DSA Left Caucus: Who We Are, Where We Stand

Adopted August 2014

Our Goals 

The purpose of the left caucus is (at least) two-fold: 1) To emphasize that the purpose of DSA is to build a mass socialist movement in the US with the ultimate aim of a revolutionary transformation of society from capitalism to democratic socialism. We believe there are numerous strategic implications that follow from this for how DSA should carry out its work going forward, and we want to raise awareness about these ideas in the organization with the objective of modifying DSA’s current strategy; 2) To raise interest in theoretical and strategic questions throughout our organization in an effort to facilitate and make more explicit debates between different tendencies in DSA. We think this will help to clarify DSA’s mission and create more excitement about our organization among both members and the larger progressive/socialist community, as well as cultivate a more strongly pluralist organizational culture within DSA. We believe that working toward both of these goals will help make DSA an even stronger and more dynamic organization in our long-term struggles against capitalism, white supremacy, patriarchy, heteronormativity, and all structures of oppression.

Where We Stand

1. We want to develop a larger activist cadre in the organization through a greater focus on internal education (especially around Marxist theory, socialist history, and visions of socialism and the transition to socialism) and activist projects in which we work as explicit socialists and emphasize the link between our immediate goals and our long-term vision of socialism. “Progressive” activism is not enough - DSA must be an organization of socialists organizing for socialism.

2. We reaffirm DSA’s commitment to a radical intersectional analysis of anticapitalism and liberation for people of color, women, and queer people, and seek both to deepen our organizational commitment to intersectional struggles and our theoretical understanding of the interconnections between anti-capitalism and struggles against racism, sexism, and homophobia.

3. We want to leave the Socialist International, an organization that provides as little tangible support to DSA as it does leftist credibility. Our organization should reorient its international efforts towards the insurgent left-wing parties and socialist organizations that lead the global fight against neoliberal capitalism and authoritarianism. Further, we want to prioritize struggles to dismantle our government’s imperialist military machine, and actively engage with the Palestinian solidarity movement - including organizations that advocate BDS.

4. We want to orient DSA’s electoral strategy towards supporting candidates that openly run as explicit socialists and building an independent socialist electoral base. We’re committed to the long-term goal of building a working-class socialist political party.

5. We want to reorient DSA’s coalition strategy to prioritize working with radical leftist groups that put forward more radical demands than the mainstream progressive movement. We want to build bridges across the fractures of the socialist left; we see other socialist organizations as DSA’s primary allies.

6. We want to develop a set of points of unity for the organization and we want a clearer articulation of those points of unity in DSA’s statements and media. DSA’s statements and media should be explicitly socialist in content and clearly articulate our differences with mainstream progressive politics. We should make it clear that welfare-state capitalism is not enough - we seek a revolutionary transformation of society aimed at the ultimate goal of total human emancipation.

7. We want to develop a consistent graphic design for DSA and significantly increase DSA’s web presence.