USA: Revolution on the Horizon

Sanders RallyEditorial for Socialist Appeal Issue 93. The US political pendulum, which had swung so far to the right, is beginning to swing dramatically in the opposite direction. Years of crisis and instability have inexorably had an effect on consciousness. Sanders’ insurgent candidacy—which wasn’t given an ice cube’s chance in hell just a few months ago—is clear evidence of this. Tens of thousands have turned out at mass rallies to hear his message of “political revolution against the billionaire class.” He has put socialism in the headlines in an unprecedented way, reflecting the deep-seated discontent that has been slowly but surely percolating beneath the surface.

Reformism, Revolution, and the Crisis of US Capitalism

BernieSandersReformismFeaturedEditorial for Socialist Appeal 92 - These days, it would seem that nearly everyone is a socialist of some sort or another. That was certainly not the case back when Socialist Appeal was founded fifteen years ago. To be sure, what most people understand as “socialism” at the moment is far from the fully revolutionary conception defended in the program at the back of our paper. But this marks a dramatic change in consciousness nonetheless.

The Crisis and the Minimum Wage

MinimumWageThe “Great Recession” may have “technically” ended in June 2009, but what really matters are full employment and a steadily increasing quality of life. Capitalism’s inability to provide this is not due to individual malice or indifference— though there are plenty of sociopaths on Wall Street—but because under capitalism, creating jobs and paying workers are mere afterthoughts to the real reason for the system’s existence: profits. This is the inner contradiction and absurdity of a socio-economic form that can exist only through the exploitation of workers, and yet is unable exploit all the able, willing, and available workers, millions of whom must humiliate  themselves every day, offering themselves up for jobs (exploitation) that don’t exist.

American Politics Gets Interesting

Editorial from Socialist Appeal No. 90

After years of monotonous two-party ping-pong, American politics has started to get interesting. Without a mass political party of our own, US workers are forced to abstain, cast a protest vote, or choose between one capitalist party or another. So far, these are still the only options for 2016. But although the current contest is being played out within the narrow constraints of the two-party system, the limits of the current set up are increasingly apparent. Just a few months ago, it was shaping up to be a snoozefest between yet another Bush and another Clinton. However, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump—and above all, the American electorate—had other ideas.