NO BORDERS * NO BOSSES * NO BINARIES
William Adair Bonner
William Adair Bonner, Esquire, practices law in suburban Philadelphia. He is an Allied Attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom and former Northeastern Regional Director for The Rutherford Institute. He hosts a weekly radio program entitled “It’s Your Law.”
This year has been a very complex and in some ways, disruptive one, for those Americans who identify as Socialists. It has also been a year when those who are not members of Socialist political organizations have encountered struggles to understand Socialism and, and according to various polls, a period when many have been politically seduced into considering that a transition to full Socialism may be the best course for the future of America.
This trend is particularly alarming, as Socialism and Marxism have had a particularly entwined relationship ideologically, and have together aggressively challenged our capitalist economy. Additionally, both ideologies have capitalized on the theory of Karl Marx that society is simply infused with class struggle, although ultimately the workers or so-called proletariat will revolt to bring about a Communist state.
A Communist state has not appeared in America, and therefore to address this large flaw in Marxist theory, an adjustment was conceived by Marxist philosophers such as Antonio Gramsci, who proposed that, given the lure of prosperity which would dissuade workers from revolt, Marxism needed to progressively control the institutions of culture instead. That agenda has been exceedingly successful in the field of education. Karl Marx’s The Communist Manifesto is one of the top two books of assigned reading in American higher education today. While the media attacks the president for alleged election involvement with Russia, American students are enticed to follow the Socialist and Marxist path. Another cause for alarm is the fact that Marxism has been historically atheist, and its impact on Socialism and Liberalism has only created a long-term alienation of political leadership from the reality of religious practice among American voters.
So what all has happened within Socialism during the eight months of 2019?
First, the International Socialist Organization (ISO) in the United States voted to dissolve in the spring. The excuse initially provided was that the leadership had fallen into conflict over its own failure to address an incident of sexual harassment in 2013. But, a later statement affirmed that the ISO’s dissolution “effectively removed an organizational barrier to the integration of its dominant faction into the political orbit of the Democratic Party.” The ISO had been founded in 1977 and had annually sponsored a conference, such as last year’s “Socialism2018.” Thereafter leadership of “Socialism2019” passed to the Democratic Socialists of America.
Second, and backtracking to 2016, Justice Democrats, a political action committee with a far-left agenda, had solicited nominations of persons to run for public office. A total of 79 individuals were endorsed, among them, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Seven of them won seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. These victories meant that the Congressional Progressive Caucus grew in size, and also the radical left membership grew in the Democratic Caucus.
Third, the sponsorship of the annual Socialism conference passed from the International Socialist Organization to the Democratic Socialists of America. An introductory paragraph to the conference brochure read: “In a moment of rising class struggle, resurgent social movements, and the growing appeal of socialism, The Socialism2019 Conference is an important gathering for today’s Left.” A subsequent paragraph described just a few of the offered panels, lectures, and workshops on the “fight against racism, how to win gender justice, radical working class struggle, current debates on the left, and More.” With a student ticket price of $55.00, a regular rate of $105.00, and a full conference rate of $250.00, this was obviously an event highly subsidized by major donors, given the location at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place. This invitation to “Meet with comrades . . .” promised debates about the “hidden history of working-class and socialist struggles” as well as a “commit[ment] to fighting injustice and oppression and building a socialist future.” The conference sponsors had an obvious sense of history, as they addressed “Haymarket,” of 1886 radical labor riot fame in Chicago (www.haymarketbooks. org), Jacobin, a publication appropriating a party central to the French Revolution (https://www.jacobinmag.com), and the Democratic Socialists of America (https://www.dsausa.org).
Socialism today is hardly the new political kid on the block, and its terminology and ideology, especially relating to “class struggle,” clearly harks back to the writings of a mere 30-year-old would-be economic and political philosopher. Karl Marx in 1848 published The Communist Manifesto, a book which Lenin, with incredible skill in the last six years of his life, utilized to found the Russian Communist Party and the Soviet Empire. Since the time of Marx repeatedly we can identify the courage of the young, especially enrolled students, in providing the front line solders in the so-called interminable “class struggles.”
Accompanying the headlines of youth in high profile circumstances risking their lives while facing the guns, and even tanks, in Tianamen Square, earlier adherents of the ideology of “class struggle” have advanced their agenda in very subtle ways. For example, I discovered on the internet a picture of the cover for the magazine The Cosmopolitan for November 1898, with an annual subscription cost of a mere one dollar. This publication, which focused on wholesome family-friendly articles, was founded in 1886, with the cover bearing the motto, “The World is my country and all Mankind are my countrymen.” It was replaced two years later by a new publisher with the famed words of Karl Marx, “From every man according to his ability, to every man according to his need.” By 1965, due to the success of the Marx’s social revolution, its focus had become women’s sexual liberation, or as the Democratic Socialists say, the “restructure (of) gender and cultural relationships to be more equitable.”
These Socialists proclaim “we reject an international economic order sustained by private profit, alienated labor, race and gender discrimination, environmental destruction, and brutality and violence in defense of the status quo.”
In the late 19th century, fueling Marx’s war on religious belief was the so-called “Great Agnostic” Robert Ingersoll, who drew large great crowds around the country as he pursued his campaign against religious orthodoxy and the separation of church and state. To the extent he could not convince listeners that religion was mere superstition, he possessed a highly developed gift of opening minds to the role of science in superseding Biblical answers to the creation.
Following after the Great Agnostic Ingersoll, who died in 1899, came the Mr. Socialism, Norman Thomas, who ran for President in 1928, 1932, 1936, 1940, 1944, and 1948. Lyndon Johnson referred to him as one of American’s “most eloquent speakers, finest writers, and most creative thinkers,” and George Meany in 1972 mused, “ If old Norman Thomas was only alive. . . .”
During the tumultuous Vietnam War era, Students for a Democratic Society not only rejected traditional liberalism but also became anti-capitalist. Radical students turned to socialism as the answer to the conflicts they perceived in society and they began an intellectual search for revolutionary strategies.
Concurrently, a group of four historians met in December 1964 and agreed to found an organization open to all Socialists, Communists, Trotskyites, and any other radical willing to pursue a revival of Socialism. They called their organization the Socialist Scholars Conference, and published in 1971 through Oxford University Press a volume of selected writings integrating Marxism and Socialism, entitled The Revival of American Socialism. After a hiatus, the Scholars group was revived in 1981 under the title The Democratic Socialists of America, which also continued its political agenda under the organizational title Left Forum, “to bring together organizers, intellectuals and the public from across the globe to share ideas for understanding and transforming the world.”
The titles of the Left Forum’s conferences provide some understanding of the group’s agenda. For example, the 2015 conference was entitled “No Justice, No Peace: Confronting the Crisis of Capitalism and Democracy.” In the year 2019, events listed include: “On the Road to Abolition: Archiving Resistance to the Carceral (Prison) State, Lessons on Liberation, Love and Justice, and How to Be an Antiracist.”
The subtitle of the Socialism2019 Conference “NO BORDERS * NO BOSSES NO * BINARIES,” should alert us to the radical character of an America which would cease to be a sovereign nation; an America in which capitalism is replaced by final control in the hands of Socialist political organizations; and an America which rejects the concept of humans being male or female, in favor of so-called “cis” humans without binary sexual identity. Socialism deserves your study, and also your subsequent political opposition. A political agenda founded in “class conflict” is merely an old and evil political trick to instill prejudice, division, hatred, and the destruction of social values which have stood the test of time. *