The postwar Second Red Scare successfully smashed the American left. But in the midst of its devastation, a small number of old leftists refused to be shut up by the climate of fear. Without their heroism, the New Left could never have emerged.
Benjamin Balthaser is associate professor of multi-ethnic US literature at Indiana University, South Bend. He is the author of Anti-Imperialist Modernism and Dedication.
Mark Levin’s American Marxism is full of absurd inaccuracies about socialists. But accuracy isn’t his aim — Levin wants a sweep of “Marxists” from every layer of American society, a 21st-century rerun of McCarthyist authoritarianism to attack the Left.
Cold War hysteria meant that Communist writer Mike Gold has been universally denounced in life and death. But Gold’s pioneering work created a working-class literature written for, by, and about working-class people — and it should be celebrated today.
David Graeber’s intellectual legacy is enormous and wide-ranging, but his recent writings on antisemitism deeply moved me. He knew that antisemitism was far from dead — and he also knew that only a democratic left could stop it.
The roots of modern Zionism are in colonialism. This was the foundation of the Jewish left’s opposition to Zionism in the 1930s and ’40s, on the grounds that it is a form of right-wing nationalism and imperialism that is fundamentally opposed to working-class internationalism.
The racism and red-baiting of Bari Weiss’s latest book, How to Fight Anti-Semitism, isn’t an accident. It reflects her deep conflation of her own Judaism with American exceptionalism and the US global empire.
An interview with Rabbi Brant Rosen, founder of the United States’s first openly non-Zionist temple.
Contemporary antisemitism must be confronted. Yet liberals who insist on equating leftists like Jeremy Corbyn with the open antisemitism of right-wing figures like Donald Trump are not only blatantly dishonest, but prevent us from fighting anti-Jewish bigotry.
The answer to the miseries of modernity isn’t to reject modernity — it’s to demand more of it.
The work of Native American activist Archie Phinney shows how Marxism can help advance indigenous struggle.