An almost universal activity of social democratic movements is education, broadly defined. We believe, sometimes implicitly, that we can build a better world by reason and that the support of the people must be gained by facts and arguments, rather than by appeals to prejudice and emotion. We believe that reasoned discussion, rather than violence, is the only way to a truly democratic society.
Social democratic education starts with the membership of the organization, and certainly that is true with SDUSA. The goal is to have every Social Democrat be fully knowledgeable and armed with information about proposals to improve the lives of Americans. This is especially important for our organization because we are small and widely scattered. Most of us work politically with progressives who are not members of SDUSA, and it is vital that a unique Social Democratic voice be heard.
SDUSA has built and is building a multi-part educational program.
The oldest part is the blog which you are now reading. On the blog are comments about current political events, news about SDUSA, “think pieces” and probably the occasional rant.
There is also an opportunity for the reader to praise, criticize or just add to the discussion. The blog reaches a larger group than the membership, and we hope that it will serve to attract new members.
Our Facebook page is doing an excellent job of calling attention to issues on the blog and on other sites. Although the nature of Facebook does not allow extended discussions, it reaches a larger audience than the membership, and, we hope, gives readers a quick view of SDUSA ideas.
SDUSA members will know that in 2014 we began publication of a monthly series of in-depth papers on such subjects as the War on Poverty, inequality, minimum wages, and problems of Social Democracy for the 21st century. These papers are primarily the work of generous individuals and progressive think tanks, who give us permission to reproduce their work. We thereby are able make available the research and conclusions of distinguished investigators of social problems. This series will continue.
Sometimes we want to get out to the membership smaller amounts of information than the monthly pamphlet series makes possible, so we started a “Short Takes” series. These 1 to 6 page papers will be published occasionally, as need requires. The first “Short Take” has gone out to the membership and is Bernie Sanders 12 point economic program.
We have started a DVD lending library that is available without cost to members. The library includes such DVDs as one on the life of Bayard Rustin and Robert Reich’s “Inequality.” Of course, members can play these at home for their own education, but we hope that they will also be used for public meetings of local progressives.
Our recent national convention determined to establish a quarterly conference call on significant issues. The first conference is tentatively planned for the middle of February and will be on the subject “Achieving Full Employment.” The conference call will give all of us the opportunity to share ideas on issues of importance to Social Democrats, as well as the chance to meet personally with other members.
Has this educational program piqued your interest? Then why not join SDUSA and participate? The form to join is on this page!