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The Political Education Newsletter

October 02, 2018

Interesting Events

Published on our Blog

Having Children Won’t Fix You: A Socialist Feminist Response to Connor Kilpatrick
Boston/North Shore DSA member Amy B responds to Connor Kilpatrick’s “It’s Ok to Have Children,” writing about the numerous and complex reasons that many people, and cis women in particular, do not want to have children, beyond the mere fiscal concerns Kilpatrick lays out.

Collective Reflections On the Boston Housing Struggle
Boston DSA’s Housing Working Group held a discussion on what their strategy going forward should look like after around a year in existence. Edward P wrote up a summary of the event and some of the ideas that came out of it.

Articles from the Web

Socialism Is About Workers, Not Wealth Funds
Adil Mughal critiques the People’s Policy Project’s proposal for an American Sovereign Wealth Fund, imitating wealth funds in social democratic countries like Norway. He criticizes the “shareholder logic” of this approach to democratizing national resources for presenting itself as a “socialist” proposal while staying firmly within capitalist limits.

Cool People’s Movements
The Symbiosis Research Collective pushes back against Leigh Phillips’ idea that in an increasingly warmer climate, air conditioning should be made accessible to the working class. The authors argue that politicized urban planning is a better alternative to Phillips’ proposed solution, and can be a starting point to build a people’s movement for cooler urban spaces.

This Is War
In this compelling short piece, Richard Seymour describes why Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court is a much-needed move in the Republican strategy to advance reactionary politics in the US.

Blue Life
In this essay, Nijah Cunningham and Tiana Reid dissect and dismantle the logic and politics of so-called “Blue Lives Matter” efforts, which they gloss as “both...a social movement and the propaganda arm of the police state.” From the manipulative invention of “blue life” to the inability of hate crime laws to produce justice (an argument in which they follow BDSA comrades Black and Pink and the Sylvia Rivera Law Project), Cunningham and Reid expose the rot at the center of police power and push toward a vision of “justice that goes beyond what the law can give.”

Why Is My Favorite Basketball Team Complicit In the Gaza-Israel Conflict?
Following the DSA Portland led protests against Portland Trail Blazers for partnering with Leupold-Stevens, an Oregon-based military equipment manufacturer, Corbin Smith writes in detail about Leupold-Stevens and their involvement in the repression of Palestinians and non-white communities in the US, and shows how entrenched the military industrial complex is in the US sports arena.

A Podcast to Listen to

Citations Needed:Episode 50: Anti-Imperialism and MSNBC-Approved Socialism (w/ guests Phyllis Bennis and Shireen Al-Adeimi)
“Socialism” and “democratic socialism” are covered breathlessly by mainstream media, as outlets try to decipher what it means to be a socialist. Electoral victories from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and more have made democratic socialism more palatable, but democratic socialists are quick to default to praising Scandinavian countries while dismissing the socialism in countries like Venezuela. Democratic socialism explainers also fail to explain foreign policy and US imperialism, focusing on domestic issues instead. The hosts, Nima Shirazi and Adam Johnson, evaluate this approach to explaining socialism.

Some Subversive Literature

Contradiction and Overdetermination
French communist philosopher Louis Althusser examines the Marxist idea of contradiction by first looking at the experience of Lenin in the Russian Revolution and Lenin’s conception of the “weakest link.” For Lenin, Russia represented the weakest link among the imperialist states; the magnitude of its internal contradictions was so great that it was ripe for revolution. Althusser shows how these contradictions are “overdetermined,” meaning that no contradiction can exist separately from society, the economic forms, or the multitude of historical moments that produce it. In order to have a Marxist understanding of the world, systems have to be understood in their historical totality.

     

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 boston-pewg@googlegroups.com.

     

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