The late 1960s are calling and they want their ideology back:
“Learning from the New Communist Movement”
Socialists today don’t have to reinvent the wheel — we can learn from the successes and failures of past American radicals, including the New Communist Movement.
With the popularity of politicians like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the explosion in membership in the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), socialism is suddenly central to the national political conversation. And it’s happening in the United States. Despite being a country long argued to be uniquely allergic to all talk of class conflict and any alternative to capitalism, here we are, watching many Americans question whether we should remake our political and economic systems from top to bottom.
DSA membership has mushroomed since the 2016 election from 7,000 to more than 37,000 today.
But this isn’t the first time mass numbers of people in the United States have considered socialism. It also happened half a century ago, when the New Left raised questions about capitalism, imperialism, racism, sexism, and much more. At the end of the 1960s, those questions were taken up by the New Communist Movement (NCM), a collection of groups in the Marxist-Leninist tradition. While the movement was made up of organizations that had different answers to burning political questions, on the whole, these groups were inspired by the left-nationalist projects of the day, including domestic movements like the Black Panthers and Puerto Rican nationalist groups, and international communist movements in Cuba, Vietnam, and especially China.
Speaking of China, the officially Communist country is increasingly discovering that it has little use for actual Communists. It would kind of ironic if China ended up leading an anti-Communist crusade against the US.