Socialism in the US Must Contend with Racism and Militarism

By Mark Rudd (August 29, 2017)

I woke up at 2 am last night thinking: How can you talk about socialism in the US without taking into account two salient characteristics of this country’s history and present: racism and militarism?

Obviously John Judis has no problem with this question, since he never mentions either. I love Scandinavian socialism as a utopian model as much as anyone, but those countries are pretty different from this behemoth.

What would Black Lives Matter say about the Judis piece? How do we deal with the fact that the military and the corporations feeding off it have had complete free reign for almost 80 years and have now found a pot of gold in the Trump administration? Or that a separate military caste involving millions now exists apart from civil society?

At least Rev. Barber’s Poor People’s Campaign has four elements that address the realities of US society: racism, poverty and economic exploitation, destruction of the environment, and the effects of war and militarism. This seems like a much more realistic basis for creating a liberal and democratic socialism.

It will take some time to change the nature of what is “common sense.” Right now “government bad, free markets good” is dominant (that is, has achieved “ideological hegemony”). We have to keep in the forefront of all our work that WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER AND TIME IS SHORT.

That’s my socialism.


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