On Thursday, February 2, the United States House of Representatives passed a resolution denouncing “the horrors of socialism.” All 219 members of the Republican party voted in favor. Most Democrats did as well, with 109 voting with the Republicans, 86 voting against, and 14 voting “present,” which is effectively an abstention.
At a time when socialism is becoming increasingly popular in the US despite decades of red-baiting and persecution of the left, the House denounced “socialism in all its forms” and further opposed “the implementation of socialist policies in the United States of America.”
The resolution repeated widely-debunked allegations of mass murder in socialist countries and accused the revolutionary processes in Cuba and Venezuela of causing great economic harm to the people while remaining silent on the impact of US sanctions which have been the primary reason for the hardships faced by people in these countries.
“The United States of America was founded on the belief in the sanctity of the individual, to which the collectivistic system of socialism in all of its forms is fundamentally and necessarily opposed,” reads the text.
The resolution was sponsored by Cuban-American representative Maria Elvira Salazar of Miami-Dade County. The resolution is now on its way to the Senate.
This resolution also comes at a time when socialism as an ideology has been gaining popularity in the past few years, while support for the capitalist system is decreasing in popularity. Even among Republicans and Republican-learners aged 18-34, an Axios poll showed that from 2019 to 2021, capitalism has dropped in popularity from 81% to 66%. The percentage of US adults overall with favorable views of socialism increased from 39% to 41% in that same time period
Among the 86 Democrats who voted against the resolution are progressives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Cori Bush, who were all endorsed by the Democratic Socialists of America, a large socialist organization in the US. Ilhan Omar, Democratic Representative from Minnesota, also voted against the resolution. Omar was recently voted out of the House Foreign Affairs Committee by the Republican House majority, due to her previous anti-imperialist and anti-Zionist statements.
This resolution comes at a time of crisis for the working class. 34 million people, including nine million children, are food insecure in the United States. According to the Poor People’s Campaign, almost half of people in the US are poor or have low incomes. After a devastating global pandemic, which led to over one million deaths in the US and generated a national recession, the people of the United States were hit by a record-breaking wave of inflation in 2022. In response to this, the Federal Reserve is pushing to slow wage growth, claiming that this will help alleviate the inflation crisis. This is while rents across the country are skyrocketing, and over 40% of tenants are spending more than 30% of their income on rent.
“I think it’s very telling of how threatened establishment politicians are somehow losing their footing, losing their power, really, where they’re positioning themselves to utterly defend a capitalist system that we see has only caused problems,” Karla Reyes, union leader and socialist organizer in New York City, told Peoples Dispatch. “[This is] In contrast to what they could be focusing on, which is the crises that are afflicting the working class in the United States, which include homelessness, and killer cops who are still murdering Black people with complete impunity.”
.“[The House is] trying to perpetuate an ideology that, frankly, is getting old,” said Reyes. “Capitalism has looted countries, has poisoned the world, and has created unsustainable lifestyles that push us toward individualism and toward consumerism…socialism is the complete opposite.”