2019 — Socialist Resurgence is a new national organization of activists in the United States committed to the interests of workers and the oppressed, and the creation of a socialist world in which society is organized according to the needs of working people rather than profit.
The core of our group originated as a tendency within Socialist Action (SA) that had been formed to defend the historic program of revolutionary socialism as practiced during the best years of Socialist Action and the Socialist Workers Party before that. Most of our founding members were expelled or resigned from Socialist Action in October 2019.
Our Political Program:
Class Struggle & Independence: We believe that the world is divided into opposing social classes, and that the main driving force of modern history is the struggle between the working class and the capitalist class. We are active partisans of the working class and believe in the need for independent working-class politics—not alliances with the capitalists or any wing of that class. That is why we call for workers to break from the Democratic Party to build a Labor Party based on rejuvenated and militant trade unions that are controlled by the ranks. In all of our political work we seek to get workers to see themselves in terms of a class, and to recognize that their class interests are diametrically opposed to that of the capitalists.
Revolution: We believe that the state and all of its institutions are instruments of the ruling class and that, therefore, they cannot be used as tools of the working class but have to be smashed. That is why we fight for revolution, instead of seeking to merely reform the system or work within it. When we fight for specific reforms, we do so with the understanding that in the final analysis fundamental social change can only come about with the overthrow of capitalism, and the establishment of a workers’ government. We participate in the struggle for reforms according to the method of the Transitional Program—that is, by attempting to aid the working class and its allies to visualize the necessary link between their current struggles and demands and the need for revolutionary action.
Fighting Climate Change and Environmental Destruction: Climate change is the biggest threat that humanity and all life on this planet faces today. The ongoing climate crisis sets the stage for greater economic instability, deepening poverty, natural disasters, forced migration, food insecurity, rampant disease, military conflict, raging fires, imperialist rivalries, and mass extinction. “Green capitalism” and individual consumer choices are entirely insufficient to tackle the catastrophe facing the planet. Indeed, capitalism, with its tendency towards overproduction, alienating relationships, chaotic metabolism of resources, and drive towards profit at the expense of human needs and environmental costs, will never be tamed or greened. The solution to the climate crisis requires the overthrow of capitalism.
Fossil-fuel-driven capitalism must be abolished and replaced with a planned socialist economy based upon renewable energy, mass transit, and the shared and carefully planned use of resources for the public good. As a major step toward that goal, the energy industry needs to be nationalized under workers’ and community control in order to convert it to renewable energy sources. Workers in the fossil-fuel industry who are laid off as part of the energy conversion process must be retrained and rehired at union wages.
The Specially Oppressed & the Oppressed Nationalities: Capitalism seeks to diminish the power and unity of workers by creating and sustaining social tensions and divisions among the oppressed. Sexism, racism, Islamophobia, anti-immigrant sentiment, homophobia, transphobia, and the many other forms of oppression and discrimination are symptomatic of capitalism’s drive towards the lowest wages, most meager living standards, creation of an auxiliary work force, denigration of unpaid labor, and the disunity that prevents an organized resistance to these conditions.
Therefore, we support the struggles of those who are specially oppressed under capitalism—women and the LGBTQI+ communities, and those suffering national oppression. We support and help build autonomous movements for the oppressed so that they can articulate their own demands and develop political consciousness as a group. We do these in the interest of assisting the specially oppressed in their struggle to meet the most basic democratic rights denied to them and because socialist revolution cannot be made without uniting workers against such things as racism, sexism, and homophobia.
We support the right of self-determination for oppressed nationalities, including Black people, Chicanos, and Puerto Ricans. We support the demands of Native Americans, which have included recognition of treaty rights, confronting the epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, and full nationhood. We stand against all forms of racism, and we demand open borders and the immediate closure of immigrant detention camps.
We note that far-right, nativist, and neo-fascist forces have been emboldened by Trump’s racist, Islamophobic, and anti- immigrant rhetoric. These reactionary groupings pose a threat to workers and the oppressed. Police generally look the other way when rightists attack, often targeting the victims of fascist violence. Defeating the far right requires a mass mobilization of broad social forces, including the ranks of the labor movement. As revolutionaries, we support the right of the oppressed and exploited to defend themselves from racist and fascist violence.
Women & Social Reproduction: Our work is informed by a unitary theory that ties the oppression of women, cisgender and transgender, to the way that capitalism puts the cost of social reproduction onto the working class itself.
Rather than believing that the oppression of women is a matter of biology, Social Reproduction Theory roots this oppression in a gendered division of labor in which women (both trans and cis) are tasked with sustaining capitalism through the reproduction, maintenance, and regeneration of the work force—while at the same time often holding down waged jobs. The unpaid labor of women and other caregivers is vital to the functioning of capitalism, which privatizes and atomizes the labor and costs associated with raising, nurturing, and maintaining workers. This is why, beyond demanding full reproductive rights and body autonomy, the liberation of women, trans, and gender non-conforming individuals is predicated upon the overthrow of capitalism and its replacement with socialism.
Internationalism: While we support the nationalism of oppressed nationalities as progressive, we are internationalists, and as such we hold that the workers of one country have more in common with the workers of another than they do with their own nation’s capitalist class. We oppose the nationalism of oppressor nationalities as wholly reactionary. We seek to link the struggles of workers and oppressed across national boundaries, and to build an international revolutionary movement that will facilitate the sharing of experiences and political lessons from one country with revolutionaries in another. That is why we hope to maintain fraternal relations with the Fourth International. We strive to renew the revolutionary program of the FI and promote the international regroupment of revolutionary socialists by our participation in the Platform for a Revolutionary International. The work of the Platform can be followed here.
Vanguard Party: The capitalist class is highly organized, and to overthrow it the working class likewise needs organization. We believe in the need for a disciplined party of professional revolutionaries based on a political program that incorporates the lessons of past working- class victories and defeats. While the class struggle ebbs and flows, there is a need for an organization of committed revolutionaries in order to maintain continuity and to prepare for openings in the struggle that require leadership. We believe that within such a party there must be complete and fair discussion, democratic decision-making procedures, and the right to form factions and tendencies to fight for different positions. However, the party must act as a common unit in carrying out the decided-upon line in order to test if it is correct or not. This is called democratic-centralism.
United Fronts: Recognizing the divisions that exist on the left and within the workers’ movement, as well as the low level of class consciousness that exists among many workers, we seek to form united- front-type coalitions around specific actions and issues in which various groups have agreement. In this way, we seek to maximize the number of forces that can be mobilized around a given issue, demonstrate the power and effectiveness of mass action as opposed to symbolic small- scale and individual actions, and expose others on the left and the workers’ movement to our method of functioning and our political program. We also see this as an avenue toward achieving meaningful revolutionary regroupment. It should also be said that while we support the tactic of the united front, we are opposed to “popular fronts”—that is, multi-class alliances that subordinate the interests of workers to that of a wing of the capitalist class.
Permanent Revolution: This famous thesis by Leon Trotsky holds that if revolutionary struggles in semi-colonial and under-developed countries are to be fully effective, they must be led by the working class and must develop into full-fledged socialist revolutions. A revolution cannot succeed if it must go through prolonged “stages” that shackle working people and poor peasants into an alliance with any wing of the capitalist class. To be ultimately successful, socialist revolution also needs to be international in scope. We believe that the Bolshevik-led revolution of 1917 remains in many key respects a model for a successful socialist revolution today—that is, a workers’ government based on democratically elected workers’ councils.
Here is a summary of what we fight for:
1) Defend unions and workers’ rights to organize! For an independent labor party based on a democratic, fighting labor movement!
2) Stop all deportations now! Amnesty now! Equal rights for immigrants! No wall! No Muslim ban! No refugee ban! Close the camps!
3) Black Lives Matter! Jail killer cops! Dismantle the racist police and the criminal “justice” system!
4) Reparations and self-determination for African-Americans, Puerto Ricans, and all indigenous and colonized communities!
5) Reproductive justice: Free, accessible contraception and abortion on demand. For the right and the resources to raise healthy children.
6) Quality free public child care and elder care for all, 24-7! Free education for a lifetime!
7) Full civil and human rights for the LGBTQIA+ community!
8) Free quality universal public health care now!
9) For climate justice! Public ownership of the energy industry under workers’ and community control to achieve emergency conversion to 100% renewable energy!
10) No U.S. military intervention abroad! Dismantle the U.S. war machine! End U.S. aid to Israel! End the sanctions on Venezuela, Iran, and Cuba! For a democratic secular Palestine!
11) For the full integration of disabled people into social, political, and economic life, and for the abolition of the conditions that create disability!
12) Public ownership, under workers’ control, of big industry, transport, and the banks! No support for Democrats and Republicans! For a workers’ government and a planned economy—for socialism!
If you agree with our 12-point program, and want to help build a revolutionary movement, we invite you to join Socialist Resurgence [now WORKERS’ VOICE]. Together we can make a difference!