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The Problem with

Democratic Socialists of America (DSA)

October 19, 2020



DSA advertises itself as being in favor of the reforms that very many people want, such as medicare for all. And DSA talks about making things more equal and democratic. Its website says, for example:


"Today, corporate executives who answer only to themselves and a few wealthy stockholders make basic economic decisions affecting millions of people. Resources are used to make money for capitalists rather than to meet human needs. We believe that the workers and consumers who are affected by economic institutions should own and control them."


So it is no wonder that many people are attracted to the DSA. But here's the problem with the DSA. DSA's vision of how things ought to be is one that STILL includes basing society on money, on markets, on production for profit (at least DSA doesn't say otherwise), and on wage labor with some wages ("rewards" in DSA vocabulary) higher for some than for others.


Despite the pretty words, such a society, based on money, is one in which money is power. Those with just a little bit more money--due to their cleverness or perhaps even just luck--have a little bit more power, and can use that power to gain yet a little bit more power, and so on. Such a society inevitably places more and more power in the hands of fewer and fewer people--the people who have or control more money than others. Money, in a society based on money, makes it possible for large sums of money to end up in the hands of a few, and those few will have enormously more power than ordinary people--just as we see today in the United States. Such a society becomes one with great economic inequality, and one in which an upper class has great wealth and power and privileges that it can only maintain by treating ordinary people like dirt. The only way to prevent this abuse of power is by having the general public explicitly determined to prevent class inequality, as discussed here.


DSA's vision is, unfortunately, not a society in which class inequality is abolished and remains abolished. Its vision is spelled out online here. Read it with the above considerations in mind. The egalitarian revolutionary vision is spelled out here.

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