I had a debate with Michael Harrington at the Town Hall New York City. I asked him why the DSOC (Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee) did not run Candidates. Harrington snobbishly shot back that DSOC works with in the Democrats and we do not need a Socialist Party. I told him the Democrats where never going to be Socialists, knowing how left progressives where, they did not seem that different from the Republicans. Harrington thought We could achieve socialism best through the Democrats. Big mistake. Since Nixon the Democrats have been like Republicans. I met Harrington, he was a intellectual stuffy asshole. We left each other on a sour note back when I was a DSA member.
The SP-USA has had a few office holders since, in Des Moines Iowa, and Davenport. Karen Kubby held a seat for ten years under the SP-USA banner. There are strong Socialist Party tendencies in the West and mid west. Oregon seems to be our Strongest State. The SP is willing to work with other Party’s but we found them too self centered. In essence, if the Nation develops a consciousness for Socialism. As it has proven that it is possible by statistics that where taken that if David McReynolds (two time Presidential Candidate) where known to most people in the USA, people may have not only voted for him but the nation would go on to a Socialist agenda.
Enter Kshama Sawant. The DSA even today debates not running candidates and holds the same idiotic notion, “We are Not Europe.” Of course, we developed differently. So far Ms. Sawant has won the Living Wage fight and she is fighting for more. Although the American Labor Party is a Socialist International sympathizer, we are closer to the DSA, but we disagree. The only way to make change is to have ALP members and others elected to office.
American left politics is so fragmented that there needs to be a movement for consciousness and mass cohesion. And regardless what we want-that may not happen for a long time. In the 60’s we broke off into competing interest groups, some left wingers still live in the past. At a joint alternative party meeting I attended twenty years ago, we discovered that for anything to change something cataclysmic would have to happen. I can see that clearer now. I turned socialist at age 11, and even played on a Socialist Hockey Team in Paterson. We called ourselves Riverside Red Stars. In England they have
Socialist and Greens choirs somewhere-I think.
That consciousness has arrived through Occupied, Moral Mondays , The Carnation Revolution. Kshama Sawant answered the call as a Socialist and has won. She is a fighter who realized change comes from getting elected and representing the people. Yes, she is with Socialist Alternative a Trotsky Party. The ALP is a Socialist Social Democratic Party , aligned with, not yet a member of the Socialist International. Vito Marcantonio,though a Social Democrat, did not turn away from other socialists. WE would love the ALP to become America’s Socialist Party.
In a Democracy we have a divergent points of view and freedom of choices. Fee Exchange of ideas Many Alternative Party Candidates can run in only Thirteen States. Ballot Access in most states is oppressive.
The Democrats frequently are Hostile to new movements or Competition. Even I was pulled off the Ballot two. My words go unheard, people got an ugly election with no alternatives.The Socialist Party of America was inherent from our founder Eugene V Debs, who founded the socialist Party of America. Our lineage party. And when you read our history, you will see when we where elected, we where the political party that delivered the goods.
The Post Office, Public Libraries, Social Security, Civil and Social Rights, and the Declaration of Human Rights where all conceived by Socialist leaders in the UN. Mostly all leader of the UN and European Communities have been Socialists. Socialism is what makes the world move forward because all business governments cause exploitation and alienation amongst all people. They are a disaster. Socialism may not be a panacea, but it is the
political remedy we need. we are overdue for Health Care, workers rights, living wage, universal Income, and more. Your freedom to choose was taken away from you. Michael Harrington is now proven wrong and I now won that debate thanks to Kahama Sawant. We must fight for change rather than exist as a Socialist fist waving club.
*The ALP is a direct decedent party of the SPA.