Events Catalogue – 2024

Media and the Left: Past, Present, and Future – April 13th, 2024
At its last convention, DSA created a single editorial board for its two publications, Socialist Forum and Democratic Left – a change aimed at developing a “prolific, democratic, and well-resourced media operation” to serve our “organization, public outreach, and political strategy.” In support of the resolution, one co-author cited Tom Paine’s Common Sense and the Black Panther Party’s newspaper, Black Panther, as examples of how “stories set our movement on fire.” We can add William Lloyd Garrison’s The Liberator, the German Social Democratic Party’s Neue Zeit, and the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party’s Iskra to the long list of important dissident periodicals.

This National Political Education Committee (NPEC) panel will examine media in the United States. What’s the contemporary media landscape? What political and economic interests have a majority voice, and why? How did past left organizations, like Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), think about media, and how did they generate their material? Finally, how should the left, including DSA, think about media? Why is it important for DSA to have a “prolific, democratic, and well-resourced media operation”?

Marxism and Queer Liberation – March 2nd, 2024
Achieving the liberation of the queer community requires realizing the intersecting nature of all U.S. cultural oppressions — including class oppression — ties the liberation of all to the end of capitalism. Today, queer oppression is being used not only to sustain capitalism but to help grow fascism. When so many people’s personal hierarchy of needs requires them to spend their limited resources struggling simply to survive an onslaught of existential attacks, how does a socialist movement grow and build class consciousness? How has capitalism infected liberal social analysis of so-called “identity politics” and activism in those realms? How can socialism provide a better analysis and reinvent activism in those realms? What can socialism, in general, learn from queer analysis and activism?

‘Democracy’ in the United States: A debate in the lead-up to November – January 27th, 2024
In the Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels wrote that “the first step in the revolution by the working class is to raise the proletariat to the position of ruling class, to win the battle of democracy.” Almost two centuries later, the battle for democracy continues. Today, economic precarity and social upheavals have led many to question our present political system. In these times, DSA’s position that the United States is “no democracy at all” is a rousing and powerful assertion against mainstream narratives. At this event, DSA members Jerry Harris and Luke Pickrell will discuss their understanding of democracy, whether the Constitution supports or frustrates democracy, and to what extent socialists should “fight for” or “defend” democracy going into the 2024 Presidential elections.