“Finland Station” and the Struggle for Socialism Today

Photo by Pete Birkinshaw | CC BY 2.0

A Response to Bhaskar Sunkara

At the end of June, in the midst of a growing discussion about socialism in the United States, Bhaskar Sunkara published an important op-ed in the New York Times entitled “Socialism’s Future May Be Its Past.”

Sunkara, editor of Jacobin magazine and a Vice Chair of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), attempts to draw out lessons from the Russian Revolution and take up the relevance of socialist and radical ideas in our time. It was a distinctly different and more sympathetic assessment than other recent articles in the same publication addressing the 100-year anniversary of that historic event. As one point of comparison, a week earlier, the New York Times printed an article by right-wing author Sean McMeekin which sought to revive the long ago discredited “Lenin was a German spy” conspiracy theory.

It should come as no surprise that a large section of the mainstream media and pro-capitalist commentators are again devoting time and resources to distort and discredit socialist ideas, including no less than the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, as Sunkara points out. This distortion campaign is a response to the revival of socialism which has begun to take place in the U.S. on the heels of the incredibly popular campaign of Bernie Sanders.

Sanders called out for a “political revolution” against Wall Street and the 1%, and in so doing galvanized millions of workers and young people…

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