist View Post
    The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the Federal Reserve Notes of patriotic central banks

  18. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    If that is the case, there are no "hardcore conservatives". That ended with "read my lips" losing his re-election bid. Political conservative is no longer associated with fiscal conservatism. They will call for tax cuts to buy voters but don't call for spending cuts. And don't care about the deficit any more.
    /
    Rand Paul and Mike Lee disagree with you



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  20. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Federalist View Post
    Weirdosexual in Maine running for senate reveals new campaign symbol

    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2...mpaign-symbol/

    Bre Kidman, the “***** feminist mermaid” running for a senate seat in Maine, has chosen the guillotine as branding for her campaign.
    Kidman entered the race against incumbent Republican Sen. Susan Collins in April 2019, inspired by the fight against the confirmation of Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Kidman describes herself as a non-binary, “***** feminist lawyer, mermaid, writer, activist, and artist.”
    When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies? - Miguel de Cervantes, (Don Quixote)

    Quote Originally Posted by Voluntarist View Post
    The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the Federal Reserve Notes of patriotic central banks

  21. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    Both parties have been moving to their respective extremes. One reason "independent" voters are starting to outnumber both Democrat and Republicans. By their respective party standards today, Bill Clinton would be considered "conservative" to Democrats and Ronald Reagan would be a "liberal" to Republicans.
    We need to form or get with a third party.

    https://www.wikihow.com/Create-a-Political-Party
    When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies? - Miguel de Cervantes, (Don Quixote)

    Quote Originally Posted by Voluntarist View Post
    The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the Federal Reserve Notes of patriotic central banks

  22. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Grandmastersexsay View Post
    Reagan did sign the machine gun ban, increased federal spending by 70%, the national debt almost tripled, and he added more than 300k people to the federal workforce. Reagan was always a liberal.
    Reconquista Ronnie Reagan pretended to be conservative on tuesdays & thursdays, or somthin'.

    Last edited by RonZeplin; 02-23-2020 at 01:47 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    You only show up to attack Trump when he is wrong
    DACA S**thole Dreamers - Make America Great Again?

  23. #20
    All it will take is another Robespierre to light these $#@!s up.

  24. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Federalist View Post
    Weirdosexual in Maine running for senate reveals new campaign symbol
    We have a Ron Paul sleeper in Maine who has a decent chance of making it to Congress

    http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthr...Brakey-(MAINE)

    He is a state senator. Has been for a while and inspired by Ron...

  25. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by RonZeplin View Post
    Reconquista Ronnie Reagan pretended to be conservative on tuesdays & thursdays, or somthin'.
    Ronnie Raygun was a for real Ron Paul type when he first was elected.

    Then he got shot by operatives of GHW Bush.

    His whole tone changed after that "near miss".

  26. #23
    I don't consider Bernie as the beginning of an American turn to the left- TPTB have been making that turn since at least Lincoln.
    There is no spoon.

  27. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Globalist View Post
    I just wish Sanders would just go away and go back to being irrelevant and having no name recognition.
    TPTB are giving him the caucus states because the decisions can be controlled. We will have a more clear picture after Super Tuesday. It would be natural that Bernie looks like the front runner. He is a man, and many people think he was treated unfairly by the DNC. Like I said, caucuses can be controlled. Of course, the field is pretty weak at this point. Bernie is the only one people remember.

    Once people start doing the math, they will see that a 52% tax rate for anyone earning more than $29K really reduces the standard of living.
    Last edited by euphemia; 02-23-2020 at 04:22 PM.
    #NashvilleStrong



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  29. #25
    Beginning was probably Obama win in 2008 (thank you Bush-Cheney backers) and a former Democrats donor/social liberal Adelson becomig top donor of NYC Republicans like Trump, Sanders rise probably somewhat in the first half of this shifting path. Former socialist and Dems funder Trump's rise as a "Republican" probably falls in first quarter.

    Sanders win in NV could be potentially a troubling sign if charges against some of his hi profile left-wing backers by some Right-wing Foxnews pundits and non-left MAGA leader were factual.



    14 hours ago
    Sarah Sanders warns Trump backers about Bernie's momentum: 'We can take nothing for granted'

    By Victor Garcia | Fox News

    Video


    Sarah Sanders reacts Bernie’s big win, Bloomberg’s implosion and looks ahead to South Carolina

    Fox News contributor Sarah Sanders weighs in the Nevada Caucus results.

    Former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders warned supporters of President Trump on Saturday night not to underestimate Sen. Bernie Sanders following his projected victory in the Nevada Democratic caucuses.
    "I think [Bernie Sanders] is looking like the presumptive Democrat nominee at this point. He's certainly moving in that direction," Sanders said on "Justice with Judge Jeanine." "And I think Republicans have to be extremely careful. We can take nothing for granted at this point. The stakes have literally never been higher.""We can take nothing for granted at this point. The stakes have literally never been higher."
    — Sarah Sanders

    foxnews.com/media/sarah-sanders-warns-trump-backers-about-bernies-momentum-we-can-take-nothing-for-granted


    November 20

    Cooper & Brackman: Bernie Sanders’ criticism of Israel makes him ideal candidate for opponents of Jewish state

    By Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Dr. Harold Brackman | Fox News

    Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who takes to the debate stage Wednesday night with other Democratic presidential hopefuls, recently said: “I am very proud to be Jewish and look forward to being the first Jewish president.” But many of Sanders’ fellow Jewish Americans don’t look forward to what they see as that frightening possibility.

    According to a Morning Consult poll released in May, only 11 percent of Jewish Democrats supported Sanders. One reason for this low level of Jewish support is Sanders’ record of strongly opposing many Israeli actions and polices, along with his threats to reduce vital U.S. aid to Israel.
    This is combined with Sanders’ failure to take a strong stand opposing the global rise of anti-Semitism, along with his warm embrace of anti-Semites and forces hostile to Israel here at home.

    anders’ weak support among his fellow Jews is a sharp contrast to the strong support then-Sen. Barack Obama enjoyed from his fellow African-Americans (about 95 percent) when he successfully ran and became our nation’s first black president. When then-Sen. John F. Kennedy ran and became America’s first Catholic president he had the support of more than 70 percent of Catholic voters.
    Sanders joined some other Democratic presidential candidates Monday in criticizing the announcement by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the U.S. will no longer consider Israel’s West Bank settlements illegal under international law – reversing the position of past U.S. administrations.

    “Israeli settlements in occupied territory are illegal,” said Sanders. “This is clear from international law and multiple United Nations resolutions. Once again, Mr. Trump is isolating the United States and undermining diplomacy by pandering to his extremist base.”

    foxnews.com/opinion/cooper-and-brackman-bernie-sanders-hostility-to-israel-makes-him-ideal-candidate-for-jewish-states-critics

    Rep. Ilhan Omar Endorses Bernie Sanders for President
    •Oct 16, 2019

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHlJnAMgg3g


    Tlaib OFFICIALLY Endorses Bernie Sanders
    •Oct 28, 2019

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DyUcVqlcGs


    Bernie Sanders is not only back, he has the best shot at the nomination right now

  30. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Federalist View Post
    What you need to keep in mind is that these people are Jacobins, writing for a self titled Jacobin magazine.

    As such, when "democratic" reforms fail, when class warfare fails, they will just come and kill you.



    Why Bernie Sanders is just the beginning of an American turn to the left

    hxxps://www.salon.com/2020/02/22/why-bernie-sanders-is-just-the-beginning-of-an-american-turn-to-the-left/

    The United States may be on the verge of a huge leftward shift. Here's what to expect

    MICAH UETRICHT - MEAGAN DAY
    FEBRUARY 22, 2020 3:00PM (UTC)

    Adapted from “Bigger than Bernie: How We Go from the Sanders Campaign to Democratic Socialism,” by Meagan Day and Micah Uetricht, to be published on April 28, 2020 from Verso. All rights reserved.

    A new socialist movement is cohering in the US, thanks in large part to the popular class politics of Bernie Sanders. But as that movement grows and progresses, it is bound to run into dangerous obstacles and thorny contradictions. The new US socialist movement is without a single "line" or monolithic political position. That's a strength of the movement, since none of us has all the answers. Still, many people in the movement, ourselves included, feel strongly about certain approaches to strategy. One approach we feel strongly about is what we call "the democratic road to socialism," or the idea that we need to make good use of the democratic structures and processes available to us (and to improve and expand them) in order to advance our cause.

    A country like the United States has both a well-developed capitalist state, beholden to the capitalist class and armed to the teeth, and mechanisms for democratic participation in that state that allow people to exercise some measure of control over their representatives. Even though their choices are limited, their representatives are bought off by the rich, and the capitalist class holds the entire system hostage with the threat of devastating economic retaliation if things don't go their way, the system does have some basic democratic elements that its citizens largely affirm and occasionally participate in.

    This is a tricky situation to navigate. If the democratic capitalist state were less developed, it might be possible to convince people to simply storm the gates, tear up the old rules, and start fresh in a socialist society. This is what socialists tried to do in Russia in 1917: the state was weak and after centuries of autocratic rule it didn't have much legitimacy in the eyes of most Russians, so revolutionaries could get popular support for scrapping it and starting over.

    The United States is hardly an exemplary democracy, and socialists must push to further democratize elements of the state. But even if people are unhappy about much of our corrupt political system today, it does hold a strong degree of legitimacy in most citizens' minds. Despite Republicans' continued efforts to restrict the franchise, most people can vote, and they see the results of elections as basically lawful and valid. People often (rightfully) feel dejected and cynical about US electoral politics, but they don't consider the system so illegitimate that they're willing to risk their lives to destroy it anytime soon.

    Mass numbers of people are going to treat elections as the main arena for their political frustrations and aspirations, at least for the time being. These are objective conditions over which we have no control. The question we must face is whether we join them in the democratic sphere, giving socialist and class-struggle character to fights playing out in the electoral arena, or sit those fights out and miss the opportunity to engage with people by getting in the ring ourselves.

    The democratic road strategy does not assume that we'll simply stack up reforms until we look up one day and have socialism. Social change is more complicated than that, happening as it does in fits and starts, often with brief periods of great advance and long dry spells in between. Capitalists won't let us slowly but surely inch our way toward a new society; at some point, probably around the time our advances start decisively challenging their control over industry and their profits, they're going to try to tear us down by any means necessary.

    But reforms do have a major role in building socialism, and not just for the purpose of spreading our message. By engaging in mass democratic politics, and electing politicians faithful to our movement who can spearhead the fight for real reform (including democratizing the current state), we can tip the balance of power in favor of the working class.

    That balance is decidedly not tipped in our favor today. The power of the capitalist class is now so great that it can punish cities, states, and countries whose working-class movements have successfully won gains for workers against bosses. The punishment doesn't even have to be intentional: by simply following their mandate to maximize profits, employers are naturally inclined to close shops whose labor costs make them uncompetitive and move to regions where workers are less powerful, demoralizing movements and wreaking economic havoc on the people who fight back the hardest. This is the story of manufacturing in the United States, especially over recent decades—companies have constantly moved operations, first within the country, from high-wage markets to relatively low-wage ones, then across the border or overseas, to countries with even lower wages like Mexico or China. Bosses don't have to be evil to do this; the market compels them to. They may not want to tear down a community's economic foundation, but if they don't, their competitors will undercut them.

    To stop this race-to-the-bottom cycle undercutting workers' power and lay the groundwork for revolutionary change, we must erode the power of the capitalist class. We can accomplish that by, for example, imposing capital controls—measures that stop the free movement of capital in response to changing social and economic conditions. But to pass economic reforms as significant as these, we can't just agitate in the streets, as important as that is. We have to be in power.

    Luckily for us, while contesting for that power comes with plenty of dilemmas we must be careful to avoid, it's also a fantastic opportunity. Without capital on our side, the project of contesting for state power becomes by necessity a democratic one. We achieve success in the electoral sphere when we've won over masses of people to our political agenda. Elections can be used to build mass working-class movements, and the project of wielding state power can be used to clear the path for those movements as they confront their class enemies.

    Chris Maisano describes the democratic road as a strategy that pursues "election of a left government (likely over multiple contested elections) mandated to carry out a fundamental transformation of the political economy, coordinated with a movement from below to build new institutions and organizations of popular power in society."

    Eric Blanc offers a similar formulation. Eventually, after the Left has won significant gains at the ballot box and in civil society, the capitalist class will take the gloves off against socialists and do whatever it takes to destroy our movement. We'll need to fight back. The democratic road to socialism seeks not to elide this confrontation, but to make it possible. To replace capitalism with socialism, writes Blanc, "(a) socialists should fight to win a socialist universal suffrage electoral majority in government/parliament and (b) socialists must expect that serious anti-capitalist change will necessarily require extra-parliamentary mass action like a general strike and a revolution to defeat the inevitable sabotage and resistance of the ruling class."

    Though socialists are likely to be met with capitalist resistance that at times will turn violent, "revolution" doesn't necessitate mass bloodshed — and though we believe in self-defense, we certainly do not advocate violent means. A future socialist government, the late Marxist thinker Ralph Miliband wrote, "has only one major resource, namely its popular support." To pull off a revolution in our circumstances, that popular support would need to be mobilized both inside and outside of government.

    Adherents of the democratic road strategy don't claim to know the precise sequence of events that will lead us to socialism, nor do we pretend it will be a cakewalk to eliminate capitalism, even with our people in power. Past attempts to make such transformations in countries like Chile and France have been stymied, as we'll get to later in this chapter. But we do know that the United States will not be able to achieve anything like socialist governance, and join other nations in the project of building international socialism, without both a mass movement of workers and the formal power to stop capitalists from undermining that movement as it engages in class struggle. We see engagement in electoral politics as an important tactic for accomplishing both of these goals, and ultimately bringing about a scenario in which the working class can actually win.

    We've seen that left elected officials can not only win office, but can widen the scope of political possibility even when they're only a small minority of legislators in a given elected body. For a socialist movement that's been in the wilderness for at least half a century, these new developments are crucial. But it's not enough for socialists to be a tiny minority in the House of Representatives, or run inspiring but failed campaigns for president, or hold only 10 percent of seats in a city council. Our aims have to be much bigger than that. We don't want simply to fight against some other political majority—we want to become the majority, and believe we can get there.

    Once we do, we will have to think very seriously about what our program should look like and how we will fight the capitalist backlash that will follow. If we aren't prepared for it, we're doomed to fail.

    MICAH UETRICHT
    Micah Uetricht is the managing editor of Jacobin magazine. He is the host of the Jacobin Radio podcast The Vast Majority and has written for the Guardian, the Intercept, the Nation, Bookforum, and elsewhere. He is the author of Strike for America: Chicago Teachers Against Austerity (Verso, 2014), a former labor organizer, and a member of the Democratic Socialists of America in Chicago, where he lives.

    MEAGAN DAY
    Meagan Day is a staff writer at Jacobin magazine. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Vox, Mother Jones, The Week, The Baffler, In These Times, and elsewhere. She is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America in California's East Bay, where she lives.
    “Socialism” misdirection by the Money Power. Donald Trump + Bernie Sanders = Populist Revolt - An Understanding of Monetary Policy

    “If the gold standard advocates win, this country will be dominated by the financial harpies of Wall Street. I am trying to save the American people from that disaster--which will mean the enslavement of the farmers, merchants, manufacturers and laboring classes to the most merciless and unscrupulous gang of speculators on earth--the money power. My ambition is to make money the servant of industry, to dethrone it from the false position it has usurped as master, and this can only be done by destroying the money monopoly.”

    William Jennings Bryan, 1896

    Our problems have been with us since 1865. End the Fed. Break the Monopolies. Down with the Bankers. Homestead Act of 2024. If Rand can’t see this he is #doomed

    2020 Edit: Not that slavery wasn’t a abomination and slap in the face to the free world.
    Last edited by Gumba of Liberty; 02-23-2020 at 05:47 PM.

  31. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Federalist View Post
    Ronnie Raygun was a for real Ron Paul type when he first was elected.

    Then he got shot by operatives of GHW Bush.

    His whole tone changed after that "near miss".
    Reagan was always like that- even as governor of California. And the assassination attempt came very early into his presidency. He took office in January, 1981 and the shooting was in March. It didn't change him. In 1967 he signed the " Mulford Act" which repealed open carry. As governor and president both he signed the biggest at the time tax cuts followed by the biggest tax increases (because they blew up the budget deficits).

  32. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    Reagan was always like that- even as governor of California. And the assassination attempt came very early into his presidency. He took office in January, 1981 and the shooting was in March. It didn't change him. In 1967 he signed the " Mulford Act" which repealed open carry. As governor and president both he signed the biggest at the time tax cuts followed by the biggest tax increases (because they blew up the budget deficits).
    He was imperfect as governor but he did "change" after the shooting, Bush was running things after that.



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