We need a radical and grounded Left
LeftRoots is a national formation of Left social movement organizers and activists who want to connect grassroots struggles to a strategy to win liberation for all people and the planet. While mass organizations must be central features of strong and vibrant social movements, Left cadre formations are too. The U.S. Left, due in part to external assaults and in part from internal weaknesses, is at this point unable to cohere these mass struggles into an effective force for revolution. This must change if humanity has any hope of surviving, much less thriving. This is a central task of a rekindled Left, and Leftists engaged in mass organizations and social movements have a unique, but yet unfulfilled, role to play in helping to reimagine and give life to a Left that is as radical as it is grounded in mass struggles.
The historic moment
We are living in times of dangerous reaction and unprecedented possibility. A period that threatens humanity’s very existence and is characterized by overlapping crises: the crises of the economy, ecology, and empire. A period dominated by a ruling class hell-bent on intensifying imperialist war, neoliberal austerity, unfettered extraction of natural resources, and militarized crackdowns. In response, all around the world, people are rising up in search of genuine solutions. The nature of this historical moment makes fundamental change possible, though not inevitable. With others, we aim to rekindle a radical and grounded Left capable of confronting the challenges and opportunities of today.
Guided by a vision of liberation
LeftRoots intends to help pave the way for the type of revolutionary organization in the U.S. that will successfully link diverse struggles into a common quest to bring about a system which achieves freedom, equality, and self-determination for all. For LeftRoots, this means a global social and economic system based on popular participation in politics, the economy, and democratically-planned production that is in balance with the planet’s regenerative capacities. We call this system “twenty-first century socialism.”
LeftRoots is both a formation and a process. We aim to help consolidate and deepen the contributions of social movement Leftists in building a movement for a new type of socialism with a transformative and liberatory vision, an effective strategy, and a strong mass base. Our work will be guided by four objectives:
- Develop our collective and individual capacity to answer strategic questions;
- Build our collective and individual capacity to effectively and humanely carry out broader strategy;
- Strengthen organizations and movements and their connection to a larger strategy for liberation; and
- Build relationships between organizers, leaders, and activists to pave the way for bold and cohesive collective action in the coming period.
For a Left that is strategic, multi-tendencied, and non-sectarian
LeftRoots is non-sectarian and aims to draw from the best ideas and practices across Left revolutionary traditions: Marxist, Anarchist, Gramscian, Anti-authoritarian, Feminist, Revolutionary Nationalist, Indigenous along with others. We aim to build on the inspiring work of past social movements. While we are informed by the lessons and struggles of those who have come before us, LeftRoots recognizes that liberation and dogmatism do not go together. We live in unique conditions, and our struggles must be rooted in a sober assessment of our specific time, place, and conditions.
The Centrality of White Supremacy
The development of capitalism and white supremacy in the U.S. are inseparable. White supremacy provided the logic that enabled chattel slavery — the primitive accumulation which enabled the birth of the capitalist class in the U.S.. White supremacy was created and used by the white ruling class to divide the oppressed classes by granting both material and psychological privileges to whites, while denying people of color basic human rights. We recognize the central role that race plays in both the development of and the survival of the capitalist system. We believe that fighting white supremacy will play a decisive role in defeating the ruling class in the U.S..
Feminism and Queer Liberation
Feminist and pro-queer politics and practice are central to LeftRoots. We believe that liberation from hetero-patriarchy must be central to any revolutionary Left strategy. Women and trans folks’ place is in the struggle and we prioritize their leadership in social movements.
For protagonism and against vanguardism
LeftRoots does not seek to replace or control the work of existing campaigns or mass organizations. We believe that social movements and mass organizations should be independent and authentic. Challenging the practice of many 20th century cadre organizations on the Party Left, we reject the vanguardism and the associated practices of operating secretly within mass organizations while trying to control them; creating front groups; or being opportunist and leaching onto authentic mass struggles to avoid doing the long hard work of building a real base.
Build up cadre
LeftRoots is focused on developing the skills and analysis of cadre from the ranks of social movement organizers; strengthening organizations and movements; breaking down the barriers that have divided the organized Left and modern mass social movements; and weaving relationships between movement cadre to take strategic and cohesive, collective action.
Socialism is the future. Build it now.
LeftRoots wants to contribute to the development of a Left that we believe is both possible and necessary. The Left that we envision will be skilled and engaged in day-to-day struggles; humble and boldly committed to winning genuine liberation; sexy and non-sectarian; and capable of holding differences in a spirit of healthy and productive debate and discussion. There is much to be done, and we hope that LeftRoots can make a contribution to moving our struggles forward. We look forward to working with you to make it so.