New Kentucky sat with Arnold Farr, a socialist who ran for Fayette County School Board in 2020, and Kristin Pack, a leader in Lexington DSA’s electoral work. Arnold lost the race this time around but his organization remains intact and he is going to fight another day. We tried to find out from these grassroots leaders of our movement what socialists can learn from Arnold’s run for office.
The late left-wing, Chilean author Roberto Bolaño's novella By Night in Chile has a longer rejoinder to the memes about what a fascist is. Father Urrutia is on his deathbed and for the most part recounts a life of thwarted literary ambitions, religious devotion, and rubbing shoulders with the powerful. It is hard to get around the conclusion that he has participated in something both banal and monstrous.
I joined DSA shortly after the 2020 Uprisings began. I was a self-proclaimed progressive, a SUPER baby socialist, and I knew that I wanted to join the fight for Black lives in the most effective ways possible. To me, the clearest course of action in 2020 was to radicalize and to organize... if you hadn't already.
After a day of marching, chanting, and booing at electeds as they skulked from chamber, we were met on the pavilion by DSA members bearing hamburgers and fries from Cookout. I knew DSA as good folks, but to see them suffer the punishing March winds in the most cursed city in all of the state to feed fast food to pissed-off teachers swelled my heart.
The 2020 presidential election was a contest between the two Janus-like faces of American capitalism. On the one side was the angry, raging face of new right populism fueled by the money of extractive industries, state and local banks, hard industry, and Chambers of Commerce. On the other side was Joe Biden.