Which side of History?
Updated: Apr 8
Here is another example of the DSA imposing itself on their members’ time and commitment. A rather longish e mail was sent to all the DSA members presenting future preconvention meetings with more invitation to attend. Each ZOOM meeting is to last the entire workday. They mention this is not a requirement to appear at the convention in August 2021.
This was my response to the sender, Maria Svart, National Director of the DSA.
I suppose I could make some working-class backlash argument, that the reason that the 8-day convention and the whole additional day preconvention sessions are too long because it all takes up too much time and is a bias against working class people who must work for a living.
Let's cut to the chase and get rea! No one has time for this BS. It is borderline brainwashing. DSA requires 9 days of discussion for its issues and platform? This is unfair to the rest of us who are not like this. Some of us are not orthodox Marxists. And what will eventually happen to the DSA, is the failure to adapt to the new realities of our times.
The German Social Democrats and even George Orwell himself, believed that the middle class was about to crater under the weight of capitalism with the threat of Fascism around the corner. While today it is April 2021, with the institution of democracy under threat, much like what both the German SPD and Orwell's U.K. were facing, we have had the luxury of some 140 years of social democracy, give or take 10 years depending on which country you are discussing. Hard to believe we must revisit Democracy in 21st Century America, but here we are, under attack!!
And we should all know better! But what did DSA give us? “Bernie or bust,” and a flippant attitude to the Senate races in GA. Notwithstanding this attitude, those of us “on the left of the possible” helped give Democrats our needed majority, so that the Biden administration can move in the direction of gradual reforms, after this terrible pandemic and near economic collapse!!
Capitalism has adapted. Maybe this is why it has survived for so long. Partly why I am not a socialist, but a social democrat, which requires democracy as a fulcrum to our gradualist strategy toward a more human, egalitarian, and democratic society. Marx was totally wrong about our “historic necessity.” Not to doll up "Democracy” because it is popular, we actually need Democracy as a pathway to our gradualist reforms. Without those needed reforms, people lose faith in Democracy. Democracy is needed to filter out bad programs and allows liberals, progressives and conservatives to offer good criticism through democracy about our badly needed reforms, which by the way Maria, could never really come, under the binary DSA working class way of thinking. It is too threatening, and explains as Tony Blair so aptly puts it, why the Labor party has only been in power for 30 of the 150 years it has been in existence. No one ever talks about the simple fact that Labor does not win elections! Is the DSA offering some kind of civil war which requires your “historic necessary revolution,” and involve more deaths just like the January 6th attack on the US capitol? Is this what the NorthStar causus and their friends in the Socialist Majority Caucus really want?
I do not want this. I want a future for the younger members of my family, ages 22 and 26. I want them to actually see a more perfect union, yes, I am 63 now, but when I joined the DSA in 1983, I was 25, and I wanted the same future then, as I want now for my boys! And that future is what I call social democracy! Therefore, I am a Social Democrat, and cannot belong to a DSA in the 21st century who has betrayed my beliefs about the future.
Why is it necessary to pursue this bizarre talk of some 100K DSA members? This is a drop in the bucket and will not accomplish any strange sort of new working-class political party. And why are socialists, whom I thought were students of history, so eager and willing to scrub and dismiss from our DSA History the work of Michael Harrington, our founder?
So, you see Maria, some of us no longer share the DSA vision of America. We see the DSA of Michael Harrington, with warts and all. The Democratic Party is our pathway, is our forum, and yours and your friends is a dead end! I feel that history will judge your failed movement, just like so many other failed socialist states have been judged.
Are we on the same side of the barricade? Well maybe, but are you and DSA on the wrong side of history? Yes, I would have to say!