View this email in your browser

The Political Education Newsletter

September 18, 2018

Interesting Events

Published on our Blog

Silence Is Betrayal
Freedom for Families circulate this letter, written by a group of people detained by ICE at Bristol County Jail in Massachusetts (some of whom were on hunger strike last week), which describes the conditions inside the jails, the exploitation of the incarcerated, and the hypocrisy of American values.

The Housing Crisis Is a Displacement Crisis
Working class families and communities of color are being displaced from their homes even as luxury condos remain empty in Boston. After attending a CLVU teach-in event, Nafis H provides historical context for this displacement crisis, and why organizing tenants to build power is the solution rather than the supply side solutions proposed by the city and YIMBY groups.

"One Weird Trick" to Building Socialism
Responding to the work of Matt Bruenig and Ryan Cooper of the People's Policy Project, Frank Little raises objections to a vision for socialism in the United States resting on the use of a Norwegian-style social wealth fund. Such a strategy, Little argues, stops short of remedying the most serious problems with capitalism: the exploitation built into the commodity form and the uneven distribution of wealth and life chances between people living in the global imperial “core” and its “peripheries.”

Libertarian Socialism and the LSC: An Introduction
Members of the newly forming Boston chapter of the Libertarian Socialist Caucus pen a brief introduction to the family of Left tendencies including syndicalism, anarchism, cooperativism, council communism, and libertarian Marxism embraced by their caucus. The LSC’s hope, they explain, is to move “toward a world without bosses without bosses.” The caucus also announces their upcoming local activities.

Articles from the Web

Julia Salazar, Assimilation and Zionism
Members of the Jewish Solidarity Caucus Lane S and Ben M write about Julia Salazar’s successful campaign for New York State Senate, despite aggressive attacks on her character and her claims of Jewish ancestry. The authors point out how her pro-Palestine stance was the root cause of these attacks. If she had been a traditional Zionist, the same elements of the Jewish establishment who attacked her would have embraced her with open arms.

Death on the Dakota Access
Following an extensive investigation, Antonia Juhasz describes how lax enforcement of OSHA guidelines, cost-cutting practices and lack of oversight by companies involved in constructing the Dakota Access pipeline are resulting in workers’ deaths and injuries, especially those who are not unionized.

A New Form of Slavery? Meet Incarcerated Firefighters Battling California’s Wildfires for $1 an Hour
As California’s wildfires grow, the state relies more and more on incarcerated people to fight fires. Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman interviews some of California’s incarcerated firefighters, who make $1 an hour while fighting active fires, after they have returned from a 24-hour shift fighting the Snell Fire in Napa County.

The City of Lawrence Can’t Breathe
In the wake of the horrific gas line explosions in Lawrence and Andover, Beya J talks about the history of environmental neglect that the city of Lawrence has endured. Massachusetts has some of the worst disparities by race and class of exposes to ecological hazards in the US. In order for Lawrence to breathe in the future, we’ll need to dismantle the systems of racial and economic oppression that have led to these outcomes.

A Podcast to Listen to

Swampside Chats: Episode 68: Socialist Humanism
Comrades from the Communist League Tampa discuss E.P. Thompson’s “Socialist Humanism: An Epistle to Philistines,” a critique of Stalinism written right after the suppression of the Hungarian revolution in 1956. They discuss the concepts of Marxist virtue ethics, the moral economy and what “tankie” currently means.

Some Subversive Literature

On Contradiction (1937)
This foundational essay explores dialectical materialism and the nature of contradiction, which exists in all matter and societies throughout history. Mao Tse-Tung argues for the primacy of internal contradiction as an engine of change; history is driven by conflicts inside societies and groups, from the resolution of opposites (two into one) and then the new contradictions that immediately arise (one into two). A major theme is the idea of antagonistic versus non-antagonistic contradiction. An example of an antagonistic contradiction would be that between the proletariat and bourgeoisie: their opposition is irreconcilable and absolute. Antagonistic contradictions almost always cannot be resolved peacefully. An example of a non-antagonistic contradiction would be that between black and white workers, or factions within a party who disagree. These sorts of contradictions can often be resolved peacefully, through discussion and common struggle. (If you want some good Maoist disses… a “left opportunist” is someone who approaches friends antagonistically, while a “right opportunist” is someone who approaches enemies non-antagonistically.) On Contradiction is a good tool to help revolutionaries analyse the principal and non-principal contradictions of a given situation, order tasks, and pick battles.


About the PEWG Newsletter

The Newsletter is produced by the Political Education Editorial Committee. We welcome submissions of interesting articles using this form. If you'd like to join the committee please email


Check out the Blog

We're publishing orginal writing at

Follow on Twitter
Friend on Facebook
Find our Website
Copyright © 2018 Boston DSA Political Education, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp