tv American Socialism CSPAN July 4, 2017 4:15am-5:16am EDT
discussing politics, economics, and the future of america. event was hosted by harvard universities insurance teen center in cambridge, massachusetts. >> welcome. i am director of the center. founding today is the editor and publisher. it is a left-wing quarterly magazine that is "the leading voice of the american left perspectiveocialist ." he is the editor of other publications as well. i encourage you to pick up and
across thei came magazine because i was looking for new ideas. new ways of thinking about the way the country is going. is a moment ofs significant transition for our politics and media. i was looking for fresh voices. you, i printedto out the headlines from the website today. lipstick fascism. women and the fed's decision nation of fascism. the right to know how much your pain. che guevara in the congo. how not toe elite, think about politics in the age of trump. worked to death -- the american pension crisis. of interesting and
compelling arguments and ideas. i am looking forward to a vigorous discussion. welcome. [applause] start and ask you for your diagnosis of the politics in the country right now. right you are starting big. disappointed when i got the invitation i was expecting open or mahogany or something like that. [laughter] >> i am looking forward to the cigar after. you have a lot of people who are alienated and disgruntled. we are in danger of having the only antiestablishment voice. the one of the populist right.
trump doesn't have a huge mandate. i'm afraid that if the democrats continue on their current course, he could develop one. it doesn't take much. it doesn't take trump and the populist right convincing people that they have a much better alternative, all it takes is a little bit of financing and that would be smart enough and paul ryan thinking for the jobs program. financing and that would be smart enough and paul ryan thinking for the jobs program. >> bernie sanders showed that there is the potential for a majoritarian politics. probably 10 or 20 years down the road. the kind of rhetoric of a sanders campaign, they say you work hard, you sacrifice a lot, you're trying to do right and you deserve more and not only that but we know the people responsible for you not having enough and it is a millionaire
and billionaire class. i think that is the only fighting alternative from the populist right. we are in the situation now that seems to be a pretty dire one with the rise of the right. this is with them having trump at the helm. ofhink trump embodies some the rhetoric, some of the antiestablishment pose. he is pretty bumbling and he made a lot of crucial errors around from care and other things and the way that some of the concrete proposals have been laid out -- it is like the populist right has more acumen and vision. i am afraid not just now but after we did trump i thought there was enchanting 2016, it feels like he can be easily
defeated in 2020. but it would be a situation -- where you have a populist right was a popular picture in politics pushing measure and every idea to the right and even if they can't win, the first and second round, they are still there as a major force. ishink the only alternative not socialism or barbarism. i am saying that if bernie sanders welfare capitalism or trumpism, that is why i make socialist. it is the pragmatism of the democratic center. i think it is allowing this rightward drift. view thebout how you democratic party today, you mentioned bernie sanders but he is approaching 80. he has attacked many leaders of the democratic party,.
this is not the part of the democratic leaders. this is framed in a way that fdr -- other clinton is in a personalized way, how they can makes sense. the democratic party has always been a party of capital. i don't mean that pejoratively, he has always represented -- it has always represented business interests. part and was a major there are a bunch of historical reasons for this. you ever see the labor interests, it means that when times are going well, there is a boom. you can actually say that the pipe is going because of this business led growth.
we will make sure that some of the shares go to workers. when the pie is seeing the same size, it is shrinking. the best thing they could say is of the will be be more pie than the republicans could. we were going to make sure that this was more equitably split up. in other words, this is the promise of inclusion without any of the economic gains that went with it. in a great society they offer both. you can succeed in a way that not just white workers but also meant a population feel that things have been going wrong for them. now the fact that the pie is growing, there have been social gains for a press group together
, one is responsible for the other. i think the approach of the populist left that mers around sanders, it was busy to fight against the idea of the house already being in full or that the pie is going to continue to strike in this direction. structuralse broader pastors have emerged from the 1970's, there needs to be a strong affirmative program of redistribution and alternative models. they have been unable to provide it. i think often, on the left, we personalize this inability. the fact is that unless you actually have the will and the capability to mobilize a and bynt source of power days i don't mean the people voting for the democratic party, i mean the business interests, a lot of it is from the finance
industry, real estate and silicon valley and whatnot. unless you are able to conceive of politics in a more popular way, i think we are doomed to have the democrats continue on. framework, why did you start this magazine? withstarted the magazine lots of reasons. two or three years after the fact, we can come by with his narrative and vision and it doesn't make any sense. this is between my sophomore and junior year as an undergrad. i didn't have a lot of social obligations, the world wasn't asking much of me at the time. developed ahad network and i knew plenty of smart people. i had a bit of business acumen. i thought why not take these smart people and facilitate a
project so we are not talking amongst ourselves russian mark i've been a member of the democratic socialists of america for years. , the moralse ideas and ethical ideas at the core of the socialist project, the idea that we should live in a world without exploitation, without oppression, these are ideas that appeal beyond fiber 6000 people. i think with said it apart for the rest of us, even though the timing was defeated, we are eyes amongvangelical the stronger public and went over people -- win over people. also, on the one hand, it this group with some degree of humor and whatnot. i think that is where it started. at first, it was an online magazine, it was a failure.
we have 636 visitors and the reason i want to print was -- use we could make it >> how many were your mother? [laughter] that i needed was a revenue mechanism to make jackson be perceived as be more serious. they continue to care for a while. then it stopped failing. nobody was really watching. when you're doing a project in private, youn semi have time to learn and develop your skills and whatnot. i am far more conservative, hopefully not my politics that the way that i it isched jack and because of this.
quite what you make of hillbilly types? this narrative that we have to more deeply understand the trump voter in the democratic party? about this.ly read is -- this all you need is general analogy to get through two or three minutes of a conversation. it would have been tough for me. like thehis is almost cultural party argument of the 80's and 90's that were obviously very racist and propagated by the new republic.
here is a potential native who is only in these communities in the summer and whatnot. now, pushing his narrative of there is something wrong at the root of these communities. sure, i think this should be a little of understanding the situation that people live in. if you are diagnosing that these people should be more flexible, that is the wrong conclusion. when i see poverty coming i see something very something personal. i see people who need goods and services. onlynk of the state as the thing large enough to deliver these goods and services. if we have an epidemic of heroin addiction, will i see people in need of high quality services to
get over these addictions question mark i see people who are probably in need of jobs. i see the problem more simply than a lot of people. what i'm going to propose is it a leap into the unknown. this is nothing more than a standard avian welfare state. the country -- a country that has as much wealth as the u.s., it should make sense. the problem is getting people to expect more of the state. we are not asking for the state to alleviate heartbreak and suffering, even communism when do that. just part of the human condition. we are after the states to provide human dignity to reach their potential. there is this
voyeuristic view of poverty. whether in the african-american media or amongst white people where people make it seem like ideas are impossible to decipher solutions. i see 60,000 homeless people in new york and i think we should build more high-quality public housing. i see poor people and i think we should -- at this level of policy be, it's become more positive. it is a moral and ethical vision. >> what role do you see technology playing in that? in the direction of our economy? >> it is one place where i can't even think between two and three minutes. like a lot of people, i'm convinced by the last thing that i read.
i agree with the last thing that i read generally. if you think about places in which -- why in europe, why are they more capital intensive, why are they spending on more innovative answers? >> went look at the low-wage they are being paid, they are introducing new technologies and so on. degree, i'm devastated by how much these automations will be pushed through. -- ink that generally, >> you are a skeptic because you think that automation will increase pressure on -- >> i'm a skeptic because these
will be introduced. as far as the introduction, if social democracy in the u.s., i think we would have a quicker pace. there would be more wage pressure and more incentive or companies to invest in capital. is, i think it is more important than ever to develop a mode of politics in the foreground in the interest of workers. that doesn't necessarily mean that the society will be on the cutting edge of technology. it might actually create wage pressure that will increase the pace of technological innovation. at the same time, it could be up to protect these workers who need active labor market policies and job retraining. we can put them in a different sector of the economy but i think we have to start from the premises of the most important
thing with the bottom line. it is social welfare. get to the 1970's, i hate to point to it, not my model of a just society. this is the closest we have gotten in the human endeavor. a society that had three traits, this is a society that lots of failure and things like that. i think that we redevelop the politics and that foreground of working-class interests. see technologyan as the thing that helps rather than hurts. certain jobs should be automated. certain people might want to do something else. if it is on the present course, the working class has less and less power. technology will change and
i think it is dangerous. >> there was described by a british member of parliament. he was trying to explain why almost 90% of the population voted to leave. he said that it is like you're on a runaway train and you don't know what direction the train is going at it is going faster and faster. he said he was pretty logical, especially if they did note there was a conductor or not. they looked around at the people in their car and they decided to link hands with the people in their car. obviously, there is a different alternative. there was a socialist vision of trying to communicate with people in other cars and joining together and taking control of the train. in the present environment, i think that for a lot of people, they are not i guess technology for the sake -- against technology for the sake of it, the train is going fast and they
don't know what will be their future. i think we can have technological advances, i think we can embrace the positive aspect of automation, i am 27 years old, i am not planning to have kids a time soon but i would hope that there are driverless cars. maybe i will have the worries about trying to drive. maybe it will be nice to live in a society where human beings argument in control if -- of vehicles. baby toby certain social good. -- maybe there will be more social good. imagine that.to being employed in the working class to being just poor.
i want to foreground politics without being anti-technology. >> there is this media narrative about young people in america being very far left and arguably the farthest left generation the countries ever seen. there's a new generation of socialists, is that narrative true? is there a generational shift happening? >> at think it is true in this instance, in the united states, it is ascribed to youth and other cultural factors. france, notat deterred back to france, yes not to turn -- not to turn back to france. very are people that have similar cultures that americans
have. there are all sorts of reasons for this. yes, young people are moving to the left. a lot of that has to do with politics. they have to do with the success of organizers. they have to do with a certain degree of cultural traits that makes america better than certain european countries, it ashard to build a xenophobic no nationalism in a state that as a nation of immigrants. that is like building a social not part of my project. >> bernie sanders is building up a majoritarian social-democratic consensus. i think you could find it in the fact that a lot of these people are well educated. they will be sons and daughters of the middle class.
they are finding out that the promises told to them -- that if they keep their head down and goodhard, they can take a job and they can maintain their living standards, it is a lie. i think that is leading people to look for a solution. if you are young, you might actually find a coherent worldview. agree with it or disagree with it. >> i don't want to just lay back and assume that demographics will take care of everything. that is part of the problem that got us into this mess to begin with. >> i have one more question and then i will open it up to the audience. please get your questions ready. about raceto ask you
and class in america and to what class -- both race and how do you understand this in america right now? >> if you look at the situation in america, this question is often brought up. broad languagey but i think that in particular, we have to grapple with the hyper explication of black workers. black workers have always been locked at the bottom of the u.s. labor market. they are locked to the bottom of the labor market and it is hard to move out of. even for white workers, we had very little social mobility.
broadert becomes a discussion and that has been the dominant conclusion, it is not that i'm against these things, i think it only goes to a certain level. if you really want to talk about the conditions of minorities, you have to deal with the question of redistribution. if you are dealing with the question of redistribution, we have the knowledge that number one, number two and number three concerns of the white workers and latino workers and black workers is probably exactly the same. it is probably job securities, all of these other issues. often, this is made to be this complex, difficult thing, can this politician get in the head of black workers? the program that he pushed for, -- free, higher education, it
was black workers. often, these things are seen as divergent. there can be no antiracism unless you are dealing with the question of redistribution. the questiong with of class and taking something to someone and giving to other people. you're not talking about taking some thing from a diminishing chair that ago to white workers and giving it to other people. you are talking about taking on interest. i think that is what people are uncomfortable with. they are fine with diversity if diversity leads to representation. they are not by two diversity if it means providing goods and services. not because they're ideologically opposed to it. not because the ruling class is particularly racist, it is because it requires a cost.
is the cost that they are not going to there for anyone. >> do have questions from the audience? >> hello. i am wondering -- you have a very robust circulation and a great magazine. so many people are completely shut off from most political discourse. even within their ideological silos. they get a little service information and don't want to hear more, they feel completely disempowered and don't want to hear more. thecan we break through disengagement around politics, economics and just this feeling unplugged frome
these debates because they feel they have nothing to gain and will only be angry? >> i think a lot of it stems from the fact that people don't have a lot of time and they don't really politics is worth it to them. the same discussion often happens with voter participation. it is often framed in very apolitical terms of apathy. tople don't care, as opposed people weighing the different needs that they have in a limited amount of time. -- i thinkoliticians it publication like jacobin is niche. i think we will start something broader that could be like -- it could be an appeal to reason. we had a socialist publication that was number three or number four in circulation in the entire country. that was an appeal to reason, it had a white working-class
reason. base thans more of a your average socialist journal. at the moment, it isn't deeply rooted. it is kind of like a silo. the socialist left social movements and the working class is confused. when the soldiers -- socialist movement was at its strongest, we derive socialist leaders and that would have a life of its own in interaction and out of the working class, it would arise that things would probably be considered social movements. concede that we these things are separate things is a reflection of where we are at politically. that is the goal. the goal is obviously connecting
with people and not having them be people reading or receiving information but actively participating in local processes that are generating these ideas to begin with. jacobin is more of an effort from afar to try to spark this kind of thing. that is something i am very wary of. social media in general is like a subculture. >> the new york times regression is spiking. they still finding is proportionally hiring them and whatnot. that opposed to the way you imagine mass circulation used to be or could be. if they actually had something relevant. i think it is a problem that you can't solve. you have to solve it by political organizing. there is a limit amount that we can do. i think the best we can do is make sure that someone can pick up an article and read an article and without any
prerequisite knowledge able to get something from it. the way that i can pick up an issue of the economist and read an article and not have to ever read alex smith to understand it. i think we expect people to be just jumping in at the very tail end of a conversation in politics instead of assuming people that we share our ethical and moral values. is opposedlist who to hierarchy and expectation. one could disagree or say that i am opposed to extreme versions of exploitation. i think capitalist expectation is implied. i think a lot of people are assuming a lot of common ground that is to be towards. >> in terms of your energy and the energy of the magazine, are you putting that into democratic party or how do you think --
if you have a magazine of ideas and socialist arguments, what does that transition into politics and power for you? that will be up to organizers and people with these ideas. i would say that generally it has not been an easier relationship. libertarian current in the 16th and 17th, obviously, they and their project is eventually more or less used with conservatives that our men and develops our current within the republican party. i think that for the sake of our project, socialist politics will only be developed in a party rooted in the working-class, written with different prerogatives and interests. it is hard to say how you from here to there, there are a lot of different arguments.
they basically argue that what constitutes independent political action is that if you have your own base of funding, if you have your own ideology and your connected with your own organization, disciplined like twhirl efforts and candidates when elected, if you're running on your democratic primary, it is not independent political action, if i decide to run and do so with my politics and it is up support and funding that is independent, as a republican, with that constitute me trying to be a republican and that is the republican party? i think there is a way to understand the particular narratives and the traditions of the u.s. system without going the old michael harrington routes which made a lot of sense
at the time in the 60's and 70's of trying to transform and realized the democratic party -- if it didn't work there, i can see it working now. i know the last successful third-party effort was down from. in fact, i'm hoping for different ideas. it is very hard for me to say that socialist should be spending more time trying to get access when we could have easier access to primaries. it depends on the location. we shouldn't forget that almost is of elections in the u.s. nonpartisan. this should be a paralyzing debate. candidatescan run trying to skirt the question. in sanyo, and lecturer at
harvard moscow. as we get ready to possibly have confirmation of any supreme court justice i'm curious for your thoughts on the role of courts and judges and legal strategy on the left, it is the case over the back half of the 20th century. over this true that broad sweep of american history, courts are incredibly reactionary. i'm curious if the courts have a big role to play? is it something we need to give up on? is there a third thing? what are the thoughts on that? am a hunter and i've written a lot for jacobin. findld say that overall, i int the courts play a role
deafening our ability to reshape america anymore democratic direction. obviously i think there is a role for an entire system but i can't conceive of this role being as small as possible, protecting certain freedom rights and so on. >> fundamentally, i can see that we are extending freedom. we will extend freedom by intruding on the freedom of some in certain ways. it will be the freedom to organize or speak or whatnot. it will be their freedom to exploit. but put it a different way. if you are running a corporation , you obviously are under a lot of pressure. you are under pressure to gain profitability and whatnot. my legal workers to her connector two hours. of course, you are paying them for these two hours. if the government says that you over 40rk the work is hours, you need a shopping
higher more people, you are intruding on the scope of the freedom of private property and whatnot but with think this amount extends to more freedom for more people, these workers have extra spare time, they can spend time with their families, it can do hobbies, watch tv, whatever else. i think that the court system will always do these kind of things. it,ink there is a need for there is an example of the 20th remembered,s to be we should think about the way to socialist society works in independent judiciary's. they play the role defending certain and preventing tyranny. -- we have this current system, i would love to have more left-wingers in court with the people who are getting appointed by think we should
think about politics because if we can imagine a robust quick system like we had in the mid-20th century ushering in certain things, i think this will often be gained from above that are then left sustainable. >> we have jane back here. i teach at the time the school. a couple of times you have mentioned the word redistribution and leaving aside the fact that marks that that was a bush law approach to to the problem, it is not a very popular concept in the united states either. when i think of bernie sanders, i think of him supporting what you think about redescription? >> i am for restitution of power. i am for building social good. these process of building
moneys necessary to get to the social good, we will have to redistribute. the redistribution of wealth is a byproduct of the policy. it is not necessarily the main goal. the project of building up the power of workers, these workers that have repressed demands, i figure it as secondary, not the main effect. i would agree with the concept. i would also say that this is the reason why i think the idea of a federal jobs guarantee is much more powerful and dangerous. also more politically palatable than ideas that are now a universal-based income. my ideal scenario would be a federal jobs guarantee plus a basic income for those engaged in cameras or other work or other were traditionally not valued by society. those were are unable to work, fundamentally i think that we are concerned about power. i think that if more people are
employed, labor markets are tighter. that is 120 or 30 people can make decisions that will impact thousands of people. when 20 or 30 people can impact thousands of people. it is not about saying these people are more deserving than others, it is just to say that this is still the most powerful agent in society. if you went over a majority of the working class, this is a force that can lift up all others. >> how do you think about the decline of indians in the united states? hosten i'm speaking at my -- my most optimistic, the labor movement has been -- it has objective basis, it is routing and conditions that need to rebuild themselves. as long as there is capitalism in these prevailing conditions,
workers will realize that they need to collectively bargain in order to push back. they can't do this as individuals. >> when i think more critically, i think the capital is always at its strongest when they can divide units into the smallest possible. even having union density around 10% is quite a compass. it took years and years and decades of struggle. idea that unionism -- this drink that we have in the public sector will be further eroded. theakes me think that project of creating social democracy will only be that much more difficult.
i was at some of this is self-inflicted. unions have not done a good enough job engaging their membership in committing people that there is a reason to be part of a union. it has been a transactional thing. i have no real connection to any decision-making process. i think that is very worrying. i think to some degree, we deserve some of the -- i hope you can democratize unions. they have something to gain, they have a vested interest -- the fact that you may be a member of a union today because of a boat that have been three or four decades ago, there were some right-wing arguments that say that is fundamentally undemocratic.
somethingaybe fundamentally undemocratic about having to be a union member rather than having your dues deducted every month without having a say in the matter. in europe, unions don't have to rely on this. i think fundamentally we need what we have. it is still the most organized and consistently progressive force in american politics. i can't just put on a very ideological had and say let it burn, we will rebuild it, i don't think we will be able to. >> at least in the next generation or two. >> i want to follow up on the pig's question about work versus that -- thedouts, speech that trump gave in that rust belt state that gave him the election, part of it was to say that we need to rebuild the
means of making a living, he used the phrase means of making a living. that is a translation to means of production. i know that people may not believe this but if you google it and watch the speech it is amazing. he said the elites have dismantled our means of making a living and i am going to rebuild it. he said i'm not want to hand over goldman sachs again. but i was kind of expecting that that would trigger a socialist voice to pick up on how that actuallyr him and that is a more socialist idea then jobs -- rebuilding the means of production. as a socialist, if you are willing to work with corporations, you're not saying let's smash the corporations, you're saying let's do some tactical negotiations in the coming decades and if you are, youare you -- why weren't
and some other socialist that you're working with raise that same message and say let's get rebuild our economy and rebuild our means of making a living. >> as far as working with a corporation, -- i would say that this is not something you can will or not will. i would say that it is after capitalism. it involves only the power to do that. i will settle for socialism within capitalism. it is part of a worker's movement and a broader political movement that this does have the end goal of eroding the power of capitalists and capitalism. fundamentally, i don't think social democracy is sustainable. with -- fundamentally i don't think social democracy is sustainable. have theapitalists
power of investment in their hands, they can always when times get rough, the profitability is challenged, erode the gains we have. tradition has been, the comparison is emphasis. rolling the boulder of the home -- the hill only to see it all down. in theuld say that you meantime as far as working with corporations, the existence of society, you are building them to make demands on them. it is like a hostage crisis. you are working with people pointed to. as far as this broader question of work and rhetoric, it is telling that bannon use of the rhetoric -- it is more bannon than whatever trump is thinking. i have read art of the deal. it was not talking much about the american worker then.
but the republicans are trying to be an kind of like the party of the american worker the , american working class. they are resurrecting this rhetoric. they are combining it obviously with policies that are opposed to the interest of american workers. they are not even trying to dupe people. if you actually look at trumpcare and these other proposals, the attacks on the very people that voted for trump right away with no particular reason to go about it this way. now, as far as the rhetoric, i actually think there is lots of ways in which it is better. in other words, it did rely somewhat on the makers and takers discourse. sanders did talk about the hard-working americans, worker in the american family that deserves more. i forgot who he said the taker was, but it was broadly the
millionaires and billionaires. this is class antagonism is rooted in the socialist tradition. who were trump's takers? it was felons, undeserving illegals, all these other things, so i don't like this comparison. i don't like the fascist comparison. but the german post them in critic party, the right is always appropriated language from the left. as far as why the democratic party does not use this rhetoric, the democratic party is concerned with being a governing party. they are concerned with maintaining this kind of broad difficult coalition they have. it has often been put by others that the democratic party is a part of american capital, therefore electoral reasons, they have to return like it's not. that's a difficult balance and i think they constrain the
rhetoric of the democrats. republicans can say whatever they want. i think at the end of the day when their elected, at least for the perceivable future. markets will boom and confidence will be there. >> one more question. right here. >> thank you so much for being here and to the center for organizing this. i am christine jacobson, and i work in the library here at an -- and i'm happy to report we now subscribe to jacobin. [laughter] >> i was wondering if you could respond to a criticism that is a stroke limit of thesocialist party in america. in fact, made a bernie sanders a few weeks early when he was here. and that is that the socialistparty doesn't offer anything special to the black worker. it seemed in your articulation of what the socialist party is offering the black worker kind of stopped that, expanding medicaid in addressing poverty,
that was sort of bernie sander'' platform. and so it's noticeable it stopped short of reparations. i wonder -- you don't have to respond personally -- but on behalf of the socialist party for whatever if you could maybe talk a little bit about that. bhaskar sunkara: the socialist party unfortunately split into three and then in the early 19 -- 1970's. i am the vice chair of the democratic socialist of america. which is now up to 20,000 members, one of the biggest things since the pre-christian speech communist party. often this particular language, they said nothing special to offer language is often littered, misquoted often by something once said by debs, that we are the more social democratic right wing of the party based in the upper midwest. that is kind of, there is an article in "jacobin" about that. i want to rehash that.
on the question of reparations, to me it is an argument that exists purely in the political imaginary. so how does this look and practice? what kind of proof would we be asking for? would it apply to people who are, let's say, second or third or fourth immigrants from jamaica? right, you know obviously like , suffrage from slavery and the effects of slavery. but you know, connected to the british empire, not the u.s. there's all these kind of questions that often makes it a purely rhetorical device. so what do we want something like reparations to do? we want reparations to uplift a historic injustice. if there is disproportionate unemployment in the black community among black workers, then a full employment program actually has something special to offer to black communities that doesn't have to offer to white workers who have higher levels of employment.
you know, so it does have something special to offer but a lot of it is rooted in this kind of class demands. that is not to say there should not be particular organizations done by black workers. not to say that black workers should not at the moment or times organized under the own banner. often when did you they do so , it is among a set of demands that is larger economic information. if you look at the black panther the black can look at nationalism, that moved to the left. they all of her socialist ideas. so for them this wasn't a concern. so their enemies were capitalism and the political elite and the broad systems of imperialism and oppression connected to capitalism. so for them didn't have any of these concerns. it is not quite as long-standing as comparison. the idea that socialism doesn't have anything particular to
offer special to offer to , oppressed people would be a total surprise to the legacy of like even third world postcolonial movements that all organized under the socialist manner. at any point from the 20th century and onward, there have been more black and brown socialists than there have been white socialists or socialists in europe. i find that language, that argument not very compelling. i think there is a variety of antiracism. it is leveled surely at the symbolic and representational sphere and does not go deeper to issues of class. if you are asking me should be , elite in the united states be changed, 50% women and like the 10% black, oh, sure. i am not against those struggles. i think they don't go deep enough to actually fundamentally change things. nicco mele: all right, i am going to just ask you a couple
of closing questions. i wonder what are you most first worried about right now? bhaskar sunkara: besides the fact trump is president? [laughter] bhaskar sunkara: well, i am most worried the democrats initially drew some lessons it seems from the election. you see this even, chuck schumer is a good bellwether because this guy has like a total opportunistic -- to the point he cozied up to people like bernie sanders right after the election. i think if we had a socialist revolution, chuck schumer would join us. just because he just wants the cameras and we have the cameras pointed at us, he will join us. [laughter] bhaskar sunkara: but now he seems to be backtracking that nobody is talking about russia, talking about like the cia, the last bastion since a democracy. it is beautiful. i'm worried drifting away from this initial idea that the democrats were not doing enough appeal to workers. i also think the segment of this kind of liberal left that doesn't think this is also
perhaps even too narrowly just saying working class, the euphemism for white workers. the problem is democrats have had diminished turnout, diminished results of black workers and latino workers than -- and everyone else. i think it's not just a cultural thing. it's not just like we were not out there like joe biden walking around with our sleeves rolled up or whatever. it isn't just optics or messaging. it is actually policies. actually show people that you want something different, you want to do something that will help their lives, and are willing to take political cost in order to do it. and this is something that the democrats, mainstream democrats date -- i don't think will be able to do. i think there are a lot of democratic base that want it, and i think there are politicians and segment in the democratic party that could be one this sort of bernie sanders agenda. i will wrap up by saying who's the most popular politician in the united states? bernie sanders. if you look at the response of
his speech all around the country, town halls and whatnot, , you would see it. the republicans know it. everybody in american society knows it except for the democratic party. they are concerned. this quote is recently by leaving democrats -- leading democrats that the economic populism of bernie sanders will hurt them in more conservative swing states that they adopted. have they actually been paying attention to the rhetoric that has been succeeding in these states? it is not that bernie sanders won over just liberals. these levels have become more left wing. no, bernie sanders bowls very well among moderates and independents and others. people are fed up with politics who don't associate mike in europe social democracy with this decrepit tradition, but it is like this sounds about right. it sounds about right that i shouldn't have to go into debt if something happens and had to go to emergency room. these kind of things are common sense, and they speak at the very root of someone's political
beliefs and moral and ethical sense of being. so i am worriedsense, and they a democratic party that doesn't embrace this, and i'm worried about even if let's say we have , a cory booker-trump matchup in 2020, that even if trump loses, which i would hope he does in that matchup, he will be the only antiestablishment oppositional force. we are running out of time because we are dependent on bernie sanders. we are dependent on an excellent leader but someone who is getting older and might not be able to put up the good fight for much longer, at least at this pace and intensity. we need to cultivate a new generation of leaders able to tap into what he did. he did right. nicco mele: if that worries you, what gives you hope? bhaskar sunkara: what gives me hope is the fact that i think we have a majority or a potential majority for at least the short-term demands that the socialists have. it gives me hope that socialism
now exists at least in people's minds, it isn't just a dirty word connected to the crimes of stalinism or with kind of an older not relevant politics. so it gives me hope we can build an oppositional moment in the long run. it's hard. this should probably give me more caution too is, i think we can win in the long run, but with climate change, there are things that demand short-term policies solutions before things get on a worse course. and even though i think we are now becoming better position to influence politics over the course of 20, 30, 40 years with -- we are very far away from building the kind of majority we need to usher in policies. and that is a gap we will have to figure out a way to make up. nicco mele: bhaskar sunkara, thank you very much. [applause] nicco mele: and we hope to see you next week.
sarah lewis, talking about art , image, politics, and race. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] ♪ >> c-span's "washington journal" live every day with news that impact you. coming up this morning, columnist mona -- and the washington monthly's paul -- wi ll join us to discuss if the american dream is still obtainable. be sure to watch c-span's "washington journal" live at 7:00 eastern.
french president emmanuel macron delivered his first major speech to a joint session of the french parliament described as the u.s. state of the union style address. he described plans to combat terrorist threats, strength and restructure parliament. the 39-year-old leader promised to hold annual speeches before parliament to lay out his political agenda. "france 24"dress, panelists offered analysis. this is about an hour and 40 minutes. versailles. >> mr. president, you have the floor. macron: distinguished president of congress and the senate, ladies and gentlemen, members of the