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A collection of articles on the democratic process.
Decarbonizing DC will be dirty work
Compliance fines and renewable energy credits are not encouraging energy providers to decarbonize DC's power grid. The District should directly finance renewable expansion and confront the dirty work head-on.
Did the midterms save democracy?
Pundits took the Democrats' strength in the midterms as a referendum on Republican extremism and support for moderation. But the results really show that voters want more from Democrats, not less.
Election Roundup, Nov 2022
What went down on election night, 2022.
Initiative 82: here's what to know
In November, DC voters will again be asked to end the subminimum wage.
Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta: The Forgotten Case
The Supreme Court's recent ruling in Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta is one of the latest developments in Native Americans' longstanding struggles against American colonialism.
The year in labor (so far)
Through Amazonians United, Starbucks Workers United, and many other nontraditional sites of struggle, the hope and promise of the labor movement hasn't felt this strong in decades.
Gentrification, Homelessness and Elections: When Does a Difference Make a Difference?
Too often, those elected are content to let business as usual remain unchanged — even in communities, where those elected say all the right things. When can electoral change make a difference?
White Supremacy and Guns: The Unbroken Link
Whatever demons drive Americans to kill massive numbers of innocent citizens, they’d be stymied without easy access to lethal weaponry.
We should have known: the Left can no longer rely on the courts
The battle for basic rights is about to get tougher. So must the Left.
Joyful, Creative Tactics in DC Deserve Air Time
Arrestable protests in Washington are not the only way to get a response from the President. It is time for mainstream media to give creatives greater news coverage.
Rat vs Mouse: The Scrambled Politics of the Florida-Disney Feud
In the battle between the “corporate Mouse” and the political rats in Tallahassee and elsewhere, the Left has no natural allies.
A letter to the Western Left from Kyiv
A letter from a socialist in Kyiv regarding the western left's response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
When Socialism Came to Reading, Pennsylvania
The history of this old socialist stronghold contains lessons for those building and sustaining working-class power today.
The Second Insurrection is Coming — Are We Ready?
Through voter suppression tactics and and locally focused organizing schemes, Republicans are setting up conditions to favorably contest the next presidential election.
Time to derail the Railway Labor Act?
However important railroads are, are they so critical as to undercut the rights of the workers to decent treatment?
While We're Changing Names — Should 'Arlington' Go Next?
The residual racism embedded in many place names around the country could well include the name Arlington
Should Socialists Vote for Terry McAuliffe?
The Governor's race in Virginia is too close to call — socialists should consider voting strategically
From Austin to Afghanistan: Outrages Against Democracy
Taliban rule and the Texas far right’s legislative wish list of banning abortion and suppressing voting rights invite comparisons.
Critical Race Theory? Yes, Please
When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school, it’s a wonder I can think at all.
Why Tidewater DSA endorsed Nadarius Clark
...and what his victory means for the socialists of Portsmouth.
From Defund to Abolish: Moving Beyond the Police
An explanation for the emotions, language, and objectives of the sometimes-embattled term “Defund.”
Organizing Institutions for Racial Equity: A DIY Guide
To achieve racial equity, every institution, without exception, needs to change. Here's how you can do it.
Reflections from 2000: The Communists of Shaw
A slice of history covering DC's oft-forgotten far-left.
How Racism Hurts All of Us
Heather McGhee's new book reminds us that racial division is a vital component of capitalist exploitation.
The Debate DSA Needs: Building A Left that Can Disrupt and Win
Democratic socialists should think about how we can leverage the structures and systems of the DSA to build capacity for deliberate, strategic disruption.
Voting Expansion vs. Suppression: The War is On
The political war between voting rights and voter suppression has reached a new intensity. For the Left, the battle is about the future of progressive politics; for the Right, it’s about survival.
Two Cheers for MMT
Max B. Sawicky
Modern monetary theory: what it is, where it comes from, who supports it, and how to separate the economic theory from political rhetoric.
Reflections from 1987: Sanctuary vs. Imperialism
The battle for the humane treatment of Central American migrants has roots in the US-backed wars in the region from many years ago.
What Is Socialism? A (very) brief answer
A terse attempt at defining the socialist project.
Democracy and Microgrids
Democratizing the energy grid is one way to limit fallout from climate change while bringing us closer to a socialist future.
Reflections from 1985: Number 51
DC statehood is back on the nation’s agenda. With Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, only a likely Senate filibuster stands in the way of adding a 51st star to the US flag.
Carry Me Back to New Virginny: From Jim Crow to Progressive Stronghold?
In 2021, Virginia is a much-changed state absorbed by a blue wave that foretells an opening for progressive politics from Virginia to Florida.
Having a "Cabal" with Oppositional Politics
Building a policy platform based on oppositional politics risks putting the working-class in bed with otherwise hostile interests.
Breaking Bad: Obsession with an Independent Workers’ Party Hurts the Socialist Electoral Project
The socialist electoral project is the most successful it has been because socialists are contesting power using the Democratic ballot line. Eschew symbolism, prioritize victory.
Insurrection at the Capitol: The Counterattack of White Privilege
Trump's regime ended with an insurrection at the Capitol. The attack failed, but revealed the wells of hatred that infect much of the White working-class.
A World Which Could Be Free
The anti-capitalist theories provided by the late-philosopher Mark Fisher can help us make sense of the tragedies inflicted by the coronavirus - and build a new class politics in its wake.
Election 2020: Be Ready for Anything
How might the 2020 election be stolen, and how will the opposition fight back?
Voter Suppression and the State of American Democracy
The danger of authoritarian rule is real. Only broad electoral unity can face down the forces of capital that stand behind Trump's megalomania.
Improved Courts, Yes, But Improved Legislators As Well
Losing the ideological balance of the Supreme Court means sloppy legislation can no longer be saved from friendly justices. We will need smarter legislators and tighter legislation to reduce the risk of judicial interception.
Trump Intends to Steal the Election. Here’s How to Stop Him
Donald Trump intends to steal the 2020 election. We can't let that happen.
I Took the Hillsdale "Survey" on Socialism
An amusing look at how a small right-wing college serves as academic cover for a classic push-poll about the dread menace socialism.
Enforcing the First Amendment
The National Guard and police have illegally assaulted protesters in Lafayette Square (D.C.) by violating the First Amendment of the Constitution, which allows peaceful demonstrations. The demo did not violate curfew and the attack was without warning.
It Didn’t Take Long: COVID-19 and the Right’s Assault on Democracy
Does the Left’s eagerness to remake the country in the face of the crisis make it the mirror image of the nationalist right?
Planting Seeds: to Defeat Trump, to Transform Society
The majority of the country is opposed to Trumpism, but this opposition is much more heterogeneous than the right-wing alliance. This poses big challenges to a Left that wants to build broad unity in defeating the Trump and the GOP in the 2020 elections.
Organizing for Democracy and Social Justice in PG County
In Prince George’s County, a far too comfortable Democratic Party apparatus shuts out dissident voices and relies on low voter turnout to maintain power.
Democracy, Block by Block: The ANC Elections Working Group
Some of [what happens in ANCs] is minutiae that you may not be interested in, but it is the real nuts-and-bolts of self-governance at work.
Playing Indian: The Use and (Mostly) Misuse of Native American History and Imagery
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, which recently opened an exhibition on how Native imagery and history have been used and abused for entertainment, profit-making, and painting a pretty face on the policy of Manifest Destiny.
How an academic economist in Northern Virginia fueled the Koch Brothers’ plan to undo democracy
Historian Nancy MacLean brings to the AFL-CIO book talk her account of the way the Koch Bros. anti-democratic project got its intellectual underpinning.
How to get the Real Straight News in the Alternative Fact Era
Four tips for identifying honest info from salacious misinformation.
Michael Harrington's "The Vast Majority" -- Forty Years On
Louis F. Cooper
Harrington's book is notable for its candor: it admitted the complexities of the problems, their resistance to easy solutions, and insisted nonetheless that steps toward a more just global order were both possible and morally necessary.
Notes from the People's Summit
A roundup of the 2017 People's Summit in Chicago.
It's time for us to look at parties differently
Larry Stafford Jr.
A plan for how to use extant political parties to the advantage of progressives.
Can campaign finance reform be the cornerstone of a progressive movement?
Getting money out of politics doesn't change the structures and institutions within which politicians operate.
Our Future: Confronting the Past in the Present
James Baldwin was an astute cultural critic, observing the nature of how legacies of oppression fan out through all manner of life.
Book Review: "Building the Commune: Radical Democracy in Venezuela"
Ciccariello-Maher's tome reviews how the communal state was built in Venezuela -- not only to expand democracy but to rebuff right-wing retrenchment.
A sometimes lyrical analysis of the future of work
Should socialists glorify labor? Or instead emphasize the possibility of a world without it?