A year’s worth of discussion and debate about the Sanders campaign on North Star

by North Star editorial board on June 14, 2016

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during a rally on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012 in Lyndonville, Vt. Sanders is in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom taking his populist message to students at Lyndon State College. Sanders said Tuesday he's held more than 40 such meetings as he seeks re-election to the Senate. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during a rally on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012 in Lyndonville, Vt.

Just over a year ago the North Star published an invitation for submissions on the Bernie Sanders campaign. Although we expected the articles to run for about a month or so, they are still coming in and it is entirely conceivable that they will through the Democratic Party convention in July. The reason for that is obvious. A large part of the left has embraced this campaign, either critically like Socialist Alternative or wholeheartedly like the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, while another large part rejects it as an attempt to maintain the legitimacy of the Democratic Party whether or not that was Sanders’s conscious intent.

The division even was reflected in the North Star editorial board as former member Matt Hoke made the case for Sanders here. In keeping with the pluralism we think is essential for the growth of the left, we allowed Matt and other comrades to present their ideas here.

As a resource guide to the various contributions made here over the past year, we are presenting an abstract of each article and its link so that you can review the dialectic in chronological order.

Regime Change: Ditch the Green Party for Socialist Campaigns

by Matt Hoke on September 22, 2015

Makes the case that the Sanders campaign should be seen in the same light as the Kshama Sawant campaign as well as argues that the Greens have limited themselves by prioritizing environmental issues. Unfortunately, Hoke fails to address the question of the class character of the Democratic Party.


When Regime Change Means No Change: A Short Reply to Matt Hoke

By Mark A. Lause on September 30, 2015

Mark Lause was also an editorial board member at the time and remains so. Mark has been involved with the Ohio Greens for a number of years and would be the first to admit their shortcomings but points out that Sanders has promised to back whichever Democrat wins the primary, therefore linking the leftist supporters of Sanders to a deeply reactionary politician.


Bernie and the Long Game: What Should the Left Make of Sanders?

by Sophia Burns on October 9, 2015

Although not a North Star editor at the time, Sophia would become one just recently. Her article points out that the rhetoric associated with the Sanders campaign such as a fuzzily defined “socialism” and “political revolution” lack any connection to a Marxist class analysis. She adds that although he is an inspirational figure to many, there is a strong possibility that “eighteen months from now, masses of Bernie diehards will feel not only disappointed, but betrayed.” One suspects that Sophia’s projections are in line with the meaning of her name—Greek for wisdom.


Stop leftist hand-washing, support Sanders

by Jon Hochschartner On October 21, 2015

Another pro-Sanders article that emphasizes the practical considerations that go into endorsing Sanders. He might not be perfect but given the terrible conditions the working poor endure, he is the best candidate with a chance of winning.


Get your hands dirty – but not for Sanders

by Devin Griggs On October 25, 2015

This is a reply to Jon Hochschartner’s article by a member of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union. Griggs refers to the Greens as “petty bourgeois” and the even worse big bourgeois Democratic Party. He also diminishes the Sawant campaign by putting “Trotskyist” in scare quotes and finally calls for using “Marxist science”. To my knowledge, Griggs is not a member of a Leninist group.


Their Socialism and Ours: On Sanders

By Jordan Martinez On January 25, 2016

Another critique of the Sanders campaign from a comrade who highlights his evolution from an independent to a Democrat. He also faults Black and Latino activists for failing to break with the Democrats. Like Griggs, Martinez appeals to traditional institutions of worker’s power such as Soviets as an alternative to bourgeois politics. It is open to question how close we are to that possibility in 2016.


Questions posed to Oklahoma Green Party about Bernie Sanders endorsement

Interview by Jim Brash, North Star Editorial Board Member

Jim was a Green Party candidate and anxious to find out what motivated his comrades in Oklahoma to back Sanders.


Sanders, Sweden and Socialism

By Louis Proyect On April 6, 2016

A look at the problems facing the implementation of Swedish-style social democracy especially in a period when Sweden itself has largely abandoned the model under social democratic governments.


Bernie Sanders announces plans for a new left party

By Louis Proyect On May 21, 2016

A thought experiment based on an unlikely turn of events.


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