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Writer, Activist, Leftist.

On January 6th, 2021, as Congress was in the process of certifying Republican President Donald Trump’s defeat, thousands of Republicans attacked the capital resulting in a lockdown, delay, and four deaths.

For months prior to this, Republican politicians openly supported the idea of contesting the election results to prevent Trump from leaving office, while dozens of Republican attorneys, legislators, and donors actively campaigned to change the outcome of the election.

For decades prior to this, Republicans have courted white supremacy, adopted fascist foreign policy programs, and worked to undermine democracy. In 2000, Republican President Bush came to power on a…

Run everywhere, run against injustice, and fight for your own communities.

Since AOC’s 2018 victory in her primary challenge against powerful Democratic incumbent Joe Crowley, American socialists (at least, the sort that bother with elections) have gained a small but increasing number of seats across the US. Although DSA-backed and self-described-socialist Bernie Sanders tragically came up short in the 2020 Democratic Primaries, the victories of Cori Bush, Jamal Bowman, Mondaire Jones, Zohran Mamdani, Jabari Brisport, and others (including my very own state rep Erica Uyterhoeven!) …

Inside the Democratic Party’s Civil War

Human societies — at least, in the forms we’ve known — require a basic shared understanding of reality to function. Called “mores” in sociology, “shared myths” in the study of nationalism, and “Li” in Confucianism, the idea that people ought to share some concept of what it means to live together permeates social philosophies. Whether they take the form of church on Sundays or even just a respect for science and scientists, shared understandings seem unavoidable if your goal is to organize and participate in a functioning society.

It’s a shame, then, that the Democratic Party has so few left.

The line between censorship and freedom may be different than you think

On June 30th, 1918, presidential candidate, union member, and lifelong socialist Eugene Debs was arrested by federal law enforcement and charged with ten counts of sedition. His crime? Giving a speech against US involvement in the first world war. In his address to the court, Debs did not grovel nor equivocate. He stood proudly in defiance of unjust laws, steadied by his “kinship with all mankind.”

Debs told the judge:

Your Honor, I ask no mercy and I plead for no immunity. I realize that finally the right must prevail. I never so clearly comprehended as now the great struggle…

A Story in 6 Graphs

This February, the New York City Police Department lost an appeal to keep thousands of disciplinary records hidden.

While there is no way of knowing exactly what will be found in those records once they are released, the NYPD review board complaint data leaked to ProPublica last year gives us some idea. …

Our political future depends on it.

If you’ve ever chafed at an Aunt’s casual racism, attacked a Grandfather’s sexist commentary, or pointed out a historical figure’s moral depravity, you’ve likely heard the refrain: “they were from a different time.” This argument — that morality is somehow time-barred — not only obscures historical crimes, but misses the point of criticizing people altogether.

As I discussed recently, we have become obsessed with judging by intentions rather than by actions. Criticism of Joe Biden in America, even in the most concrete and data-grounded terms, is seen as an attack on his moral character. Consequently, people feel a need to…

If I were president, I would use my bully pulpit in combination with control of both houses and my ability to enact executive orders to manipulate congress into passing laws. If that failed, I would at the very least use my sole control over student loan debt to forgive that and my sole control over the justice department to prosecute Trump.

Trump managed to push through his agenda despite much more popular opposition, and got the Democratic House to vote for more funding for his wall. …

A story of civility, kindness, and absolute incompetence.

Some years ago, we at Perfect Social Movement (PSM) noticed that Problem was ravaging our nation, and decided to band together to promote Solution.

We started by calling our Congressman and Senators — they assured us they were listening, but asked that we write letters instead (so that we didn’t disturb them). After a year of letter writing, they kindly asked us to talk to corporations instead, as they thought Problem should be solved by the private sector instead of through big government.

For the next few years, we called corporations and asked them to fix Problem. Their media teams…

We watch movies about individual heroes saving the day, read history books in which individual men build empires, and read think pieces about how individuals in poverty make good (or bad) choices. Because this ideology is so universally accepted, it has become “common sense.” Even suggesting that individuals may not be primarily, much less entirely, responsible for their circumstances is mocked and dismissed out of hand. To blame structures, or systems, or society is seen as childish weakness — as an attempt to shield yourself or others from accountability.

The trouble is that individualism is an utterly absurd way of…

Matthew Barad

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