[UPDATE - NYT today with full page story which I will post and address later -- but note how the article also points to growth of DSA as due to Trump -- but doesn't go where I go -- that some DSA people who are Bernie or bust would rather see Trump win in 2020 than any Democrat because Trump not a wishy washy Dem helps build the movement -- a very dangerous idea when Trump turns us into a police state.]They held their annual convention in Atlanta this past weekend. I've heard for months about possible fireworks as the former ISO and allies pile in and create issues at the contention. Former ISOers and allies are too weak at this point to overwhelm DSA whose leading lights eschew sectarianism. But there was at least one minor victory and since I have a bunch of things to report I will cover that in future blog posts.
Ideology repeatedly clashed with electoral pragmatism during this year's convention, which veered between a giddy celebration of the group's previously unfathomable successes, delegates' passage of Green New Deal and open borders initiatives, and painful deliberations over how to harness its new power. Two votes during the first 24 hours of the gathering put those questions on display. The first asked what to do in the event Sanders fails to win the Democratic nomination; the second considered imposing a litmus test on candidates seeking DSA's national endorsement.The results were, in effect, a split decision.More remarkable than its growth, though, is DSA's increasing presence on the electoral stage. Nearly 100 democratic socialists now hold office at almost all levels of government, from local school boards to the US Congress... ABCNews
On Friday, delegates narrowly passed a proposal that will prevent DSA from backing anyone but Sanders in the next presidential race. The argument in favor was simple: DSA is a socialist organization and risked spoiling its authority on the left by publicly backing -- as Andrew Sernatinger, a delegate from Wisconsin, argued -- "a candidate that is a neoliberal that is not what we are for."
Sectarianism is coming to DSA at the convention ... a knowledgeable and influential leftist in a conversation with me, November, 2018.DSA held its biannual convention this past weekend. My instinct is that a certain segment of socialists would rather Trump win than any Democrat, even Bernie based on the idea that all the candidates are reformers of capitalism and if they succeed they will actually strengthen capitalism and deflect organizing efforts away from building socialism. Which is what happened with the New Deal. Hard core socialists disparage FDR as a light weight reformer. But they are a minority.
DSA is a big tent socialist organization which includes some people who have been associated with the UFT leadership, rankles some sectarians who with the demise of ISO have nowhere else to go.
Current Affairs has an article on DSA caucuses: THE 2019 DSA CONVENTION: SHOWDOWN AT THE CAUCUS CORRAL
Here's tbe New Politics pre-convention analysis:
Note the Bread and Roses caucus which is where people like the ISO and DSA sectarians in MORE have piled in. Their Rank and file strategy is what they secretly discussed and then imposed within MORE and purged people who they felt did not fit into their strategy. I hear their proposal barely won which is a sign internally that half the DSA delegates pushed back and are on the alert. Wish I were there to share with them how well their strategy worked in the UFT election.
It's Bernie or bust
DSA has gone full bore for Bernie and voted this weekend not to commit to another candidate.
I am a DSA member though I don't support some of the DSA precepts about socialism but had a chance to vote for local delegates even though I didn't know most of them. So far from what I've seen DSA is very young, white and preponderantly male. But I'm only seeing a small slice. In one branch there is a requirement that one third of the elected delegates be woman and people of color, so there is an attempt to address the issue.
What tripled the membership in DSA since Trump from 8 thousand to almost 60,000 members? Hint: think orange man. Well, maybe Bernie too though he is not formally affiliated with DSA. Actually Bernie on the surface is a social democrat not a democratic socialist though I think he has been a For the major differences I posted some articles - one from the mainstream: Democratic Socialism and Social Democracy - How they differ - NY Times.
Here is the very interesting ABC news report on the convention. There's a lot to digest in this so read it twice.