Read it and weep! Or, do what I’m doing… learning and fighting back!
Telling the “new left” how to get what they want.
As inequalities of wealth and income increase and the wages and living standards of most are either stagnant or falling, social needs expand. Only a revitalized public sector can universally and democratically meet those needs.
Finally, economic democracy is also the only way to mediate and overcome divisions based upon race, gender, religion, and ethnicity that undercut universal social justice.
Global Justice. A program of global justice can unite opponents of transnational corporations across national boundaries around a common program to transform existing international institutions and invent new global organizations designed to ensure that wages, working conditions, environmental standards and social rights are “leveled up” worldwide. The basis of cooperation for fighting the transnationals must be forged across borders from its inception. Economic nationalism and other forms of chauvinism will doom any expanded anti-corporate agenda.
The international financial institutions serving the interests of transnational capital are important arenas of struggle for a global social and environmental agenda. Elements of this agenda include efforts to advance social charters in free trade agreements; to propose alternative investment strategies for the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund; to strengthen the enforcement of existing treaties on the environment, labor standards, social policies etc.; and to promote international standards that put social justice before corporate profit. Stronger international ties among trade unions and joint actions across borders in defense of wage standards, working conditions and social rights are critical.
Social Redistribution. Social redistribution–the shift of wealth and resources from the rich to the rest of society–will require:
massive redistribution of income from corporations and the wealthy to wage earners and the poor and the public sector, in order to provide the main source of new funds for social programs,income maintenance and infrastructure rehabilitation, and
a massive shift of public resources from the military (the main user of existing discretionary funds) to civilian uses.
Although such reforms will be very difficult to achieve on a national scale in the short term, their urgency increases as income inequality intensifies. Over time, income redistribution and social programs will be critical not only to the poor but to the great majority of working people. The defense and expansion of government programs that promote social justice, equal education for all children, universal health care, environmental protection and guaranteed minimum income and social well-being is critical for the next Left.
At the same time, the military Keynesianism that has dominated federal expenditures, constricting the capacity of governments at all levels to respond adequately to social needs, must end. Much of the current distortion in government spending and taxation has its roots in the massive military and national security build-up in the 1980s, combined with the massive tax cuts for the wealthy. The great run-up in national debt is due directly to military-led deficit financing. Reduced military expenditures and more equitable taxation represent the only sources of funds on the scale needed to provide the social programs required to ameliorate declining living standards.
Together, economic democracy, global justice, and social redistribution are the linchpins of abroad-based anti-corporate left, that is international in character and local in its reliance on popular control of economic resources and decision-making.
The belief is widespread that we stand at the beginning of a new political era — that the Left must create a new vision and a new mission rooted in a new sense of purpose. Democratic socialists have an historic opportunity and responsibility to play a central role in the founding of a next Left, and DSA is prepared to meet this challenge. We invite you to join us in this effort worthy of a lifetime of commitment.
From the democratic socialist of America USA…