We’re the Houston local of the Democratic Socialists of America, the largest socialist organization in the country. We fight for more democracy — in our politics, workplaces, and communities. Our members are building and supporting progressive movements for social change while establishing an openly socialist presence in U.S. communities and politics through activism, political education, and community organization.
With over 50,000 DSA members and now dozens of socialists elected to state and local governments, we are growing our power base. How do we wield this power?
At our next Houston DSA Reading Group, Monday, November 19th from 7:00-9:00pm, we will be discussing power: How do we build it? How do we use it? How do we not succumb to its pitfalls?
To guide our discussion, we’ve assembled a few articles on the subject:
- A now classic is Vivek Chibber’s Our Road To Power from last year which lays out some organizational and strategic guidelines to follow to build a power base.
- In another Jacobin article, Michael Kinnucan discusses some tactical issues and argues that we should use our power to fight for specific goals such as Medicare For All, while mobilizing locally to achieve these goals.
- In The Left We Want to Build, the authors discuss following an “inside/outside” strategy, combining both electoral power with mass organization to ensure our goals are not co-opted by the exigencies of institutional politics.
- Florian Wilde takes an international perspective, providing some warnings about how such co-option can happen (and has) in Europe over the past few decades.
- From an excerpt from his recent book, Nathan J. Robinson argues about the importance of building a left alternative to the narrative and nonsense of the Trump era, instead suggesting we focus on issues that effect people’s day to day lives.
- Finally, an article from Ben Beckett shows how some of the newly elected socialist leadership in congress is already starting to use their platform and creating such an alternative narrative.
For your convenience, we’ve also placed PDF versions of each of these articles here.
We hope to see you on Monday for what promises to be a great discussion. Interesting times, indeed!
The Houston DSA Reading Group
Hope to see you there!
Houston DSA is firmly committed to organizing to #AbolishICE and #AbolishDHS. We encourage our members and allies to participate in the following actions. Please follow us here on our website, HoustonDSA.org, and on Facebook and Twitter, @HoustonDSA, to be kept up to date as future actions are announced. Community Action No Baby Jails – FIEL …
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