THE BASIS OF A SOCIALIST MANIFESTO … Intro & Chapter 1: Capitalist Economy

The Transition To SocialismPublished: 5 May 2016.
Author: Jonathan Clyne (TSN Policy Coordinator).
Intro by: TSN Editor.

One of the key tasks agreed at the founding meeting of The Socialist Network in Istanbul in August 2012 was the need to discuss and develop a Socialist Manifesto. It is hoped that 2016 will be the year when we are able to deliver on this commitment.

An important contribution towards such a Manifesto is the first draft of a book currently being written by Jonathan Clyne entitled ‘The Transition to Socialism’. The early Chapters of the book have recently been the basis for a series of discussions on the TSN’s international Coordinating Committee. As a result of the discussions Jonathan has reorganised the book and updated its content.

Below is then updated Introduction and a new first chapter entitled Capitalist Economy. The  chapters that follow are being prepared for publication shortly on our website. For this discussion around the book we wish to encourage the widest participation and feedback from members of the Network and the socialist movement in general.

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British people keener on socialism than capitalism

socialism-768x348Published:19 Feb 2016.
Intro by: TSN Editor.

There is now growing international support for the general idea of socialism among populations in the richer countries. Evidence for this has been widely talked about in the United States with Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders tapping into the new mood. The same process has been taking place in Britain as this recent report from the leading polling agency YouGov demonstrates.

British people are more likely to view socialism favourably than capitalism

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US Presidential Elections: Does the Rise of Bernie Sanders have a wider significance?

Collage1Published: 4 February 2016.
Author: Owen Jones.
Intro by: TSN Editor.

The results of the first contest for the Democratic nominee for US President, held in Iowa a few days ago, resulted in a virtual tie between the establishment figure of Hilary Clinton and the “socialist” challenger, Bernie Sanders. This is an incredible result for Sanders who is calling for “a political revolution” to take back wealth and power from “the billionaire class”. Now the next question in the Democratic Party contest is whether Sanders can extend his growing support among white youth and workers to the black and hispanic population, as well as to older voters.

The success of Bernie’s Sanders campaign so far is clearly part of a wider international movement for radical change driven by the world economic crisis and the inexorable rise of inequality. The following article by Owen Jones compares the rise of support for a more radical alternative in the US to similar developments in Europe, and highlights the generational aspects they represent.

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Debate: American Presidential Elections – Culture War versus Freedom for All

Published: 21 August 2015.
Author: Paul Shepard.
Introduction by: TSN Editor.

The candidature of the 73-year-old self-styled ‘socialist’ Senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders in the race for the US Democratic Party Presidential nomination has certainly brought the nomination contest alive. A huge number of people have been turning out to hear Sanders at rallies across America, with 28,000 crowding into a local Sanders rally in a basketball arena in Portland Oregon on August 10th and similar numbers attending a meeting in Los Angeles. Volunteers are queuing up to help the campaign with nearly 50,000 so far which is beginning to match Clinton’s professional campaign financed from her $2 billion war chest (provided mainly by the banks and the corporate elite) . All of this is now being reflected in the polls with support for Sanders among Democratic Party voters rising quickly – now at around 30% – while for front-runner Hillary Clinton it is falling at 47%.
…However, the participation of Bernie Sanders in this race is a controversial one on the America Left given the nature of the Democratic Party and the fate that has befallen past attempts of more progressive candidates to win the presidential nomination. A few months ago we carried an article opposing his campaign: ‘Is US Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders ‘sheep-dogging’ for Hillary and the Democrats?’ And we invited anyone who supported Bernie’s campaign to submit their views for publication. Thanks to Paul Shepard for responding to the challenge.

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Is US Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders ‘sheep-dogging’ for Hillary and the Democrats?

13Published: 19 May 2015
Author: Bruce A. Dixon
Intro by: TSN Editor

Bernie Sanders, the 73-year-old independent and self-declared “socialist” US senator from Vermont, has announced his intention to run for the position of 2016 Democratic Party presidential candidate. Sanders said he was motivated to enter the race by what he termed “obscene levels” of income disparity, along with a commitment to end the corrupt campaign finance system. He announced that “This is a rigged economy, which works for the rich and the powerful, and is not working for ordinary Americans.”
The launch of Sander’s campaign has garnered a lot of enthusiasm with 185,000 supporters signing up within the first week, raising $3 million from 75,000 people, and with 5.3 million interactions on his Facebook page.
…However, the campaign is causing a lot of controversy and confusion on the socialist Left which is divided on how best to respond to this movement. Here is one contribution which we reproduce from the Black Agenda Report. It takes a negative viewpoint on the likely significance and consequences of the Sanders’ presidential campaign. Anyone else with an alternative standpoint is welcome to submit it for publication.

“The sheepdog is a card the Democratic Party plays every presidential primary season when there’s no White House Democrat running for re-election.”

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