YDSA College for All Statement on Senator Warren’s Education Proposal

April 23, 2019

Senator Elizabeth Warren has called for universal free public college and for the cancellation of a significant portion of student loan debt.

After decades of disinvestment in public education, working class students—particularly women, Black, and Latinx students—find themselves hanging onto the barbed thread of debt because the only alternative is living poor in America. In other words, there is no alternative.

After decades of government skimping on young people, we applaud Senator Warren’s proposal for bringing student hardships to the forefront of the 2020 democratic primary.

That being said, a proposal as ambitious as partial debt cancellation still leaves room for capital to challenge the viability of our broader vision. Ultimately, any reform that relieves the working class from financial strangleholds is a threat to capitalists. In the end, only a push for full debt cancellation can garner the mass support we need to ward-off attempts by the capitalist class to sabotage our fight to uphold education as a right.

As socialists, we know the transformative change we need can only come through the organization of a mass movement. It was, after all, the militant struggle of the Depression-era student movement that meaningfully expanded New Deal policies for young people. Anything less than a movement will get us much less than what Senator Warren or anyone else can propose — and that will not cut it.

Our generation has inherited a planet that is on the verge of becoming uninhabitable, a political crisis that has empowered the most dangerous elements of society, and an economy that will leave us worse off than our parents. We cannot expect anyone, let alone anyone in government, to fight for us when we are not willing to fight for ourselves.

We do not ask for what is ours, we win it through struggle.


Young Democratic Socialists of America (College for All Subcommittee)

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