New Socialist Network – Appalachia is the founding organizational branch of New Socialist Network, established in Johnson City, Tennessee in 2021, committed to agitation for socialist revolution whenever and wherever possible.
New Socialist Network is an explicitly revolutionary socialist organization. We do not seek to improve the state of capitalism; we seek to dismantle it and agitate for a new society in which the workers own the means of production.
We not only believe we can achieve socialism in our lifetime; we must organize for it in our lifetime. We believe we must stop the ongoing war against the poor both locally and elsewhere, and that the world cannot sustain the perpetual war and the ongoing ecocide inflicted by the capitalist class. We are also eco-socialists; we see the fight against climate change as directly tied to the fight against a system that prioritizes profits and the exploitation of both workers and resources.
We cannot wait for socialism. We must want it now and organize for it now. While other organizations strive for incrementalism, we seek to be bold and to aim high. We have a world to win, and nothing to lose but our chains.
- We support reforms that better the conditions and advance the social position of the working class in the greater context of our ultimate pursuit for real socialism. We are not mere reformists; we are revolutionaries who advocate for a workers’ state fundamentally different from the state and society as we know it. We intend to play our local role in this struggle.
- We oppose all forms of oppression such as classism, racism, misogyny, queerphobia, ableism and other antagonisms that create schisms among the working class. All forms of chauvinism ultimately serve the interests of capital against labor. We see the struggle against these antagonisms as intimately tied to the struggle against capitalism and imperialism. We do not take a purely workerist line, nor do we engage in the unproductive liberal sham that is identity reductionism.
- An injury to one is an injury to all. We oppose supporting politicians and organizations who advocate for imperialism, support police and reject socialism either actively or passively. We have more in common with the worker in another continent than the capitalist next door. No worker should be considered a bargaining chip in achieving our aims.
- We show no support for bourgeois parties, including the Democratic Party, as part of our official line. We see both major parties as reactionary, white supremacist, pro-capitalist pro-imperialist in both theory and practice.
- We engage in strategic alliances with other organizations which, while sometimes different in aims and ideology, are friendly to several of our key aims – the fight against racism, classism and the struggle for a living wage, etc. While we make our line distinct from other existing local left wing orgs, we will not be antagonistic toward organizations we view as inadequately revolutionary.
- We will mobilize for our goals as revolutionary socialists whenever possible and however possible to promote the socialist perspective. We intend to have at least one member of the network speak at every demonstration or stakeholder meeting such as city commission meetings, particularly as it pertains to the ongoing gentrification in our region, systemic racism in the local criminal justice system, reproductive rights, queer liberation, etc.
- We are unapologetic in our opposition to the classist agenda of local leaders, as well as others who speak of “economic development” and “revitalization” as a euphemism for gentrification. We support preserving cities’ “commons” and support the repeal of all anti-homeless policies that restrict the poor from public property spaces. Our city and society can not be both democratic and centered around policies only catering to the interests of business as opposed to labor.
- We advocate for economic democracy and a living wage and oppose gentrification. We oppose the interests of the local ownership class, much of whom are directly responsible for both the rising cost of living and stagnating wages and whose social goals are diametrically opposed to that of the worker. We support collective bargaining and labor organizing; this can not be ignored when we talk about “solutions” for the poor and for the workers. We must be clear that there is no true democracy without economic democracy for the working class, who make up the vast majority of society.
- We do not place our faith in existing political institutions. While participation in electoral politics is not entirely discouraged, the organization’s focus will be primarily on grassroots agitation and labor movement building, among other aims. Electoral politics is viewed as just one avenue for revolution, and not the only or even the most important one. We oppose funneling revolutionary energy into the “proper channels” and instead see more importance in organizing and educating workers about the need for a cohesive labor and tenants’ movement, among other aims.
- We seek to encourage workers to join and support genuinely revolutionary movements. Active political support for white supremacy, queerphobia, sexism, imperialism, and other forms of overt reaction and chauvinism, however, will not be tolerated both inside and outside of the organization.
- We do not unite with groups or individuals who uphold chauvinism, whether actively or passively as political opportunists concerned with expediency and palatability.
- We encourage self-criticism, and we open ourselves up to the perspectives of other workers, each of which deal with unique antagonisms aside from classism. If someone expresses an incorrect idea without malice, it is our job as radicals to help correct their view within reason.
- We will do our utmost to center the needs and perspectives of the most exploited, marginalized and oppressed strata of the working class: workers of color, oppressed nationalities, women, non-men, trans people, people with disabilities and others who deal with both class exploitation and identity-based antagonisms.
- We strive to maintain some measure of presence in local struggle via support for left-led mutual aid groups, fundraising for socialist organizations and social justice campaigns, and education campaigns geared toward organizing and agitating. We will support political prisoners punished for engaging in the struggle for working class emancipation and equity.