The Rise of Bernie Sanders is Causing Conflict AMONG SOCIALIST GROUPS
You would think socialists everywhere would be overjoyed about the candidacy of Bernie Sanders but instead, it’s causing conflict among socialist groups who see a golden opportunity.
Why Socialists Can’t Wait for Bernie to Lose
If you think Sanders’s candidacy has divided the Democratic party, that’s nothing compared to what he’s done to American socialists, a complex network of rival fringe parties united by a belief in overturning the economic order, but divided by almost everything else: strategy, personality, and what they think of their suddenly famous associate.
The rise of Sanders has triggered an ideological argument – is Sanders promoting bona fide socialism or, as Fredrik deBoer suggested in POLITICO Magazine last year, is he nothing but a “Socialist In Name Only?” — but the real divisions are tactical. In a presidential election year, even socialists have to think about electoral strategy. And Bernie’s rapid ascent means that the political decisions of the far-far left have been complicated by an unfamiliar surge of attention.
Some welcome it. Philip Locker, Seattle-based spokesman for the national Socialist Alternative organization, is thrilled by Sanders phenomenon, enthusing that “the political system is starting to be shaken” as Sanders “is popularizing socialism to an audience of tens of millions.”
To others, that’s dangerous naiveté. Howie Hawkins, a Green Party co-founder and member of the socialist group Solidarity, wrote an essay in May for the ISO’s Socialist Worker website attacking Sanders for “violating the first principle of socialist politics: class independence,” consorting with the “billionaire class” by pledging to “support their candidate” if he loses the Democratic primary.
Everyone on the far left loves the socialist revolution.
Until it runs them over.