The basics of the left

This page is the outline of my project to explain the basic ideas of the left.

To keep this project as approachable as possible, I've had to take certain liberties. For example, I've defined communism and socialism and separate, though related ideas. Many would disagree with this  classification, but I've defined them in this way because it is the clearest way to explain the left's ideas to someone without prior knowledge. Some on the left might disagree with the labels--but not the concepts.

Furthermore, Bernie Sanders' definition of socialism (decommodification of labor) is the definition of socialism I work with here. Since many have been introduced to socialism through Sanders, this classification makes the most sense to present basic ideas.

Feel free to read these in the order that is most interesting to you. If something builds on the knowledge of a another page, it will clearly link back accordingly.

Full Employment
  • A brief history of postwar era full employment
  • Economics is class warfare (and they started it)
  • Why isn't social democracy enough? Why must capitalism be abolished?

Why Left?
  • The left is about happiness
  • The real world? There is no such thing. The real world is what we make it.
  • The low road to morality

Communism vs Capitalism

The Free Market
  • Free markets are not efficient
    • Free markets are not efficient not in theory
    • The success of centrally planned economies
    • Free markets are not efficient not in simulation
    • Free markets are not efficient in the real world
    • The failure of the transition to free markets 
  • The free market in time of famine
  • Socializing capital markets

Socialism vs. Capitalism

How to end capitalism
  • The Republicans are right: Obamacare really is the first step on the slippery slope to Marxism (or: On the Rahm Emmanuel theory of social change)
  • Stop waiting for the next Martin Luther King and start organizing 
  • Also: stop marching
  • The revolution will be very complicated
  • What will our postcapitalist world look like?