“Ideas and opinions are not spontaneously ‘born’ in each individual brain: they have had a centre of formation, or irradiation, of dissemination, of persuasion-a group of men, or a single individual even, which has developed them and presented them in the political form of current reality.”
-Antonio Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks
The NYC-DSA COVID-19 Taskforce is pleased to announce a new biweekly political education roundup! Fantastic political education events have been cropping up each week, and we want to bring them all to you at once in a comprehensive poli ed newsletter.
One of the few small comforts during this extremely alienating time has been a resurgence of poli ed sessions and events in branches, working groups, caucuses, and committees across NYC-DSA. No longer siloed by geographic location or selective working group affiliation, chapter members now have the opportunity to immerse themselves in any subject that interests them.
Here are all of the amazing political education events you can plug into over the next few weeks!
CBK DSA Virtual Night School
We want to support all of you in deepening your understanding of the current crisis and providing a space to discuss it with comrades. To that end, we are shifting our political education efforts to the virtual realm.
Visit bit.ly/cbkdsanightschool for a calendar of all upcoming Night School sessions. We’ll be producing events monthly!
SBK Poli Ed Book Club: “We Want Everything”
Join SBK Political Education for a book club on novelist Nanni Balestrini’s WE WANT EVERYTHING, about Italy’s “Hot Autumn”, the 1969-1970 strike wave in Northern Italy.
Saturday, May 23rd 5-7 PM
B/UM Poli Ed Reading Group: Kropotkin’s Mutual Aid
The B/UM Political Education Working Group will be holding a reading group on Mutual Aid by Peter Kropotkin. This month, we will be discussing Chapter 1 – Mutual Aid Among Animals; Chapter 2 – Mutual Aid Among Animals (cont.); Chapter 3 – Mutual Aid Among Savages; and Chapter 4 – Mutual Aid Among Barbarians. The last four chapters will be for the next round of reading groups.
Please click one of the links below to sign up for a reading group meeting. Please do not sign up for more than one. Your host will contact you with details in the days leading up to the meeting.
Marx Was Right Forum SI
Please join the Staten Island Branch of NYC-DSA and the International Marxist Tendency (IMT) for a discussion of Lenin’s short article, “Three Sources and Three Components of Marxism.” In this brief text, Lenin elaborates the basic tenets of Marxism. This introductory discussion will cover the basics of Marxism, how these theories are relevant to organizing today, and how comrades can adopt these theories to promote socialism in Staten Island. Come learn how, in Lenin’s words: “The Marxist doctrine is omnipotent because it is true. It is comprehensive and harmonious, and provides people with an integral world outlook irreconcilable with any form of superstition, reaction, or defense of bourgeois oppression.” This discussion is organized by Staten Island DSA, but all comrades who want to learn together are welcome!
Text to review beforehand:
Saturday, May 23rd 1-3 PM
SOCIALIST FEMINIST WG
Weekly Soc Fem Teach-Ins
As we all chug through this interminable quarantine, the NYC-DSA SocFem Political Education Committee is committed to continuing political education in this time of crisis. To that end, we are planning weekly ongoing political education sessions using Zoom. You can find the calendar of all our upcoming events on our website.
B/UM ECOSOCIALIST WG
COVID, Climate, and the Green New Deal
Our discussion will be structured around three central questions:
1) How did we end up with this combined economic, ecological, and public health crisis?
2) How can a radical Green New Deal drive a just and transformative recovery?
3) How do we actually win the #GND?
Sunday, May 31st 3- 5 PM
RELIGIOUS SOCIALISM WG
Proclaim Release The Prisoners
We will discuss theological perspectives on decarceration from a variety of faith traditions, the spiritual resources folks rely on in their organizing work, and how faith communities can provide resources to support decarceration campaigns. Panelists include Rev. Michael Vanacore, Kei Williams (No New Jails NYC), RV Dougherty (No New Jails NYC), Yazmine Nichols (JD Candidate, Advocate and Minister), Amin Husain (Decolonize This Place), Kristin Jordan (candidate for NYC City Council District 9), Janos Marton (Candidate for Manhattan DA), and Nick Raskin (Legal Aid Society).
Tuesday, May 26th 7-9 PM
CAUCUSES / COMMITTEES
Intro to Socialism for AfroSocialists Reading Group
Please join us on Zoom for a reading group around socialist theory, race, and the movement for racial and economic justice itself.
In this introductory level reading group we will study and discuss the fight against racism, inequality, and capitalism by reading a mix of classic and contemporary texts in the hope of sparking conversation. This group will be a space for BIPOC to discuss socialism in a way that centers on our issues and perspectives.
Weekly topics will include identity politics and class struggle, slavery, imperialism, social reproduction, electoral democracy, and political violence. Email email@example.com with any questions.
Wednesday, May 27th 8 – 9:30 PM
MASS STRIKE FOR REPRODUCTIVE FREEDOM
Reading Rosa Reading Group
This week we are reading:
Section II. The Mass Strike, A Historical and Not an Artificial Product (We’re gonna read this section together during the call)
These readings are optional but will help ground our discussion in current events:
Some questions to guide you through the reading:
- How do Rosa’s contemporaries see the mass strike and why are they mistaken?
- What does Rosa mean when she says: “the mass strike is not artificially ‘made,’ not ‘decided’ at random, not ‘propagated,’ but that it is a historical phenomenon which, at a given moment, results from social conditions with historical inevitability”?
- In our current revolutionary moment, what are the roles and tasks of the masses in the coming struggles?
Saturday, May 30th 4-6 PM
These are just the events coming up in the next few weeks. We’ll be sending this newsletter twice a month, so stay tuned for future updates!
If you did not see your poli ed event listed here or want to make sure you’re included in future newsletters, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.