Rebirth of the Socialist Option in the United States.
By Manuel E. Yepe
Exclusive for the daily POR ESTO! of Merida, Mexico.
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.
The electoral failure of center-left and center parties in Europe and North America has provoked a timid shift to the left in U.S. politics and is encouraging a modest renaissance of the “socialist” option.
With the marginalization of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, the Socialist Party of France and the Italian Democratic Party by voters angered by their parties’ shift to the right, it was inevitable that some of the leaders of these political formations would project a new orientation, somewhat more to the lef.t. It remains to be seen whether they will implement it. In line with this sentiment, the British Labour Party and the Socialist Party of Spain have made popular advances based on left-wing positions that, in most cases, reproduce the social democratic formulas of the mid-twentieth century.
This is how the acclaimed American communist journalist and writer Greg Godels analyzes it in a thorough work about the situation that left-wing and progressive political organizations in the United States are going through today.
In the United States, the reaction to Hillary Clinton’s defeat in the 2016 elections generated further rhetoric to the left and the emergence of an important moderate social-democratic faction within the US Democratic Party.
It is driven by the energetic and youthful “veterans” of Bernie Sanders’ campaign called “Sandernistas”. They rally around the social democrats in the United States. The new left of the Democratic Party is trying to transform the old party. Meanwhile, opponents of this trend from the left, both inside and outside the Party, attack them using every possible resource, says Godels.
This, of course, raises the question of where the left is going. In the U.S., the failure to secure deep roots for an independent, internationalist, principled and revolutionary socialist movement – not totally absorbed by bipartisan electoral politics – means that the genuine politics of the left will have to suffer for the next 17-18 months from the bipartisan electoral circus, with guaranteed unsatisfactory results.
The distractions caused by the absurd RussiaGate, the political trial, the Twitter wars and the mistakes of some celebrities, mean that the fate of Venezuelans, Iranians, Palestinians and many poor and exploited Americans will remain in the hands of the crazy foreign policy team of Trump, a group of which the top of the Democratic Party refuses to shake off.
“We have found a worrying trend toward the normalization of the positive connotation of socialism,” the Victims of Communism (VOC) Foundation bitterly asserted. But most Americans understand socialism very differently from the traditional scientific concept.
According to the VOC study, only 9 percent of respondents associate the idea of socialism with Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. The most popular reference is Sanders, followed by the leaders of the liberal wing of the Democratic Party Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and the New Deal policy set in motion by Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Great Depression.
Some Americans call developed countries with notable official economic regulation socialist: Sweden, Canada and France, even leaving behind nations that explicitly declare their socialist character, such as China, Vietnam, Cuba, Democratic Korea and Venezuela.
For now, Bernie Sanders seems likely to win the nomination and become the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate.
Unlike the situation three years ago, Sanders would now have to compete with other representatives of the left wing of the Democratic Party. This wing, while not defining themselves as socialists, share some of his more progressive proposals, such as Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand, who have supported the fuller version of the free universal health care system proposed by Sanders. Together, they would account for 19% of voters in the primaries, according to this poll.
Since the November 2020 presidential election would probably be the last for Sanders, who will then be 79 years old, it is suspected that his advanced age would lead him to nominate a younger person of a different gender as a vice presidential candidate.
Whatever Sanders’ electoral career, the spread of skepticism toward capitalism within U.S. society results from the country’s socioeconomic status and is objective and positive, experts say.
June 13, 2019.