The socialist movement in the United States has changed dramatically since 2015, shifting both the political and organizational common sense among socialist activists. A socialist movement now counts members in the tens of thousands, in every state in the country; socialist writers are featured in the New York Times, and socialist publications draw in millions of views; candidates are running as open socialists, with dozens seated now as elected officials.
But something is missing.
As this new socialist movement has developed, there’s a hole where something should be. New strategic questions have arisen, begging to be discussed, but the conversation seems absent or constrained. A new common sense is emerging among socialists based on assumptions and narratives about a “road to power”. Discourse over political positions (where it exists) swings between electoralism and maximalism, creating a false dichotomy that serves to reinforce one side or the other.
We think there’s room for something else. And so we are launching Tempest as our intervention into and contribution to the new socialist movement.
Tempest has two primary objectives: first, to create space in the newly radicalizing movement for structured discussion and debate, for reporting and assessment of our movement activities, to educate new socialists, and to seriously develop politics; second, though not subordinate, is the need to give voice to the political tradition of socialism from below and revolutionary Marxism. In the political ecosystem of the new socialist movement, there is no “home” for revolutionary socialists, and so long as this is the case many will give into the gravity of the socialist currents who embrace an electoral road to socialism or more generally have a reformist orientation.
Tempest tries to put forward a revolutionary viewpoint that is clear and understandable, that weighs in on strategic and tactical questions, offers concrete guidance as well as political theory, and presents a consistent politics “from below”. Our project is revolutionary and democratic, aspirational and rooted in daily life, rank and file-oriented, feminist, anti-racist, anti-capitalist and anti-bureaucratic.
Our collective produces this online publication, pursuing pieces from activists and writers that grapple with the emerging questions for the Left in the United States. We work on a series of broad agreements about political perspectives and don’t represent a line or a singular point of view, but rather a current of revolutionary socialism from below. Our editors don’t uniformly endorse every position represented in the articles published, and operate on the premise that genuine engagement and debate will strengthen our movement and politics. We organize public forums and events, seeking to engage with struggles, educate and discuss.
Tempest is modest compared to the scale of what we need, but a critical first step in the struggles to come.
Tempest is not just a publication, we are a collective of revolutionary socialists who believe that the point of the ideas published here is to put them into action: the point is not just to understand the world, but to change it. If you like what you’ve read, consider joining us.
We don’t receive money from any outside sources because we believe that the Left needs financial independence as well as political independence. So we rely on the generosity of our readers and supporters. Please consider making a donation to help us continue our work.