The Liberal Mind vs. the Progressive and Social-Democratic Mind
Revolutionary socialists, understandably, tend to harbor great animosity toward liberals. Considering the ideology of liberalism is based entirely on maintaining the status quo system with slight reforms from time to time, instead of a complete overhaul of the system, obviously someone in favor of revolution is going to consider liberals to be their enemy.
The problem is that while in the rest of the world, there’s a strong divide between the terms liberalism and social democracy, in America a lot of people don’t really know what separates liberals from progressives and social democrats.
Revolutionary socialists should recognize the difference because one ideological class will always be our enemy, but the other ideological class could be our friend. Of course, in the case of the Social Democratic Party of Germany killing Rosa Luxemburg, there are exceptions to the rule. But this analysis is just based on my own personal experiences of the two different mindsets.
Here is a list of the differences between liberals and social democrats/progressives in America.
- Liberals in America tend to be completely loyal to the Democratic Party. Progressives recognize the flaws of the Democratic Party and are willing to work outside of it.
- Liberals tend to believe in an absolutist model of free speech. Progressives recognize the contradiction between claiming to be against bigotry but allowing bigots to have a platform.
- Liberals tend to be vehemently anti-communist, often seeing it as the other side of the coin to fascism. Progressives tend to be more sympathetic to communist movements, though of course they will be wary of communism due to decades of Red Scare politics.
- Liberals tend to invest solely in electoral politics. Progressives recognize the importance of direct action.
- Liberals tend to believe in slight reforms. Progressives recognize the importance of revolution, and will often use the term revolution in their rhetoric.
Essentially, liberals are our enemies and must be combated. However, progressives and social democrats can be turned to revolutionary socialism. In this age of capitalist crisis, in which socialism is supported by a majority of young people, we must recognize that these young people probably mean social democracy, but we can turn them into revolutionaries if we play our cards right.
If social democrats like “democratic socialism” as Sanders supports, they could very well like actual socialism.