77 Articles by: Chris Maisano

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Chris Maisano is a Jacobin contributing editor and a member of Democratic Socialists of America.

How Joseph Stalin Became a Bolshevik

Ronald Suny’s Stalin: Passage to Revolution traces Joseph Stalin’s trajectory from his boyhood in Georgia to the Russian Revolution in 1917. In an interview, Suny explains the specificities of the Georgian socialist movement, Stalin’s role in the revolution, and why Stalinism was “bloody, ruthless,” and “the nadir of the Soviet experiment.”

Secession Planning

A looser union with more room for state and regional autonomy, as two recent books advocate, would cede much of America to the mercies of the Right.


The Marxism of Leo Panitch

Leo Panitch emphasized three core themes throughout his career: the process of class formation, the key role of political parties in facilitating this process, and the need to transform the state instead of wielding it in its current form. In doing so, he gave the democratic-socialist movement an invaluable trove of resources to change the world with.

Don’t Study Collective Action Alone: Ten Years of Jacobin

Before the resurgence of socialist activism in the United States, Jacobin Reading Groups provided a halfway house between passive, primarily intellectual engagement with the socialist project and full-fledged organizational commitment for thousands of people. They played a real role in resurrecting the US left.

Why We Should Care About American Federalism

In the face of climate crisis and police killings, thinking about American federalism can seem terribly boring. But the fragmentation of the US state and the dilution of popular power are at the root of many of our most pressing problems — and we desperately need fundamental changes to the country’s constitutional order.

America’s Federalist Dysfunction Isn’t Going Away

Instead of prompting the coordinated, national response that’s needed, this pandemic is exacerbating one of the most destructive and enduring themes of US political life: the sectional conflict between states, and between town and country. Progress in battling coronavirus will continue to be hamstrung by our dysfunctional federalist system.