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

This month's topic is:

What does socialism mean to you?

All are encouraged to present their thoughts on socialism and relate how they came to hold those thoughts. By discussing our own conceptual systems, we can come to a better understanding of how to get there.

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  • Andy F.

    I'm closer to Lucette than I am to Matt in terms of thinking about philosophy, but what I hope is that if we "pinpoint the differences," we can also find what things all of us - or most of us -- can agree on, in common. I think this is kind of what "dialectics" is supposed to be about, or was supposed to be about in the thinking of Heraclitus and Hegel, before Marx made it "materialist." Better ideas are discovered / generated through the clash of existing ideas that may seem incompatible at first. I'm not saying Metro DSA or DSA nationally can do this with every disagreement, in some cases we may just disagree - permanently. But let's search for ways to become "the people united" who never get defeated.

    September 23, 2013

    • Andy F.

      And how does this relate to Matt's philosophical concerns, if it does -- and what do other people think, who also attended the Salon?

      September 24, 2013

    • Lucette S.

      I will stop my comments here. Thanks.

      September 24, 2013

  • Lucette S.

    If there is more interest in Matt's ideas, it might be worth discussing them again. Personally, I am miles apart from Matt's ideas and I hope we can pinpoint the differences.

    September 23, 2013

  • John R.

    I'm sad that I had to leave early. Good to meet you Tony :-) I thought Matt's intro was thought-provoking as well. It would be nice to see it posted or included in the 'local news'.

    September 23, 2013

  • Tony

    Great!

    September 22, 2013

  • Andy F.

    Correction -- Woody is on vacation as NL editor, so Bill Mosley is handling the Washington Socialist this issue. Those who want to write up your reactions to the Salon for the NL, can you please contact Bill Mosley?

    September 20, 2013

  • Andy F.

    I just contributed a couple of reactions to this Salon to this Meetup page, I think. But I wanted to add my 5 stars rating, b/c I thought in general, this discussion was excellent. but what do others think?

    September 20, 2013

  • Andy F.

    This is just a reminder: Woody would love to see people who had positions to argue for / express at this Salon also contribute opinion pieces to the Washington Socialist for the next issue.

    If you had something to say at this Salon -- no matter what it was -- can you contact Woody and let him know if you can write about it for the newsletter.

    September 20, 2013

    • Andy F.

      The deadline for contributions is (more or less) the 23rd. But if you can write something, please notify Woody soon, so he'll know what to plan for. Thanks!

      September 20, 2013

  • Andy F.

    I was afraid this Salon might be a disaster, but it was good -- a lot of stimulating exchange of ideas, some of which I agreed with. I thought Matt Gessner's long philosophical introduction to the discussion was complex, abstract, hard to follow at times -- but also provocative. And I think it spurred each of us to some interesting responses. I was especially struck by several of the different perspectives expressed -- eg rejection of corporate hegemony over culture and politics, concern for the environment rooted in "systems theory," anger at the steady demonization of government by "free market" fundamentalists, a moral desire for more community and more equality in the US, a Marxist desire for a new society rooted in historical materialism, a personal reaction against seeing the lives of poor but brilliant neighbors being stunted & damaged by economy inequality, recognition of the need for the majority to fight against the power of the elite.

    Anybody I missed?

    September 20, 2013

  • Lucette S.

    Very interesting. I would love to have this kind of discussion whenever we have to elect people for some position like the steering committee for instance.

    September 20, 2013

  • Ross T.

    Can't make it tonight, but I wish everyone the best!

    September 19, 2013

  • John R.

    There is an outside chance that my class will get cancelled on Thurs. night. I'll come if I can, but I'm RSVP'ing No with the assumption I have class.

    September 15, 2013

    • John R.

      I do not have class this evening so I'll be able to attend.

      September 19, 2013

  • Lucette S.

    I just finished listening to a speech by Jean Luc Melanchon of the french "Parti de Gauche." That's my kind of socialism. If you understand French, google him.

    1 · September 15, 2013

    • Jose A G.

      I have heard and read his speeches though I usually need help. I understand some French but I'm not fluent. I tend to read translations of his speeches.

      September 16, 2013

    • Lucette S.

      He calls for a Revolution "citoyenne", a new "6th" french republic, and has also very interesting analyses of the Atlantic equivalent of the TPP. And watching him is great - even - without comprehension is great.

      September 16, 2013

  • Andy F.

    How come so relatively few people are RSVPing for this Salon? The fact is, I know that we don't all agree on what "socialism" is and how DSA should help us to get there. But too often, we don't express our opinons to other DSA members.

    I hope that EVERYBODY (welll, almost everybody) who has an interesting idea about how democratic socialists should think about politics, economics and culture - ditto feminism, environmentalism, race, gender, the State, etc. etc. -- can make it to this discussion. I guess I make some exceptions: I don't think that "armed struggle" is worth talking about in this event, because I don't think it's gonna happen.

    We probably won't all end up agreeing on what we think can happen - but if you have strong beliefs about what DSA OUGHT to be doing and saying, please show up and make a good case for them!

    1 · September 15, 2013

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