One Divides into Three? A Report on the U.S. Left Unity Conference

By Ethan Young

Dan La Botz’s description of the Future of the Left/Independent Politics Conference makes another introduction redundant. Instead, I’ll add my own observations. I come from the other side of this discussion: I hold with the ‘inside/outside’ approach to electoral politics, as pushed by the late Arthur Kinoy, a radical lawyer who led the National Committee for Independent Political Action in the 1970s and 1980s. Putting it simply, I supported left independent Barry Commoner for president in 1980, and Democrat Harold Washington for mayor of Chicago in 1983. This year, I support Kshama Sawant and Bernie Sanders.

I see no contradiction – in fact I think it’s the only approach that makes sense. Continue reading

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Socialist Worker and Hillary Clinton Agree: Bernie Sanders’ Campaign Doomed

“Doomed.”

“No chance of winning.”

These are the words Hillary Clinton’s camp Socialist Worker, newspaper of the International Socialist Organization (ISO), uses to describe Bernie Sanders’ candidacy for the nomination of the Democratic Party in response to a (rather lackluster) endorsement of Sanders by Jacobin which is published by members of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). The delicious irony of the ISO’s arguments is that they actually want Sanders to run a doomed, no-chance-of-winning presidential campaign, as they readily admit in the same editorial: Continue reading

Mujica and the Chicago Socialist Campaign: A Small Battle in a Larger War

JM

By Bob Roman

The usual practice for lefties defeated in electoral politics is to claim victory, victory in the sense of having spread the word, victory in the sense of building an organization, victory in the sense of whatever plausible argument comes to hand. In the case of Jorge Mujica’s campaign for 25th Ward Alderman, we can safely assert it was a successful proof of concept: The “socialist” label, in some neighborhoods, is not a handicap even if it is not an asset. Begging your pardon but I’ve been saying as much for years. Through our participation, Chicago Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) did earn a reputation as an organization that delivers on its commitments. But the campaign intended to establish a socialist presence in Chicago government and that requires victory. Continue reading

People Will Take Socialism Seriously When Socialists Start Acting Seriously

Kshama Sawant’s essay in The NationWant to Rebuild the Left? Take Socialism Seriously” asks people who lean to the left to take socialism seriously and points to signs of the massive political potential that exists for a new generation of reds in the United States.

This plea is somewhat misguided. Continue reading

Socialists Won 300,907 Votes in 2014

Candidate Group Votes % of Votes
Owen Hill International Socialist Organization* 3,725 27.0
Jess Spear Socialist Alternative 8,143 17.1
Adam Adrianson Socialist Party USA* 33,920 1
Eugene Puryear Party for Socialism and Liberation* 11,504 3.5
Angela Walker Solidarity 67,346 21
Howie Hawkins Socialist Party USA* 176,269 4.7
TOTAL   300,907
*Green Party candidate/ballot line.

Source.