During the 2008 election, Democrats foamed at the mouth if you suggested Obama was a socialist. Then the 2016 election happened and with it the candidacy of Bernie Sanders.

The mask was finally off as nearly half the Democratic Party rallied around an admitted socialist. Things would never be the same.

This weekend, the DSA or “Democratic Socialists of America” held a conference, in Chicago of course, and their agenda is just as radical as you can imagine.

Osita Nwanevu writes at Slate:

Can the Growing Democratic Socialists of America Build a New, Coherent Left Wing?

Nearly 1,000 socialists from around the country have gathered in Chicago for the Democratic Socialists of America’s biannual conference. They come just as the organization’s reached a milestone: There are now more than 25,000 official DSA members, a threefold increase from a year ago—after Bernie Sanders’ campaign demonstrated that a large mainstream constituency is willing to vote for a self-described socialist and before Trump’s surprise victory in November, which has heightened angst over the state of the Democratic Party and liberalism more broadly. Defenders of the Democratic mainstream routinely point out that unlike the DSA, the Democrats have a base of tens of millions of voters and ballot access. But the DSA isn’t a political party, although some would like to change that. What it is, precisely, and what it ought to become are up for discussion here in Chicago.

There aren’t hard numbers about the DSA’s membership overall, but a picture of what their rank and file looks like emerged with the conference’s first events on Thursday evening. Most of the attendees seem to be under the age of 35 with a smaller but large contingent of old-timers who’ve been with the organization for many years…

This is where things get interesting. Emphasis is mine:

But officially, the DSA does, in fact, define a threshold. Its 2016 “Resistance Rising” strategy document identifies its ultimate goal as the “radical democratization of all areas of life, not least of which is the economy.” Politically, this entails reforms like national referenda, proportional representation, and the abolition of the Senate. Economically, it entails the abolition of capitalism. “Under capitalism we are supposed to take for granted that a small, largely unaccountable group of corporate executives should make all fundamental decisions about the management of a company comprised of thousands of people,” Resistance Rising reads. “This group has the power to determine how most of us spend the lion’s share of our waking hours, as well as the right to fire anyone for basically any reason, no matter how arbitrary. Under democratic socialism, this authoritarian system would be replaced with economic democracy.”

If replacing capitalism with “economic democracy” doesn’t sound like the stuff of nightmares to you, you might be a progressive. Their radicalism isn’t limited to domestic policy either, as Professor Jacobson pointed out in his recent post: Democratic Socialists of America conference endorses anti-Israel Boycott

Democrats are already struggling with the the perception that they’re out of touch with average Americans. How this helps them as a party isn’t clear but the ranks of the far left are growing.

Dave Weigel of the Washington Post at the Chicago Tribune:

The socialist movement is getting younger and turning into a left-wing force

The DSA went from 8,000 members in 2015, the year its delegates endorsed Sanders for president, to about 25,000 in 2017, with chapters or branches in 49 states. Its platform calls for a worker-owned economy and the end of traditional capitalism.

“You are the antidote to total isolation of living under capitalism,” said Maria Svart, the national director of DSA, as the convention began. “It’s the job of organizers to build institutions that will be capable of absorbing masses of people and keeping them in motion.”

Make no mistake, this wing of the Democratic Party will have one or more contenders running in the Dem primary of 2020. They would turn the United States into an Occupy Wall Street camp.


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