There have been viewers of this blog who proclaim socialism as a cure for what ails the USA, while denouncing free market capitalism. The largest body of comments has come from one who is a member of the "Democratic Socialists of America". This viewer has commented that others who post here should "do their research" beforehand. I have decided to take that to heart. This post will begin my taking a closer examination at what lies behind the term "Democratic Socialists of America" (DSA). I encourage you to take a few minutes of your time and research these things for yourself as well. After all, we dont want to be accused of being simpletons or being narrow minded, so let's all take a close look at what this political party has to offer us.
My initial research has been Wikipedia. We all know that is not a be-all-end-all of information, but it provides a launching point. The most useful part of a good wiki page IMO is the links it gives to other sites on the subject, especially official sites for organizations and such. I have taken the time to click these official links for the DSA and its affiliates.
So far I have not been impressed.
According to the official DSA website, they are the official US affiliate of a much larger political organization called the "Socialist International". They pride themselves as being the largest political organization on earth. Turns out the Socialist International is a modern incarnation of one of several strains of socialist/communist thought which have decended from the Second International, from the First International and right back to Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky.
Here is a name you can research: Max Schachtman. He was originally from Poland and was a Leninist right hand man for Trotsky. He emigrated to NYC in 1905. He later became the right hand man of the president of the AFL-CIO in the US. That is the big labor union conglomerate here. He became active in the American Socialist movement. He is regarded as having critically shaped thinking in the DSA. The DSA leader, Michael Harrington believes in working within the US Democratic Party to shape policy rather than running independent candidates, an idea that he says comes from Schachtman.
While there is so much I could post here about what I have been reading, I will simply point out two items I have found very interesting that illustrate the failure in the real world of the Socialist International ideology.
1. Greece - The Socialist International affiliate there is called the "Panhellenic Socialist Movement". They have been in power of the government there since 1981, except from 2004-2009. In 2006 their party president was elected president of the Socialist International. Do I need to elaborate on why this is relevant?
2. Mexico - The Socialist International affiliate there is called the "Industrial Revolutionary Party". They have not been in power since 2000, though they were in sole control politcially in Mexico for the previous 70 years, when Vicente Fox won, putting them out of power for the first time in decades.
We see many problems in Mexico, though things have become much better there in the last decade then they were for a long time. They just have a very long way to go still. The corruptions that held its people down for the better part of a century were done by the Socialist International affiliate party in power there for the majority of a century prior however.
There is much more that could be discussed here but that is all I have time for right now....