Content of The Utopian Vol. 17.5 - 2018

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  • The Utopian, Vol. 17, No. 5, August 2018

    Aug 8, 2018

    Cover and Contents of August 2018 issue, vol. 17, no. 5. Articles and discussion on the "red state" teacher strikes, anarchism and social relations, Lenin's State and Revolution, activism and the Democratic Party, and gun violence.For earlier issues see Updates and New Discussion (vol. 17 no. 4, June 2018) and Archives.

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  • Lessons of the Red States Teacher Strikes

    Aug 8, 2018

    The talks by the red state teacher leaders were inspirational as well as educational.  They each talked about how they were able overcome anti-strike legislation and build mass strikes despite the weakness of state and local unions. In all three states – West Virginia, Kentucky, Arizona (and I believe that this was true in Oklahoma and North Carolina too) – the organizers worked outside of the formal union structures, using social media to reach out to, and build networks of, initially hundreds, then thousands, and now tens of thousands.


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  • Thoughts on Anarchy

    Aug 8, 2018

    To me the primary appeal of anarchy is that it envisions the possibility of social organizations based on personal relationships. I see it as a way to organize social relations on a personal basis. It’s a way to make decisions based on discussions among the people, who trust that viable directions/solutions will emerge from their personal interaction. I understand it to be essentially non-hierarchical.... Whether liberal democracies, fundamentalist theocracies, socialist or communist bureaucracies, the thing all other governmental forms have in common is that they are based on stranger relationships.... Personal relationships are essentially different from stranger relationships and they produce essentially different types of people and societies.


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  • Lenin's Vision of the Bolshevik State

    Oct 20, 2018

    Revolutionary Marxists of various kinds consider the early Bolshevik regime to have been a “workers’ democracy” which, had it not had to contend with counterrevolutionary and imperialist forces and had proletarian revolutions broken out in Europe as the Bolsheviks predicted, would have led Russia to become a truly democratic socialist society. It is my contention, however, that, even had events evolved as Lenin and the other Bolsheviks expected, the outcome would not have been a democratic workers’ government but instead a bureaucratic, authoritarian, even totalitarian, regime similar to the one that actually emerged. This is because I believe that Lenin’s conception of the “dictatorship of the proletariat” is itself bureaucratic, authoritarian, and totalitarian. To see this, it will be necessary to look closely at The State and Revolution and at the other works in which Lenin laid out his plan.


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  • Global Warming, Youth, and the Democratic Party

    Aug 8, 2018

    I don't care if people vote for democrats because they view the vote as a lesser evil, but I do care whether they understand the system and are willing to become part of the struggle against it. So while I agree with your stated principled opposition to the DP, I feel the most important aspect of that opposition is finding ways to have meaningful conversations with those who need to more fully understand the role the DP plays. We need to share strategies about how to engage in these struggles and fight along side other activists in the struggle. --Mary

    I do care about whether people swallow lesser evilism; I don’t agree that voting for Democrats is irrelevant but think that it’s a trap... I think that we need to be clear on what’s going on: what does the mainstream of the Democratic Party represent; what do Warren, Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez represent; why are they in the same party; why supporting Sanders / Ocasio-Cortez / ... will lead to channeling whatever movements there are into focusing on the November elections and then, ultimately, demoralization. --Jack


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  • Guns, Violence, Youth Liberation

    Aug 8, 2018

    Over the past year, The Utopian has carried discussions of guns, gun control, student actions around gun violence, self-defense of militant movements and armed self-defense of oppressed peoples. Two articles relevant to these issues appear on the following pages. We hope they stimulate further discussion.


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  • Who We Are: Utopian Position Statement

    Aug 8, 2018

    Utopians do not accept “what is” as “what must be.” We see potential for freedom even in the hardest of apparent reality. Within our oppressive society are forces for hope, freedom, and human solidarity, possibilities pressing toward a self-managed, cooperative commonwealth. We don’t know if these forces will win out; we see them as hopes, as moral norms by which to judge society today, as challenges to all of us to act in such a way as to realize a fully human community.


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