The Socialist Program: Lessons and Prospects

Alexander G, NPEC

In accordance with the diversity of the long history of the international worker’s movement, there have emerged different perspectives of the nature and purpose of the political program. After 1991, what lessons, pros, cons and principles should we extract from this rich history of the political program and strategy? How should socialists view the political program today?

Bhaskar Sunkara, Mike Macnair and Seth Ackerman, and Renée Paradis will discuss the prospects and lessons of the socialist program on Saturday, March 26th at 4pm EST.


With the adoption of DSA’s Political Platform at the 2021 convention, this event aims to encourage debate about our organization’s emerging views on our political program. It will also include discussion on the different practical applications of the historic political program within worker’s organizations and mass parties, such as the German, Russian, and Swedish Social Democratic Parties.

The speakers’ presentations will encompass historical questions and discuss their relationship to contemporary issues. Some questions that our guest speakers will include their presentations are:

  • What are some of the implicit and explicit theories behind various socialist programs?
  • What relevance do the transitional or minimum-maximum socialist programs, for example, hold today?
  • Looking forward, how should we approach implementing a program in the American political context?
  • How should longstanding issues of ballot access inform our approach, and how should we hold elected representatives accountable to our program?
  • How does working class political independence relate to the need for effective outward-facing politics, and how should we measure effectiveness?
  • What roles do mass campaigns such as M4A and other progressive campaigns play?
  • Should we prioritize programmatic politics?

These questions will hopefully contribute to encouraging lively and fruitful discussion on the question of the socialist program.

Following a brief introduction, our panelists will speak for 15-20 minutes each about their views on the political program. Subsequently, panelists will be encouraged to respond to each other for about 30 minutes. Finally, we’ll have an audience Q&A, and written questions can be submitted for panelists to answer. The event will last for about two hours. Join us!