DSA Salutes President François Hollande Victory and Opposes Austerity Politics

The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) welcomes the recent Europeanwide popular rejection of the austerity politics of the 1%. In particular, DSA salutes the victory of socialist François Hollande in the French presidential election. Hollande ran on a platform that rejected the austerity policies of massive budget cuts pushed by the lords of finance. Such policies only serve to prolong both the Great Recession and the pain it visits upon working people and the poor. Hollande’s program calls for a financial transactions tax and higher marginal tax rates on the rich to increase investment in education, including the hiring of 60,000 new teachers. His platform also calls for a major raise in the minimum wage and for lowering, from age 62 to 60, the age at which manual laborers can retire and receive full public pensions.. To achieve such policies, the broad left must now win a majority in the June French parliamentary elections and stand firm on its preelection pledges. The fight against the global capitalist politics of austerity must be truly international; thus the United States left must pressure the Obama administration to work with Hollande to restart the European economy and to propose similar programs in the United States that would highlight the complete failure of austerity policies.

DSA recognizes that European (and American) bankers and bond vigilantes will resist such modest efforts to promote both equity and economic growth in France and elsewhere. The Economist magazine termed the moderate socialist president “rather dangerous” because he “genuinely believes in the need to create a fairer society.” (!) And the fate of Hollande’s program will not be decided solely in France. The broad left must not only regain control of the French parliament in June elections; a revived German left needs to overturn the bipartisan German elite consensus favoring the politics of austerity. Electoral victories by the broad left in upcoming German state elections could move the German political dynamic leftwards. A truly equitable response to the European economic crisis depends upon Germany pushing the European Central Bank (ECB) to drop its obsession with a phantom inflationary threat and adopt policies that would restore longterm economic growth. If the ECB used its borrowing power to exchange existing sovereign debt for ECBguaranteed Eurobonds, then the fiscal crisis in Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal and Ireland could be eased, thus allowing for the adoption of full employment growth policies. The undemocratic terms of the European monetary union must be renegotiated; as is, the European Union treaty agreements prioritize fighting inflation over promoting full employment and social justice in each member country. Thus, the people of Europe are being crucified on a cross of the Euro.

Any Keynesian economist can explain the irrationality of this politics of austerity ‐‐ a government cannot cut its way out of a deep recession, either in the US or Europe. But the battle of ideas is won in the streets, not in the halls of thinktanks. Resistance to the politics of austerity has spread from the youthful indignados of Spain to the general European electorate. In the same week as the French presidential elections, the centerright government of the Netherlands collapsed in the face of widespread protest; the British Labor Party won a major victory in local elections; and mass protests threatened the collapse of rightwing governments in the Czech Republic and Romania. On the very day of the French elections, the Greek electorate rejected both major, proausterity parties, the conservative New Democrats and the patronagedriven, neoliberal “socialist” PASOK. This led not only to the emergence of “The True Left Party” (Syriza), which significantly outpolled PASOK, but also to massive gains for farright, antiimmigrant parties.

DSA recognizes that rightwing populism represents an alternative, noxious form of popular response to capitalist crisis. We see the politics of Le Pen in France, the Freedom Party in the Netherlands, and the Golden Dawn in Greece replicated in conservative efforts here at home to blame the plight of downwardly mobile native workers on immigrants, rather than on the corporate elites who outsourced workers’ jobs. In the United States, the Occupy movement may organize mass protest at both the Republican and Democratic convention, which is all to the good, but only a popular left speaking to the needs of working people of all races can forestall the rise of rightwing populism.

In the U.S., as in Europe, DSA believes that only a combination of street heat and grassroots progressive electoral activity can displace the bipartisan corporate consensus on economic policy. The bipartisan, neoliberal obsession with balancingthebudget at a time of rampant unemployment threatens to turn the Great Recession into a true Great Depression. And as in the Great Depression, only mass protest from below can force the political class to adopt policies that restore full employment and a modicum of social equality. It is in this spirit, and in solidarity with a revived global left, that DSA recommits itself to building popular protest movements against austerity while simultaneously working in the 2012 elections on behalf of grassroots progressive candidates who reject the politics of austerity that make working people pay for the blunders of corporate America. 

Starting a Local Chapter from Scratch (9pm Eastern)

October 04, 2016 · 8 rsvps
Webinar, RSVP required for sign in information

So you are now a member of DSA, but there is no local chapter where you live. You are thinking of starting a local chapter, but you're not quite sure how to do it.

In Starting a Local Chapter from Scratch you will learn:

  • how other locals got started in recent years
  • how to find out who is already a member
  • the importance of a comrade
  • how to recruit new members
  • the importance of a mentor
  • how to become a recognized organizing committee
  • how to become a chartered local
  • what works best to bring new people in.

Join us for our latest organizing training for democratic socialist activists: DSA’s (Virtual) Little Red Schoolhouse.

Instructor:

  • Steve Max, DSA Vice Chair and one of the founders of the legendary community organizing school, The Midwest Academy

Training Details:

  1. Workshops are free for any DSA member in good standing.
  2. You need a computer with good internet access.
  3. Your computer must have preferably headphones or else speakers; you can speak thru a mic or use chat to "speak".
  4. If you have questions, contact Theresa Alt talt@igc.org 607-280-7649.
  5. If you have very technical questions, contact Tony Schmitt schmittaj@gmail.com 608-355-6568.
  6. You can participate in every webinar or just attend once in a while.
  7. Workshops will generally be on weekends or evenings.
  8. Participation requires that you register at least 45 hours in advance -- by midnight Sunday for Tuesday's webinar.

NOTE: This training is scheduled for 9:00pm Eastern Time (8pm Central, 7pm Mountain, 6pm Pacific, 5pm Alaska, 3 pm Hawaii).

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DSA New Member Orientation Call

October 19, 2016 · 22 rsvps
DSA New Member Orientation

You've joined DSA - Great. Now register for this New Member Orientation call and find out more about our politics and our vision.  And, most importantly, how you can become involved.  8 PM ET; 7 PM CT; 6 PM MT; 5 PM PT.

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