Reluctant Reformers addresses what I think of as the tripwire of U.S. politics: race. But it does so by examining how several social movements, including abolition, women’s suffrage, populism, progressivism, labor, the socialist and communist left..
A classic text’s reissue charts a key British feminist rebel’s life and work from her organizing immigrant and working women in London’s East End and building the emerging British labor movement to her revolutionary politics and her anti-fascism.
What could a labor radical with a doctorate in Marxian economics accomplish in the neoliberal “stop and frisk,” Bloomberg administration? The answer: reform policies he advocated, recalibrating poverty to the benefit of the poor, remain policy today.
Today I was asked to speak about ‘reimagining socialism’. I would like to do so by rephrasing the topic. It’s not a matter of reimagining socialism, but rather, of reimagining ourselves as socialists. This makes the task simpler and more difficult.
Organizing poor and working white people – who are not currently a part of our movement but who have everything to gain by joining multiracial formations, especially in the South – provides a major opportunity to break the power of a white republic.
I’ve seen how powerful talking to a voter face to face can be and how important it is to reach out to people in person. I worry that too many of us think a campaign can be won on advertising and the power of a sound political platform alone.
Radical agitation helped bring Social Security and much of the New Deal into being. Simply put, an ambitious, active left is one that widens the scope of reform. It’s a left that, even if you disagree with it, helps clear the pathways for action.
Always recall that we win nothing because we are right, or just, are smarter, or have a better analysis of the crisis. We win with solid and powerful organizing led by a guiding and time-tested set of Socialist principles.
While protesters hold up the simple message “Black Lives Matter,” organizers in the Movement for Black Lives make clear that this fight is as much about ending racial capitalism as it is anything else.