An Open Letter to Congress on the Meaning of the Word “Socialism”

Dear members of Congress,

We are well-aware that you have a destructive and malicious view of what the word “socialism” means. As socialists, we thought we might offer a bit of assistance. We know that you’re very busy destroying the planet and its people, so we’ll make this brief and offer some basics.

Here we go:

1. At its core, socialism means worker ownership and control of the means of production.

2. Socialism does not mean anything the government does. We aren’t seeking social democracy / an expanded welfare state.

3. While we would see universal healthcare and education under socialism, those programs alone do not mean we’ve realized a socialist society. If the end game is social democracy, those programs will always be subject to attack, to privatization, to repeal.

4. Socialism does not mean a more heavily-regulated capitalism. Socialism and capitalism are in direct contradiction to another. Capitalism must exploit in order to maintain itself. You can reign in certain elements of the system, but exploitation will remain.

5. When we consider climate change, we know – conclusively – that even a heavily-regulated capitalism will not go nearly far enough. A heavily-regulated capitalism must still expand. Our ecosystems have told us “no”. A transition to socialism – quickly – is absolutely essential.

6. Building socialism will require incredible community planning. The working class will drive that process.

Now that you have an understanding of what “socialism” means, we’d also like you to know that we have full confidence the working class will emerge victorious in its quest to liberate the oppressed and exploited from the capitalist class you serve.

We hope this is helpful!

Sincerely, the following members of the Socialist Party USA

  • Jennifer Randall
  • Mimi Soltysik
  • Alice Rivera
  • Michelle Street
  • Nathan Cochran
  • David Robbins
  • Lynn Lomibao
  • Andrew Kern
  • Stephanie Cholensky
  • Chelsea Rustad
  • Joshua Bradley
  • Rick Morrow
  • Shailynn Bray-Waters
  • Angel Vasquez
  • Sky Munson
  • Zach Medeiros
  • Journey Jennings
  • Chris Chace
  • Brandon Villa
  • Emily Demorest
  • Cassidy Godfrey
  • Adedoyin Omokorede
  • Shannon Nicol
  • Sarah Stout
  • Talia Chicherio
  • Erin Saint Croy
  • Owen Broadhurst
  • Narissa Petchumrus

PS – we’ve included a reading list to assist in your quest for enlightenment. Enjoy!

“The Wretched of the Earth” by Frantz Fanon (PDF) –…/Frantz-Fanon-The-Wretched-of-the-Eart…

“The Assassination of Fred Hampton” by Jeffrey Haas –

“An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States” by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz –…

“The Socialist Imperative” by Michael Lebowitz –

“Assata: An Autobiography” by Assata Shakur (PDF) –

“Open Veins of Latin America” by Eduardo Galeano –…/open_veins_of_latin_america/

“Creating an Ecological Society: Toward a Revolutionary Transformation” by Fred Magdoff and Chris Williams –…/creating_an_ecological_society/

“Thinking Through: Essays on Feminism, Marxism, and Anti-Racism” by Himani Bannerji –

“The Bending Cross: A Biography of Eugene Victor Debs” by Ray Ginger –

“October” by China Mieville –

“Pedagogy of the Oppressed” by Paulo Freire (PDF) –…/freire_p…

“Don’t Leave Your Friends Behind: Concrete Ways to Support Families in Social Justice Movements” by Victoria Law –

“Ya Basta!: Ten Years of the Zapatista Uprising” by Subcomandante Marcos –

“Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches” by Audre Lorde –

“The History of the Russian Revolution” by Leon Trotsky (PDF) –…/ebook-history-of-the-russian-rev…

“The Assassination of Lumumba” by Ludo De Witte –…/792-the-assassination-of-lumum…


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