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April 19, 2010 1:55 PM   Subscribe

What are the main differences between the various American socialist parties?

I have searched Previously Asked questions, and couldn't find one asked like mine. I've also googled and visited various websites, but what I'm looking for is this:
you're on the Vespa website, and want to be able to differentiate the various models at a glance. You find a handy chart that shows you X and Y models have 50cc engine displacement, and Y and Z models have a cupholder and more room under the seat.
That's the kind of "chart" of socialisms I'm looking for. See? Something solid, so don't call this chatfilter fodder.
So far I've found The Workers Party in America, Democratic Socialists Party (cool logo!) and Socialist Party of America.
posted by BostonTerrier to Law & Government (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I assume you're talking about ideological differences? Because there's a chart of Leftist (some but not all Socialist) parties in the US here, but it's of very basic information and only one column very briefly mentions ideology.

Meanwhile, this blog entry gives some brief information (as well as the author's personal opinion) on several parties, but it's not in chart form.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:22 PM on April 19, 2010

Wow, there used to be this family tree flowchart somewhere that was extremely helpful to me in sorting this out. Most of the parties had their origins in a schism with some other party, e.g. the Stalinists and the Trotskyites, and then the Port Huron statement that created the New Left, and so forth. I doubt I can find it now, google is not leading me anywhere useful (mostly the Jonah Goldberg book, which is a hoot -- as if).

Here's a history of the DSA that at least gives an overview of certain central strains, but is by no means comprehensive.

As a practical matter, none of the American socialist parties have any real voice; solipsism abounds. The real action isn't even in the DSA, it's in the Progressive Caucus. But if you want full-on socialism, and enough members to carry a casket, it's the DSA.
posted by dhartung at 9:55 PM on April 19, 2010

What I'm aiming for is to become, literally, a card-carrying member of a socialist party. I wish to avoid the more dour, frowning, our-work-shall-never-cease flavors. And, as an entrepreneur, I'm looking for a branch (brand?) that will welcome me as a worker and not as a boss, which I'm most emphatically not.
posted by BostonTerrier at 4:33 AM on April 20, 2010

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