The Socialist: New Populism’s Fallacy of Progress

(The following was originally published in The Socialist, the Socialist Party USA’s official publication.)

In 2013, a group of Wall Street regulators shifted nervously in their seats sitting before a Congressional panel. The woman who sat before them asked a series of questions, urging them to explain the lapses of accountability that occurred before and after the 2008 market meltdown. Speaking in a measured tone and with an impeccable gravitas, the female senator from Massachusetts had taken the first steps to putting a face to the economic devastation experienced by many Americans.

For those who were previously unfamiliar with Senator Elizabeth Warren, a new viral video made the rounds revealing a new ally within the Democratic Party, who seemed committed to achieving a measure of restitution for the abuses committed by flagrant Wall Street investors in years prior. In the coming months, she would decry dispensations given to wealthy Wall Street borrowers and sought parity for the college-bound by proposing equitable interest rates on new student loans.

Also at this time, America became increasingly familiar with the Senate floor invectives of Bernie Sanders, who was set to achieve an equal level of notoriety. Sanders shared a newly styled “progressive” mantle with Warren, and together they became household names sounding a clarion call for the comeuppance of the “1 percent.”


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