Introduction

The Paris Commune of 1871 only lasted from March 18 to May 28, just 72 days, yet it is one of the most celebrated events in socialist history. It is a legend. Yet, what was it? What is it for us today? A model for socialists? A heroic failure? Negation of the state? Or the first workers’ government? Karl Marx wrote the most famous contemporary account, yet he failed to take up some of the Commune’s serious problems. Why?

The Women of Paris on the barricades at Place Blanche defend the Commune.

In Part I of this essay, below, I look at the events of the Commune as they developed, relying largely…


By: Dan La Botz and Patrick Silberstein

July 30, 2021

At least 150,000 French people in cities large and small throughout the country demonstrated on July 24, an extremely large number given that July and August and months in which demonstrations never take place because most French people go on vacation. To get an overview of the size and scope watch this video of the demonstrations: click here.

The protestors raised a variety of slogans. Some called for President Emmanuel Macron to step down; some opposed the pass sanitaire, a health pass that would prove vaccination; others opposed all vaccinations…


The Appeal of the Mass Party and its Contradictions

Hugo Chávez and Lula da Silva

The Democratic Socialists of America has decided that as its international policy, it should principally work to establish political ties to leftist parties that are “mass parties of the working class.” These are parties, like the Workers Party (PT) of Brazil with over 1.5 million members or the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) which claims over 7 million members. One can see the attraction: these are parties with not only numbers but also resources, influence, and political power.

The discussion among many in the circles of the DSA International Committee and DSA’s National Political Committee suggests that only such…


I am making this report public at this time — July 2021 — because the Democratic Socialists of America will be considering a resolution calling for joining the Foro de São Paulo at its national convention in August. The report below, of which I was the principal author, is reprinted here in its original form except for the correction of a few typos. Jack Suria Linares wrote a short section of this document as well as a separate report on the youth meetings which is included here. At the time it was submitted, it was accepted by the DSA National…


Yesterday, July 11, 2021, Cubans in several cities took to the streets to protest lack of health care, lack of food, and to demand freedom. Where should socialists stand on these protests and the Cuban government?

First, international socialists like myself, in a variety of organizations or independently, have always supported the right of the Cuban people to self-determination. We believe that the United States should, to use an old slogan, keep its hands off of Cuba.

We have opposed the U.S. embargo and its extension through the Helms-Burton Act because, even though food and medicine have not generally been…


This article was written for L’Anticapitaliste, the weekly newspaper of the New Anticapitalist Party (NPA) of France.

The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), the largest socialist group in the United States, will hold its biennial national convention during the first week of August, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the convention will be a virtual Zoom event. At the center of the convention will be debates about electoral politics and international issues, and while the membership seems largely united around the first, it is divided about the second.

Attending will be 1,300 delegates representing some 91,000 members in 240 chapters…


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This article was originally written as a collaboration between New Politics and Solidarity/Against the Current.

Leaders of UNAMOS, the Left Opposition to President Daniel Ortega, who have been arrested by his government.

Daniel Ortega, who is running for his fourth consecutive term as president of Nicaragua — his fifth altogether — is taking no chances on losing. Though he has held the presidency since 2007, for almost 14 years, and though he not only controls the executive but also dominates the National Assembly and the Supreme Court, and though he and his family and friends own most of the country’s news media, Ortega still felt it necessary to arrest five of the most prominent opposition…


Reginald Wilson, the prominent African American psychologist and educator, civil rights activist and socialist, and a member of the New Politics board, died on December 13, 2020 at the age of 93. His was a quintessentially Black American story of the twentieth century, if a particularly illustrious one. From his role as a Tuskegee Airman to his activism with C.L.R. James’ Correspondence group, to his founding of the first Black ski club, to his academic career he was a remarkable individual. A socialist for 75 years, he serves as a model for us today.

Reg’s parents — Oliver Leon Wilson…


Ten years ago, when I lived in Cincinnati, I was the Socialist Party’s candidate in Ohio for the U.S. Senate. No, I didn’t win. I didn’t even get many votes, just 25,000. But who thought then that there were so many socialists in Ohio? At the time I believed running a propaganda campaign as a socialist was a worthwhile project. I still do — even though, because of the extraordinary conditions in our country, this year I’m voting for Biden.

How did it come about that I ran as a socialist for the Senate? The Socialist Party and other “minor…


For the first time in my life, in fifty years of voting in America, I am voting for a Democratic Party presidential candidate and urge others to do so as well. As an activist on the left, a writer on politics in various publications, and an editor of New Politics, I feel that I must publicly acknowledge that I have changed my position on this question and explain why I recently signed a letter advocating a vote for Joseph Biden.

I became an activist in the 1960s in the movement against the U.S. war in Vietnam. Our enemy was the…

Dan La Botz

Dan La Botz is a writer. His most recent book is Trotsky in Tijuana at trotskyintijuana.com

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