I have been a Socialist most of my life. And I must admit thee experience had been a disappointing one. The revolution in America isn’t real. I have said this before.
In 1980 I joined the Socialist Party USA after my disappointment with DSOC dilettante
Michael Harrington. He writes excellent books, but never reflected the Socialism and comradeship to his subordinates.
There are a few things everyday people go through that socialists in many Socialist Parties do not understand. These destructive tendencies assure people will not embrace
a Socialist movement.
I quit in 1985, Feeling that the Socialist Party USA was remote from most people and not very conducive to maintaining its membership. It was hard to know comrades and be in contact with them. The SP was and still is bad at PR.
I rejoined the Party in 1995 because the website made sense. There where articles that seemed to be all inclusive. I felt comfortable even though I still disagree with some major issues.
I got deeper involved, but still found my fellow socialist a bunch of control freaks who did exercise Democracy or reflect Democratic Socialist values.
There always seems to be more of a cheerleading session at National Committee meetings, reconfirming old values, not moving forward with anything meaningful. Part dittoheads disagree.
I loved the Party, and yet embraced, feeling I could disagree and peacefully co-excist.
Some wonderful things came out of the Party.
I ran for office, tirelessly promoting the SP. I never got major support., the SP doesn’t back it minor candidates.
The first shot happened when Hammer and Tongs was published. There was a disturbing article about Mike Marino. I found out he was Disabled and yet the SP published what I thought was a grossly insensitive article on the Oregon situation. I complained about it. How could a Party fighting for a positive future publish something about a disable person that was so insensitive? It came to a head in 2004. The Party convention taught me how inefficient and how The Party cannot move forward. But I had positive feelings.
After the SP declared itself a “Feminist Party” I knew the end was near. It is already a tendency, why make the Party feminist?
Than bit by bit Social Democrats and people who didn’t aggress with the party where targeted for persecution. After the Walt Brown/Eric Chester fiasco, people, our most valuable members left in drives.
At a rally in NYC, The Vice Presidential candidate and a friend from Pittsburgh where the only people marching. The rest of the SP member went their way. Aren’t we suppose to be promoting the Party? Other Socialist groups do.
Socialism hasn’t changed since the 70’s. It is filled with dilettante intellectuals who become popular or part of the movement only to disappear into do nothing Socialist clubs or move on to something else. Socialism has no shortage of dabblers.
The National Committee meetings proved to be the last straw. This is the place where we know that the SP isn’t a bottom up organization, not a Democracy, and that all agendas are not open to all members, but done in cloak. National Committee meetings are the biggest waste of time because they achieve absolutely nothing.
The 2006 convention was the straw that broke the Camels back. The real Revolution was in the street. I met the homeless, the hungry, the desperate. I met people with unbearable lives . In the convention hall, where dilettante intellectuals arguing about nonsense. I was disgusted. This was the end of the SP for me. There is more I can elaborate. But for now this will due. America needs a new Socialist Party, one people can relate to. One that will grab the hearts and minds of the people. People like the title American Labor Party. I tried varied Socialist and Democracy titles. They do not work well.
Most Americans want a Socialist Party and Socialism. There is hope yet. But we need a Party of real people, ordinary people. Not thinkers, tinkers, and social experimenters.