The Socialists of the Prairies

Proyect, Louis

Publisher:  Counter Punch
Date Written:  27/07/2018
Year Published:  2018  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX22934

Proyect talks about the arrival of the Prairie Trilogy at the Metrograph Theater on Friday, July 27th. The trilogy consists of three documentaries made in 1978 by John Hanson and Rob Nilsson about the radical movement in North Dakota during the heyday of the IWW, the Socialist Party, and the Nonpartisan League (NPL).



Has socialism really been forced into the mainstream of US political life? It depends on what you mean by socialism. It certainly isn't the socialism of Eugene V. Debs. Even Victor Berger, the first SP member to be elected to the House of Representatives and who epitomized the gradualist "sewer socialism" so alien to Marxism, was audacious enough to say the things likely never to be heard from Bernie Sanders or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez if they wanted to be invited back on "Meet the Press". Here's Berger in the chapter titled "Are Socialists Practical?" in "Berger's Broadsides":

There is but one deliverance from the rule of the people by capitalism, and that is the rule of capital by the people. If so much of what has been considered private property is to be absorbed in great monopolistic ownership and there is nothing that can stop it--then, if we are to remain a politically free people, the inevitable outcome will be that the people must take possession collectively of the production and distribution.

And this is called Socialism.

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