Thursday, July 19, 2018

Talking Democratic Party Politics – Is Socialism on the rise? - Norm Scott in The Wave

Another example of Normsplainin'

This week's column in The WAVE, July 20, 2018,

School Scope: Talking Democratic Party Politics – Is Socialism on the rise?
By Norm Scott

Have you been paying attention to the avalanche of stories about instant media star, 28 year old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who defeated Queens Democratic Party boss Joe Crowley in the congressional primary in June? It seems Crowley remains in charge of the Queens organization at this point. I wonder how his defeat will affect politics in Queens since he and his machine have been a gate keeper as to which people can run for which office. How much fun would it be to see more challenges in our borough and Rockaway neighborhood to stimulate politics beyond the same old same old? But let’s leave that aside for this column and address some of the bigger issues.

Ocasio-Cortez identifies herself as a socialist and is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), a fast growing national organization that is gaining more attention. Some view this as a good thing that will turn the Democratic Party sharply to the left. Others view such a turn to the left as a disaster that will assure Trump and the Republicans control over every branch of government for the next generation. The constant yin-yang among Democrats reflects the conflict between the Bernie and Hillary wings of the Party. The popular terms are progressive and centrist wings. Bernie has not been identified as a Democrat but as an independent with a socialist label. Bernie has been called a Commie when in fact he is a social democrat (ie Scandinavian style), which has created some confusion since most of the people in this nation tend to lump all socialists and even progressives into one pile as “the left.” Almost every nation in Europe has a major party under the S-D label. Some of my conservative friends consider the NY Times as far left, which causes howls of laughter since the so-called “left” has an even wider range of political variation than we see on the right.

DSA members work inside and outside the Democratic Party and its members would be considered the far left of the Democrats. Other wings of the DSA are vehemently opposed to working with the Democrats – from what I’ve seen this would be the Marxist-Leninists (ML), some of whom support the Green Party while others believe that only a Leninist type party will do. (Good luck with that.) They call for a workers party.

There’s no way I can delve into the variations of socialism in this limited space so here are a few brief points (check my blog for more in depth analysis.) Pretty much anyone who is some form of socialist is fundamentally anti-capitalist and believes that system will one day fall apart, just as its predecessor feudalism did, as predicted by Carl Marx almost two centuries ago. He may have gotten the time frame a little wrong, (sort of like the people who believe the bible and claim the earth is 6.000 years old) but like global warming will one day raise sea levels 50 feet or more as the polar ice caps melt, capitalism will one day eat itself up. Which will come first, unstoppable global warming or the end of capitalism? Or will these events arise simultaneously since capitalism with its fundamental essence of profit above all else will prevent us from addressing global warming until it is too late?

I’m heading to the beach while it’s still there. If you are interested in some realistic science fiction, check out Kim Stanley Robinson’s New York 2140. Where Manhattan is sort of like Venice – at least what is left of it above 34th St. I won’t scare you with what the rest of the city looks like.

When he’s not blogging at Norm is looking into beach front property – in Idaho.

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