The Libertarian Socialist Caucus presents this program for the DSA 2021 Convention to confront a new set of challenges. The program lays out a horizon and specific organizing tasks for abolition, antifascism and anti-racism, independent organization and action, as well as democratization and structural change. We also reassert our longstanding concerns with democratization and building power everywhere. We show, concretely, how we plan to resolve issues both at the 2021 DSA National convention and through practical work inside and outside the organization.
We offer this guide while acknowledging deepening crises within the liberal state. These are evident in its failure to respond competently or humanely to a pandemic that has intensified oligarchy and racial capitalism, disoriented millions of parents, and led to the death of countless workers. The current dislocation occurs in the context of a long economic crisis marked by overcapacity and declining profit that led governments in the industrialized world to intensify the use of private debt, financial speculation, and austerity.
This system has led to widespread immiseration and challenges from below and from left developmental states that have displayed superior capacity and been less antagonistic toward joint prosperity and, at times, democracy. Even as uprisings challenge the project and foundations of settler capitalism and the carceral state and the facade of U.S. representative democracy, we simultaneously confront both intensified reaction and a climate collapse that threatens to end human history. Our social and movement institutions, meanwhile, are often governed by leaders who are neither accountable to an independent membership nor able to chart an independent course and sustain revolutionary demands. These are emblematic of the forces that prevent us from relying, as others on the left seek to do, on past organizing templates and simple and reductionist theoretical models.
For these reasons, we respond simultaneously to the newfound appeal of the socialist and autonomous projects–and DSA’s increasing prominence–in a historically hostile U.S. and confront the continued weakness of our often co-opted institutions and the depoliticization of our social base in the working class. Our success will come in part from our commitment to proven strategies and campaigns around abolition, antifascism and antiracism, dual power and autonomous structures, and building a democratic and inclusive organization. In this context, we do not reject election campaigns but emphasize the short time horizon and difficulty of developing sustained and radical working class power through that method. We endorse resolutions and constitutional and bylaws changes to support the development of an organization that can adjust to unprecedented conditions and develop the capacity of members to be democratic agents in a life-or-death project of liberation. We support LSC members and allies who are running for the National Political Committee. Finally, we demand a National DSA Policy Platform and strategy that moves beyond a reliance on state action and toward rebuilding independent political power.
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