Revolutionary Socialism in the 21st Century (rs21) is a news, comment, analysis and campaigning website run by a group of revolutionary socialists in Britain.
What we think
- We are revolutionary socialists
The economic crisis has made clear that at the heart of capitalism is conflict between two classes: the vast majority who create the wealth, and a tiny minority who profit from it. Attempts to reform capitalism have failed: the only solution is to replace it with a truly democratic socialist society. Such a society is the only sustainable solution to the environmental crisis our planet now faces. Our capitalist rulers will only give up power if forced to do so. We will need a mass democratic revolutionary movement to bring a socialist society. Events of the last century, such as the Russian Revolution of 1917, show that the working class can produce that movement.
- The working class is the central force for change
We believe that the working class is the central force that can destroy capitalism and build a socialist society. As Marx said, “the emancipation of the working class must be the act of the working class itself”, so we do not believe that countries like China, Cuba or the former USSR can be called socialist.
- We fight all oppression
Capitalist society rests on exploitation and economic injustice, but also generates oppression, including sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia and the oppression of disabled people. We are committed to fighting all oppression, and to building a movement where the fight against oppression is at the heart of the struggle for socialism.
- We are internationalists
Capitalism seeks to divide us along lines of race, ethnicity, nationality and religion. We reject such divisions: we stand in solidarity with working people worldwide. We oppose Britain and America’s imperialist wars in the Middle East.
How we work
- A living and changing tradition
We draw on the tradition of great revolutionaries of the past such as Marx, Engels, Lenin, Trotsky and Luxemburg. But the world is constantly changing, and we need to discuss how those ideas should be reinterpreted and developed for the twenty-first century. We have begun by discussing the theory and practice of how we oppose oppression; what kind of organisation socialists need; and how we fight for socialism in our workplaces and unions.
- A space for discussion and action
We aim to create a political space where ideas are discussed and acted on. We reject any sectarianism, or any claim that a small number of activists can substitute for a larger movement. We want to make use of the opportunities online communication opens up for socialists to organise.
- Democracy and involvement
We aim to create a group with a lively and democratic internal culture. We want to discover, use and develop every member’s skills. We aim to be accessible to people new to socialism and to avoid the sometimes hackneyed language of the left. Our local groups set their own priorities and plan their own activities.
- Working with others and learning from them
We encourage our members to work with left campaigns and networks, including those in unions, and where possible to work with and organise joint activities with other left groups. We can learn from campaigns, from other groups and from writers and activists outside the socialist tradition. We don’t have all the answers.
- We welcome everyone who hates capitalism and oppression
Everyone who agrees with our basic principles is welcome to join rs21. But we are more interested in involving people in campaigning and discussing ideas than in just getting them to fill in a form. We want to be a socialist current within feminism, anti-imperialism, anti-racism and LGBT politics, and inside community campaigns and workplace struggles.
The rs21 steering group comprises: Kate B, James B, Lois C, Tom H, Rob O, Colin W, Amy G, Max L, Martin P, Neil R and Joel S.