Socialist Salon Monthly Discussion Forum

Socialist Salon is DSA's monthly forum to discuss the politics, economics, theory, and practice of democratic socialism. Come to Socialist Salon and share your insights! Socialist Salon Monthly Discussion Forum is generally held on the Third Thursday of the month.

For our next Salon we will be talking about "After Capitalism" by David Schweickart. "After Capitalism" offers students and political activists alike a coherent vision of a viable and desirable alternative to capitalism. David Schweickart calls this system Economic Democracy, a successor-system to capitalism which preserves the efficiency strengths of a market economy while extending democracy to the workplace and to the structures of investment finance.

A copy of this book (both hard copy and ebook) can be purchased at:

http://www.amazon.com/After-Capitalism-New-Critical-Theory/dp/0742564983

We understand that not everyone will be able to get a copy so we are including some links relevant to the topic:

Interview with David Schweickart:

http://www.solidarityeconomy.net/2006/08/29/after-capitalism-economic-democracy-an-interview-with-david-schweickart/

 

Article by David Schweikart:

http://www.solidarityeconomy.net/2007/06/29/economic-democracy-a-worthy-socialism-that-would-work/

 

Different perspective but reaching similar conclusion, Jacobin magazine

http://jacobinmag.com/2012/12/the-red-and-the-black/

 

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  • Lucette S.

    I would like to know when we were told about the book. Who decides which book is going to be read? How much time are we given to read it? I am not in agreement with the content of the newspaper article from Andy. This looks so undemocratic!!!!

    March 24, 2013

    • Andy F.

      Lucette - The Meetup notice told people about the book some time ago - I don't remember just when. As for my newspaper "article" - Woody wants everyone at the salon to contribute impressions of the debate. What I wrote was my impression - one of several that will go into Woody's article, I hope. I hope you and other people who had really different reactions to the Salon will contribute your impressions, too. I think Woody's hoping for many different views to be represented.

      March 25, 2013

    • Woody W.

      Just to add... I don't plan to consolidate the different viewpoints into an article but to run them as a complete conversation, so within editorial limits everyone will get their full say on this. Have an opinion about the issues and analysis covered? Speak up...

      March 25, 2013

  • Andy F.

    What do other people think and/or feel about this?

    I was moderating and I was trying to include everyone who wanted to talk, but maybe I didn't succeed. There were 1 or 2 people who I thought didn't want to talk, just listen, and I tried to let them alone. I think that was right. But maybe I should have given more air time to people besides Jose & Matthew. Is there anybody else who attended the Salon who wants to comment on the process? Also, does anybody want to add a point here that you couldn't or didn't express in the debate?

    Another point: In the future, is there any way to get Salon attendees to do more of the reading ahead of time? I was really delighted to see a good turnout for the discussion of the Schweickart book, whether comrades had read the book or the online posts or not. But I'm wondering - is there any good way we can get more or us prepped for discussions ahead of time?

    March 23, 2013

    • Ross T.

      I suggest keeping background material short and free.

      March 25, 2013

    • Ross T.

      Books are probably best left to book clubs, where everyone expects to plan ahead and devote the necessary time and money to buying and reading the book. The salon is probably better served by sticking to more accessible material (essays, videos watched on site), especially if we want it to be a good entry point for people considering joining DSA.

      March 25, 2013

  • Andy F.

    Patrick & Mordecai -- Ross is right; capitalism DOES sap everybody's strength, and steal too much of everyone's time, too.

    Hope both of you can make it to future Salons and DSA membership meetings. Mordecai - I especially missed seeing you last night. It was really good to meet you at the last monthly meeting, and I hope -- time & energy permitting -- you can come back soon.

    March 22, 2013

  • Andy F.

    I wonder how others felt about this Salon. I liked it, but it was marked by more debate than I'd expected. I thought the debate raised several key questions that DSAers should explore more thoroughly in the future.

    I personally think "market socialism" w/ worker control is the best way forward for the US left, that politically & theoretically it's the best -- or only -- answer to the "end of history" argument of the Right. But other people raised great questions about the risks of Schweikart's model & whether other approaches might be better -- eg. central economic planning using new computer technologies, a syndicalist or "council communist" approach to economics, etc. I don't totally agree, but let's all look at ALL these other approaches in more depth in future Salons.

    Also let's talk more about strategy -- how to start making change NOW. w/o using anyone else's name here, I hope people who raised these points will elaborate on them more in future Salon discussions.

    March 22, 2013

    • Matthew G.

      I think the debate was excellent, but as with any debate on a subject so abstract and important it is time intensive. While I agree with Nick that I would love to hear people more fully elucidate their views, I wonder if the problem was an imbalance of time as Nick suggests or an insufficiency overall.

      March 23, 2013

    • Matthew G.

      I too spoke more than an equal share of the time, but at no point did I feel that anyone interested in participating was being left out or marginalized. Since I also would love to hear more from people, I suggest that this conversation should be continued here on Meetup, or via blog and response on the Washington Socialist. We should also talk about if the way we discuss requires any formalization or reform, as Nick and Jose seem to agree.

      March 23, 2013

  • Matthew G.

    Awesome meetup on an important subject.

    March 23, 2013

  • Patrick O.

    Yea I couldn't make it last night. Ended up working overtime

    March 22, 2013

  • Ross T.

    Looking forward to it! For anyone who is interested, there is a screening of We Are Wisconsin earlier in the day at the AFL-CIO. You can RSVP here:
    http://www.dclabor.org/ht/display/EventDetails/i/106383/pid/88247

    March 20, 2013

  • Patrick O.

    I might not be able to make it because I work that afternoon but if I can make it out early I will be there.

    March 18, 2013

  • Lucette S.

    Welcome Patrick.

    March 12, 2013

  • Patrick O.

    Hey I'm not a DSA member but I have been interested in socialism for a long time and I'm looking to see if any organization shares my beliefs. I hope to have a stimulating time if I can come by.

    March 10, 2013

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