Here are two videos from last weekend’s Atlanta, Georgia convention of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), a group whose members include Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and which has endorsed (and worked for) the election of Bernie Sanders. The organization is pretty much what it says it is,—a group that favors liberal democracy but with significant socialistic aspects like universal Medicare. As they say,
We believe that working people should run both the economy and society democratically to meet human needs, not to make profits for a few. We are a political and activist organization, not a party; through campus and community-based chapters, DSA members use a variety of tactics, from legislative to direct action, to fight for reforms that empower working people.
So far so good, though I’m probably less socialistic than many of them (I’m not quite ready for “Medicare for All”, for instance). But I’m not above chuckling at their antics, either.
Here is a speaker laying out the rules at the recent DSA national convention in Atlanta, Georgia. Some of the rules are fine (accommodating the disabled, for instance), but some are funny. Note the use of the word “comrade” (“In Stalinist Russia, this is how we avoid personal pronouns”), the ubiquity of jazz hands (but blind people can’t see them!), and the constant emphasis on keeping people “safe”. Were people in actual danger? There are also “quiet rooms” that have “video but no sound.” Of what use is that? Or do they have subtitles?
The stuff about “de-escalation” baffles me: it seems to be an explicit call about not getting into arguments or ideological conflicts. But this is a political convention! Since when does any convention need marshals to help people “de-escalate”? Are the DSA members a bunch of children who can’t extricate themselves from unpleasant conversations? Oh, and remember: “Don’t talk to cops!”
“Safety”, in fact, has become a synonym for “not having to hear stuff you don’t like”. And argue for them as you will, I’ll never stop giggling when people make jazz hands.
And two “points of privilege”:
Now I’d vote for a DSA candidate over a Republican as President any day, so I’m not dissing the organization itself, many of whose values I agree with. Indeed, someone who watched the whole thing said this at reason.com:
No one should come away from the coverage of the DSA convention with the idea that attendees did nothing but call-out each other’s pronouns, though. Listening to the livestream I heard heated discussions about significant policy issues: criminal justice reform, supporting the presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.), and combating “Lex Luthor–esque scumbag Jeff Bezos.” Of all the various factions of progressive activism, the DSA is by far the most organized, and the least likely to be derailed by culturally woke signaling.
Rather, this post merely shows how infected with wokeness various groups on the Left have become. (n.b.: please don’t tell me that I should be posting about how awful Trump is instead. I’ve done that a lot, but our side shouldn’t be immune to mockery, criticism, or sarcasm).