Bernie Sanders and the New Class Politics

An interesting discussion of Sanders vs. Clinton’s neoliberalism from a Marxist perspective. The apparently escalating divisions between centrist neoliberalism, the identity politics oriented Left and the socialist/labor Left are described in some detail. The only thing that unites the liberal and Left end of the spectrum is their common opposition to traditional WASP hegemony. As WASPs continue to become a less credible enemy, it will be interesting to see what kinds of new political realignments come about.

By Adoph Reed and Daniel Zamora

The Jacobin

A Bernie Sanders rally in April 2016. Patrick Damiano / Flickr

Bernie Sanders’s campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination was historic. The expectations were, to say the least, modest. One year ago, ex-Obama chief strategist David Axelrod didn’t hesitate to mock his candidacy saying that “people will have a fling with Bernie. Bernie is like a great fun date because you know he’s not going to be around town too long, and I think you’re going to see people flirt with that.”

But, against all odds, within months Sanders would raise over $200 million in small contributions, and win more than thirteen million votes (43 percent of the total) and twenty-three states. Though he fell short of the nomination, Sanders left an impact on a generation of new voters and the political discourse in the country.

What exactly that will mean for the Left and the country’s labor movement remains to be seen. But in an interview for the Belgian journal Etudes Marxistes, Adolph Reed discussed the phenomenon and what it could mean for the future.


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