What Is Socialism? Beyond Bernie


  1. Ralph Miliband & Marcel Liebman (1985) Beyond Social Democracy
  2. National Electoral Strategy Proposal” Formulated By a Coalition of Local Electoral Organizers


  1. What is social democracy?
  2. What have been some of the pitfalls of social democracy?
  3. Why does social democracy often lead to “managing capitalism” or “capitalism with a human face”?
  4. What is “reformism”, where does this term come from, and how is it used? Are all reforms “reformist”?
  5. What ideas has the Bernie campaign advanced? Who are the protagonists, who are the antagonists, and how has the Bernie campaign highlighted and amplified their struggles over education, healthcare, immigration, and housing?
  6. How has the Bernie campaign helped organize the working class?
    1. Case study: DSA and other local tenants unions and organizations held a rally in October on renewing DC’s rent control laws
  7. What are some of the tensions that emerge between social democratic party leaders and the base they purport to represent? Are these tensions necessarily specific to social democratic parties?
  8. What should be DSA’s role in the Bernie’s run for presidency? How should we engage in electoral work and why? What are some of the limits of this electoral work and what are some of the benefits? How does running our own Bernie campaign grow our capacity to win socialism?
  9. What type of electoral campaign should DSA organize for?


“the goal of DSA’s national endorsements should always be to build long-term local power, not to get a slightly better breed of progressive politician into office”