Socialists must be oriented to the struggles of the oppressed and exploited- not just oriented to the “left.” There is no substitute for the independent mass activity of the working class and oppressed. The left can ill afford to ignore the institutions of working class, the unions. This is true despite their weakened state from decades of one-sided class war or the treachery of the trade union bureaucracy. The united front method is critically important in this period.
Socialist organizations must have an active intervention in social struggles and must seek to lead these struggles in a nonsectarian way. We need to build organizations that are both effective and democratic.
Some points for the coming period
Fightback– US workers have been the targets of a one-sided class war for decades. The main organizations of the working class have been pushed into a corner by concessions, budget cuts and repressive legislation. We need a united fightback against cuts and concessions that includes all working people. We also need to return our unions to a policy of mass struggle.
- Against racism and oppression. Support fair hiring and job rights for all workers. Defend affirmative action and the rights of immigrants. Stop all workplace raids and deportations! Papers for all! Stop the mass incarceration of Black and Latino workers; end the racist war on drugs and the racist death penalty.
- Stop the war on women! Full reproductive rights for all women!
- Full rights for LGBT people. For marriage equality and an end to all discrimination in employment and housing.
Unity– Building a fightback will require unity in action of the organizations of the working class, as well as a labor-community alliance based on the idea that our unions must fight for the interests of all workers, not just their members.
Solidarity– Unconditional support for all working and oppressed people, around the world and at home, as they struggle for justice.
Independence– Workers’ organizations and community groups must organize independently of the political parties of the bosses. For a Workers’ Party based on the unions and organizations of the oppressed.
Fight Capitalism, Fight imperialism – Capitalism is an outmoded and criminal system and must be replaced with a socialist society. Socialists must oppose all imperialist intervention everywhere. There is no such thing as a “humanitarian” imperialist intervention. This includes sanctions, which kill and victimize civilian populations as certainly as guns and bombs. US forces and mercenaries must be withdrawn from Iraq and Afghanistan. Support the right to self-determination.
“The Communists fight for the attainment of the immediate aims, for the enforcement of the momentary interests of the working class; but in the movement of the present, they also represent and take care of the future of that movement…
But they never cease, for a single instant, to instill into the working class the clearest possible recognition of the hostile antagonism between bourgeoisie and proletariat…
In short, the Communists everywhere support every revolutionary movement against the existing social and political order of things.
In all these movements, they bring to the front, as the leading question in each, the property question, no matter what its degree of development at the time.
Finally, they labour everywhere for the union and agreement of the democratic parties of all countries.
The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win.”