Political Education Event Archive

  • 11
    MAR

    Marxism and Politics Reading Group

    Chapterhouse Cafe

    The Marxist Reading Group meets every other Monday, 7-9 pm at Chapterhouse Gallery. All are welcome to attend!

    Marx_and_Politics_General_2X.png

    This week we'll be discussing:

    Karl Marx, "Eighteenth Brumaire"

    Ralph Miliband, "Marx and the State"

    Marx famously wrote in his 11th thesis on Feuerbach, "Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it." At the same time, Marx's descriptions of society as class society, and of capitalism, are motivated by the idea that a rigorous analysis of social conditions must inform political action capable of changing those conditions. The purpose of this group is to read and discuss works by Marx, Marxists, and other thinkers from the historical materialist tradition that describe historical changes in capitalism leading up to the present and outline the political and strategic problems faced by those who seek to intervene in history.

  • 21
    FEB

    Night School: Civil Rights

    Houston Hall, Ben Franklin Room

    Night School is back in session! Join us on February 21st when we talk about the civil rights movement.

    The civil rights movement, the “Second Reconstruction”, has by now taken its place in high school history textbooks alongside the American Revolution, Civil War, and New Deal. Even the most right-wing Republicans pay lip service to the legacy of Martin Luther King, recast as a patron saint of apolitical humanitarianism. Looking back after more than half a century, how do we understand the civil rights movement, both as a pivotal moment in American history and a lesson for today’s struggles? In what ways did civil rights (both as a movement and a rhetoric) challenge the structures of American capitalism, and in what ways did it legitimize them? Join Philly DSA as we read socialist and March on Washington organizer Bayard Rustin’s influential 1965 article “From Protest to Politics”, as well as two historical retrospectives on the movement.

    The Philly DSA Night School is intended as a forum for discussing thinkers, "-isms," and current trends in socialist politics. All meetings are free and open to the public, and are designed for all people regardless of previous experience. New members are always welcome.

     

    Readings:

  • 11
    FEB

    Marxism and Politics Reading Group

    Chapterhouse Cafe

    The Marxist Reading Group meets every other Monday, 7-9 pm at Chapterhouse Gallery. All are welcome to attend!

    This week we'll be discussing:

    POULANTZAS Problem of the Capitalist State

    MILIBAND Reply to Poulantzas

    BLOCK The Ruling Class Does Not Rule

     

    Marx famously wrote in his 11th thesis on Feuerbach, "Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it." At the same time, Marx's descriptions of society as class society, and of capitalism, are motivated by the idea that a rigorous analysis of social conditions must inform political action capable of changing those conditions. The purpose of this group is to read and discuss works by Marx, Marxists, and other thinkers from the historical materialist tradition that describe historical changes in capitalism leading up to the present and outline the political and strategic problems faced by those who seek to intervene in history.

  • 07
    FEB

    Socialist Night School: What Is Capitalism?

    Houston Hall, Ben Franklin Room

    The next session of the Philly DSA Socialist Night School is starting up again!

    What is Capitalism?

    We all know what we're up against: capitalism! But what exactly is capitalism? Is it a thing, a system, or something else? And, why does it persist in spite of the fact that it promotes so much instability, crisis, and suffering?

    There are many different ways to understand our economic world, not all of which are compatible. Figuring out exactly what we’re up against is crucial if our goal is to get it right.

    Join Philly DSA to discuss theories of capitalism, asking about what capitalism is–and what we should do to challenge it.

    Readings:

    The Philly DSA Night School is intended as a forum for discussing thinkers, "-isms," and current trends in socialist politics. All meetings are free and open to the public, and are designed for all people regardless of previous experience. New members are always welcome.

    Keep an eye on our Night School website for future events, and feel free to write to me with questions!

  • 27
    NOV

    Gender & Sexuality Night School

    Bennett Hall - Room 231

    Questions of gender and sexual expression dominate politics and popular culture in a way not seen since the 1970s. Historically, socialists have been at the forefront of struggles for equality, but today the relationship between socialism and the politics of gender and sexuality is less clear. Capitalism’s interaction with much older forms of gender and sexual oppression is complex and contradictory, as shown by the celebration of female CEOs by liberal feminists, or the role of LGBTQ-friendly “gayborhoods” in gentrification. What role do economic forces play in the formation of sexual identity and family life? And what is the record of “really existing socialist” states in advancing women’s position in deeply patriarchal societies? Join Philly DSA as we try to untangle complex questions of capitalism, patriarchy, and sexual identity, with an eye towards moving beyond liberal egalitarianism.

    Readings:

    John D’Emilio, “Capitalism and Gay Identity

    Interview with Stephanie Coontz, “Capitalism and the Family

    Kristen R. Ghodsee and Julia Mead, “What Has Socialism Ever Done For Women?

     

    The Philly DSA Night School is intended as a forum for discussing thinkers, "-isms," and current trends in socialist politics. All meetings are free and open to the public, and are designed for all people regardless of previous experience. New members are always welcome.

    Keep an eye on our Night School website for future events, and feel free to write to us with questions!

  • 13
    NOV

    Housing Night School

    Bennett Hall - Room 231

    The United States is in the midst of a full-blown housing crisis. Most major cities are becoming unaffordable to working class tenants, homelessness is on the rise, and gentrification seems to have become a permanent feature of urban life. Meanwhile, housing policy meant to address the crisis is often just as likely to subsidize exploitative landlords and worsen housing segregation. What are the root causes of the housing crisis, and what are the demands that will solve it? Join Philly DSA as we examine the political economy of housing and the city, and look to visionary experiments in social housing from abroad.

    Readings:

    Mary Robertson, “Re-asking The Housing Question”

    Cedric Johnson, “Gentrifying New Orleans”

    Ryan Cooper & Peter Gowan, “The Solution is Social Housing”

     

    The Philly DSA Night School is intended as a forum for discussing thinkers, "-isms," and current trends in socialist politics. All meetings are free and open to the public, and are designed for all people regardless of previous experience. New members are always welcome.

     

  • 30
    OCT

    Philly DSA Night School: Imperialism

    Bennett Hall, UPENN, Room 231

    From the first moment Columbus set sail in the direction of the “New World,” to the ongoing Syrian Civil War, the entire history of the capitalist epoch has been defined by imperialist activity.

    Though associated with Europe’s industrial revolution, some have argued that capitalism would never have developed without imperialism. Marx himself wrote that capitalism “compels all nations, on pain of extinction, to adopt the bourgeois mode of production…. In one word, it creates a world after its own image.”

    Join Philly DSA to explore the complicated politics of imperialist conflict. This week's readings focusing on the earliest years of imperial history; the violence that accompanied the anti-communist fervor of the twentieth century; and the ongoing role of the US military in global relations.

    Readings

     

    The Philly DSA Night School is intended as a forum for discussing thinkers, "-isms," and current trends in socialist politics. All meetings are free and open to the public, and are designed for all people regardless of previous experience. New members are always welcome.

    Keep an eye on our Night School website for future events, and feel free to write to us with questions!

  • 23
    OCT

    Philly DSA Night School: Electoral Politics

    Bennett Hall, UPENN, Room 231

    The next Night School will focus on the hot button issue of electoral politics.

    Campaigns have proved hugely important for DSA, as our numbers and public profile have often grown around electoral successes: Bernie Sanders' primary run, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's victory in the New York congressional race, and the work surrounding our very own candidates Liz Fiedler and Kristin Seale.

    Yet socialists have a long and contradictory history where this topic is concerned. As one of the only roads to power within the current capitalist state, the electoral arena has helped leftists implement major social reforms. But this path has also led to co-optation and the neutralization of political militancy.

    Join us to discuss ways that electoral politics might advance—or compromise—our interests.

    Readings

    The Philly DSA Night School is intended as a forum for discussing thinkers, "-isms," and current trends in socialist politics. All meetings are free and open to the public, and are designed for all people regardless of previous experience. New members are always welcome.

    We've now got a dedicated Night School page on the Philly DSA website, so stay tuned there for readings, dates, and other information!

  • 02
    OCT

    Philly DSA Night School: New Left 1968

    Bennett Hall, UPENN, Room 231

    The night school is back in full swing.

    This time around, we'll talk about the tumultuous political uprisings of the 1960s, revisiting–fifty years later–the period of civil unrest now known as May '68. We'll also explore the legacy of groups such as Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), asking generally about the lessons and warnings of the New Left.

    Readings:


    The Philly DSA Night School is intended as a forum for discussing thinkers, "-isms," and current trends in socialist politics. All meetings are free and open to the public, and are designed for all people regardless of previous experience.

    New members are welcome!

  • 18
    SEP

    Night School: Democratic Socialism

    Bennett Hall, UPENN

    We're excited to announce that Night School will be resuming this fall!

    We'll begin the Night School by asking that ever-elusive question: What is Democratic Socialism?

    Though the word socialism has returned to the public vocabulary in recent years, there remains much debate about what the term actually means. There are many forms of socialism, each making different theoretical and political claims.

    Join us to discuss democratic socialism and what DSA wants to accomplish as an organization.

    Reading List:

    The Philly DSA Night School is intended as a forum for discussing thinkers, "-isms," and current trends in socialist politics. All meetings are free and open to the public, and are designed for all people regardless of previous experience.

    New members are welcome!

    Please contact Jarek Ervin at jarekpaulervin@gmail.com with questions!

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