Education and Power

Vers. 2, Ep. 9, Published January 29, 2018

Talkin’ Socialism interviewed Gillian Hemme at Pippin’s Tavern. We talked about her education program in Cook County Jail, theater games, and encouraging activism in your own home.


Michael Harrington on Socialism

This particular speech by Michael Harrington was given in early 1971 at the Reynolds Club at the University of Chicago. The meeting was sponsored by the University of Chicago chapter of the Young Peoples Socialist League. In many ways, the speech is classic Harrington: a mix of the pragmatic and the utopian, with an awareness of the complexities that ideology often obscures. Some parts of the speech are 1960s quaint, but with the consequences of the Sanders movement still unfolding in this second decade of the twenty-first century, there are also aspects of the speech that are very worthwhile keeping in mind if we want the revolution to continue.

Michael HarringtonMichael Harrington is probably best remembered as the author of The Other America: Poverty in the United States. Published in 1962, it documented how, after two decades of unprecedented prosperity, there were still a substantial number of Americans who were poor and that it was not simply a matter of race or rural isolation, but something that was endemic all across our country. The book was not the first to document this state of affairs. But it was eloquent, thorough, and well timed to catch a growing wave of liberalism in the early 1960s. It was, in fact, given credit for inspiring the Johnson Administration’s “War on Poverty”.

The timing of the book was also fortunate in that Harrington was just finding his voice as a public speaker, allowing him to take advantage of the “buzz” and to become a player in mainstream politics. This also enabled him to become the last public spokesman of any consequence (until Bernie Sanders, perhaps) for democratic socialism in the United States.

This recording is a redigitization of a file posted in Chicago DSA’s Audio Archive.

Use the audio player below

or download to listen later [right click]:

MP3 (49.4 MB) or OGG VORBIS (29.6 MB) (51:30)

Episode 53 – Eugene V Debs

Eugene V Debs

Recorded June 27, 2015. Dan Hamilton, Chicago DSA’s Political Education Director, interviews Professor William A. Pelz on the occasion of the recent release of the second edition of the Eugene V. Debs Reader: Socialism and the Class Struggle. Edited by Professor Pelz, the book is an anthology of writings and speeches by one of the most radical of America’s early 20th century labor leaders, bringing to life a once powerful Socialist movement. Eugene Victor Debs (1855-1926), one of America’s most famous socialists, was an important political figure on the American political landscape in the early 20th century. He ran as the Socialist Party’s presidential candidate five times and obtained nearly a million votes in 1912 and 1920.

In this interview, Professor Pelz expands on some of the topics touched on in the book, such as work, racism, the “two party” system, the means of change, as well as more contemporary topics such as, how might Debs regard the Bernie Sanders campaign?

William A. Pelz

William Pelz is a Professor of History at Elgin Community College, a founder of the Institute of Working Class History, and past Chicago DSA Political Education Director.


Download (right click) to listen later:

MP3 (24.5 Mbytes) or OGG VORBIS (32 Mbytes), (25:31)

or listen using the audio player below.

For More Information:

Eugene V. Debs Foundation

Institute of Working Class History