SECTARIANS COMPLAINING OF OTHER SECTARIANS; “SECTARIANS FOR DEMOCRACY!” By Kevin McGuire
The following is my rejoinder (since my comments are not being reproduced in DSA NorthStar’s blog) I took snippets of their piece entitled, https://www.dsanorthstar.org/blog/stand-up-for-dsa-as-members-of-the-democratic-socialists-of-america-we-believe-in-our-historic-responsibility-to-fight-for-the-world-of-democracy-equality-and-human-flourishing-to-which-we-aspire
Since the admin at DSA Northstar refuses to publish my comments on their blog, here we go! This gives me more reason to be less charitable with my commentary. Bon appetite!
“We are fighting on two fronts: to develop a stronger, more thoughtful, and more humane approach to international affairs, and to build a truly democratic DSA. “
Well, this ship sailed years ago as far as whom you are fighting. No one listens to anyone at DSA Northstar. The caucuses have ruined DSA so the caucus groups fight each other. With each new resolution to vote on you have two problems; who is sponsoring the resolution, and how will that resolution influence your caucus? The needs of the greater organization are never considered or served.
“Yet CBS and other news outlets repeated the lies on a national TV news segment, without fact checking. Congress members from New York leapt at the chance to denounce DSA as anti-Semitic; one demanded the expulsion of DSA members from elected office. “
Here we are treating CBS as though they are some MAGA organization. And speaking of "fact checking," can DSA go fact check itself on the number of true paid members it has nationwide?
“Statements by some chapters were far worse, seeming to celebrate the initial Hamas assault on Israeli civilians as a brave strike for national liberation.”
This is a self-admission of the internal problems DSA now faces within its own self, and suggests a certain cruelty that exists within. They are thoughtless pro-war statements.
“Sparked by Bernie Sanders’ runs for president in 2016 and 2020, DSA’s membership increased ten-fold. DSA, however, failed to develop a structure and internal programs appropriate to its greatly enlarged size. DSA today has a structure built for an organization of 10,000 people, not 100,000. Most crucially, it lacks a shared understanding of organizational democracy. Developing an international policy in particular, will force us to debate some difficult issues. Entering into these debates in good faith is part of our second task: building a more democratic organization. “
This statement conveniently leaves out the rise of caucus groupings which was never the intention with Michael Harrington’s DSA. Also, can DSA please fact check itself for its highly coveted membership numbers? What are they now? Note there is always either silence or fudging of the true membership. They can never get this straight, probably out of the embarrassment that DSA supports bad ideas.
With their own party discipline, the Marxist Cadres (tacitly supported by DSA Northstar) who control local chapters, were able to capitalize on the wonky rules at that time to help advance a takeover of the entire organization. First, the local chapters, then onwards to the conventions. There is no rational as to why we cannot have an e mail ballot for paid members and events on ZOOM, like a convention, to counter-act these ill-intentioned actors and crank resolutions.
Become a real democratic organization first - oh, how this ship has already sailed.
“The actions of a few members and chapters threaten to destroy all we accomplished. While some recent missteps may be innocent mistakes or insensitive blunders, there are organized caucuses that we believe are actively seeking to wreck DSA and using the Israel/Palestine issue to do so. “
I find this a huge laugh! More reason not to waist your time!
Multiple missteps suggest a trend.
The sectarians worked the wonky rules, took over the local chapters, which are supposed to be the beacons of DSA democracy, and now the complaints come from the national organization who depend on the local chapters for ideas and money. This is your real problem. And DSA NorthStar supported this mess!! They claimed, “Oh, they are just young people.” Yeah, led by the 40’s and 50’s Marxist cadre members. DSA has no one to blame but itself for their current problems.
“We have been here before: Some of us were leaders of Students for a Democratic Society, which played a key role in the anti-war and civil rights movements of the 1960s, before fights between the Progressive Labor and Weatherman factions consumed it. SDS fell apart.”
Well, if this is the case, then DSA NorthStar should know better with all your know-it-all members; you know who you are. The covert narcissist’s who want to lead DSA, who dominate the list serve with their loud crank postings and who cancel and expel others with different viewpoints than their own.
Are you trying to give us reasons to listen to you?
And what happened with SDS back then? Were you part of the problem? There is some weird claim that DSA NorthStar is the DSA’s “Social Democratic Caucus” Please, stop giving Social Democracy a bad name. Stop being bad for the brand. I even feel the DSA NorthStar members themselves will agree with me here, well, the majority will agree they are not Social Democrats.
Could another January 6th occur, this time involving Antifa and their DSA abettors? Absolutely! And DSA NorthStar would somehow support that event with their half-baked Marxian ideas!
“Some of us were leaders of socialist feminist groups in the early 1970s, such as the Chicago Women’s Liberation Union, that dissolved after fights for controlled by various sects exhausted and disgusted most members. “
In this case, you should know better. And this is my first-time hearing about any “Chicago Women’s’ Liberation Union.” More evidence of the sectarians (anti-democrats) complaining about other sectarians within DSA.
“These and other experiences prompted DSA to include in its founding bylaws a provision that specified that “members may be expelled if they are found to be in substantial disagreement with the principles of the organization or if they consistently engage in undemocratic, disruptive behavior or if they are under the discipline of any self-defined democratic-centralist organization.” While we adamantly oppose efforts to expel members for disagreeing on particular issues (not principles), we believe this part of our bylaws remains crucial to organizational health and self-protection.”
Yeah, what are your principles? Everyone is afraid to articulate those principles. I call this "self-censorship."
It started in 2006-07 with the “Committee for Correspondence,” who allowed entry of the entrists, the Communist Party USA, and from there the precedent was set and rendered this language regarding “democratic-centralist organization “ useless today. The “Committee” violated DSA’s own rules. Did this committee have CP principles? Where was the “democratic" action here? Talk about a screw up!!
I wonder if some present DSA NorthStar members were responsible for this event.
“We are staying in DSA because we believe it would be wrong to abandon our democratic socialist comrades, leaving them to combat the sectarian wreckers. Our experience and reading of U.S. history also leads us to believe there is no hope that a new organization—a party, an activist group, or think tank—would not suffer the same fate that has destroyed many organizations in the past and now threatens DSA. “
What?!?!?! Who are you speaking for here? Good for you, stay! I ask, are there any brave souls within DSA NorthStar who would like to help form a new organization? And, who leads is decided by the new group, not the owners of the DSA NorthStar website who decide who speaks and who leads their own caucus. In fact, you offer what I call “godlike” advice. More unsolicited advice from “DSA Know-it-All.” Nobody cares and no one listens to you!
Is this statement sectarian in and of itself? I am focusing on the terms “socialist comrades”? Back-to-back. How can you organize around these terms? How do you expect to attract other progressives and liberals who are close to you in politics?
We need an organization that is truly democratic, forward thinking and fits within American culture and institutions. I would have to give DSA a failing grade in all areas.
“If we fail to counter the sectarians, DSA will crumble or become just another irrelevant sect. If we fail to develop a political education program for new members and a shared understanding of what constitutes internal democracy, DSA will slide into oblivion, and the democratic socialist movement in the U.S. will be associated with cruelty and repression.”
So?!?!? Go join the dung heap of history. This ship sailed in 2017. I have already met young political activists who hate the words “socialism” and do not want to be called “comrade.” “History repeats itself” a quote coming from the “god” himself. The damage is already done. Where have you been, Northstar??
“It is time to fight back. Leaving allows the sectarians to win. It allows them to exploit and destroy the only national-scale democratic socialist organization in the United States. This letter is a call to action, a call to organize, and a call to educate.”
But which sectarians should win? This sounds like a call by “Sectarians for Democracy.” Please take your form of Democracy and get out!!! We do not trust you.
Go join history. For sure there will be a Wikipedia about DSA North Star, oh I can’t wait! Coming sooner rather than later. It was a failed experiment. We are waiting for the money to run dry and the layoffs of organizers to begin!
And tell us the truth about your membership numbers! Stop telling lies! Also, feel free to be more transparent about your politics.
With DSA and DSA Northstar, I struggle all the time about whether I am wasting my own time by digressing and making such comments. I really prefer not to do it. But the truth is my experience at DSA Northstar was not positive at all, you have intellectual bullies and covert narcissists who are just mean, and who are screw ups. They have no intention of building any forward movement. They remain in their intellectual/academic silos and cubby holes.
I thought words were supposed to lead to positive action, not the case with DSA NorthStar, in fact with them, it is the opposite with their echo chamber. I do not have the time to fight those others with whom I have more in common.