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Editorial Statement Issue 6

Issue 6: Editorial Statement

For Gary Potter, who lived and died a communist.

As we write, countless disasters are unfolding across the world–the genocide in Palestine is but the most wretched among them. And these disasters are not fortuitous; they result from the way in which our world is governed by capitalism. Abroad, capitalism must maintain imperial extraction through war. At home, capitalism extracts increasing wealth through labor exploitation, rent, and the commodification of social goods, and the state develops new counterinsurgent and carceral technologies in order to expand such exploitation.

The need for autonomous organization, therefore, becomes increasingly urgent. Rather than relying on a capitalist state that will not protect us from its ever more ruinous effects, like climate change and deadly diseases, workers and tenants must protect ourselves and those we care about. As capitalism grows more merciless, we must not have any need for mercy.  

All around us, new forms of social organization, resistance, and refusal are taking shape by, and for, the Palestinian people. The Palestinian resistance in Gaza has shown, for their part, that they can combat the US-Zionist war machine. Through their choices, actions, and fierce resolve the resistance fighters have opened up manifold new political possibilities, awakening people across the world to their situation. People now consider the question: why do the US government and its allies support this genocide? Why would they support this genocide against their own seeming best interest? In other words, why is the infliction of this genocide necessary from the standpoint of the ruling order of our world? 

Once those questions are answered, and the nature of this capitalist empire analyzed, we can consider what to do about it. The writers in this issue are engaged, more or less directly, in organizing to politicize and support the liberation of Palestine. Two short articles, “No Appetite for Apartheid” by Francesca and “Theses for Palestine Solidarity” by Ben M, set out programs whose goal is direct solidarity with the struggle for Palestinian liberation, in a manner which builds organizational capacity. Fan Yi’s “From Gaza to Oakland: Grassroots Organizing for Palestine in the OEA” and Amy B and Max G’s “Student Workers of Columbia and Palestine” both report back from work on the ground to politicize Palestinian liberation within labor unions. 

Jason Webb’s piece, “On Discipline in DSA,” treats the practical and ethical dimensions of political struggle within a political organization, with special attention to how this relates to Palestine organizing. 

Three more articles examine different terrains of the struggle against capitalist imperialism. In “The Illusion of Victory,” Zhirabor argues that the horizon of the tenant struggle lies beyond legal protections for tenants. The goal for the tenant movement is collectively making decisions about housing for ourselves, not accommodation with the state. In “A Tactical Argument on DSA’s Approach to Labor,” Zach W lays out a tactically flexible approach to socialist participation in labor, where DSA can materially support the internal organizing of our members within their unions. Finally, Thane’s “For Diverse Politics; For Diverse Tactics” draws lessons from the abolitionist struggle, arguing that communists benefit intellectually and tactically from our engagement with Black, Indigenous, and Anarchist revolutionary traditions. 

We hope that the ideas presented in this issue are useful to you. Indeed, we hope that you can apply them in practice as we organize for a better world. 

In solidarity, 

The Partisan Editorial Collective

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