Red Flag is a new online media project of the Boston Revolutionary Socialists. We are a collective of Marxists, organized locally to support the formation of a mass working-class movement for revolutionary socialism in the United States.
For nearly two hundred years, the red flag has been the symbol of the working-class socialist movement. The banner has splashed across left-wing newspapers in many different times and places. Yet for most people today, a “red flag” means a warning: “Watch out!” For our project, both symbols fit. Our red flag connects to the past and warns for the future.
We enter the scene in a rare period in world capitalism. For any working person who’s paying attention, the idea that capitalism is “stable”, “the most efficient way of doing things,” or the “greatest society possible” should evaporate. We create their wealth, but they’d sooner let us die.
It’s not just a “red state” problem. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, Boston was hostile to working people. As we wander through the now-deserted streets, we see unmet needs amid plenty. Luxury skyscrapers sit half-empty while thousands sleep on the streets, pack into slums they can’t afford, or are forced far out to Lynn and Brockton. Beneath its shiny liberal image and decades of Democratic Party control have always laid police violence, homeless LGBTQ youth, and politically sanctioned gentrification.
We are not just witnessing horrors and chaos. We’re witnessing struggle, even insurrection. In the two years before the pandemic, we saw working and oppressed peoples take on governments in nearly 20 countries: South Korea. Sudan. Algeria. Hong Kong. Nicaragua. Haiti. France. India. Lebanon. Iran. Iraq. Chile. Ecuador. Puerto Rico.
The U.S., for its part, has seen explosions in mass protests and workers’ strikes in recent years. And now, to protect themselves against the virus, even more people are taking action at their worksites and in their communities. When it comes to the Bay State, will we yet again look to the Democratic Party, after its 60 years in power? Or will Massachusetts workers take inspiration from these revolts and build our own power from the bottom up?
Think, Act, and Organize
Ideas and struggle are essential. But ideas and struggle alone still miss a key ingredient. For ideas or theories to move from people’s heads to solid ground, we need organization. For workers and the oppressed to expand single battles into a class-wide war, we need a party. We need to stitch together different people in different places and workplaces to take on a system that, even reeling from a pandemic, is still so powerful.
Such a party must not only take on struggles for wages, but also fight against oppression wherever it is found. That means supporting the Me Too movement, Black liberation, amnesty for all immigrants. It means championing Indigenous climate defenders, movements for Puerto Rico and Palestine, and LGBTQ prisoners. But it also means fighting backwards ideas and breaking down ignorance within the party and the working class as a whole. Human freedom and workers’ power are impossible without all these fights for liberation.
We won’t lie to you. Red Flag and the Boston Revolutionary Socialists can’t lead anything on our own. We are not a party. We don’t have a perfect list of demands or deep roots in our class. But we’re organized around a set of politics and a wider political tradition, and we’re ready to contribute to a larger revolutionary movement.
So, we invite you to join us. Read our articles and videos, or contribute your own. Send us your doodles about your boss, or a report from your workplace. And get organized with or alongside us. Whether in Boston or beyond, we have nothing to lose but our chains.