From its foundation in 1901, through its reconstitution in 1973, and to this very day the Socialist Party has held firmly to the principle that the working class must organize itself independently of the Republican and Democratic parties. These parties represent the interests of the established capitalist order while socialists seek to put an end to that order in pursuit of the emancipation of the working class. Despite this, we increasingly find ourselves in a moment in which socialists largely see the Democratic Party as a vehicle for our political agenda. It’s as though we refuse to learn from past failures and have resigned ourselves to repeating them in perpetuity.
Bernie Sanders, a most moderate socialist if there ever was one, lost his bid for the presidency not once but twice. First-term congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has all but abandoned the socialist label she claimed in the past. Neither has ever so much as attempted to function as a socialist during their time in elected office and yet the prevailing logic is to follow their leadership.
Is the idea that this might one day work out of sheer good fortune? Some say that we should strategically use the Democratic Party’s ballot line to achieve our ends. That we can build a so-called “party-surrogate” to function as a socialist party within the Democratic Party. That we can build a disciplined organization of socialists to get elected as Democrats and that if we’re lucky we might even live long enough to break from them. Unfortunately, there are a lot of socialists who believe this. Too many.
Here at The Socialist, the aim of the editorial board is simple yet crucial: to foster the discussion critical and necessary towards the Left’s regroupment into a mass socialist party. This should be the goal of any socialist organization, as opposed to the sectarianism that pervades much of the avowed Left.
Our hope is that The Socialist will contribute to this aim through the views we express editorially and through journalism. We can talk all day about the need for a socialist party—The Socialist Party—but it is imperative that we also report on the struggle of the working class and related issues.
While there are many existing publications on the left, this one is ours. And now it is yours.