The Bernie Sanders campaign has provoked widespread interest and debate on the U.S. Left, such as it is. This article is a contribution to that debate from the perspective of a left organizer who has been active in trade union and community organizing in Sanders’ home state of Vermont for the better part of two decades.
This article is not directed at progressives, but at leftists – those who identify as socialists, communists, and/or anarchists, those who want to replace capitalism with a different system, not simply reign in its most atrocious features. In short, those whose vision of liberation goes far beyond what Sanders has articulated in his political program.
The purpose of this article is not to convince individuals to vote for or against Sanders, or to give money or time to his campaign. Rather, the purpose is to help leftists assess how the Sanders campaign impacts our strategies (or attempts to formulate strategies) to build a social force that is strong enough to dismantle and replace capitalism.