In 1985 Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe published their ground breaking work Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: Towards a Radical Democratic Politics. Coming at the beginning of the era of neoliberalism’s political and economic hegemony, the pair argued for a radical re-visioning of traditional left politics. This book attempted to integrate the politics of democratic socialism with insights derived from anti-colonial struggles, post-structuralism, and the new social movements addressing racism, sexism, gay rights and environmental issues.
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“Populism” is a magical word. Its mysterious power unites the Erdogan and Putin governments, Latin American leftists like Evo Morales and the late Hugo Chavez, the resurgent Right in Europe and the United States, Hungarian and Polish anti-communist parties, Podemos, the Eurocommunism of the tragic Syriza, the revitalizers of social democracy Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn – all under the same umbrella.
The basic problem we have with parecon as advocated by Michael Albert is that we think he proposes blueprints for society without attempting to provide anything empirical to back up his claims. Whenever a criticism is raised, Albert’s response is to assert the beauty and elegance of his model, or to claim he has already considered this or that objection, so why are we being so critical? Of course, since the model is not functioning in the actual world, there is no evidence to falsify it, and Albert can always double down on its elegance in his ideal mindscape.
Chantal Mouffe argues that Jeremy Corbyn represents the success of left populism.
Kristin Ross discusses how the Paris Commune remains valuable as a resource for anti-systtemic movements today.
A reprint of an article by Ralph Milliband and Marcel Liebman that discusses the strengths and shortcomings of Social Democracy and what must be done to advance beyond it.
For too long 'populism' has been a term of political abuse. The time has come for the American Left to reclaim the mantle of one of its most illustrious ancestors.
A reprint of a classic article stating the case against anti-communism from a socialist perspective.
In a sympathetic but critical review, Bhaskar Sunkara provides an overview of the Bolshevik Revolution from the vantage point of a century later.
Eric Blanc discusses the history of the Minnesota Farmer-Labor party as showing why socialists ultimately need to break with the Democratic party.