Version 1.0.0

Developed by Evan Moravansky, Peter Frase, the Political Education Working Group, and MHVDSA

Table of Contents


Welcome to MHVDSA’s Political Education Program! This page is designed to give anyone the means for a self-guided socialist education and to make getting involved in political action easier. Almost every resource in this document is free and accessible to you with a single click.

For those who are new to socialism or political activism, we encourage you to take your time exploring the program. You’ve likely come across many of these ideas before, but there’s many you’ll have never encountered. Much of the learning here is interdependent, so always think about how these resources connect into a larger vision of the world.

For those who are already well-acquainted with socialism, as you already know, the learning never ends. Within each resource may be new information, an angle you haven’t considered, or new language that can help you better communicate with your comrades.

The Political Education Program is meant to orient new and old membership toward a common understanding to improve communication and on-the-ground efficacy. It is not meant to narrow the ideological horizon, but endorse a focus on where the DSA’s multitude of political visions may merge for collective efforts. The resources within are also not meant to go undisputed, but promote discussion and collaboration through a general consensus of what is important to know.

With a use for anyone at any level of political engagement, the Political Education Program is a tool. It can be a tiller, a knife, a hammer, or a paintbrush. It is yours to wield however you need for building a better world. In the words of Karl Marx, “The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it.”

NOTE:  As a living document, some of the content below will change over time to better serve the needs of ongoing political work – but you’ll always have a well-rounded program at your fingertips.


  1. Class and Capitalism

Class is a social group commonly defined by economic inequality in a society, such as lower, middle, and upper class – but it is better defined by who owns and who uses the means of production. The means of production are the places, tools, and materials in businesses, factories, and workplaces that make it possible for a worker to do their labor. Capitalism is an economic system where the means of production are privately owned by a small group of individuals in countries like the United States. This is undemocratic because workers have no say in their workplace – only the owners do. All capitalist societies are divided into classes along these structural lines. However, that does not necessarily mean that people will think of themselves in class terms and organize along class lines. This is sometimes referred to as the distinction between a class existing merely “in itself”, as opposed to self-consciously “for itself.”

At the most abstract level, capitalism is divided into a capitalist class that controls (“the 1%”) most wealth and production, and a working class that makes up the vast majority of society and must work for wages (“the 99%”). Capitalists are able to sell the products of workers’ labor for less than they pay for the labor, thus realizing a profit. This is called “exploitation” in the Marxist tradition. However, the way class manifests in a capitalist society is more complicated than this, and there are a variety of in-between professional and managerial strata that may occupy a conflicted location between capital and labor.

Class dynamics have become more complex as capitalism reaches later stages, making the dividing line less clear. Some working class people own stock in major companies, and a small portion of the proletariat make more money than some capitalists do. This includes peripheral classes, such as the lumpenproletariat, excluded from society at large, such as prisoners and the unemployed, or the petit bourgeoisie, which are mostly small business owners. Despite these complexities, the material wealth of the working class has been stagnating while the bourgeoise exponentially increases their share.

  1. Socialism and Communism

An alternative to capitalism, socialism is an economic system where the means of production (businesses, factories, workplaces) are publicly owned by the working class rather than the capitalists. This creates a democratic workplace by giving workers collective control of their workplaces. The working class receives the full value of their labor between higher, though unequal, wages and well-funded social services. Social democracy is sometimes touted as socialism, but it is distinctly different because it creates strong safety nets and protects workers rights under capitalism without changing the fundamental class ownership of the means of production, and therefore, power.

In the work of Marx and other 19th century thinkers, “communism” referred to an imagined future society beyond class and the state, which might persist in a transitional “socialist” period. In one famous formulation, Marx described socialism as being characterized by the principle “to each according to his contribution,” communism as a society organized by the principle “from each to his ability, to each according to his need.” In the 20th century, “Communism” was associated with the Russian revolution and the parties that came to rule in places like the USSR and China, which were characterized by centrally planned economies and one-party states. Sometimes this distinction is expressed as one between the political idea of “small-c communism” and the geopolitical phenomenon of “big-C Communism“.

Historically, a variety of states and movements have labeled themselves “socialist”, and have promoted a variety of political forms, from party-states characterized by the hegemony of a socialist ruling party, to multiparty liberal democracy. Different ideologies across socialism and communism, known as tendencies, vary widely and employ different strategies to achieve their aims. Many of these tendencies exist within DSA.

  1. Personal, Private, Public, and Socialized Property

A key concept that opponents of Marxism get wrong is private property. Often, people imagine private property to mean anything an individual owns, where public property is anything the government owns. Marxists regard property differently, with public property being that owned by the government (or, under socialism, all the government’s people. State-ownership alone is not socialism), private property being the means of production (land, workplaces, factories), and personal property being anything that one owns outside those categories (your house to your toothbrush). Socialists want to turn private property into socialized property (private property owned by the workers), thereby transferring the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie to the proletariat, democratizing labor in the process. There is no interest in the expropriation of personal property except for potential limitations on maximum wealth, proportional taxation, and restrictions on inheritance that prohibit intergenerational wealth from not circulating in the economy.

  1. Dialectics and Historical Materialism

Dialectics is a theory of how social forces relate and change. It is sometimes described in an order thesis, antithesis, and synthesis, known as Two into One, but is better described as One into Two, where a single body divides into two bodies that are antagonistically dependent upon each other for their existence. Ex: England’s Enclosure Acts between 1604 and 1914 sealed off public land use for grazing cattle and led to the creation of a wealthy magnate class of landowners who depended on poor laborers to make money for them, and the poor laborers depended on the use of the magnates’ land to survive on wages. Today, the amount of money people like Jeff Bezos make in profit is generally equivalent to the amount of money his workers lose in wages to their boss (“I want to thank every Amazon employee and every Amazon customer, because you guys paid for all this” – Bezos after flying in his rocket). Note that dialectics is a system of ongoing events evolving together, not separate events that can be isolated from each other. It is not a linear series of cause and effect like billiard balls on a pool table; it is a spiderweb where the ongoing relation between each strand affects the whole system. In this way, any social forces we encounter are not permanent realities, but a moment in time.

Historical materialism is a way of understanding history through the ways people collectively produce and reproduce their conditions of existence. This includes the production of material needs such as food and shelter, the raising of new generations, and the reproduction of cultural forms. This is in contrast to various forms of historical idealism, which view history as defined by “great men with great ideas.” By understanding who controls the means of producing and reproducing society, we can better understand inequality and class power. For example, education is something people need to access both in order to earn money and to gain cultural prestige, and the capitalist class can control people’s ability to do this by privatizing education and encouraging the use of student loans.

  1. Neoliberalism and the Alt-Right

Neoliberalism is a term used to characterize the political economy of capitalism in its most recent period, after the crisis of the 1970s. The term can be used in several different ways, but the Marxist theorist David Harvey, author of A Brief History of Neoliberalism, defines it as the project of restoring capitalist class power, and rolling back the gains made by labor movements and social democratic welfare states in the mid-20th Century. Neoliberals believe the flow of capital should not be restricted across international borders, but that the flow of labor should be. They also tend to defund public services and give greater subsidies to the wealthy. Notable neoliberal figures would be Barack Obama, Augusto Pinochet, Ronald Reagan, Deng Xiaoping.

Conservatism is pro-capitalist like neoliberalism, but is more concerned with preserving traditional social hierarchies. Conservatives are also known to be reactionaries, called so because they react to political developments by opposing change with calls to return to an older politics (“Make America Great Again”’ was first popularized by Ronald Reagan!). Conservatism has been evolving into the Alt-Right, which takes more extreme, populist right-wing views often espousing violence. Notable Alt-Right groups include the Proud Boys and Patriot Front, and notable figures would be Marjorie Taylor Greene or Donald Trump.

  1. Class and Race Reductionism

The relationship between class and race has long been debated in the socialist movement. In the United States in particular, the history of slavery and segregation makes the question of racism a critical one. White workers have at times organized along racial lines, for instance by excluding non-white workers when engaging in labor actions.

Some socialists have viewed racism as a kind of ruling class trick to divide the working class, and have attempted to combat it by appealing to a common class interest binding all workers, with “color-blind” demands that do not address race explicitly. This is sometimes called class reductionism. However, this has been criticized by other socialists for underestimating the way that class and race are inseparably intertwined. Some view racism as an independent source of oppression that predates capitalism, while others view modern racism as a product of capitalism’s origins in colonialism and slavery. In either case, class reductionism is rejected for ignoring the ways that racism structures the way capitalist exploitation operates, and the way that racial hierarchies are systematically reproduced.

Within liberation movements of the oppressed, there have also been many anti-capitalist radicals who have critiqued what could be called race reductionism, or the belief that equality within the structures of capitalism is sufficient for liberation. As Black Panther Party leader Fred Hampton argued, “We’re going to fight racism not with racism, but we’re going to fight with solidarity. We say we’re not going to fight capitalism with black capitalism, but we’re going to fight it with socialism.”

  1. Anarchism, “Anarchism”, and Libertarian Socialism

Anarchism is a political and economic system where a state does not dictate the productive forces of society. It is the end goal of communism, but does not see the state as the means of establishing a fair and equitable society. Instead, anarchists see the state as an obstacle to human liberation. In contrast to a “top-down” or “bottom-up” flow of power, anarchists generally support a horizontal organization of society, without hierarchies of any kind. This is different from “anarchy,” as the word is often used to describe chaos and disorder. Anarchism as a political ideology seeks to create order by abolishing institutions that limit human freedom for self-determination. Libertarian Socialism is a tendency that prioritizes direct democratic control over society and rejects both existing institutions in capitalist society and centralized authority in revolutionary parties as a means of achieving this.

  1. Marxism and Theory

Marxism refers to a broad range of theories of capitalism, building on the analysis of Karl Marx in various ways. Marxists try to understand how the political, social, and economic coincide to create a coherent model of societal organization. Using the method of historical materialism as described in section 3, Marxism sees capitalism not as a fact of nature, but as a transitory historical phenomenon. Although it has many intricacies, its core argument is that the general formation of society is constructed around how people produce and reproduce the material conditions of their lives. Different forms of Marxism have formed over time through both socialist experiments and written theory, which is a collection of intellectual contributions that expands on Marx’s original work. Not all works of theory are accepted by all socialists as accurate depictions of how society operates and develops, and although Marxism systematized scientific socialism (in contrast to its utopian forms), not all socialists may describe themselves as Marxists.

  1. Settler-Colonialism and Imperialism

Imperialism is the doctrine of a state exerting political, economic, social, and military force over another nation, usually for the purpose of extracting wealth from the outside nation. Settler-colonialism is a unique form of imperialism that displaces indigenous people from their homeland with settlers from another country or nation. The United States is a prime example of this kind of society. It differs from other kinds of colonial imperialism because the settlers are typically not agents of the state, but receive both implicit and explicit support for their colonization from the imperialist state. In the case of the United States, this ranged from allocating stolen land to settlers to monetarily rewarding settlers who could prove they had killed indigenous peoples. The United States remains a settler-colonial state today as it continues to deny rights to indigenous peoples in favor of its settler population. It also remains an imperial state, holding multiple territories for their military or economic benefits while denying the people their full rights. The U.S. goes on to exert its will over other countries through its over 800 military bases worldwide and economic dominion over major trade relationships. Other examples of settler-colonial states include Canada, Israel, South Africa, and Australia.

  1. The State and Nationalism

The state is the system of institutions which uphold the divisions of a society divided by class; an apparatus of institutional power that enables one class to dominate/oppress another. Even in self-described socialist and communist countries, the state represents a class divide, however, differently from that of a capitalist society. Capitalist societies may claim that the state represents class interests fairly, but with few or no forms of direct democracy and accountability to the people through socialized labor, the capitalist state is inherently disconnected from the proletariat. The courts, police, and military are the intermediary between the proletariat and the bourgeois state, which uses these institutions of power to defend their ownership of the state by upholding the founding principles of class-based society built on private property. There are exceptions within capitalist societies, but they do not undermine the founding principles which continue to reinforce this separation between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie.

Nationalism is distinct from the state because it is a movement for self-determination around shared cultural elements, often around ethnicity, culture, religion, or other shared national identity. Nationalism has historically played an ideological role in legitimating the colonial and imperial projects of capitalist states, but as described by anti-colonial thinkers like Franz Fanon, it has also played a role in radical movements in the colonized world, which sought to gain self-determination through the formation of independent nation-states.

While some on the left oppose all nationalism as reactionary, others would distinguish between the nationalism of the oppressed, which may have revolutionary potential, and the nationalism of the oppressor, which is always reactionary. In the United States, an example of this distinction would be the difference between Black nationalism, which has both conservative and radical forms, and white nationalism, which is inherently reactionary.

  1. Authoritarianism and Fascism

Authoritarianism is a general term applied to political systems in which the government restricts freedom of political and cultural expression to varying degrees to reinforce its rule. At times disputed, it’s specific qualities and application can vary, though it has frequently been used as part of anti-communist rhetoric after WWII as a comparison to fascism. Opponents of Marxism will often cite the Communist Manifesto as proof that authoritarianism is inherent to socialist ideology, based on a misunderstanding of Marx and Engels’ use of the word “dictatorship.” They refer to socialism as the “dictatorship of the proletariat,” but they do not mean by this that socialism must be characterized by authoritarian rule. For them, all class societies are dictatorships of one class over another, making capitalism a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie,’ where those who own the means of production have the most influence over political and economic decisions. Ex: the people who own your workplace have full control over all decision-making in the business, where the employees have none, and the state will frequently side with the business owners. None of the above precludes self-described socialist or communist governments from being described as authoritarian, but because its application can be both broad and vague, it deserves scrutiny and deliberate use.

Fascism is characterized by a far-right, pro-capitalist, authoritarian ultranationalist populism that emphasizes national rejuvenation through strongman policies based in militarism and the naturalization of class differences. Ex: Nazi Germany and Mussolini’s Italy. Fascism does not recognize democracy as a legitimate political institution and instead prefers dictatorial rule, which establishes ethnic groups or left political ideologies as national enemies. As a mass movement, fascism glorifies violence and engages in extralegal violence against leftists and marginalized people as part of its strategy for seizing power. Although there are no major self-described fascist governments today, elements of this political camp have resurged in recent years, including in the U.S with the rise of the Alt-Right.

Core Learning

Below is a four course program for self-educating about leftist organizing and socialist principles. Each course is determined by difficulty level and subject, but each is only a launchpad to further learning. DSA is a multi-tendency organization, meaning that a variety of schools of thought converge for a unified front. Most of these resources will agree on contemporary socialist positions, but some will contradict each other, and a few may reflect positions no longer commonly held by socialist movements. Nevertheless, the resources selected for this list are meant to reflect the storied history of socialism and challenge dogmatic approaches to our current condition. 

In an age of misinformation, it is especially important now more than ever to develop a critical mindset for learning about the world we live in. Approach each resource unafraid to ask questions you may have never asked. What you draw from this program depends on you honing your ability to challenge yourself in ways you may have never done up until now. As you go through the courses below, consider the implications for you and your community, and how something learned can turn into something done.

In this program, you will find three primary forms of resources – text, audio, and video – each denoted by read, listen, or watch time. These courses will be revised as time goes on. An asterisk means that resource may change in the near future.

Course 1: Introductory / Absolute Basics

New to socialism? Here’s a great place to start. These brief resources will help you understand what socialism is and why it’s more important than ever to fight for it.

  1. Absolute Basics
    1. But at Least Capitalism Is Free and Democratic, Right? by Erik Olin Wright [5 min read]
    2. The Working Class Is the Vast Majority of Society by Hadas Thier [10 min read]
    3. Freedom From the Boss by Barry Eidlin and Micah Uetricht [20 min read]
    4. Forget Your Middle Class Dreams by Alex N. Press [15 min read]
    5. Under Capitalism, There’s No Such Thing as a “Fair Day’s Wage for a Fair Day’s Work” By Hadas Thier [30 min read]
    6. Capitalism, Socialism, & Communism: A Gentle Introduction by Hassan M. [10 min read]
    7. Socialism 101 by azureScapegoat [25 min read]
    8. Toward a Socialist Theory of Racism by Cornel West [30 min read]
    9. What Is Socialist Feminism? by Barbara Ehrenreich [30 min]
    10. The Principles of Communism by Fredrich Engels [25 min read]
  2. Socialism, Marxism, and Its Variants:
    1. Why Socialism? By Albert Einstein [10 min read]
    2. The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Fredrich Engels [Pages 14-34, 35 min read]
    3. The Difference Between Socialism, Communism, and Marxism Explained by a Marxist by AzureScapegoat [11 min watch]
    4. Socialism: Utopian and Scientific by Fredrich Engels [30 min read]
    5. Ultraleftism or Mass Action by Peter Camejo [10 min read]
    6. Socialism From Below by Ben Tarnoff [10 min read]
    7. Two Souls of Socialism by Hal Draper [30 min read]
    8. The Three Sources and Three Components of Marxism by Vladimir Lenin [10 min read]

Socialists you didn’t know were socialists
Albert Einstein – Helen Keller – Pablo Picasso
Martin Luther King, Jr. – Nelson Mandela – Oscar Wilde – Frida Kahlo
Malala Yousafzai

Course 2: Up-and-comer / Multi-Front Fight, Intersectionality, and Strategy

These short resources will help expand your understanding of socialism a little further. Connecting the various struggles for a just world is key to the solidarity we need to make mass movements successful.

  1. Multi-Front Fight
    1. Neoliberalism Has Always Been a Threat to Democracy by Aldo Madariaga [20 min read]
    2. Coronavirus Is the Perfect Disaster for ‘Disaster Capitalism’ by Marie Solis and Naomi Klein [10 min read]
    3. A Brief History of Neoliberalism by David Harvey [pages 5-38]
    4. How “Moderates” Serve The Right by SecondThought [18 min watch]
    5. Fascism: What It Is and How To Fight It by Leon Trotsky [pages 3-21]
    6. How Capitalism Destroys Radical Movements by SecondThought [20 min watch]
  2. Intersectional Struggles
    1. Women, Race and Class by Angela Y. Davis [pages 8-139]
    2. The Combahee River Collective Statement [30 min read]
    3. How Racism and Capitalism Support Each Other by Richard D. Wolff [15 min read]
    4. Review of: Ryan, F. Crippled: Austerity and the demonization of disabled people by Jessica M. F. Hughes [10 min read]*
    5. Are Prisons Obsolete? by Angela Davis [pages 9-115]
    6. The Social Basis of the Woman Question by Alexandra Kollontai [30 min read]
    7. The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin [pages 16-67]
    8. Corona Capitalism: Struggles Over Nature (with Andreas Malm) [46 min watch]
    9. Queer Oppression is Etched in the Heart of Capitalism by Tatiana Cozzarelli [45 min read]
    10. DSA Political Platform (2021) [40 min read]
  3. Strategy
    1. We Must Learn to Embrace Populism by Aaron Lake Smith [20 min read]
    2. Tyranny of Structurelessness by Jo Freeman [35 min read]
    3. The Marxist Center: Base-Building Toward Dual Power by Revolutionary Left Radio [1:18 hours listen] or The US Left Has Only Four Tendencies by Sophia Burns [10 min read]
    4. On Democratic Socialism by Turn Left Podcast [0:00 to 1:01 hours listen]
    5. The Two Paths of Democratic Socialism: Coalition and Confrontation by Jared Abbott [50 min read time]
    6. The Red Deal by The Red Nation [30 min read time]
    7. Convincing Conservatives: Red States, Climate Change & Class Struggle by Revolutionary Left Radio [1:21 hours listen]
    8. 2021-2022 DSA National Electoral Strategy [10 min read]

“The roots of sexism and homophobia are found in the same economic and political institutions that serve as the foundation of racism in this country and, more often than not, the same extremist circles that inflict violence on people of color are responsible for the eruptions of violence inspired by sexist and homophobic biases. Our political activism must clearly manifest our understanding of these connections.” – Angela Davis

Course 3: Intermediate / History and Futures

Building a socialist movement means nuanced learning from past and present socialist and communist projects. The resources below can provide essential tools for contending with the history of the socialist experiment globally, though they are far from comprehensive.

  1. Historiography and Imperialism
    1. “US interventionism, 3rd world, & USSR” by Michael Parenti [5 min watch]
    2. Blackshirts and Reds: Rational Fascism and the Overthrow of Communism by Michael Parenti [pages 1-116]
    3. Discourse on Colonialism by Aime Cesare [pages 38-71]
    4. The Wretched of the Earth by Franz Fanon [pages 7-316] or Podcast Series by Red Menace [5:30 hours listen time / 3 episodes]
    5. Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism: a short introduction [15 min read]
    6. Historical Materialism Explained: A Marxist Theory of History by Halim Alrah [15 min watch]
  2. Asia and Eastern Europe
    1. Mao Zedong and the Chinese Revolution by Revolutionary Left Radio [1 hour listen]
    2. Walter Rodney on the Russian Revolution by Robin D. G. Kelley [pages 6-40]
    3. The First Step on Vietnam’s Long Walk to Freedom by Ian Birchall [35 min read]
    4. Patriots, Traitors, and Empires: The Korean War and Korea’s Struggle for Freedom by Revolutionary Left Radio [1.75 hour listen]
  3. Imperial Core (“The West”)
    1. Ten-Point Program by The Black Panther Party [5 min read]
    2. Black Panther Party History [10 min read]
    3. Eugene V. Debs [10 min read]
    4. U.S. Labor History: Militant Unions, Red Scares, and Class Struggle by Revolutionary Left Radio [1:50 hour listen]
    5. India Walton Is Reviving the American Tradition of Municipal Socialism by Joshua Kluever [15 min read]
    6. Our History is the Future by Nick Estes [pages 13-220] or Guerilla History Episode [2 hour listen]
    7. Missing Victory? Blanqui and the Paris Commune by Doug Enaa Greene [50 min read]
  4. Latin America and Caribbean
    1. Evo Morales Was the Americas’ Greatest President by Olivia Arigho-Stiles [20 min read]
    2. “And then Fidel came” by Carlos Puebla [4 min watch]
    3. How Democracy Works in Cuba [13 min watch]
    4. The Coup in Chile by Mark Miliband [45 min read]
    5. What the Sandinistas Won in Nicaragua, an interview with Jeffrey L. Gould by Nicolas Allen [30 min read]
    6. The Groundings with my Brothers by Walter Rodney [pages 12-79]
    7. DSA Venezuela Delegation Report Back by DSA’s International Committee [1.5 hour watch]
  5. Africa and Middle East
    1. Palestine 101 by Decolonize Palestine [read time varies]
    2. Intro to African Revolutions and Decolonization w/ Leo Zeilig by Guerilla History [2 hour listen]
    3. Resurrecting Thomas Sankara by Ernest Harscht [25 min read]
    4. Why Kwame Nkrumah’s Socialist, Pan-African Vision Continues to Inspire Radicals Today by William Shoki and Sean Jacobs with Benjamin Talton and Anakwa Dwamena [20 min read]
    5. Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser Was a Towering Figure Who Left an Ambiguous Legacy by Joe Beinin [40 min read]

“To accomplish [the] act of universal emancipation is the historical mission of the modern proletariat. To thoroughly comprehend the historical conditions and this the very nature of this act, to impart to the now oppressed proletarian class a full knowledge of the conditions and of the meaning of the momentous act it is called upon to accomplish, this is the task of… scientific socialism.” – Friedrich Engels

Course 4: Advanced / Theory and Praxis

Here you’ll find the heavier materials that have guided socialist principles and approaches to a capitalist world. Reading theory is not only for the most experienced, but the previous courses may prime you for the harder to understand texts on this list. Not all theorists on this list are accepted by all socialists as foundational to their organizing principles, but their influence over socialist politics in the last century make them important to know. A theorists’ presence in this section is not an endorsement of them or their theories. NOTE: Read times are not presented due to variable length and difficulty of works listed.

  1. Karl Marx/Fredrich Engels
    1. Capital, Chapter 1
  2. Vladimir Lenin
    1. What Is To Be Done?
    2. Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism
    3. State and Revolution
  3. Leon Trotsky
    1. The Permanent Revolution
  4. Alexrandra Kollontai
    1. Make Way for Winged Eros: A Letter to Working Youth
  5. Mao Zedong
    1. On Contradiction
    2. On Practice
  6. Petr Kropotkin
    1. The Conquest of Bread
  7. Mikhail Baukunin
    1. Marxism, Freedom, and the State
    2. God and the State
  8. Murray Bookchin
    1. Listen, Marxist!
  9. Joseph Stalin
    1. The Foundations of Leninism
  10. Rosa Luxembourg
    1. The Problem of Dictatorship
    2. Reform or Revolution
  11. C.L.R. James
    1. Every Cook Can Govern
    2. The Revolutionary Answer to the Negro Problem in the United States
  12. Huey P. Newton
    1. In Defense of Self Defense
  13. Kwame Nkrumah
    1. African Socialism Revisited
  14. Thomas Sankara
    1. Speech Before the General Assembly of the United Nations

“Without revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement.” -V. Lenin

Our Life by Walter Womacka (1964)

Working Groups

You’ve learned a little about socialism and you’re interested in doing something with that knowledge – here’s where you can find a place to get started. Below are some of the working groups and campaigns in our chapter. Check out some of the materials they’ve provided to familiarize you with what they’re about and what kind of work they do. If you find something interesting, reach out to us and let’s get you onboard. If you don’t see anything that suits you, then let’s find your niche. Everyone’s got something unique to contribute in the fight for a better world.


  1. Stop Danskammer Coalition [15 min read]
  2. Public Power Legislation [10 min read]
  3. Explainer: NY Build Public Renewables Act [2 min watch]


  1. Like It or Not, If We Run Third Party, We Will Lose by Dustin Guastella [25 min read]
  2. How Socialists Can Win Elections by The Gravel Institute [7 min watch]
  3. Inside the NYC Democratic Socialists’ Powerhouse Electoral Machine by Sam Mellins [25 min read]
  4. 2021-2022 DSA National Electoral Strategy [14 pages]
  5. Phil Erner’s Victory Against the 14-Term Incumbent [5 min read]
  6. Mid-Hudson Valley Democratic Socialists of America Elect Member Sarahana Shrestha as the Democratic Nominee for Assembly District 103 [5 min read]

Mutual Aid

  1. Mutual aid vs direct aid/charity by Dean Spade [5 min read]
  2. Newburgh Coat Drive 1/23/22 [2 min read]



  1. Jane McAlevey on organizing vs. mobilizing by Current Affairs [41 min listen]
  2. Ask Prof Wolff: Dogmatic and Extreme on the Left by Democracy At Work [7 min watch]
  3. Blood in My Eye by George Jackson [pages 105-113]


  1. How Socialists Solved The Housing Crisis by The Gravel Institute [9 min watch]
  2. Autonomous Tenants Union Network Resources [various resources]
  3. Tenants’ Unions: Building Dual Power in the Neighborhood by Jay Lucien and Varlam Akrat [15 min read]


  1. Social media
  2. Press releases, Op-eds, etc.

Religious Socialism

  1. The Fire This Time: Forging a Multi-Faith Movement for Religious Socialism [1.25 hour watch]

The Unemployed Council march by the White House in Washington D.C., from CPUSA Archive (March 6, 1930)

Reference Material

See NPEC Resources:

Metro DC DSA Night School:

See Radical in Progress:

See Zinn Education Project:

See Black Socialists of America’s Resource Guide:

See The Revolution Will Be Streamed by Emerge DSA:

See DSA’s BDS and Palestine Solidarity Working Group Resource Library:

Got ideas for our program? Want to share a resource? Let us know at politicaleducation[at]mhvdsa[dot]org