Thank you for reading the third edition of Zenith: Red Star’s journal of theory and critique. Red Star is a caucus in the Democratic Socialists of America, or DSA. As revolutionary Marxists and scientific socialists, we believe that developing an understanding of our political conditions through practice is of paramount importance in developing socialist struggle. Red Star aims to develop ideas through our collective undertakings and interventions in DSA’s political work and promulgate them in support of our goal of forming a revolutionary worker’s party. This issue specifically focuses on the national organization: Red Star’s candidates for DSA’s National Political Committee have already articulated their criticism of national governance, but we speak at greater length in this issue about issues that we see within DSA’s political strategy and internal culture. Some of the cultural critique may seem qualitative, subjective, or, for lack of a better term, vibes-based; however, as we have elaborated in our Good Governance pledge campaign, we feel that national leadership is a highly leveraged body with which we can aim to institute and model a more robustly democratic structure. Real working-class democracy is something that most people in the US have not experienced. We hope to suggest here how we might be able to practice it internally; it is a necessary precondition of becoming an organization that wields not just political influence, but political power. We also highlight some texts from our political education program, Red Start, that have helped us understand both our political position and our goals of contesting national leadership. “Classic” Marxist readings on dialectics help us to understand the roots of conflict within and outside of our organization, while more contemporary readings from Chilean socialist Marta Harnecker on organization-building and protagonism clarify what kind of organization, as well as what kind of organizers, we think DSA needs to develop.
DSA’s national convention has the potential to influence the tone for the next two years of not just our own political project, but the socialist left throughout the United States and, increasingly, abroad as well. Whether you agree with us or not on our vision for DSA, our regard for DSA, or our political horizon, we hope that our writing offers new framings and perspectives on the organization and its internal dynamics. Our primary goal as a caucus is to build a healthy and vibrant socialist democratic culture within the organization and one that constantly pushes us to be better in all arenas of our struggle. At the very least, that is our hope for this body of work. Thank you for taking the time to read what we have to say. La lucha sigue.