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Listen Up, Socialist! An Open Letter to the Bernie Sanders Generation

athena1's picture

It used to be off-limits to talk the way we do. We can all remember when “capitalism” was synonymous with “good” in standard American English. In the mainstream mind, the word “socialism” only conjured up images of dictators and prison camps.


And what is “socialism” going to mean for you? Is it going to be a more liberal version of Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again”? Is it about trying to bring back the good old days when white people got bigger crumbs while the bankers plundered the world? Or is it about building something entirely new?

The Soviet Union is gone. The kind of “really existing socialism” that defined the Cold War is not coming back. But in the Bolivarian movement of Venezuela, the People’s Republics of Donbass, the Hezbollah-controlled areas of Lebanon, and the streets of Baltimore and Ferguson, something new is emerging. It’s not the “communism” we learned about in school. It doesn’t fit into the 20th-century political categories of left or right. Sometimes it is very religious or nationalistic. Often it draws deeply from traditions and cultures of peoples who are under attack and refuse to surrender. Whatever you want to call the emerging forces of resistance, they are our only hope for the future. Wall Street and neoliberal capitalism have failed, and their only hope for keeping power is in war and repression.

If you really want to fight Wall Street, you need to pick sides now. You need to think in global terms. Time is running out and the stakes are getting higher. The world is waiting for us!

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