Do You Socialists Have Any Plans?


Claim and Qualification

For the first time in well over 70 years, the words “capitalism” and “socialism” can be circulated among the general public in the United States. However, what I am going to claim in this article is that the only way 21st century socialism is going to get any traction or respect from the working class is if socialists collectively develop blueprints for socialism: five years, ten years, fifty years down the road. By way of qualification, my ideas about socialist planning have little to do with Trotsky’s ideas and what his followers have called “socialist transition programs”.


Leftists in the US are not exactly bold or innovative. It took the economic crash of 2008 for them to even consider using the word “capitalism” in public, outside their inner circles. So too, it took a New Deal liberal like Bernie Sanders to throw down the gauntlet and say, “I am a socialist” in order for real socialists to think it was safe to use that word again. While the Trump victory was more a result of the vote of the small business owners than the workers themselves, clearly working-class conditions are so bad that many workers would vote for anyone who promised a chance for jobs, any jobs. So after forty five years of championing identity politics; after forty-five years of imagining that the working class has disappeared; after forty-five years of saying the working class has bought into a middle class lifestyle; for…

Read more