Premature Democratic Socialists: Reasons for Hope and Change

In the United States there was a time in the previous century when a political campaign was waged against “premature antifascists,” namely against members of the socialist left who warned and fought against fascism well before World War II.

In the wake of that war, the leading career politicians also worked within a corporate consensus of capitalist triumphalism. The New Deal of FDR and the Great Society of LBJ were the two pillars of Democratic Party social policy that came closest to basic social democracy in the European sense.

Under the “centrist” turn of the Democratic Party, evident in the policies of the Clintonistas and the Democratic Leadership Council, important elements of social welfare were scaled back or simply ditched. Notably, Bill Clinton presided over a program of corporate deregulation that would have raised earnest criticism from some liberals had it been conducted by a Republican administration. Thus Clinton became the more effective partisan enforcer of economic regression.

By the time Obama campaigned on promises of hope and change, the bipartisan assault on the left wing of the labor union movement had already paid high dividends for the ruling class, and class divisions grew wider and faster.

Premature democratic socialists never aligned ourselves with full loyalty to the Democratic Party. How well we remember “progressives” committed to vote by rote electoral politics, and to the managerial agenda of their chosen party and career politicians. They would roll their eyes and change the subject when we suggested a radical reform of the Democratic Party, or even outright opposition to both big parties of capitalism.

A presidential candidate such as Bloomberg is one of the desperate symptoms of Very Late Capitalism, since Bloomberg’s campaign is plainly waged as much against Sanders as against Trump. Even Warren is regarded by the ruling class as too “extremist” in her calls for a reformed capitalist system.

As the Axios poll results below demonstrate, Sanders is the leading candidate among college students and among the more class conscious young people in this country. Sanders has promised a political revolution, though that promise will remain utopian without an ongoing revolution in economic relations between classes. For premature democratic socialists, there are good reasons now for hope and change.

As Rosa Luxemburg noted, every revolution is necessarily “premature,” in the sense that every class conscious movement of popular resistance works with the given problems and possibilities of our time. No friction, no traction.

More articles by:
February 24, 2020
Stephen Corry
New Deal for Nature: Paying the Emperor to Fence the Wind
M. K. Bhadrakumar
How India’s Modi is Playing on Trump’s Ego to His Advantage
Jennifer Matsui
Tycoon Battle-Bots Battle Bernie
Robert Fisk
There’s Little Chance for Change in Lebanon, Except for More Suffering
Rob Wallace
Connecting the Coronavirus to Agriculture
Bill Spence
Burning the Future: the Growing Anger of Young Australians
Eleanor Eagan
As the Primary Race Heats Up, Candidates Forget Principled Campaign Finance Stands
Binoy Kampmark
The Priorities of General Motors: Ditching Holden
George Wuerthner
Trojan Horse Timber Sales on the Bitterroot
Rick Meis
Public Lands “Collaboration” is Lousy Management
David Swanson
Bloomberg Has Spent Enough to Give a Nickel to Every Person Whose Life He’s Ever Damaged
Peter Cohen
What Tomorrow May Bring
Peter Harrison
Is It as Impossible to Build Jerusalem as It is to Escape Babylon?
Weekend Edition
February 21, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Anthony DiMaggio
Election Con 2020: Exposing Trump’s Deception on the Opioid Epidemic
Joshua Frank
Bloomberg is a Climate Change Con Man
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Billion Dollar Babies
Paul Street
More Real-Time Reflections from Your Friendly South Loop Marxist
Jonathan Latham
Extensive Chemical Safety Fraud Uncovered at German Testing Laboratory
Ramzy Baroud
‘The Donald Trump I know’: Abbas’ UN Speech and the Breakdown of Palestinian Politics
Martha Rosenberg
A Trump Sentence Commutation Attorneys Generals Liked
Ted Rall
Bernie Should Own the Socialist Label
Louis Proyect
Encountering Malcolm X
Kathleen Wallace
The Debate Question That Really Mattered
Jonathan Cook
UN List of Firms Aiding Israel’s Settlements was Dead on Arrival
George Wuerthner
‘Extremists,’ Not Collaborators, Have Kept Wilderness Whole
Colin Todhunter
Apocalypse Now! Insects, Pesticide and a Public Health Crisis  
Stephen Reyna
A Paradoxical Colonel: He Doesn’t Know What He is Talking About, Because He Knows What He is Talking About.
Evaggelos Vallianatos
A New Solar Power Deal From California
Richard Moser
One Winning Way to Build the Peace Movement and One Losing Way
Laiken Jordahl
Trump’s Wall is Destroying the Environment We Worked to Protect
Walden Bello
Duterte Does the Right Thing for a Change
Jefferson Morley
On JFK, Tulsi Gabbard Keeps Very Respectable Company
Vijay Prashad
Standing Up for Left Literature: In India, It Can Cost You Your Life
Gary Leupp
Bloomberg Versus Bernie: The Upcoming Battle?
Ron Jacobs
The Young Lords: Luchadores Para La Gente
Richard Klin
Loss Leaders
Gaither Stewart
Roma: How Romans Differ From Europeans
Kerron Ó Luain
The Soviet Century
Mike Garrity
We Can Fireproof Homes But Not Forests
Fred Baumgarten
Gaslighting Bernie and His Supporters
Joseph Essertier
Our First Amendment or Our Empire, But Not Both
Peter Linebaugh
A Story for the Anthropocene
Danny Sjursen
Where Have You Gone Smedley Butler?
Jill Richardson
A Broken Promise to Teachers and Nonprofit Workers
Binoy Kampmark
“Leave Our Bloke Alone”: A Little Mission for Julian Assange