Jacobin Reading Group

Oly DSA hosts a Jacobin Reading Group that meets on the second Wednesday of every month at 6PM at Orca Books, 509 E. 4th Ave. Olympia, WA 98501. We generally discuss three or four short articles of interest to socialists published primarily, though not exclusively, in Jacobin. Contact us at jacobin@olydsa.com for more information. All are welcome!

The Green New Deal can't just be a bill or two. It needs to be the framework for politics for the next few decades. Join us as we discuss the following articles and ways socialists can win this important fight:

Socialist Feminism

To mark International Women's Day, a commemoration initiated by American socialists and solidified as an internation event on March 8 by its role in the Russian Revolution, our reading group this month will focus on socialist feminism. For a fun bit on the socialist roots of the holiday (in the New York Times, no less!) you can read Kristen Ghodsee's article "Have You Wished Your Mother a Happy International Women's Day?". For our discussion, you can read and listen to the following material:

  • The Combahee River Statement, developed by a "collective of Black feminists...involved in the process of defining and clarifying our politics, while...doing political work within our own group and in coalition with other progressive organizations and movements."
  • "What is Socialist Feminism" by Barbara Ehrenreich (including her brief contemporary notes on a now 40 year old essay)
  • "Feminism for the 99 Percent" an interview with Tithi Bhattacharya on Jacobin Radio's The Dig.

On the 100 year anniversary of the Seattle General Strike of 1919, we're talking about the power of strikes past, present, and future. We've got a little Seattle history, some socialist strategy on strikes in general, and a look at the recent LA Teachers' strike (also our first ever podcast for you).

The current financial system gives capital an anti-democratic stranglehold over the economy and produces inevitable cycels of boom and bust. How do we bring the financial sector to heel and under democratic control? Jacobin's new issue "Breaking Bank" poses some ideas and looks at the 2008 financial crisis.

If the articles are still paywalled, you can find them here for the purposes of the reading group.

This month we're reading three articles by Barbara and John Ehrenreich about what they describe as the "Professional Managerial Class," and how it relates to the working class and radical social movements. We have two older articles and one recent one.

  • "The Professional Managerial Class," Barbara and John Ehrenreach, Radical America (March 1977), pp. 7-31. Sets out the theory of the PMC and describes its relationship to class conflict and analysys.
  • "The New Left and the Professional Managerial Class," Barbara and John Ehrenreach, Radical America (May 1977), pp. 7-24. Applies the PMC theory to the "New Left" movements of the 1960s.
  • "Death of a Yuppie Dream: The Rise and Fall of the Professional Managerial Class," Barbara and John Ehrenreach, Rosa Luxemborg Siftung New York (2013). This recent article revisits the theory of the PMC and looks at how it applies today. (If you can only ready one article, we suggest this one.)

All of the articles are available in a SHARED FOLDER HERE. This month we're off the usual rotation and meeting Wednesday, November 21st.