Imperialism: A DSA-LA Study Series

Israel’s genocidal campaign against Palestinians continues well into 2024, despite vocal condemnation by international human rights bodies and widespread public disapproval. After dedicating time to study the specific history of settler colonialism and resistance in Palestine over the past months, we expand our study to the history of capitalist imperialism to better understand the enduring systems of global hegemony and dominance that allow the genocide to continue unabated.

The Imperialism Study Series is for anyone who wants to learn more about the history of violent dispossessions that characterize the ascent of global capitalism and struggles for self-determination around the world—struggles which remain core to the socialist project. Across four sessions, this series examines foundational concepts, the role of national liberation within imperial power dynamics, and closes with a case study.

You can find the Imperialism Study Series Reader here

Reading Group Session Dates and Times:

  • Thursday, May 9th at 7 PM: Session 1 – Is imperialism the highest stage of capitalism? The Trajectory of British Imperialism and pre-WWII Theories of Imperialism [RSVP HERE]
  • Wednesday, May 22 at 7 PM: Session 2 – America’s Ascent as an Imperial Power: An Examination of Financialization and Globalization  [RSVP HERE]
  • Thursday, June 6th at 7 PM: Session 3 – The National Question: An Introduction to Leftist Dialogue on Self-Determination, Intervention, and Nationalism [RSVP HERE]
  • Wednesday, June 19th at 7 PM: Session 4 – The China Question: Understanding the Transformations of Chinese Socialism [RSVP HERE]

Political Education Committee’s Study Series Archive:

We periodically revisit past study series curricula in Night School formats, and previous readers are freely available below: 

A Study Series on Black Leftist Thought (2022) (Reader Forthcoming)

This series introduces attendees to the writings, speeches, and perspectives of Black leftists through most of the twentieth century. Through original sources in writing, audio, and video, we will trace back the history of discourses introduced and developed by Black socialists, all of which have profound impact on our political landscape today.

Lost Angles: Piecing Together a Socialist LA (2020, 2021)

This series takes a look at many of the often overlooked pieces of Los Angeles’ socialist past, present, and future exploring the development of the freeway system, the radical communities of the 20s and 30s, Hollywood’s connection to the CPUSA and the Red Scare, LA’s Third World Left movements, and the campaign for the San Fernando Valley to secede from LA at the turn of the 21st Century. Through these local struggles, we seek to connect with the place where we live and engage with the past as a way to guide our current work together.

Class on Class (2018, 2019, 2020)

This study series examines a selection of foundational concepts and inquiries, with the goal of more deeply grounding our collective struggle in rigorous socialist analysis.

Imperialism Study Series (2019)

Building on concepts introduced in the Class on Class, this series examines the relationship between imperialism and capitalism as articulated by leftists thinkers from the 19th century through today. Across installments, this series is designed to highlight the deep and varied theories on the left and create a space for open, healthy discussion. [Archived reader here]

Socialism & Electoralism Night School Series (2019-2020)

A series of informal Night Schools designed to complement DSA’s local and national commitments to Bernie’s campaign and  engage with this candidacy within the broader context of socialist strategies and perspectives on electoral politics.