The Red League is a small collective of communists who aim to develop revolutionary practice and theory relevant to the current conditions in New York City, and ultimately beyond. In this period, the working class finds itself several decades into a period of crushing defeat, and working class organization where it exists at all, is in a state of near total impotence and incoherence. Repeated crises of capital accumulation in recent years have sparked new social movements in the form of occupy, black lives matter, renewed feminist militancy, etc but thus far these have cohered into new revolutionary groupings only at the very smallest scale, and have often largely dissipated or cohered in liberal and reformist structures, or worse collapsed into reactionary coalitions, limiting the capacity for sustained response to sustained economic and political assault.
As a result, older forms of worker organizations, often hampered by decades of bureaucratic decay, are increasingly unable to renew themselves or provide a basis for a reinvigorated class struggle. Over the last several decades, a common political and theoretical response to this problem has been for revolutionaries to disavow organization entirely, both in terms of working class institution and revolutionary organization, awaiting either an ever imminent collapse of capitalism or a spontaneous uprising of the working class as a whole or among some smaller more revolutionary subset of workers. We believe these approaches are perhaps overly optimistic; without a sustained effort to rebuild and renew working class revolutionary organization, we believe the tendency of capitalism to carry on in an increasingly chaotic, deadly and immiserating fashion is entirely probable.
Meanwhile, the “old” left, such as it exists is not only tiny and ineffectual (we estimate the total size of the organized left to be well under 10,000 in the U.S.A) it is beset by opportunism, sectarianism, incompetence and irrelevance. Yet, there is a small renewed interest in Marxism and communist politics in some quarters, in a context where the older mcarthyite taboos have lost some of the resonance they carried well beyond the fall of the Soviet Union. Our aim is to provide a space to draw insight from the historical lessons offered by previous attempts at building revolutionary organization and develop the skills and experience of new generations of communist organizers. In this context, the orientation of communists should be one toward developing communist and working class organization, with an eye toward new strategies suitable to the economic and geographic organization of the working class in this period. To this end, ours is a modest attempt to begin to develop open revolutionary organization, through engaging in practical efforts by workers to defend against the daily assault on livelihoods, housing, education and other basic needs.
We are under no illusions that the solution to the problems facing the working class and humanity as a whole lie in building a new sect of any size, let alone one as modest as ours. For this reason, regroupment and not merely party building must be a central component of any attempt to develop communist organization in this period. The Red League actively seeks to engage with individuals and organizations that find common ground with our Points of Unity and orientation toward practical work developing revolutionary working class organizations. To that end, we intend to actively seek shared work, theoretical and political engagement with existing groups with similar practice and principle.