Socialist Strategy and Electoral Politics
A Report
Edited by Verso Books
Part of the Verso Reports series
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February 2019 / 9781788737456

A timely, free ebook about the fight for working-class power

With the far-right on the rise globally, a viable left-wing alternative movement is urgently needed. In the United States, a growing socialist movement seeks to confront and defeat Trump's toxic mixture of racism, misogyny, isolationism, and empty “anti-establishment” rhetoric, as well as the bi-partisan status quo that gave Trump room to rise. This reborn socialist movement faces many questions about strategy—especially in its approach to electoral politics.

In this collection of new and previously published essays, activists and scholars from across the socialist left seek to grapple with politics in the wake of the election of Donald Trump and the surprising popularity of Bernie Sanders's primary campaign in 2016, as well as the failure of center-left parties across the world to halt the ascent of right-wing populism. They refuse to be satisfied by asking, “Who can we get elected to office?” Instead, they consider how and why socialists should participate in the electoral arena. Some reflect on the possible gains: that through electoral campaigns our ideas might spread and our ranks could swell, or that we might learn valuable lessons for the next fight. Other contributors argue that we should pay more attention to those who are left out of electoral politics—the disenfranchised, the undocumented, the poor—and be wary of the narrowing of horizons that is, in general, the result of governing. Despite the strategic disagreements, the goal of all contributors is to help the left understand where it should go from here, and inspire those not yet organized and active to join the growing socialist movement.

Contributors include Seth Ackerman and Daniel Denvir, Sofia Arias, Sumaya Awad, and Bill V. Mullen, Ben Beckett and Neal Meyer, Eric Blanc, Todd Chretien, Danielle Corcione, Ariel Diliberto, and James Yeun, Meagan Day, Barry Eidlin, Nick Estes, Ted Fertik, Lauren Fleer, Sam Gindin and Leo Panitch, Charlotte Heltai, Matthew Karp, Kim Moody, Charles Post, Aziz Rana, Kshama Sawant, Lester Spence, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, and the Viewpoint Collective.

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