Build #5 - February 2019
It’s a phrase used a lot in DSA. We sing the union anthem at most gatherings and use it as valediction in emails. We say it when our comrades are striving, be it on the picket lines or on the ballot. But what do we really mean when we say “solidarity forever”?
We mean that we, as socialists, are dedicated to standing with the working class, understanding our issues and struggles, and working to positively change our conditions. We mean that as believers in a universal right to a dignified and fulfilling life, we will forever and everywhere side with those being denied such a life against those who seek to deny it.
What makes a life “dignified”? As socialists, we understand that everyone deserves to live with honor and respect, but capitalist interests exploit and divide us. We fight to create the material conditions that allow people to continue the unifying struggle towards socialism.
What makes life “fulfilling”? A fulfilling life is not dictated by servitude for survival. When we build community and expend our energy on meaningful pursuits, that is when we are truly living fulfilling lives.
Capitalism seeks to compromise that fulfillment for its own gain; through alienation, through wage slavery and making our very survival dependent on our ability to work. To live truly fulfilling lives, we must break the chains of capitalism.
Finally, what makes a right “universal”? Universal rights are rights inherent to all, regardless of where we’re from, who we are, or what we do. Capital should not determine access to shelter, safety, healthcare, or sustenance.
So how do we put that into practice? Within DSA, we employ many tactics to create a symphony of forces for solidarity. We might one day set up a brake light clinic, and the next day canvass for a local initiative on rent control. Though these tactics are different, they place us in solidarity with our communities because they work to change conditions for our neighbors and comrades.
The material in this issue of Build shows DSA practicing solidarity, and doing it well. From the incredible work supporting the migrant caravan in Tijuana, Mexico, to a critical winter clothing drive during some of the coldest months of the year, and more. All across the country—and beyond—socialists are embodying the call for solidarity and showing up.
They’re showing up for workers, showing up for their communities, and showing up for each other.
In DSA we don’t just sing the phrase, we live it.