Choosing Political Courage This Week

As the pandemic rages on, the willful inaction of people in power continues to remind us of our disposability under capitalism and the extent to which the capitalist class will go to defend their wealth. It’s enough to make us all feel like everything is bad and there’s nothing to be done. 

But, the world is not hopeless or bad. There are a few people in power making decisions that oppress us, exploit our labor, and attack the planet. And while we do live under an economic and political system that prioritizes the interests of the few over the many, we know that the working class makes the world go round. There are so many more people working collaboratively to make sure people aren’t suffering and to remind each other that there are better ways to live! 

It’s up to us to change that, to be the alternative. And more importantly, there are solutions to the problems we’re facing. Instead of retreating to despair, we must choose political courage.

What we are seeing happen in Texas is guaranteed to be the standard, not the exception, in Republican-governed states. With the Supreme Court choosing, in the dead of night, to not act on a bill that not only bans abortion after six weeks but deputizes citizens to turn people in for helping someone have an abortion in any way, makes clear no one is coming to save us. We have to save ourselves. Pregnant people deserve safe, reliable abortion care and support. And for people seeking an abortion, right now the best way to support them means:

  • Supporting abortion funds with donations, not only in Texas but in the surrounding areas. Here are a few that could use your support: @TEAFund, @TheAfiyaCtr, @BBFundTX, @LaFronteraFund, @westfundtx
  • Talking to the people in your life about why SB8 is harmful not only to pregnant people but to all abortion care providers
  • Plug in to your local Medicare for All efforts

Abortion is healthcare! And the more we talk about it this way helps destigmatize this procedure for people who want and need it. As socialists, we’re fighting for the power to make decisions over our everyday lives and that means defending the rights of people to get abortions. 

As reproductive rights come under attack, we are also facing the reality of the climate under an accelerated crisis. Hurricane Ida continues to leave a path of destruction spanning from the south to the northeast, with storm surges, flash flooding, torrential winds, and tornadoes making clear that this country’s infrastructure is not equipped to keep us safe. Mutual aid efforts have been the only recourse for the thousands of people affected by power outages, home destruction, and a lack of basic needs. 

Our DSA Mutual Aid Working Group has been helping to gather resources on ways our members can help: financially, physically, or by sending items. For concrete ways to contribute to Hurricane Ida efforts in Louisiana, check out the resource page here. It will be continuously updated with ways to plug in to the work from chapters in affected areas.  

While these efforts are absolutely necessary, they are also not sustainable forever. The pandemic has resulted in loss of income, housing insecurity, and massive debt for many of us, while the capitalist class grew by 50 billionaires. We must help each other survive so that we can all show up to the fight. 

The power we need to win can only happen through organizing. It’s why we are part of a political organization and why it’s important to talk to everyone you know about the issues that affect their lives.

If you’re unsure of where to start, here are a few tips:

  • Support striking Nabisco workers 
    • This month, Congress is in the final bargaining stages over the infrastructure bill—which will shape the terrain of the country for a decade. The past week has shown how badly we need to invest in our infrastructure. Don’t let Congress forget that: sign up for a shift (or two) and bring a friend! Let’s get major expansions in labor rights and green public schools over the finish line.

If you’re part of one of our 250 chapters waging local campaigns, make sure to take some time this week to let people in your area know how to plug into that work. Be visible and bold with your approach. Many folks are looking for ways to help, make it easy to do that. 

If you haven’t attended a meeting in a while, get plugged back in and learn about your chapter’s efforts. The last year has made it tough on all of us, so don’t feel bad if you had to step away for a while, but there’s no better time than now to get involved again! Find the contact info for your chapter at Connecting with comrades is crucial as we face what’s been thrown at us.

Talk to your neighbors, your coworkers, your friends, and anyone else you come across. Practice some grace but be clear about why socialism is the alternative to the world we are experiencing. There is always an opportunity in a crisis to remind people of their power, to share an analysis of the world rooted in a clarification of our enemies and the possibilities of collective action to confront and defeat them.

And if you’re reading this and not in DSA, we invite you to join the largest socialist organization in the country. The world we deserve is ours for the taking and we know it will take a mass, socialist organization to win it: join us.