NEW YORK/CHICAGO – The DSA have stirred up great controversy in US left circles, still reeling from the discussions of “Marxism-Leninism-Maoism” as the “third and higher stage” of communist ideology several decades too late, with their latest declaration that capitalism itself has reached a qualitatively new stage of irony.
“If you consider Marxism primarily from the perspective of alienation, it’s actually quite obvious,” explained Michael Foreman, a Bronx native and DSA member, to our local corespondent. “Capitalism has advanced so far in terms of alienating us all that even our own internal mental processes have a clear dual audience. Commodification is so total that we can only articulate resistance to the profit motive in terms of ironic humour, even to ourselves.
“O shit waddup,” he concluded.
In the past few months, large numbers of young Marxists have joined local branches of the DSA, an organisation dedicated primarily to making the Democratic Party add “vigorous defence of the legacy of Comrade Stalin” to their Party Platform. Consequently, theoretical discussion at various branches of the DSA have become more rigorous than ever before, with the legacies of such US radical martyrs as Malcolm X, Michael Israel, and Bernie Sanders being mainstays of discussions at meetings. We spoke to Alfonso Casal, professional Malört sommelier and anti-revisionist Marxist-Leninist, about developments within the DSA in terms of theory and practice.
“Basically, it’s not untrue that our innermost psychological health is being harmed by capitalism, and that capitalism’s tendency to commodify all things has brought us to this point. The disagreement we have with the DSA is mostly over whether this process, which has been quantitatively increasing since capitalism-imperialism became globally hegemonic, has actually reached some new qualitative stage.
“There was far more merit to the discussion, very popular since the 2008 Crisis, of neoliberalism, with its basis in profit-exploitation, as a qualitatively higher stage of capitalism-imperialism. In this vein, it is our view that the DSA themselves represent a new stage of revisionism. We had the classic revisionists like Bernstein or Kautsky, and then we had the ‘modern revisionists’ of the 20th century that our ‘anti-revisionist’ Marxism-Leninism defines itself in opposition to. However, these have descended so far into revisionism that they are no longer central to our discussions as revolutionaries. In the place of CPUSA or the CPB, we are now primarily concerned with the revisionism of the DSA and Momentum.”
Asked how he perceived a coming struggle with the DSA, Casal responded: “It’s very difficult to say. Just as defectors from the CPUSA played an important role in the struggle with modern revisionism decades ago, I predict contradictions within the DSA will lead to new formations, some of whom will have ideas close to our own.
“Pretty IRONIC, don’t you think?” winked Casal, who, before an explanation could be sought, pulled out an air horn and blew it into the air multiple times. “Capitalism, more like CRAPitalism, AMIRITE?”
The ISO, despite being mentioned much further down the page than they would ever read on a website as “Stalinist” as this one, also had their own analysis of the DSA’s growth and development. We sat down with one of their representatives at Fanxi’s Famous Foods in Manhattan:
“The DSA are reformists, which presents a clear risk of Stalinist growth within their ranks. On the other hand, they call themselves democratic socialists, and we Trotskyists are the real democratic socialists, since we have always militantly defended democracy for the working class, so perhaps we’ll be able to recruit some of them or take them over from within.
“It’s difficult to say, because we always had trouble telling which of their public declarations were ironic, and their latest declaration hardly does anything to clear up that confusion.”
At time of press, the ROL.
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