Freedom Socialist Party:
Revolutionary Feminism in Theory and Life
Socialist Viewpoint received a proposal from a reader that we open the pages of the magazine for a discussion among political groups who consider themselves to be revolutionary socialists. The subject we proposed to the various groups was “Why should people join your organization?” Thus far, the Freedom Socialists Party has responded to our offer and has submitted the following piece. —The Editors
We are living in remarkable times. Trump’s election, volatile capitalism in decline, and the rise of the far right make it urgent for radicals to find common ground and work together. For this reason especially the Freedom Socialist Party (FSP) appreciates Socialist Viewpoint’s invitation to say something about ourselves.
Like the publishers of Socialist Viewpoint and other U.S. Marxist groups, FSP’s roots are in the Socialist Workers Party. FSP’s founders left the SWP in 1966 to build a party attuned to feminism and the key leadership role of women and other oppressed people, Blacks especially, in fighting for fundamental change in the imperialist heartland. Our bedrock ideas are expressed in the terms socialist feminism and revolutionary integration.
The power of specially oppressed workers to lead working-class struggle has been borne out over and over again through the political ups and downs since FSP’s founding. At times of crisis and opportunity when cautious labor officials have made themselves scarce, militant movements of women, Blacks, Chicanos, other people of color, antiwar youth, LGBTQ folks, people with disabilities and others have raised hell and raised consciousness. And they have scored important victories along the way.
Make no mistake, FSP is a revolutionary party. We know that the only way to win a good life for the world’s majority is by workers seizing power. But we understand the importance of reforms in educating and mobilizing people and achieving changes (for a time, anyway) that help people survive. FSP has been and is active in many of these fights, from defending Native sovereignty, affirmative action and abortion rights to initiating united fronts against neo-Nazis. Right now our comrades in New York City are collaborating with other community members in leading the charge for an elected civilian review board over the police.
By no means does FSP discount the essential role of organized labor in achieving lasting change! A big percentage of FSPers are in unions, where we push for internal democracy and for militant struggles against the bosses. Many comrades have organized unions where they work. All our members walk picket lines and support labor battles.
Ultra-left abstentionism is not for us, whether in the labor movement or the electoral arena. We have run candidates in New York, California, Washington, and Oregon; joined electoral coalitions; launched an energizing presidential write-in campaign in 2012; and regularly supported other anti-capitalist contenders while noting our criticisms. But we don’t fetishize the electoral process. It isn’t the bastion of democracy that Democratic and Republican politicians and the media claim it is. Hell, no! But it is an important sphere in which to meet people, find out what they are thinking, and wage the war of ideas.
In this time, one of those battles is over nationalism versus internationalism. FSP is globalist in its perspective and on the ground.
The party recognizes that the world working class is one working class. We confront the same enemy and we stand or fall together. And that extends all the way to the fight for socialism, which can only be real when it is international. Workers and oppressed people are tied into one capitalist and imperialist system across the planet, and will only be able to free ourselves from it together.
FSP has affiliated sections and at-large members in Australia, New Zealand, Germany, and England. We are part of the Committee for Revolutionary International Regroupment (CRIR) with organizations in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Costa Rica. CRIR members have worked together as part of the campaign to free political prisoner Lynne Stewart in the U.S. and as leaders in the mobilization to liberate Nestora Salgado in Mexico.
FSP is democratic-centralist; we believe in the strength of free-wheeling internal discussion that results in acting as one. We believe in the importance of education. We believe in science and facts! We are activists for environmental sanity.
We are also a nonsectarian party that believes in cooperating with other fighters for social justice in united fronts. There are many obstacles to this, from racism and sexism to cultural nationalism and separatist-tending radical feminism, which divide struggles rather than bring them together. Also playing a role is competition among left groups over numbers. No one of us is going to make the revolution alone! We don’t have to agree on everything to challenge Trump’s agenda. We can march together but strike separately, as revolutionary leader Leon Trotsky wrote.
If you would like to find out more about FSP, check us out and subscribe to the Freedom Socialist at socialism.com. If you are interested in joining, get in touch at 206-985-4621 or email@example.com. We need many more thinkers and doers!
Write to us at:
FSP National Office
4710 University Way NE #100
Seattle, WA 98105