This is a new blog post series Our goal is to post several items on the important internal disputes related to our present vigorous discussion of DSA. Note these posts on Inside Baseball are not statements of the policy or decisions of North Star. They are posted to record the events in a manner that will assist comprehension. The editors.
1. Whither DSA ? Leo Casey. 3/11/2022.
2. DSA Edging Toward the Sectarian Abyss. Max Sawicky. 1/10/2022
3. The Campaign to Expel Jamaal Bowman. Steering Committee of North Star Caucus, DSA
4. The Dangers of Factionalism in DSA 4/6/2021
If the Left is to succeed where past generations have failed, it can’t allow sectarian organizations to operate as “parties within a party.” ...The remarkable growth of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) over the past four years, from a group with a few thousand members to one with fifteen times that number, has made it the most significant U.S. socialist organization in nearly a century. Successful campaigns to elect open democratic socialists to public office have given the DSA real, if still embryonic, political influence. Four members -- Jamaal Bowman, Cori Bush, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib -- now sit in the House of Representatives. Together with Bernie Sanders in the Senate, this is the largest number of self-avowed democratic socialists ever to hold Congressional office simultaneously, to say nothing of the scores of DSA members who have been elected to state legislatures, county boards and city councils in recent years.
5. Austin Gonzalez resigns from the NPC. March 19, 2022
Austin Gonzalez resigns from DSA, and thereby the NPC and IC. Putatively in solidarity with the BDSWG, but his letter makes clear the pressure his campist line brought on him and DSA. Also complains about the handling of grievances.
6.. Conflicts in Metro Atlanta DSA July 2020.
7.. Letter from DSA members to NPC supporting the NPC statement and action on the BDS decision.
The letter describes several views of the recent problems in DSA.- Not a policy statement by North Star.
The actual decision of the NPC is not yet up on the website. It is described in detail on the Discussion Board. The Discussion Board is open only to registered members of DSA.
8. A New Vision for DSA. Susan Chacin. Winter 2021.
9. To Save DSA:
10. Background piece on the Jamaal Bowman controversy.
11. The State of DSA.
An outside DSA voice on DSA's internal conflicts. May 17,2022.
An intelligent outsiders view of the current issues in DSA. Max Elbaum.
Link On the North Star blog.
DSA can focus outward and continue on the path most connected to its recent growth: establishing itself as a socialist force within the progressive trend in U.S. politics whose most prominent figures are Bernie and the Squad. Taking that course would mean focusing, like the vast bulk of that trend, on both defeating the authoritarian right and building the independent strength of social justice and socialist forces in the process.
Watch this site for a growing listing of articles on our blog on these subjects.
12. Actions of a disciplined cadre ends the effective work of a DSA Working Group.
Bad Faith: Dealing with internal conflict June, 2022.
Conflict is inevitable, but acting in bad faith is a choice. Too often it is that choice that renders locals, national bodies, and even the NPC, at times useless. This was the case of the Immigrants Rights Working Group under my leadership. The intention in sharing these reflections is in hope of preventing further harm to the organization by other bad faith actors.
Political conflict should be expected and encouraged, but always with a goal towards growth. When working through political conflict, and hoping to grow through struggle, growth becomes unobtainable when bad faith is involved. Hold no grudges, but if a pattern emerges, the issue must be addressed.
13. Big Tent and Programmatic Unity Can Coexist in DSA
Jack Linares, June, 2022.
Max Elbaum’s recent piece analyzing the political struggle within Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) illuminates the clear necessity for a coherent national strategy amongst the entire US Left that can keep us from falling into irrelevance. Elbaum focuses on the decision by DSA’s National Political Committee (NPC) to reject a demand by a minority within the organization to expel Congressmember Jamaal Bowman for his vote in support of US imperialist military funding for the Israeli government.
This internal debate spilled into the public discourse despite the fact that a supermajority of the organization, in terms of the 2021 convention delegates, opposed disciplining elected DSA representatives who disagree with specific content within DSA’s platform. The public debate created an illusion that the minority opinion had grounding, while those holding the supermajority opinion failed to publicly defend the democratically mandated position.
Elbaum’s piece correctly identifies some of the political strategic debates, particularly a re-litigation of disciplinary questions answered during the 2021 DSA National Convention. Still, readers are left with gaps in understanding the structural challenges that DSA faces as we seek to avoid the mistakes of the 20th-century US Left and build a 21st-century socialist organization. The core question facing DSA in this moment centers organization, not immediate political strategy:
North Star caucus members
antiracismdsa (blog of Duane Campbell)
Hatuey's Ashes (blog of José G. Pérez)
Authory and Substack of Max Sawicky
Online University of the Left
In These Times
The American Prospect
Black Agenda Report
Dollars and Sense
Working Families Party
Poor People's Campaign
Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism
Progressive Democrats of America
Democracy for America
Black Lives Matter
Movement for Black Lives
The Women's March
Jewish Voice for Peace
National Abortion Rights Action League
National Organization for Women
National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights