I'm provoked in multiple dimensions by a new article in The New Republic, "Has the Socialist Moment Already Come and Gone?" by Ross Barkan, whom I've never met. I want to note, not meaning to suck up (I'm published in it, every so often), that under the editorship of Michael Tomasky the magazine has really taken off. That aside, this article sets me off. I also need to declare my interest, as it were, as a member of the organization discussed, Democratic Socialists of America (DSA).
I'm not sure I agree with your definition of socialism. It encompasses barely recovering left-neolibs like myself, as well as folk like you and AOC. We all pretty much concur on the next step or two, and I share your loathing of sectarianism. So it's all good, even if you're putting me in a tent to which I do not quite belong. I'll take it, for the while.
But us fellow travelers might drop out further down the road. Or we might further evolve.
Social democracy is good. Every reform we can win toward justice and egalitarianism is good.
We need a different end-point vision re: direction. That’s where the “paradigm shift” coming out of the ferment of The Sixties, ultimately led -- after a process of re-thinking theory during the ’70s and ’80s.
The end-point should be bioregionalism.
It doesn’t specify a particular economic system. Part of that vision is the idea of cultural diversity. It advocates for decentralization and diversity consonant with age-old natural and sustainable human lifeways.
Max is correct about incrementalism. But the vision we hold in our heads is what inspires commitment to the cause. There’s a difference between reformism (all to the good, not to be denigrated) and deep social transformation (all to the ultimate necessary). Green politics gives a hint of it. Tangible on-the-ground progress is being made via the ecovillage movement.
To open pathways toward deep transformation we certainly do need to defang the anti-social and anti-ecological capitalist system. That’s why Greens support eco-socialism. It argues for Red-Green alliances.