TCDSA Little Red Letter No. 35

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A Time for Radical Empathy

In the midst of deteriorating capitalism we find ourselves in a society where empathy has faded to only a background blip in our minds. It has become the slight tick that shows one’s weakness when they feel something for someone else. In our pervasive individualism empathy is a weakness that must be tamed and overcome to conquer one’s self, to become…better.

There is nothing further from our humanity than turning our back on feeling something for another. As socialists we know empathy serves as the backbone of our ideology, and as the cornerstone of all human interaction. Our world vision is an extension of empathy that allows for all variability while recognizing that we are all valuable, we all contribute and we are all deserving of a whole live. And all means all, every single being, even those who would be our most strident opponents. In the world we are striving to create even the most heinous will have their voice, along with their bread and roses. We spread the ideology that it is everyone’s right to live a fulfilling and dignified life as a part of society, and there is no exception.

For DSA there is no better exemplar for this idea than “call in”, and we need to spread this mentality to the growth of our organization. No matter who or what someone is, we want them in our movement. As I have heard, we are a big tent organization, and it is time that we expanded this tent. While the the revival of socialism has been loud, it is also young and small. If we want to someday seize power and change the world, we need to grow. This can be an uncomfortable process, as differences are never easily overcome, and diversity can be well, different. But there is not a one of us who does not have the same basic needs, and the diversity of the world only makes our life that much more enjoyable.

It’s time that we push this empathy and movement building into high gear. We have a world to restructure and so little time in which to do it. Reach out to all of your friends, family and hell, strangers, because we will all be a lot better off when we have our needs met, and we can finally focus on the the beauty of this world and each other.

– Lucas

An illustration of a person speaking into a loudspeaker, with many roses coming out of the other end.

Tech Coordinator election

The results are in, Eugene has been elected as our Tech Coordinator. Thanks to all of the candidates for contributing to our organization and pushing us all to build a better movement.


Capitalism’s grow-or-die imperative stands radically at odds with ecology’s imperative of interdependence and limit. The two imperatives can no longer coexist with each other; nor can any society founded on the myth that they can be reconciled hope to survive. Either we will establish an ecological society or society will go under for everyone, irrespective of his or her status


Ursula K. Le Guin

Medicare for All Action: Barnstorm

Bernie Sanders delivering a speech, surrounded by "Medicare for All" signs.

Twin Cities DSA and MN Nurses Association are holding an event on February 10th, 2PM at MNA Headquarters (345 Randolph Ave., Suite 200, Saint Paul) to encourage Rep. Betty McCullom to sign on to Medicare-for-All. ASL interpretation and childcare provided! RSVP on Facebook.

Upper Midwest Pre-Convention Regional Conference

The DSA is hosting a series of regional conferences!

These conferences are the beginning of the participatory pre-convention process for the National Convention in August. There will be trainings on grassroots fundraising, strategic campaign planning, how to do political education, harassment & grievance intake and investigation, Robert’s Rules of Order, how to write resolutions, the timeline and other convention matters.

The conferences will include time for both panel and small group reflection on the current DSA national priorities, and debates. There will also be discussions around regional specifics and local issues. No voting or decision-making will take place at these regional conferences.

There is no charge to attend these regional conferences, and a limited number of stipends will be available to members who need financial support to travel.

Our regional convention is April 13-14 in Chicago. We can send 20 people. You must have paid annual dues at some point in 2018, or paid monthly dues as recently as December 2018 in order to be eligible to attend.

Please complete this interest form if you are interested in attending

If you have attended either the 2017 convention or the Leadership Training we held in Minneapolis last summer, consider stepping back so that members who haven’t received these may trainings attend.

For Further Review

With so many great podcasts, articles, books and videos coming out, it’s easy to miss something great. Here’s a few things we’ve found and loved recently:

The ABCs of Capitalism

Vivek Chibber of The Catalyst Journal has distilled Marx’s Capital into digestible short series of pamphlets for our modern time. He discusses his intention for this ambitious project with Adam Proctor at the Dead Pundits Society here.

Mark Fisher Memorial Lecture 2019

Mark Fisher put words to the internal struggle that so many of us feel living in capitalism and was an important part of the spark that brought about the swelling in our movement. Jodi Dean gives a memorial lecture in his honor.

Time to Break the Silence on Palestine

Martin Luther King Jr. courageously spoke out about the Vietnam War. We must do the same when it comes to this grave injustice of our time.

I’ts Still Bernie

Don’t listen to the media and think tank clowns — it’s still Bernie.

Battling Furlough Depression

TCDSA’s own Joanna wrote a guest post for the Captain Awkward blog offering good advice to a furloughed federal worker. She rightly points out that quite a lot of the letter writer’s distress is Because Capitalism!

The Conversion of Georg Lukács

This essay on Lukacs is a good account of the life and times of one of the founding theorists of Western Marxism.

Never Trust a Billionaire’s Antiracism

The Los Angeles strike wasn’t just a teachers’ victory. It was also a tale of two competing antiracist visions — one upheld by privatizing billionaires and another pushed by working people.

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