Thursday, August 9, 2018

Socialism and Socialists in the Press; Another Young Hispanic socialist, Julia Salazar

In one of the [Bushwick's] storefront’s Gothic windows, someone has taped up a recent cover of the New York Times Sunday Review section. “Millennial Socialists Are Coming,” reads the headline, while beneath it a metal placard nailed to the building’s facade cautions visitors striding through the parlor’s entryway to “Watch Your Step.”... Peter Rugh, The Indypendent, The Next Big Socialist Win 
The Independent has a story on Julia Salazar, 27 years old and a
democratic socialist, running for state assembly in Brooklyn against the candidate who is out of the old Vito Lopez empire - so she may have a tougher go than Ocasio-Cortez did -- her older male opponent is also Hispanic.

This district covers the area where I spent most of my teaching career -- I'm thinking of going up there to help out. I still sort of know the politics -- the young candidate has a more uphill battle in that she is going up against the machine but it is also run by Hispanics. But she has the growing DSA machine working for her:

Peter Rugh's story is a must read for its insights into the left and the DSA methods.
The Next Big Socialist Win (in North Brooklyn)
Julia Salazar wants to put working-class demands front and center in Albany. But first, she has to defeat a wily old party boss.
Peter Rugh Aug 7
Issue 238

First there was Ocasio-Cortez, now it's Julia Salazar running an energetic campaign across North Brooklyn to become the first openly socialist New York state legislator in decades.
FOX was crowing about the losses of long-shot candidates endorsed by the new socialist wing of the Democratic Party let by Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders. But the game is in its earliest stages.

Every day I seem to read a reference in the NY Times to socialism or stories talking about capitalism.

Bernie Sanders certainly has raised the issue, but he was presented as an outlier and just an old lefty grouch. Then came the Ocasio-Cortez victory in the Dem Party primary that shook both conservatives and liberals - that a 28-year old would openly declare herself a socialist. Then came Cynthia Nixon and even de Blasio jumping on the bandwagon. Who's next, Cuomo?

After almost 8 decades of red scares and witch hunts, it's safe for socialists to go back in the water. But watch the intense attacks to come from both the right, center and even the left, especially from the left wing purists who disparage Bernie and Ocasio-Cortez for not being "authentic" socialists ---- in future posts we will get into the differences between the social democrats and the Marxist-Lenists and its various wings from the Trotskyists to other sects. For those of you who ask what does this have to do with the UFT? Well, a lot, but I'll keep you in suspense.

Peter Rugh, author of our lead story here (I did a long interview with him for an ed story he was doing and found him so knowledgeable), makes this point:
the fact that a high-profile candidate like Nixon would embrace ideas that once elicited visions of Stalinism in American minds indicates how far socialism has risen in the public’s estimation and how much political clout DSA is garnering. But the organization’s growth and electoral success have also posed new strategic challenges.
Peter goes on to talk about the isolation of socialists in this country and part of the reasons why -- these little competing sectarian grouplets which all think they are the only ones with the answers. 
Banished from the mainstream political arena in the United States, Marxism has survived — barely — through two main poles of activity. One, in academia; the other, through small grouplets whose members, never numbering more than a few hundred, tout a near-unified political outlook and attract recruits in ones and twos through social-movement activism.
By avoiding engaging in the mainstream political arena -- mostly by disparaging the Democratic Party -- which does deserve its share of disparagement - but then attacking those on the left who venture forth and at times feel they have to shave back their positions. That affects the purists on the left.
Socialism has thereby avoided sullying itself with the form of political activity Americans engage in most: the two-party electoral process. It has maintained its ideological purity while managing to be awesomely irrelevant.
He could be talking about how MORE is organizing. Rugh does not neglect the dangers of working in the Dem party:
Not that fears of engaging with the Democratic Party aren’t well founded. It has a way of vacuuming up social movements’ energy and subverting the outcomes activists are fighting for.

DSA is an attempting a new method of electoral engagement... In addition to his role as a co-leader of DSA’s local New York chapter, Younus helps train DSA activists across the country in basic campaign organizing. Canvassing is covered, obviously, but also communications, social media, research, district analysis and resource allocation. “The goal is to strip away the power of the consultant class,” he said. “There’s this idea that there are keepers of secret information, but really, that information should be democratized and shouldn’t cost absurd sums of money. Candidates who truly represent the communities they are coming from should have access to that, their campaigns should have access to that and grassroots activists especially should have access to that, so that they can be engaged at this level and not need millions of dollars to do it.”
I will be publishing left wing attacks on people who work with the Democratic Party -- I've been called an opportunist for even bringing it up

Here are some of the stories I am collating for those of you who have missed them -- they are tied together by  my own weird logic.


Here's another DSA endorsed candidate who will probably be in the House with Ocasio-Cortez --- things are looking interesting

Detroit: Rashida Tlaib Just Won An Election That’ll Likely Make Her The First Muslim Woman In Congress

Tlaib raised more money than her Democratic competitors, and won the endorsement of the Detroit Free Press. She was also backed by a host of organizations on the left, including the Sanders-aligned Our Revolution and Greater Detroit Democratic Socialists of America, which identifies Tlaib as a member.

I posted this before ( but wanted to include it in this list.

This is counter article on a center Dem who had been in the military and then went into teaching and was a leader of the teacher strikes and a hero to many other teachers. He also voted for Trump but now regrets it. This is the other side of the "let's everyone go left" even if the district is 97% white and conservative.

Can a Pro-Coal Democrat in West Virginia Carve a Path for His Party ...
Jul 17, 2018 - He has built support in a deep red coal-country district by riding a wave ... are focused almost exclusively on flipping seats in suburban districts, ...

Then look at this review from last Friday's NY Times Arts:

Review: In ‘Prairie Trilogy,’ All-American Stories of Socialism
What does it mean to be a socialist in America, and why do people get so angry, and angrily terrified, when some Americans espouse socialism as a fairer system than the one in place? These questions have been coming up more frequently in recent years, prompted by the rhetoric and policy propositions of the recent presidential hopeful Senator Bernie Sanders and the ascendance of younger politicians, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the congressional candidate from New York who is unabashedly aligned with the Democratic Socialists of America.
You may find an engaging answer to at least the first of the above questions in “Prairie Trilogy,” a collection of three short documentaries made between 1977 and 1980 and directed by the regional filmmakers John Hanson and Rob Nilsson. Now playing in New York in restored form, the movies are companion pieces to Mr. Hanson and Mr. Nilsson’s 1978 feature “Northern Lights,” a fictionalized tale of the real North Dakota labor union called the Nonpartisan League, which formed about a half a decade before America’s involvement in World War I.

1 comment:

  1. That's a weird one. Her opponent has a record. Under policy, the first thing he lists is education. And he doesn't say much, but here it is:

    Senator Dilan has stressed the importance of our educational system in the City and State for more than 30 years. In Albany he has consistently pushed for adequate resources so that our children can reach their full potential. His vote helped establish New York’s tuition-free college program. He is also critical of untested teacher evaluation methods. Senator Dilan was proud to secure a $20 million grant for the construction of Cypress Hills Community School that opened in 2010.

    “Tying teacher evaluations to education funding was a capitulation last year; one that many of us rightly derided and warned of the outcome. As expected, the consequence of mandating untested standards on our schools as a condition of their funding, has proved flawed. What’s worse, is that this political experiment stands to negatively impact more than 80 percent of the school districts and students we are obligated to help.”

    Her stuff is progressive, too. But aside from the DSA label, I don't think she outflanks him to the left.


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