The tiny, utterly pointless chapter of the International Youth and Students for Social Equality at California Polytechnic State University is a microcosm of the embarrassing futility America’s socialists face as they promote their untenable revolution and the oddly unpleasant utopia which would result.
The president of the revolutionary, capitalism-hating group on the taxpayer-funded Cal Poly campus is Will Osselburn, reports Mustang News, the school newspaper.
Osselburn, a sophomore from New Jersey majoring in anthropology and geography, started the club during his freshman year.
The club is seriously struggling, Osselburn admits. He blames bourgeois apathy.
[dcquiz] “I think it’s because there’s an extremely large middle class and wealthy contingency here,” the leader of the Cal Poly vanguard told Mustang News. “And while a socialist program would be in their interest, the fact of the matter is they’re comfortable. They’re living a good life. They’re materially and socially tied in to the existing mode of production, and a revolution — which is what we’re advocating for — more or less threatens their comfortable life situation.”
The socialist club has at least two other members: Christian Kelleher, a civil engineering major, and Lorenzo Nericcio, a philosophy major.
Kelleher said the Cal Poly socialist club’s goals include ending slavery, starvation and, in fact, all humanitarian crises and war around the world. Love, music and theories of peace are the group’s tools as they wage this fight from the San Luis Obispo campus.
Kelleher also noted that he and his very, very small group of fellow socialists are deeply concerned about an impending World War III.
Nericcio, the third member, said he is having second thoughts about belonging to the Cal Poly branch of the International Youth and Students for Social Equality because the larger organization “clings to an old Trotskyist interpretation of Marxism” “and doesn’t really fit the complexities of modern economic and socio-political problems.”
At the same time, the junior said, he continues to advocate for his own brand of socialism on the Cal Poly campus.
“People who promote socialism are coming from a place where they’re actually concerned about the well-being of each and every human in the society,” Nericcio told the student newspaper. “There’s this kind of laziness associated with socialists, like ‘Oh, you just want to get welfare checks and cruise by.'”
Osselburn, the president of the group, agreed.
“I feel like it’s my responsibility because I have this knowledge, and because I care so much, he told Mustang News.
The Cal Poly International Youth and Students for Social Equality chapter meets each Wednesday night to view a class — via Skype — presented by the chapter in Berkeley, Calif. Members also spend time each week chatting about how wonderful they think Marxism is.
Four of the 11 photos on Osselburn’s Facebook page show him wearing a tie-dye shirt.
Nericcio’s Facebook page shows that he is a member of several groups including “SLO Feels The Bern-Bernie Sanders for President” and “Trader Joe’s” — a private grocery store chain with an annual net income approaching $600 million.