Is This The Socialist Moment?

AOC, Bernie, and the young socialists

Photo Illustration by Mark Riechers. Original images by Dimitri Rodriguez / Paul Stein / Nick Solari / Public Domain

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Original Air Date: 
April 06, 2019

Look around the political landscape and you see something we haven’t seen for decades — politicians proudly identifying as socialists.

In New York, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez came out of nowhere to steamroll an incumbent and seize the national stage. Bernie Sanders is leading the early crop of Democratic presidential hopefuls. And for the first time in a long time, membership in the Democratic Socialists of America is surging.

What used to be political poison is now catnip for a new generation of voters. So, are we living in a socialist moment?

An aerial shot of the Garden Homes neighborhood in Milwaukee.
Photo Gallery

Could socialism ever really take off in America? Half a century ago, socialists ruled a major American city — Milwaukee. Haleema Shah walks the streets of Wisconsin's biggest city to learn more about what socialist policy looked like on the ground.

Demonstrators march for "Medicare for All" and other socialist-leaning policy goals.

University of Wisconsin sociologist Erik Olin Wright was one of the world's leading Marxist theorists. He died in early 2019. In 2018, he stopped by our studio to talk socialism with Steve Paulson.

we are the 99 percent

Bernie Sanders may be the public face of American socialism, but if you really want to understand its exploding popularity, you need to understand its pull among millennials, explains Bhaskar Sunkara, the founder and editor of Jacobin magazine. ​​​​​

Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail.

Sean Wilentz is a leading American historian and a proud liberal. Steve Paulson asked for his take on the new pink tint in Democratic politics.

Brother Ali

You can find powerful critiques of capitalism and inequality on political platforms — and also on music stages. Take Brother Ali: he’s a Midwestern, Muslim rapper and one of the most popular socially-conscious hip hop artists out there.


Show Details 📻
April 06, 2019
Executive Director
Resource Development Manager
Founder and Editor, Jacobin Magazine
Last modified: 
October 20, 2020