Basis of Political Agreement

As amended in 2013.

  1. We oppose the capitalist system and its destructive impact on humanity and the planet. The present system produces poverty, war, environmental crises, and social disorder for the many and fantastic wealth and power for a tiny ruling class. Through its exploitation of labor and endless drive toward greater profit, capitalism pits workers around the world into cut-throat competition, reinforces social oppression, and denies us real freedom. Unemployment, regular economic crises, and ecologically unsustainable growth are inevitable under the irrational capitalist system. While we fight for reforms that alleviate these miserable conditions in order to improve the confidence and organization of the working class, we understand that no reform of the system can permanently abolish these conditions. Therefore, we fight for the abolition of the capitalist system.

  2. Another world is possible, socialism: a system that is democratic, international, and ecologically sustainable. Corporate media and mainstream intellectuals present capitalism as a system without an alternative, and use the collapse of 20th-century efforts at socialism to discredit all anti-capitalist visions. We stand with the millions of people worldwide who challenge this logic through the slogan, “Another World is Possible.” As socialists, we have a specific vision for that world: one in which society’s productive capacity is worker- and community-controlled and used for the public good in an environmentally responsible way. Under socialism, planning and decisions are made democratically, rather than determined by a political elite. We strive to build a world in which all people can live equally without the hierarchies of race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, gender, age, and ability that oppress the great bulk of the world’s people today. A society liberated from oppression, poverty, and economic inequality, and from the alienation inherent in capitalist social relations, would be free to pursue far greater creative possibilities.

  3. Our strategic goal is revolution‒led by the working class and oppressed‒that shatters the foundations of patriarchy, white supremacy, settler-colonialism, and capitalist rule. We believe that the potential for realizing socialism lies in the contradictions of the current system. Under capitalism, the exploited and oppressed are in constant struggle with the political and economic elites. We seek to participate in all manifestations of this struggle, aiming to help develop them into movements against the capitalist class and we fight for reforms that may serve as bridges to deeper class consciousness. We also support efforts to begin building alternative, democratic institutions and social relations in the present. Only through a revolutionary, mass political movement of working and oppressed people can the political and economic domination of society by the capitalist class be ended. This future will not be realized by simply ‘taking power’. Rather, the revolutionary process should seek to uproot the settler-colonial foundations and dismantle the institutions of the capitalist state–e.g., the police, borders, courts, and military that protect the current social order. In their place, we must construct new institutions of the working class and develop relations which support the right to self-determination for indigenous peoples and oppressed nationalities.

  4. In the labor and social movements, we call for political independence and a break from the two-party system. The Democratic and Republican parties are dominated by corporations and merely offer different flavors of pro-war and pro-business policies. These capitalist parties maintain a stranglehold on politics in the United States and offer only dead ends for working class and oppressed people. The Democrats in particular have functioned as a trap for organized labor and as the graveyard of social movements. We argue against engagement in the “lesser evil” approach of working with the Democratic Party, which tends over the long term to push the overall political climate to the right. We argue, instead, for the political independence of movements. When possible, we support third parties and independent candidacies that stand on these principles. Our long-term strategic goal is the construction of a mass party that can champion workers’ interests independently of the two-party system.

  5. We see organized labor as a central part of the working class movement; within it we organize for greater solidarity, internationalism, democracy, and militancy. Since the 1970s, bosses have intensified their attacks on organized labor through union busting, automation, outsourcing, and “tiered” wages and benefits, among other tactics. The social safety net faces privatization and destruction. Activity in and coordination between unions and other forms of workers’ organizations and, particularly, the self-activity and leadership of the rank and file are central to beating back this reactionary offensive. We are active in union rank and file caucuses, workers’ centers, solidarity committees, and other forms of workers' organizations in order to create a labor movement that acts in solidarity across union and international lines, organizes the unorganized, and transforms unions into more militant organizations capable of beating the bosses and shifting the balance of power.

  6. We fight against all forms of racism and support the right of self-determination against national/racial oppression. The United States was built on a history of genocide, slavery, land theft, and the exploitation and scapegoating of immigrants. Because of the historical and structural connections between capitalism and white supremacy, the social disease of racism cannot be eradicated under capitalism, and overcoming white supremacy and national oppression is a central task of a revolutionary socialist movement. As members and allies of nationally and racially oppressed communities, we support and participate in fights against police brutality, voter ID laws, deportation and detention of immigrants, the school-to-prison pipeline, and the prison industrial complex, as well as fights for ethnic studies, environmental justice, immigrant rights, and native sovereignty. We support the right of people of color to self-organize within our organization, as well as within unions and social movements. We seek to become more multiracial and to ally with people of color and revolutionary nationalist organizations.

  7. We are a feminist organization that fights for the liberation of all women. Though patriarchy existed prior to capitalism and is not simply an extension of capitalist exploitation, the oppression of women is integral to capitalism and is manifested in many ways: the denial of reproductive freedom, the exploitation of women’s sexuality, the pervasiveness of gendered violence, cultural norms that associate masculinity with authority and knowledge, the assignment of women to both paid and unpaid caregiving as well as other low-wage work that leads to the feminization of poverty. Race, class, nationality and citizenship, sexual orientation, gender expression, age, and other factors of power and privilege affect how women experience their oppression. We are committed to a women’s liberation movement that acknowledges these differences and strives to develop an inclusive feminism. Women’s self-organization is central to women’s liberation and to building a democratic socialist, alternative to capitalism. In our organization and in the labor and social movements where we are active we promote a more collaborative culture and support women’s caucuses or other forms of self-organization that build women’s leadership and participation.

  8. We fight against homophobia, heterosexism, and the compulsory gender binary and support sexual and gender self-determination for all people. As members and allies of the LGBTQ community, we fight for equal rights, safe spaces, and liberation for all people who experience oppression based on their gender identity/expression and sexuality, including people who self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, queer, intersex, two spirit, and same gender loving. We participate in the fight for full civil rights and the repeal of all discriminatory anti-LGBTQ legislation as steps toward a broader liberation struggle that would expand all people’s access to health care, housing, community, and sexual freedom. We promote the leadership of LGBTQ people within our organization and within progressive social movements. We work to unite the LGBTQ and labor movements through challenging both homophobia and transphobia in the labor movement and corporate domination of the organized queer movement. We oppose any approach that prioritizes the needs of the most assimilated and neglects the needs of queer people who are working class, of color, and/or transgender. As with all oppressed groups, we support the right of LGBTQ people to self-organize for liberation.

  9. We are internationalists: we oppose the imperialist domination of the world by the United States and other rich countries. Internationalism is not just a goal for the future socialist world for which we fight, but a political principle that guides us today. We demand an immediate end to the wars, interventions, efforts at political and economic destabilization, and funding of repressive regimes by the U.S. government. We call for the immediate dismantling of the United States' war machine, including the closing of Guantanamo and other military bases around the world. We resist efforts like "Buy American" campaigns that divide "American" workers from the international working class. We support movements for self-determination and independence all over the world, including Puerto Rico and other U.S. colonies, as well as within the territorial borders of the U.S. itself. We call attention to the ways in which US imperialism creates conditions leading to displacement and migration across our own borders and contributes to the political and economic difficulties of nations in the Global South. We learn from and extend our international solidarity to the trade unions and other workers’ organizations, social movements, and the democratic revolutionary left of Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania.

  10. United by these principles, we are committed to building an organization of socialist activists and a broader anti-capitalist movement within the borders of the United States. Socialist organization is essential: we must analyze the world and learn from the experience of socialist activists, apply these lessons in our work, popularize socialist ideas, and contribute to a future mass movement for revolution led by the working class and oppressed. We seek to promote collaboration and unification of existing groups as part of a much larger process of building and expanding left organization and renewing the left. We hope to learn from both the strengths and mistakes of the 20th-century left, while not being constrained by any one historical tradition or model. Membership is open to all who share our principles and work toward achieving them.