International Socialist Organization seeks change

International Socialist Organization seeks change

September 29
17:01 2015

Kyle Martin | Staff Writer

@Kyle_Martin35

Once a week in the language building, the International Socialist Organization (ISO) gathers for discussion, debate and camaraderie.

The group is notably diverse, with people of all ages, races and genders represented throughout the gathering. At the meetings, everyone is invited to participate in intellectual discussion and to share their own viewpoints.

This past week, the topic up for consideration was “Why you Should be a Socialist.”

As discussed in the meeting, socialists are mainly middle class citizens in their twenties seeking reforms in the way government and society are run.

“It shows more and more people are fed up with the system, and it needs to change,” Andrew Bennett, English and French senior, said during last week’s ISO meeting.

Heavily influenced by the teachings of Karl Marx, socialism holds a strong hostility towards capitalism and its private-profit ideals. Reformation of the American economic system is a large portion of the demands of the socialist society. The ISO insists that the working middle class be more recognized and supported within the structure of economics in America.

According to the official ISO website, the group looks to bring citizens together to take part in many of the nation’s issues, such as “the movement to stop the war on Iraq, fights against racism and anti-immigrant scapegoating, the struggle for women’s rights, like the right to choose abortion, opposing anti-gay bigotry and standing up for workers’ rights.”

Speech language pathology senior Taraja Oliver and biology senior Marlon Davis are two of many that meet weekly to discuss their views and ideals. They believe socialism is the answer to addressing the injustice and abuse they have seen within their communities.

“As an African-American woman, I align with socialism because it’s an alternative to the current political structure we have that can address the type of oppression that I’ve experienced in my life,” Oliver said. “It’s willing to address the underlying oppression in this country. It’s not trying to blame it on the people.”

Davis shares Oliver’s views and has hopes for the next generations to adopt socialist ideals and direction. As a member of the working class, Davis advocates for more economic equality and is interested in worker’s rights.

“Their paid labor, fundamentally, is what’s wrong,” Davis said. “They’re only paid a virtue of the profit they can make because they’re physical labor and expenditure. And that’s an act of exploitation. We’re not engaging holistically in equality.”

Some campus voices are less convinced of socialist ideals.

“There’s really nothing I can say that Winston Churchill hasn’t already said when I quote, ‘Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy; its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery,’” advertising junior Colter Keathley said. “Socialism is a great idea, but it won’t work because of history. No socialist society has ever been profitable to the extent that’s been seen in capitalism.”

Many are curious as to how the ISO stands with Vermont senator, 2016 presidential candidate and self-proclaimed Socialist Bernie Sanders.

“Sanders is not an alternative. He’s not good, he’s not bad, but he’s not the answer,” sociology senior and ISO executive board member Mousa, who only wished to have his first name disclosed, said. “We don’t see the revolutionary commitment in Sanders.”

The ISO Denton branch encourages new members and wants new faces at their meetings. Very active in the community, the ISO has set up tables on campus, united with the Black Lives Matter movement and marched in Dallas, as well as advocated for Frack-Free-Denton. Above all the ISO looks to help out their community and organize to stand together on issues wherein they want change.

Forums are held every Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Language building, room 317. More information on their stances and ideals can be found on their Facebook page, which has nearly 1,000 likes. Weekly updates and debate topics can also be found there.

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