Historic Tasks

  1. History books will record 2011 as a decisive turning point in the world situation. We are clearly going through another prolonged crisis of global capitalism. Now the menacing threat of further economic collapse exists alongside a rising tide of social upheaval. The battle in Wisconsin and the Occupy movement are symptomatic of the deeper crisis. The workers’ revolt in Wisconsin represented the opening act of a sweeping drama of class conflict being prepared in U.S. society. The social upheavals and class battles ahead will be the most intense in generations.
  2. While Wisconsin revealed most clearly the raw class tensions boiling under the surface, just months later the Occupy movement revealed a political awakening which shook U.S. society. It was the first open expression since the crisis began of an initial, though confused, anti-capitalist consciousness developing among important sections of workers and, particularly, youth. At the same time, Occupy provided a wider outlet for the accumulated class anger, which will only deepen alongside the overall capitalist crisis.
  3. The obstacles to the development of consciousness and mass struggle are huge. The U.S. working class is emerging from a historic low point in terms its political and class consciousness and its level of independent class organization. Therefore, the living memory of past struggles for use as a reference point and source of lessons has been broken for the bulk of the class. At the same time, unlike their European counterparts, U.S. workers and youth are less weighed down by the experience of devastating betrayals on the part of former mass socialist and workers’ parties. In this sense, socialism appears to most in the U.S. as almost a new, fresh idea.
  4. In the context of the deepening crisis and the processes of revolution and counter-revolution around the world, broad left-wing and socialist ideas in the U.S. could grow quite rapidly, taking up some of the gaping political vacuum on the left. We are faced with an historic task. The new interest in socialism greatly outweighs our limited organizational capacity to consolidate it and develop it into active participation. The whole situation demands a serious, creative discussion on the measures that must be taken to fully mobilize, develop, and grow our still small forces. At the same time as building our own organization, Marxists must struggle to rebuild mass organizations of the working class. Only by combining a correct analysis and program with a new enthusiasm and energy to win fresh forces to Marxism, to deepen our political understanding and theoretical level, can we successfully build the movement for socialism in the coming period.