Mike Davis is the author of several books including City of Quartz, The Monster at Our Door, Buda’s Wagon, and Planet of Slums. He is the recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship and the Lannan Literary Award. He lives in San Diego.
Following Bernie Sander's unsuccessful campaign for the Presidential nomination in 2016, the Democratic Party has once more become a site of struggle for socialists. Leading up to the November 6th midterms, could the Democratic Party, in fact, be the best vehicle for social change? In this essay, first published over 30 years ago, Mike Davis warns us about the pitfalls of electoralism, and the passive clientelism that tends to replace popular politics under the bureaucratic guidance of the Democratic Party.
In this excerpt from the epilogue to his landmark 1986 Prisoners of the American Dream, Mike Davis sketches the necessary conditions to build an independent left politics that has real and effective social anchorage in the United States.