Red Start FAQ

What’s The Deal With Red Start?

If you’re reading this, you’re probably at or thinking about joining a session of Red Start, an education program from the Red Star caucus.

This page describes the goals and expectations for this program.

If you showed up but haven’t registered to get our weekly emails and calendar, please do so here:

What is Red Star?

Red Star is a revolutionary Marxist caucus that operates within the DSA. We believe in advancing a Marxist line for organizers within the chapter and at the national level, which means building a powerful working-class organization that can end capitalism and bring about socialist transformation. You can read our points of unity here.

What are the goals of Red Start?

We want to be very candid with our goals in doing this, and so we’re laying them out here:

  1. Red Star wants to advance a stronger Marxist position within DSA. We think that part of this means reading texts that have been important to the historical development of socialism and discussing what we can learn from them. Most socialist organizations expect ongoing political education for their most active members, and we think that should be part of being a DSA organizer.
  2. Red Star is looking to find more members more systematically. By engaging with people’s ideas of socialism in a public setting, we want to identify and develop more DSA organizers to become caucus members.
  3. Red Star believes that Marxism requires a continual application of our theoretical knowledge and a continuous re-evaluation of our understanding based on our experience in practice. Therefore, we want to further our understanding of revolutionary theory by joining and facilitating Red Start sessions.

Who is this for?

Red Start is mainly aimed at our comrades in DSA, as we want to give the chapter the tool of Marxism to help us all strategize together, but all are welcome. If people outside DSA are inspired by Red Start to join us in struggle and sign up for DSA, we see that as a bonus.

Who is this NOT for?

  • Pro-capitalists. We’re not trying to convince you of anything related to this fundamental point — we are anti-capitalists.  
  • People who don’t consider themselves socialists or communists of any variety.
  • People who want to fight rather than learn. This is not a debate club.
  • Racists, sexists, homophobes, TERFs, SWERFs.

What is expected of the participants?

  1. Come with an open mind to all the ideas that have been presented in the texts discussed in each session. This is not to say that you shouldn’t have an opinion about the texts  (or even disagree with all of them!), but instead, you should leave yourself open to coming away from the text having understood something. Marx, for example, said a bunch of wrong stuff, as we all have, but we can still learn from him!
  2. Engage in good faith and assume good faith in all interactions. We are all looking to develop knowledge and understanding together and should treat each other respectfully.
  3. Make an honest attempt to engage with the texts before the live session. We encourage you to attend even if you have not completed reading them but will run sessions with an eye toward a productive discussion among people who have worked through the text at whatever level makes sense for them.

I missed a session! What were the past sessions?

Don’t worry about it. Our list of past sessions and links to the previous collaborative Google Docs, Podcasts of past sessions, and Audio books of the readings can be found here.