Portland Red Caucus Points of Unity
We are a collective of communists dedicated to the emancipation of society from the exploitation and oppression of capitalism by a transition to a democratically controlled and collectively organized global economy oriented to human need – socialism. Our purpose for existing is to help build and grow working class coalitions and formations dedicated to this goal. We agree to comradely discussion, debate, and to work together to this end in the shared belief that….
- A transition to socialism from capitalism is only possible by a revolutionary overthrow of the capitalist class by the working class, placing the working class majority in political and economic power. While we support reforms that immediately improve the material conditions of the working class and tactical engagement in electoralism when beneficial, we believe that we ultimately cannot reform or elect our way to socialism within a political framework rooted in the administration of the current capitalist system. Socialism as a goal will not be achievable until economic and political power are materially in the hands of the working class majority.
- The egalitarian fight against capitalism is intertwined with the fight for liberation against all systems of oppression such as racism, sexism, ableism, ageism, discrimination against queer and transgender people, and discrimination based on gender identity or expression, religion, caste, citizenship, or place of birth. Struggles against these many forms of oppression are justified in their own right and must be confronted directly to advance the broader shared class struggle against capitalist oppression.
- It is imperative to show up and support organizations representing marginalized groups across the political spectrum in an effort to build working class solidarity and effective political coalitions. We oppose vulgar class reductionist perspectives that outright dismiss systems of marginalized oppressions that exist parallel to class as a key battleground for revolutionary politics. To ignore both the historical and contemporary roles of these numerous systems of oppressions in the structure of the larger class struggle is to reinforce the same incompetent politics that has prevented the left from being truly representative of marginalized communities and movements.
- Alternately, we reject reductionism rooted exclusively in identity politics and see identity based struggles that reject or ignore the shared and fundamental material role of class in the oppression of all people under capitalism as flawed and incomplete.
- The class struggle is global and must be anti-imperialist and internationalist. We oppose all US imperial interventions abroad, including tactics of economic warfare such as sanctions and embargoes. The US left is situated in the heart of the global empire and we believe that it has a responsibility to take a larger role in anti-imperialist struggle. We strive for a world without imperialist borders and which supports the free movement of all people. We reject all forms of nationalist chauvinism and believe in radical international solidarity, and will organize in unity with socialist and communist movements around the world to this end.
- The police are not an institution designed for community safety; they exist to protect capital and terrorize people into subservience to capitalist interests. Police unions have no place in the labor movement, and their existence should be challenged. We believe that crime and acts of violence are predominantly symptoms of a systemic failure to provide material support for healthy and safe communities, and that traditional institutions like the police and prisons should be dismantled, abolished, and replaced with a restorative justice model.
- Socialism must be explicitly feminist and fighting for a world without gender based oppression. We support concrete systemic solutions to gendered oppression and discrimination in all it’s forms, both in society as a whole and within left political spaces specifically.
- We stand for the self-determination of indigenous peoples everywhere. Recognition of indigenous peoples’ right to self-determination means that building socialism or transitioning to a sustainable economy shouldn’t violate this self-determination. We believe the oppression of indigenous people in the building of capitalism has left a lasting imprint on society still relevant to this day and not solely a historically significant fact.
- We believe that anti-fascist work is important and valuable. We support comrades engaged in direct action to confront fascist ideology and activity because it is both a necessary form of community defense and an effective way to hinder their organizing. Historically, moments of working class success are often immediately followed by violent fascist reaction, and any experience in organizing against fascism now will be useful for the future.
- We believe in the right of the working class, especially those with marginalized statuses, to arm themselves for community and self-defense against violent reactionaries. We do not support gun control measures that increase government criminalization and repression of working class communities.
- Catastrophic climate destabilization is unavoidable under capitalism. Immediate reforms are necessary, however regressive methods of funding a sustainable transition must be avoided. Expropriation of the vast wealth accumulated by the ruling class should pay to overhaul the capitalist system they use to profit off of environmental destruction. This also means recognizing the connection between imperialism and pending environmental collapse. Demilitarization is necessary around the world, but also at the local level. We can not envision a future in which we close off and safeguard our liveable land and natural resources to people fleeing natural disasters and unsuitable climates in the Global South.
- While our shared critique of capitalism and orientation to class struggle is rooted in Marxism, we see this framework as a methodology for political struggle based in material and historical analysis rather than the foundation for a dogmatic ideology. We see shared struggle and coalition building rather than mass ideological indoctrination as the best path to building working class power. We strive to avoid analysis and narratives of historical and contemporary movements, events, and individuals that have been romanticized or are based in idealism. We seek to develop and employ tactics and strategies that effectively engage in the world as it materially exists in the present.