The Four Freedoms

Hello, all who read these lines. I have become what we DSAers in our youth used to call “old socialists.” It wasn’t a derogatory term because we were tipping our hats to those who had hung in there over the decades and not “sold out.” I hope, now that I am closer to 70 than to 65, that I and my cohorts will win a kind appellation such as that.

I am proud of Houston DSA now, especially because my younger comrades, which means at least 90 percent of the local chapter, have been doing some very impressive things, walking the walk as well as talking the talk. Those of you who helped working class and poor folk with the heavy flooding the Houston area experienced in 2017 deserve special commendation.

When thinking about defining democratic socialism, I think of FDR’s Four Freedoms: Freedom of speech, Freedom of worship (or non-worship), Freedom from want, and Freedom from fear. We strongly agree with liberal democrats on the first two freedoms. I think what particularly distinguishes democratic socialists is our emphasis on the “Freedom froms.” We believe that human beings now have the technology and the capability to make sure that all humans have the necessities to live a decent life, including nutritious food and clean water, decent housing, and good medical care. As we look around, we may note that while there is some attempt to provide these things, it is a pretty spotty and happenstance effort, both in the United States and outside our borders. Just think about all the jobs that would be created if we systematically set out to make sure everyone is free from poverty!

“Freedom from Fear” is related to “Freedom from Want.” Once one has the basic necessities—food, water, clothing, medical care, and the like, every person should not fear that these things are going to be taken away by someone, a dictator or an authoritarian government. It also means being free from the mass shootings that seem to be almost a daily occurrence, and being free from the intimidation of hate groups.

Once we have achieved these freedoms we will have come pretty close to the attainment of democratic socialism.

An Old Socialist,
Paul R.
Houston DSA Member


Poor Texans are going to suffer the most in Harvey, thanks to state politics

By Tawny Tidwell

Earlier this week, I was holed up on high ground in Houston, riding out what meteorologists are calling an unprecedented flooding disaster brought on by Hurricane Harvey. My place has, so far, stayed relatively dry. But I have had to step out to lend a folding ladder to a friend, who drove a circuitous route to borrow it to fix his gutters, and lessen the chances of water cascading into his home. Other friends of mine are stranded on the second floors of their homes, crossing their fingers that waters don’t rise; many more are on their roofs awaiting rescue or already in shelters. Continue reading “Poor Texans are going to suffer the most in Harvey, thanks to state politics”

Harvey Relief

As Harvey sits over Texas, the destruction of local Southeast Texas communities continues. We in the Houston chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America are organizing aid efforts for those affected by the storm. With severe initial damage in the region around Rockport and Corpus Christi, Harvey is stalling over Southeast Texas and will bring flooding rains over the next few days to the whole region. This will extend and exacerbate the disaster.

Continue reading “Harvey Relief”

DSA Reading Group: Jacobin’s The ABC’s of Socialism Pt. 2

Hello Comrades!

We will be having our next reading group on Monday March 13th at 7:00 PM.  The event will be held at:

Daiquiri Explosion

9223 Main St

Houston, TX 77025

We will continue to discuss Jacobin’s ABC’s of Socialism, available for download or purchase.

Last week we got through roughly the first 3 sections (~30 pages).  We’ll continue our discussion where we left off with Chapters 4-6.

Hope to see everyone there!  And feel free to bring friends, even if they are not DSA members.  We want this to be an educational and welcoming experience for all.

1st Reading Group: Jacobin’s The ABC’s of Socialism Pt. 1

Hello Comrades!

We will be having our 1st reading group session on Monday February 27th at 7:00 PM, location:


Chacho’s Mexican Restaurant

2700 S Loop W Fwy, Houston, TX 77054



We will be reading roughly the first half of Jacobin’s ABC’s of Socialism, which you can download or purchase.

We will be covering the first 6 sections plus the introduction bringing us up to about page 60.  In the following session, we will cover the remainder.  We understand this is short notice, so read what you can.  No big deal if you don’t get through everything by Monday.

Hope to see everyone there!  And feel free to bring friends, even if they are not DSA members.  We want this to be an educational and welcoming experience for all.