Socialist Night School is a rolling open course that provides opportunities for East Bay DSA members to ground their political work in the rich theoretical and historical traditions of the socialist left.
Classes are down-to-earth, inclusive spaces that give East Bay comrades a chance to grow their politics together, regardless of background knowledge, affiliation, or whether you've attended a class before. You don't even have to be a member of East Bay DSA — everyone is welcome!
Next Class: The Last General Strike
September 17, 2019
The last general strike in the United States occurred here in the East Bay in 1946. One hundred thousand members of the American Federation of Labor shut down the economy of four local cities for two and a half days. What touched off the Oakland general strike and why did it end almost as suddenly as it began? Why have there been no subsequent general strikes in the United States in over 70 years? Should activists on the left today be calling for general strikes? Or following Rosa Luxemburg, should we view general strikes as historical phenomenon resulting from specific social conditions?
To find out the answer to these questions and more, please join us for a special edition of Socialist Night School. Fred Glass, local labor historian and author, will be joining us to give lead-off talk on the history of the last Oakland General Strike. Join East Bay DSA’s Socialist Night School on Tuesday, September 17 to discuss these questions and more.
- "We Called It a Work Holiday", Fred Glass, "From Mission to Microchip"
- The Legacy of Taft Hartley, Colin Gordon, Jacobin
- General Strikes, Mass Strikes, Kim Moody, Verso
- The Oakland General Strike, Richard Boyden, libcom.com
Night School on YouTube
Missed a class? Want to revisit a lecture? Check out our YouTube channel, full of insightful socialist analysis from our membership.
See other socialist readings our Night School classes have recommended. You don't need to read everything here before joining a class, but we believe these readings will provide a useful foundation for better understanding socialism.
Find relevant readings on the political campaigns our chapter is currently fighting for.
What Is Democratic Socialism?
Want to know more about democratic socialism? Get to understand the basics of what democratic socialism is and why it's the only hope for the working class.
Critique of Capitalism
We all live under the exploitative economic system known as capitalism, but what are its internal contradictions and how can we overcome it?
Capitalism and the State
How do capitalism and the state interact? What support does the state lend to capitalism, and how does capitalism rely on this support to reproduce itself?
Capitalism is an inherently unsustainable economic system, yet past socialist movements have are always met with fierce resistance from capital. These readings offer a historical and material analysis of how we can learn from these outcomes and persevere.
Neoliberalism and Imperialism
What exactly are neoliberalism and imperialism? Are they different from capitalism? What are their origins and effects? These readings provide a definition of neoliberalism and imperialism through historical insight and examples of these ideologies at work.
Class, Race, and Gender
These readings example how class intersects with racial and gender oppression, how these divisions benefit capital, and how socialists have fought against these oppressions through the years.
Any analysis of socialism would be incomplete without a history of labor. Labor struggles in previous years, both successes and failures, provide valuable lessons for future struggles.