The 2019 Jacobin Mixtape

We covered the good, the bad, and the ugly all year, from Bernie Sanders's presidential run to the violent coup against Evo Morales in Bolivia. Here are some of the highlights (and lowlights).

In the United States, the message of 2019 was clear: Bernie Sanders has a fighting chance in the Democratic presidential primary race.

Internationally, the Right continued its advance in some countries — notably in the UK, where Boris Johnson’s Tories recently won an increased majority. But elsewhere, in Ecuador, Chile, Iraq, and so many other countries, popular protest movements exploded to challenge the terms of neoliberal development in the streets.

At Jacobin, we’ve done our best to cover the ups and downs of a long and disorienting year, the capstone to a long and disorienting decade. We’ll do the same next year and each year after that. Our goal is socialism in our time — and, until then, to make socialist media available to the masses.

If you want to keep us going into 2020, we need your support. Please consider donating today.


The year kicked off with some fresh teachers’ strikes, as militants in Los Angeles, Denver, West Virginia, and elsewhere consolidated their victories and pushed for further gains. Jacobin asked, What would it take to turn this moment into a movement?


Bernie Sanders announced he was running, and not a moment too soon.

On the day of his announcement, we released an issue on what a Sanders administration could accomplish and what its prospects would be.

Socialists in Chicago won an electoral upset. (The city has a half dozen socialist city council members now.) In New York, the movement against Amazon’s proposed mega-center beat back the retail giant, which withdrew its plans for the city on Valentine’s Day.

Raising kids sucks. Under socialism, it doesn’t have to.


It was true in March, and it’s true now: Minnesota representative Ilhan Omar is not antisemitic. Those who call her a bigot are just out to smear a principled pro-Palestinian lawmaker.

In France, protests took to the streets to oppose President Emanuel Macron’s neoliberal reforms. In Britain, the looming Brexit threw open the question of Irish unity.


As the Right and establishment Democrats alike attempted to smear them, we defended Ilhan Omar and New York representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Meanwhile, Trump’s brutal anti-migrant policies led to a further intensification of the deportation state, as migrant detention on the border became a horrifying reality.

The Arab Spring continued in Sudan, where mass protests ended the rule of dictator Omar al-Bashir.


Following similar proposals from Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party, Bernie Sanders announced a plan to move towards a democratized economy in the United States. Meanwhile, across the pond, with Labour anticipating a general election, the question of Brexit became a stumbling block for the Left.

In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party strengthened its hold over the world’s largest democracy.

Jacobin spoke with Isra Hirsi about the youth climate strike and her hope for a healthy planet.


We released our housing issue, which argued against neoliberal nostrums about rent control and defended public housing efforts, past and present.


Bernie Sanders’s Medicare-for-All proposal became the talk of the primary. Kamala Harris (remember her?) declined to endorse the policy, instead triangulating herself into declining polls and a ticket out of the race.

We memorialized Democratic Socialists of America founder Michael Harrington with several remembrances: a political biography, a call for contemporary socialists to follow his lead, and a discussion of his legacy.

We called it as we saw it: the Border Patrol is the American SS.


We released an issue about militarism, explaining the history of socialists among rank-and-file soldiers, the perverse effects of the “military welfare state” on working-class politics, how developing new war technology destroys public science, and much more.


Jacobin columnist Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor took stock of the Black Lives Matter movement, five years since the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson.


Fifty thousand workers, represented by the United Autoworkers (UAW), went out on strike against General Motors.

Protests erupted in Hong Kong, where democracy is under constant threat by both Chinese and Western imperialism.


The Chicago Teachers Union, whose 2012 strike provided one source of inspiration for the recent upsurge in teachers’ struggle, went out on strike again.

Anti-austerity protests rocked Lebanon and Chile.

We released an issue about populism amid a flurry of commentary from pundits about the perils and potentials of populist movements. Don’t worry, our mission remains the same: to build a mass movement of the working class.


In Bolivia, president Evo Morales was deposed by a violent right-wing coup.

Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party suffered a devastating loss in the UK elections, but the international left must press on.

Trump finally got impeached. We entertained a left case for impeachment, on the one hand, and wondered about the point of it, on the other.