Political Education 2/22 Discussion

Convention Prep #2: "Social Movement Unionism and the Rank and File Strategy."

Every two years, DSA convenes a National Convention, the highest decision-making body of the organization, whose delegates collectively set our political agenda, choose national organizing priorities, vote on important internal reforms, and elect members to the National Political Committee (NPC). We must prepare our members for this Convention and develop a deep understanding of the urgent political and organizational questions up for debate. To this end, BuxMont DSA plans to host an educational session once per month leading up to the Convention in which we read and discuss an essay published by a national DSA caucus that asserts a particular (and perhaps contentious) perspective on an issue likely to make its way to the Convention floor. We aim to represent all major ideological tendencies within DSA throughout this initiative to highlight the political diversity of our organization, help members develop their own political positions, and foster informed, comradely debate despite often sharp, impassioned, and urgent disagreements among our membership.

For this session we were thrilled to be joined by Marvin G. of NYCDSA and the local caucus Emerge to discuss his essay recently published in Partisan titled “Social Movement Unionism and the Rank and File Strategy.” Marvin argues that DSA should employ a labor strategy that includes but goes beyond radicalizing already established unions. Advocating for a Social Movement Unionism, Marvin calls for a DSA dedicated to the famous rank and file strategy but also to organizing the unorganized (including many sectors often excluded from labor organizations) and connecting labor struggles to social movements and broader community politics. For Marvin, this multi-faceted orientation to labor presents a “strategy built around labor’s role in the construction of socialism and not just a strategy to restore fighting unions.”