May 8, 2010
Is Kagan a Self-Avowed Socialist?
Americans are more likely to speakof a golden past than of a golden future, of Capitalism's glories thanof socialism's greatness.Conformity overrides dissent; the desire to conserve has overwhelmedthe urge to alter. Such a state of affairs cries out for explanation.Why, in a society by no means perfect, has a radical party neverattained the status of a major political force? Why, in particular, didthe socialist movement never become an alternative to the nation'sestablished parties?" (p. 127).
And then Ms. Kagan issues hercall to action, her call for Socialists to unite in order to defeat"the entrenched foe." She writes, "Through its own internalfeuding..the SP [Socialist Party] exhausted itself forever and furtherreduced labor radicalism in New York to the position of marginality andinsignificance from which it has never recovered. The story is a sadbut also a chastening one for those who, more than half a century aftersocialism's decline, still wish to change America. Radicals have oftensuccumbed to the devastating bane of sectarianism; it is easier, afterall, to fight one's fellows than it is to battle an entrenched andpowerful foe. Yet if the history of Local New York shows anything, itis that American radicals cannot afford to become their own worst enemies. In unity lies their only hope." (pp. 129-130)...."
-Paul Anthony Melanson