Young Democratic Socialists national Co-Chair Jack Suria Linares was published in the Washington Post in response to their symposium on democratic socialism. Jack explains why socialism is popular with millennials and will continue to be.
Christine Emba’s March 25 Washington Forum commentary, “Millennials embrace ‘socialism,’ ” did not seriously consider why millennials across our country have departed from politics as usual. For us, socialism is a liberating term and a framework that will accomplish what liberalism has continuously failed to fully achieve.
Socialism aims for neither FDR liberalism nor some form of authoritarian regime. Rather, socialism strives for women; workers; people of color; lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people; and other oppressed groups to have democratic ownership of their own communities, organizations and workplaces. We reject a socialism whereby the state controls everything. Instead, we desire a socialism built on social movements, inherent human rights and an elected government that defends the people, not the billionaire class.
Economic liberalism, advocated by Republicans and corporate Democrats, will never achieve full freedom, liberty and individual rights because it defends private property at the cost of social justice. People and our labor, not bosses and the market, move our country forward. To obtain full freedom, we will have to transition£ to a society in which people have a legitimate democratic voice in the workplace and in everyday life.
We believe people will come around to seeing democratic socialism as the best alternative to politics as usual.
Jack Suria Linares, New York
The writer is co-chair of the Coordinating Committee of the Young Democratic Socialists, the youth section of the Democratic Socialists of America.