The Great Transition: Channeling “A Mighty River”
From the second half of the 1930s onward, socialists transitioned from independent political action under the banner of the Socialist Party to embracing the Democratic Party as an electoral vehicle. Their utopian aspirations faded, and they accepted social democracy. Socialists came to recognize the need for compromise and accepted the constraints of working to reform rather than abolish capitalism. The shift to the Democratic Party was not a capitulation of socialism in favor of liberalism. Rather, it was a process by which socialism was rethought and remade while maintaining itself as distinct from liberalism.