A dispatch from Socialism 101 (plus a rad vegan chili recipe)




Recently a group of DSA members got a chance to try out an updated version of Socialism 101. The purpose of this course is to help those interested in becoming more involved in the fight for a better world deepen their analysis of where we are, what do we want to build, and what tools do we need to craft for the struggles we face. Specifically the course challenged participants to consider as a group such questions as:

  • What is Capitalism? How does it work? Why doesn’t it go away on its own?
  • What is this alternative we call Socialism? How would it be different?
  • What sorts of structures, strategies and tools do we need to build Socialism?
  • Of those tools & structures, what is a Mass Socialist Organization?
  • How does relationship building through one-on-ones & community involvement play a foundational role in constructing the organizations and skills needed to move towards Socialism?

This particular version of Socialism 101 was planned as a longer session, lasting a couple of hours on a Saturday. It involved open conversation, interactive analysis within both small groups and the entire classroom, and a delicious lunch provided by Comrade Brian K. Participants and facilitators alike agreed that both the educational and nutritional aspects of the day were a huge success.

Comrades working on political education hope to further refine this course, present it more regularly, and most of all, begin training more members of our chapter to present the course for those interested in socialism and DSA. The goal is craft a Socialism 101 program that many DSA comrades can present to neighbors, coworkers and other groups fighting for a better world.

If you wish to become more involved in this Socialism 101 effort, please contact Anders at abloomquist@twincitiesdsa.org

And if you wish to try out Brian K’s vegan chili recipe that was universally loved by everyone who attended Socialism 101:

RED CHILI (Vegan optional, gluten free)

Adapted from a mysterious copy of a copy of a copy of a page from an unknown cookbook, passed on by an enthusiastic stranger at a grocery store

  • 1 cup olive oil, separated
  • 2 zucchini, cut into ½-inch dice
  • 2 large carrots, cut into ½-inch dice
  • 8 oz white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 onions, cut into ½-inch dice
  • 4 (or 6, or 10) cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large red bell peppers, cored and cut into ½-inch dice
  • 1 can (35 oz) plum tomatoes with juices, halved
  • 1 ½ lbs plum tomatoes, cut into 1-inch dice
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

Optional toppings:

  • Sour cream
  • Grated cheese
  • Scallions, white bulb and 3 inches green, sliced
  • Crunched up tortilla chips
  1. Heat ½ cup oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add zucchini and carrots, and sauté until just tender, 5-7 minutes. Transfer contents to a large heavy-bottomed pot.
  2. Heat ¼ cup oil in the skillet over low heat. Add onions, garlic, and bell peppers. Sauté until just wilted, about 10 minutes. Transfer contents to the pot.
  3. Heat remaining ¼ cup oil in the skillet over low heat. Add mushrooms, and sauté 5-7 minutes or until tender. Transfer contents to the pot.
  4. Place pot over low heat. Add the canned tomatoes and their juice, fresh tomatoes, spices and herbs. Cook, uncovered, stirring often, for 30-45 minutes.
  5. Stir in the beans and lemon juice. Cook for as long as you’d like. Adjust seasonings to your taste. Serve with sour cream, cheese, leftover tortilla chips, and scallions. Enjoy with comrades.

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