What is the best way to discover socialist organizations in my local area in the US? After looking around the only active group seems to be a DSA chapter. I don’t have anything against them, but I thought there would be more of other active groups as well.
Trying to find an active Socialist group ln the US is like deciding whether to join the Peoples Front of Judea or the Judea Peoples Front. The DSA congressional members all voted to send $40b to Ukraine so you should have something against them. Since the Great Red Purge of the '50s, the only significant socialist group has been the Black Panthers. If there is a large college campus near you, try looking for socialist meetings there or Marx reading groups. You could look for an active Socialist Altenative or Socialist Equality Party meet-up if you’re in a large city. Hate to be a glass half empty person but an organized left just doesn’t exist in the US so you’ll have to be in the vanguard.
A shame, since the U.S seems to be heading for another collapse.
Which is why (to borrow a phrase about planting trees) the best time to organize was 30yrs ago, and the next best time is now. Right now we are seeing a real rise in general interest in socialism by millennials and zoomers. With the obvious and looming failures of our current capitalist systems. Now is basically one of the most opportune times to really push forward.
As we (definitely millennials like myself) were raised in the post-“victory over the evil USSR” 90’s. As such we were pumped full of indoctrination about the “greatness/correctness of free capitalism” and consumerism. Told lies about how you “must go to college or you will be poor” and all the false promises. We were taught that the US is basically ordained to be the protector of the world, and that other nations are wrong (especially the remaining socialist ones). Even to the point where being the ones that are against the conservative views still presume that there isn’t any freedom in such nations. That their suffering is because of their oppressive systems, and not really taught about the stuff done by us “good guys” to cause suffering. 9-11/Afghanistan/Iraq really taught me the lesson of how our “free” media and “good” leaders are able to create the demand for “liberating” other nations and installing our systems.
The big crash of 2008 really showed me that laws and rules are only for the poor. For all the talk of what should happen to “bad guys”, and that “the market decides if a business grows or dies and shouldn’t be messed with by our government”. We saw those that broke laws and very much caused law abiding people to lose everything get off with nothing. At least nothing when compared to folks that are caught dealing drugs for their crimes that “ruin society”. We saw our money go everywhere but into helping working and poor people. Money isn’t around when talk of public healthcare that actually works. Yet it is there to burn when the military industrial complex is knocking, or when companies are deemed “too big to fail”. We didn’t place real terms on the bailouts, which lead to those same people firing hundreds of thousands of workers and giving themselves higher bonuses than any other year. Our tax money went into badly ran car manufacturing that was in-part failing due to our companies not wanting to focus on MPG and just sucking down gas. And we don’t even get the benefit of dividend payouts like other shareholders do.
The right-wing has been growing and growing more bold and open since before I was born in the 80’s. Yet the left is either placed in the same camp as the right when libs/centrists want to feel superior. And we are blamed for “throwing away votes” when they lose again and again to conservatives/far-right leaders. They love to steal our words, but always say “it just isn’t the right time to do X” when we ask/demand actions that they promised while running. If we don’t start being more visible and active in interacting with both comrades of various leanings as well as taking back our stuff from the centrists and conservatives. No more just letting them claim victories when nothing was done!
I have personally been openly outspoken and am willing to take time to speak with people when they ask why “I support socialism/communism when they are anti-freedom”. I have opened their minds to at least second guessing what we have been told. I am unfortunately not very well versed in book theory (and am working one that), but I think they like how I am coming from a place of sharing what I have learned. I don’t speak in the way that some academics do where they care more about being smug and letting you know that they are smarter than you. Maybe because I speak like just another worker is helpful. Some right of centre folks aren’t prepared for me to agree that the Dems are focused on the wrong things and that I am very much pro-gun owning. We have so much to do, and so many hearts and minds to win.
So planting the correct seeds in in of itself is one of the simplest and important actions for day to day life and building the communities we must build. At least that is my most basic personal goal as one person outside of efforts made with my chapter.
As a normie, most people I know in real life don’t give one hoot about reading.
Also as someone who identifies more with anarchism than communism, I too don’t like reading.
So in my opinion, as long as you can talk the talk, that’s the more important part. Not sure if this is helpful to know lol
I haven’t fully thought about any specific camp to claim. But I do like how the term socialist throughout the history of the left can mean all three (communist, anarchist, socialist). I think a well rounded person can use theory to help with having a good framework. Just the same as another well rounded person can discover theory based around being good at just understanding others and their needs. Obviously there are some people that think they do either of those, and are the cause of much misunderstanding.
I used to be able to really sit down and read non-fiction stuff pretty easy (so long as I had interest), but at some point I just found myself starting a sentence and just losing all focus. Which is weird because I can read the fuck out of really random shit on sites like this. I also can really get lost in podcasts that both teach our (the left) past and present struggles. So I have decided to give audiobooks a try for getting the actual books of theory going. So I might actually get some of my old spark back and feel more sure of how I argue things. But I also will more than likely always consider myself “green” knowledge-wise. When you are new, you have both the excitement and drive to keep learning. I have much more respect for people that don’t just assume they already know it all.
If nothing else, you strike me as a blogger, long replies!
lol, I am not one. I just tend to either be super short, or go way overboard with over-explaining/mental tangents based on wherever my mind starts to go. Which is very frustrating for many of my friends/family/coworkers.
DM me your matrix username
that’s something nice abou Lemmy/other similar services. Good for posting rants, often somebody replies too which is nice for feeling acknowledged
Fucking Judea People’s Front, shitty splitters.
I too ran into this when I first started actually thinking of joining groups. DSA was an easy one to find out, but I did have to actually sign-up for what I thought was the one closest to me (it was named two different areas depending on which page I was on). Which was mildly frustrating. I thought they would more specifically get with me after joining the national org. Even after I started sending my monthly donations to the chapter, I didn’t get any on-boarding stuff for around 4 months. And the person that reached out didn’t get back to me when I did reply (which to be fair was at least a week) asking if I really should be setup with one closer but smaller. I will eventually reach out again.
But I kind of got spoiled when I signed up for the Socialist Rifle Association around the same time. After like a month or two I was sent info about making my account on our national forums. After doing the “Hello” introductions post that the forum bot that was showing me how the site worked. I was pretty quickly noted for my state, and added to that part. Which then lead to my closest chapter reaching out directly and setup on-boarding. Was very simple and easy.
I would start by seeing about some of the more nation wide ones. See if they have maps or lists showing where they have active chapters. Or if you don’t mind saying which state you are in, maybe someone here might happen to know of some. Also might be able to get information as to what they are about. Aside from the DSA and SRA, I know that Socialist Alternative is active in a number of states. If you live near a college or university, there might be some smaller groups on-campus.
I will say that the SRA isn’t about being a political party nor a militia, and isn’t specifically tied to a particular version of leftist (like ML, MLM, anarchist, etc.) outside of being anti-capitalist. It is more about learning and teaching gun safety and inspiring more leftists to not just think of guns as a right-wing thing. We believe that the left should be armed and know how to defend if needed. Some chapters either have, or are working to getting certs to teach concealed carry classes. There are also community efforts, but that really depends on the individual chapter. My chapter has adopted a street in a often ignored part of one of the cites we live in. We have also handed out PPE and other supplies during Covid. We have also started coordinating with some other local orgs to raise funds for the Carolina Abortion Fund. But I have also heard that folks that joined other chapters have had less than active efforts or other standard annoyances that can happen when joining a chapter for any org. Our national level org has also been making dumb choices for use of funds that were based on the higher than normal influx of people joining during 2020 and 2021. But it seems that real efforts are being voted on and started to fix that. There are also other big-tent and more specific leaning leftist gun groups.
Thanks! I will look into the SRA as I already own guns and want to improve skills and meet other like-minded gun owners. One of the other things that I found surprising was that CPUSA has a bunch of google trackers on their site and at the same time want my info. I don’t need big tech knowing that I signed up for more info from them.
You could look into black nra - naaga I think they’re called. If you do, let me know what you find, I’ve only seen one vice video on them
That’s awesome to hear (the part about looking into SRA and not the Google tracking)! The left needs to break away from letting the false left (libs/centrists that are too often called “the left”) choose to remove our ability to arm and defend ourselves. They just default to the defeatist attitude of “you really think you can just take on the military?!? lol, I think not!”. Which is what they mockingly say about the right’s fetishization of guns. Which I tend to respond with more practical examples that they can more easily understand. Unfortunately 2020 and the overall rise in hate based attacks from the right and their avid supporters with badges is one such example. More of my open-minded liberal friends do see how self-defense might be a real need with all that. The mass-shooting stuff is really what keeps them more in the “anti-gun” crowd. Which is understandable, but just banning guns isn’t the actual fix to the majority of the reasons such actions happen. It just makes it easier to ignore them and act like nothing is wrong.
I do sometimes like to point out that armed leftists have actually taken on our military and won (wasn’t easy and did cost many lives of course), like Vietnam is still one of the best. Many firm libs are under the misunderstanding that the only “valid” form of change is non-violent and just voting “blue no matter who”. Which the non-violent part is very important to always try first, but violence is very much valid if the non-violent attempts are ignored or only paid lip-service without actions. The right has been allowed to claim guns as their thing, and libs want to be on whatever the opposite side of them. So if the right wants guns to be legal and easy to get, the libs want to see them banned and hard as hell to get. They can fuck right off with banning some guns because they are “scary” and therefore “not needed for anything other than killing”. I don’t make my life about pushing for a shooting war, as the point isn’t to win by those means. We will only truly win by ending the money over people system, and that means education and winning over people in ways that actually help. But I am damn sure not gonna allow my ability to fight back if shit does happen be taken away.
I hope that if you do join the SRA that your local chapter is as supportive and amazing as mine has been. And they might just be a great place to learn about other groups/orgs near you. I only really learned about and got motivated to volunteer with clinic escorting because we had a couple of people already doing it. And while my insomnia makes it frustratingly hard to go out as much as I feel that I should. It is such and amazing boost of joy to know that by just doing such a simple task I am helping part of my community. The leftists (us and some random others) that show up are known for being ready to help and not afraid to stand firm if fucked with. lol
Just signed up for a yearly membership to the SRA!
That is awesome to hear!! Make sure to keep an eye out for an email inviting you to the forums. When you get that and make your account, do the introduction thing (the welcome bot should lead you there or you can jump to it). Make sure to say which state you are in, or I would imagine that you could look up which chapter is closest to you and send a DM or email to them directly. After that it is in their hands for arranging on-boarding. Feel free to DM me here if you need any information or whatever. I may not have the specific answers, but I can float them with people in my chapter to see if they do. Solidarity!