"The Socialist Awakening": John Judis On The New Left | WYPR

"The Socialist Awakening": John Judis On The New Left

Sep 29, 2020

Journalist John Judis writes about politics and history.
Credit Columbia Global Reports

Tom's guest is journalist John Judis, an editor-at-large at Talking Points Memo and the author of many books.  He’s just out with the third in a trilogy of books he's written for Columbia University's Columbia Global Reports that examines three potent political movements that have shaped, and continue to shape, the world we live in: populism, nationalism and socialism. Judis' first book in the trilogy, The Populist Explosion, was published in 2016. He followed it with The Nationalist Revival in 2018.  And coinciding with another election cycle, the third book, published today, is called The Socialist Awakening: What’s Different Now About the Left.  

Credit Columbia Global Reports

In 1912, the Socialist Democratic Party boasted 118,000 members, and 1,200 elected officials in offices around the US.  Does the wide popular support for Bernie Sanders -- along with the failure of laissez-faire globalized capitalism to manage the health and economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic -- indicate a newly reinvigorated public interest in socialism?  Will Donald Trump’s behavior in office and this week’s revelations about his manipulation and apparent abuse of the tax code further advance the appeal of socialism as a political movement?

John Judis describes himself as “a longtime leftist who labored unsuccessfully 50 years ago trying to create a socialist movement in the United States.”  But he writes that now may be the perfect moment for a resurgence of FDR-style, New Deal-type programs that favor labor at the expense of capital and that address not just the challenges of COVID 19, but those of climate change and income inequality as well.

John Judis joins Tom on Zoom to discuss The Socialist Awakening: What’s Different Now About the Left.  Listener calls, emails and tweets are welcomed.