Rutgers professor visits ISO

The College hosted its first International Socialist Organization (ISO) meeting of the year, featuring guest speaker Deepa Kumar, assistant professor of Media Studies at Rutgers University, on Friday. The discussion on “The Case for Socialism,” focused on how socialism can change the world for the better.

“There is a tiny minority that controls the resources and they set the rules of the game. The rest of us are forced to go along for survival,” Kumar said.

According to Kumar, Americans have become used to losing and settling for the lesser evil. She said Americans should rid themselves of bureaucracy and take control of the wealth capitalism has created for them.

“We live in a society based on competition and selfishness, where human beings are sacrificed for the pursuit of wealth and power. It’s not that some people are rich and some people are poor. Some people are rich because other people are poor,” Kumar said.

In defining socialism, Kumar said, “It is not a system based on profit, it is a system based on human need.”

The majority of the meeting was for debate. Issues arose about the efficiency of having workers control industries as well as society.

“Capitalism simply doesn’t require private ownership, but also bureaucracy. If ordinary people run society in their own interests, then people would want to make decisions that would better their own lives,” Nagesh Rao, professor of English and faculty advisor for ISO, said in response.

The meeting also focused on the need for a social revolution in order to bring about meaningful changes.

“The emancipation of the working class must be the act of the working class themselves,” Kumar said. Which means the people, instead of the government, should be the ones enacting a socialist policy.

The ISO chapter of the College is relatively new, but the membership of the organization is expected to rise with this meeting.

“There are two goals with ISO. The first goal is to get involved in movements against racism, poverty, sexism and homophobia, and the second goal is to organize a socialist alternative to a capitalist system,” Matt Hoke, sophomore history major and ISO member, said. “These two goals have to be accomplished together.”