Local socialists host journalist Sustar for public discussion

MU Socialists and CoMo Socialists celebrated Election Day by hosting a public political discussion.

Socialist Worker labor editor Lee Sustar spoke Tuesday as a part of a public political discussion about using the current political climate and why he believes socialism is the solution to the crisis of capitalism at the LGBTQ Resource Center.

“We see sexism, racism, homophobia, police harassment … being endemic to capitalism, and we think the only way to get rid of that is to replace capitalist economics with socialist form of government,” graduate student Alejandro Cubria said.

The International Socialists Organization has existed around the nation since the 1970s. After a couple of study groups, some of the CoMo Socialists chapter of ISO decided to help bring the organization to campus.

They collaborated with the newly-formed MU Socialists group to co-sponsor the discussion, titled “Why You Should Join The Socialists and Change The World,” to advocate and educate students on socialism. The audience was composed of about 20 people and had a mixture of members from both organizations.

“One of the reasons we have political discussions with people is to inform on the type of socialism that we believe in, which is often misunderstood especially with a lot of the baggage from the Cold War, and things like that,” Cubria said.

Going into the night, Cubria said he hoped the discussion would present the group’s beliefs and allow for debate on what can be done to improve society. Since Tuesday was Election Day, Sustar opened his speech with his response to the election.

“What we have here on Election Day is the presentation of a problem that sort of lurks beneath the surface of society all the time,” he said. “We are presented with a version of politics that is extremely shallow, extremely narrow.”

Sustar proceeded to address other various topics throughout his speech including but not limited to the Republican and Democratic parties, the economy, oppression of different kinds of people, capitalism and the history of socialism.

With all those different topics, Sustar said that a common thread holds every aspect of socialism together.

“That’s what socialism is all about,” Sustar said. “It is nothing less than human emancipation.”

Afterward, there was 30 minutes of questions, during which audience members could ask questions and express their beliefs.

Food subsidies and local businesses were the hot topics during the Q&A session.

“I thought it was a good introduction to socialist politics,” Shane Johnson said. “I think it’s part of a broader discussion, but I do think it was a good discussion. I’ve been a socialist for 15 years, so it didn’t take much to convince me.”

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