Must Reads for New Comrades

New members come into DSA from all walks of life, and are often hungry for information on how to organize, think, and argue like a socialist. The DSA Cleveland Political Education Committee has put together the following short list of readings for new members. The list covers fundamentals of organizing, principles and key arguments for socialism, and some deep dives into topics DSA Cleveland is currently organizing around.

Various Authors, ABCs of Socialism

[Link to the digital copy]. This series of essays published by Jacobin covers basic arguments and myths you will encounter as a socialist living in a capitalist society. It does so in concrete understandable terms, but also with rigor.

Jane McAlevey, No Shortcuts (2016) (first 50 pp.)

In the first fifty pages of this labor history case study / organizing manuscript, Jane breaks down our bottom-up theory of power and presents a blueprint for making real structural change from below.

Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto (1848)

[Link to the digital copy]. This is a fundamental and pretty short text that sets the context for the entire internationalist socialist project. It’s basically required reading.

David J. Madden, Peter Marcuse, In Defense of Housing: The Politics of Crisis (2016)

In Defense of Housing is a wealth of information, providing an overview of the history, political economy, and commodification of housing in capitalist countries through a socialist lens. It draws frequently on the works of Marx and, to an even greater extent, Engels. It later reflects on the nature of tenants movements and addresses why even the most successful popular tenants movements have historically been fleeting. Finally, Marcuse and Madden propose realistic actions that we as tenants can take in the immediate future. This text ties in superbly with our CHOP campaign.

Alex Vitale, The End of Policing (2017)

Keeanga Yamhatta Taylor, From Black Lives to Black Liberation