Night School


Learn and discuss the nature and tenets of socialist ideology, organizing, and action. These group discussions allow us to learn, coordinate, build on and discuss organizing a better future for all of us. Past presenters at the Socialist Night School have included Noura Erakat, Vijay Prashad, Grace Blakely, Bill Fletcher, Tim Shorrock, and Daniel Denvir. To contact us with questions or comments, to learn more about Socialist Night School, or to get support for your chapter’s political education, please email us at

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Past Events

What is Socialism?

What is capitalism? What is socialism? How do DSA activities help us get there? How can you get involved in the DSA?

Brazil’s Landless Workers’ Movement

The Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST or Landless Workers’ Movement) is a Marxist movement which provides access to land for poor workers while simultaneously attacking income inequality, racism, and sexism.

Hiroshima & Nagasaki

Mainstream depictions of the world’s first use of nuclear weapons paint it is a military necessity. This is false. It was a political decision on the part of US leaders. Peter Kuznick discusses the decision to use the atomic bomb, its impact, and the ramifications of this decision 75 years later.

DC Budget 101

The path to racial and economic justice in DC must go through the city budget. This session provided an introduction to the DC budget process, budget advocacy tips, and discuss how to improve the budget process in the future.

Ecosocialism and the Green New Deal

Ecosocialism is a framework for combining insights from the rich tradition of Marxist social analysis with scientific knowledge of our biosphere. How does ecosocialism help us understand how capitalism and overlapping systems of oppression fuel the kinds of extraction that now undermine basic systems of life on Earth?

Right-to-Work: VA Labor History

This session provided a brief overview of the history of labor in Virginia, from slavery, to Right to Work’s Jim Crow origins.


The ascendence of neoliberalism into a hegemonic doctrine in global affairs is discussed in this globally minded session.

A Radical History of the Young Lords

The Young Lords were an explicitly socialist organization led predominantly by poor and working-class Puerto Rican youth.

What is Marxism?

A focus on the Marxist view of capitalism, how capitalist profit is rooted in the exploitation of labor, and the identification of class struggle.

Immigration Enforcement and the Criminal Justice System

This lecture provides a brief history of U.S. immigration enforcement leading up the creation of the Department of Homeland Security and ICE, examines some contemporary policies and programs intersecting immigration enforcement and the criminal justice system, and discusses some of the relevant data sources.

Reconstruction and Democracy in the South

The Reconstruction era represents America’s first attempt at multiracial democracy. Why did this valiant attempt end so abruptly? What was acheived, and what lessons can we draw from this experience for the 21st century? This session will be led by Robert Greene II, an Assistant Professor of History at Claflin University.

The Anticommunist Crusades

In this Socialist Night School session, journalist Vincent Bevins joins us to discuss his new book, The Jakarta Method. In 1965, the U.S. government helped the Indonesian military kill approximately one million innocent civilians, eliminating the largest communist party outside China and the Soviet Union.

US-China ‘Cold War’

Learn about how to best understand U.S.-Chinese relations, how they are rooted in growing dysfunctions of the neoliberal global order, and how socialists in the U.S. should oppose this new Cold War.

Responding to COVID

This session explores how a socialist government has responded to COVID in India.

The Labor Movement

This session explores the history and the present of socialist interactions with labor unions in the US.

The Healthcare Fallout

We discuss the inadequacies of our health care system, how the pandemic exacerbates it, and how to organize to fight for a single-payer system.

Alabama Communist Party

Beginning in the 1930s, organizers in Alabama were able to build a majority-Black Communist Party that fought to free the Scottsboro boys and organize sharecroppers despite police violence, mob violence, and deeply entrenched racism that posed a real barrier to workers’ solidarity. 

School Privatization in DC

Over the last several decades, public education has been under attack by corporate and private entities looking to profit from K-12 education. In this session of Socialist Night School, we will explore the tactics and history of the corporate-funded political group Democrats for Education Reform, and the funding, spending, and influence that has allowed them to advance the school privatization project here in DC.

Uber and the Gig Economy

Learn more about Uber, the gig economy and how cities manage their place in global capitalism.

Police Abolition

In the wake of continuing protests in response to the police murder of George Floyd, we invite all MDC DSA comrades to join us for an emergency Social Night School on police abolitionism.

Repression of Dissent

The history of repression of dissent and the US left, focusing largely on the role of the FBI in conducting political surveillance.

Rent Strike

What are tenants doing to fight for their homes in the middle of pandemic, and how does it fit with historical tenant struggles?

Sanctions As War

The impact of sanctions on civilian populations and how sanctions are not an alternative to war.

Social Reproduction

The question of social reproduction is the question of how workers are reproduced in order to keep capitalism surging.

Ending the War in Yemen

The war in Yemen is one of the world’s most pressing crises right now, having intensified in March 2015 when a U.S.-supported Saudi-led coalition intervened against Houthi rebels aligned with the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Police, Police Unions and Racial Capitalism

In the wake of protests against police violence and calls to defund the police, a major obstacle opposing any and all reform or even criticism, are police unions. How do police operate as political actors? What is the role of police unions in preventing reform? How can we address policing when police and their unions wield such power?

Work, Love and Capitalism

You’re told that if you “do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” Whether it’s working for “exposure” and “experience,” or enduring poor treatment in the name of “being part of the family,” all employees are pushed to make sacrifices for the privilege of being able to do what we love.