By: Trevor Loudon | New Zeal | The Epoch Times
America’s largest socialist organization, the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), recruited tens of thousands of young people during the presidential campaign through the Bernie Sanders movement. Recently, their membership has been given another boost in the wake of DSA member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s upset victory over New York Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley in June.
Most of the new DSA comrades genuinely believe they are working for a better America. These indoctrinated souls have no idea that by joining DSA, they have become part of the international communist movement.
DSA claims to be working for an America that looks more like Scandinavia — yet it harbors many members loyal to Cuba, China, and even the old Eastern Bloc.
In fact, the rapidly growing Marxist organization has many serious communists in leadership positions — including convicted East German spy Kurt Stand, who was a long-time DSA national leader even before he was forced to serve a prison sentence for his role in passing U.S. secrets to East Germany’s Stasi secret police. (His ex-wife, Theresa Squillacote, who worked in the Pentagon, was also sent to prison.)
Stand was released in 2012 and has since assumed a leadership role in the Metro Washington DSA.
East Germany was known officially as the German Democratic Republic. DSA is just as “Democratic” as was Stand’s beloved Stalinist East Germany.
A Bit of History
DSA was founded in 1982 from a merger of the 5,000-strong Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee (DSOC) and the 1,200 to 1,500 members of the New American Movement (NAM). The leader of DSOC was Michael Harrington, whose 1962 book “The Other America” is credited with being the inspiration behind President Lyndon B. Johnson’s “War on Poverty” initiative known as the Orwellian-sounding “Great Society.”
While DSOC could claim a few genuinely anti-communist old-time socialists in its ranks, NAM was much more communist-oriented. Most younger members of NAM came out of the anti-Vietnam War protests of the 1970s and the Maoist-leaning Students for a Democratic Society. Most of the older members were former Communist Party USA militants. NAM tilted the Democratic Socialists to the left, and as more younger people joined, the party became increasingly pro-communist.
DSA draws heavily from the ideas of the late Italian Communist Party theoretician Antonio Gramsci.
Realizing that old-style violent revolution was not working in Europe, Gramsci came up with a new plan. Rather than using the standard Marxist-Leninist revolutionary model of inciting the workers to revolt against their bosses, Gramsci reasoned, why not infiltrate communists into all areas of society?
The phrase “long march through the institutions,” coined by Gramsci student and German revolutionary Rudi Dutschke, reflects this vision. To achieve revolution, infiltrate the field of education, journalism, the churches, entertainment, labor unions, civic organizations, and mainstream political parties.
The Orange County, California, branch of the DSA acknowledged its debt to Gramsci in its February 1984 newsletter:
“Antonio Gramsci was a founder of the Italian Communist Party. He developed theories on ‘open-ended Marxism’ and independent Euro-Communism. His writings have remained influential among European parties of the left for several decades. They have also formed a vital part of the ideas that brought about the formation of today’s DSA.”
With Gramsci’s doctrine firmly in play, DSA was able to accomplish this infiltration on many fronts. Here is a sample:
- AFL-CIO president and DSA member John Sweeney fundamentally transformed the U.S. labor movement in 1994–95.
- DSA comrades like actor Ed Asner moved Hollywood even further left through their influence in the entertainment unions.
- Eliseo Medina, a DSA comrade and former executive vice president of the Service Employees International Union, almost single-handedly started the political movement to legalize illegal aliens. Medina became President Barack Obama’s unofficial immigration adviser.
- Ron Bloom, who served under Obama directly as “assistant to the president for manufacturing policy,” was a member of the DSA’s predecessor, the DSOC.
- The movement for single-payer (government-run healthcare) is and continues to be a DSA operation. It started with Chicago DSA comrade Dr. Quentin Young, another mentor to Obama.
- Academia has been overrun with Marxist professors, who are grooming the next generation of radicals. DSA is well-established through their youth organization, Young Democratic Socialists of America, with chapters on university campuses and even high schools all over the country.
- Thousands of “community organizers” — labor organizers and nonprofit officials — have been trained through the DSA-aligned Midwest Academy in Chicago.
- DSA member Michael Moore has influenced millions through his documentaries, and DSA member Linda Sarsour is a prominent pro-Sharia activist and speaker, including her role at the Communist Party USA-sponsored Women’s March.
Additionally, hundreds of DSAers have taken on prominent roles in the churches, including Norm Faramelli, who served as an adjunct faculty member in Christian ethics at the Episcopal Divinity School; Michael Eric Dyson, who was a theology teacher at Georgetown University; Rosemary Ruether, formerly of the Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary; Cornel West, professor of philosophy and Christian practice at Union Theological Seminary; Eugene TeSelle, former professor of philosophy and Christian practice at Union Theological Seminary (and a mentor to presidential candidate Al Gore); Gary Dorrien, Reinhold Niebuhr professor of social ethics at Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York and professor of religion at Columbia University; and Steve Charleston, former president and dean of the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Infiltrating the Government
The Democratic Party has always been a major target for DSA. Most DSA comrades in the early days were also Democrats, and members held office all through the party.
In the early 1990s, New York Mayor David Dinkins and St. Paul, Minnesota, Mayor Jim Scheibel were DSA comrades. DSA had many state legislators, county commissioners, and local officials in its ranks — almost all under Democratic Party cover.
Several Congress members were DSAers, including Rep. Major Owens (New York) and the pro-Cuba Rep. Ron Dellums of California, who shockingly served on the House Armed Services Committee.
In 1991, Bernie Sanders and the DSA got together to set up the House Progressive Caucus, now known as the Congressional Progressive Caucus. At nearly 80 members strong, it is the largest and most influential caucus in the House.
The Congressional Progressive Caucus will likely gain several new members this coming election, including card-carrying DSA members Ocasio-Cortez of Queens, New York, and Rashida Tlaib of Detroit, Michigan. Both have won their Democratic primaries and look certain to be elected in November. But Ocasio-Cortez and Tlaib are far from the only DSA members and allies who have won their primaries so far this election cycle alone.
What Is the Plan?
While touted in the media as a new movement, DSA is nothing but warmed-over communism. Reading their inner party documents soon provides a clearer view of the organization’s intentions.
For example, Detroit DSA leader Dr. David Green visited Cuba to review the communist dictatorship’s health system. He wrote in Greater Detroit DSA’s May 2009 newsletter: “One of the most impressive features of Cuban society is its healthcare system. The Cuban system demonstrates what can be accomplished when health care is viewed as a human right rather than a commodity.”
Green also wrote in DSA’s publication Democratic Left, in Spring 2007, “Our goal as socialists is to abolish private ownership of the means of production.”
When DSA members boast that they want to end capitalism, they mean it. All private business is the Marxist’s enemy.
Pressuring lawmakers to implement policies favorable to the revolution is the ongoing goal of many Marxist organizations, and DSA is dedicated to several policies that they believe would further that goal. During their annual convention, an estimated 700 to 800 delegates voted to abolish the police altogether and additionally to empty the prisons.
The DSA has been clear about their desire to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency of the Department of Homeland Security. DSA wants to economically isolate “apartheid” Israel, strongly supporting the so-called BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement. They are very active in pushing for so-called anti-gentrification policies and for rent control. One of DSA’s most coveted policy positions is the euphemistically named “Medicare for All,” or Single Payer.
DSA is using massive resources to push these policies on a local and national level, from having their thousands of members engage in knocking on doors, to pressure elected officials to make Single Payer a part of their platform.
DSA, ‘Totalitarianism,’ and ‘Direct Action’
Many DSA members tout “democracy” while supporting totalitarianism. Consider that many of their members are associated with — or are outright members of — the anarchist “anti-fascist” movement known as Antifa. One will rarely if ever, find a DSA member denouncing the violence of Antifa. DSA members were active “counter-protesters” along with other communist groups and Antifa during the infamous “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville in August 2017, for example.
One prime example of the DSA–Antifa alliance is evident in the violence-promoting organization, the Knights for Socialism, a front for Young Democratic Socialists of Orlando at the University of Central Florida. The members of the Knights for Socialism are largely DSA members, and leader Dylan Tyer has prominent positions with the local DSA and YDSA. It should be noted that the former regional field director of the Florida Democratic Party, Adam Whitmer, was elected chair of the Democratic Socialists of Orlando last year.
The Knights for Socialism gained notoriety for its “Bash the Fash” event held last year, billed as a “self-defense seminar” held “in response to the record number of hate crimes against Latinos, Immigrants, Muslims, Women, the LGBTQIA+ community, Jews, African Americans and other minorities since the rise of Donald Trump and other Alt-Right Neo-Nazis.” The Knights for Socialism logo is the Antifa flag.
In addition to their association with Antifa, DSA members can be credited for starting the politically embarrassing trend of ambushing immigration officials. The event that started the short-lived but media-hyped movement was an impromptu ambush organized by the Metro DC chapter of the DSA on Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on June 19 while she dined with a colleague.
In that case, the chair of the Metro DC chapter, Margaret McLaughlin, posted the restaurant’s address on Twitter, prompting fellow comrades to come shout “Shame!” at Nielsen during dinner. Other DSA members included Allison Hrabar, Jesse Rabinowitz, and Austin Kendall. Instead of being condemned, the event received glowing coverage in The New York Times and CNN, among others.
The day after the ambush, and in response to media coverage referring to the participants as “activists,” the Metro DC DSA tweeted indignantly: “We’re not ‘liberals,’ not vague ‘activists.’ We’re socialist organizers.”
That initial action spurred a wave of ambush-like actions on the homes of immigration officials. But the glowing coverage of those actions ended abruptly after California Rep. Maxine Waters took the rhetoric too far a couple of days later when she instructed Americans to “absolutely harass” White House officials.
In the aftermath, DSA member Allison Hrabar received a bit of attention, considering her work in the anti-trust division of the U.S. Justice Department. It appears that Hrabar, a member of the Metro DC chapter’s steering committee, is still employed by the federal government while continuing to be very much involved in her socialist activism.
While DSA claims to fight authoritarianism at home, it is quite happy to support totalitarianism abroad. In February, long-time DSA comrade Daniel Adkins published an article in Democratic Left daring to argue that the United States was in economic competition with “mercantilist” China. This prompted a furious response by the Seattle DSA, Boston DSA, and the Communist Caucus of East Bay DSA claiming that his article “was both irresponsible and morally inexcusable” and “pits the U.S. working class against the Chinese working class.”
The critics insisted that the article be removed and further demanded that a “statement [be] published on DSA’s blog in due time affirming a commitment to internationalism, acknowledging that the Adkins piece should not have been published, and refusing to publish pieces promoting national chauvinist or anti-Chinese perspectives in the future.”
During their annual convention in August 2017, DSA dropped its longstanding affiliation to the Socialist International (SI), the more-than-a-century-old alliance of socialist and social democratic parties — because they are too moderate!
According to the revolutionary publication Left Voice:
“The resolution that passed stated, ‘Our affiliation with the Socialist International hinders our ability to develop stronger relationships with parties and social movements that share our values and which, in many cases, are bitterly opposed to their country’s SI affiliate(s),’ and, ‘In many countries, they have helped to lead the attack on the welfare state and on the rights of workers and unions.’”
After ditching the SI, the Democratic Socialists began looking around for new foreign friends.
According to an article published by Democratic Left on Nov. 25, 2017:
“In early November, DSA Deputy Director David Duhalde spoke on two European United Left/Nordic Green Left panels at the European Parliament—building ‘real global party ties for a post-Socialist International DSA.’
“Then he appeared on a Sinn Fein program and ‘shared a special moment’ with a former political prisoner about the Irish and Chilean struggles against authoritarianism.”
European United Left/Nordic Green Left is a caucus of communist, Marxist, and Green parties in the European Parliament, formed in 1995.
“They have taken special note of DSA as part of the larger surge of interest in socialism in the U.S. and the popularity of Bernie Sanders,” the article said.
Sinn Fein is the socialist legal wing of the former Marxist-Leninist terrorist Irish Republican Army.
When communists run for public office in America as openly communist, they are lucky to break 100 votes. Yet when they run covertly as Democrats, they can win seats on school boards, county commissions, and even in Congress. DSA is now 48,000 members strong. It has locals in every state and is busily taking over Democratic branches from Texas to Maine, from Nebraska to Hawaii.
Americans should demand that the Democratic Party be held accountable for allowing their party to be infiltrated by radical DSA Marxists.