Left Coast Media

North Bae 024 - DSA Internal Medicine

February 24, 2019 Left Coast Media Episode 24
Left Coast Media
North Bae 024 - DSA Internal Medicine
Show Notes Transcript

Time for some Inside Baseball, comrades, as Sauce and Tiberius are joined by guest Valerie Sinclair (https://twitter.com/maruchan1312) to discuss the recent DSA West Coast Regional Convention in LA and generally dive into the internal challenges and structural issues within the DSA. Stick around at the end (at about 49m 28s)to hear why both Sauce and Valerie are running to be on the NPC themselves!

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Speaker 1:

Thank you for listening to this podcast from the left coast media collective part of the critical mediations network. To connect with us, follow the collective on Twitter at left-pad or email us@leftcoastpodcastatgmail.com I'll work is supported by our patrion subscribers, including a KGB operative helping calm rights. Frank Madero, Casey and PJ Hale. You can become a supporter by visiting patrion.com/left coast media collective members include Antifa pope, communal sauce jacket, informant in car country potato, rain, algaecide, Barea, Rosa and r. R. R. R. N.

Speaker 2:

All right and welcome back to another episode of the law. Oh my God. Starting off with, well, it's been a long time. Oh Jeez. Yeah. Starting off on a good foot. Yeah, best foot forward.

Speaker 1:

Okay.

Speaker 3:

Welcome back home ranch to another episode of the North Bay.

Speaker 2:

I am as always your comrade type areas, Caracas and I'm joined today by my cohost sauce. Hello, I'm calling all sauce and we have a guest today. I am Valerie Sinclair. You might also know me on Twitter as Mary Chan. One, three, one two. Welcome. Thank you for joining us tonight. Hi. I am also running for the DSA national political committee. Uh, I live in the deep south, which is an area that is this kind of underrepresented Rad, Rad.

Speaker 1:

The topic that we're going to be covering maybe two inches of the five square miles of topic is uh, going to be one that if you are not a member of DSA, you're probably not going to be terribly interested in. This is going to be inside baseball, kind of what's up with Dsa, what do we think is not working so well in the essay? What has us cheesed off about the essay and what we want to do to fix it or what we think could be done to fix it.

Speaker 2:

To be honest, I would actually that even if you're not in Dsa, I think what happens too and through the DSA has a huge impact on the direction that the leftist movements in this country are going. So I think it was probably a really good idea to at least get an understanding and kind of know about the DSA. Even if you're, say a hardcore insurrectionist anarchist. And think the DSA is just liberal nonsense. Or if you're any other leftwing position, think with the Essa is liberal nonsense. It is still the largest socialist organization in the country. And so you should probably put some stock and what happens to it even if you don't think it has any say revolutionary potential.

Speaker 1:

Right? Yeah, maybe not, you know, an hour long podcast depth because we may be covering stuff that's difficult to follow if you're not in DSA. But having, having an understanding of some of the tensions and some of the, the contradictions inside the big tent that is DSA I think in, in one part kind of reflect the tensions that any larger left movement is, is going to have.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think we've discussed it before, but you can see a lot of parallels with the SDS and the DSA in terms of structural issues, the sort of general tensions between different class groups within DSA and between Dsa and the broader society. So, you know, those are key things to watch out for, but we are discussing specifics today. So you actually went to the, uh, west coast regional conference. A sauce, right?

Speaker 1:

Yes. I went to the first DSA regional conference. It was for California and Hawaii being the first one you could probably tell that it was, it was thrown together very quickly. And one of the main issues that I had with the Rican conference was that fact that it was thrown together so rapidly and most of the control on how it was organized was kept to a very small group of people nationally. And then because it was a small group trying to organize it and things didn't go as well as they could have, you know, I, I felt like there were a lot of members who wanted to help. There were members who put together alternate agendas that had more space for activities and more space for discussions and for members to, to meet and organize with each other. But national decided that that didn't fit the requirements that they had for agendas. And so there was, there was no way that members could choose that one in the voting that they had available to vote for agendas, things like that. Made it feel like by pushing the responsibility onto, onto national and onto Dsa Los[inaudible] Los Angeles, and cutting out other members who wanted to help and doing it all so quickly, excluded members. You know, uh, there was, I think one attendee from Hawaii, from Dsh, they're known as Democratic Socialists of Honolulu rather than democratic socialists of America. He mentioned that there were other people who wanted to come, including many native and indigenous members who could not come because there wasn't enough time for them to get time and get funds so that they could attend. So it was kind of only those who are privileged enough that they could get time, could get money.

Speaker 2:

That's been one of my concerns with how I'm seeing the conferences organized spell. Uh, it seems really, really, uh, leaning towards the more privileged members and um, honestly with regard to the California conference, like when I was paying attention to that and wow, I was expecting Knoxville to be the first to have people calling for mutiny. But

Speaker 1:

yeah. Well, DSA Chico, who of course were founded in the aftermath of the camp fires, wanted to attend, could not physically attend, wanted to attend electronically. We're told that there were absolutely zero observers allowed and therefore they couldn't attend via web conference or phone call. So

Speaker 2:

that's a complaint, especially from Hawaii, every pretty much every time that I've interacted with folks from smaller chapters chapters who are more out of the way. That's a common complaint. I was at the DSA leadership convention for Northern California and Hawaii and a lot of those same issues were, were echoed there as well. And there was a hope that, you know, more support would be coming from national to actually allow those chapters to have the funds to actually participate more in organizing and being connected to other chapters and, uh, resources like that. So it's uh, it's, it's something that I kind of wanted to get the two of Y'alls a sense on where specifically, um, national might be failing in terms of actually getting better representation and support and what it is that other chapters who might be a little bit bigger can, can do to directly support them without having to go through national as someone who is involved with Tsa in essential South Carolina. Now let me tell you, like southern chapters, uh, Oh God, the way I see it, am I going to ask to explain momentum slash the call? I think it's probably best to, that is momentum is kind of infamous within DSA, but I think even a lot of Dsa don't

Speaker 4:

really understand who they are or what the relationship to the rest of the organization is. Yeah. Um, momentum was a slate in slate's are like little electorial platforms that ran in the 2017 DSA light elections, I guess I would call them. Yeah, I'll actions. Um, and they were a, I like Torah list slate I think, sorry I was barely involved in 2017 but they were an electoral lists slate that wanting to organize around getting people like Social Democrats and such elected and the calls kind of similar but there are a lot more focused on white working class issues in my opinion than they are on the issues of marginalized people.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. Momentum was a slate in the 2017 national convention that um, now holds a majority on the national political climate committee or NPC that is now a caucus called spring caucus, which is basically a caucus of momentum. So you may see it referred to a spring mentum and their house organ I suppose is the call prominent members of momentum include people who publish in Jacobin include Jeremy Gong, who is on the national political committee and also on the steering committee of DSA Eastbay, members of DSA in Philadelphia and some other members of the national political committee. And so if you hear about things in Dsa, East Bay or in Dse in Philly being undemocratic or on people leaving and choosing not to organize with DSA anymore, some of that is due in part I think to the fact that spring mentum centralize the power and their steering committees, um, alienated a huge chunk of their local and then people either dropped out of DSA or if they still are in DSA organized with caucuses and not in their local

Speaker 4:

or even have left for, uh, joining chapters. So neighboring chapters[inaudible]

Speaker 1:

yeah, there are people in who was in Dsa, East Bay who are now working and organizing with the Dsa San Francisco instead or in Philadelphia who are organizing with Philadelphia, Philly socialists instead. And one of the things that concerns me is that Spring Caucus and spring Manson and their supporters don't seem to care that, that there's a large rate of attrition that when people have called former members of the chapter, they're like, no, I don't want to be involved with that anymore. And Spring Mountain seek not to be that bothered because they're like, well you know, if people want to leave because they don't like working with us, that's just fine.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's, that's, that's a really healthy attitude to have. I can't see anything going wrong with that. With regard to start with specifically I,

Speaker 4:

I am of the personal opinion that the south has all of the regions in the United States the most potential to do good by marginalized folks, the most potential to do good and to sort of make socials of a household name almost. Yeah. But southern chapters in my opinion, it needs far more support from national then chapters in say New England or California might because there is that hostility there and there's less general knowledge of how to organize and how to protest here unless you are involved in like, like for example in the city I live in Columbia, the PSL is genuinely has done more than the DFA Columbia completely and to be because the PSL, you know like you know, organizes and trains and supports its activist even though I have other problems with that org. And the reason that he'd done so much here rather than DSA is because APSA hasn't been supporting those chapters, hasn't been trying to bolster it and B hasn't been given any advice or help. I'm an at large member because Columbia DSA is essentially dead at this point.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. And I've been on a, and I believe sauce has been on as well, a couple of, um, the district goals, the district calls and you know, they talk a lot about different kinds of organizing and different ways to do like activism and that kind of stuff. But it always seems to really revolve around primarily like door to door canvasing for some kind of electoral a project usually around like candidates or medicare for all. And I was, I was wondering if that was your experience as well, Valerie?

Speaker 4:

Uh, yes, I was involved. I've been involved with both our evolution and DSA down here and generally when GSA did things it was with, uh, our evolution and it was all electorial light. Why DSA USC before they just said associated did, do some direct action stuff. And that was far more effective and far more helpful. Like electoral politics just don't work. They might work in North Carolina liner or in Georgia, but they don't work in South Carolina. They don't work in Alabama. They don't work in Mississippi.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. One of, one of the things that I appreciate about about build, which is an organizing project within DSA is that they encourage members and locals to on other things that work for them while not denigrating them if they work for other places. So if you are in San Francisco, DSA SF has

Speaker 5:

had some real success with ballot measures, but if you are in the south or somewhere where you don't have the resources for that, that's probably not going to be where you want to put your energy. And the fact that DSA is a big tent means that in my opinion, you should be able to do different things within that tent and do what will be most successful for your, for your local, not just what fits best with what 16 people and eight paid employees think is going to be best for them. Getting positions on future presidential campaigns.

Speaker 4:

There's also the concern that like refocus on apparently not just, it's not just uh, the call flush spring men tem, but to bring men seems to be focusing far more this time around on electoral realism as, and they want to go full hog on Bernie 2020, which as a Palestinian I have issues with but it's not a socialist I have issues with to be honest. Yeah. But not just that. It also takes attention away from the direct action and the measures that people like, uh, why DSA like they rebranded into something else now, but them and local Trans Org Spanish to getting informed consent clinic operating now to here and that's going to do far more good than Bernie Sanders is getting lectured the presidency will ever do for trans people in the state of South Carolina.

Speaker 5:

Yeah. One of the refreshing things about the, the regional conference was during the four, five hours we had for that floor debates, seeing that there was a lodge lodge opposition to endorsing Bernie 2020 for a range of reasons, including the fact that membership has really had very little input on this. The fact that Bernie voted for a bill that has killed sex workers, but new view on Palestine, the$150,000 that we would be paying for catalysing software that we would be violating the rules of if we use to canvas for people who are running against DNC candidates. Like all of these reasons that people were opposed to endorsing Bernie. And then half the length of the opposition line trotting out pretty much similar talking points each time that Bernie is the only way that we can get more people to join DSA. That Bernie is the only way to activate membership. That in order to get motion on the eco socialism, in order to get motion on fighting the right in order to get motion on all these things, the only option is to endorse Bernie and then Bernie wins.dot, dot. Everything else magically happens. I was glad to see opposition to that.

Speaker 4:

Yeah. That's a naive conception that momentum seems to have a Bernie as a panacea.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Or, um, really any of these big sort of liberal adjacent national electoral campaigns that the momentum slate and those who are connected to them are really pushing in my opinion, really tend to shop a lot of the will and energy from people who are trying to organize locally because then you get the sense that everything has to do with this kind of distant, not really a direct impact on people's day to day lives. That is something that is already very polarizing and kind of difficult to really organize around locally, especially for chapters like yours are regions like yours which are very rural and have a kind of a mill you that is um, very centered around culture war issues that are hostile to the national level Democratic Party. And if we hitch our wagon to closely to that, I think that really kills a lot of our ability to actually promote socialists concepts and ideas to people who I think are actually quite receptive to it. So I think before we really dig into the conference, I kind of want to go back and make sure we really touch on the kind of issues that the two of you see as being the most important issues for NPC to be addressing in terms of uh, how it operates over the local chapters and um, the specific kinds of support that local chapters really need to build a grassroots base of power.

Speaker 5:

I think two words, transparency and trust. We don't have either of those right now and we need both of them.

Speaker 4:

A focus for me, uh, focus on directing resources into smaller chapters that might have the potential to do more to help people in their region. Because genuinely I think that there could be a strong, strong support base and rural areas that we are not tapping. And the reason we're not tapping that is because of the hyper focus on like electing like AOC,

Speaker 2:

which I love AOC, but I also hate AOC. Like God, we seem to be so quick to claim a IOC is a victory, yet she's funded ice light. We elect these milk toast centrists or social democrats. And I'm not really seeing any return. Uh, yeah. And, and like I said, I think that goes back to the issues of really prioritizing national, federal level issues with AOC. Okay. Hot take here. I don't think she's a socialist. She calls herself a socialist, but she, for whatever reason, whether she truly believes in socialism or not is kind of irrelevant. It's all about how she acts. And, uh, so far she has really been acting in a way that what she wants to do is soften the blow of capitalism and people's day to day lives, which is such an admirable goal for what it is, but it's not socialism. Right. And, and I think that if we're, if we're going to be able to actually promote socialist values, promote policies that are, you know, explicitly, overtly socialists in a way that isn't just maintaining capitalism for another generation or two, it has to be done starting at the, at a grassroots level, starting in municipalities and counties and states. And Yeah, focusing on the national level isn't going to do that best we can hope for it. The national level is harm reduction. And if we put too much energy into that, we are losing the capability of doing other things that are actually moving the ball forward. So with that having been said, unless you wanted to respond to that, no, that's, you summarized by opinion on that almost perfectly. Okay.

Speaker 5:

I feel like some of the support for AOC is just like finally there's somebody out there who's saying these things that however not left enough, they are at least more left than what was previously part of the discourse. So that Overton window kind of thing. And also we have 11 years left if that to address climate change and

Speaker 2:

uh, sorry, common misconception. Actually we have two years to address it and 10 years to fix it.

Speaker 5:

Okay. Yeah. We have to yes. To address it and 10 years to fix it and uh, two years it, that is so terrifying, I think to folks that if there is somebody that you can then go, oh look no, that they're gonna fix it. They have all the answers. Um, that is your great man theory. You're a great person theory. You're figurehead. Your Bernie will save us, your AOC will save us your around, everything is broken. But this, this is the one magic bullet that will solve it all. And I wonder if some of that is behind a lot of the faith and a lot of the, the support I'm questioning and critical support that some proposals and some people see.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, nobody will save us. But us I think is the pithy way to say that.

Speaker 5:

Or is the uh, the wood print that I have, uh, puts it, the government will not help us. We must help each other.

Speaker 2:

So with those issues in mind, let's go ahead and jump back to the convention and recent DSA news and let's talk a little bit about how the NPC is responding or failing to respond to the needs of chapters and how their strategies and tactics are aligning with, uh, the, the kind of ideas that we've been putting out about how to build a grassroots local power base that can support broader actions with regards to how their approach, I've prepped it just, Oh God

Speaker 4:

wasn't, it wasn't momentum, was it the color? Was it springs specifically who uploaded that? Who like reference that piece, the tyranny of structurelessness.

Speaker 5:

That is, that is momentum but that is also the coal that is also spring mentum. That is also certain Jacobin posters. That is anybody that thinks that it's a Gotcha for horizontal organizing when they trot out horizontal ism as a boogeyman.

Speaker 4:

Like I genuinely, there's no way that you're going to be able to get enough people in a southern chapter to have a tiered system of membership. You're going to have a precedent and then like two other people on the board and then organizers for the rest and that's like because you're going to have about 10 to 15 active people max. Like there's no way to organize, bought horizontally

Speaker 2:

down here

Speaker 4:

and like I'm not a person who prescribed one method of organization,

Speaker 2:

uh, too because different methods of organization worked for different situations, but certain or certain chapters might find it easier to organize in a hierarchical structure. But what I don't get is explicit Andy horizontal wisdom instead of non horizontal and something awesome.

Speaker 5:

Especially when people quote or refer to the tyranny of structurelessness when the second half of the tyranny of structurelessness actually talks about how you can have a non horror hierarchical or less hierarchical organization and how you can do that and it matches a lot of the quote horizontal list unquote organizing that has been happening that they then say is supposedly a boogeyman like read the whole damn article and you'll realize that it actually says the complete opposite of what you are using it to say. It's like those kids or you know, if you've been in college and tried to write an article or an essay and for whatever reason you weren't able to get all of your bibliography on time, so you just kind of make up quotes or work off an assumption of what an article is saying and then you slam it in the works cited anyway and then the professor or whoever is grading knows the article. I was like, you didn't even fucking read this thing, did you?

Speaker 2:

Right. Because I think that article really gets a lot of abuse I think from both sides, from, from the more libertarian anarchist side and from the more traditional Marxist Leninist side that really what the, what the article is it or the essay, whatever it is, is trying to talk about, is talking about the lack of formal structure and institution as a way to allow informal structures and institutions to take form that are much more difficult. So it's a sort of root out because the whole thesis of the argument is that, uh, hierarchies of authority are bad and if you don't have structures in place to actively dissuade them those and, and to be able to hold people accountable, you will sort of recreate those hierarchies of authority. So to, to use that essay to then say, no, we have to have these formal institutions of hierarchical authority. Because if we don't, we're going to have hierarchical authority. I guess it's a, it's kind of ironic to me, but it's, it's something that I, I, I tend to not just bring it up at all because there's so much sort of bad faith arguing around it. And there are other ways I think to make the same kind of case. Genuinely the, it's always come off to me as some sort of edgy contrarianism. Maybe it's my dumb brain talking, but I don't understand the logical thought process behind it. Saying that horizontal organizing is an evil that must be combative. It's because at worst it's less effective at worst and the fat that

Speaker 4:

seems to be targeting horizontal. This is just mind boggling to me. It reeks of Edgy contrarianism and I don't even think it's an ideological thing because local PSL, the local PSL chapter here is horizontal list.

Speaker 5:

Yeah. I, I hesitate to put too much like 12th dimensional chess into this, but one of the things that I have noticed over time with people who are members of the spring caucus now is that a lot of similarity in talking points, a lot of prepared statements or a lot of, we've clearly workshopped this and that. I mean more power to you if you know how to work the PR and how to work the the sleazy ish sort of side of politics, but when you are trying to have good faith conversations and good faith discussions and come to points of unity and points of agreement, it's impossible to do that if all somebody has his talking points and prepared statements and they refuse to engage with anything beyond those and that was some of what I saw at the regional conference and that made me wonder where we would go from from here if we do seek to find, to find unity to find some shared values in the big tent like, because I know that our differences in ideology and the diversity of of beliefs is one of our strengths, but if individuals or groups refuse to engage with that way, do you go from there?

Speaker 4:

I want more than anything else, honestly, a diversity of organizing a diversity in structure and a diversity in belief. Those are the three things that truly make up a big tent. And if we're lacking in any one of those three were being weaker in some region, then we come less strong in some region than we could be.

Speaker 5:

Yeah. Um, one of the things that I'm looking to work on is a resolution for convention that asks Dsa to have a, a national conflict resolution education program and also that that program be developed from the bottom up because we're going to have disagreements and pretending that we're not going to is just burying the issue and letting it fester and

Speaker 2:

letting it devolve into toxic behavior is not the way to resolve it. The way to resolve it is to embrace the fact that we have, we have differing opinions and that we can work on different things if we're all aiming towards the same outcome and the same outcome is a better future. But if all you can do is try to stop others from organizing or try to stop others from carrying out their projects, how is that helping you build a better future? Yeah. Or if you're like specifically saying like, oh my God, one of the things that piss me off the most about the momentum thread, uh, on, wait, can I talk about this? Uh, yes to, to prefacing it. There is a DSA discussion forum. There are not enough people on it because it has not been nationally promoted. And so there is a talking point for the discussion. Forums are toxic. The discussion forums would be less toxic if we had more people on them. But because people are warned away from them or not encouraged to join them, it kind of gets a bit concentrated. And when momentum posters post there, interesting things happen. Which yeah, go ahead. Valerie. Um, the momentum rep who posted the thread, I think it was the person who posted the thread. I took five minutes to look through it and decided that it was not worth looking through. But I did get some screenshot people did on the LSC server did screenshots and stuff. Uh, the point stuff out and the things that they counted as factories, we're all only electoral successes. So Larry Krasner and AOC and those were like it. They didn't mention any of the direct action work. They didn't mention all the brake light repairs, all the food, not bombs work, the informed consent clinic, those kinds of things. They didn't mention any of that. The only things that come counted as major victories were electoral successes in places like New York and Philly, but like who has the election of Larry Krasner and AOC helps. Yeah. And I think that speaks a lot to the differences in beliefs about power. Um, I think it's a topic that we could probably, we could probably just do a couple shows like just on that, but I was actually going to, if it's a good thing sauce brought this up or sorry that, that you brought this up, Valerie, that I was going to talk about the DSA forums themselves. Uh, because a big part of the criticism against the DSA at a national level has really been a lack of ability to talk to the NPC, get information from the NPC and have a venue to talk to and share resources in between chapters. Uh, has the introduction of the DSA forms help that? Are there other issues that the introduction of the forums has caused a kind of wanted to get the two of Y'alls sense on whether that is a good thing that needs to be sort of really promoted and a furthered or whether it's kind of a failed experiment? Because in my, in my personal experience, it's, it's really been mixed kind of Ebay for me. I, I, I mostly work on those forums and I generally just don't get the sense that I want to participate in them kind of at all. I didn't join the DSA until, uh, January about, no late December, uh, 2017 is when I joined and I didn't know they existed until January, 2018. Yeah, I think they, I think the came online August, somewhere around August or September of 2018.

Speaker 5:

The rollout was a staggered, I joined it fairly early because I'm a member of the ecosocialist working group and um, they will, once the group's chosen to trial the forums, um, discussion on the ecosocialist still mostly happens on the Google group that they have. I have really appreciated the ability to connect to the NPC mount members who do post on the forums, which include, um, Ravi, Zach Cola, Catherine Hoffman also. Uh, there's been things like life when the NPC meetings or live streaming people have been live blogging those meetings in a thread. And so that allows members to keep up on what's going, going on at meetings without needing to sit on a zoom conference for two straight days. It is a small group of members right now and I can totally understand just wanting to look, but I feel like if there were more members on the forums, there would be more active threads and active discussions. So the topics that can get a little bit Guerard would be diluted somewhat. Also, I think if if members actually engaged with the issues rather than with Straw Straw man and that would also have our comrades. Yeah. Yes.

Speaker 2:

Uh, I mean, okay. So I've been on the Internet now for about two deck and a little bit over two decades. And so I've been coming and going through a lot of forums. I've moderated, uh, quite a few. And I think a straw arguments and bad faith is kind of like a baseline as, as cynical as that might seem for online discussions. So I don't necessarily think that just having more people get involved is going to help things. I think more people and strong accountable and transparent moderation is, is really what's needed. Uh, Valerie, what's your, since since you've been only on the DSA forms for a short period of time, what's your sort of take on them? What are the things that you are expecting out of them and where do you think that falls short? Honestly, I thought I barely use them. I found a far better resource to be the DSP. Our Dem socialists discord server, like genuinely is a better resource that has more active people on it than the DSA forums in my experience. On the other hand, the democratic socialists discord was, well I got called a cop for us, getting people to maybe not use at everyone for every single message or to not overuse at everyone. So it, but there's also the issue of the discord chat rooms being sort of live chat rooms and you know, for someone like me, it's a really bad medium in order to get involved because I tend to only have short periods of time where I can actually be engaged and in long stretches, who are I need to be doing other things that take all of my attention. So if you come in for five minutes and then leave for a couple hours and come back for another five minutes, you've missed entire conversations. Understandable. Yeah, it's a generational thing and a time thing, like different strokes for different folks of different mediums will work better for different people. Uh, the DSA forum. So I just can't get into at all. Okay. So along the lines of different strokes for different folks, what are the best ways to actually get in touch with and, and get response from national and from one chapter to another? How has the communication flow happening currently and what are the different channels and methods of communication that they all think actually work best? Got It. It if you, if you know,

Speaker 5:

tell me, because everybody has preferred methods of communication. Some members don't have Internet access, some members don't have Twitter, some members do have Twitter, some members you know, prefer one big signal thread. I think diversity of communications platforms as well as diversity of tactics. Yeah. You have to have a representative on every single one.

Speaker 4:

I, my methods of contact for that NPC members, which I know and um, uh, which I know, which are Kathryn and Ravi are primarily through 200. Yep.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's, that's tough though. Um, I think for me, like the thing that I would say is that we need to have dedicated staff or a dedicated group of volunteers or group of people who have a responsibility to find the methods of communication that work best for chapters, uh, at large members, a regional groups, caucuses, and to ensure that each of those communication channels, it has access to the same information as all of the other communication channels. And that is a very difficult thing for a, an organization that lacks a lot of resources and tends to spend those resources on electoral campaigns. I think that that is definitely a part of that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.$150,000 could pay for two regional organizers or two staff members or paid, um, maybe depending on what the pricing is now a paid slack account, slack is probably not a great investment considering the sheer amount of cost per member, but there are better things in my opinion, for internal organizing than$150,000 on something that would link us to pantsuit nation.

Speaker 4:

My fundamental also$150,000 is going towards a cause that no one wants to support towards people that we shouldn't be supporting. But in any case, uh, if you want to canvas, there's already an organization that is ready and armed to Kansas for Bernie Sanders and it has all that structure that you want and it's called our revolution. Like I don't see the need to turn the BSA into another

Speaker 2:

branch too far revolution.

Speaker 5:

The interesting thing about our revolution is that the internal democracy is pretty much nil. And so comparatively, DSA is a more democratic organization. But if you didn't want to do canvassing for Bernie and stuff like and move on or our revolution doesn't work for you, there are probably other ways to do it. Then joining DSA and turning that into a canvassing machine. I mean if you are in Dsa for something else and you're interested in doing electoral politics, more power to you if it's not going to be the only thing that your group is allowed to do. Because I mean locally we did have some, some success with some door to door stuff. Um, we had the sheriff recall campaign and we had success with, in part because of counter upset but not$150,000 with the success. I mean what cheeses me off about all these things is the lack of transparency and the lack of consultation and the fact that things are being invented as a fait accompli for just manager to just rubber stamp. That is not radical democracy. That is not the way that a better world should be operating.

Speaker 4:

Yeah. We should see within our organizing, within our activism to construct on microcosm of the world, but truly wish to build because if we don't go in with that mindset, we will not come out with something that will be what we want.

Speaker 5:

Ooh. Prefigurative politics. That is also another boogeyman that sprinkle focus is, is trying to push back against, which part of this thing is the, the boogie man is that they never actually define what the boogie men are. They just use the words like the words themselves are meant to be frightening, but yeah, prefigurative politics in part is because even if we cannot change the world this month, maybe this month we can create a small space in which people who are usually being shit on by society can have a space where they're not being shit on like, and that is a small improvement in the world. And then from there you build out

Speaker 4:

genuine leave. DSA has provided a healthy outlet for marginalized people that you activism with. Then I'd say that it, that is a bigger success than anything that the DSA has been said to have done by momentum as success.

Speaker 2:

Well, and not only that, a lot of the ideas, uh, theories of change that people tend to have is that we use the current structures of power and then a change happens and then we put in new structures of power that actually reflect what we want. And I think that that is not a great way to think about that because if we're ever going to be in a situation where we can actually have like broad reaching power to affect real changes within the world and we don't already have the kind of structures and institutions that we would like to see carry out those changes like in place, at least in seed form. How are we expecting to actually build those structures? Right? And you know, as much theory crafting as you want to do now, if we're not actually testing those theories and if we're not actually finding the limits and shortcomings of our theory in practice, then we are setting ourselves up to fail when it really, really matters. So I think that people who talk disparagingly about pro figuration probably don't really understand it all that well or maybe just don't care.

Speaker 4:

And again, yeah. And again, there's a difference between prefigurative politics I suppose in large, although they do tend to get associated with each other. But

Speaker 2:

yeah. Yeah. There's, there's a, there's a, a subset of people who misunderstand prefigurative politics and sort of the opposite direction and stray into lifestyle ism. Yeah. Where you basically just pretend that you're already in the world you want. And by doing that you suddenly create it, which is a different issue, but still not great politics in my opinion. But yeah.

Speaker 5:

Well we are approaching around about an hour now. So, um, um, is there anything that you would like to talk about or that you would like to cover that we haven't already covered that you think we could probably tell her in 10 minutes or so?

Speaker 4:

Uh, no, I think we got everything I wanted to talk about. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Okay. Well, since I think we've touched on pretty much everything that we wanted to get in terms of talking about recent events and the mostly the issues that we see in terms of the internal structures of the DSA and the responses of the national political committee. Both of you are actually running for national political committee. So why is that and, and what are the, uh, what are your goals for what you plan to actually do on the NPC? Valerie, if you want to go first.

Speaker 4:

All right. The DSA as an organization is incredibly important to spreading how great socialism is and what socialism can do. And it's incredibly useful for helping to get people to subscribe to Socialists Philosophy and ideology. And it's incredibly useful for helping people to do direct action in their communities to help out marginalized people, which my goal isn't necessarily to established social wholesome. It's to advance the causes and improve the lives of marginalized people in any way I can. And as such, I think the DSA should be geared toward that goal. But I haven't heard books like advocate for that goal. Uh, at least not yet. So I'm like, why not try it myself? You know, my whole thing is like I want to transform the national organization, uh, from one that takes dues and makes unelected decisions with that money to be one that focuses mainly on support for local chapters. I want relaxation of the requirements for chapters. I want to sort of localize that process. I want more power to marginalized groups. So then the DSA I not just like an Afro Socialist Caucus when Arab Caucus, a lesbian working group, uh, trans working group, that kind of thing. And I want to, more specifically, I want to merge by DSA DSA, although I know that's not specifically Nassau political quit anything. And that's a lot more complicated, but it's a thing I think should happen. Um, and I want more transparency and openness. I want more accountability and I want a diversity in tactics and organizing in philosophy and belief and everything. Thank you. Thank you. Yeah, that's, that's kind of a big bombshell. They're merging. Why Dsa and DSA, I think we might have to have you on the show again to talk about that specifically because that's kind of a big topic and I don't think people want to listen to a two hour show, but yeah, sauce, if you would like to give us your pitch for why you want to run for NPC and what your goals are for that.

Speaker 5:

Okay. My, my platform boils down really two to three points. Be Kind, be ready, which beams being kind is working on transformative justice is walking, working on waste for us to support each other and acknowledge that each of us is a miracle. Being ready is being ready for the fact that even though we're miracles, we've all been profoundly damaged by the systems of oppression under which we exist and therefore we're all going to fuck up and we need to be prepared for that. When that happens, we need to be prepared to acknowledge mistakes. We need to be prepared to deal with conflict, both internal and external and we need to be prepared for opposition, both political opposition and potentially violent opposition. Um, radical transparency. I feel like in order to rebuild trust in national, in the National Political Club Committee and in the national political committee steering committee and in each other, we need to be transparent because when we don't know what each other are doing, it gets harder to assume good faith, especially if good faith has already been eroded. Mistakes. Transparency is a good way to refill good faith and also the more eyes on something, the more possibility that if it's a really bad idea, somebody's going to say something. And finally, all power to the locals because this is a member driven organization. This is organization is probably going to be maybe one of the earliest exposures that somebody has to radical democracy. The locals are where the rubber hits the road there, where the bulk of the work happens and national priorities and work should bubble up from the locals and then locals be joined together into networks to work on what is important to them rather than national priorities being handed down from a group of 12 or 16 or 32 because our organization is, is more than just that. If you think of of socialism as a journey, the members are the ones that are powering our journey and national and the NPC other the ones providing snacks, the ones providing cash for gas, the ones who are maybe taking the wheel when someone needs to take a nap. They are not the ones that should be driving. They should be facilitating the work that's already happening. So yeah, that's my, that's my three points. Be kind to be ready. Radical transparency and all power to the locals.

Speaker 2:

Excellent. I think that I really do wish the, both of you the best of luck and I hope to see the both of you on elected to NPC at the national convention, which for those interested left coast media will actually be there reporting on the goings on at the convention, hosting interviews and discussions with the participants. So definitely look forward to that. Uh, before we go, let's go ahead and, uh, Valerie, if you want to let people know where to find you, um, and uh, how to support our candidacy or if you have other projects that you're working on that people would like to know about. So, um, hi, I'm Valerie's in. Claire. I'm a Palestinian American Trans woman. You can find me on Twitter at twitter.com/march on at one three one two march. Henderson the ramen company. Yeah. Um, um, I do video. I'm currently working on scripts and videos actually, uh, with regards to Palestine because that's an issue that not a lot of people talk about and it is my primary thing, but, um, yeah. Um, I do a lot and I talk about a lot, so, yeah. Excellent sauce.

Speaker 5:

Do you have anything? No, just thank you for listening and if you're listening to this and I met you this past weekend at the conference, it was really cool and I'm glad that I met you and I'm glad that I've met, you know, all of my comments, but I wanted to focus just on the ones that I've met most recently. Nice. All right. I think that that is inappropriate place to wrap up for this discussion on the DSA. Uh, hopefully, uh, members and nonmembers alike got a lot out of it. I know I did learn, learned a lot and I always enjoy talking about these things because my brain is broken anyway. Umm, thank you all for it.

Speaker 6:

Joining us and listening, go in peace and dean solidarity comrades.

Speaker 7:

Okay.