An assembly of political bankrupts: Historical Materialism and Jacobin host “Socialism in Our Time” conference
16 April 2019
On April 13-14, the UK-based Historical Materialism journal and the US-based Jacobin magazine held their “Socialism in Our Time” conference in New York City. The event brought together most of the major pseudo-left organizations in the United States, with the dominant political line provided by the Democratic Socialists of America, with which Jacobin is associated.
The conference had, in fact, nothing to do with socialism, either in our time or any other. A more accurate title for the event would have been, “Democratic Party Politics in Our Time.” The entire event and its 74 panels and workshops was an exercise in political evasion and duplicity, in which every single significant political issue was ignored or covered over in soporific phrases aimed at justifying support for the trade unions and, above all, the Democratic Party campaign of Bernie Sanders, which Jacobin and the DSA are enthusiastically promoting.
There was no discussion of the rise of the far-right and fascistic movements internationally, the significance of the growth of the class struggle, or the danger of world war. No one provided any serious assessment of the Trump administration or the role of the Democratic Party in facilitating its right-wing policies.
While it was held just two days after the arrest of Julian Assange in London, this also went unmentioned. No one considered that the seizure of the WikiLeaks founder and his threatened rendition to the United States had any relationship to the building of a socialist movement.
As for history, an ostensible theme of the conference, the participants studiously avoided any reference to the historical record, which would…