[Marxism] Notes on Socialism 2019

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Jul 10 07:53:33 MDT 2019


I wasn't able to make it to the conference because I had to look after 
my wife who had surgery but if I had gone, I probably would have had the 
same reaction as this summary from a very good friend and comrade:

We missed you in Chicago.  We checked with the hotel and looked around, 
but you were nowhere to be seen.  Too bad. You would have found it very 
interesting.  It was quite open compared to previous years, and pretty 
impressive, around 1700 attendees the organizers claimed. There were 
many of the small left groups from different parts of the country there, 
but in my estimate – and others – it was made up of about 50% DSAers and 
20% ex-ISOers, and a lot whiter than in previous years.  Ashley Smith, 
Sherry Wolf and Todd Chretien, and a few other ex-ISOers seemed to be 
holding it all together. The central theme was all about reform or 
revolution, with a lot of it focussed on how this fits into the Sanders 
Campaign.  Bhaskar Sunkara was in full flight about his “Socialist 
Manifesto” book.  Charlie Post’s talk – to a packed meeting -- dealt 
very well with a history of the ideas behind all this. He told me he 
plans to publish it soon.  There were lot of new young fresh faces 
there, it seemed to me, mostly in the DSA, but there was a real 
generational divide that ran through the whole affair, between the “old” 
left – mainly pensioners, I would say -- and these new relatively young 
people, with all kinds of ideas for the way forward, and with severe 
illusions about the possibility of a new radical left emerging from the 
Democrats at the community level, by helping, in their estimate, elect 
lower level  state and municipal functionaries, etc.  Many of the 
sessions were full-up and had to turn people away. The DSA’s convention 
is in Atlanta, August 2nd to the 4th.  It will be interesting to see 
what happens there.  They now claim 52,000 members.



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