Socialist local organized in Oklahoma City

Posted in the Socialist Webzine. Reposted to IPR by Paulie.

Note from the Editor: Reports confirm that Socialist Party USA members in Oklahoma City have filed an application to be recognized as a Local organization. This inspiring event follows the recent chartering of two locals in Kansas and one in South Dakota. Though still small in size, these projects are vitally important. They mark the return of Democratic Socialism to America’s heartland. The picture included with this report was taken at a meeting of the Worker’s Alliance in Muskogee, Oklahoma in July 1939 led by Socialist Party organizer Stanley Clark. Please note that even at this early moment, the meeting features racial and gender integration. All of the best wishes of the Socialist WebZine go out to our new comrades in Oklahoma City. Continue the proud traditions of socialism in Oklahoma!

Oklahoma City Socialist Party Organized

By jmb | January 31, 2009

I’m excited to announce that members of Socialist Party USA are meeting today at 4:30 p.m. at Full Circle Books in Oklahoma City to discuss the formation of a local chapter for Oklahoma.

I have been a dues paying member for the last 2 years (also FYI, I also am a member of the Oklahoma Green Party), but there has been a fair bit of new-found interest in the party.

To begin with, I think there has been a growing awareness of Oklahoma’s agrarian-socialist roots. Jim Bissett wrote an incredible book on the subject, Agrarian Socialism in America – Marx, Jefferson and Jesus in the Oklahoma Countryside. Then there is the work of Red Flag Press, which has told the sad story of Oklahoma’s first red scare during WWI (and now publishes The Revelator, a quarterly journal of progressive and original thought). And finally there was a quite good article recently in The Oklahoma Gazette by Greg Horton, “State Motto ‘Labor conquers all things’ has roots in Socialism”. And finally, someone just wrote a pretty good article on the Socialism in Oklahoma on Wikipedia.

Anyway I am cautiously excited about this development. My main concern is that a local SP chapter be inclusive of all shades of Socialism (not doctrinaire as some Socialist organizations can be) and not condescending . I also hope that a SP chapter in Oklahoma can be committed to the cause of non-violence, as I think this is key to not having history repeat itself. (no matter how much you want revolution to happen, the other side always has more guns… which is why situations like the 1917 Green Corn Rebellion turn out so badly)

And most of all I hope a local Socialist chapter can develop new Socialist analysis to our problems that is rooted in our local experience in Oklahoma. This was the genius of the old Socialist Party of the 19-teens, in that they were really to find truly Oklahoma solutions to Oklahoma problems.

10 thoughts on “Socialist local organized in Oklahoma City

  1. Valshannar

    This isn’t going to be able to get any where. The guy who reported this said in his comments on the turn out.

    “Very good turnout. 14 came.”

    I laughed. The leftist parties in America don’t seem to know how to organize, except for perhaps the Vermont Progressive Party and the Californian Peace and Freedom Party.

    When the Socialists manage to organize it is laughable, as they most likely will not be able to elect anyone. I do hope they prove me wrong but I still think that nothing will come from this.

  2. Matt

    Strange but true. Whether you agree or not I think it should be possible to get people interested– but 14 people turning up is more like a beer and bbq party, not a political party.

  3. Steven R Linnabary

    It’s in jmb’s comments on the original post. I also agree that 14 person turnout isn’t that bad for an opposition party in a state that forbids opposition parties.

    It’s also not bad considering that republicans and democrats have been practicing the socialist doctrine for years. Why is a “Socialist” party even needed today?


  4. paulie cannoli Post author

    It’s also not bad considering that republicans and democrats have been practicing the socialist doctrine for years.

    Not from a socialist’s perspective.

  5. paulie cannoli Post author

    I dunno, Paulie. Brian Moore was on Cavuto a few minutes ago praising republican Lindsey Graham’s call for nationalizing the US banking industry.

    Sure, and libertarians occasionally praise some things the big parties do as well. That doesn’t make the duopoly libertarians – or, for that matter, real socialists.

  6. Trent Hill

    I meant “state”. It’s a local organization, not a state one. 14 people is pretty good.

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