Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Tag: Leftism

Can We Fix Those Media Bias Charts?

Have you seen those charts that try to sort media outlets by political orientation? They have bothered me for years. They tend to use a single left/right scale, and they tend to position the centrist media as if it were “balanced” or “unbiased”. When of course the reality is that the centrist press has its own position, one which is distinct from both the left and the right. So I’ve been thinking–can I make a chart that fixes this? Can we chart political orientation in a useful way?

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How a Petty Tyrant Turned a Functional DSA Branch into a Church

I have another DSA story. If you haven’t heard, the DSA is the Democratic Socialists of America. It’s a left-wing organization that’s been around since 1982, but it’s become politically more significant over the last couple years. Inspired by Bernie Sanders, DSA’s membership has expanded from 6,000 to about 60,000 over the last few years. The DSA is committed to lots of nice things, like a Medicare-for-All Single Payer system. Today I want to tell you the tale of the decline and fall of Pittsburgh DSA. It’s just one branch, but as I continue to write about the DSA and people continue to send me their stories, it’s become increasingly clear that this sort of thing is happening again and again, all over the country.

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How Changing Understandings of Democracy Create New Possibilities for the Left

Yesterday, I gave a short talk for the Platypus Society at Goldsmiths‘ in London about interactions between democracy and leftism. The following post is a transcript of that talk.

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How the Church Left Depoliticizes DSA Branches

I have another DSA story. If you haven’t heard, the DSA is the Democratic Socialists of America. It’s a left-wing organization that’s been around since 1982, but it’s become politically more significant over the last couple years. Inspired by Bernie Sanders, DSA’s membership has expanded from 6,000 to about 60,000 over the last few years. The DSA is committed to lots of nice things, like a Medicare-for-All Single Payer system. I heard a story about a YDSA branch at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. It’s a local story. A small story. But it tells us a lot about the condition of left-wing organizing today.

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I Have a New Podcast Called “What’s Left”

Today I’m happy to announce a new podcast I’m co-hosting with Aimee Terese called “What’s Left. Adam Rensch, co-host of the Stop/Rewind podcast, is the producer. On “What’s Left”, Aimee and I will discuss left-wing politics, including, among other things:

  1. What it means to be left wing today
  2. Whether or not particular ideas or policy proposals are left wing
  3. What kinds of political strategies are likely to be useful to a left wing project in our current circumstances
  4. To what extent we can find useful ideas and strategies for the left in political thought which is not traditionally associated with the left
  5. The theoretical underpinnings of contemporary political events

There are many different places you can listen to the podcast:

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