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. The closest metro station is Capitol South.

This month our topic will be

"Why Be a Socialist in the 21st Century U.S.?: Towards a Socialist Strategy"

Joseph M. Schwartz, DSA Vice-Chair and Professor of Political Science at Temple University, will lead a discussion on socialist strategy at the July 18th DC DSA monthly salon. Schwartz will discuss why while the global economic crisis has given rise to protest movements against neo-liberal austerity it has yet to generate a revived left strong enough to govern in the US or western Europe. How a "next left" might be constructed will be the topic of his talk and our discussion.

Suggested reading:

1. Time to Build the Next Left

http://www.dsausa.org/the_voters_defeated_the_right_time_to_build_the_left

2. Towards Freedom http://www.dsausa.org/toward_freedom

3. Where we stand http://www.dsausa.org/where_we_stand

4. The Boys who cried debt

http://www.dsausa.org/the_boys_who_cried_debt

5. The Politics of Race http://www.dsausa.org/the_politics_of_race

Three more lengthy pieces have been uploaded to the meetup site.

To find them go to the More tab at the top of the page and then to Files.

The three articles are:

Perry Anderson, "Homeland," New Left Review, May -June 2013 (which touches on themes Schwartz's talk with discuss);

Joseph Schwartz, chpt 6, "Globalization and Democratic Equality" in The Future of Democratic Equality (Routledge, 2009)

Joseph Schwartz, chpt, 5, "Casino Capitalism," in The Future of Democratic Equality (Routledge, 2009).

 

Joseph M. Schwartz is the winner of several university teaching awards. Schwartz’s most recent book, The Future of Democratic Equality: Reconstructing Social Solidarity in a Fragmented United States (Routledge, 2009) argues that rampant inequality can only be overcome if diverse, but disempowered social groups build a sense of solidarity founded upon their common humanity. The book recently won the American Political Science Association’s prize for the best recent book in political theory. His first book, The Permanence of the Political (Princeton, 1995) won the North American Society for Social Philosophy best book award.

Long active on the democratic left, Schwartz began his activism as a high school activist in the movement against the war in Vietnam. He also participated actively in the anti-apartheid movement in the United States, as well as the fight for single-payer health care and affordable housing. Schwartz writes frequently in Dissent, In These Times, Tikkun, and other progressive publications.

 

Join or login to comment.

  • Stephen M.

    Hello. I was attending for the first time, and I’m glad I did. Great concept, great location, and great people. Joe Schwartz gave a fine address ... well-composed thoughts, great presentation. However, in my opinion, the evening was not really a salon, but more of a lecture. I was also disappointed that two topics: Media Control and Industrial Policy, were generally just blown off. Perhaps future salons could have an open forum type of arrangement. Maybe with a short slate of topics... aspects of socialism; problems facing our country; and possible answers. Then a brief intro for each, and a period of comments from the assembled worthies. (I’ll bet many of you have such a list in your pocket right now! LOL)

    My belief is that socialism can be more than a niche idea, and can save our country. With the terrible things happening now, it can appeal to most.... except probably those rotten corporate operators. Getting through... there’s the rub. Best,
    Steve McKevitt

    1 · July 21, 2013

  • Andy F.

    I was sitting right near a noisy air conditioner and had a hard time hearing everything that Joe Schwartz said, but I thought his analysis of rightwing "neoliberalism" was really powerful. I was less sure I understood his strategy for the socialist movement as it moves forward. Several key elements of the strategy were clear - supporting and organizing low-wage workers and immigrants, supporting the student loan reform campaign -- without forgetting that a majority of American young people still aren't going to college at all -- and rallying to defend the New Deal welfare state from destruction by the GOP and neoliberal or "moderate" Democrats.

    What were the main things that other people got from Joe's presentation, though? And has anybody read his newest book?

    July 19, 2013

    • Andy F.

      Low-priced books are an important socialist value - I'll drink to that. Lucette -- I forgot to ask you before, so let me try to do it now: you said you liked Joe's speech partly because it showed he's "your" kind of socialist. Do you want to add a bit more to that -- e.g., to explain what kind of socialist you mean? Or not, if you don't want. But this sounded like a comment you were asking people to follow up on.

      July 20, 2013

    • Lucette S.

      It is 2:43 am and I am not sure my mind is still alive, but lets try. I like the people who understand that the separation 1% vs 99% is not good enough. After all, to have a middle class, we need at least 3 classes. In other words, I am convinced that the 99% are not all in the same boat. We should pay attention to the lowest part of the 99% and give them priority in our struggle for justice. Goodnight all.

      1 · July 21, 2013

  • Lindsay R.

    I thought the speech and discussion were quite excellent. I also wished there was a little more talk about a socialist strategy. That being said, as a new person, I was happy sitting and listening, but do wish I had asked a question. There were very few things I was unaware of, which is what leads towards my question: at what point is it just preaching to the choir? and how do we organize/speak/encourage/discuss this with our community and/or opposing ideological and/or willfully (or unwillfully!) ignorant members of society without going over their heads/ pissing them off/ losing their attention? Do we need to educate ourselves a little bit more on how to engage others, quickly and effectively? Maybe a little crash course in organizing/public speaking/one-on-one's? How do we constructively put a fire under peoples asses without pushing them away?

    1 · July 19, 2013

    • Andy F.

      Lindsay - you and your husband might be interested in DSA's "Get Up" training sessions. We've had one here in DC; I think more are going to happen, though I don't know just when. Since you asked the question, though, do you have any particular ideas in mind about how to engage people constructively, w/o pushing them away?

      1 · July 20, 2013

    • Lindsay R.

      I just looked up the "Get Up" training. This looks really cool. I'll keep it on my radar, for sure. I wish I had some ideas on how to more constructively engage others. I've always found it a little difficult to do with people who are not willing to listen past the word "socialist" or anything that causes some cognitive dissonance. It's easier with people who know a little, who want to know more or who have felt the harsh sting of neoliberal capitalism. I've found it just a little bit easier with the little bit of organizing training I've had with ROC-DC (restaurant opportunity center), but that is a very specific issue. Wish I has something more significant to add, but I myself am kinda of stumped. Sometimes my passion come off as abrasive and that can push people away.

      1 · July 20, 2013

  • Andy F.

    Based on a comment that somebody made to me after the meeting, I wonder how many people were impressed and pleased with Joe's presentation partly because it was so comprehensive & articulate -- like a whole world view that we often don't get through the mainstream media. Was that part of the attraction of the speech to other people?

    July 20, 2013

  • Woody W.

    As usual, our analysis of the neoliberal hegemony is so thorough that we didn't leave ourselves enough time to shape some strategic socialist solutions. 'Twas ever thus. Great job, Joe Schwartz (but hint: I could be wrong)...

    July 19, 2013

    • Andy F.

      Woody, having said that -- what do you think of the strategic points he did make in the presentation? And also - what do other people think, including newer DSA members or followers who were attending the Salon for the first time?

      July 19, 2013

  • David S.

    Very good. Good speaker - informative.

    July 19, 2013

  • Lucette S.

    Super!

    July 19, 2013

  • Daniel A.

    2 of us

    July 15, 2013

  • Andy F.

    What we're hoping for this Salon is a presentation & discussion by Joe Schwartz, a member of the DSA National Political Committee and I believe former national political director of DSA, on what it means to be a democratic socialist in the 21st century. We're hoping to meet again at the Human Dynasty restaurant on Capitol Hill near the Capitol South metro stop. But I'm not sure that that's been determined yet.

    June 22, 2013

    • Lucette S.

      I remember attending a talk by Schwartz at the MLK library. The number of participants was too large for the rooms we have used at the Hunan Dinasty. Caute.

      June 22, 2013

31 went

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Imagine having a community behind you

Get started Learn more
Rafaël

We just grab a coffee and speak French. Some people have been coming every week for months... it creates a kind of warmth to the group.

Rafaël, started French Conversation Group

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy