Editorial Note: Cruel Summer

Things seemed to be looking up in July. Positive economic reports spurred President Joe Biden to declare “The last time the economy grew at this rate was in 1984 and Ronald Reagan was telling us ‘it’s morning in America.’ Well, it’s getting close to afternoon here, the sun is coming out.” Since that optimistic press conference, a confluence of clouds have darkened the horizon. The Delta coronavirus variant is tearing through huge swathes of the country and the world, leading to a new wave of deaths, public health restrictions, and uncertainty. In August, the Biden administration pulled US forces out of Afghanistan after 20 years of occupation, which almost immediately resulted in the government’s collapse in the face of the Taliban’s lightning offensive. The world watched slack-jawed as scenes of chaos unfolded at the Kabul airport, a dire situation that only underscored how the US military had, for years, operated in the country with no real plan to bring Afghanistan’s decades-long cycle of war to an end. All of this has occurred during a summer of extreme weather events that have cost lives, homes, and livelihoods around the world, showing us beyond the shadow of a doubt that the climate crisis is well and truly here.

Considering the circumstances, it is very tempting to slip into a state of despair. As democratic socialists in the United States, however, we do not have that luxury. Our responsibilities as residents of the world’s leading power are enormous, and require a level of seriousness, commitment, and dedication that our still-young movement is still striving to achieve. As DSA turns from our recent national convention to the next two years of our work together, it is time to prioritize the need for solidarity in action.

This issue of Socialist Forum includes reflections on the recent national convention, critical considerations of the “international question” in DSA, analysis of the political terrain facing the US Left after the Bernie Sanders campaigns, and much more. As always, we invite readers to submit responses to any of these articles to our inbox: socialistforum [at] dsausa.org.