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Invest in Political Education
Invest in political education

Authors: Andrej Markovčič, Marianela D’Aprile, Rachel Zibrat, Natalie Midiri

WHEREAS education in history and theory of socialist struggle is critical to building a mature and effective socialist political movement, and democratic decision-making is strengthened by ensuring members have the historical and theoretical knowledge to independently assess strategic choices brought before them,

WHEREAS an understanding of the successes and failures of the socialist movement historically, paired with a strong analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of our movement and capitalist class rule today, will enable us to formulate and put into action better, more effective campaigns,

WHEREAS the socialist movement has been in retreat for over half a century, and most DSA chapters have few experienced educators well-versed in socialist history and theory, but we do have chapters with successful Socialist Night School and other education programs whose lessons could be more effectively drawn upon and distributed throughout the entire organization,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that national DSA shall prioritize building and implementing a socialist political education program. This program will begin by consolidating existing educational materials, such as the Socialist Night School Guide produced by the National Political Education Committee. Such resources should be hosted on a dedicated and easily accessible page of the national website. This page will also contain sample night school sign-in sheets, flyers, and other materials, in the style of the Medicare-for-All campaign resource page.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED the DSA Political Education Committee will expand the Socialist Night School Guide to include best practices for organizing successful political education events. This should focus on guidance for how to run a successful ongoing political education program, including turnout, facilitation, follow-up and incorporation of local campaigns into political education curricula.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED develop learning modules based on DSA’s areas of work and priorities — decommodification, electoral work, labor and unions, as examples — and a list of suggested learning objectives for each one.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED in order to connect the majority of chapters with experienced socialist activists, thinkers, and organizers, the national Political Education Committee will sponsor a regular series of political talks recorded for distribution to chapters.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that in order to train a new generation of socialist educators, DSA will produce a regular educational podcast targeted at members facilitating political education within their local chapters. This program should provide guidance on using the educational materials like the proposed recorded events and The Stacks political education newsletter. This should consist of additional political education, such as why these works were selected and how they relate to our current political moment, as well as pedagogical advice, like how to develop good discussion questions and helping less confident members feel welcome to engage.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that national DSA shall allocate sufficient funds to ensure the preceding proposals can be produced at a high-quality level befitting a 60,000+ member organization.

BUDGET AND STAFF IMPLICATIONS

One staff organizer dedicated to this project part-time, tasked specifically with managing the diverse parts of the project and compiling and disseminating materials.

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