Editorial Note

The idea of socialism is one to which the US public has now become increasingly open – as shown first by national survey results in 2012 and then, in 2013, by the local electoral victory (in Seattle) of a socialist candidate over an incumbent Democrat. These developments cap a period characterized on the one hand by severe economic hardship and, on the other, by the ever more blatant role of money in politics as well as by growing awareness – thanks especially to whistleblowers – of the capitalist regime’s scorn for democratic rights.

Our next two issues will focus on special topics: in July, on working-class internationalism (observing the 150th anniversary of the First International), and in November, on the place of mass incarceration in US society.

We pay tribute now to recently deceased friends and comrades:

Adrienne Asch, a distinguished advocate for disability rights, had a career that spanned psychotherapy and academia. Among her many writings is a 1984 co-authored article in Radical America, in which she offered “A Left Perspective on Disability Rights and Reproductive Rights.” She taught at Wellesley College during the 1990s, and later became the founding director of the Center for Ethics at Yeshiva University. A long-time friend of S&D, she opened her home to our editorial meetings for the last few years.

Rod Bush, an activist scholar and frequent contributor to S&D, was Professor of Sociology at St. Johns University, where he was a beloved mentor to many students. He was a founding member of the Black Radical Congress and an organizer of the Left Forum, as well as the author of We Are Not What We Seem: Black Nationalism and Class Struggle in the American Century (1999), The End of White World Supremacy: Black Internationalism and the Problem of the Color Line (2009), and, with his wife Melanie, Tensions in the American Dream: Rhetoric, Reverie or Reality (forthcoming in 2014).

Amiri Baraka was the preeminent artist and intellectual of the Black Power era, and the progenitor of the Black Arts Movement. An award-winning poet, playwright, fiction writer, cultural historian and critic, he was the creator of controversial yet stunningly powerful literature. He was a renowned activist and organizer who embraced the politics of Marxism and black liberation, and contributed to S&D.

Yusuf Nuruddin and Victor Wallis