NEW YORK – In her undergraduate thesis at Princeton, President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Elena Kagan, lamented the decline of socialism in the country as “sad” for those who still hope to “change America.”
Titled “To the Final Conflict: Socialism in New York City, 1900-1933,” Kagan opined that infighting caused the decline of the early socialist movement. She asked why the “greatness” of socialism was not reemerging as a major political force.
“In our own times, a coherent socialist movement is nowhere to be found in the United States. Americans are more likely to speak of a golden past than of a golden future, of capitalism’s glories than of socialism’s greatness,” wrote Kagan, Obama’s solicitor general.
“Why, in a society by no means perfect, has a radical party never attained the status of a major political force? Why, in particular, did the socialist movement never become an alternative to the nation’s established parties?” she asked.
In the senior thesis, Kagan, who graduated from Princeton in 1981, addressed infighting in the socialist movement.
“Through its own internal feuding, then, the SP [Socialist Party] exhausted itself forever and further reduced labor radicalism in New York to the position of marginality and insignificance from which it has never recovered.
“The story is a sad but also a chastening one for those who, more than half a century after socialism’s decline, still wish to change America,” she wrote. “Radicals have often succumbed to the devastating bane of sectarianism; it is easier, after all, to fight one’s fellows than it is to battle an entrenched and powerful foe. Yet if the history of Local New York shows anything, it is that American radicals cannot afford to become their own worst enemies. In unity lies their only hope.”
Her thesis was dedicated to her brother “whose involvement in radical causes led me to explore the history of American radicalism in the hope of clarifying my own political ideas.”
If confirmed, Kagan would give the high court three women justices for the first time.
She would be the youngest member on the current court and the first justice in nearly four decades without any prior judicial experience.
WND reported today Kagan has advocated for an increased presidential role in regulation, which, she conceded, would make such affairs more and more an extension of the president’s own policy and political agenda.
Kagan was nominated as U.S. solicitor general by Obama in January and confirmed by the Senate in March. She was a dean of Harvard Law School and previously served alongside Obama as a professor of law at the University of Chicago.
A former clerk to Abner Mikva at the D.C. federal appeals court, Kagan was heavily involved in promoting the health-care policy of the Clinton administration.
Obama praised her because while he said a “judge’s job is to interpret the law, not make the law,” she has evidenced a “keen understanding of the impact of the law on people’s lives.”
The president said she has a “firm grasp on the nexus and boundaries between our three branches of government.”
But more importantly, she understands, “behind the law there are stories, stories of people’s lives,” Obama said.
Kagan said the law is “endlessly interesting” and also “protects the most fundamental rights and freedoms.”