The Activist

The Crisis of the Status Quo

by Zane Dundon

One of the most notable differences between socialists and liberals in the United States is that socialists emphasize the extreme sense of urgency they feel about the problems facing people today, while liberals generally appear content advocating gradual changes. The reason for this divide is evident when one examines the rhetoric of the liberal elite: simply put, they don’t think things are that bad. They advocate for a few tweaks here and there, but scoff at the notion of radical systemic change.

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Interview: The Activist Speaks With an IWW Organizer

Next month, on September 9th, the United States could witness the largest wave of prison strikes in its history. Strike actions across the country are being organized by the IWW’s Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee. The strikes aim to mark the anniversary of 1971’s Attica prison revolt. I spoke to Azzura Crispin, an activist in Austin Texas who is the media co-chair of the IWOC as well as the founder of PAPS (Prison Abolition Prisoner Solidarity) about the plan for the strike and the opportunities for radical activism it presents for YDS and DSA members. In "Toward an Anti-racist Socialism," YDS recognized the intersections between capitalism and racist systems like mass incarceration. Organizing around prison strikes and the labor rights of prisoners helps to further highlight the degree to which capitalism and racism work together in society.

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Housing in Red Vienna

by Leo Thuman

Denmark? The Netherlands? Maybe it's time for democratic socialists to look at turn of the century Vienna as inspiration.  In the second,third, and beginning of the fourth decades of the twentieth century, Austria’s capital was known as “Red Vienna” and by most leftist accounts run ably by the Social Democratic Party.  The legacy of this period is one that socialists should emulate and look upon as a standard upon which to measure progressive and social reforms in housing and social services.

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Education, Solidarity, and Political Revolution

by Steven Spires

On Sunday June 16th, six protesters died after conflicts between civilians, members of National Coordinator of Education Workers (CNTE) and police took a violent turn in Oaxaca, Mexico following the arrest of union leaders on charges of corruption by the federal government. Protesters and union members took to the streets throwing molotov cocktails and burning down vehicles in protest of the arrests seen as covers for dismembering labor and the new education reform program being introduced by the government. The reform, turning the focus of national education onto standardized testing, efficiency, and accountability, immediately faced resistance by the teachers, seeing it as working towards the dismembering of unions and teacher’s rights as workers . This clash brings back memories of the 2006 teachers strike in Oaxaca. The 2006 strike, similarly against education reform, prompted the launch of the “Oaxaca Commune”, which ended up mobilizing not only teachers but also large swathes of the working class to take on the education system and open their governor carrying out the will of Mexico’s ruling class. This re-emergence of violent class struggle in the classroom brings up the vital and often underutilized role of teachers in our struggle against capitalism.

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The Development of a Progressive Third Party

by Pranay Somayajula

With the volatile political climate of 2016 and the deep rift in the Democratic Party between its far-left and more moderate members, there have been numerous talks of the formation of a viable third party in the United States. Unfortunately, attempts to do so in the past few decades have never met with any major success, largely because of the way our governmental system has molded itself to fit the two-party system. The way things are now, it looks as though a revolution would be needed to make change. However, that is not the case. There is a simple solution to the problem that is staring us in the face as we speak.

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