American Socialist Tradition

The Denver Democratic Party Platform Now Has An Anti-Capitalist Plank, Thanks to Socialist Activists

By Miles Kampf-Lassin In These Times (3/28/18) In a sign of how far left the political axis has shifted since Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential run, on Saturday the Democratic Party of Denver officially ratified an anti-capitalist plank in its platform. The move was spurred by members of the Denver chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) who petitioned Denver County Democratic Assembly delegates to vote for an amendment to the official party platform. The language states: “We believe the economy should be democratically owned and controlled in order to serve the needs of the many, not to make profits…

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Behind The Growing Interest By American Teens In Socialism

  By Rebecca Stoner In These Times (2/14/18) TAMPA, FLA.—In a fluorescent lit classroom with handmade posters covering one wall, approximately 15 high school students are chanting the words of black revolutionary Assata Shakur: “It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and we must support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.” With some embarrassed giggling, they recite it once, twice, three times, led by their visiting speaker, Pamela Gomez of the Hillsborough Community Protection Coalition, an alliance of local progressive groups. These students…


Time To Wrench The Power & Our Money Back From The Billionaires

  By Bernie Sanders The Guardian (1/14/18) Here is where we are as a planet in 2018: after all of the wars, revolutions and international summits of the past 100 years, we live in a world where a tiny handful of incredibly wealthy individuals exercise disproportionate levels of control over the economic and political life of the global community. Difficult as it is to comprehend, the fact is that the six richest people on Earth now own more wealth than the bottom half of the world’s population – 3.7 billion people. Further, the top 1% now have more money than the bottom 99%. Meanwhile,…


Virginia’s New Socialist Lawmaker Calls Out Noodle Spine Dem Governor-Elect On Health Care

  By Zaid Jilani The Intercept (12/23/17) DEMOCRATS IN VIRGINIA and around the country rebuked Virginia Gov.-elect Ralph Northam for softening on a campaign promise to push for Medicaid expansion in a recent interview with the Washington Post. Newly elected state Delegate Lee Carter, a Democratic Socialist, says enough is enough, warning that Northam may be alienating the Democrats who put him in office. Northam told the Washington Post last weekend that he will not try to force a vote on expanding Medicaid — an issue that was central to his campaign — in the legislature. Responding to criticisms, the governor-elect’s spokesperson told the Washington Post that Northam still wants to expand the…


The Public Bank Option – Safer, Local & Half The Cost

Note: Phil Murphy, a former banker newly elected as New Jersey Governor, has made a state-owned bank a centerpiece of his platform. With his win on November 7, the nation’s second state-owned bank in a century could follow. By Ellen Brown Web of DebtBlog (11/4/17) A UK study published on October 27, 2017 reported that the majority of politicians do not know where money comes from. According to City A.M. (London) : “More than three-quarters of the MPs surveyed incorrectly believed that only the government has the ability to create new money. . . . “The Bank of England has previously intervened to point…


The Humane & Affordable Luxury Of Socialized Medicine

  By Megan Day Jacobin Magazine The standard case for a single-payer health insurance system is pretty well known. Anyone can get care without courting financial ruin. Monumental personal decisions, like when to have a child or whether to leave or take a job, no longer hinge on the whims of an employer or the dysfunctions of the private insurance market. Surprise hospital bills, endless phone calls with insurance companies, juggling premiums, copays, and deductibles — all will be things of the past. The case against single-payer often boils down to a single word: rationing. When critics peddle scare stories about Canadian or…


In Case They Are Interested: Socialists Just Showed The Democratic Party How To Win Across The US

  By Miles Kampf-Lassin In These Times (11/9/17) One year ago, a wave of disbelief, gloom and rage washed across the country. A vile orange manifestation of America’s darkest id had won the presidency, Republicans held control of all three branches of government, and new nightmares awaited. Trump is still president, the GOP still has the House and Senate, and every day we witness new threats to the environment, the social safety net and—with an incoherent man-child’s hands on the nuclear football—the very future of humanity. But last night we saw a very different kind of wave, one that moves us…


How A Democratic Socialist Led An Upset Over Major Republican Power Broker In Virginia

  By Megan Dean Jacobin (11/10/17) n Tuesday, democratic socialist Lee Carter unseated Jackson Miller, the Republican majority whip of Virginia’s House of Delegates. Buoyed by the enthusiasm around the Bernie Sanders campaign and backed by the Washington DC chapter of Democratic Socialists of America, Carter successfully campaigned on single-payer health care, getting money out of politics, and putting the interests of working-class Virginians above those of big donors. Running in Virginia’s 50th district, which includes the city of Manassas, Carter won with a nine-point spread, 54 to 46 percent. His Republican opponents distributed red-baiting mailers comparing him to Stalin, and the state’s Democratic…


History Dem Party Rulers Don’t Want You To Know: Today’s Progressives Need To Know The Courage Of Visionary Henry A. Wallace

  “The greatest remedy for fear is to stand up and fight for your rights.”  – Henry A. Wallace By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (10/26/17) In one of the most tragic pivot points in American – and world – history, Henry A. Wallace, FDR’s strong and visionary progressive vice president from 1941-1944 was elbowed aside in 1948 by the party’s corporate wing in favor of machine pol Harry S. Truman. What the democratic party Clinton/Obama establishment did to Bernie Sanders in the 2016 election was a replay of the nightmarish duplicity and mugged dreams and betrayed promise of 1948….


‘Medicare for all’ Would Be A Lot Cheaper Than You Might Think

  By Gerald Friedman The Conversation (9/19 Public support for single-payer health care has been rising in recent months amid failed Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. That’s perhaps why Sen. Bernie Sanders on September 13 introduced a new version of his single-payer plan with the support of 16 Democratic colleagues, a sharp rise from 2013 when none signed on to a similar proposal. It would not only expand Medicare to all Americans but make it more comprehensive by covering more services like mental health, dental care and vision, all without copayments or deductibles. But Sanders’s plan would come at a steep price: likely more than…


Bernie Releases Blueprint For GOP Demise

    By Scott Galindez Reader Supporter News (9/5/17) “If there was ever a time in history for a generation to be bold and to think big, to stand up and to fight back, now is that time.”  – Bernie Sanders   That statement is on the inside cover of Bernie Sanders’ new book, “Guide to a Political Revolution.” Bernie dedicates the book to the younger generation: “You are in many ways the most progressive generation in the history of our country. You have opposed racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, and oligarchy. You understand that greed and the grotesque level of…


1945 Short Film ‘The House I Live In’ Celebrated A Time When The US Aspired To Be Better Than It Was

  By Mark L Taylor The Commoner Call (8/14/17) Unlike now, in the years immediately following WW II the government and Hollywood would speak out forcefully in the popular media against (some) forms of racism and prejudice. Following the war homegrown American fascists were pushing a lot of anti-Semitism. In the 1945 award-winning short film  The House I Live In Frank Sinatra was featured as the main character intervening with a gang of kids bullying a Jewish boy. The film featured the song The House I Live In which was written by black-listed writer Abel Meeropol who wrote the lyrics…


Why The Democratic Socialists Of America Are Experiencing A Boom

By Douglas Williams The Guardian (8/12/17) For the Democratic Socialists of America, there has been a silver-lining in this dark year dominated by Trump. Thanks to a post-election membership boom, the organization is now 25,000 people strong. The DSA has become the largest socialist organization since the heyday of Eugene Debs and the Socialist Party of America at the turn of the 20th century. Most of the new members of the organization have been young people, whose affinity for socialist ideas – or at the very least a rejection of capitalism – has been growing in recent years as the…


“For the Many, Not the Few:” Yoo-Hoo, Dems! Labour Party Gains In Britain Highlight Political Viability Of Socialism

TheCommonerCall.org   By Ben Dangl CounterPunch (6/13/17) British Prime Minister Theresa May recently called for snap elections to take place on June 8th an in effort to win a more powerful mandate for her Conservative Party ahead of Brexit negotiations. However, May’s plan backfired as the Conservatives lost their majority of seats in the vote. Now no party holds an outright majority in Parliament. While the Conservative Party lost seats, the Labour Party led by socialist Jeremy Corbyn won an additional 24 percent of seats and its largest share of votes since 2005. These gains by the Labour Party underscore…


The UK Elections: How The Democrats Should Learn To Stop Worrying & Love Socialism

  By Kate Aronoff In These Times (6/9/17) Here is a brief and wholly incomplete list of things included in the manifesto that Britain’s Labour Party ran on to rip the Tories’ overall Parliamentary majority out from under them: Nationalize the British rail system; Bring electric utilities under public ownership; Make corporations and the rich pay more in taxes; Ban fracking; Abolish tuition fees; Transition to using 60 percent low-carbon fuels by 2030. This list goes on, and includes several more proposals that have long been considered third rail issues for American politicians afraid of offending both their donors and…


Corbyn’s Surprise Showing Offers Blueprint For Our Party, Say Left-Leaning Democrats

  By Adam Gabbatt The Guardian (6/10/17) Progressive politicians in the US have hailed Jeremy Corbyn’s performance in the British general election “an inspiration” that could shift the Democratic party to the left in the run-up to the 2018 midterms. Bernie Sanders was among those to praise Labour’s result, saying it showed “people are rising up against austerity and massive levels of income and wealth inequality,” while left-leaning members of Congress said the victory would have major implications for the future of Democrats. The Labour party, running on a leftwing platform, gained 32 seats in Thursday’s election as the Conservatives…


Worker Notes: The Benefits Of European Unions Have A Seat In Corporate Board Rooms Are Many

  A different type of union. A different kind of life. By Tom Crofton The Commoner Call (6/12/17) Many of the chronic problems we now see with the American union movement can be tracked back to the history of European craft guilds and the relationships of masters to apprentices. The constricting effect of one–to–one instruction, portioned out slowly over time to fit market demand and prevent competition between master and apprentice was one cause for the fractured condition of Labor today. The transition to modern American trade unions followed the idea of organizing around skills instead of by entire industries,…


While The Poor Lose Basic Benefits Upper Middle Class Whites Benefit From ‘White Socialism’

  By Chris Ladd Forbes (3/13/17) Election 2016 has prompted a wave of head-scratching on the left. Counties Trump won by staggering margins will be among the hardest hit by the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Millions of white voters who supported Donald Trump stand to lose their access to health coverage because of their vote. Individual profiles of Trump voters feed this baffling narrative. A Washington Post story described the experience of Clyde Graham, a long-unemployed coal worker who depends on the ACA for access to health care. He voted for Trump knowing it might cost him his health…


Gee, Thanks! Insurance Companies Just Made The Case For Medicare For All!

By Daniel Marans The Huffington Post (3/9/17) America’s Health Insurance Plans, the trade group for commercial health insurance companies, published an infographic this month breaking down how the industry spends every dollar it receives in premiums. The group apparently crafted the visual aid to defend rising premiums its member companies are charging customers. But the chart also inadvertently helps explain why commercial health insurance is a bad deal. The graphic shows that about 80 percent of every premium dollar goes toward medical expenses ― prescription drugs, doctor visits, hospitalization and other services. Approximately 18 percent goes to administrative costs, and some 3…