This is an interesting and useful take (below) on socialism but I think that it too old-fashioned to be the best approach, and has one bare reference to climate change. But it is very much about our own approach with its collation of issues of racism, feminism, LGBT, etc… We have suggested that the left needs a larger framework than that of the ‘working class’ and its concerns: we need a comprehensive new social contract, politics and economic system with a core of ecological cultural economics…
Has anyone noticed: the right has coopted the american working class and destroyed the union movement. And the latter may or may not stage a comeback but in the nonce we must try a new approach. We have suggested thinking in terms of the universal class and the blueprint for a new form of society and economics.
Look at Marx and Engels, two members of the bourgeoisie and de facto members of the universal class. The universal class in general staged the working class formula, for very good reasons for its time. It can still do so now but our larger formula suggests a larger group (that will certainly be able to ally with groups like the DSA) must adopt a universal set of strategies and platforms. These different approaches are not mutually exclusive, but at this point the working class focus is a misplaced legacy obsession. That said, we have to deliver as far as the ‘working class’ is concerned: we must propose something better than even mainstream socialists can propose. And I welcome at any point a working class upsurge. But it just happened and it joined with Trump, evidently. The left has tried and tried to radicalize the working class: that worked in the nineteenth and early twentieth century but now these demographics have shifted.
And we have a larger problem to solve: not just american workers, but global working classes. Are we to think only in terms of american workers? Are the latter to ditch their overseas comrades?
How do we decide who gets jobs, what jobs, or any jobs at the onset of automation. We must think not only about the working class but the issue of a no growth economy, a plan to deal with climate catastrophe, and much else…We can get sidetracked very easily here. Does the american working class give a shit about climate change? If it did it would go on strike to close down Detroit auto factories.
The fundamental social relationship in capitalism is between the worker and the capitalist (employee and employer), and the exploitation of workers by capitalists is the primary source of profitability within the capitalist system. This relationship gives an organized working class tremendous potential power, and it makes the self-organization of working people an essential weapon in anticapitalist struggle. Further, labor organizing gives DSA members a chance not only to work toward a revived workers’ movement but also to build DSA. U.S. history has shown that the best recruits for socialism are experienced and radicalized workers, and, similarly, that the best workplace organizers are socialists. For these reasons we must place the trade union movement and newer, less traditional forms of worker self-organization (e.g. workers’ centers) front and center in our priorities. This work is especially necessary today, when worker organization is at a historic low after decades of relentless corporate attacks.