On this episode we play a special interview with author John Nichols. Nichols' new book The S Word, which is subtitled A Short History of an American Tradition…Socialism, is forthcoming from Verso Books, VersoBooks.com. Nichols is also the Washington correspondent for the Nation magazine, TheNation.com.
There is much that is very valuable in John Nichols work. He writes with intelligence and often eloquence about the broad American left, where socialism cannot be simply separated from what was called progressivism in the late 19th and early 20th century and later came to be called liberalism in the New Deal period.
The socialist movement is like a river which diverges throughout the world with the socialist revolution in Russia into a social democratic tributary and a communist tributary, winding their respective ways, sometimes crashing into one another to create disasters, sometimes merging cooperatively to advance social progress. You cannot really understand one without the other, since each are the products of both the development of Marxist theory and the effects of working peoples' economic and political struggles.