Points of Unity
Our Points of Unity
(Adopted Jan 5, 2020)
Against the global backdrop of an advancing far right, slowly unfolding ecological collapse, and heightened class struggle, a growing number of people in the United States are identifying as socialists, often without being clear on what that means or agreeing on how to move forward. The need for revolutionary socialist politics and organization is as urgent as ever.
The Revolutionary Socialist Network was formed in order to cohere and grow a revolutionary socialist current that can advance the struggles of the working class and oppressed today, while laying the groundwork for the revolutionary transformation of society tomorrow. Affiliation with the network should be complementary to at-large activism and membership in other local and national organizations.
The purpose of this network is to:
- Facilitate communication on socialist strategy, tactics, organization, and political perspectives
- Support and coordinate the work of affiliates around the country
We recognize the importance of a shared set of politics to bring revolutionaries together and guide our practice. As such, we have come together around the following principles:
Against Exploitation, For Workers’ Power
Capitalism is a socio-economic system based on the exploitation of a working-class majority by a capitalist-class minority that owns the means of production. Since the working class produces the wealth under capitalism, it is in the unique position to shut it down, eliminate it, and create a system that meets human needs. Workers’ shared exploitation provides the material basis for class solidarity and the incentive to collectively fight back.
As Marxists, we seek to build class consciousness and cohere it into organizational form. To that end, we organize in our workplaces, support all struggles to advance working-class interests, and foster rank-and-file militancy, often in opposition to defanged union bureaucracies. By demonstrating the interconnection and common source of their grievances, we encourage workers fighting for reforms to draw revolutionary conclusions.
Against Oppression, For Liberation
Capitalism depends on a highly divided workforce to prevent organized resistance, blunt class consciousness, and increase the exploitation of those targeted on the basis of race, gender, sexuality, religion, nationality, caste, and more. “An injury to one is an injury to all” is not just a clever slogan; attacks on the wages and living standards of oppressed groups apply downward pressure to the wages and living standards of the whole working class. The unity of the working class cannot be forged without a concerted fight against oppression and this unity is necessary to eliminate oppression once and for all.
It is not enough to have an accurate, materialist analysis of the systemic roots and role of oppression; this understanding must be put into practice. We seek to build an organizational culture that prioritizes the experience of the oppressed and the fight against oppression in its institutional and individual manifestations. We support the right of oppressed groups to self-determination, self-organization, and caucusing.
Capitalism is an integrated, global system that cannot be overturned in one country. The struggle for socialism is necessarily an international one, requiring the cooperative struggle of workers and the oppressed across national boundaries. We stand in solidarity with international working-class struggles against imperial interference, particularly by the U.S., and against exploitation and oppression by “their own” ruling classes. We support the self-determination of all oppressed groups and nationalities. We oppose imperialism, the division of the globe based on economic and military might, and all immigration restrictions.
Socialism from Below
The self-emancipation of the working class is the beating heart of the Marxist conception of socialism. Socialism can only be accomplished by the working class seizing power by and for itself through revolution and reorganizing society on the basis of proletarian democracy. We reject top-down forms of socialism, such as social democracy and Stalinism, that look to bourgeois states, politicians, small guerrilla bands, or bureaucratic classes to deliver socialism from on high.
Working-Class Political Independence
Democracy is not only integral to the goal of socialism, but to the means of getting there as well. While much of the U.S. left seeks advance through the Democratic Party and electoralism more broadly, we look to working-class self-activity, in the form of strikes, protests, and revolts, and democratic self-organization.
Because the interests of the working class are irreconcilably opposed to those of the capitalist class, it needs a party of its own, independent from and opposed to the parties of the capitalist class. This includes the Democratic Party, which is a tool of capital that cannot be taken over, reformed, or utilized by the working class. On the contrary, despite the growth of a democratic socialist wing, the Democratic Party remains an impediment to the crystallization of working-class consciousness and organization. Its historic role as “the graveyard of social movements” has not changed.
We believe in the need for revolutionary socialist organization in order to collectively learn, teach, and act on the lessons of class struggle. In the future, in order to confront capital, this organization must evolve into a revolutionary socialist party capable of leading the class during revolutionary situations, when workers’ consciousness and combativity play a decisive role in the resolution of events. We hope to contribute to that evolution.
cover image: Equipo Crónica, “La Recuperación,” 1969