Our first issue is born in unprecedented times: a global pandemic has taken over 300,000 U.S. lives, left millions unemployed, and tens of thousands evicted. The racist police continue to murder Black people with impunity, and capitalist-induced climate crisis disasters rage on. It is another election year blackmailed by fascism’s creep as we head into a historically great global economic crash. In response, mainstream media outlets and our employers (if we still have them) try their hardest to trudge on projecting increasingly murky and paradoxical bourgeois “common sense.” It is for all of these reasons that we have taken this moment, in spite of its chaos, to make our own publication.
The mid-pandemic US is even more sharply characterized by the ever-developing crisis of the two-party system and the serious need for an alternative political leadership for our working class becomes more apparent to the masses daily. The newest and largest regrouping of socialists in the country, The Democratic Socialists of America, is an embryonic organization that, while rapidly growing, still finds itself in a transitional situation. And while this publication explores our explicitly communist politics and praxis as the DSA’s leftmost wing, it has a dual purpose of existing as a public forum as we attempt to deepen our flank’s analysis in dialogue with one another, finding it preferable even that dissonance be aired than to exist regionally in vacuums, or insulated by more narrow tendencies.
Our first issue opens with a trenchant communist analysis of the role of prisons and police in the state’s enforcement of capitalist social relations, which makes clear how important the abolition of capitalist policing and carceral systems is to our organizing efforts in the context of the ongoing mass uprising against police and racist violence. This issue offers multiple pieces on educational organizing as teachers and students across the country are put at risk by school reopening. Socialist feminist organizers invite us to join them in a broader vision for anti-violence organizing providing historical context for the #Metoo movement while analyzing the greater impact of the left and Democratic party response to Tara Reade’s accusations against President-elect Joe Biden. Red Caucus member, Marcos, offers a personal account of his radicalization that lays bare the toxicity of American militarism and the military’s ways of preying on working-class and immigrant communities. And lastly, printed throughout the issue are visions of and insights into the present and future DSA, as many seek to position the organization to help foster and politically aid current struggles. These pieces offer analyses of present limitations in the National DSA structure; ideas for how to relate Rank-and-File organizing to social movement unionism; and an insider’s insights into the NPC and the International Committee, with an exciting vision for the development of international connections and solidarity.
Across this inaugural publication, we see calls to action, strategies for organization, and insights into the role we, as communists, can play in present and future struggles. We aren’t fighting to get “back to normal” or to “build back better.” Instead, our once little organization grows towards fighting for the right to our own lives in every sense—our right not to die for the DOW, or force kids, school staff, and teachers to continue to work in unsafe schools. We hope then that the first issue of our publication can help orient readers within these urgent fights, providing tools, insights, and analyses for those working, from a communist position, to set forth a strategic vision within DSA and beyond.