Friday, January 15, 2016

1/28 + 2/4 "The Democrats" Education Series

The Democrats: Party of Capital & Graveyard of Social Movements
A discussion series hosted by the Boston ISO

Two sessions:
Thursday January 28th at 7pm
Session One: The two party system
"The Democrats: A Critical History" Chapters 1 + 2

Thursday February 4th at 7pm
Session Two: The graveyard of social movements
"The Democrats: A Critical History" Chapters 3, 5, 6 (new edition; 3-5 in old ed.)
"Subterranean Fire: A History of Working Class Radicalism in the United States" Chapter 3

358 Washington Street
Dorchester, MA 02124 (Google Map Link)
(Take the 23 Bus from Ruggles, or a short walk from
the Fields Corner T stop on the Red Line)
Call us if you get lost: (617) 902-0476

In the International Socialist Organization, we believe that supporting the Democratic Party is a dead-end street. Instead socialists and radicals should build an independent left wing alternative to the two party system.

As the election season rolls along, there will be increasing pressures on radicals and progressives to get behind the Democratic Party. Some have already started exploiting people's understandable fears of Republican troglodytes to drum up votes for "Team B" of American capitalism -- the party of Vietnam, drone strikes, the New Jim Crow, mass deportation, and the ruling-class restructuring of union contracts in the auto industry (just to name a few).

In order to steel ourselves against this pressure and be able to patiently convince others to break from the Democrats, we need to study. That's why the Boston ISO is hosting a two-part education series on the Democratic Party, the two-party system, and why we need a left-wing alternative.

Join the Boston Branch of the ISO for this important series as we prepare ourselves to join hands with progressives in struggle -- while arguing for independent, working-class politics.

Purchase the readings here -- and contact us if you want to participate!: 
The Democrats: A Critical History
Subterranean Fire: A History of Working Class Radicalism in the U.S.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

1/16 Bar Night on Greece

Learning lessons from Greece: SYRIZA, the Left, & the fight against austerity
ISR Bar Night/Social* hosted by the Boston ISO

Saturday January 16th at 5:30pm
Pho Hoa
1370 Dorchester Ave
Dorchester, MA 02122 (Google Map Link)
(A short walk from
the Fields Corner T stop on the Red Line; all ages venue)
Call us if you get lost: (617) 902-0476

SYRIZA, the Coalition of the Radical Left, came to power in January 2015 as a party committed to overturning the austerity imposed by international capitalist institutions. Eight months later, the party had backed down and signed another round of devastating cuts. Why?

As Paul D'Amato writes in the International Socialist Review, "Greece over the past several years has been a laboratory of neoliberal austerity, class struggle, economic and political crisis, and, within this maelstrom, the reconstitution of the radical left around an anti-austerity program. It is rich in lessons, but it is by no means a finished chapter." It is critical for us to continue to study the lessons of Syriza's rise, reign, and capitulation in Greece as we consider the future of the left and continue to argue for an alternative to austerity. What does the Greek experience mean for questions of left-wing organization, the power & limitations of elections, and more?
Join the Boston Branch of the ISO for a casual bar night* discussion of Paul D'Amato's article from the International Socialist Review, "Turning Point in Greece" and the lessons Greece holds for the political questions confronting American radicals today.

Download the reading for free here: 
Turning Point in Greece

Monday, January 4, 2016

The Democrats and Lesser Evilism

The Democrats and Lesser Evilism  

Thursday January 7th 2016
Montserrat Aspirer's Community Center
358 Washington St, Dorchester MA
(23 Bus from Ruggles or short walk from Fields Corner on the Red Line)

With Donald Trump rising in the polls and Hillary Clinton panning out to be the Democratic Party's likely nominee, many on the Left are already beginning to say that activists must throw their weight behind Clinton, no mater how bad her track record. Whether or not movements and activists should support the Democratic Party as a "lesser evil" has been a long standing debate on the Left. In the International Socialist Organization, we believe that supporting the Democratic Party is a dead end street, instead socialists and radicals should build an independent left wing alternative to the two party system.

Join the Boston Branch of the ISO for a discussion of Hal Draper's classic pamphlet, "Who's going to be the lesser evil in 1968?" and the lessons it holds for the political questions confronting radicals today surrounding the 2016 elections.

Download the reading, "Who's going to be the lesser evil in 1968?" for free here:

Check out the Facebook event here:

Saturday, December 19, 2015 Resistance in a Year of Fear

Donald Trump and his fellow Republican monsters may hog the headlines, but their outrages don't represent the full picture of the political climate in the U.S. today.
EDITORIAL - December 18, 2015

Clockwise from top left: Donald Trump; a Predator drone; protest against police violence; vigil after the San Bernardino shootings

IN CARTOONS, years are usually drawn as Baby January who becomes frail Old Man December. But as this year ends with a disturbing cycle of public violence and racist fear-mongering, maybe the months of late 2015 will be drawn as a gunman screaming racial slurs.

The violence has come in different forms: there were the ISIS terror attacks on the streets of Paris and Beirut and a Russian passenger plane; right-wing terror attacks in the U.S. against a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic and a Minneapolis Black Lives Matter protest; a mass shooting at a San Bernardino social service center that seems to have been a fusion of an ISIS-inspired attack and an American-as-apple-pie workplace massacre--and, not to be forgotten, as the media seem to, the biggest wave of violence against Muslims or those believed to be Muslim since the days after the September 11 attacks.

The racist fear-mongering can be seen in a surge of right-wing demagoguery on both sides of the Atlantic--from the unprecedented election gains made by the far-right National Front party in France to Donald Trump's commanding, though still early, lead in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

These disturbing developments are themselves products of and reactions to more deep-seated instabilities and injustices that many mainstream political leaders generally refuse to recognize, much less address: An economy where living conditions have stagnated or worse for the vast majority of people during the 2008-09 Great Recession and after; and the global chaos caused by the endless U.S. wars on terror and drugs, which is creating the largest refugee crisis the world has seen since the Second World War.

Bombarded by the mass shootings, the breakdown of Middle Eastern nation-states, the disappearance of international norms of decency toward refugees and the grotesque carnival taking over one of the most powerful political parties in the world, it's easy to conclude that society is simply coming apart at the seams.

But the horrors of the past months shouldn't stop us from remembering that 2015 was a year of polarization in U.S. society--with the increasing confidence of right-wing forces taking place at the same time as a less-remarked-upon growth in those looking for an alternative on the left.

At a time when the airwaves are filled with ridiculous police theories about the "radicalization" of Muslims--theories based on propaganda supplied to law enforcement agencies by professional Islamophobes--we need to locate and encourage the genuine and healthy process of left-wing radicalization wherever it's taking place.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

12/1, Mizzou: Black Lives Matter Rebellion on campus

Mizzou: the Black Lives Matter Rebellion on Campus
A Boston ISO public forum

Tuesday December 1st at 7pm
Northeastern University Social Justice Resource Center
106 St. Stephen Street, Boston, MA
A surge of anger and solidarity after months of organizing brought down the president and chancellor at the University of Missouri—sparking a wave of solidarity demonstrations on campuses around the country. What made the Mizzou Rebellion happen? How can we apply lessons from the events at Mizzou to advance anti-racist and other struggles at Northeastern today?

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