Capitalism has taught us that a society structured around an endless quest for profit and the pursuit of individual self interest is natural; as socialists, we identify capitalism as the artificially imposed set of relations that it is. The Political Education Committee seeks to challenge what is understood to be “common sense” under capitalism and offer ongoing opportunities to expand our collective understanding of socialist concepts, histories, and strategies.
As an Internal Resource and Organizing Committee, we aim to revive socialist pedagogies that support the goals of the chapter as a whole. We are committed to dismantling hierarchical structures traditionally associated with education, and to providing opportunities for educating and learning to all people. As members of a multi-tendency organization, the Political Education Committee’s work will prioritize productive debate and the respectful exchange of socialist ideas and viewpoints rather than the pursuit of absolute political agreement among members.
We will work in partnership with all other DSA-LA committees and working groups to develop educational resources and programming which introduces the broader public to socialism, raises our own membership’s level of participation and knowledge, and expands ownership of our collective struggle for the fullest possible imagining of freedom, liberation, and power for all people.
1) Ensure that all DSA-LA members have ongoing opportunities to learn about and discuss socialist theories, traditions, and practices.
In order to ground the various projects within DSA-LA in the context of rigorous socialist politics, we will support and develop educational programming and resources focused on the meaning and history of democratic socialism, socialist analyses of power (along the lines of class, race, gender, origin, ability, and more), interpretations of pathways and solutions leading to socialism, common criticisms of socialism (and the respective rebuttals), and the current landscape of socialist and anti-imperialist politics here and abroad.
This will be made available to members in a variety of well-publicized and accessible formats, including but not limited to:
- One-time special events, such as day schools, debates, or teach-ins
- Ongoing educational series
- Thematic reading and discussion groups
- Film screenings
- Lending libraries
- Reading and discussion guides aligned with recommended readings
- Educational materials, such as newspapers or pamphlets
2) Forge strong connections across committees and working groups and work together to build and maintain emancipatory educational spaces that are welcoming and inclusive of all people—including non-members interested in socialism, members with marginalized identities, members new to socialist thinking, and long-time socialist members.\
3) Build and maintain intentional and reciprocal relationships with other entities—such as leftist groups, academics, journalists, and activists—who have a focus on political education and share our broad political goals.
4) Provide ongoing opportunities to build members’ capacity to serve as educators and co-learners.
5) Establish effective mechanisms for input from the membership to ensure educational programming and opportunities are responsive to the needs and stated interests of the chapter.