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Social Democrats, USA

Social Democrats, USA
Chairperson Rick D’Loss and Craig Miller (co-chairs)
Founded December 1972 (December 1972)
Preceded by Socialist Party of America
Headquarters PO Box 16161, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Newspaper New America
Youth wing Young People's Socialist League
Young Social Democrats
Ideology Social democracy
Political position Centre-left
International affiliation Socialist International (lapsed)
Colors Red
Photograph of Bayard Rustin
Social Democrats USA was headed by National Chairman Bayard Rustin.

Social Democrats, USA (SDUSA) is an association of U.S. social democrats, that had been called the Socialist Party of America (SP) until the 1972 convention where it changed its name to SDUSA to clarify its objectives.[1]

The Socialist Party had stopped running independent Presidential candidates, and consequently the name "Party" had confused the public. Replacing the name "socialist" with "social democrat", SDUSA clarified its vision to Americans who confused Socialist Workers Party and the Socialist Labor Party.[25]

During the 1972 convention, the majority ("Unity Caucus") won every vote, by a ratio of two to one. The Convention elected a national committee of 33 members, with 22 seats for the majority caucus, 8 seats for the "Coalition Caucus" of Michael Harrington, 2 for the left-wing "Debs Caucus", and one for the "independent" Samuel H. Friedman.[26] Friedman and the minority caucuses had opposed the name change.[1]

The convention voted on and adopted proposals for its program by a two-one vote. On foreign policy, the program called for "firmness toward Communist aggression". However, on the Vietnam War, the program opposed "any efforts to bomb Hanoi into submission"; instead, it endorsed negotiating a peace agreement, which should protect Communist political cadres in South Vietnam from further military or police reprisals. Harrington's proposal for a Arch Puddington replied that the California branch was especially active in supporting McGovern, while the New York branch were focusing on a congressional race.[27]

When the Socialist Party changed its name to Social Democrats, USA,

  • Preliminary Inventory of the Social Democrats, USA Records, 1937–1994, Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Duke University, Durham, NC.
  • Dale Reed, Register of the Carl Gershman Papers, Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 1999.
  • Dale Reed, Register of the Albert Glotzer Papers, Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 2010.
  • Social Democrats, USA official website, NEC-based group,

External links

  • Chenoweth, Eric (October 2010), AFL-CIO support for Solidarity: Political, financial, moral, 1718 M Street, NW, No. 147, Washington DC 20036, USA: Institute for Democracy in Eastern Europe (IDEE) 
  • Morris, George (1976). "Social Democrats-USA" in the service of reaction: A record of racism, low wages, bureaucracy and betrayal of socialism. New York: New Outlook Publishers. —"A polemic against the SDUSA published by the  
  • Social Democrats, USA (1973), For the record: The report by the Social Democrats, USA on the resignation of Michael Harrington and his attempt to split the American socialist movement, New York: Social Democrats USA, undated pamphlet, certainly no earlier than 1973 

Further reading

  • Social Democrats, USA (December 1972) [copyright 1973]. The American challenge: A social-democratic program for the seventies. New York: S.D. U.S.A. and "The following program was adopted at the Social Democrats, U.S.A. and Young People's Socialist League conventions at the end of December, 1972."  
  • Bayard Rustin and Carl Gershman, Africa, Soviet imperialism and the retreat of American power. New York: Social Democrats, USA, 1978. (SD papers #2)
  • Carl Gershman The world according to Andrew Young. New York: Social Democrats, USA, 1978. (SD papers #4)
  • Leszek Kołakowski and Sidney Hook, The social democratic challenge. New York: Social Democrats, USA, 1978. (SD papers #5)
  • Carl Gershman, Selling them the rope: Business and the Soviets. New York: Social Democrats, USA, 1979. (SD papers #6)
  • Lane Kirkland and Rita Freedman, Building on the past for the future. New York: Social Democrats, USA, 1981.
  • Social Democrats, USA: Standard bearers for freedom, democracy, and economic justice. New York: Social Democrats, USA, n.d. [1980s].
  • A challenge to the Democratic Party. New York: Social Democrats, USA, 1983.
  • Alfonso Robelo, The Nicaraguan democratic struggle: Our unfinished revolution. New York: Social Democrats, USA, 1983. (SD papers #8)
  • Scabs renamed, permanent replacements. New York: Social Democrats, USA, 1990.
  • On foreign policy and defense. Washington, D.C. : Social Democrats, USA, 1990
  • SD, USA statement on the economy. New York: Social Democrats, USA, 1991.
  • Child labor, US style. New York: Social Democrats, USA, 1991.
  • Child labor, an international abuse. New York: Social Democrats, USA, 1991.
  • John T. Joyce, Expanding economic democracy. New York: Social Democrats, USA, 1991.
  • Rita Freedman, Does America need a social democratic movement? Washington, DC: Social Democrats, USA, 1993.
  • Why America needs a social democratic movement. Washington, DC : Social Democrats, USA, 1993.
  • The future of socialism. San Jose, CA: San Francisco Bay Area Local of Social Democrats, USA, 1994.


  • Bloodworth, Jeffrey (2013). Losing the center: The decline of American liberalism, 1968–1992. Lexington, Kentucky: The University Press of Kentucky.  
  • Domber, Gregory F. (2008). Supporting the revolution: America, democracy, and the end of the Cold War in Poland, 1981–1989 (Ph.D. dissertation (12 September 2007),  
  • Horowitz, Rachelle (2007). "Tom Kahn and the Fight for Democracy: A Political Portrait and Personal Recollection" (PDF). Democratiya (merged with Dissent in 2009) 11 (Winter): 204–251. 
  • Puddington, Arch (2005). "Surviving the underground: How American unions helped solidarity win". American Educator (American Federation of Teachers) (Summer). Retrieved 4 June 2011. 
  • Shevis, James M. (Summer 1981). "The AFL-CIO and Poland's Solidarity". World Affairs (World Affairs Institute) 144 (1): 31–35.  


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Anonymous (31 December 1972). "Socialist Party now the Social Democrats, U.S.A.". New York Times. p. 36. Retrieved February 8, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c Bloodworth (2013, p. 147)
  3. ^ a b c d Shevis (1981, p. 32)
  4. ^ "The new strata of the issue-oriented and college-educated who provided the mass bass for [the McGovern Campaign] were, and are, extremely important to the creation of a new majority for change in this country."Harrington, Fragments of the Century, pp. 212-213.
  5. ^ a b c Vaisse, op cit. p. 91
  6. ^ a b c  
  7. ^ Bernstein (1992)
  8. ^ Domber (2008, pp. 103, 131–132, 135, 205–209, 216, 342)
  9. ^ a b c d e f g Shevis (1981, p. 31).
  10. ^ Thiel (2010)
  11. ^ a b c d (Kahn & Podhoretz 2008)
    • Kahn, Tom;  
  12. ^ a b  
  13. ^ a b  
    Reprinted: Kahn, Tom (2008) [1985]. "Beyond the double standard: A social democratic view of the authoritarianism versus totalitarianism debate" (pdf).  
  14. ^ Encyclopedia of U.S. Labor and Working-class History, Volume 1 By Eric Arnesen (Taylor & Francis, 2007), p. 796
  15. ^ The Encyclopedia of U.S. Campaigns, Elections, and Electoral Behavior, edited by Kenneth F. Warren (SAGE Publications, 2008 ) p. 749-750
  16. ^ Richard D. Kahlenberg, Tough Liberal: Albert Shanker and the Battles Over Schools, Unions, Race and Democracy (Columbia University Press, 2013), p. 157-158
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Holley, Joe (October 19, 2005). "Political activist Penn Kemble dies at 64". Washington Post. 
  18. ^ Johnston, Laurie (28 December 1972). "Young Socialists defeat motion favoring recognition of Cuba" (PDF). New York Times. p. 15. 
  19. ^ a b  
  20. ^ a b  
  21. ^ a b c d  
  22. ^ a b c Joshua Micah Marshall, "Debs’s Heirs Reassemble To Seek Renewed Role as Hawks of Left" The Jewish Daily Forward, May 23, 2003
  23. ^ Richard D. Kahlenberg, Tough Liberal: Albert Shanker and the Battles Over Schools, Unions, Race and Democracy (Columbia University Press, Aug 13, 2013), p. 157-158
  24. ^ Gerald Sorin, The Prophetic Minority: American Jewish Immigrant Radicals, 1880–1920. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1985; pg. 155.
  25. ^ Anonymous (27 December 1972). "Young Socialists open parley; to weigh 'New Politics' split". New York Times. p. 25. 
  26. ^ a b Anonymous (1 January 1973). Firmness' urged on Communists: Social Democrats reach end of U.S. Convention here"'". New York Times. p. 11. 
  27. ^
  28. ^ a b c Fraser, C. Gerald (September 7, 1974). "Socialists seek to transform the Democratic Party". New York Times. p. 11. 
  29. ^ A strategy of re-alignment was particularly associated with Max Shachtman.
    • Maurice Isserman, The Other American: The Life Of Michael Harrington (Public Affairs, 2001), p.290-304
    • Martin Duberman, A Saving Remnant: The Radical Lives of Barbara Deming and David McReynolds (The New Press, 2013)
  30. ^ O'Rourke (1993, pp. 195–196): O'Rourke, William (1993). "L: Michael Harrington". Signs of the literary times: Essays, reviews, profiles, 1970-1992'. The Margins of Literature (SUNY Series). SUNY Press. pp. 192–196.  
  31. ^ Busky 2000, pp. 165. Busky, Donald F. (2000). Democratic socialism: A global survey.  
  32. ^ a b Rustin wrote the following reports:
    • Civil rights: the true frontier New York, N.Y.: Donald Press, 1963
    • From protest to politics: the future of the civil rights movement New York: League for Industrial Democracy, 1965
    • The labor-Negro coalition, a new beginning [Washington? D.C. : American Federationist?, 1968
    • Conflict or coalition?: the civil rights struggle and the trade union movement today New York, A. Philip Randolph Institute, 1969
  33. ^ a b Rustin wrote the following reports:
    • The Watts "Manifesto" & the McCone report. New York, League for Industrial Democracy 1966
    • Separatism or integration, which way for America?: a dialogue (with Robert Browne) New York, A. Philip Randolph Educational Fund, 1968
    • Black studies: myths & realities (contributor) New York, A. Philip Randolph Educational Fund, 1969
    • Three essays New York, A. Philip Randolph Institute, 1969
    • A word to black students New York, A. Philip Randolph Institute, 1970
    • The failure of black separatism New York, A. Philip Randolph Institute, 1970
  34. ^ These positions had been advanced by organizations like "Negotiations Now!" since the 1960s.
  35. ^  
  36. ^ "The View from Washington". Asian Affairs (Taylor & Francis, Ltd.) 6 (2): 134–135. November–December 1978.  
  37. ^  
  38. ^ Social Democrats, USA (1973), The American challenge: A social-democratic program for the seventies, New York: SDUSA 
  39. ^ Muravchik (2006):


  40. ^ a b Mahler, Jonathan (19 November 1997), "Labor's crisis—and its opportunity", The Wall Street Journal 
  41. ^ "Freedom, Economic Justice Themes of SD Convention," New America [New York], vol. 13, no. 15 (Aug.-Sept. 1976), pg. 1.
  42. ^ "Social Democracy Faces Crucial Era," New America [New York], vol 17, no. 11 (December 1980), pg. 1.
  43. ^ a b "Rita Freedman New SD Director," New America [New York], vol. 17, no. 2 (Feb. 1980), pg. 12.
  44. ^ "Wanted: Dues Cheaters" (ad), New America [New York], vol. 20, no. 5 (Sept.-Oct. 1983), pg. 7.
  45. ^ Aldon Morris, The Origins of the Civil Rights Movement: Black Communities Organizing for Change (New York: The Free Press, 1994)
  46. ^
    • Maurice Isserman. If I Had a Hammer...The Death of the Old Left and the Birth of the New Left (Basic Books, 1987). ISBN 0-465-03197-8.
    • America Divided: The Civil War of the 1960s, Maurice Isserman, and Michael Kazin, third ed. (2000; Oxford University Press, 2007). ISBN 0-19-516047-9.
  47. ^ Hamby (2003, p. 25, footnote 5): Hamby, Alonzo L. (2003). "Is there no democratic left in America? Reflections on the transformation of an ideology". Journal of Policy History 15: 3–25.  
  48. ^ a b c  
  49. ^ "Labor Hall of Fame Honoree (1989): A. Philip Randoph". US Department of Labor. Retrieved 2009-11-27. 
  50. ^ a b  
  51. ^ Rustin's selected writings have been republished as Time on two crosses: the collected writings of Bayard Rustin (San Francisco : Cleis Press, 2003). Rustin's writings had appeared in an earlier collection>
    • Down the line; the collected writings of Bayard Rustin Chicago Quadrangle Books 1971
  52. ^ Bayard Rustin – Who Is This Man, State of the Reunion, radio show, aired February 2011 on NPR, 1:40–2:10, accessed March 16, 2011.
  53. ^ Rustin wrote the following reports:
    • The revolution in the South" Cambridge, Mass. : Peace Education Section, American Friends Service Committee, 1950s
    • Report on Montgomery, Alabama New York: War Resisters League, 1956
    • A report and action suggestions on non-violence in the South New York: War Resisters League, 1957
  54. ^ Life Magazine, September 6, 1963.
  55. ^ a b c Horowitz (2007)
  56. ^ Rustin, Bayard (February 1965). "From protest to politics: The future of the civil rights movement". Commentary. 
  57. ^ a b Kennedy, Randall (29 September 2003). "From protest to patronage". The Nation. 
  58. ^ Wilson's The Declining Significance of Race won the American Sociological Association's Sydney Spivack Award. In The Declining Significance of Race: Blacks and Changing American Institutions (1978) Wilson argues that the significance of race is waning, and an African-American's class is comparatively more important in determining his or her life chances. His The Truly Disadvantaged, which was selected by the editors of the New York Times Book Review as one of the 16 best books of 1987, and received The Washington Monthly Annual Book Award and the Society for the Study of Social Problems' C. Wright Mills Award. In The Truly Disadvantaged: The Inner City, the Underclass, and Public Policy (1987), Wilson was one of the first to enunciate at length the "spatial mismatch" theory for the development of a ghetto underclass. As industrial jobs disappeared in cities in the wake of global economic restructuring, and hence urban unemployment increased, women found it unwise to marry the fathers of their children, since the fathers would not be breadwinners. His When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor, which was selected as one of the notable books of 1996 by the editors of the New York Times Book Review and received the Sidney Hillman Foundation Award. His The Bridge Over the Racial Divide: Rising Inequality and Coalition Politics reaffirms the need for a coalition strategy, as Rustin suggested. In Wilson's most recent book, More Than Just Race: Being Black and Poor in the Inner City (2009), he directs his attention to the overall framing of pervasive, concentrated urban poverty of African Americans. He asks the question, "Why do poverty and unequal opportunity persist in the lives of so many African Americans?" In response, he traces the history and current state of powerful structural factors impacting African Americans, such as discrimination in laws, policies, hiring, housing, and education. Wilson also examines the interplay of structural factors and the attitudes and assumptions of African Americans, European Americans, and social science researchers. In identifying the dynamic influence of structural, economic, and cultural factors, he argues against either/or politicized views of poverty among African Americans that either focus blame solely on cultural factors or only on unjust structural factors. He tries "to demonstrate the importance of understanding not only the independent contributions of social structure and culture, but also how they interact to shape different group outcomes that embody racial inequality." Wilson's goal is to "rethink the way we talk about addressing the problems of race and urban poverty in the public policy arena." [4]
  59. ^ Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou (June 26, 2009). "Gays Are the New Niggers". Killing the Buddha. Retrieved 2 July 2009. 
  60. ^ South Africa: is peaceful change possible? a report (contributor) New York, New York Friends Group, 1984
  61. ^ Staff. "Calm Battler for Rights; Norman Spencer Hill Jr.", The New York Times, September 14, 1964. Accessed February 19, 2011. "Norman Hill was born in Summit, N.J."
  62. ^
    • African American Registry (2005).
    • Norman Hill, an Activist for Black Labor. Retrieved March 3, 2007.
    • Blair Speech (2003). Bayard Rustin: The Whole Story. Retrieved March 3, 2007.
    • Electrical Workers Minority Caucus (2000). Retrieved March 3, 2007.
    • National Black Caucus of State Legislators (2006). Builder Awards: Norman Hill. Retrieved March 2, 2007.
  63. ^ Isserman, Maurice If I had a hammer New York, Basic Books 1987
  64. ^ Jervis Anderson, A. Philip Randolph: A Biographical Portrait (1973; University of California Press, 1986). ISBN 978-0-520-05505-6
  65. ^
    • Anderson, Jervis. Bayard Rustin: Troubles I've Seen (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1997).
    • Branch, Taylor. Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954–63 (New York: Touchstone, 1989).
    • Carbado, Devon W. and Donald Weise, editors. Time on Two Crosses: The Collected Writings of Bayard Rustin(San Francisco: Cleis Press, 2003). ISBN 1-57344-174-0
    • D’Emilio, John. Lost Prophet: Bayard Rustin and the Quest for Peace and Justice in America (New York: The Free Press, 2003).
    • D'Emilio, John. Lost Prophet: The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2004). ISBN 0-226-14269-8
  66. ^ a b Puddington (2005):

    Puddington, Arch (2005). "Surviving the underground: How American unions helped solidarity win". American Educator (American Federation of Teachers) (Summer). Retrieved 4 June 2011. 

  67. ^ Puddington (2005) quotes "Polish Strike Leader Thanks U.S. Labor," Associated Press, September 12, 1980.
  68. ^ a b c d Emboldening added.
  69. ^ Opening statement by Tom Kahn in Kahn & Podhoretz (2008, p. 234)
  70. ^ Opening statement by Tom Kahn in Kahn & Podhoretz (2008, p. 235)
  71. ^ Kahn, Tom (March 3, 1982). "Moral duty". Society (New York: Transactions Publishers (purchased by Springer)) 19 (3): 51.  
  72. ^ Puddington (2008) wrote:
    "Kirkland's embrace of Solidarity brought him into immediate conflict with the Carter administration. Despite the administration's avowed commitment to human rights, Edmund Muskie, secretary of state, decided that quiet diplomacy was the most prudent course to follow in the Polish crisis. He summoned Kirkland to his office for lunch on September 3, 1980, during which he gave a 'negative assessment' of the Polish aid fund that the AFL-CIO had just launched and declared that the federation's open support for Solidarity could be 'deliberately misinterpreted' by the Kremlin in order to justify military intervention. Muskie was not alone in deploring labor's Polish initiative. In a New York Times column, Flora Lewis called the Workers Aid Fund 'most unfortunate.' Flora Lewis, "Let the Poles Do It," New York Times, September 5, 1980.]"
  73. ^
  74. ^ "The AFL-CIO had channeled more than $4 million to it, including computers, printing presses, and supplies" according to Horowitz (2005).
  75. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m
    • Almanac of Famous People. 88th ed. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale Group, 2003. ISBN 0-7876-7535-0
    • Berger, Joseph. "Sandra Feldman, Scrappy and Outspoken Labor Leader for Teachers, Dies at 65." The New York Times. September 20, 2005.
    • Carter, Barbara. Pickets, Parents, and Power: The Story Behind the New York City Teachers' Strike. New York: Citation Press, 1971. ISBN 0-590-09480-7
    • Farber, M.A. "Molded in Schools, She Helps Mold Them." The New York Times. March 7, 1991.
    • "Feldman Elected AFT President." New York Teacher. May 19, 1997.
    • Greenhouse, Steven. "Feldman to Succeed Shanker, Teachers' Union Officials Say." The New York Times. April 29, 1997.
    • "Sandra Feldman, 65; Ex-President of Teachers Union." Los Angeles Times. September 20, 2005.
    • Yan, Ellen. "Ex-Teachers Union Leader Feldman Dies." Newsday. September 20, 2005.
  76. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Berger, Joseph (September 20, 2005). "Sandra Feldman, scrappy and outspoken labor leader for teachers, dies at 65". New York times. 
  77. ^ Carter, Pickets, Parents, and Power, 1971.
  78. ^ See the list of AFT vice presidents at
  79. ^ Hook was a public intellectual for more than five decades:
    • Cotter, Matthew J., ed., 2004, Sidney Hook Reconsidered, Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books.
    • Kurtz, Paul, ed., 1968, Sidney Hook and the Contemporary World, New York: John Day and Co.
    • Kurtz, Paul, ed., 1983, Sidney Hook: Philosopher of democracy and humanism, Buffalo: Prometheus Books. [This festschrift for Sidney Hook's eightieth birthday contains four essays on Hook's person and writings.]
      • Capaldi, Nicholas, 1983, “Sidney Hook: A Personal Portrait,” in Kurtz 1983, pp. 17–27.
      • Konvitz, Milton R., 1983, “Sidney Hook: Philosopher of the Moral-Critical Intelligence,” in Kurtz 1983, pp. 3–6.
      • Kristol, Irving, “Life with Sidney: A Memoir,” in Kurtz 1983.
      • Kurtz, Paul, 1983a, “Preface: The Impact of Sidney Hook in the Twentieth Century,” in Kurtz 1983.
    • Levine, Barbara, ed. Sidney Hook: A Checklist of Writings, Southern Illinois University, 1989.
    • Ryan, Alan, 2002, Foreword to Sidney Hook, Sidney Hook on Pragmatism, Democracy, and Freedom: The Essential Essays, (Robert B. Talisse and Robert Tempio (eds.), Amherst: Prometheus Books, pp. 9–10.
    • Sidorsky, David, 2003, “Charting the Intellectual Career of Sidney Hook: Five Major Steps” in Partisan Review, Volume 70, Number 2, pp. 324–342.
    Hook wrote many books and his writings have often been republished:
    • Out of Step, Harper & Row, 1987. Autobiography
    • Sidney Hook on Pragmatism, Freedom, and Democracy: The Essential Essays, ed. Robert B. Talisse and Robert Tempio, Prometheus Books, 2002.
  80. ^ a b c d e f "Penn Kemble: Dapper Democratic Party activist whose influence extended across the spectrum of US politics (21 January 1941 –15 October 2005)".  
  81. ^ "Social democrat neocon (sic.)", Washington Times, October 18, 2005.
  82. ^ Dale Reed, "Register of the Carl Gershman Papers, 1962–1984," Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University, 1999; pg. 2.
  83. ^ a b "A 1987 article in The New Republic described these developments as a Trotskyist takeover of the Reagan administration" wrote Lipset (1988, p. 34).
  84. ^ Nossiter, Bernard D. (March 3, 1981). "New team at U.N.: Common roots and philosophies". New York Times (Late City final ed.). section A, p. 2, col. 3. 
  85. ^ a b "Meet Our President".  
  86. ^ Lane Kirkland was awarded posthumously the highest Polish award, the Order of the White Eagle.
  87. ^ "Political Activist Penn Kemble Dies at 64," Washington Post, October 19, 2005, pg. B07.
  88. ^ See: Social Democrats, USA official website, Retrieved May 26, 2011, currently broken.
  89. ^ David Hacker, "Heritage: Learning from Our Past," Retrieved Feb. 27, 2014.
  90. ^ "Organization," Retrieved Feb. 27, 2014.
  91. ^ Social Democrats-Socialist Party USA official website, Retrieved May 26, 2011 (Dead link).
  92. ^ Social Democrats, USA official website, Retrieved Feb. 27, 2014.
  93. ^ "2010 National Convention," Socialist Currents,
  94. ^ "2012 Convention Report," Socialist Currents,
  95. ^ Bloodworth (2013, p. 148)
    • Bloodworth, Jeffrey (2013). Losing the center: The decline of American liberalism, 1968–1992. Lexington, Kentucky: The University Press of Kentucky.  
  96. ^ Isserman, The Other American, pp. 351-352.
  97. ^ As co-chairman of DSA, Michael Harrington wrote that Willy Brandt
    "launched his famous ostpolitik (Eastern policy), and moved toward detente with the Soviets and Eastern Europeans--a strategy that was to win him the Nobel Peace Prize." "Disaster came in 1974. There was a spy scandal--a member of Brandt's inner circle turned out to be an East German agent--and the chancellor resigned his office."
  98. ^ Anonymous (October 20, 1997). red-baiting"Eine kleine". The Weekly Standard 3 (6). 
  99. ^ Weiner, Tim (October 15, 1997). "Spies Just Wouldn't Come In From Cold War, F.B.I. Says". The New York Times. 
  100. ^ Grann, David (April 19, 1999), "The Stasi and the swan", The New Republic 
  101. ^ Jim Stingl: Accused recalled for activist fervor, in: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 7. October 1997.
  102. ^ Janofsky, Jeffrey (2001). "Reply to Schafer: Exploitation of criminal suspects by mental health professionals is unethical" (PDF). Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and Law 29: 449–451. 
  103. ^ Koocher, Gerald P. (2009). "Ethics and the invisible psychologist" (PDF). Psychological Services 6 (2). pp. 97–106. 
  104. ^ Ewing, Charles Patrick, and Michael G. Gelles. "Ethical concerns in forensic consultation regarding national safety and security." Journal of Threat Assessment 2, no. 3 (2003): 95-107.
  105. ^ Lind, Michael (7 April 2003). "The weird men behind George W. Bush's war". New Statesman (London). 
  106. ^  
  107. ^ Wald, Alan M. (1987). The New York intellectuals: The rise and decline of the anti-Stalinist left from the 1930s to the 1980s'. University of North Carolina Press.  
  108. ^ King, William (2004). "'"Neoconservatives and 'Trotskyism. American Communist History (Taylor and Francis) 3 (2): 247–266.  

    King, Bill (March 22, 2004). "Neoconservatives and Trotskyism". Enter Stage Right: Politics, Culture, Economics (3): 1 2.  

  109. ^ Muravchik (2006). Addressing the allegation that SDUSUA was a "Trotskyist" organization, Muravchik wrote that in the early 1960s, two future members of SDUSA, Tom Kahn and Paul Feldman
    "became devotees of a former Trotskyist named Max Shachtman—a fact that today has taken on a life of its own. Tracing forward in lineage through me and a few other ex-YPSL’s [members of the Young Peoples Socialist League] turned neoconservatives, this happenstance has fueled the accusation that neoconservatism itself, and through it the foreign policy of the Bush administration, are somehow rooted in 'Trotskyism.' I am more inclined to laugh than to cry over this, but since the myth has traveled so far, let me briefly try once more, as I have done at greater length in the past, to set the record straight.[See "The Neoconservative Cabal," Commentary, September 2003] The alleged connective chain is broken at every link. The falsity of its more recent elements is readily ascertainable by anyone who cares for the truth—namely, that George Bush was never a neoconservative and that most neoconservatives were never YPSL’s. The earlier connections are more obscure but no less false. Although Shachtman was one of the elder statesmen who occasionally made stirring speeches to us, no YPSL of my generation was a Shachtmanite. What is more, our mentors, Paul and Tom, had come under Shachtman’s sway years after he himself had ceased to be a Trotskyite.
  110. ^ source=bl&ots=5NMPxj724A&sig=WrBshPEdgxf7szW7Ac4J3aQoJvU&hl=en&sa=X&ei=OMUAVbPTO-TLsASuhYHACw&ved=0CDIQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=shachtman%2C%20realignment&f=false Martin Duberman, A Saving Remnant: The Radical Lives of Barbara Deming and David McReynolds (The New Press, 2013)
  111. ^ Maurice Isserman, The Other American: The Life Of Michael Harrington (Public Affairs, 2001), p.290-304
  112. ^ Richard D. Kahlenberg, Tough Liberal: Albert Shanker and the Battles Over Schools, Unions, Race and Democracy (Columbia University Press, 2013), p. 357
  113. ^ In 1982 Harrington's Democratic Socialists of America.
    • John Haer, "Reviving Socialism," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 1, 1982. Retrieved November 9, 2009.
  114. ^ Domber [5], with revision and typeset [6]
  115. ^ Jeane J. Kirkpatrick (1988). Political and moral dimensions. Transaction Publishers. p. 164ff. 
  116. ^ Dylan Matthews, "Meet Bayard Rustin", Aug 28, 2013
  117. ^ a b Justin Vaïsse, Neoconservatism: The Biography of a Movement (Harvard University Press, 2010), p. 27
  118. ^ a b Muravchik, Joshua (8 May 2002). "Joshua Muravchik revisits communism: Where socialism lives on". National Review Online (May 2, 2003 10:45 A.M. ed.) ( 
  119. ^ Muravchik, Manny (2002). Socialism in my life and my life in socialism (html). Private (hosted by Social Democrats, USA). "A Letter to my children, grandchildren and beyond and to my comrades, ex-comrades and anti-comrades gathering on May Day 2002". Retrieved August 14, 2011. 


Prominent members

Convention Location Date Notes and references
2009 Reorganization Convention May 3, 2009
2010 Convention Internet teleconference Sept. 1, 2010
2012 National Convention Buffalo, New York Aug. 26-27, 2012 Keynote speech by Richard Lipsitz, Executive Director of Western New York Labor Federation.
2014 Convention Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Oct 23-24, 2014 Link to video of convention.

After reorganization

Convention Location Date Notes and references
1973 National Conference Hopewell Junction, NY Sept. 21–23, 1973 From registration ad, New America, July 30, 1973, pg. 7.
1974 National Convention New York City Sept. 6–8, 1974 125 delegates, keynote speaker Walter Laqueur. Per NA, Aug. 20, 1974, pg. 8.
1976 National Convention New York City July 17–18, 1976 500 delegates and observers, keynote speaker Sidney Hook. Per NA, Aug.-Sept. 1976, pg. 1.
1978 National Convention New York City Sept. 8–10, 1978 Introductory report by Carl Gershman. Per NA, Oct. 1978, pg. 1.
1980 National Convention New York City Nov. 21–23, 1980 Per NA, Dec. 1980, pg. 1.
1982 National Convention Washington, DC Dec. 3–5, 1982 Keynote speech by Albert Shanker. Dates per NA, Oct. 1982, pg. 8.
1985 National Convention Washington, DC June 14–16, 1985 Keynote speech by Alfonso Robelo. Per NA, Nov.-Dec. 1985, pg. 6.
1987 National Convention
1990 National Convention
1994 National Convention


Among Joshua Muravchick's SDUSA citics was his own father, Emanuel Muravchik (a Norman Thomas Socialist);[21][118][119] his mother was too upset with Joshua's Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism to attend the discussion.[118] On the other hand, Joshua Muravchik was called a "second-generation neoconservative" by Vaisse.[117]

"Rachelle Horowitz, another Social Democrats, USA, luminary and an event organizer, called Muravchik’s comments “profoundly disturbing” — both his use of “us and them” rhetoric and the term “evil.” The existence of evil in the world was something Horowitz was happy to concede, she said from the floor. But it was a word incapable of clear political definition and thus a producer of muddle rather than clarity, zeal rather than political action. Then Herf jumped in with similar criticisms. And then Berman. And Ibrahim. And before long, more or less everyone else in the room. There was still something, it seemed, that separated them from the neocons who hovered over the proceedings both as opponents and inspirations. Muravchik wanted to pull them somewhere most of the attendees — and organizers — were unwilling to go."[22]

Joshua Muravchik has identified himself as a neoconservative,[19] When Muravhchik appeared at the 2003 SDUSA conference, he was criticized by SDUSA members:[21][22]

Former member Joshua Muravchik

Some of SDUSA's former members have been called neoconservatives.[116] Justin Vaisse listed five SDUSA associates as "second-generation neoconservatives" and "so-called Shachtmanites", including "Penn Kemble, Joshua Muravchik, ..., and Bayard Rustin".[117] Throughout his life, Penn Kemble called himself a social-democrat and objected to being called a neoconservative.[17] Kemble and Joshua Muravchik were never followers of Max Shachtman; on the contrary, Kemble was recruited by a non-Shachtmanite professor, according to Muravchik, who wrote, "Although Shachtman was one of the elder statesmen who occasionally made stirring speeches to us, no YPSL [Young People's Socialist League] of my generation was a Shachtmanite".[20] Besides objecting to being called a "neoconservative", Kemble "sharply criticized the Bush administration's approach on [Iraq]. 'The distinction between liberation and democratization, which requires a strategy and instruments, was an idea never understood by the administration,' he told the New Republic", wrote the Washington Post in Kemble's obituary.[17]

SUDSA members supported the independent labor-union of Poland, Solidarity. The organizer of the AFL-CIO's support for Solidarity, SDUSA's Tom Kahn, criticized Jeane Kirkpatrick's Dictatorship and Double Standards, arguing that democracy be promoted even in the countries dominated by Soviet communism.[13] In 1981 leading Social Democrats and some moderate Republicans wanted to use economic aid to Poland as leverage to expand the freedom of association in 1981, whereas Casper Weinberger and neoconservative Jeane Kirkpatrick preferred to force the Communist government of Poland to default on its international payments and so lose credibility;[114] Kahn argued for his position in a 1981 debate with neoconservative Norman Podhoretz, who like Kirkpatrick and Weinberger opposed all credits.[11][12] In 1982 Kirkpatrick called similarly for Western assistance to Poland to be used to help Solidarity.[115]

Some SDUSA members have been called right-wing social-democrats,[5] a taunt according to Wattenberg.[6]

Alleged conservatism or neoconservatism

Harrington and Tom Kahn had been associated with Max Shachtman, a Marxist theorist, who had broken with Trotsky,[109] because of his criticism of the Soviet Union as being a totalitarian class-society after having supported Trotsky in the 1930s.[110][111] Although Max Schachtman died in 1972 before the Socialist Party was renamed as SDUSA, Shachtman's ideas continued to influence the Albert Shanker and The American Federation of Teachers, which was often associated with SDUSA members. Decades later, conflicts in the AFL-CIO were roughly split along the lines of the conflict between the "Shachtmanite Social Democrats and the Harringtonite Democratic Socialists of America, with the Social Democrats supporting Kirkland and Donahue and the Democratic Socialists supporting Sweeney",[112] in 1995.[113]

[108]).neoconservatism opponents of conservative (paleoconservatives SDUSA and allegations that "Trotskyists" subverted Bush's foreign policy have been mentioned by "self-styled" [107]".the New York intellectuals who had discussed Trotskyism in his history of "[106] Lind's "amalgamation of the defense intellectuals with the traditions and theories of 'the largely Jewish-American Trotskyist movement' [in Lind's words]" was criticized in 2003 by University of Michigan professor Alan M. Wald,[105]), who wrote that the Massing (1987 SDUSA leaders have served in the administrations of US presidents since the 1980; the service of some members in Republican administrations has been associated with controversy. SDUSA members like Gershman were called "State Department socialists" by

Max Shachtman and alleged Trotskyism

Michael Harrington charged that its "obsessive anti-Communism" rendered SDUSA politically conservative.[95] In contrast, Harrington's DSOC and DSA criticized Communism but opposed many defense-and-diplomatic policies against the Soviet Union and its Eastern Bloc. Harrington voiced admiration for German Chancellor Willy Brandt's Ostpolitik, which sought to reduce Western distrust of and hostility towards the Eastern Bloc and so entice the USSR reciprocally to reduce its aggressive military posture.[96][97] A member of DSA's National Committee, Kurt Stand, was convicted of spying on behalf of the East German secret-police (Stasi) for 20 years.[40][98][99][100][101][102][103][104]



Two additional conventions took place since the 2009 reformation, an internet teleconference on September 1, 2010 featuring presentations by guest speakers Herb Engstrom of the California Democratic Party Executive Committee, and Roger Clayman, Executive Director of the Long Island Labor Federation;[93] and a convention held August 26–27, 2012 in Buffalo, New York with a keynote address delivered by Richard Lipsitz, Executive Director of Western New York Labor Federation.[94]

Owing to factional disagreements, a group based in Johnstown, Pennsylvania and the newly elected NEC parted company, with the former styling itself as the "Social Democrats USA — Socialist Party, USA"[91] and the latter as "Social Democrats, USA."[92]

Following several years of inactivity, an attempt was subsequently made to revive Social Democrats, USA. In 2008, a group centered around Pennsylvania members of SDUSA emerged, determined to re-launch the organization.[89] A re-founding convention of the Social Democrats, USA was held May 3, 2009, at which a National Executive Committee was elected.[90]

[88] editor Notesonline Following the death of the organization's

Hiatus and re-foundation

Carl Gershman was the Executive Director of the SDUSA[50] from 1975 to 1980.[82] After having served as the U.S. Representative to the U.N.'s Committee on human rights during the first Reagan Administration,[83][84] Carl Gershman has served as the President of the National Endowment for Democracy.[85] After the Polish people overthrew communism, their elected government awarded the Order of the Knight's Cross to Carl Gershman[85] and (posthumously) the Order of the White Eagle to AFL-CIO President Lane Kirkland.[86]

Carl Gershman

In 2001, Kemble was appointed to the Sidney Hook, the late pragmatic philosopher and SDUSA spokesperson; Carl Gershman took over the leadership of the conference after Kemble's cancer made it impossible for him to continue.

He supported the Bill Clinton's campaign for the Presidency. During the Presidency of Bill Clinton, Kemble served first in 1993 as the Deputy Director and then in 1999 as Acting Director of the U.S. Information Agency.[17][80] He was also made a special representative of Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright to the Community of Democracies Initiative.[81]

[80][17].Central America and related groups in Sandinistas (PRODEMCA), which opposed the Committee for Democracy in Central America. From 1981 until 1988 Kemble was the President of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, Kemble helped found the National Council of Churches politics in the US Peace Movement and in the Marxist-Leninist and of sympathizers of Communist Party USA He remained with Moynihan until 1979. Concerned about the direct and indirect role of the [17].Daniel Patrick Moynihan Kemble was Executive Director of CDM from 1972–76, at which time he left to become a special assistant and speechwriter for Senator [80] In 1972, Kemble was a founder the

Richard Penn Kemble (January 21, 1941 — October 15, 2005), commonly known as "Penn," was an American blockade of the Triborough Bridge during rush hour, to raise consciousness among suburbanites of the lives of Harlem residents.[17] Kemble was a founder of Negotiation Now!, a group which called for an end to the bombing of North Vietnam and a negotiated settlement of the Vietnam War.[17] He was opposed to a unilateral withdrawal of U.S forces from Vietnam.

Penn Kemble

For the Social Democrat, democracy is not merely a political concept but a moral one. It is democracy as a way of life. What is "democracy as a way of life." It is a society whose basic institutions are animated by an equality of concern for all human beings, regardless of class, race, sex, religion, and national origin, to develop themselves as persons to their fullest growth, to be free to live up to their desirable potentials as human beings. It is possible for human beings to be politically equal as voters but yet so unequal in educational, economic, and social opportunities, that ultimately even the nature of their political equality is affected.

When it comes to the principled defense of freedom, and to opposition to all forms of totalitarianism, let it be said that to its eternal credit, the organized labor movement in the United States, in contradiction to all other sectors of American life, especially in industry, the academy and the churches, has never faltered, or trimmed its sails. Its dedication to the ideals of a free society has been unsullied. Its leaders have never been Munich-men of the spirit.

I want to conclude with a few remarks about the domestic scene and the role of Social Democrats, U.S.A. in it. We are not a political party with our own candidates. We are not alone in our specific programs for more employment, more insurance, more welfare, less discrimination, less bureaucratic inefficiency. Our spiritual task should be to relate these programs and demands to the underlying philosophy of democracy, to express and defend those larger moral ideals that should inform, programs for which we wish to develop popular support.

We are few in number and limited in influence. So was the Fabian Society of Great Britain. But in time it reeducated a great political party and much of the nation. We must try to do the same.

Hook gave the keynote speech to the July 17–18, 1976 convention of SDUSA.[48]

Sidney Hook (December 20, 1902 – July 12, 1989) was an American pragmatic philosopher known for his contributions to public debates. A student of John Dewey, Hook continued to examine the philosophy of history, of education, politics, and of ethics. He was known for his criticisms of totalitarianism and (fascism. A pragmatic social democrat, Hook sometimes cooperated with conservatives, particularly in opposing communism. After WWII, he argued that members of conspiracies, like the Communist Party USA and other Leninist conspiracies, ethically could be barred from holding offices of public trust.[79]

Picture of Sidney Hook
Philosopher Sidney Hook gave the keynote speech to the second convention of SDUSA.[48]

Sidney Hook

Sandra Feldman died in 2005 at the age 65.[75][76]

In May 1997, Feldman was elected to the AFL-CIO executive council and appointed to the executive council's executive committee. During her tenure at the head of the AFT, Feldman also served as a vice president of Education International and was a board member of the International Rescue Committee and Freedom House.[75]

After Shanker died in February 1997, Feldman won election as the AFT's president in July 1998, becoming the union's first female president since 1930. Feldman re-emphasized the AFT's commitment to educational issues. She also renewed the union's focus on organizing: During her tenure, the AFT grew by more than 160,000 new members (about 17 percent). With Feldman as President, in 2002, AFT delegates approved a four-point plan: 1) building a "culture of organizing" throughout the union, 2) enhancing the union's political advocacy efforts, 3) engaging in a series of publicity, legislative, funding and political campaigns to strengthen the institutions in which AFT members work, and 4) recommitting the AFT to fostering democratic education and human rights at home and abroad. Feldman moved quickly to ensure that the plan was implemented.[75]

Feldman had been elected an AFT vice president in 1974,[78] serving on the national union's executive council and the executive council's executive committee.[75]

American Federation of Teachers (AFT)

She was instrumental in helping David Dinkins win election as mayor of New York in 1989 by using union members and resources to build a winning electoral coalition of black and white voters.[76] But once mayor, Dinkins stalled on signing a new contract with the teachers' union. Feldman rarely criticized Dinkins publicly for his actions, but she kept the UFT out of Dinkins' 1993 re-election. Dinkins lost in a tight race to Rudy Giuliani.[75]

Feldman was known for being a quiet but very effective leader of the UFT. She fought school system chancellors and mayors both, winning significantly higher wages and benefits as well as improved working conditions for her members. She lobbied so fiercely for Bernard Gifford as New York City schools chancellor that Robert F. Wagner, Jr., President of the New York City Board of Education, threatened to resign unless Feldman backed off and he was given a free hand.[75][76]

UFT President after Shanker

Shanker was elected president of the AFT in 1974, but retained his post as president of the UFT. In 1986, Shanker retired as UFT president, and Feldman was elected president.[75][76]

A protracted fight erupted between those in the community who supported the Ocean Hill-Brownsville board and those supported the UFT. Many supporters of the local school board resorted to racial invective. Shanker was branded a racist, and many African-Americans accused the UFT of being "Jewish-dominated". Feldman was often at the center of the strike.[77] The UFT emerged from the crisis more powerful than ever, and Feldman's hard work, good political judgment and calm demeanor won her widespread praise within the union.[75][76]

After just two years on the UFT staff, Feldman played a crucial role in the Ocean Hill-Brownsville strike. The city of New York had designated the Ocean Hill-Brownsville area of Brooklyn as one of three decentralized school districts in an effort to give the minority community more say in school affairs.[76] The crisis began when the Ocean Hill-Brownsville governing board fired 13 teachers for allegedly sabotaging the decentralization experiment. Shanker demanded that specific charges be filed and the teachers given a chance to defend themselves in due process proceedings.[75][76]

In 1966, on the recommendation of Rustin, Shanker—now executive director of the UFT—hired Feldman as a full-time field representative. Over the next nine years, Feldman became the union's executive director and oversaw its staff. She was elected its secretary (the second-most powerful position in the local) in 1983.[75]

United Federation of Teachers (UFT)

Upon graduation from United Federation of Teachers.[75]


She became active in socialist politics and the civil rights movement.[76] When she was 17 years old, she met civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, who became her mentor and close friend. During her early years in the civil rights movement, Feldman worked to integrate Howard Johnson's restaurants in Maryland. She soon became employment committee chairwoman of the Congress of Racial Equality in Harlem. She also participated in several Freedom Rides, and was arrested twice.[75]

Socialist activism

Sandra Feldman (October 13, 1939 – September 18, 2005) was an American civil rights activist, educator and labor leader who served as president of the

Sandra Feldman

Later, the National Endowment for Democracy provided $1.7 million for Solidarity, which was transferred via the AFL-CIO. In both 1988 and 1989, the U.S. Congress allocated $1 million yearly to Solidarity via the AFL-CIO.[73] In total, the AFL-CIO channeled 4 million dollars to Solidarity.[66][74]

Aid through the 1980s

The AFL-CIO's support enraged the Communist regimes of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. Its support worried the Carter Administration, whose Secretary of State Edmund Muskie told Kirkland that the AFL-CIO's continued support of solidarity could trigger a Soviet invasion of Poland.[72][3] After Kirkland refused to withdraw support to Solidarity, Muskie met with the USSR's Ambassador, Anatoly Dobyrnin, to clarify that the AFL-CIO's aid did not have the support of the US government.[3]

Portrait of Lane Kirkland
SDUSA leader Tom Kahn was appointed by Solidarity, the Polish labor union that challenged Communism in 1979.[9]

Criticism of AFL–CIO

The AFL-CIO provided the most aid to Solidarity, but substantial additional aid was provided by Western-European labor unions, including the U. K.‍‍ '​‍s Trades Union Congress and especially the Swedish Trade Union Confederation.[3]

In testimony to the Joint Congressional Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, Kahn suggested policies to support the Polish people, in particular by supporting Solidarity's demand that the Communist regime finally establish legality, by respecting the twenty-one rights guaranteed by the Polish constitution.[71]

' The AFL-CIO will support additional aid to Poland only if it is conditioned on the adherence of the Polish government to the 21 points of the Gdansk Agreement.[68] Only then could we be assured that the Polish workers will be in a position to defend their gains and to struggle for a fair share of the benefits of Western aid.'"[70]
"All this is by way of introducing the AFL–CIO’s position on economic aid to Poland. In formulating this position, our first concern was to consult our friends in Solidarity .... We did consult with them ... and their views are reflected in the statement unanimously adopted by the AFL–CIO Executive Council.:
"Solidarity made its needs known,[68] with courage, with clarity, and publicly. As you know, the AFL-CIO responded by establishing a fund for the purchase of equipment requested by Solidarity[68] and we have raised about a quarter of a million dollars for that fund.

This effort has elicited from the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, and Bulgaria the most massive and vicious propaganda assault on the AFL–CIO ... in many, many years. The ominous tone of the most recent attacks leaves no doubt that if the Soviet Union invades, it shall cite the aid of the AFL-CIO as evidence of outside anti-Socialist intervention[68] aimed at overthrowing the Polish state. [69]

The AFL–CIO sought approval in advance from Solidarity's leadership, to avoid jeopardizing their position with unwanted or surprising American help.[9][11][55] On September 12, Lech Walesa welcomed international donations with this statement: "Help can never be politically embarrassing. That of the AFL-CIO, for example. We are grateful to them. It was a very good thing that they helped us. Whenever we can, we will help them, too."[67] Kahn explained the AFL–CIO position in a 1981 debate:

Kahn was deeply involved with supporting the Polish labor movement.[9] The trade union twenty-one demands of the Gdansk workers, by lobbying to stop further U.S. loans to Poland unless those demands were met. Materially, the AFL-CIO established the Polish Workers Aid Fund, which raised almost $300,000 by 1981.[9] These funds purchased printing presses, and office supplies. The AFL-CIO donated typewriters, duplicating machines, a minibus, an offset press, and other supplies requested by Solidarity.[66][9]

When he became an assistant to the President of the AFL-CIO from 1972–1986, Kahn developed an expertise in international affairs.

The Polish labor-union's demand for legality were supported by Tom Kahn, who testified on behalf of the AFL-CIO to the US Congress.[9][11] The picture displays the 21 demands of Solidarity.

Support of Solidarity, the Polish union

[55] Kahn's role in the civil rights movement was discussed in the eulogy by Rachelle Horowitz.[65][64] speech.I have a dream delivered his Martin Luther King, Jr., at which 1963 March on Washington to plan the A. Philip Randolph, Kahn and Norman Hill helped Rustin and Howard University As a white student at historically black [63] Kahn helped

Civil rights

Tom Kahn was a leader of SDUSA, who made notable contributions to the Civil Rights movement and to the labor movement.

Tom Kahn

[62] In 1967, Hill became active in the

From 1964 to 1967, Norman Hill served as the Legislative Representative and Civil Rights Liaison of the Industrial Union department of the AFL-CIO. He was involved in the issue of raising minimum wage and the labor delegation on the Selma to Montgomery marches against racial discrimination in politics and voting in the southern United States.

Graduating in 1956, he was one of the first African-Americans to graduate from desegregation of restaurants, the Waldorf campaign, and illustrated the civil rights demonstration that took place at the 1964 Republican National Convention.

Norman Hill (born April 22, 1933 in Summit, New Jersey[61]) is an influential African-American administrator, activist and labor leader.

Norman Hill

Rustin also helped to write a report on peaceful means to end Apartheid (racial segregation) in South Africa.[60]

Today, blacks are no longer the litmus paper or the barometer of social change. Blacks are in every segment of society and there are laws that help to protect them from racial discrimination. The new "niggers" are gays.... It is in this sense that gay people are the new barometer for social change.... The question of social change should be framed with the most vulnerable group in mind: gay people.[59]

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Rustin worked as a human rights and election monitor for Freedom House. He also testified on behalf of New York State's Gay Rights Bill. In 1986, he gave a speech "The new 'niggers' are gays," in which he asserted,

Human rights, especially ending discrimination against gays

On the political side of the labor movement, Rustin increased his visibility as a leader of the American social democracy. He was a founding National Co-Chairman of Social Democrats, USA.[1][28]

He was the founder and became the Director of the A. Philip Randolph Institute, which coordinated the AFL-CIO's work on civil rights and economic justice. He became a regular columnist for the AFL-CIO newspaper.

Rustin increasingly worked to strengthen the labor movement, which he saw as the champion of empowerment for the African American community and for economic justice for all Americans. He contributed to the labor movement's two sides, economic and political, through support of labor unions and social-democratic politics.

Labor movement: unions and social democracy

[58] Wilson documented an increase in inequality within the Black community, following educated Blacks moving into white suburbs and following the decrease of demand for low-skill labor, as industry declined in the Northern USA. Such economic problems were not being addressed by a civil rights leadership focused on "[57] Rustin's analysis was supported by the later research by William Julius Wilson.

Influence on William Julius Wilson

Rustin wrote that "Black power" repeated the moral errors of previous black nationalists, while alienating the white allies needed by the Negro community.[33]

"Wearing my hair Afro style, calling myself an Afro-American, and eating all the chitterlings I can find are not going to affect Congress."[57]

A particular danger facing the Negro community was the chimera of identity politics, particularly the rise of "Black power", for which Rustin expressed contempt:

[32] After passage of the 1964

From protest to politics

Rustin and Randolph organized the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963. On September 6, 1963 Rustin and Randolph appeared on the cover of Life magazine as "the leaders" of the March.[54]

Rustin had had a long association with A. Philip Randolph and with pacifist movements. In 1956 Rustin advised Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).

Bayard Rustin was National Chairman of SDUSA. He also was President of the A. Philip Randolph Institute.[50][51]

Rustin, 1965

Bayard Rustin

In 1947, Randolph, along with colleague Bayard Rustin and his younger associates. At this march, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech. Soon aferwords, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed.

In 1942, an estimated 18,000 blacks gathered at Madison Square Garden to hear Randolph kick off a campaign against discrimination in the military, in war industries, in government agencies, and in labor unions.  Following the act, during the Philadelphia Transit Strike of 1944, the government backed African-American workers' striking to gain positions formerly limited to white employees.

A. Philip Randolph came to national attention as the leader of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. Randolph proposed a march on Washington to protest racial discrimination in the armed forces. Meeting with President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the Oval Office, Randolph respectfully, politely, but firmly told President Roosevelt that Negroes would march in the capital unless desegregation would occur. The planned march was canceled after President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8802 (the Fair Employment Act), which banned discrimination in defense industries and federal agencies.

The long-time leader and intellectual architect of the civil rights movement, A. Philip Randolph was also a visible member of the Socialist Party of Norman Thomas. He remained with the organization when it changed its name to SDUSA. Along with ILGWU President David Dubinsky, Randolph was honored at the 1976 SDUSA convention.[48]

Picture of A. Philip Randolph.
A. Philip Randolph was a visible member of the Socialist Party of Norman Thomas and then of Social Democrats, USA.

A. Philip Randolph

"ingeniously trying to bury the Soviet Union in a blizzard of letterheads. It seemed that each of Tom's colleagues—Penn Kemble, Carl Gershman, Josh Muravchik and many more—ran a little organization, each with the same interlocking directorate listed on the stationery. Funny thing: The Letterhead Lieutenants did indeed churn up a blizzard, and the Soviet Union is no more. I never did quite get all the organizational acronyms straight—YPSL, LID, SP, SDA, ISL—but the key words were "democratic", "labor", "young" and, until events redefined it away from their understanding, "socialist". Ultimately, the umbrella group became "Social Democrats, U.S.A", and Tom Kahn was a principal "theoretician". They talked and wrote endlessly, mostly about communism and democracy, despising the former, adoring the latter. It is easy today to say "anti-communist" and "pro-democracy" in the same breath. But that is because American foreign policy eventually became just such a mixture, thanks in part to those "Yipsels" (Young People's Socialist League), with Tom Kahn as provocateur-at-large. On the conservative side, foreign policy used to be anti-communist, but not very pro-democracy. And foreign policy liberal-style might be piously pro-democracy, but nervous about being anti-communist. Tom theorized that to be either, you had to be both. It was tough for labor-liberal intellectuals to be "anti-communist" in the 1970s. It meant being taunted as "Cold Warriors" who saw "Commies under every bed" and being labeled as—the unkindest cut—"right-wingers".[6]

Writing after the death of letterhead organizations; according to him, SDUSA members seemed to be

Small organizations associated with the Debs–Thomas Socialist Party have served as schools for the leadership of social-movement organizations, including the civil-rights movement and the sixties radicalism. These organizations are now chiefly remembered because of their members' leadership of large organizations that directly influenced USA and international politics.[45][46] After 1960 the Party also functioned "as an educational organization" and "a caucus of policy advocates on the left wing of the Democratic Party".[47] Similarly, SDUSA was known mainly because of the activities of its members, many of whom publicly identified themselves as members of SDUSA. Members of SDUSA have served as officers for governmental, private, and not-for-profit organizations. Sidney Hook was a public intellectual.

Member activities

Dues in Social Democrats, USA were paid annually in advance, with members receiving a copy of the organization's official organ, the tabloid-sized newspaper New America. The dues rate was $25 per year in 1983.[44]

[43] Early in 1980 long-time National Director

The organization also attempted to exert influence through endorsements of Presidential candidates. The group's 1976 National Convention, held in New York City, formally endorsed the Democratic ticket of Edward Kennedy; SDUSA chose not to hold its biannual convention until after the termination of the fall campaign. The election of conservative Ronald Reagan was chalked up to the failure of the Democrats to "appeal to their traditional working class constituency."[42]

SDUSA issued statements supporting labor unions and workers' interests at home and overseas. It supported the existence of (Solidarity), the independent labor-union of PolandSolidarnosc.[40]

SDUSA was governed by biannual conventions which invited the participation of interested observers. These gatherings featured discussions and debates over proposed resolutions, some of which were adopted as organizational statements. The group frequently made use of outside speakers at these events: Non-SDUSA intellectuals ranged from neoconservatives like Jeane Kirkpatrick on the right to democratic socialists like Paul Berman on the left; similarly, a range of academic, political, and labor-union leaders were invited. These meetings also functioned as reunions for political activists and intellectuals, some of whom worked together for decades.[21] SDUSA also published a newsletter and occasional position papers.

Organizational activities

In foreign policy, most of the founding SDUSA leadership called for an immediate cessation of the McGovern for his failure to support such assistance.[36][37]

SDUSA documents had similar criticisms of the agendas advanced by middle-class activists increasing their role in the Democratic Party. SDUSA members stated concerns about an exaggerated role of "middle-class" Presidential candidacy was viewed as an ongoing disaster for the Democratic Party and for the USA.[1][2] In electoral politics, SDUSA aimed to transform the Democratic Party into a social democratic party.[28]

[33], while alienating the white allies needed by the Black nationalists" which Rustin dismissed as a fantasy of middle-class African-Americans that repeated the political and moral errors of previous Black power, particularly the rise of "identity politics A particular danger facing the Black community was the chimera of [32] In domestic politics, the SDUSA leadership emphasized the role of the

In the 1972 Congressional Election, the majority of Americans voted for Democratic Congressmen. This map shows the House seats by party holding plurality in state
  80.1–100% Republican
  80.1–100% Democratic
  60.1–80% Republican
  60.1–80% Democratic
  up to 60% Republican
  up to 60% Democratic
Map of the United States, showing Nixon's victories in 49 states (red) over McGovern.
SDUSA opposed the politics of George McGovern, whose 1972 Presidential Campaign lost 49 of 50 states to Richard Nixon.

Early years

. U.S. socialist movement The changing of the name of the Socialist Party of America to SDUSA and the 1973 formation of DSOC and the SPUSA represented a split in the [31].Socialist Party USA Many members of the Debs caucus resigned from SDUSA, and some of them formed the [30] Changing the name of the Socialist Party to "Social Democrats USA" was intended to be "realistic": the intention was to respond to the end of the running of actual Socialist Party candidates for office, to respond to the confusions of Americans. [1] The Party changed its name to "Social Democrats, USA" by a vote of 73 to 34.

In its 1972 Convention, the [1]

By the early 1970s,the Socialist Party was publicly associated with [23]

Snapshot of Charles S. Zimmerman
ILGWU officer Charles S. Zimmerman (pictured) and Bayard Rustin were the Co-Chairmen of the Socialist Party when it changed its name to Social Democrats, USA in 1972.

Formerly the Socialist Party of America


  • Formerly the Socialist Party of America 1
  • Early years 2
  • Organizational activities 3
  • Member activities 4
    • A. Philip Randolph 4.1
    • Bayard Rustin 4.2
      • From protest to politics 4.2.1
        • Influence on William Julius Wilson
      • Labor movement: unions and social democracy 4.2.2
      • Human rights, especially ending discrimination against gays 4.2.3
    • Norman Hill 4.3
    • Tom Kahn 4.4
      • Civil rights 4.4.1
      • Support of Solidarity, the Polish union 4.4.2
        • Criticism of AFL–CIO
        • Aid through the 1980s
    • Sandra Feldman 4.5
      • Socialist activism 4.5.1
      • Teaching 4.5.2
      • United Federation of Teachers (UFT) 4.5.3
      • UFT President after Shanker 4.5.4
      • American Federation of Teachers (AFT) 4.5.5
    • Sidney Hook 4.6
    • Penn Kemble 4.7
    • Carl Gershman 4.8
  • Hiatus and re-foundation 5
  • Controversies 6
    • Anti-Communism 6.1
    • Max Shachtman and alleged Trotskyism 6.2
    • Alleged conservatism or neoconservatism 6.3
      • Former member Joshua Muravchik 6.3.1
  • Conventions 7
    • After reorganization 7.1
  • Prominent members 8
  • Notes 9
  • References 10
  • Publications 11
  • Further reading 12
  • External links 13

SDUSA leaders Penn Kemble and Bayard Rustin and former SDUSA-member Joshua Muravchik were called "second-generation neoconservatives" by Justin Vaisse.[5] These leaders, along with Kahn, Horowitz and Gersham, are also regarded as Shachtmanites by most other scholars.[14][15][16] SDUSA leader Penn Kemble rejected the neoconservative label and called himself a social democrat (even while dying in 2005).[17] Muravchik (the 1973 youth-leader),[18] disputed the Shachtmanite label for his generation and has called himself a neoconservative,[19] to the disappointment of his SDUSA associates who continue to identify with social democracy and to disagree with neoconservatism.[20][21][22]

Some members of SDUSA have been called "right-wing social-democrats",[5] a taunt according to Ben Wattenberg.[6] SUDSA members supported the free labor-union of Poland, Solidarity (Solidarność), with Tom Kahn working for AFL-CIO and later Carl Gershman working for the National Endowment for Democracy.[7][8][9][10] Their support of Solidarity was criticized by the Carter Administration, the Soviet Union, and other supporters of Détente. SDUSA members (like the AFL-CIO and at Solidarity's request) supported using economic aid to Poland's Communist government as a bargaining chip to help Solidarity, while neoconservatives and "hard-line" conservatives opposed such aid in 1981.[11][12][13]

. U.S. socialist movement The 1972 changing of the name of the Socialist Party of America to SDUSA and the 1973 formation of DSOC represented a split in the [4][2] SDUSA's politics were criticized by former Socialist-Party Chairman

SDUSA's organizational activities included sponsoring discussions and issuing position papers. SDUSA included AFL-CIO's support of Poland's Solidarity, an independent labor-union that challenged Communism.[3] Penn Kemble and Carl Gershman cooperated with Republican and Democratic administrations on democracy promotion, beginning with the Reagan administration. Other members included the philosopher Sidney Hook. SDUSA ceased operations in 2005, following the death of Penn Kemble. In 2008–2009 two small organizations emerged, each proclaiming itself to be the successor to SDUSA.

SDUSA's electoral strategy ("realignment") intended to organize labor unions, civil rights organizations, and other constituencies into a coalition that would transform the 1972 election, when Americans voted for a Democratic House of Representatives in the House elections. While SDUSA had endorsed McGovern, it had adopted resolutions criticizing the New Politics for having made criticisms of labor unions and working-class Americans and for its advocacy of an immediate and unconditional U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam.

SDUSA's members had been active in the March on Washington, during which Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his I Have a Dream speech. Under the leadership of Randolph and Bayard Rustin, SDUSA championed Rustin's emphasis on economic inequality as the most important issue facing African-Americans after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. SDUSA's efforts to reduce economic inequality led to a focus on labor unions and economic policy, and SDUSA members were active in the AFL–CIO confederation as well as in individual unions, especially the American Federation of Teachers.

(or both). neoconservatives Democrats or "Scoop" Jackson, and such members have been called Coalition for a Democratic Majority SDUSA members opposed McGovern's politics; a few of them helped to start the [2]

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