Socialism is making a comeback. In an era of growing inequality and frustration with establishment politics, the idea is once again gaining momentum in the United States. Self-proclaimed ‘democratic socialists’ Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are among the most popular politicians in the country today. But what exactly is the democratic socialism that they advocate?
redfish went to the convention of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), to talk to some of its 56,000 members about what drove them to join the country’s largest left-wing organisation.
One of these DSA members is Carlos Ramirez Rosa, who was elected to Chicago’s City Council in 2018. He talks about his vision for a socialist future: “We went from one socialist in the city council to six as a result of this past election, and I think it really shows that people are hungry for real politics that speaks to their needs – they’re hungry for democracy… Socialism is democracy and democracy is socialism.”
In Jackson, Mississippi, one of the poorest states in the country, a group of African-American radicals are attempting to build toward socialism on a local level. Cooperation Jackson was founded in 2013 as a network of cooperatives. As founding member Kali Akuno told us: “This is really building toward a form of working-class organization, and we’re putting the power in our hands. That’s a way of beginning to challenge capital on a local level.”
As socialism gains traction in the U.S, debates are being waged about whether reforming the system will be enough, or whether revolution is necessary. Carlito Rovira, a veteran of the Young Lords Party and the revolutionary wave of the late 1960s, is clear on the need for overthrowing the system, and critical of those calling themselves democratic socialists: “They gave us a black president, they gave us voting rights, they gave us visibility – but the one thing they will not give you is power. Political power.”
Support Red Revolution
Red Revolution is not sponsored or endorsed by big business, corporations or billionaire oligarchs, we have no resources and no backing. We rely on you to keep going.
Our monthly expenses include hosting services, specialist website subscriptions and services, photo media subscriptions, newswire services and marketing. We currently are unable to issue any payment to writers.
It is our hope that we will one day be able to be a people funded and maintained service who are uniquely positioned to give a voice to the voiceless without any influence from corporatism.
If you value our articles please consider a donation to ensure the continuation of our work. Thank you.