New Politics is an independent socialist forum for dialogue and debate on the left.
We support unions and workers’ struggles throughout the world. We are committed to the advancement of the peace and anti-intervention movements. We stand in opposition to all forms of imperialism and oppression, and we are uncompromising in our defense of the rights of women, people of color, lesbians, gays and the transgendered. In our pages there is broad coverage of labor, social movements, and the international scene, as well as emphasis on cultural and intellectual history. Above all, New Politics insists on the centrality of democracy to socialism and on the need to rely on mass movements from below for progressive social transformation.
These are critical times. Not since before the New Deal have working people in this country been so vulnerable, and perhaps never before have big business and the right been so aggresive and dominant. Abroad, U.S. military and corporate power embraces the world in a stranglehold.
There are hopeful signs: resistance to austerity policies in Greece and France, strikes in China and South Africa, a violently-repressed but still living movement for democracy in Iran, new progressive social movements and socialist political parties in Latin America, heightened global outrage at the repression and intransigence of the Israeli state.
And here in the U.S., there have been some encouraging developments: a vibrant immigrant rights movement, growing opposition to the war in Afghanistan, grassroots demands for jobs and a real stimulus program, the beginnings of a backlash against Tea Party fanaticism. Yet the left remains too organizationally and intellectually weak to seriously challenge the Establishment.
New Politics seeks to revitalize the left as a step towards the creation of an international movement to replace capitalism, as well as non-capitalist exploitative systems, with socialism. NP is not attached or subordinated to any political party or institution. We stand for popular empowerment and democratic control at every level, opposition to all forms of authoritarianism, no matter how “leftist” their rhetoric — in short, a politics of socialism from below.
During the Cold War, NP was a beacon of principled socialist clarity. It tirelessly exposed the lie that identified the socialist legacy with Communist states. NP championed the struggles of the 60s and 70s movements against the Vietnam War and U.S. intervention in Central America, for women’s and black liberation, for union democracy and affirmative action. We enthusiastically supported struggles for democracy in the Soviet bloc. We have firmly defended the rights of both Palestinians and Israelis to self-determination and security.
Since the Cold War, we have spoken out against the ravages inflicted by neoliberalism in this country and throughout the world, and we have exposed U.S. imperial aggression in Somalia, the former Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Haiti and elsewhere.
NP has been inspired throughout by the vision of a “third camp.” During the Cold War it meant “Neither Washington nor Moscow”; today it means opposing Washington’s imperial aggression while making no apologies for its antagonists when they are anti-democratic, be they Milosevic, Saddam Hussein, Ahmadinejad, or authoritarian religious fundamentalists.
Today, surveying the bleak political landscape, especially in the U.S., some argue that the left should trim its sails and be modest in its ambitions. We dare not do this. Not caution, but bold and imaginative radicalism is needed.
The aim of NP is to provide a voice to help transform popular struggles for equality, peace, social justice and freedom of cultural expression into a conscious, intelligent movement for a democratic, just and peaceful world.
for the New Politics editorial board