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Thread by @matthewstoller: "1. Since I'm the liberal that Democratic socialists both love and hate, let me do some history on the origin of modern Democratic socialism. […]"

, 12 tweets, 3 min read
1. Since I'm the liberal that Democratic socialists both love and hate, let me do some history on the origin of modern Democratic socialism. Democratic socialism is in many ways actually just old school Democratic populism.
2. I understand why young people dislike liberalism and Democrats. There's been a total failure of leadership among liberals and Democrats for decades. Why would anyone want to follow liberals or Democrats? I certainly don't. Most Americans don't.
3. Modern liberals and Democrats fell into an intellectual trap in the 1960s. They began to stop seeing concentrated financial power as a political threat, or even as political. Banks and monopolies became like the weather. Maybe a problem, but not a political problem.
4. I wrote about this in 2016, and I'm finishing middle of a book on how this happened. The basic story is that from the 1770s to the 1970s, anti-monopolism - which included unions and social welfare - was understood as the basis of American liberty. theatlantic.com/politics/archi…
5. That article centers around Wright Patman, whose life was dedicated to going after concentrated financial power among big banks and in the Fed. Patman was a straight-up populist, born in Texas soil in 1893. He learned from Brandeis, and Brandeis drew from Jefferson.
6. And guess who picked up Patman's mantle? Ron Paul inverted it with attacks on the Fed. But a key figure today is... Bernie Sanders. Sanders called himself a democratic socialist, but he was carrying around Patman's reports on chain banking and banking power in the 1970s.
7. Sanders worked with Ron Paul to achieve one of Patman's goals in returning the Federal Reserve to democratic accountability, which was an audit of the Federal Reserve. That was a Patman bill, which came from his understanding of how the Fed had been used decades earlier.
8. The call to break up the banks and restore Glass-Steagall is straight-up Patman-Brandeis populism. That was what Bernie ran on in 2016. It is one of the things @Ocasio2018 offered. The basic premise here is who rules? Organized money or organized people.
9. Most of the people who think of themselves as Democratic socialists just don't like Wall Street domination over our culture. That is also the basis of liberalism and populism, it's the classic Jefferson-Hamilton fight (despite the fake version peddled today).
10. America is a nation born of the enlightenment, built on the principle of commerce unencumbered by feudal privilege and aristocracy. What people don't like today is the privilege and aristocracy, not the commerce part. People like farmer's markets, dislike derivatives markets.
11. It is a nation where the definition of who gets access to liberty has always been too circumscribed. We limit citizenship in immoral ways, but the concept of free citizens is a deeply good one. But for decades, the enlightenment itself has been under attack.
12. What DSA is responding to is the immolation of Dems, and they are grasping at the one figure carrying an older better tradition forward clearly: Bernie Sanders. That's the origin story. DSA is part of a radical movement, but it isn't socialism. It's the American Revolution.
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