Category: Presentations

What does Lenin say on Marx’s Works and on Socialism? – Group Discussion – October 17, 2021 10:30 AM Pacific time

So, what does Lenin take from Marx’s vast works and summarize it succinctly? And specifically on Socialism. Some of us thought that last week’s discussion on socialism did not deal aqequately with Lenin’s scientific concept, so we invited Raj Sahai to lead a Group Discusion on this important topic. Raj will be joined by Gary Hicks and Eugene Ruyle to begin our open discussion. In preparation, folks are invited to read V. I. Lenin’s Karl Marx — a Brief Biographical Sketch with an Exposition of Marxism (1914), available at:

Read More

Talking Socialism – Tom Gallagher – Sunday, October 10, 2021 10:30 AM PT

American public discussion of socialism arguably hit a new level when Wally, the coffee-drinking, do-nothing character in Dilbert, the daily comic strip send-up of office politics, declared his conversion to that point of view. Unfortunately, as Wally’s case reminds us, much of this increased socialism talk comes from people who don’t like and/or understand the idea. That more of it needs to come from the actual left is clear. Less clear is exactly what we should say when we talk the talk.

Simultaneously, a series of recent foreign elections — most notably Germany’s — have prompted talk of a global revival of the left. And yet, Germany is an example of the left’s failure to take power, in part because of its inability to unite — and perhaps because of its failure to take the prospect of governing seriously. Are we American socialists prepared to move our ideas from the lecture halls to the halls of power?

Our speaker will be long-time Democratic Socialist Tom Gallagher. Tom was elected to the Massachusetts State Legislature in 1982. Running as an open socialist, he quickly earned the affectionate nickname, “Tommie the Commie.” Since then, he has remained active, and true to his Democratic Socialist values . Tom has served as a Democratic National Convention delegate for both George McGovern (1984) and Bernie Sanders (2016).

Since moving to San Francisco, Tom has remained active as union member (United Educators of San Francisco, AFL-CIO) and president of the local Democratic Club in the Bernal Heights neighborhood. He is a long-time anti-war and political activist who has authored five Iraq and Afghanistan antiwar resolutions adopted by the San Francisco Democratic Party. In July 2015 he published his pamphlet, The Primary Route: How the 99% Takes On the Military Industrial Complex, which makes the case for socialists running in Democratic Party primaries, the route actually followed by Bernie, AOC, the Squad, and others, though Tom does not claim that any of them actually read his pamphlet. Tom is also well-versed in Marxist theory, having completed all three volumes of Capital.

Read More

Why the Cuban Revolution has Endured: A Marxist Assessment of Cuba’s Historic Break with Capitalist Rule and its Lessons for Today – Jeff Mackler – Sunday, September 26 10:30 AM PT

At the urging of union organizers today, International Publishers recently republished The Communist Party and the Auto Workers Unions, by Roger Keeran, a book originally published in 1980 and long out of print. The author will discuss the circumstances around the book’s original publication, the significance of the struggles it describes, and its relevance for our times.

Read More

Is the US Global Empire Actually in Decline?

It is almost taken for granted, if not an article of faith, in the progressive milieu that the US empire is in decline. Does this hold up or is it comfort food for the frustrated hoping for the revolution?

Our speaker, Stan Smith, will explore these questions based on a manuscript that he and Roger Harris have been researching, followed by a Q&A in which both will participate.

Read More