In some ways, the Left remains locked in place. Its three major national parties are still confined to cramped Manhattan offices that are plastered with gaudy posters and honeycombed with pamphlets for distribution and envelopes for stuffing.
But in other ways the landscape has changed significantly. All three parties are finding the Internet to be a fruitful recruiting tool and believe their message has been given a fresh, beguiling appeal by the failures of capitalist symbols like Lehman Brothers and by debacles like the billions of dollars in securities tied to subprime mortgages.
“The economic crisis of 2008 gave us new life,” said Billy Wharton, a co-chairman of the Socialist Party, who grew enamored of socialism while battling tuition increases as a student at the College of Staten Island. “We have ideas for resolving the economic crisis, and people began to listen to them.” . . . .
May 24, 2011
From the New York Times: