By: Trevor Loudon
Democratic Socialists of America, is despite its deceptive name, the U.S.’s largest and probably most influential Marxist based organization.
Many of its several thousand members operate through the Democratic Party, New York’s influential Working Families Party and the organization also counts thousands of of labor unionists, religious activists, journalists and college professors in its ranks.
D.S.A. helped establish and continues to support the more than 80 strong Congressional Progressive Caucus and is particularly close to “single payer” healthcare champions Rep. John Conyers of Michigan and Caucus founder Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
Dr. Quentin Young of Chicago is the father of the “single payer” healthcare lobby in the U.S. he is also a former Young Communist League member, a long time D.S.A. activist and a one time personal physician and long time friend and mentor to Barack Obama.
President Obama himself has a more than 25 year history of involvement with D.S.A. members.
D.S.A. means to use its considerable power and influence to push for completely socialized health care in the U.S. in the next few years.
Writing in the latest issue of Democratic Left, D.S.A. National Director Frank Llewellyn outlines some of the tactics the organization will employ to bring all U.S. healthcare under direct and complete state control.
The first step is to move public opinion in the “correct” direction.
In DSA we never expected more than the passage of an imperfect bill that we could work in coalitions to improve… DSA has been fighting for a single payer, Medicare-for-all approach to national health care for more than two decades. We expect to continue to fight for that approach in a number of states, especially in California, as the state legislature has passed single payer legislation in the past, only to have it overturned by a gubernatorial veto.
DSAers in every state and city should be prepared to rebut distortions with letters to the editor and op-eds that talk about what socialism really is – and what true social democratic public provision would look like, particularly when health care is the paradigmatic public good that markets, let alone for-profit oligopolies, simply cannot justly and affordably supply.
Next step is to punish or remove those remaining Democratic legislators still opposed to socialized healthcare.
Progressives must now work to ensure that some conservative Democrats who did not support the final bill will be punished with primaries or even third party challenges. In New York State, for example, the Working Families Party (WFP) threatened to withhold support from, or actively oppose, representatives for whom the WFP provided winning margins in the past, but who voted “no” on the health reform bill. And the labor movement also vowed to remember how people voted on this issue in this year’s election cycle. Those of us committed to true public provision of health care can reunite by participating in such efforts.
Llewellyn cynically acknowledges that Obamacare will create its own constituency.
Politically, passage of the bill is a positive step. First, because it keeps open the possibility of passage of other reforms in this Congress, and second, because it should create millions of new stakeholders in a health care system governed by democratically established rules rather than by the fiats of private insurers.
Lewellyn is clear that the private insurance industry is marked for destruction.
The Right will attempt to use the bill’s shortcomings to generate public sentiment for repeal; progressives have to use those same shortcomings to generate public support for more short-term improvements, and in the long term to build support for the elimination of private insurers.
He also explicitly links healthcare to the other items on the Marxist agenda, financial regulation, immigration “reform” (amnesty), bailouts for distressed home-owners, massive Federal aid to city and state governments and the scaling back of U.S. military commitments.
But passage of the bill does keep the door open for popular movements to demand strict financial regulatory reform, immigration reform, massive aid to states and localities, and a much-needed public jobs program. DSA and the larger progressive movement must create street heat in favor of these anti-corporate measures, as well as for a just resolution to the foreclosure crisis, and an end to United States involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.
D.S.A., together with its Communist Party, labor and Democrat allies will not stop until the entire U.S. economy is under state control and/or direction.
What distinguishes socialists from other progressives is the theory of surplus value. According to Marx, the secret of surplus value is that workers are a source of more value than they receive in wages. The capitalist is able to capture surplus value through his ownership of the means of production, his right to purchase labor as a commodity, his control over the production process, and his ownership of the final product. Surplus value is the measure of capital’s exploitation of labor.
Our goal as socialists is to abolish private ownership of the means of production. Our immediate task is to limit the capitalist class’s prerogatives in the workplace…
Obamacare, will not achieve that noble goal, but it is certainly a fine start.