Capitalism, an economic system based on the private and usually absentee ownership of productive property, keeps much of the world in destitution and wreaks havoc on the planet. It leads to war, oppression, poverty, ecological destruction and ruthless exploitation in all aspects of life. Under capitalism, political power is concentrated among a small minority of people who value profits over the well-being of humanity, dictating what happens in society at the expense of everyone else. We know capitalism can be overthrown and replaced with a more radically democratic system in which the people who work to make society function determine how it is run. We want a system that does not promote greed and exploitation but cooperation and community, and we work to make this a reality.
Imperialism is capitalism in its highest stage. Modern capitalism is characterized by a small number of rich countries fighting over the poor countries to support their unceasing exploitation, dragging the masses with them into their imperialist wars. As revolutionaries and proletarian internationalists, we oppose imperialism in all its forms and ally ourselves with the oppressed masses. We oppose racist ideologies such as fascism, right-wing nationalism, Zionism, anti-semitism, and Islamophobia which aid imperialism, colonization, genocide, and capitalist oppression, and we oppose all imperialist wars and conflicts that inflict chaos on the oppressed masses.
We are firmly and staunchly proletarian feminist, anti-racist, pro-trans, pro-queer, and anti-ableist. Structures of power such as white supremacy and cisheteropatriarchy have a class character; they are inextricably linked to capitalism. We hold that these systems of power cannot be destroyed until capitalism is destroyed, and likewise that capitalism cannot be destroyed unless we actively combat these structures of power and oppressive practices and tendencies in our work. None of us are free unless all of us are free; either we support the entire working class or we support none of it. However, we cannot support pro-capitalist movements that seek only to gain a seat at the capitalist-imperialist table instead of overthrowing it; true anti-oppression work must be oriented toward the working class. We also recognize that women and non-men and oppressed nations in the United States will be at the forefront of the revolutionary movement, and that non-token leadership amongst women and non-men and amongst the oppressed nationalities is indispensable for revolutionary work. Working in the conditions of the United States, we hold that the United States is a settler-colonial society built on the genocide of the indigenous peoples and on Afrikan slavery, and as such we support the right of all oppressed nations in USAmerica to self-determination.
We believe that education is a human right that must be afforded to all people. Education must be free and accessible, and all people have a right to pursue an education. However, under capitalist society we must recognize that the education system ultimately serves the interests of capitalism and the ruling class. Packed classrooms, dilapidated buildings, underfunded facilities, and hostile learning environments disproportionately affect the working class. The curriculum of capitalist education serves all too often as a propaganda tool. We demand a progressive education that reveals the extent of exploitation and oppression by US imperialism, tells the true history of oppressed nations and peoples in USAmerica, and serves to liberate the people, not just the mind.
Revolution and the Mass Line
Under the capitalist mode of production, the state is necessarily controlled by the rich and powerful, by those who have the most to gain from capitalism and who rely on its persistence. While reforms can sometimes be won through militant working class action directed at the state, they are never permanent and do nothing to fundamentally change the nature of capitalist society, nor do they alter structures of power. The ruling class will never let us vote them out of power. We hold that a real change in power and a more just society can only be established when the working classes and oppressed peoples unite to smash this society and construct a new one. As such, we oppose opportunistic practices such as electoralism, reformism, and collaboration with bourgeois institutions. The liberation of the working class can be achieved only by the working class itself.
To work toward revolution, we use the mass line. Revolution is impossible without the people, and true revolutionary work must be oriented toward the people. The mass line is a way to keep ourselves accountable to the masses and make sure that our work directly benefits the masses. The mass line involves listening to the ideas of the masses, sharpening them using revolutionary theory, and returning them to the masses to put them into practice. In short, “from the masses, to the masses.” This helps to correct our mistaken practice, makes sure our ideas come from the masses, and forms a relationship between our organization and the people.
Revolutionary Student Alliance
Ann Arbor, MI
January 1, 2017