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: California is Burning—Nationalize PG&E
November 19, 2019
We already know that we desperately need single payer for health care. But the recent failures of PG&E show how we need a single-payer system for our energy grid, too — to stop the reckless, dangerous behavior of private companies getting rich off what should be a public good, and to fight climate change. Only one of the Democratic candidates running for President has unequivocally called for bringing PG&E under public control. Bernie Sanders's Green New Deal proposal isn't just the boldest proposal to save the planet that any candidate has made yet. It also includes the United States moving to 100 percent public ownership of our power grid.
How can the growing democratic socialist movement win demands that can stave off the worst effects of the climate crisis and move us towards a more sustainable future? Solving the ecological crisis requires a mass movement to take on hugely powerful industries. Yet the environmental movement’s base in the professional-managerial class and focus on consumption has little chance of attracting working-class support. The seminal essay by Matt Huber included in the readings argues for a program that tackles the ecological crisis by organizing around working-class interests.
- California Is Burning—Nationalize PG&E, Ben Ehrenreich, The Nation
- Bernie Wants to Seize the Means of Electricity Production, Johanna Bozuwa, Jacobin
- Ecological Politics for the Working Class, Matt Huber, Catalyst
- The Public Ownership Solution, Thomas M. Hanna, Jacobin
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.