A Socialist Writer's Guide

A lot of my time is spent thinking about how to be a better person and a better writer. Usually, the two go hand-in-hand. So anyway, there are three pretty basic points that I've at least personally been adopting. There maybe more; I'm 23 and there is no way that I could even start to have an authoritative voice on such things...but these are the ideas which one could use as cornerstones. So many of these things all bleed over and all points can be boiled down to no more than the words "Be" and "Transcendence", but it's important to spell out different angles of that. So, yeah...

Participation and expansion of external consciousness, liberation of mind and development of psyche- and idiosyncratic, near-belligerent expression and practice.

Participation and expansion of external consciousness-I spent many hours and a large amount of actual capital and debt in university workshops on writing. Many nights of writing prompts. Not to say that this wasn't necessary or helpful- there are a few things that I learned about publishing and a lot of things were learned about the minds of others. But being an active and deliberate individual did much more to set me on the right path. Live raw and passionately, travel, talk to strangers, go to shows, go to the country, go to the city, go to the mansion on the hill, go to the slums, the swamps, the industrial sectors, the deserts, go to parties, just go. Be hungry, be full, be broke, be a baller. It's rare to find an artist who hasn't dropped all qualms and thrown themselves full-force into the muck. Some leave the bustle and commit themselves to a life of seclusion, but normally only after cathartic or cataclysmic realization of the nature of life and society. The days of shoe gazing and grumbling fixation on fleeting emotions should be reserved for the awkward and isolated teenage years. Before you can go on to the next step and liberate yourself, you have to be aware of your surroundings. How and why does the world work the way that it does? What are the predominate forces that mold collective consciousness and propel history? What is history and whose history is it? When you write ,when you speak in front of people, when you paint, when you sing, or when you bang on a drum in the presence of others, you have to be aware of the megathemes to make any true connection. You need to know why people think like they do, why they speak like they do, what makes them happy, what drives them to despair, etc.

This'll set you down on the track to true liberation of mind and liberation of your life. Who are you and what is your purpose? Why do you want to live and why do you want to express? You have to find a reason to be if you are going to do this whole existence thing right. You need to know this and you need to eventually be aware of why you suffer. Get to know your desires and simplify them. Work towards transcending and abolishing them. You can't create anything if you are so far gone wracked in despair that you are rendered a social and psychological cripple.

...and practice. write and do all through all of it. It'll get better and you'll get better at being and doing. I promise.

Written by Kenny Grand who is a member of the YDS Coordinating Committee from the University of Central Arkansas

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Revolution at the Crossroads: Igniting the Socialist Resistance Against Trump

February 17, 2017 · $20.00 USD

Location: MayDay Space
Where: 176 St Nicholas Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237
When: Friday, February 17th at 6 PM to Sunday, February 19th to 4 PM

Political Context

This Presidents’ Day weekend, the Young Democratic Socialists will gather for our annual winter conference in New York City titled Revolution at the Crossroads: Igniting the Socialist Resistance Against Trump. We did not choose the name lightly. In doing so, we call for leftists to collectively confront Trump and Trumpism at every possible opportunity. When a Trump administration attempts mass deportations of undocumented workers, when it attempts to register Muslims or roll back worker protections, when it attempts to take away reproductive, LGTBQ, civil, or any other rights, then we must militantly resist to prevent such measures.

To succeed, this must be explicitly socialist resistance. With liberalism having repeatedly shown itself incapable of combating the far right, it is now the time for socialists to openly declare our place in building the mass, multi-racial, and working class movement necessary for defeating the Trump administration. In this struggle, millennials will play an outsized role. That is why this conference comes at such a critical time—together we must create spaces for democratic and strategic discussion, spaces to gain organizing skills, and most importantly, spaces to form networks of young radicals for the future struggles ahead. These spaces will only come together if socialists come together. Join us this Presidents Weekend and help ignite the movement to defeat the Trump administration, continue the political revolution, and build the socialist alternative.

Key Deadlines

  • January 8th: Travel Scholarship for Air Travel (for application see below)
  • January 15th: Travel Scholarship for Non-Air Travel (ex: bus, car, train, etc.)
  • February 3rd: Early Bird Registration Ends - Tickets prices go up from $5 to $10
  • February 10th: Free Housing - We have limited free housing. You need to first register, then you will be sent an application for free housing.

Apply for a travel scholarship here! (First Deadline January 8, 2017)

Check out the working program (subject to change)