Tag Archives: socialism

Socialism 101

SATURDAY, DEC. 10, 2-4 p.m.

ENCUENTRO 5,  9A HAMILTON PLACE, BOSTON, MA

At this event, we will introduce new DSA members and those looking to learn more about the theory and practice of democratic socialism through a workshop on what democratic socialism is and how it’s different from other political perspectives on the left. We’ll also have a practical organizing workshop to help new DSAers learn the ropes of effective day-to-day organizing.

In the second hour, we will have a special training in de-escalating harassment.

Questions?  Call Liz at (617) 702-2186, or email ehenderson@dsaboston.org

The Political Revolution Begins Now!

Download a PDF flyer HERE.

Report from the “People’s Summit” and upcoming meeting with Sanders’ Democratic Convention delegates!

By Rand Wilson

The People’s Summit

About 3,000 Bernie Sanders supporters met in Chicago from June 17 to 19 searching for the way forward to continue the Political Revolution and fight against the takeover of government by the “billionaire class.” Despite Hillary Clinton’s apparent victory in the primaries and likely nomination, the mood at the People’s Summit was very upbeat. Most of the people at the conference clearly felt that through the Sanders Campaign we have achieved something very important.

The main conference organizers — National Nurses United and National People’s Action — had a highly structured agenda which somewhat limited discussion and participation. The conference reflected the Sanders’ movement, but it didn’t provide a direction for the future.  It was about vision, not organization or strategy.

Many of the speakers implied their support for Clinton — but did not state it outright. More explicit was the need to keep building the movement for “down ballot” candidates who embrace the Sanders’ platform.  There were no resolutions. It was not the founding convention of anything, but rather an opportunity to share perspectives and ideas for the future. 

The conference showed how all of the social movements could come together to create a larger political movement with a comprehensive program for social change.  The thorny question of whether and how to do that, within or outside of the Democratic Party remained the key unanswered question.  DSA leaders and members were highly visible throughout the weekend. For more on the conference from a DSA member click here.  

Rand Wilson & Comrades at the People's Summit

Rand Wilson & Comrades at the People’s Summit

June 28 meeting with Sanders’ Democratic Convention delegates

In April and May of this year, 45 Congressional District and At-Large pledged delegates were elected to support Bernie Sanders at the 2016 National Democratic Convention in Philadelphia from July 25 to 28.

The state Democratic Party has provided us with something usually lacking on the left: Instead of self-appointed leaders, we now have a diverse, statewide group of 45 elected representatives committed to the Sanders’ platform. It would be a very exciting prospect if after the election these delegates could serve as leaders of a network in Massachusetts dedicated to continuing the “political revolution” with the support of the Sanders campaign and access to its large list of donors.

All Bernie Sanders’ supporters are urged to attend a meeting on June 28 at the Ironworkers Local 7 with the many of these elected convention delegates. This meeting will also be an opportunity to strategize about plans for activities both inside and outside the national convention as well as deepen our collective discussion about the future.

Rand Wilson is an elected delegate from the 7th Congressional District.  He works for SEIU Local 888 and has volunteered with the Labor for Bernie network.  

Download a PDF flyer for the June 28 meeting HERE.

Re-Organizing Boston DSA

WHEN:   Saturday, January 23, 2016
PLACE: 111 Perkins Street, Jamaica Plain, Apt. #200, 20th Floor*
TIME: 1-3 pm

Thanks to the Sanders campaign, thousands of Americans are becoming interested in Democratic Socialism—and Greater Boston is no exception. Throughout the country, DSA members old and new have been taking advantage of this upsurge to build new DSA locals, and rejuvenate old ones.

Would you like to see a more active and effective Boston local of Democratic Socialists of America? Most importantly, ARE YOU WILLING TO HELP?

Join us to help figure out What Is To Be Done… and how we can do it.

All DSA members or potential members are welcome.

*111 Perkins Street is also known as the Jamaicaway Tower apartment building, located near the intersection of Perkins St. and Jamaica Way. Park in the Tower parking lot or adjacent streets; mass transit access not far away (S. Huntington)

Taking Back What We Already Own

 A Forum On Social Ownership

Featuring:
Marjorie Kelly
Senior Fellow,
The Democracy Collaborative

Author of Owning our Future: The Emerging Ownership Revolution and The Divine Right of Capital

with Nancy Goldner
Co-Chair, Hub Public Bank

and Julie Matthaei
Co-Coordinator of Boston Area Solidarity Economy Network (BASEN)

September 25
6:30-9 PM (doors open at 6)

Encuentro 5
9A Hamilton Place (near Park Street Station T Stop)

Break Out groups and time for discussion

Sponsored by:

Hub Public Banking, BASEN, Boston Chapter, Democratic Socialists of America, the Democracy Collaborative, Massachusetts Global Action, Alliance for Democracy

Download PDF Flyer HERE.

7/14 Boston Democratic Socialists of America Members’ Meeting & Summer Bar-BQ

Happy Bastille Day!

Celebrate Bastille Day with DSA!

Sunday, July 14
2:30 – 3:00 pm Gather
3:00 pm (sharp) Meeting begins
4:30 or so Barbeque (Pot luck)

Join us for good talk, good food, and camaraderie.  Proposed discussion topics for the members’ meeting include…

Bangladesh workers’ solidarity:  Boston DSA has been joining in rallies in support of justice for garment workers in Bangladesh who have been killed in factory fires and a catastrophic collapse.  Litu Kabir of the Alliance for a Secular and Democratic South Asia and the Boston-based Bangladesh Workers’ Solidarity Network will be on hand to fill us in on what is happening and what the campaign is about, and get the discussion started.

Massachusetts 5th CD Race:  Now that (DSA-endorsed candidate) Ed Markey will be the new U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, there will be another special election for his Congressional seat.  There is promising to be a crowded field of Democratic Primary candidates, several with fairly solid progressive credentials.  Do you have a favorite?  Come prepared to tell us who, and why, as we kick off a preliminary discussion as a prelude to a possible DSA endorsement in late July or August.

It is also possible that we will have somebody on hand to tell us what is happening over the summer with organizing fast food workers.

Location: 24 Bridge St., Newton MA 02458

 Directions are HERE.  We can pick people up at Watertown Sq. between 1:45 and 2:15 or so (earlier if necessitated by transit schedules) – call 617-448-5341.  Child care can possibly be arranged for the meeting portion (only) if requested at least 4-5 days in advance.  Same number or email webmaster@dsaboston.org.

 Interested non-members are welcome.

 

7/11 Boston DSA E. Board/Activist Meeting: Socialist Feminism

Boston DSA holds Executive Board/Activist meetings on the 2nd Thursday of (almost) every month.

7:00 to 8:00 pm Business meeting (Exec. Brd. mtg. – members welcome)
8:00 to 9:00 pm Activist meeting (Open to all interested)

On Thursday July 11, Peg Strobel will be joining us at 8:00 via web-link to lead a discussion on Socialist Feminism as part of the activist meeting.

Peg is a member of  Chicago DSA (and its subgroup Greater Oak Park DSA).  She serves on the NPC and co-chairs the Feminist Team.  She will talk about socialist feminism (how it developed, where it fits in the landscape of feminism and of socialism, why it matters) and join with Boston DSA members in discussing what socialist feminist work DSA might/should do.

DSA recently reconstituted Feminist Team has had two projects in the past year.  First, they encouraged locals to participate in April Bowl-a-thons across the country to raise funds for abortion clinics.  Second, they have lined up regular posts of feminist content for the DL blog.

Here are some recent posts:

Sexuality, Sexual Identity and Immigration
Marriage Equality and Beyond
Fathers’ Day: Parental Leave, Labor Market Flexibility and the Definition of Maleness
The Feminine Mystique at 50
Immigrant Women Temp Workers Stand Up for Their Rights
The Other America Through a Feminist Lens

What topics do you think should be covered, and do you have suggestions for authors?

7/11 Boston DSA E. Board/Activist Meeting: Socialist Feminism
7:00 to 8:00 pm Business meeting (Exec. Brd. mtg. – members welcome)
8:00 to 9:00 pm Activist meeting
Location:
Encuentro 5/TecsChange
9B Hamilton Place, Ste 2A, Boston MA 02108 (MAP)
Park St T Stop – Hamilton place is the alley with the Orpheum Theatre at the end of it – one block toward Govt.  Ctr beyond Winter St.
2nd buzzer from the bottom

Unhitched: The Trial of Christopher Hitchens (CANCELLED)

This event has been cancelled due to the manhunt for the Patriots’ Day murderers, which has temporarily shut down the city. 

Comrades, Boston will persevere.

Presentation and Q&A with author Richard Seymour

Chris Hitchens photo

Chris Hitchens

6:30PM April 19, 2013 Encuentro 5/TecsChange 9B Hamilton Place, Ste 2A Boston MA 02108 Park St T Stop – Hamilton place is the alley with the Orpheum Theatre at the end of it – one block toward Govt. Ctr beyond Winter St.  2nd buzzer from the bottom This event is free and open to the public. See Facebook Event Page. Join Richard Seymour, one of Britain’s leading young radical intellectuals and principal contributor to the popular blog, Lenin’s Tomb, for a discussion of his recent book, Unhitched: The Trial of Christopher Hitchens. In his younger years, a career-minded socialist, Hitchens emerged from the smoke of 9/11 a neoconservative “Marxist,” an advocate of America’s invasion of Iraq filled with passionate intensity. Throughout his life, he played the role of universal gadfly, whose commitment to the truth transcended the party line as well as received wisdom. But how much of this was imposture? In this highly critical study, Richard Seymour casts a cold eye over the career of the “Hitch” to uncover an intellectual trajectory determined by expediency and a fetish for power, which is also a cautionary tale for our times. RICHARD SEYMOUR: One of Britain’s leading young radical intellectuals, Richard is the principal contributor to Lenin’s Tomb (http://www.leninology.com/), one of the UK’s most popular blogs. A regular columnist for the Guardian, Seymour is also the author four books, most recently “American Insurgents: A Brief History of American Anti-Imperialism” (Haymarket 2012) and “Unhitched: The Trial of Christopher Hitchens” (Verso 2013). He is a founding member of the International Socialist Network. Verso Books page on this event: http://www.versobooks.com/events/631-unhitched-the-trial-of-christopher-hitchens Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/507488359286431/?fref=ts Sponsored by: Verso Books Haymarket Books Encuentro 5 Mass Global Action Howard Zinn Memorial Lecture Series Open Media Boston Democratic Socialists of America International Socialist Organization

The Root of All Evil

Reblogged from Persistent Wondering originally posted 5/13/12 The root of capitalism is the principle that the possession of property entitles you to a claim on the fruits of someone else’s labor. There is no moral justification for this. It is on a par with “might makes right” or “the Devil take the hindmost.” Capitalism is thus corrupt at its very core, whatever social benefits it might be deemed to have in any specific time and place. The logic of capitalism only makes sense if there is an unequal distribution of wealth. If everybody had equal wealth, there would be no sense in property employing labor; rather, we would tend to evolve a system where men and women collectively used their property and their labor in order to socially produce things (since social production is more efficient than individual production). Equal distribution of wealth would tend toward a cooperative society, rather than a capitalistic one. So capitalism arises only in an unequal society; its essential logic guarantees that. The logic of the working-out of capitalism increases the initial inequality. If you have only a small amount of property, it is very difficult to make it grow. Generally, only your constant labor can keep it from shrinking. If you have a large amount of property, however, it is very difficult to PREVENT it from growing. The process of being paid for the use of your property returns the borrowed property plus a dividend, over and over again. The more property you possess, the larger the dividend. If the amount of property you possess is very large, it becomes virtually impossible to spend the dividend. Even if your wealth is a bit smaller, only a modest amount of self-restraint is necessary for savings. So the wealth of rich people grows and grows. Yes, it is possible for a wealthy person to “go bust” because of bad investments. But it doesn’t happen very often. And even a wealthy person who, with great fanfare, has “gone bust”, generally has more residual wealth than a person who wasn’t rich to begin with. Squalor turns out to be relative. Capitalism is inherently incompatible with democracy, because capitalism concentrates concentrations wealth, and wealth is inevitably power. There is no way to decouple the relationship of wealth and power. Regulatory tinkering, such as campaign finance rules, can only act as an impediment, an inconvenience to the wealthy when they act to assert their money-power. Capitalist countries, then, even with republican governmental forms, tend to devolve into de facto oligarchies. This process can be resisted only by constant vigilance, to limit accumulation of wealth, to restrain the free political exercise of wealth, to balance people power against money power (unions and voter empowerment campaigns). This vigilance is a lot of work. When we have won some improvements, “we the people” tend to slack off. The capitalists never do. The differential rewards for them – the incentives – are just too immediate and great. Thus, when times got somewhat better in the postwar period – at least in Europe, the U.S. and Canada – the people became complacent, and in the mid-1970s the capitalists, with their neoliberal/Reaganite/Thatcherite agenda, counter attacked. And so, here we are today, with economic inequality and poverty at record levels, with a stagnant economy, but with many capitalists declaring “recovery” despite the fact that so many remain unemployed, many, many more underemployed, and almost all of us economically insecure. So it turns out that not money, but private capital is the root of all evil, arising only in conditions of inequality, sustaining and promoting inequality, and undermining democracy. Ultimately, if we want secure and just economies, we need to decouple property and income, by recognizing that all capital is socially constructed, and must be socially owned.