Wednesday, July 30, 2014

7/31 Branch Meeting

The Role of Socialists in Movements
Educational Meeting
Hosted by the Boston International Socialist Organization

Thursday July 31st, 7:00 PM
358 Washington Street, Dorchester
(Fields Corner Station or #23 from Ruggles station)
In the Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx states, "The Communists fight for the attainment of the immediate aims, for the enforcement of the momentary interests of the working class; but in the movement of the present, they also represent and take care of the future of that movement."
Plenty of people want a change in the way society is run today.  The current genocide in Gaza shows that barbarism and brutality remain an existing reality today. Anger against this reality has also given birth to struggle against it - from the national and international protests taking place for Palestine today, to sporadic struggles for abortion rights, LGBTQ rights, etc, to even massive revolutionary struggles in the Arab world.  As socialists we think that Capitalism offers no solution and that there needs to be a revolution that brings about full equality and liberation. So what does that mean for the role of socialists in movements today?  How do we think about and apply Marx's quote to both fight for immediate aims and take care of the future of the movement?
Join the Boston branch of the International Socialist Organization in reading and discussing this article from the International Socialist Review on 'Socialists and Movements', written by longtime socialist and a veteran of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, Joel Geier.
Some study questions:
1. Geier describes mass movements from the perspective of revolutionaries whose goal is revolution.
2. Geier argues that a sign of the maturity of a movement is it's independence from established bourgeouis parties like the Democrats and "the spokespeople for the status quo". He also argues that the job of socialists is to aim to build the broadest movement possible. How can we reconcile these two seeming contradictory ideas?
3. How can a revolutionary party recruit and win members at times of high levels of struggle?  What about during low levels of struggle?  Is the process the same or different?
4. What is the difference between socialists trying to provide tactical leadership versus political leadership?
5. The Berkeley Free Speech Movement was a massive student movement that involved nearly 30,000 students in a span of 4 months. Does that fit in with your picture of a mass movement?  What are the differences or similarities to other historically memorable mass movements like the Civil Rights Movement?

For more information or any questions, please e-mail!

If you get lost, call (617) 506-3762!

Monday, July 14, 2014

7/17 Public Meeting: Stop Israeli Terror! Free Palestine!

Stop Israeli Terror! Free Palestine!
Public Meeting
Hosted by the Boston International Socialist Organization
More co-sponsors TBA

The Boston ISO presents an education meeting: Marx, Lenin Luxemburg - Party, Organization, and Revolution
Thursday July 17th, 7:00 PM
358 Washington Street, Dorchester
(Fields Corner Station or #23 from Ruggles station)
Directions // RSVP on Facebook
In the U.S., thousands of people have mobilized for demonstrations in solidarity with Palestine and against Israel's most recent brutal assault -- many people coming to a protest for the first time in their lives. With every protest (and every Israeli attack), Israel is more and more being exposed as the terrorist state that it is.

But big questions remain, for new and old activists alike:
What can we do in the U.S. to stop Israel's bombs?
Why does the U.S. give so much money & support to Israel?
What is "BDS" (Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions), and why is it important?
How can justice in Palestine be achieved?

Join the International Socialist Organization - Boston and other activists & groups TBA at this public meeting to discuss the politics of Palestinian liberation.

Sean Hansen - Northeastern University, Students for Justice in Palestine
Alpana Mehta - International Socialist Organization
Tali Ruskin - Jewish Voices for Peace, Boston

For more information or any questions, please e-mail!

If you get lost, call (617) 506-3762!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

7/13 Meaning of Marxism Summer Discussion Series

Meaning of Marxism by Paul D'Amato 
Summer Discussion Series
Chapters: Intro- Chapter 1

Date: Sunday, July 13th1pm 

Location: Boston Common Coffee Co. 
515 Washington St, Boston Ma
Downtown Crossing Station

Hosted by the Boston International Socialist Organization

It is fashionable for pundits to declare every so often that Marxism is dead. Their aim “is to doom as impossible a radical, fundamental transformation of existing society.” But you can’t keep a good theory down. The poverty, class inequality, war and environmental degradation that today’s globalized capitalist system creates on an ever-expanding scale raises questions for which Marxism still offers fresh and relevant answers.
The Meaning of Marxism by Paul D'Amato is a lively and accessible introduction to the ideas of Karl Marx, as well as other key Marxists, with historical and contemporary examples. The Meaning of Marxism shows that a “radical, fundamental transformation of existing society” is indeed not only possible, but urgently necessary.
Coming out of the Socialism 2014 Conference, a layer of activists and radicals in Boston have expressed interest in learning and discussing the relevance of Marxist politics today, and the urgency of ISO's revolutionary project.  So come join the Boston ISO for a regular, on going book discussion of the Meaning of Marxism this summer. See you there!

For more information or any questions, please e-mail!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

6/7, Marxism day school: Women's Liberation and the Socialist Movement

Saturday, June 7 - Details TBA
“If women’s liberation is unthinkable without communism, then communism is unthinkable without women’s liberation.” 
- Russian revolutionary Inessa Armand 

The Marxist tradition has always stood for the liberation of women.  Far from seeing the oppression of women as subordinated to the economic exploitation of workers, the Marxist movement has seen the fight against women's oppression as central to the struggle for socialism. At the same time, the various Socialist movements have had different and sometimes contradictory relationships to feminist politics.What has the tradition of the socialist movement looked like, including in the ISO? What has it's relationship been to Black Feminism - a largely ignored but significant contribution to the politics of women's liberation? And what about the debates taking place today - around post-structuralism (or post-modernism), identity and the politics of privilege?

Join the Boston ISO at this Day School to read and discuss these questions with guest speaker Sharon Smith, author of Haymarket Books publications Subterranean Fire and the soon to be re-published Women and Socialism: Essays on Women's Liberation. 

Today, as the gains of the women's rights movement of the 60's and 70's is eroded more and more, we need to look to the politics and the theories - including the debates - that can help us chart a course for the struggles today and in the future towards socialism and full equality.

Session 1 - Women's Liberation and the Socialist Movement
  • Required reading - The Marxist tradition on women’s liberation
Session 2 - Black Feminism versus Privilege Politics
  • Required reading  - Intersectionality, Oppression, and Marxism
For more information and reading material:, 617-902-0476

5/22, Protect and Serve? Racism, inequality, and the role of the police under capitalism

The Boston ISO presents a public forum
Protect and Serve? 
Racism, inequality, and the role of the 
police under capitalism
Thursday May 22, 7 PM
358 Washington Street, Dorchester
(Fields Corner Station or #23 from Ruggles station)