Toward A Revolutionary Left Framework On An Age-Old Debate

Activists in the U.S. have debated race and class for decades to no resolution. Nonetheless, in this moment of U.S. imperial decay and crisis, the debate over whether race or class takes precedence in the struggle for liberation from U.S. capitalist and imperialist domination rages on. Two prominent strands of the debate have emerged over the last year which intersect with the rise of Bernie Sanders-led “democratic socialists” and the uprising against racist policing led by the slogan “Black Lives Matter.” For many leaders of the Sanders camp, white supremacy is either a distraction or a secondary issue that can be addressed through the amelioration of class exploitation vis-à-vis policies such as Medicare for All.

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Scheer Intelligence: For Many Young People, Socialism Is As American As Apple Pie

In the devastating aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, many young Americans who felt betrayed by capitalism were introduced to socialism by Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaigns. Meagan Day, a staff writer for the popular left-wing magazine Jacobin and a member of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), serves as an example of how the Vermont senator radicalized a generation with a platform that called for policies like Medicare for All and tuition-free college. Day credits Sanders with her decision to choose socialism when she felt the time came to “pick a side” in American politics and has since been working to understand how the socialist resurgence the Democratic candidate inspired can grow without him in the White House. 

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The End Of Sanders, And Maybe The Beginning Of A Mass Independent Left

The COVID-19 epidemic has exposed the privatized US healthcare structure’s woeful incapacity to cope with a general health emergency, as well as the failings of Europe’s austerity-shrunken public health care systems. Although Donald Trump’s actions, inactions and idiotic blatherings have added immeasurably to the death toll, a major medical and economic catastrophe was inevitable once the virus was loosed on a defenseless U.S. public. Trump didn’t create the conditions that made the United States so vulnerable to a killer virus. That’s one of the many crimes of capitalism, which at its late stage is methodically starving what’s left of the public sphere and privatizing every conceivable human enterprise for the ultimate benefit of the Lords of Capital – the ruling oligarchy. 

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Bernie Sanders Tests the Limits Of The US Political System

That Sanders was once the frontrunner and might have swept the Democratic primaries is an indicator of the neoliberal order’s decay. The coronavirus pandemic was both the final blow to the Sanders campaign and the world-historic event that proved unquestionably that his platform of universal health care and fairness to the working class was the medicine needed for an ailing nation.

Shelter-in-place is Biden’s strong suit, while Sanders’ contagious ability to enthuse the youth was sequestered. And, no, Biden’s healthcare public option is not even a baby step towards universal health care. Sanders’ parting remark on April 8 was “we have won the ideological battle.” Of course, ideas don’t have agency on their own. The battle is to organize a progressive constituency and not self-defeat by tethering to the Democratic Party.

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Sanders Drops Out, Old Guard Keeps Death Grip On Power

Unsurprising. There was always a stark contradiction between Bernie’s call to a political revolution and his steady promise to support the eventual nominee at the Democratic convention.

The new crew of young socialists who were inspired by the Sanders campaign must now learn their own lessons on their own timeline. Some will be willing recruits to the paid apparatus of the Democratic Party. Some will take Bernie’s advice to vote for Biden. Some will refuse and finally split to an independent socialist movement.

In a week in which the death toll of the new coronavirus pandemic is still rising in this country, the actual fractures and failures of the existing medical and political system are also brutally exposed.

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We’re Headed For An Uprising, But Are We Ready For It?

As 2019 comes to a close and we enter a new decade, we look back at the major events and issues that shaped the year with Chris Hedges. We discuss the rise of the Right, in part due to the weaknesses of the Left, what the Sanders campaign means for activism and achieving meaningful social change and whether or not the United States is ready for a massive uprising against neo-liberalism, as is happening around the world. The next decade will be a time when major crises such as the climate, wealth inequality and militarism are devastating. At some point, a spark will be lit in the US, but in the current environment, that is likely to result in greater movement to the right unless we prepare now to build power on the left.

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What It Will Take To Build Left Independent Political Power In The 21st Century

Clearing the FOG co-hosts, Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese, interviewed Dr. Leo Panitch, Professor Emeritus in political science at York University in Toronto and Canada Research Chair in Comparative Political Economy, about the recent election in the United Kingdom. Panitch has been studying the Left in the UK and other places around the world since the 1970’s. He talks about what led to Corbyn’s defeat, what it means for the Sanders campaign in the United States and what it will take to build independent political power on the Left. In the United States, this will require changing the structure of political organizing. You can listen to the full interview, plus an analysis of current events on Clearing the FOG. 

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Corbyn’s Loss: What It Means for Sanders And Where The Left Goes From Here

On December 12, Jeremy Corbyn, head of the Labour Party in the United Kingdom, suffered a great defeat as the conservative Boris Johnson became the new prime minister with a gain of 47 new seats. Labour lost 59 seats. After years of austerity, including cuts to the National Health Service, Corbyn offered a strong manifesto outlining his program for change. We speak with Dr. Leo Panitch, a professor who has studied the Labour Party and left politics since the 1970s. Panitch explains what happened in the UK election and what it potentially means for Senator Sanders’ run for president in the United States. He also speaks more broadly about what the left needs to do to build power to the point of having the capability of instituting a progressive platform. 

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From The Bottom Up: The Case For An Independent Left Party

If the 13.2 million votes received by self-styled “democratic socialist” Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic presidential primaries accomplished nothing else positive, it put the questions of socialism and independent working-class politics up for public discussion. I have been critical of Sanders’s socialism because his policy platform was New Deal liberalism, not socialism. More importantly, by entering the Democratic Party, Sanders broke with the socialist principle of independent working-class political action.

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Open Letter To Senator Bernie Sanders

We support the position of more than 25,000 people who signed a petition during your presidential campaign urging you to take on militarism. We believe that Dr. King was correct to assert that racism, extreme materialism, and militarism needed to be challenged together rather than separately, and that this remains true. We believe this is not only practical advice, but a moral imperative, and — not coincidentally — good electoral politics. During your presidential campaign, you were asked repeatedly how you would pay for human and environmental needs that could be paid for with small fractions of military spending. Your answer was consistently complicated and involved raising taxes.

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Democrats Trash Constituents Over F-35 Base In Vermont

On April 11, the mayor of Burlington, Vermont, announced that he was betraying a 55% majority of Burlington voters and a 75% majority of his city council that had opposed basing the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter at the Burlington Airport in South Burlington. The mayor betrayed his constituents in the limpest way, not by vetoing the popular resolution opposing the F-35, but by sending it on without his signature, while appending a dishonest and misleading cover letter inviting unelected leaders to have their way with Vermont.

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People For Bernie Kicks US Whistle Blower Off Panel

By Staff for RT. John Kiriakou, a former CIA counterterrorism officer, has told RT that he was kicked off a panel at the European Parliament because a fellow panelist objected to his association with Russia as a Sputnik Radio host.
Kiriakou, who spent two-and-a-half years in jail for exposing the CIA’s torture program in 2007, was invited to address the European Parliament on national security whistleblowing Wednesday. However, he was bounced from the panel at the last minute, because one of the other panelists objected to his presence. Kiriakou told RT he “thought it was a joke” when Winnie Wong, co-founder of the progressive organization, People for Bernie, refused to appear on the panel with him, because “she didn’t want the appearance of Bernie Sanders appearing to endorse the Russian media.”

“I laughed when she first said it because it was so ridiculous that I thought she was joking,” Kiriakou said. “Then she walked away, and one of the aides handed me an updated schedule, and my name then, was not associated with the first panel.”

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Corporate Media Fails To Report Truth About Single Payer

By Michael Corcoran for FAIR. It is a sad reflection on the state of healthcare reporting in the United States that one can so easily predict how many media outlets will respond to a news event before it even happens. Yet for many familiar with years of media either ignoring or rejecting the merits of a universal public healthcare system—Canada’s in particular—it was hard not to expect dismissiveness and/or mockery from outlets such as the New York Times and Vox, who sent reporters on the tour.

The results were unsurprising. Vox (10/31/17) used the occasion to explain why single-payer is likely a pipe dream that doesn’t fit with American values. Much of the Times article (11/2/17) read like satire aimed at mocking Canada and Sanders.

A New York Times ad circulating on Facebook proudly declares: “Evidence-driven reporting. No matter what the subject.” It’s a hollow boast to those familiar with the paper’s uniformly negative coverage of single-payer.

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Single Payer Movement Has Transformed The Healthcare Fight

By Theo Anderson for In These Times. The grassroots fight for single payer, championed by Bernie Sanders, has thoroughly reframed the healthcare debate over the past year.

That became clear during CNN’s Monday night healthcare debate between Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.). The debate came as Republicans labor, Sisyphus-like, to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Graham said in his opening remarks that the debate was about “who we want to be as a nation.” Cassidy said that it was about who has power.

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Sanders Health Bill: Cover For Democratic Party Deals With Trump

By Patrick Martin for WSWS. Senator Bernie Sanders took his campaign to whitewash the right-wing character of the Democratic Party to a new level Wednesday, introducing single-payer, “Medicare for all” legislation, co-sponsored by 15 Democratic senators, on the same day that House and Senate Democratic leaders were to visit the White House for cozy talks with President Trump on corporate tax cuts.

The bill was given full-scale media promotion, including an op-ed column by Sanders in the New York Times, lengthy articles in all the major daily newspapers, and reports on the network and cable television news programs. This for a bill which has not the slightest chance of passage by the Republican-controlled Congress, which will never even hold a committee hearing, let alone bring it to a vote.

This makes co-sponsorship an opportunity to strike a left pose without actually incurring the wrath of the insurance companies and other giant corporations that control the provision of health care in the United States. Accordingly, a half dozen Democratic senators who are beginning to promote themselves as potential 2020 presidential contenders signed on as co-sponsors—up from zero co-sponsors the last time Sanders introduced such a bill.

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