Held September 27, 2018 at Oregon State University. Moderated by Andony Melathopoulos.
Speakers (in order):
- Mika Goodwin - Democratic Socialists of America (Corvallis)
- Paige Kreisman - Communist Party of Oregon (CPUSA)
- Douglas Lain - publishing manager Zero Books, author of Bash Bash Revolution
- Christopher Nichols - History Department, OSU, author of Promise and Peril: America at the Dawn of a Global Age
The term ‘socialism’ appears to be enjoying a resurgence of public interest - both favorably where it is self-prescribed and pejoratively where it is meant to degrade the respectability of public figures. From early 2016 at the height of Bernie Sanders's campaign for the Democratic Party nomination to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s victory over Joe Crowley in June, the term ‘socialism’ appears to be gaining some level of purchase and a whole lot of press. In many instances, ‘socialism’ is commingled with terms as varied as ‘social democratic’, ‘communist’, ‘marxist’, ‘anarchist’, etc. As such, we view this is as an opportune moment to ask, “what is socialism after all?” What do public figures mean when they identify as socialists or any one of its varied strains? What do their opponents think it means? What does it mean and what can it mean? And perhaps, most important of all, what did it mean in the past?