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Sat Nov 24, 2012, 07:13 PM

Why Not Socialism?: The Right’s red-baiting has been far too effective [View all]


from In These Times:


Why Not Socialism?
The Right’s red-baiting has been far too effective.

BY Maria Svart


President Barack Obama owes his victory to the efforts of black, Latino, trade union, feminist and LGBTQ folks, who rallied to thwart a Romney campaign that relied on voter suppression and coded appeals to white nationalism. But unfortunately, the economy is still in the dumps, and Obama will not follow his reelection with an all-or-nothing progressive push. Rather, the exit polls and ballot initiative results will be read by the president’s neoliberal advisors as a mandate for so-called “compromise” policies—i.e., further austerity, further cuts.

An ideological vacuum will be created on the Left when the president tacks back to the center and the GOP even more to the extreme Right, and democratic socialists are in a unique position to fill it.

Democratic socialism provides a counterweight to the Tea Party agenda of reaction and division. We advocate for an expanded electoral and economic democracy along with deep citizen engagement. We know that many Americans share these values. People want a voice in decisions that affect their lives, and they know that the only way to cut the deficit is to put people back to work. We also know that 49 percent of people aged 18-29 have a positive view of socialism, according to a Pew poll released last year, and that class consciousness is on the rise.

Now is the time to continue building a political movement capable of challenging the neoliberal capitalist consensus. It is clear why we need a socialist organization in the United States. The Right has been too successful in its red-baiting, stymying even the most moderate reforms to rein in corporate power. We need a movement explaining and de-stigmatizing democratic socialism in order to create the rhetorical and political space for progressive, if not socialist, change. .......................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/14191/why_not_socialism



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