The Supreme Court has no place in a democracy

Readings: https://blogs.findlaw.com/supreme_court/2015/10/13-worst-supreme-court-decisions-of-all-time.html https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/06/waiting-for-scotus/ https://www.currentaffairs.org/2018/10/court-packing-is-necessary There has rightly been enormous outcry over the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. He was been credibly accused of sexual assault and lied about it repeatedly under oath. His right wing views will allow conservatives on the bench to inflict incredible suffering on ordinary people, unchecked for decades. While […]

Poverty

Readings: http://peoplespolicyproject.org/2017/09/12/who-was-in-poverty-in-2016/ http://www.demos.org/blog/12/2/15/why-education-does-not-fix-poverty Today’s topic is on poverty. Poverty is actually an extremely simple issue. In the reading for today, this was shown very compellingly in graphs. If you have a smartphone handy, you can take a look. First, nearly half of all Americans had no income whatsoever. This might seem to be impossible–how can […]

Codetermination

Readings: https://www.peoplespolicyproject.org/2017/09/08/models-for-worker-codetermination-in-europe/ https://www.currentaffairs.org/2018/08/some-illuminating-reactions-to-elizabeth-warrens-worker-rights-plan This topic had been on the schedule for today for some time, and, coincidentally Elizabeth Warren released a codetermination bill last week. Codetermination laws are very common in the developed world. A corporation is a creation of law; there’s nothing special or sacred about any of it. For example, American corporate law specifies […]

Is lobster fishing in Maine an example of democratic socialism?

Readings: http://www.mainelobsterfestival.com/blog/2016/09/02/maines-rules-keep-lobster-industry-sustainable/ Only the section “Management of the Maine Lobster Fishery”: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19425120.2014.984086 https://www.pressherald.com/2011/08/14/so-you-want-to-be-a-lobsterman_2011-08-14/   Our topic today is lobster fishing in Maine. Fundamentally, socialism is about democracy and workers being in control of their own working conditions. Small businesses give workers control over their own working conditions because they are both the worker and the owner […]

Prison abolition

Readings: https://www.vox.com/2014/6/27/5845484/prisons-are-terrible-and-there-is-finally-a-way-to-get-rid-of-them https://www.ttbook.org/interview/norways-unusual-approach-imprisonment https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/03/mass-incarceration-war-on-drugs/ https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/07/the-leader-of-the-unfree-world/374348/ Today’s topic is prison abolition Prisons are totally inhumane, full of terror, assault, sexual assault, and even murder. They are torture. We believe in universal human rights, and it is barbaric for us to put anyone in prison. Our first reading for today argued that our technology is sufficiently advanced […]

Capitalism’s Weeping Angels

Here’s a clip from a horror movie featuring a few terrifying monsters called “weeping angels”. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a single clip, so I had to post these three:     And watch this last one until 2:15     If you didn’t bother with the videos, the weeping angels are monsters that turn to […]

Rebirth of monopolies shows the limits of progressivism

Readings: https://medium.com/@ddayen/my-speech-to-the-california-democratic-party-convention-concentrated-corporate-power-and-the-age-d997cddded64 https://www.thenation.com/article/special-investigation-the-dirty-secret-behind-warren-buffetts-billions/   A blockquote from the medium reading: More and more economic benefits have flowed into fewer and fewer hands, and I’m not just talking about personal inequality of income and wealth, [but rather] a rot of a few dominant established players in sector after sector. Four banks control about 60 percent of […]

Vacation

Reading: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/06/08/countries-most-vacation-days/2400193/ This topic is about non-monetary things capitalism takes away from us. Two questions for group; 10-15 minutes to discuss: What would you do if you had a month off? Two months? Three months? What was your favorite vacation? Have you ever had a time where you had a significant amount of time off […]

Myths about free speech and the left

Readings: Vox: Everything we think about the political correctness debate is wrong Current Affairs: Transcript of Davidson College speech The Intercept: In Europe, Hate Speech Laws are Often Used to Suppress and Punish Left-Wing Viewpoints Today, we are looking at some aspects of free speech. There is a common perception that in the US, support […]

Mutual aid and organizing

Readings DSA-LA Mutual Aid platform: http://www.dsa-la.org/mutual_aid_resource_committee_platform Funding America’s Nonprofits: The Nonprofit Industrial Complex: https://academiccommons.columbia.edu/catalog/ac:156455 Charity, Mutual Aid, and Class Struggle: https://propertyistheft.wordpress.com/2010/08/15/charity-mutual–aid–and-class-struggle/ Today’s topic is mutual aid. Some important points: Mutual aid is not charity. Charity is paternalistic and carries a stigma. Mutual aid involves people working together. Mutual aid provides desperately needed relief. If we care about people’s suffering, why not be involved […]