I was going to write something on my blog like, Gee, I don’t remember this sort of attack on
Bernie for his statements after the primary was over in 2016. I wonder if that’s because he wasn’t young, Puerto Rican or female?
But I know most people in NYC DSA were not members back then.
The most troubling thing is that this statement REEKS of factionalism, of people being lined up in some private little group built around an important “principle” like we must “name our enemy,” or that DSA members “who seek to speak on behalf of working people” must defend X, Y, or Z position .
But the DSA is not and must not become a faction – and no one should be required to act as if they were in one. It is the beginning of a party, and a party is not a faction.
A party, a genuine party (not merely an electoral apparatus or a ballot line) represents a class, section of a class or some other social force. In the case of parties based on working people, ideally it is defined by its base, not what it says on some paper, but what its adherents believe and want. You can tell the DSA is the beginning of a party from the way people are joining – on pure class instinct and identification
A faction is defined by its ideas. It’s borders are not set by class interest but by agreement with a whole litany of positions. No matter how big it is, a faction that sets itself up as a separate, independent organization with a position on everything under the sun that you have to accept is not a party but a sect.
Viewed as a whole, the far left in the United States mostly wasted the entire last 100 years precisely on this mistake. We called it “leninism,” and “building a party of a new type,” and only in the past decade or so have many of us learned that was not what Lenin was about.
As for the specific infantile stupidity of never saying vote for X if X is a bad person, people might want to read Lenin’s pamphlet on ultraleftism, “Left-Wing” Communism: an Infantile Disorder, and pay special attention to the part about “Critical Support.”