Socialist Night School is a rolling open course that provides opportunities for Olympia DSA members to ground their political work in the rich theoretical and historical traditions of the socialist left.

Classes are down-to-earth, inclusive spaces that give Olympia comrades a chance to grow their politics together, regardless of background knowledge, affiliation, or whether you've attended a class before. You don't even have to be a member of Olympia DSA —everyone is welcome!

Saturday, December 5th at 3pm Want to spend your Covid-19 isolation sharpening your analytical senses and building your historical knowledge? Join the Education Committee for the inauguration of our Socialist Night School! This will include a lecture followed by a discussion informed by selected optional readings. Register here to participate in this and subsequent Socialist Night School online meetings.

At this session we will discuss socialist feminism. Socialists have often been ahead of the curve on women's rights (indeed, the Soviet Union was the first modern country to grant fully equal rights to men and women). What do socialism and feminism have to do with each other, and what does it mean to bring them together in a single idea? What is the role of household labor and othe 'women's work' in capitalism, and how does capitalism shape all our experiences of gender and sex?

Find the recommended readings below:

What is Socialist Feminism? by Barbra Ehrenreich

Producing and Reproducing: Capitalism's Dual Oppression of Women by Celeste Murillo

We Can’t Have a Feminist Future Without Abandoning the Family by Marie Solis

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Saturday, November 28 at 3pm Want to spend your Covid-19 isolation sharpening your analytical senses and building your historical knowledge? Join the Education Committee for the inauguration of our Socialist Night School! This will include a lecture followed by a discussion informed by selected optional readings. Register here to participate in this and subsequent Socialist Night School online meetings.

For this Socialist Night School session we will be learning more about the history of the contruction of the modern idea of race, and how race reductionism and racial capitalism intersect with one another. Please see the recommended readings & videos below:

What is Racial Capitalism and Why Does It Matter? by Robin D.G. Kelley (Video)

From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation Excerpt from Ch 7 by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

Marx, Race and Neoliberalism by Adolph Reed Jr

Beware the Race Reductionist by Brianha Joy Gray

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Socialism 101 Nov 14th, 3-4:30pm Want to spend your Covid-19 isolation sharpening your analytical senses and building your historical knowledge? Join the Education Committee for the inauguration of our Socialist Night School! This will include a lecture followed by a discussion informed by selected optional readings. Register here to participate in this online meeting.

Our next session, on Nov 14th at 3pm, will conclude our three-session course on the history of socialism. This course will discuss the history of social democracy in the 20th century. This tradition produced some of the most humane societies the world has ever seen in Northern Europe, yet is often regarded as a failure by many on the Left. What are we talking about when we say 'social democracy'? How have 20th century social democrats understood their politics? What can democratic socialists in the 21st century learn from this experience?

Reading

"Why Socialists Should Fight for Structural Reforms" by Meagan Day (a refresher from our Socialist Strategy discussion)

"Cockblocked by Redistribution: A Pickup Artist in Denmark" by Katie JM Baker

"Beyond Social Democracy" by Ralph Milliband and Marcel Liebman

Watching

The Spirit of '45, feature length documentary by Ken Loach on the accomplishments of the British Labour Party after WWII

Extended Reading

Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism by Gøsta Esping-Andersen

The Struggle for Economic Democracy in Sweden by Gregg Olsen (hard to find; I have a copy to lend)

"The Coup in Chile" by Ralph Milliband

Extended Watching

A Very British Coup, a three-part BBC miniseries based on a novel of the same name by British Labour politician Chris Mullins about the election, and subsequent (what we would now call) deep state opposition to a hard left prime minister. Mullins, a member of the Socialist Campaign Group with Tony Benn and Jeremy Corbyn, based his novel on the very real consideration of a coup against Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson during the 1970s. Also Episode 2 and Episode 3.

_The Battle of Chile_ a documentary by Patricio Guzman about the coup against the elected Socialist President Salvador Allende. Also, Part 2 and Part 3.

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Socialism 101 Nov 7th, 3-4:30pm Want to spend your Covid-19 isolation sharpening your analytical senses and building your historical knowledge? Join the Education Committee for the inauguration of our Socialist Night School! This will include a lecture followed by a discussion informed by selected optional readings. Register here to participate in this online meeting.

Our next session, on Nov 7th at 3pm, will continue our three-session course on the history of socialism. This course will discuss the history of communism in the 20th century.

Primary readings, in order (Don't worry, they're short)

The Principles of Communism, Frederick Engels (1847):

Economics and Politics in the Era of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, V.I. Lenin (1919):

Toward a Critical Reassessment of Maoism, Khalil Hassan, (Freedom Road 2003)

What Maoism Actually Stood For, Max Elbaum (2004):

The Cuban Revolution and Marxist Theory, Mage, Wohlforth and Robertson (1960):

Extra readings to skim if you have time:

*Marxism-Leninism (long but definitely worth a skim):

*Socialism with Chinese Characteristics (skim):

*Communist Party USA (skim):

The World Revolution That Wasn't, Loren Balhorn (Jacobin 2019):

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Socialism 101 Oct 31st 3-4:30pm Want to spend your Covid-19 isolation sharpening your analytical senses and building your historical knowledge? Join the Education Committee for the inauguration of our Socialist Night School! This will include a lecture followed by a discussion informed by selected optional readings. Register here to participate in this online meeting.

Our next session, on Oct 31st at 3pm (spoooooky), will open our three-session course on socialist history, beginning with the origins of modern socialism in the 19th century, the development of and conflicts between different strategies, and the crisis int he Socialist International caused by the First World War. The next two sessions will address the history of 20th Century Communism and the history of 20th Century Social Democracy.

Readings:(Choose ONE of the following) The Proud Tower (Chapter 8: The Socialists), by Barbara Tuchman: Narrative history of pre-war Europe aimed at a general audience, this book is a great introduction to the period. Written by a non-socialist. Free Download.

Forging Democracy (Part I: Making Democracy Social), by Geoff Eley (2002): Mainstream academic history of the European left 1850-2000. Author is left-sympathetic, being a member of Democracy for America and donating to Bernie Sanders and Mike Gravel. Free Download.

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