Since launching The Call two months ago, our goal has been to use it to promote Marxist politics inside the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). Alongside original articles written by our contributors on questions of strategy and tactics today, we’ve started to republish historical pieces we think are critical to learn from. We look to these republished pieces for lessons on everything from strategy and tactics to how to explain basic theoretical ideas.
Fortunately, the history of socialism is replete not only with great organizers and writers, but speakers as well. In order to make such speeches more accessible we’re launching The Call Radio. Starting today, we’ll be delivering high quality socialist history and theory right to your ears.
We’re starting this project off with two of our favorites.
First, we’re presenting a series of three lectures on the fundamentals of Marxist politics by Vivek Chibber, Professor of Sociology at NYU and editor of Catalyst. Originally delivered in 2008 at the Brecht Forum, Chibber first explains how class and the state work under capitalism. He then turns to the issue of class struggle. Knowing that movements of the working class will always be difficult to construct and maintain, he evaluates what social, political, and economic conditions will put these movements in the best position to win lasting victories.
Second, we are republishing a series of four lectures which we’re titling “Farrell Dobbs: Lessons from the Teamster Rebellions.” Farrell Dobbs was a leader in the legendary 1934 Minneapolis Teamsters strikes and in the Socialist Workers Party (SWP). These four lectures are from 1964, delivered to a gathering of the youth section of the SWP. He describes the strikes as a “virtual civil war”. There were shootings, bloody brawls, long standoffs, surprise attacks, sieges, and tense negotiations. But the strikers, led by socialists, were successful thanks to heroic mass action, democratic organization, and strategic planning and execution. Dobbs’s account of 1934 is essential listening for socialists interested in labor history, and in practical strategies for waging high-intensity, mass-oriented class struggle against capitalists and their politicians today.
In the future we’ll continue sharing important Marxist speeches and lectures, both historical and contemporary. We hope that you enjoy them as much as we do.
Finally we’d like to extend a special thanks to Ian Miller, Meagan Day, and Andrej Markovčič for helping to get this project off the ground.