With the midterm elections less than a week away, the Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA) are calling for young socialists to sever ties with the Democratic Party and pledge their political allegiance to the Independent Working Class Socialist Party. Although their new party does not exist yet, YDSA is extolling its members to no longer support Democratic candidates, arguing that, “Despite the short-term strategic advantage of running candidates within the Democratic Party, it is not enough for us to be satisfied with such an orientation for the indefinite future.”
So, what exactly does YDSA believe the Independent Working Class Socialist Party should fight for?
According to its website, “We fight for a world without classes. The working class is the only social force capable of carrying out this fight and ultimately creating a more free, equal, and democratic society. The working class means everyone who is forced to sell their labor, people who work for a wage or a salary and the people who depend on them — children, the elderly, the poor, the sick, the jobless, the homeless, the incarcerated — regardless of borders or citizenship.”
Apparently, the YDSA really believe in Marx’s slogan: “workers of the world, unite!”
In order to erect their utopian world wherein all classes cease to exist, the YDSA promotes the following:
- “The working class is the only class in society with the structural power and material interest to bring about a transition to socialism. This is why the labor movement must be central to our struggles. The legacies of McCarthyism and decades of neoliberalism have separated the labor movement from the socialist movement, a development that has fatally weakened labor militancy and rendered the left marginal and powerless. One of the most urgent tasks that socialists face today, therefore, is to rebuild the labor movement and restore its links to the socialist left.”
- “Our support for transformational reforms, such as College for All, Medicare for All, and a Green New Deal, is directly related to our orientation towards building working-class power. These reforms would not only bring material improvements to the lives of working-class people; they would also serve to break the power that employers hold over workers, empowering us to fight for even more transformative changes that could eventually undermine the very foundations of capitalism.”
- “The working class is multiracial, multigendered, and international. Therefore, we cannot build a united working-class movement without fighting back against all the specific forms of oppression that the capitalist class uses to divide us. This includes fighting for an abolitionist vision, through campaigns to defund the police, removing police from schools, providing safe housing for all, and investing in social programs. An intersectional analysis recognizing the intersecting dynamics of class and race is essential to our work.”
- “We can’t rely on the Democratic Party to support the kinds of transformative reforms that will actually shift power from the capitalist class to the working class. Instead, we will need to work towards building a mass, independent working-class party. In order to lay the groundwork for such a party, we will need to build up a much higher level of class struggle and organization in our society.”
- “We are fighting campus capitalism, which reinforces hierarchy and punishes working-class students. They try to put a price tag on everything, and raise fees whenever they can. Too many schools care more about rankings than their students and teachers, protecting students’ mental health is key. Get cops off campuses and officers out of schools. We fight racism on campus, directly and institutionally, every step of the way. Disability rights means accessible campuses, which are livable by neurodivergent, and physically disabled students. Accessible free and healthy food, no one on campus should be hungry or food insecure. Cancel all school lunch debt. We work for tenant organizing in our dorms for our collective power. Housing is a human right and it certainly shouldn’t put you in debt. No more housing insecurity in our schools. Green campuses are a necessity, with student gardens, renewable power, free public transportation, and sustainable architecture and technology. We want more democratic student and worker control over schools, instead of administrators and donors. Solidarity is essential, between students, staff, and faculty.”
While much of the YDSA’s platform seems laughable on its face, the scary thing is that YDSA membership is growing by leaps and bounds. As of now, the group already has 131 chapters on college campuses throughout the nation, which is a sign that their message of socialism is absolutely gaining momentum with today’s youth. Although it is impossible to know if the YDSA’s political party will become a force in the future, it sure looks like young a large block of young Americans are seriously contemplating abandoning the Democratic Party in favor of a radical socialist party.
PHOTO: Marx Statue: Workers of all lands unite. Photo by Engyles. Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0).
Chris Talgo ([email protected]) is an editor and research fellow at The Heartland Institute and a researcher and editor at StoppingSocialism.com.