Socialist Party L.A. Local Freedom School: “Rethinking Socialist Humanism after Poststructuralism and Postmodernism”

When: Saturday, September 13th, 6pm

Where: 2617 Hauser Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA

What’s going on:

Presented by Professor Kevin Anderson

Since the 1970s, antihumanist and anti-Hegelian currents, from the structuralist Marxism of Althusser to non-Marxist critiques of radical humanism (Foucault, Bourdieu), have dominated radical philosophy and social theory. By the 1980s, the ascendancy of Foucauldian poststructuralism in particular was marked by identity politics, a rejection of global perspectives, and a theory of resistance rather than one of human emancipation. Over the past decade, the alterglobalization movement and the economic crisis have led to a greater emphasis on both Marxist thought and on universality, while the academic world has experienced a revival of Hegel studies. A humanist deficit remains, however, insofar as radical humanism continues to be ignored or even attacked. This paper revisits a number of strands of radical humanism, ranging from Marxist and socialist humanism (Fromm, Dunayevskaya, Kosík), to African socialism (Fanon), and to French existentialism (Sartre). While some of these strands exhibited an abstract form of universalism that left insufficient room for particular forms of consciousness based upon ethnicity or gender, leaving them open to the poststructuralist critique, other forms of humanism grounded themselves in more concrete forms of universality. This is important, for the left today needs a more than strategic form of universalism in order to ground a fully emancipatory opposition to the capitalist order. At the same time, a contemporary Marxist humanism has to appropriate critically the insights of the past several decades concerning issues like ethnicity, gender, and sexuality.

Kevin Anderson teaches Sociology, Political Science, and Feminist Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has written on Marx, Hegel, the Frankfurt School, Foucault, the Orientalism debate, and on social upheavals, particularly in the Middle East and Europe. Among his books are the Rosa Luxemburg Reader (coedited with Peter Hudis, 2004) Foucault and the Iranian Revolution: Gender and the Seductions of Islamism (with Janet Afary, 2005) and Marx at the Margins: On Nationalism, Ethnicity, and Non-Western Societies (2010). He is a member of the International Marxist-Humanist Organization.

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Socialist Party L.A. Local September Membership Meeting

When: Saturday, September 6th, 2pm

Where: 2617 Hauser Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA

What’s going on: Discussion of more solidarity work in response to Ferguson and L.A.? Our working groups have identified labor, education, community gardens, and anti-imperialism as points of interest. Developing action to take place at this meeting. Preparations for the September 20th climate action will take place.

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“From Ferguson to L.A., Racist Cops Have Got to Pay!

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August 18, 2014 — Downtown Los Angeles, 3:00 p.m. — It was 89 degrees with clear skies and low-ish smog levels — a perfect day to go to the beach. Instead, hundreds of concerned L.A. residents gathered to protest the August 11th murder of Ezell Ford, an unarmed mentally disabled man, by the LAPD.

Ezell Ford’s mother gave a heartbreaking speech to the crowd, affirming that Ezell “had nowhere to run” when the LAPD delivered the shot that ended her son’s life.

The crowd was diverse and peaceful but not docile, intent on delivering a clear message. Police seemed prepared for this. On their heels, they lined the sidelines on bicycles, motorcycles and on foot.

As the march reached Little Tokyo, several demonstrators directly confronted motorcycle cops.

“You’re paid to protect us, not kill us!”

“Police racism has got to stop!”

They are right. Racist brutality and misconduct and the laws that propagate the “new Jim Crow” must end now.

No Justice, No Peace!


Socialist Party Los Angeles Local’s Response to the Murders of Ezell Ford and Michael Brown

The Socialist Party Los Angeles Local condemns the brutal murder of Ezell Ford, an unarmed 25-year-old mentally challenged black man, who was fatally shot by the Los Angeles Police on August 11, 2014.

Reports state that Ford was just blocks away from his home in South Los Angeles when the police stopped him for a so-called “investigative stop” — for which the LAPD has yet to provide a reason. Ford’s cousin, an eyewitness of the shooting, states that Ford was shot in the back multiple times while laying on the ground and that Ford’s mental complications are well-known by “every officer in the area.”

The L.A. shooting follows the heels of the fatal shooting of another unarmed young black man in St. Louis — 18-year-old Michael Brown — who was shot multiple times after being harassed by police to get out of the street and onto the sidewalk.

The Socialist Party USA, a democratic socialist feminist party recognizes the criminalization of race and calls for the immediate establishment of completely independent and democratically elected police control and oversight councils, with full power to fire police and to arrest, detain, and indict police officers who brutalize or abuse people or who commit any violation of laws or civil rights and liberties.

Police brutality, misconduct and other civil rights violations – particularly among people of color — is rampant among the LAPD and L.A. County Sheriff’s office.

The Socialist Party Los Angeles Local stands in solidarity with the families of Ezell Ford and Michael Brown and demands an immediate end to the racist police brutality that plagues Los Angeles, St. Louis and all other communities.

Socialist Party L.A. Local August Membership Meeting

When: Saturday, August 9th, 2pm

Where: 2617 Hauser Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA

What’s happening:
We have an ecosocialist action coming up as well as a speaking event in Venice. We’ll cover approaches to both actions. We also decided by vote at the July meeting that, in addition to our regular agenda items, we will be dividing into work groups focusing on particular areas of interest during the meeting, re-convening after the discussion period to present participants with ideas. All are welcome!

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Last Call: Take an Ad Out in the Socialist Party National Organizing Conference Journal!

Full-page 10″ x 7.5″ $200

Half page 5″ x 7.5″ $125

Quarter page 5″ x 3.75″ $75

Eight page 2.5″ x 3.75″ $40

Single-line $20

SUBMIT YOUR AD BY July 15, 2014

Don’t forget to get your registration on! If you or someone you know is in or near the Chicago area, come check out the National Organizing Conference — a weekend of organizing workshops, plus a plenary:

Socialist Party USA National Organizing Conference - Plenary