At the height of a calamitous war presided over by a Democratic president, the brilliant socialist organizer Bayard Rustin tried to forge a mass coalition to deliver progressive change. His failure to do so in the 1960s tells us much about building one today.
Chris Maisano is a Jacobin contributing editor and a member of Democratic Socialists of America.
Jacobin has been a flagship publication of “millennial socialism,” a phenomenon that began gathering force around 2010 and first fought its way into the political arena through the 2016 Bernie campaign. How did this generational movement come to be? And where does it go now?
Democratic socialists have made their most significant electoral inroads in years by operating as a left-wing faction in the Democratic Party. Chris Maisano argues that we should own that strategy, and push it further.
While the Left agonizes over its relationship to the Democrats, the extreme right has few qualms about throwing elbows within the GOP. Socialists should follow their lead and accept doing battle within the Democratic Party as the only viable political option.
We live in an era of major mass protest in nearly every single region in the world. Yet social revolutions as we knew them in the twentieth century are nowhere to be found. Why?
The clock is ticking on averting the worst of climate disaster, raising the question for many if activists should turn to militant actions like industrial sabotage. But it’s not time to give up on democratic politics to save the planet.
We must condemn US foreign policy — but we must also articulate the socialist alternative to it.
The Right’s recent attacks on birthright citizenship are a further step in their slide toward “postfascism.”
The tragedies, brutalities, and absurdities of Stalinism are all there onscreen in Costa-Gavras’s classic 1970 film The Confession.
Progressives at the city level face all sorts of constraints, from business interests to hostile state legislatures. But we shouldn’t preemptively clip our wings: left reformers like Chicago’s Brandon Johnson can transform cities into pro-worker havens.
There’s no reason to venerate the framers of the US Constitution. The document they created was explicitly designed to check the democratic will of ordinary people and protect the plutocratic interests of the propertied elite.
During the Cold War, Yugoslav socialist Tito tried to chart a course apart from the Soviets. But his actions enraged Stalin — putting Tito on the unlikely path of seeking Western support and revealing the difficulties of nonalignment amid great power politics.
The Dayton Agreement ended the bloody Bosnian War of the 1990s, but it hasn’t resolved the conflicts plaguing the country. It’s a cautionary tale for finding an effective peace agreement in Ukraine.
It’s not that partisan voting patterns are becoming decoupled from class — it’s that a complicated new set of alignments, rooted in the social and occupational structures of a postindustrial economy, is emerging in the United States.
The war in Ukraine has overshadowed the ongoing battle between Armenia and Azerbaijan. But both conflicts show the Soviet Union is still unraveling — with devastating, bloody consequences.
Leftists shouldn’t counterpose working-class voters on the one hand and college-educated voters on the other. Our strategy can combine a working-class economic program with a progressive approach to social and cultural questions.
The question of what to do about the Democrats is a perpetual quandary for leftists. In the 1970s, the New Politics movement tried to move the party in a more progressive direction. Perhaps the movement deserves more credit than many socialists have given it.
In recent upsurges of working-class organizing among teachers, nurses, Starbucks baristas, and Amazon workers, college-educated workers have played central roles. That won’t change anytime soon.
Like our leading figures, our new left is young and highly educated. Is that tanking our chances at building a mass working-class coalition?
To strengthen workers’ collective bargaining rights, the Biden administration looks poised to recommend a host of modest reforms to existing programs and policies. But the working class will remain disempowered unless it organizes itself on a mass scale.