What You Need to Have at Your Political Function

Political functions such as assemblies, rallies, or meeting led by a political party or members of the presiding government is conducted to disseminate or collate information, raise awareness, boost morale, and raise support. This is a gathering wherein individuals with the same political beliefs convene for a specific purpose that is beneficial for every member. Political functions are regarded very important although at times can be exclusive like for instance if it is a meeting launched by political parties which are also attended by supporters and members.

Political rallies or assemblies of this nature are most often high-energy type of events which is intensified with the performance of musicians who are also supporters of a certain politician or political party. You would most often see political functions like this during the election period when clusters of people would convene to give support to their chosen political candidates and parties. For instance if it’s a democrat candidate running for a senate seat, most likely, some high-profile or popular democrats would be flying in to be speakers of the said rallies to raise recognition and support from followers.

Political functions are considerably very important social and political events that are most often done on a municipal, state, or federal level. Here’s what you need in place when organizing to stage a political function in your area:

  • People would most often be drawn to music festivals than just listen to long and boring political speeches that could go on an on. Many events organizers know the power of music in events especially in political functions. It is indeed true that music is an organizing tool that provides some sort of a collective identity to a political group having an assembly. Music certainly has a way of moving people towards a shared and unified action that has been told throughout history. This rhythmic entertainment is able to dissolve boundaries, dissipate differences, and harmonize differences in the effort to pool people to work towards the same goal while also preventing lull moments while in a political scene. Music does matter in political functions and this is precisely the reason why many political parties or personalities use this tool in order to communicate a point and create a jolt wherever necessary; hence, the creation of many political songs or even jingles that provide brand awareness and recognition while also being able to move and unite people to work on optimizing a goal.
  • High-Quality Sound or Audio Equipment. Political functions of this sort could involve tens to thousands of people which would require a good or high-quality sound or audio equipment. When engaged in a political discussion or making a speech, you want to get every word or message right which means you need reliable audio equipment that will get that message across in a crystal clear fashion.
  • Intensified Level of Security. People attending political functions are entitled to “free speech”; but political campaigns can go ugly and chaotic when no security measures are put in place. Law or security officers are required to be in place especially in political functions in which number depend too on the venue and size of the crowd. Security officers (with proper security guard equipment) are there to identify and detect threat and to make sure that everyone’s right is protected. With political rallies or any other political functions, the main purpose of security officers is to provide a safe environment that makes it possible for people to freely exercise their constitutional rights.

The security and logistics requirement for political movements are largely intensified and requires more thorough planning and work as compared to organizing concerts or parties. Making sure that all the elements are in place – audio equipment, music, security, and other logistics – will help you stage a successful political sortie.

Free College for All

Okay, I fully understand that is isn’t “free.” Furthermore, I understand that it would be yours and my tax dollars paying for this college. And while it would mean that Baby Boomers and Millennials (and in-between) all just paid for their own college out of pocket and the generation to come would get a free-ride, I fully believe that college should be free to those that want it.

There are numerous statistics that prove that the more education one has, the better they do in life.

Look, I get it, I’m Jack Tardy, a socialist from Memphis, TN, and I’ve see the way that tuition has gotten out of control. It doesn’t have to though. I’m not saying that all schools should be paid for, just state schools. You can go to the University of Memphis and get an online masters in history for next to nothing. I’m not suggesting that schools like Vanderbilt should be free.

Here is where Democratic-Socialist Bernie Sanders (and hopefully presidential-nominee) stands on education:

Bernie believes that no student who is willing and able to go to college should be denied based on the income of their parents. The S. 1373: College for All Act, which he introduced, would make all public colleges and universities tuition-free. In an editorial for the Huffington Post, he asks: “Why do we accept a situation where hundreds of thousands of qualified people are unable to go to college because their families don’t have enough money?”

The cost of college tuition has become increasingly unaffordable for middle class and poor families.

How have tuition levels changed over the past few decades?

Currently, average public in-school tuition rates are over $9,000 per year. This graphic shows the change in tuition costs since 1980:


According to USSA statistics, students in 1983 generally covered 23 percent of their own tuition costs. In 2012, they covered 47 percent. Part of this is due to a collapse in Pell Grants, which are scholarships for students that they do not need to pay back. When the Pell Grant program began in 1965, they covered 75 percent of tuition costs. In 2012, they only covered 32 percent.

But I know plenty of Baby Boomers who worked themselves through college. Aren’t today’s students just lazy?

In 1978, it was possible for a minimum wage worker to earn the cost of a year’s college tuition over the course of a summer. Today, that same worker would have to work full-time for an entire year – just to cover the cost of tuition.

Inflation is not the only factor that has raised the cost of college. In 1978, a meal that cost $5 would cost about $11.15 today – a little over two times more. But a year’s college tuition in 1978, which would have cost about $800, would today cost a student over $9000. That’s an increase of over eleven-fold. The financial struggle facing students today is real, and it is not due solely to inflation.

What has caused these skyrocketing tuition bills?

One theory is that the liberal granting of student loans by the government and private lenders gives colleges and universities room to greatly increase tuition without having a negative impact on their enrollment numbers.

Other theories revolve around the need for more of students’ money to feed the increased spending that universities have been indulging in. People in high-prestige positions within the institution receive pay rates similar to CEOs of large companies, extraneous “administrators” are taken on and overpaid for doing office work that does not directly relate to education, and a priority on spending for sport and recreation over education diverts student tuition into unrelated projects and materials.

All public colleges and universities should be tuition free.

How can providing free tuition help students?

With an average yearly in-state tuition cost of over $9,000, college students are looking at a financial burden of over $36,000 by the time they graduate college, and that is only accounting for tuition. The average student also spends nearly $1,200 on textbooks. After student fees, books, supplies, housing, food, and transportation needs are accounted for, the cost of college is astronomically expensive for all but the wealthiest of families.

Because of this, many families either avoid spending a significant portion of their incomes every year in order to save enough to send their kids to college, or students and families are forced to take out loans that can haunt them for decades after graduation. Unfortunately, too many students who are willing and able to achieve great things in university are forced to drop out or avoid going at all because they cannot afford the financial burden.

Relieving the burden of tuition fees on students and parents can greatly increase their quality of living and allow all students who have the potential and desire to achieve a higher education the opportunity to follow their dream. In 2011, people who worked full-time and had a college degree earned an average of $21,100 more than those who had only a high school diploma. Being able to attend college significantly increases opportunities for upward mobility and a better life for our children, which is a key component of the American dream.

How can providing free tuition for students help the United States as a whole?

Because college tuition is so expensive, many families and individuals are forced to cut back on spending and either save money for their children’s future college expenses or repay student loans with high interest rates. Sagging consumer spending can have a marked negative effect on the country’s economy. Therefore, by freeing up this liquid capital and allowing Americans to spend their income more freely on goods and services like clothing, electronics, entertainment, and recreation, alleviating the burden of college tuition will have a positive impact on the economy of the United States.

Perhaps more importantly for the future of our nation, an educated populace is necessary to stay abreast of growing industries, technological and scientific breakthroughs, and high-income careers. All of these factors play a large role in the health and prosperity of a nation’s economy. The education levels of a state or country are very often correlated with its income levels and GDP. By investing in an educated workforce, the United States is marking itself as a competitor in today’s global economy.

But why should education be a public good and not a private commodity?

Quality education is part of our basic human rights: because of the enrichment we receive by studying what we choose as well as the economical and employment opportunities we get, higher education is an integral part of the pursuit of happiness. Everyone has that right, not only those who can afford to buy it.

What does Bernie say about college tuition costs?

In a statement quoted by Bloomberg, he said, “We live in a highly-competitive global economy and, if our economy is to be strong, we need the best-educated workforce in the world. That will not happen if, every year, hundreds of thousands of bright young people cannot afford to go to college, and if millions more leave school deeply in debt.”

What policies has he proposed with regards to college tuition?

Bernie introduced the College for All Act, which would “eliminate the $70 billion dollar tuition costs at all 4-year public colleges and universities.” To qualify, states would have to foot 33 percent of the bill (the federal government would sponsor the rest) and take various steps to maintain or increase expenditure on improving opportunities for students and faculty.

But nothing is “free”!  How are you going to pay for this?

There are various measures that have been proposed to cover these changes. In the College for All Act, which Bernie sponsored, a “Robin Hood” tax on Wall Street would be implemented– a 0.5 percent speculation fee on investment houses, hedge funds, and other stock trades, as well as a 0.1 percent fee on bonds and a 0.005 percent fee charged on derivatives. These very small taxes on the financial sector would completely cover the cost of providing free higher education to all students who are willing and able to attend college or university.

Moreover, the cost of not providing higher education must also be factored into consideration. A more educated workforce is likely to lead to higher incomes and a higher GDP for the nation, which will lead to increased prosperity, wealth, and consumer spending in its own right. In addition, families and individuals will spend their income freely instead of saving it for college tuition or using it to pay back student loans. This rise in consumer spending will also likely have a positive effect on the nation’s GDP.

Democratic Socialism

Even after the overthrow of over-centralized planning in China in 1978 under Deng Xiaoping, and the destruction of the Berlin Wall in 1989, socialism still plays an important role in economic thought. After all, the success of mixed economies such as Finland and Denmark speak for the potential of socialism as an economic system.

The form of socialism native to the United States is called democratic socialism. It has held credence with famous figures throughout history, such as Albert Einstein and Martin Luther King Jr. Its credibility today is upheld by the presence of Bernie Sanders, a self-avowed democratic socialist, in the list of 2016 presidential candidates.

Origins of Democratic Socialism

Free Market Liberalism

The basic concept of free market liberalism, or capitalism, is founded on the Invisible Hand theory of Adam Smith. Basically, according to Smith, demand and supply of goods and services would dictate price and production. There was no or little need for regulation. However, it resulted in great income inequalities, as those who became wealthy under the system took steps to block the free market and maintain their wealth.

Soviet Model of Socialism

After the overthrow of the Tsars in Russia, and the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, Vladimir Lenin began the second phase of Communism. He nationalized all industries and public goods such as education, and instituted central economic planning. This resulted in gigantic oil and steel production, but also in a level of non-competitiveness and economic stagnation. The use of centralized planning for military might also made the economic system suspect.

Concepts of Democratic Socialism

Democratic socialists realized that capitalism and central planning have one thing in common. Both economic systems could be used to unfairly oppress the working-class. With this in mind, they took concepts from both democracy and socialism.

The Democratic Side

A politically democratic society ensures that each individual still has his own rights and voice in society. A democratic society empowers the working class to speak, organize, and lobby on their own behalfs. In democratic socialism, political democracy lays the foundation for the individual to have the political power needed for them to take part in corporate decision-making.

The Socialist Side

Socialism and its more extreme form, Communism, have always had something to do with public ownership. In democratic socialism, the socialist side requires that ownership or at least regulation of the economy should be with the working class and the corporations. In that way, planning and decision-making is conducted by all the concerned members of society. In this kind of society, cooperatives and unions are usually supported.

Democratic Socialism in the 2016 Presidential Elections

Bernie Sanders, who won as an Independent Senator, is running on the Democratic ticket as a Democratic Socialist. In a speech outlining what he wants to accomplish in the nation, he explains that government ownership of all means of production is not in his plan. What he wants to do is raise taxes on the wealthy, and fund multiple programs that give social opportunities to the middle-class.

Democratic Socialism: A Controversial System

Democratic socialism is mainly controversial because it has many definitions. Capitalist and centrally planned economies have defined themselves through history. However, the viability of democratic socialism is incredibly successful in very few societies, such as Denmark and Finland. If America does become democratic socialist, it will add a better concept of how socialism works in a nation that has always been a democracy.

A Brief History of Socialism

The development of the textile factories in Great Britain kicked off the European Industrial Revolution. The Industrial Revolution capitalized on the sudden population growth at the time for workers on low wages. At the same time, this unprecedented event meant that there were no laws in place to protect these new factory workers.

Workers constantly worked more than 8 hours a day, and entire families–even the children–would be employed at the factories. These conditions made for extreme poverty, as urbanization rose. The cramped “masses of humanity” were a pitiful sight. These conditions gave rise to philosophers who conceptualized ideas of socialism.

French Revolution of 1789

Industrialization in France did not occur until the 1800s, as they lagged behind Great Britain. However, still pinned to the failing feudal system, the working class of France was beaten down and struggling. This led to the French Revolution in 1789. The nobility, suddenly taxed to support France’s wars, turned and taxed their people harder.

The peasants, or small land-owners, seized the Bastille when it seemed they would lose even more power. In what they did, through their temporary overthrow of the aristocracy, they gave credence to a European state run by the people. This was, in a way, the ideas of the new United States of America reaching across the Atlantic.

The Communist Manifesto

As the Industrial Revolution caught up with the rest of Europe, the plight of both the factory and the farm workers worsened. With the low dependence on the slower production capacities of the farms, families would either starve or become factory workers. Even then, their wages were so low as to make factory work only marginally better.

Seeing this oppression, and active in spreading their ideas about communism, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels were requested to write The Communist Manifesto. 1848 was the publication’s release year, and it also started a wave of socialist parties all over Europe. It would be some time before the large revolutions, but the idea was planted.

The Soviet Model

The Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 was the first Communism-inspired overthrow of a modern European republic. After taking control of the country, Lenin’s Administration took over all of the nation’s means of production. It became active in central economic planning, and re-distributing the produce.

However, the strict command of the Soviet Government gave central economic planning a bad name. Politicization of industries and businesses was rampant, and there was little incentive for workers to be excellent because they were not competing. The Soviet Union also became uncompetitive globally.

The New Left

The New Left is the developed-country form of Socialism. It is very differentiated from the Soviet model of central planning, and has more to do with rights and equality than anything else. It began in the 1960s and 70s, the same time as the Civil Rights movement. Students started demonstrations and strikes, calling for rights to free speech and activity.

The New Left gained the most media exposure during the Vietnam War. The students, who followed Socialist ideas, organized protests and demonstrations against the war. After those issues, the New Left continued in both the United States and Europe, demonstrating for reforms, against inequality and discrimination.

A Brief History of Socialism Does Not Tell Half the Story

Ideas form in the blink of an eye, and develop very messily over time. They are applied to real-life situations even more messily. This brief history of Socialism only tells the few critical junctures that have marked the turning points of Socialist thought.

Famous Socialism Leaders

Karl Marx was a philosopher, writing against the widespread injustices he saw committed against the ordinary working person. He assumed that such oppression would inevitably turn into a revolution by the working people. However, he himself could not have been called a revolutionist. Like a scientist or journalist, he observed and analyzed. But from his ideas came revolutionaries who transformed entire nations, for better or for worse.

Vladimir Lenin

Lenin grew up in a well-to-do, educated family. However, he was very much aware of the amount of power that, he believed, was held unfairly over Russian citizens. The uncertainty of his father’s job because of political issues, and the execution of his brother for treason, guided his embrace of Marxism. Lenin became a Communist, was arrested and exiled several times, and then took his chance to overthrow the tsar’s generals and followers in the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917.

Mao Zedong

Mao Zedong was a student in China when student demonstrations were making waves in Chinese politics and society. The last Chinese empire had been overthrown in in 1912, and the first Chinese republic was in the grip of confusion as a nation. The students of the times eventually coalesced around Marxism as the path of their nation.

Mao Zedong was a member of the  Chinese Communist Party when it formed in 1921. He soon began to raise the Chinese farmers and laborers as activists. In October of 1949, Mao defeated the Nationalist Party and formed the People’s Republic of China.

Fidel Castro

Fidel Castro was a law student and an activist for revolutionary institution of democracy even before he became a Marxist. He then widened the scope of his opposition, not just to the corrupt Grau government, but to the entire Cuban bourgeoisie. In 1958, Fidel Castro, his brother Raul, and their military forces shook the nation. Then-leader Dictator Batista fled.

Fidel Castro became Prime Minister and commander-in-chief (distinct roles). When the socialist state was formed, he became President of the Council of Ministers and the Council of State. Industries were nationalized, and employers were required to give their employees benefits. However, it was a state that also saw much curtailing of freedoms.

Che Guevara

Ernesto Guevara de la Serna was born in Argentina. He was from the middle-class, and was able to study medicine at Buenos Aires University. An avid traveller, he took the time to go all around South America. The South American republics were full of poverty and oppressive leaders, which confirmed Guevara’s Marxist ideas.

He believed that armed revolution would bring about the needed economic changes. Guevara joined Fidel Castro’s 1954 Cuban Revolution, and assisted troops in the Congo, and then in Bolivia, to progress towards their own armed revolutions. Guevara was known for seeing the revolution as a universal movement, rather than just a national one.

Famous Socialism Leaders: Product of an Idea

If there was any kind of doubt that ideas have power, these famous socialism leaders are famous counter-arguments. Implementing ideas of Marx long after that philosopher had died, they managed to use his ideas to transform their nations completely.


The Socialist Movement In America

According to a Gallup poll, 47% of Americans would vote for a socialist president. This is actually the lowest percentage in the poll: 60% would vote for a Muslim president, and 92% would vote for a woman president.

The amount of support for socialism, however, is still a surprising fact to many. After all, as recently as Barack Obama’s ongoing administration, the word “socialism” was used as a derogatory term for his policies. However, this poll shows that socialism might be gaining a foothold in America.

Haymarket Affair in Chicago

The International Worker’s Day, also called Labor Day, is on May 1 internationally. In many places, it is a holiday. It was a direct result of the Haymarket Affair in Chicago, 1886. As early as 1884, the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions called for an 1886 movement for the 8-hour work week, starting on May 1.

On May 1, an estimated 80,000 protesters marched arm-in-arm down Michigan Avenue. The movement continued, with more peaceful marches the next day. This was a Saturday and a Sunday, so there were few repercussions.

However, on Monday, workers picketed the McCormick Reaper Plant. Violent retaliation by police caused a peaceful protest, organized by socialist leaders at Haymarket Square. When police arrived, an unknown person threw a bomb, causing panic. Several socialist leaders were tried and executed for the incident, whether or not they had been present.

The Johnson Administration

The administration of Lyndon Johnson, who became president after the assassination of John F. Kennedy during the Vietnam War era, is known for its “War on Poverty” and the “Great Society.” The Johnson Administration enacted a number of policies meant to lower the unemployment of America, if not to eradicate it completely.

One of the consultants of this movement was named Michael Harrington. In 1962, he had published a book called The Other America: Poverty in the United States. It argued that poverty in America was a widespread issue, worthy of national concern. In 1964, Harrington became a consultant to the Johnson Administration.

The 1960s Civil Rights Movement also happened during this time. One of its most prominent leaders, Martin Luther King Jr., admitted in private his economic ideas were more socialist than capitalist. To the civil rights movement leaders, “socialism” was an idea that could create a more equal society for African-Americans to live in.

Democratic Socialists of America

The Democratic Socialists of America is the socialist organization with the largest membership in the United States. They stand for the creation of a more democratic society, through increasing the power of employees and decreasing those of capitalists. They are, unsurprisingly, staunch supporters of Bernie Sanders for President of the U.S. 2016. The organization has even devoted a super PAC to him.

Is The Socialist Movement In America Strong?

Maybe not strong, but it is definitely gaining ground. The decisive win of Bernie Sanders in the New Hampshire primary over Hillary Clinton shows his ideas are generating support with voters. As general equality continues to be a concern and an issue for voters, we just might see the idea of socialism on a rise in America.

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