The New York Times Magazine
Art Direction: Rachel Willey
“Can you donate $5 NOW to defeat the socialist uprising?” a Republican congressional candidate tweeted in late June — just after Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a self-identified democratic socialist, won a New York congressional primary. Numerically speaking, the socialist “uprising” remains small: one safe-seat Democratic primary, a presidential-primary near miss by Bernie Sanders, a handful of local races around the country and a total membership of about 40,000 for the Democratic Socialists of America. What it all means, though, is a different matter. American politics may speak in the language of statistics and projections, but when it comes to the question of socialism, hard numbers have never counted for much. A lot can be a little, and a little can be a lot, and either one may or may not be a sign of more in the future.