Breaking the Impasse
Electoral Politics, Mass Action, and the New Socialist Movement in the United States
Published by: Haymarket Books
Imprint: Haymarket Books
In his latest book, veteran socialist writer Kim Moody provides a masterful analysis of the political impasse which has shaped the rise of a new socialist movement in the United States: recurring economic and political crises, sharp inequality, state violence, and climate catastrophe proceed apace as the right ascends across the world, while the US political scene remains defined and dominated by two capitalist political parties. Moody situates the historic electoral campaigns of Democratic Socialists such as Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, as well as the growth of organizations like the Democratic Socialists of America, in this context, and incisively assesses the revived movement's focus on electoral strategies.
Offering an important account of left attempts to intervene in the American two-party electoral system, Moody provides both a sobering historical corrective and an alternative orientation for the future, arguing that the socialist movement should turn its attention toward a politics of mass action, anti-racism, and independent, working-class organizing.
1. The Impasse
2. “Upward“ and Rightward
3. The History and Future of the 2020 Elections
4. The New Social Democratic Nostalgia: Class, Race, and “Coalition Politics”
5. The Politics of Winning: How Mass Action Brought Victory
6. Reversing the “Model”: How Will the Millions Get Organized?
7. A Season of Inflammable Materials, Economic Dislocation, and Political Instability
“Kim Moody’s latest book promises to be a major contribution to the renewed debates on socialist strategy in the US. Moody expertly demolishes the analytic and historical arguments for strategies to either transform the Democratic Party into a social-democratic party or use its ‘ballot-line’ to prepare for an independent working class party in an undefined future. He demonstrates that it has always been mass, disruptive working class movements, in workplaces and in the streets, that are the source of popular power and radicalism—the key to winning concessions from capital and the state and creating the conditions for working class political independence and power.” —Charles Post, editor, Spectre
“Kim Moody breaks new ground in his brilliant, readable, breathtakingly comprehensive analysis that upends conventional thinking about this fraught moment in history. He draws on encyclopedic knowledge of labor, movements for social justice, politics, electoral activity, and debates about the Democratic Party, making an inspiring, persuasive case about how to build a mass social upsurge to break the stranglehold of billionaires over our daily existence.” —Lois Weiner, author of The Future of Our Schools: Teachers Unions and Social Justice“Essential reading for those interested in understanding and joining the mass upsurge of workers and others oppressed by the predatory, global, capitalist system. In addition to his usual detailed, empirically rich, and wide-ranging documentation of labor struggles and the changing structure of capitalist employment, Kim Moody's analysis of the constraining structure of the Democratic Party, and its role as a graveyard for democratic and radical politics, is nuanced, detailed, and breaks new ground.” —Michael Goldfield, author of The Southern Key: Class, Race, and Radicalism in the 1930s and 1940s