Here's why I hate modern socialists: They can't have a discussion that doesn't hinge on (A) nomenclature (B) history (C) semantics so you end up having a historic discussion of the nomenclature of semantics or a semantic discussion of the nomenclature of history or a nomenclatural discussion of the history of semantics and somehow, because the entire body politic of American socialists is so far up their own ass they can no longer see daylight, any discussion as to why a person who isn't already a resident of Eugene, Oregon with a masters in revolutionary politics in mid-century Spain should give the first fuck about any of it is assumed as solved by inspection and it's NOT.
You should absolutely not checkout the r/socialism subreddit.
can't look up from their fucking kombucha
Hey now, don't drag kombucha through the mud. That shit tastes good. If you can get over the smell of feet...
... there is a simile here. I feel it.
And sweet jesus fucking christ if they'd try speaking in the language of the people who need socialism, in terms of what those people would get out of socialism, they might not be hated and mocked by mutherfuckers like me.
If they manage to Capitalize (heh) on this moment, and keep any of the people who have started to align with them, it'll be because of this: those new people are coopting the movement.
Sunkara's print journal saw subscriptions level off in 2016. You'd have assumed it would have grown during the Bernie movement. He certainly did.
But the DSA has grown from 8,000 to 25,000 dues payers since the start of the year. Not a staggering amount, I know. And of a lot of them probably did it as a reaction to Trump. Foul weather supporters, if you will. But here's the thing: those new people? The ones who out number the old guard? Surprise, surprise: they just voted in new leadership.
Looking at my twitter feed (the vote literally happened this morning), it looks like the Praxis (I know, the name isn't helping) and Momentum slates won. Which is good, as they're a big part of why I was willing to join DSA last month.
Praxis focused on community organizing.
The opening line to their preamble was relevant to your semantics/nomenclature/history comment:
The Left’s lack of impact is not a messaging problem; it’s a substantive one.
The core nugget of their platform:
Our National Training Strategy is an attempt to un-pack the ‘secret sauce’ of a wide array of organizing skills and tactics so members develop the skills to pursue their own politics. Poor and working people — particularly people of color — are often treated as external objects of organizing. People all around us are carrying the burden of struggle each day because they must in order to survive. No one is simply waiting for us to reveal the truth of socialism.
Meanwhile, Momentum proposed focusing on HOLY FUCKING SHIT. Working examples of American socialism:
A national campaign for Medicare For All is at the heart of this project.
Their labor strategy is similarly build-on-what-we-actually-have:
What is the role of a socialist organization in the labor movement today? We argue that the current situation leaves us with one choice: the adoption of a rank-and-file strategy.
Our view is that this program should focus on three main strategic “industries”: education, health care, and logistics/distribution. These fields are critical nodes in today’s economy; offer opportunities to both rebuild existing unions and organize the unorganized; and give rank-and-file socialist organizers the chance to build power while living a decent life.
Which has merit to my eyes, although they are colored by Teamster United lenses. The only reason TU didn't take control of the Teamsters last year is that they didn't contest Canada at all. They limited their slate to the US. And they won the US. So that gives me hope.
Minneapolis just got a $15 minimum wage. Kansas City is voting on the same this Tuesday. So that gives me hope.
I just found out that I now have two DSA organizations within 40 minutes of where I sit. A viable candidate for city council is meeting with one of them later this month. To reiterate: I live in fucking Kansas. Sure, the Berkeley of Kansas. But still: Kansas. So that gives me hope.
This is shit that gives me hope: the new kids seem to be grabbing the wheel and looking around, not down.
Maybe there's not a lot of 'em. But I know there's not a lot of people voting for city council.
edited to add links