The Politics of the Pseudo-Left

Artists, writers, film scholars protest Bowling Green State University decision to remove Lillian Gish’s name

By David Walsh, 25 June 2019

More than 50 filmmakers, actors, writers, academics and film scholars have signed a petition urging Bowling Green State University in Ohio to restore the names of famed actresses Lillian and Dorothy Gish to its film theater.

Leaders of dissolved International Socialist Organization openly embrace Democratic Party politics

By David Walsh, 24 June 2019

The demise of the ISO has permitted leading figures and the membership generally to integrate themselves more firmly and decisively into the bourgeois political set-up.

025 AOC attacked for commment on "concentration camps"

21 June 2019

London: Julian Assange Defence Committee lobbies Jeremy Corbyn’s Constituency Labour Party

“This is not a time for fence-sitting”

By our reporters, 21 June 2019

The Julian Assange Defence Committee urged rank-and-file Labour Party members in leader Jeremy Corbyn’s constituency to oppose US extradition proceedings against WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange.

Video shows neo-Nazis attacking woman at Detroit Pride festival while police look on

By Muhammad Khan, 20 June 2019

The fascistic attackers openly carried firearms, which is legal under Michigan’s open carry laws, and threatened festival-goers and pedestrians with violence while police looked on.

Bernie Sanders and the myth of Franklin Roosevelt

By Tom Hall, 18 June 2019

Sanders’ speech last week at George Washington University exposed his effort to combine populist and “socialist” rhetoric with a defense of American capitalism and the Democratic Party.

Cuba conference tailors Trotsky to the politics of bourgeois nationalism

By Bill Van Auken, 13 June 2019

A collection of pseudo-lefts and Pabloite revisionists was invited to Havana to suppress the revolutionary content of Trotskyism.

Six months of AMLO: Jacobin defends the Mexican president

By Alex González, 8 June 2019

Jacobin claims that Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s “progressive agenda” is being restrained by opposition parties and finance capital.

230 Jacobin and Amlo

7 June 2019

Bernie Sanders answers attacks on socialism with defense of capitalist “democracy”

By Tom Hall, 6 June 2019

In response to attacks on socialism from within the Democratic Party as well as by Trump and the Republicans, Bernie Sanders has published a cowardly op-ed piece in the New York Times that omits the “S” word and makes clear he was no intention of challenging the profit system or the property of the ruling class.

Workers Party theorist pens diatribe against Brazilian “white trash”

By Miguel Andrade, 5 June 2019

The use of this reactionary term to describe poor whites exposes the anti-working class character of the PT.

230 Jacobin and AMLO

5 June 2019

Germany: Left Party suffers massive vote loss in European elections

By Gregor Link, 1 June 2019

The Left Party is rightly perceived, not as an opposition to the reactionary policies of the German government, but as part of them.

Jacobin editor Bhaskar Sunkara makes a fool of himself

By Joseph Kishore, 31 May 2019

Anyone under the impression that Bhaskar Sunkara, Jacobin or the Democratic Socialists of America have anything to do with socialism should listen to an interview with Sunkara published by the New York Times on Thursday.

Why is the Democratic Socialists of America silent on the persecution of Julian Assange?

By Andre Damon, 29 May 2019

The DSA and its affiliated publication Jacobin have maintained a complicit silence on Assange’s indictment under the Espionage Act.

Financial Times hails four years of Syriza rule in Greece

By John Vassilopoulos, 25 May 2019

To be favourably featured in a leading mouthpiece of the global financial aristocracy is testament to the high regard in which Alexis Tsipras is held in ruling circles.

Knock Down the House and the Democratic Party politics of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

By Genevieve Leigh, 25 May 2019

Knock Down the House reviews the election campaigns of several Democratic Party primary candidates in the 2018 congressional elections, focused on Ocasio-Cortez in New York City.

The bankruptcy of Lutte ouvrière’s European election campaign

By Alex Lantier, 25 May 2019

Despite growing social anger over the period since the 2002 elections, when it won 10 percent of the vote, the so-called “far left” expects to get only 1 percent.

“Identity politics has created a prison of the mind…while Julian rots in one which is far more real”

Oxford University student calls for defence of Julian Assange

24 May 2019

The following letter was received from a student at Oxford University who attended the May 12 public meeting in London convened by the SEP, in defence of jailed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and whistleblower Chelsea Manning.

Washington revives Syria chemical weapons propaganda as pretext for war

By Bill Van Auken, 23 May 2019

The threat of a new US attack on Syria follows a report exposing the last chemical weapons incident attributed to the Syrian government as a staged provocation.

Spain: No “red lines” in talks for a Socialist Party-Podemos coalition government

By Alejandro López, 11 May 2019

Iglesias stressed that during their parliamentary collaboration, both parties were able “to build a relationship of trust” and dealt with each other “with frankness and empathy.”

German Young Socialist leader unleashes storm of debate about socialism

By Peter Schwarz, 11 May 2019

Kühnert, an unscrupulous careerist, can only pose as a socialist because he relies on the inexperience and lack of knowledge of today’s young generation.

The nationalist “socialism” of Bernie Sanders

By Patrick Martin, 6 May 2019

Sanders presents Chinese workers, the largest single contingent of the international working class, as the enemy of American workers.

After Spanish elections, Podemos pushes for pro-austerity PSOE government

By Alejandro Lopez and Alex Lantier, 3 May 2019

Even as the PSOE’s police-state and austerity policies fuel the far right’s rise, Podemos is asking to join a PSOE government and defending it from criticism on its left.

Victorian Socialists’ fake left election campaign

By Patrick O'Connor, 2 May 2019

The Australian pseudo-left groups are seeking to channel the left-wing shift among workers and young people behind the parliamentary set-up.

“Socialism Event” in Germany: Pro-capitalist politics in a pseudo-left garb

By Johannes Stern, 30 April 2019

The pseudo-left tendencies within and around the Left Party are reacting to the growth of the international class struggle with a sharp turn to the right.

Assembly by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri: A compendium of pseudo-left and anti-Marxist politics

By Emanuele Saccarelli, 22 April 2019

Assembly is saturated with reactionary postmodern conceptions, recycles worn-out anarchist recipes as innovative and progressive experiments and endorses virtually every political dead end of the recent and not-so-recent past.

Britain’s Socialist Workers Party renews “rape allegations” witch-hunt of Julian Assange

By Chris Marsden, 18 April 2019

The SWP have joined in the efforts to railroad Assange and blacken his name, justifying a course of action that would end with the WikiLeaks editor facing a show trial in the US.

An assembly of political bankrupts: Historical Materialism and Jacobin host “Socialism in Our Time” conference

By Joseph Kishore, 16 April 2019

A more accurate title for the event would have been, “Democratic Party Politics in Our Time,” or, perhaps, “Socialism not now, not ever.”

Bernie Sanders silent on Assange, vocal in promoting nationalism at Michigan rally

By Tom Hall, 15 April 2019

Sanders’ silence on Assange signals his support for the persecution of the former WikiLeaks editor.

Who funded the ISO? An analysis of the financial basis of pseudo-left politics

By Eric London, 15 April 2019

The now defunct International Socialist Organization was funded by government-linked think tanks, wealthy Democrats and right-wing conservative groups.

At Detroit panel discussion

DSA Democrat Rashida Tlaib opposes fight against GM plant shutdowns

By Shannon Jones, 4 April 2019

Democratic Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib spoke at a panel discussion Saturday at Wayne State University in Detroit, touting the Green New Deal while rejecting any fight to defend the jobs of GM workers facing layoff.

3 April 2019

Podemos could lose half its seats in Spain’s general election

By Alejandro López and Paul Mitchell, 2 April 2019

A major reason the party’s loss of support is mass abstention, particularly among the youth, who no longer identify Podemos as a radical alternative.

Factional provocation, middle-class hysteria, and the collapse of the International Socialist Organization

By the Political Committee of the Socialist Equality Party (US), 2 April 2019

Factionally motivated denunciations of an alleged cover-up of sexual assault in 2013 were revived to instigate a leadership purge and liquidate the ISO.

“Progressive” Philadelphia District Attorney exposed by appeal of Mumia Abu-Jamal ruling

By Fred Mazelis, 29 March 2019

Larry Krasner, one of the Democrats recently hailed by the pseudo-left, has demonstrated the role of the Democratic Party and those fraudulent “socialists” who support it.

Chicago mayoral run-off: The cost-cutter or the cop?

By Kristina Betinis, 29 March 2019

Two Democratic candidates, Toni Preckwinkle and Lori Lightfoot, are locked in a bitter fight for the mayor’s office.

Democrats abstain from voting on their own “Green New Deal”

By Genevieve Leigh, 28 March 2019

Despite the policy’s co-sponsorship by 100 Democrats, including 11 senators, not a single Democrat backed the Green New Deal in Tuesday’s Senate vote.

In defense of To Kill a Mockingbird: The 1962 film about racism in theaters this week

By Joanne Laurier and David Walsh, 28 March 2019

Fathom Events, TCM and Universal Pictures are screening To Kill a Mockingbird in select cinemas this week. The Robert Mulligan movie is based on Harper Lee’s 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same title.

Democratic Socialists of America endorses Bernie Sanders presidential bid

By Genevieve Leigh, 23 March 2019

The predictable decision by the DSA, a faction of the Democratic Party, to back Sanders in the 2020 election was made official at Thursday’s meeting of the National Political Committee.

The guilty silence over the jailing of Chelsea Manning

By Andre Damon, 18 March 2019

The jailing of Chelsea Manning has been met with silence in the establishment media, the “liberal” press, the “progressive” wing of the Democratic Party, and the middle-class pseudo-left.

Extinction Rebellion: “Green” capitalism versus world socialism

By Steve James, 14 March 2019

The global environmental crisis is a powerful argument for the socialist reorganisation of society.

Democratic Socialists of America and Jacobin cover for union sellout of Oakland teachers strike

By Norisa Diaz, 8 March 2019

The function of the DSA and other pseudo-left organizations is to provide a political cover for the unions, which are doing everything they can to isolate and suppress the rebellion of teachers.

“Socialism appeals to me”

Sanders rally attendees speak on socialism, Democratic Party

By George Marlowe and Marcus Day, 5 March 2019

Reporters for the WSWS spoke with attendees at Bernie Sanders’ rally in Chicago Sunday.

German Left Party congress backs imperialist campaign against Venezuela

By Johannes Stern, 5 March 2019

The Left Party’s European election congress last month sent a clear message: the bourgeoisie can rely on the Left Party’s support for war and attacks on the working class.

Sanders launches his campaign with a blast of demagogy

By Patrick Martin, 4 March 2019

Bernie Sanders’ speech in Brooklyn was an exercise in demagogy, because there exists no relationship between the reforms he envisages and any realistic strategy for their implementation.

France’s New Anti-capitalist Party sabotages fight against Ford Blanquefort plant closure

By Will Morrow, 2 March 2019

Leading NPA member Philip Poutou, a Ford employee and union official at Blanquefort, is seeking to prevent any fight by workers against the closure.

999 Green New Deal

2 March 2019

220 Green New Deal

22 February 2019

Frontline Socialist Party prepares political trap for Sri Lankan plantation workers

By K. Ratnayake, 21 February 2019

The FSP is attempting to prevent plantation workers from breaking with the unions and developing an independent struggle against the employers and the government.

Updated: Letters oppose barring of SEP panel on the fight against fascism from Historical Materialism conference

19 February 2019

The World Socialist Web Site will continue to post new letters as they come in protesting the decision of the organizers of the Socialism in Our Time conference.

The International Socialist Organization covers up for the unions, AMLO in Matamoros, Mexico maquiladora strike

By Alex González, 19 February 2019

The ISO’s dishonest account covers up the role of the trade unions and Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

ISO and DSA bar Socialist Equality Party panel on the fight against fascism from upcoming Historical Materialism conference

By Joseph Kishore, 15 February 2019

The conference organizers censored a presentation by Christoph Vandreier, deputy national secretary of the Sozialistiche Gleichheitspartei, who has played a leading role in the fight against the resurgence of neo-Nazism in Germany.

New York Times admission of Afghanistan fiasco provokes “human rights imperialist” backlash

By Bill Van Auken, 9 February 2019

The Times editorial supporting a US withdrawal from Afghanistan is a self-damning indictment of the entire “war on terror,” which the newspaper supported for the better part of two decades.

The US pseudo-left’s conspiracy of silence on the Matamoros workers’ rebellion

By Alex González, 4 February 2019

Through its dishonest silence, the US pseudo-left is demonstrating its hostility to the courageous struggle of one of the most oppressed sections of the international working class.

The political role of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

By Genevieve Leigh, 31 January 2019

While attracting support based on her criticisms of social inequality, Ocasio-Cortez serves to provide a left cover for the Democratic Party, the better to block the development of a genuine movement against social inequality and capitalism.

Oppose political censorship and fascist threats against the ISO and DSA in Portland!

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality at PSU, 31 January 2019

Two political meetings on college campuses in Portland were shut down by campus police after provocations from the far-right group Patriot Prayer.

The International Socialist Organization, Jacobin hail betrayal of Los Angeles teachers’ strike

By Adam Mclean, 28 January 2019

Before, during and after the six-day strike by 33,000 teachers, the ISO and the Democratic Socialists of America sought to subordinate educators to the unions and the Democratic Party.

Spain: Podemos co-founder Íñigo Errejón splits from party

By Paul Mitchell, 26 January 2019

The rise of the far-right Vox party is a devastating indictment of Errejón and the “left populism” promoted by his mentor, Belgian academic Chantal Mouffe.

26 January 2019

France’s Lutte ouvrière group defends unions against “yellow vest” protests

By Anthony Torres, 18 January 2019

The “yellow vest” movement has unmasked the class gulf separating the workers from the union bureaucracies and organizations such as the pseudo-left Lutte ouvrière .

Yellow vest protests expose right-wing politics of Germany’s Left Party

By Isabel Roy and Johannes Stern, 17 January 2019

After initially denouncing the “yellow vest” protests, Left Party leader Sahra Wagenknecht has sought to stamp her right-wing, anti-immigrant policies on the movement.

The struggle against austerity and the fight for the United Socialist States of Europe

By the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 12 January 2019

The SEP insists that the answer to austerity in the UK is not the election of a pro-capitalist Labour government, but the unification of the working class across the continent in the struggle for socialism.

Syriza government enforces new budget cuts in Greece

By John Vassilopoulos, 11 January 2019

Syriza is enforcing another austerity budget that reduces even further the social position of an already devastated working class.

8 January 2019

French “yellow vest” protests expose anti-worker role of New Anticapitalist Party

By Alex Lantier, 31 December 2018

The NPA reacted to the protests by first denouncing them as fascist and then demanding that the trade union bureaucracy assert control over the movement and restore order.

Rohini Hensman’s Indefensible: The ISO discovers its muse—the CIA—Part 4

By Alex Lantier, 18 December 2018

Hensman’s attempts to provide a moral-humanitarian rationale for supporting imperialist wars as “democratic revolutions” form an obscene political lie.

Rohini Hensman’s Indefensible: The ISO discovers its muse—the CIA—Part 3

By Alex Lantier, 17 December 2018

For Hensman, being “moral” means embracing the lies and provocations used to market US wars.

Rohini Hensman’s Indefensible: The ISO discovers its muse—the CIA—Part 2

By Alex Lantier, 15 December 2018

Hensman’s arguments tend inescapably in one direction: that US wars have been the main liberating force during the last quarter century.

Rohini Hensman’s Indefensible: The ISO discovers its muse—the CIA—Part 1

By Alex Lantier, 14 December 2018

Hensman’s arguments tend inescapably in one direction: That US wars have been the main liberating force over the last quarter century.

Ex-1968 student leader Cohn-Bendit denounces French “yellow vest” protests

By Alex Lantier, 14 December 2018

The eruption of a political movement in the working class has provoked a rabidly hostile reaction from the middle-class anti-Marxist “left” milieu.

In name of fighting fascism, ISO promotes class collaboration and Democratic Party

By Kayla Costa, 10 December 2018

In an appeal to form an alliance with the “broadest social layers” against fascism, the International Socialist Organization seeks to subordinate the working class to the corporate-controlled two-party system.

Jacobin urges readers to “log off” social media

By Will Morrow, 8 December 2018

An article in Jacobin argues that Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms have become damaging to the health of the population, are “destructive for the left,” and should be done away with.

German Left Party denounces “Yellow Vest” protests

By Peter Schwarz, 7 December 2018

The Left Party is instinctively hostile to any social movement that is not controlled and held in check by the trade unions.

Amid Sri Lanka’s political crisis, the USP sets “left” trap for the working class

By Vilani Peiris and K. Ratnayake, 27 November 2018

The pseudo-left United Socialist Party’s call for a left alliance is aimed at promoting the illusion that one or other ruling faction can be pressured to defend the rights of working people.

Corbyn auditions for government before big business and intelligence agencies

By Robert Stevens, 23 November 2018

Corbyn appeared before the Confederation of British Industry on Monday to deliver what was billed as his main policy speech on Brexit.

The political fraud of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal”

By Will Morrow, 23 November 2018

Ocasio-Cortez’s proposal, as with her entire politics, is characterized by a massive political fraud.

Spain’s Socialist Party government junks “anti-austerity” budget agreed with Podemos

By Alejandro López and Paul Mitchell, 22 November 2018

The PSOE is kept in power with the support of Podemos, Catalan, and other regional nationalist parties.

Ocasio-Cortez to support Pelosi as top Democrat and House Speaker

By Patrick Martin, 21 November 2018

The newly elected congresswoman, a member of the DSA, called Pelosi the most progressive candidate to lead Democrats in the House of Representatives.

Australian pseudo-left group Victorian Socialists promote Greens, Labor

By Patrick O’Connor, 20 November 2018

In the state election, the Victorian Socialists are trying to channel the emerging shift to the left among workers and youth back behind the parliamentary apparatus.

215 Ocasio-Cortez/ Green New Deal

20 November 2018

Ocasio-Cortez holds climate change stunt to boost Pelosi

By Genevieve Leigh, 16 November 2018

The “protest” in the offices of Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi was a calculated operation aimed at solidarizing Ocasio-Cortez with the Democratic Party establishment.

DSA calls US midterm elections the “rebirth of the American socialist movement”

By Genevieve Leigh, 15 November 2018

As the Democratic Party continues its shift to the right, the DSA claims that the election of a handful of DSA-endorsed Democratic candidates has significantly altered the trajectory of American politics.

Citing war in Syria, ISO withdraws endorsement of Green Party gubernatorial candidate in New York

By Sandy English, 8 November 2018

The International Socialist Organization withdrew its endorsement of the Green Party candidate on the grounds that his campaign was associated with opposition to the US intervention in Syria.

ISO covers up Workers Party role in Bolsonaro’s victory in Brazil

By Miguel Andrade and Bill Van Auken, 6 November 2018

The ISO views the Brazilian events through the prism of its own support for the Democrats and its cover-up of the reactionary basis of their opposition to Trump.

Illinois governor’s race the most expensive in US history

By Alexander Fangmann, 5 November 2018

Two billionaire candidates are saturating the media to distract from their shared post-election plans to accelerate attacks on the working class.

Who are Gary Walkowicz and the Working Class Party?

By Tom Hall and Tim Rivers, 2 November 2018

The Working Class Party, which is running United Auto Workers committeeman Gary Walkowicz for Congress, is an electoral front created by the pseudo-left Spark group.

Bolsonaro’s victory and the debacle of Brazil’s Workers Party

By Bill Van Auken, 31 October 2018

The election of the fascistic former captain as president signals a sharp shift to the right by the Brazilian ruling establishment.

Amid crisis over Khashoggi murder

US State Department “socialists” discover the war in Yemen

By Barry Grey, 23 October 2018

The ISO and the DSA respond like political weathervanes to shifting winds within the US intelligence agencies in regard to Saudi Arabia’s current ruler.

Bernie Sanders tours Michigan to prop up the Democratic Party

By Matthew Brennan, 22 October 2018

The candidate brought his “revolution” to Ann Arbor Michigan to drum up support for establishment and right-wing political candidates.

Socialist Alternative and Democratic Socialists of America hold election rally for Democrats in Chicago

By Kristina Betinis, 22 October 2018

The pseudo-lefts are collaborating to refurbish the image of the increasingly right-wing Democratic Party, which is running an unprecedented number of CIA agents in the midterms.

Teamsters for a Democratic Union to UPS workers: “Whatever you do, don’t fight!”

By Will Morrow, 18 October 2018

If the Teamsters leadership has so far been able to suppress opposition to its defiance of workers’ “no” vote, it is thanks only to its loyal opposition in the TDU.

France’s Mélenchon tacitly backs Wagenknecht’s xenophobic Aufstehen group

By Anthony Torres, 13 October 2018

By his silence, Mélenchon is tacitly supporting forces within his Unsubmissive France party that are orienting toward right-wing populism and the militarization of Europe.

The New York Times’ Alexis Grenell denounces white women for upholding the “patriarchy”

By Genevieve Leigh, 12 October 2018

Grenell’s piece is an extreme example of the obsession with gender and race that has infected the upper middle class and the pages of the New York Times in particular.

Britain’s pseudo-left oppose worker rebellion against Royal College of Nurses leadership

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 11 October 2018

The no-confidence motion against the executive of the Royal College of Nurses is only one example of growing opposition to the decades of betrayals by the trade union bureaucracy.

Socialist Alternative on New York primaries: Burrowing further into the Democratic Party

By Josh Varlin, 8 October 2018

Socialist Alternative’s political activity consists for the most part in promoting the Democratic Socialists of America and supposedly “progressive” Democrats.

The fraud of Amazon’s $15 wage

By Eric London, 4 October 2018

The “raise” announced by Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world, is a publicity stunt aimed above all at preventing an explosion of the class struggle.

The International Socialist Organization mobilizes behind Democrats’ right-wing diversion on Kavanaugh

By Barry Grey, 4 October 2018

The US pseudo-left has seized on allegations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh to intensify its promotion of #MeToo and the Democratic Party’s campaign in the November elections.

The Kavanaugh nomination, #MeToo and the politics of petty-bourgeois rage

By David Walsh, 3 October 2018

The New York Times published an opinion piece by journalist Rebecca Traister headlined “Fury Is a Political Weapon. And Women Need to Wield It.” The piece is one of a number along the same lines that have appeared in recent weeks and months.

Campaign grows inside Podemos for alliance with Spanish right

By Alejandro López, 2 October 2018

After figures in the Podemos leadership praised Italy’s far-right government, a movement for nationalism and appeals to right-wing parties is growing inside Podemos.