“For about 200 years something called socialism has been the positive culmination of anti-capitalism.
When people are driven to fight exploitation, when people rebel against racist and religious
oppression, when a global corporate economy drives their wages down and takes away their jobs,
they learn that socialism is the alternative.”
Charles Andrews, ‘Author of The Hollow Colossus’ in ‘There Is No Socialism Without a Communist Party’1
2016 saw the nationwide revival of the word Socialism in Bernie sanders’ campaign for presidency. Sanders qualified it; calling it “Democratic Socialism”, by which he meant that democratic control on capitalism will allow workers to live a life somewhat like a human being with enough income, educational opportunities for their children, affordable medical care and social security. Although he was used and then discarded by the Democratic Party, many of his supporters take socialism more seriously than ever before.
The working class in the US has started to rise up after the neoliberal turn enforced by capital manifest in Thatcher-Reagan era and continued by Bush, Clinton and Obama in their own ways. The mass following of Sanders on the left and Trump on the populist right in the follow up of Occupy movement testifies to the fact that the working class is in the mood of claiming it’s place in the political space so constrained by electoral politics. The recent upsurge of activism around Black Lives Matter and #MeToo points toward a desire to overthrow the yoke of oppression associated with racism and patriarchy in the society. In this talk, panelists would argue that the potential of this great working class can only be fulfilled if we build our social and political movements with revolutionary outlook of the socialist revolutions of 20th century, not by rejecting them. The panelists will highlight the achievements of 20th century revolutions and make a case for the need of socialist revolution in the US so that the working class can solve the problems created by capitalism and lead the world’s working and oppressed peoples towards ecologically sustainable life with social justice for all.
The panelists will also argue that socialism is not a reform of a capitalism but its replacement. Socialism today must be the answer to contemporary forms of capitalist exploitations while it draws on the success, not only on the reversal of the socialist projects in the U.S.S.R. and China.
1. Raj Sahai is an engineer and a socialist, who started his activism during the Anti-Vietnam War struggles in Chicago, IL in 1968- continuing in Berkeley, CA from 1971 onwards. He has published article in India and US, has been member of the Institute for Critical Study of Society at the Niebyl Proctor Marxist Library in Oakland California. He has assisted in translation of the book ‘Khrushchev Lied’ by Grover Furr. His recently published article titled ‘Stalin’s Ghost Haunts Capitalism’ can be viewed thru the following Link: http://www.idcommunism.com/2018/02/stalins-ghost-haunts-capitalism.html
2. Amit Singh is an adjunct faculty and research associate at Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics, Virginia Tech. He has been involved with labor movements in India. He has also worked with several socialist and anarchist organizations in Minneapolis. Among his several published articles is one below:
“The ownership of Sarovar: A saga of benefitting from sexism, workers’ exploitation, fascism
and economic crises”, published by IIT Kanpur Citizens Forum (2017)
3. Dipjyoti Das is a post-doctoral associate at Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, Yale University. He has been involved with various socialist groups in India, and primarily associated with a communist vernacular news-paper, 'jabar-dakhal' (meaning 'forced possession') in Kolkata, India (link: http://jabardakhal.in/english/).