Necessity unites. – German proverb.
Sometimes the old sayings are the truest. Unity is a conscious act, an act of understanding and will. But it derives its strength – indeed, becomes truly possible – in the presence of necessity.
Recognizing the connection between practical necessity and understanding makes the difference between defeat or victory. This has been the key to success of revolution throughout history.
Today, millions have lost their jobs and will never see them again. Teachers are laid off as schools close, bank tellers, real estate agents, middle managers downsized and thrown out as the economy tanks, and auto workers whose unions have forced them to make a devil's deal with the company and the government. They all join earlier victims of the past "jobless recoveries" and those who were thrown into poverty years ago. They are everywhere, thrown into the maelstrom, as new technologies create the chaos of destruction and transformation.
All of them, everywhere, are joined by a common interest. But they don't know it, can't see it. They cling to the old hopes. They don't realize the field of battle has shifted.
What is our first step? Our forces are scattered with little if any organizational wherewithal to put forward their demands. They must be pulled together. But, around what? and for what? They must be pulled together in their own interests. Fighting for the concrete demands of this growing mass of dispossessed is the field on which unity can be forged.
Yet to be mobilized along the path to victory requires more than fighting. It demands ideas. It demands strategy and tactics. It demands a vision.
The article, New conditions demand new ways of thinking, examines the importance of reexamining our perspectives in light of these new conditions. Identity politics arose in response to particular conditions, and the coming together of coalitions of organizations with different agendas passed as the "unity" of that time. Today, the objective conditions are emerging for the opposing classes in society to confront one another in political struggle over control of the state. This article analyzes what this means for our situation today, providing important insights for revolutionaries to bring to their work.
Key to this is establishing a pole of clarity around which revolutionaries can congregate. This pole of clarity is not an individual, or an organization, but an idea, a breadth of understanding, a vision of what can be and what to do to accomplish it.
Our article commemorating the 150th anniversary of Harper's Ferry, Courage and clarity changed history once — it will do so again, shows how John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry in October 1859 galvanized a nation. It did so, not simply because of the audacious attack on a federal armory, but because this one act crystallized decades of struggle and torment over slavery, spilling out to find voice throughout the nation, first through Brown himself, and then through dedicated propagandists throughout the country, clarifying and summing up the meaning of Brown's actions and his death at the hand of Virginia authorities. At that time, the demand was for the overthrow of slavery, today the demand is for the end of the entire system of private property and all it entails.
The ruling class understands the necessity of maintaining disunity among those who hold the power to bring them down. In, every and, all instances, their clarity of intention guides their strategic considerations and determines their tactics in their war with the growing mass of discontented. Every issue is fought to protect their immediate interests, but in such a way as to shape the ground for future necessities. They seek, above all, to preserve their political power as a class.
Our cover article, Unity is the only path forward, shows how the capitalists are using the immigration question – particularly the undocumented worker – to control the entire U.S. native born working class. Only through coming together around the common class interests that unite them, regardless of color or nationality, will they be able to create the world that reflects those class interests.
The struggle for unity and the fight for clarity; this is what the League of Revolutionaries is about. The League's press Rally, Comrades! gives voice to this. The article, Rally, Comrades! The voice of the League of Revolutionaries for a New America, addresses the relation between the League and Rally, Comrades!, underscoring the indispensable role of a publication that speaks to those who are emerging as leaders grappling with the broader questions of change, why, and which way forward.
This article originated in Rally, Comrades!
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