All About Socialism (In Progress)

Many new members are just getting their start in socialist philosophy. For them, we aim for all of our members to understand socialism and feel comfortable talking about it with their friends.

Here are some resources for that:
What is Democratic Socialism?
ABC’s of Socialism
Fundamentals of Marxism
An Anarchist FAQ

We know that not everyone is keen on reading large books about politics, so we have a few videos to show as well.

How to talk about socialism.

You’re already an expert on talking about Socialism. Think about why you, personally, are a socialist. What made you realize you were a socialist? What have you seen or learned that has crystallized the need for Socialism and made it real to you?

The most effective way to talk about socialism happens in 2 parts:

A personal story about a problem caused by capitalism.
The socialist antidote to the problem. 

Here are some examples:

Personal story: I’m a Socialist because I was volunteering in a free clinic and realized that I could be there for ten years and there will be even more people who can’t afford co-pays then than now. I still do it, but we have to change the capitalist system.

Socialist antidote: In a socialist society, health care, along with other basic needs like housing and education would be a right that everyone enjoyed, not something only the very rich can afford.

Personal story: I’m a socialist because of my student loans. I’ve paid about $27,000 in interest on my student loans, but only $3,000 towards the principal. I’ve been paying for 10 years. I feel like an indentured servant that will never be free from my debt.

Socialist antidote: In a Socialist society, education would be seen as a right and available to everyone without needing to go into enormous debt.

Sometimes you’ll get folks with honest misconceptions about socialism asking a question you don’t know the answer to. Or bad faith folks might try to “red bait” you by asking something like “but what about Venezuela?” Here’s are some great lines that set you up to share your vision for a better society.

“I don’t know about that but I’m a Socialist because…”
“I hadn’t considered that but here’s my personal experience trying to survive under our current capitalist system…”

Talking About DSA

You’re talking to some socialist curious friends and they ask you why you joined DSA. Don’t panic – you’re already an expert on talking about socialism. Here’s a quick explainer about what DSA is.

DSA is the largest socialist organization in the United States. We’re an activist organization, not a political party. It’s a big tent which welcomes many different anti-capitalist perspectives. We use a variety of tactics, from legislative to direct action to win a better world for working people.

After that, a really natural place to is talk about how you first heard about DSA and why you joined. Here are some common examples:

I knew about DSA for awhile but I was really impressed with their fight to win a universal right to counsel for all tenants in San Francisco. I joined because I wanted to work on things that make life easier for working people.
I heard about DSA from a friend. I used to think that socialism was a good idea, but impractical because the United States seems so conservative. Then I saw Alexandria Ocasio Cortez win her primary on a socialist platform and I decided that I wanted to get involved.
I heard about DSA because someone was canvassing for Medicare 4 all. Talking with them made me feel like we can win universal healthcare in the United States. I joined and started volunteering after that.
I saw a DSA contingent at a rally. It was refreshing to see a lot of people my age organizing and I started going to meetings to see what I could do to get involved.

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