Part 4 of the “ABCs of Socialism” series, sponsored by Verso Books and Jacobin, featuring lectures and discussions with contributors of the “ABCs of Socialism” book.
You’ve probably seen the memes purporting to show just how socialist the United States already is by listing a bunch of government programs, services, and agencies.
The idea that any government activity is synonymous with socialism has major political and strategic implications. After all, if our country were already at least partly socialist, then all we would have to do is keep gradually expanding government.
Simply electing politicians to office or watching the government expand by its own momentum has never been, and never will be, enough. Economic power is political power, and under capitalism the owners of capital will always have the capacity to undermine popular democracy—no matter who’s in Congress or the White House.
About the speaker:
Chris Maisano is a contributing editor at Jacobin and a union staffer in New York.