Quick Takes: Whither the Democratic Socialists of America?

by Ralph Seliger   BACK IN 1982, I witnessed the merger of the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee (DSOC — usually pronounced “dee-sock”) with the New American Movement to form the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). Nearly ten years before, DSOC had split from the Social Democrats USA (SD), itself the main remnant of the old […]

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Heinrich Heine and His Cousin, Karl Marx

by Marty Roth I have since then learned to value them [Jews] better, and, if every kind of pride of birth were not a foolish contradiction in a champion of revolution and democratic principles, the writer of these pages might be proud that his ancestors belonged to the noble House of Israel, that he is […]

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In Defense of Marxism

by Michael Zweig From the Autumn 2017 issue of Jewish Currents To read Sam Friedman’s recent “Why I’m (Still) a Marxist” in Jewish Currents, click here. To read Lawrence Bush’s “Why I’m Not (Still) a Marxist,” click here. To read about Jewish Currents’ communist history, click here.   UNTIL I RETIRED in 2016, I taught an undergraduate course […]

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The Non-Jewish Jew

Isaac Deutscher, biographer of both Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin, was born near Cracow, Poland on this date in 1907. Raised in a khasidic milieu, he was a child prodigy in Torah and Talmud but at the age of 13 he “tested God” by eating treyf food at the grave of a holy man on […]

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January 9: Heine’s Baptism

“I regret very deeply that I had myself baptized,” wrote German poet, memoirist, and essayist Heinrich Heine (1797-1856) on this date in 1826. “I do not see that I have been the better for it since. On the contrary, I have known nothing but misfortunes and mischances.” Famous as a lyric poet (many of whose […]

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August 31: The Socialist Duelist

Ferdinand Lassalle, a German socialist who was familiar with Karl Marx and Heinrich Heine and was also a proponent of Reform Judaism, died at 39 of wounds incurred in a duel on this date in 1864. “Because the family of his bride-to-be, Helene von Doenniges, [had] rejected him on account of his Jewish origin and […]

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