Our 10th anniversary reminds me of our earliest beginnings and how amazingly far we have come. 2012 was still laboring to recover from the truly traumatic collapse of capitalism in 2008-2009. Most mainstream media, politicians, and academicians were reassuring one another about the banker bailouts (rebranded as "The Great Recession"). President Obama had led a "recovery" while promising that it was also a progressive renewal of US politics. It seemed inopportune for us to doubt that Obama could or would even try to deliver on his campaign promises. Yet we dared to deliver both a left critique of capitalism and a post-capitalist solution. In retrospect our timing turned out to have been far better than we imagined.
Obama's promised progressive renewal never came. Instead we got Trump. More importantly, everyone saw how far the rightward shift in US politics had gone. That "everyone" included a long quiet US left that surged forward into public awareness as Occupy Wall Street led to Bernie's campaigns, Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, socialists running for office, and much else.
So we feel very good about 10 years of uninterrupted growth with an audience now in the millions for our various platforms (TV, radio, YouTube, podcasts, etc.). We were very few in 2012, when Democracy at Work was officially born. Our team now includes 7 hosts and 5 staff members, plus many volunteers and contractors. All this was made possible by the sustained and continuing growth of a wide, deep, and newly invigorated left, old and young. It seeks and responds to what Democracy at Work offers. That is, of course, the best possible news on our 10th anniversary. Today's urgent need for a real, effective left movement for progressive social change confronts sinister forces within a disintegrating system. Doing so also draws ever more people to support and join our efforts.
While the US left is not yet organized into a self-conscious mass movement with institutions of its own - perhaps its greatest need now - our growth is one among the conditions for that movement to emerge. That is what we celebrate the most. That is what we invite you to celebrate with us.
And as always, we’re grateful to have such an active, engaged audience with us. Join us in this effort by sharing our work or learning about the many ways you can donate to [email protected] Whatever way you support us, thank you for partnering with us.
Richard D. Wolff
[email protected] Board of Directors Member