Revolutionary Socialism in the 21st Century (rs21) is an ecosocialist, feminist, anti-racist and anti-imperialist organisation based in Britain.
Recent decades have brought greater inequality, environmental breakdown, war and the rise of the far right. These are all products of the capitalist system, which lumbers from crisis to crisis, creating misery. The only alternative to these capitalist crises is to overthrow capitalism and replace it with a socialist society globally.
For class struggle in all its forms
Society is divided into classes: the vast majority of people who have to work and have no control over society’s resources, and a tiny minority who profit by exploiting our labour and destroying the environment. We believe that only the working class can free itself from this oppression.
To act effectively, the working class must organise itself in workplaces and communities, in struggles over the future of education, housing, healthcare and to determine how we live. We believe in organising across the entirety of the working class, which includes workers of all kinds, those too young, old or sick to work, the unemployed, migrants banned from working, and many people doing unpaid domestic labour or thrown to society’s margins.
The working class has never been so numerous globally, but we are divided in our experiences of capitalism. All workers are oppressed by bosses, and most suffer additional forms of oppression including racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism. All these forms of oppression shape each other and are central to how class operates.
Overthrowing capitalism will require unity of the working class and oppressed people globally. This means we must organise against every form of oppression, no matter who it affects. Class struggle includes resistance to bosses and landlords, fighting for trans and cis people’s bodily autonomy and resisting state racism and sexism.
For revolutionary politics
We don’t just want to resist capitalism, we want to end it. Capitalism cannot be reformed – it can only be defeated by a socialist revolution. This requires a political struggle over who rules Britain and the wider world. Overthrowing capitalism will take a mass democratic struggle led by the working class.
We struggle against the British state which secures the rule of the bosses, the landlords, the polluters, and all their allies. Its institutions have evolved through British imperialism and colonialism. We aim to replace it through the seizure of power by the working class, who will smash the old state as part of the transition to a society without classes.
We are opposed to imperialism – the ways capitalism as a global system creates hierarchies which benefit certain states and sections of capital, causing war and poverty. We support a United Ireland, and the right of nations within Britain to pursue independence. Our role is to oppose British imperialism and alliances like NATO through anti-militarist activity. We stand in solidarity with those resisting settler colonialism and national oppression internationally, from Palestine to Ireland.
The fight goes beyond borders – socialism will only be achieved by the working class and oppressed people globally. In an era of ecological breakdown, where states build walls, hoard resources and protect the interests of fossil capital, we fight for an internationalist politics of solidarity.
The state’s repressive apparatus – the police, prisons, and the border regime – divides and controls workers, and is crucial to reproducing racism and capitalism. We aim to weaken, defund and ultimately abolish these institutions
Democratic freedoms are under attack. We must defend and extend the rights to protest and strike. Struggles for democratic demands make the terrain for every struggle more favourable, and so are practical steps towards the seizure of power by workers.
Effective resistance within workplaces, community organising, and other struggles requires socialist organisation that can unite these forces nationally, learn from each of them, and confront the British state. We are committed to working with others to create a mass revolutionary party rooted in the working class.
rs21 is a Marxist organisation. We see the Russian Revolution as the highest point of working-class struggle and stand in the tradition of those who opposed the Stalinist counter-revolution. We also enrich this tradition by drawing on the best of the anti-colonial, feminist, and anti-racist radical movements which have emerged over the last century. Resisting crude class reductionism, rs21 is attempting in thought and practice to produce a socialist politics appropriate for today.
How we organise
We are a democratic membership organisation that values open debate, respect, comradeship and active participation. We are a collective project and want all comrades to be able to take part, develop the organisation, develop theory and effective strategies, popularise our politics and fight for revolutionary socialism.
Our highest decision making body is the All Member Assembly, where all members can participate in decisions about the organisation. We allow open debate between members at all times about all aspects of revolutionary socialism – it is only through this that we develop effective strategies for victory.
rs21 is structured by branches and fractions. Branches are local groups where members democratically take action together, develop as political activists, and build rs21. Fractions are groups of rs21 members in unions and social movements where members democratically coordinate activity, pushing revolutionary socialist politics and arguing for strategic and tactical developments in these spaces.
Our members include workplace organisers who encourage militant rank and file politics wherever they are based. Members also organise around housing, Palestine solidarity, migrant rights, trans liberation and many other issues. Wherever working class and oppressed people are, the struggle for liberation can be developed. We aim to be actively involved in the movement, work with other organisations, and link together workplace, community, and social movement struggles. We work with groups across the left, without compromising our politics, in the struggle to build a revolutionary opposition in Britain and around the world.
Racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia and ableism all operate to undermine people’s ability to organise on the left. We are always working to overcome this.
A world free from oppression, domination and exploitation is possible – and we are determined to build it. We encourage everyone who shares these ideas to join rs21.