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!