The presidential election: What’s left?

By BRUCE LESNICK With the imminent demise of the Bernie Sanders campaign for the Democratic Party nomination, discussion has turned to what should come next. Some, including Seattle Socialist City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant, have agitated for creating a generic “party of the left.” But what does that mean? As we shall see, it’s a troublingly…

Bernie Sanders’ demise: What are the lessons?

By JEFF MACKLER (This is an updated and expanded version of the article we first published on May 12.) U.S. primary election math pundits, as well as virtually the entire corporate media, insist, and with good reason, that Bernie Sanders has lost the Democratic Party presidential primary election contest. Indeed, following his nearly 13-point California…

Sanders, socialism and the U.S. left in crisis

By JEFF MACKLER U.S. primary election math pundits are now calculating that Bernie Sanders cannot win the Democratic Party presidential primary contest. His impending demise, and indeed his Democratic Party candidacy itself, has sparked a wide-ranging discussion and debate in the U.S. socialist movement, and in broader circles, that reveals an extraordinary level of confusion…

Clinton, Kissinger and the coup in Honduras

By ANN MONTAGUE In one of the early Democratic Party debates, in order to inflate her credentials as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton threw out an off-the-cuff comment about her relationship with Henry Kissinger: “I was very flattered when Henry Kissinger said I ran the State Department better—better than anybody had run it in a…

The politics of deception

BY JEFF MACKLER I am tempted to compare the stated political views of the leading Republican and Democratic Party presidential contenders—even though they are largely irrelevant. But ranking Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders according to their purported degree of “socialist, progressive, liberal, conservative” or even incipient-fascist views is of little value in comparison to their…

House socialists and field socialists

By BRUCE LESNICK I wholeheartedly support the populist programs that Bernie Sanders advocates—from single-payer health care, to free college tuition, to taxing the rich and more. But borrowing from Malcolm X [see excerpt below], Bernie is a house socialist and I’m a field socialist. Bernie doesn’t want to replace or overthrow capitalism. Like all house socialists, he thinks capitalism can be fixed or tamed…

‘Lesser-evil’ politics from Trump to Sanders

By JEFF MACKLER That the leading Republican Party presidential candidate, multi-billionaire Donald Trump, is a full-blown reactionary caricature of a capitalist politician is now the common parlance of most major media outlets. Even the relatively conservative Washington Post featured a Dec. 1 Dana Milibank column entitled, “Donald Trump Racist Bigot.” Milibank, reflecting the general unease…

How capitalism blunts social reforms

By JOE AUCIELLO Every four years the presidential election season sprouts another set of politicians singing songs of social reform, a chorus as predictable as carolers at Christmas. Winter voices ring with words of cheer: “Peace on earth, good will to men”—words as routine and meaningless as any campaign promise of “hope and change” or…

Bernie Sanders & the labor movement

By ANN MONTAGUE Socialist Action has published several articles in recent issues exposing Bernie Sanders and the Democratic Party. This included a look at past primary elections that were used to raise workers’ hopes that there would be a place for their aspirations within the Democratic Party. Another article looked at Sanders’ role in Congress…

Is Sanders campaign a ‘new movement’?

By DANIEL ADAM  Senator Bernie Sanders continues to draw large crowds to his presidental campaign rallies. Now, unfortunately, a growing wing of the socialist movement in the United States is seeking a way in. On July 29, Solidarity published a winding statement approved by its convention entitled, “Connecting Sanders’ Audience’s Aspirations to Clear Working Class…

Whose Lives Matter?

By BILL ONASCH  Netroots Nation bills its live body gatherings as the biggest conference of Progressives—by which they mean liberal Democrats. At their annual conclave, held in Phoenix in July, they featured a presidential candidate Town Hall Meeting that included the two top long-shot challengers to Hillary Clinton for the Donkey Party nod—Senator Bernie Sanders,…

Jill Stein: ‘A Green New Deal’

By JOE AUCIELLO  As Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign gains increasing public support and respectful media attention, physician and Green Party activist Dr. Jill Stein has announced her own candidacy for president. Speaking on “Democracy Now” on June 26, Stein, the Green Party candidate in 2012, vowed to run on a “Power to the People” platform…

Bernie Sanders & oppositional criticism

By JOE AUCIELLO “… the oppositional criticism is nothing more than a safety valve for mass dissatisfaction, a condition of the stability of the social structure.” — Leon Trotsky in his preface to “The History of the Russian Revolution.” In early June, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton told a conference organized by Service Employees International…

Democrat tops combat Sawant re-election

By ANN MONTAGUE Kshama Sawant’s re-election campaign is in full swing. The Seattle Socialist Alternative candidate, who won a seat on the Seattle City Council two years ago, is mobilizing her supporters to win again. Since her election in 2013, Sawant fulfilled her campaign promise to make Seattle the first major city to pass a…

Sanders seeks nomination by Democrats

By DANIEL ADAM If history records any gains for working people in the coming electoral season, the term “sheepdog” might well appear at the top. Its author (or at least, its popularizer), Bruce Dixon, describes with it those leftish candidates who appear in presidential primaries to corral the radicalizing or disillusioned back to the flock…

Obama’s lame duck quackery

 By BILL ONASCH The annual ritual of President Obama’s State of the Union address to Congress (SOTU), required by law and custom, comes without any mandate for action. It has evolved into Reality TV viewed by tens of millions—but with less lasting impact than the style decrees of Fashion Police. It is one component of…

Unmasking the hype of capitalist economics

BY JEFF MACKLER The U.S. working class, the nation’s poor and oppressed, and the youth won a resounding victory on Election Day 2014 when they cast their “votes” for the most popular candidate of all—“None of the Above.” Indeed, “None of the Above” won the much-hyped midterm election “contest” hands down, when 64% of eligible…

The U.S. election charade

BY JEFF MACKLER The results are in: The Republican Party won at least seven more seats in the Senate, and now controls both houses of the U.S. Congress. Disaster is in the making! Right? The Democrats and Republicans spent an unprecedented mid-term, if not all-time, election total of $4 billion, roughly $2 billion each. The…

NYC mayor hustles cuts for city workers

By MARTY GOODMAN New York’s self-proclaimed “progressive” mayor, Bill de Blasio, promised “respect” for the city’s 300,000 unionized public workers and has pledged to fight the city’s vast income inequality. What unions actually got was the same old hustle from the Democratic Party, as part of the city’s 1%. De Blasio, who took office in…

Bush vs. Clinton in 2016?

By MARK T. HARRIS If mainstream politics is a petrified forest, there are signs of life at the grassroots.  The way American politics works now, presidential election campaigns run on a perpetual cycle, beginning again almost as soon as they end. Yet despite the drawn-out nature of political campaigns, they increasingly resemble rote public relations…

Kshama Sawant’s inauguration speech

By KSHAMA SAWANT  We reprint below the inauguration speech of Socialist Alternative member Kshama Sawant, who was elected Seattle’s first socialist city council member in over a century. Socialist Action hails her election as a victory for the entire socialist movement. My brothers and sisters, thank you for your presence here today. This city has…

Socialist elected to Seattle city council

By ANN MONTAGUE On Nov. 16, eleven days after election night, the first socialist to be elected to the Seattle city council held her victory rally. The rally was at the headquarters of SEIU 775NW. This fact alone is significant since SEIU endorsed her opponent. By the time Socialist Alternative candidate Kshama Sawant spoke that…