Dear Militant readers,
I invite all Militant readers and supporters to join the Socialist Workers Party in an expanded campaign to advance the central political activity of the party — presenting the SWP’s program and activities to workers on their doorsteps in cities, towns and rural areas across the country.
The party is leading an eight-week drive Oct. 6 – Dec. 4 to win 1,400 subscribers to the Militant, sell 1,400 specially priced campaign books by party leaders (see ad on page 3), and raise $100,000 for the SWP Party-Building Fund to sustain the party’s work.
In addition to branches of the SWP, members and supporters of the Communist Leagues in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom will join in the circulation effort.
Campaigning on workers’ doorsteps is politically rich and rewarding. Party supporters and Militant boosters act as what Vladimir Lenin, central leader of the Russian Revolution, called “the tribune of the people, who is able to react to every manifestation of tyranny and oppression, no matter where it appears, no matter what stratum or class of the people it affects; who is able to generalize all these manifestations and produce a single picture of police violence and capitalist exploitation; who is able to take advantage of every event, however small, in order to set forth before all his socialist convictions and his democratic demands, in order to clarify for all and everyone the world-historic significance of the struggle for the emancipation of the proletariat.”
Workers are thinking about, discussing and debating what is unfolding politically in the United States and the world. This includes the latest Democratic Party-led “resistance” targeting those workers who voted for President Trump, or who didn’t vote for anyone — an anti-working-class campaign aimed at restricting key political rights working people have won in struggle; the deteriorating work conditions and stagnant wages we face during a capitalist boom; the strikes and labor actions that reject the assaults on the working class and point to the need to organize and build our unions; and the consequences of imperialist wars and anti-working-class policies throughout the world.
And they are open to discussion on the need for independent working-class political action and a labor party.
The Socialist Workers Party first turned decisively toward going door to door broadly to the working class in city and town in Wisconsin in 2011. After taking part in public workers’ protests in the state capital, Madison, where union officials were trying to tie workers’ fate to the Democrats and the rulers’ two-party system, SWP members turned to fanning out across the state.
The party deepened its activity in the working class, engaging workers in an undifferentiated way in discussion on how to meet the attacks we face from the bosses and their government, and to build a working-class movement independent of the capitalist parties and their state.
This “Wisconsin turn” is at the heart of building a proletarian party today, and every branch of the SWP puts its assessment of the past week’s campaigning — where the socialists went, who they met, what they discussed, how they will follow up — and a plan for the coming week at the top of its weekly meeting agenda. This comes first, and party drives, election campaigns, participation in labor and social protests and other important activity reinforce this central axis.
Financing the SWP is a class question. The party relies solely on the contribution of workers and has no other sources of funds. Getting an early start on securing and collecting pledges for the $100,000 Party-Building Fund, including winning contributions from a substantial number of new readers will ensure the quota will be met in full and on time.
As party branches adopt goals, the Militant will list them and follow the progress and accomplishments on a weekly scoreboard.
If you want to be part of this effort — by joining a door-to-door team, inviting SWP members to knock on doors in your neighborhood, signing up for a subscription and convincing co-workers and friends to do the same, buying a book and discussing it with others, or sending a contribution — please call or email the SWP branch nearest you. (See directory.)
s/ John Studer, editor