These are foundational principles that we believe we must abide by and be guided by in every part of our work.
In the capitalist system, a ruling class made up of a few people controls every aspect of society. That ruling class is the bosses, the business owners, the stockholders, and the politicians they hire.
Even though workers produce all goods and services in the world, the owners take the lion’s share of the wealth that comes from selling what the workers produce, while the workers are left struggling to make ends meet.
Through an irreversible process where “big fish ate up small fish,” we are now in an era of monopoly capitalism, where gigantic corporations that are spread across continents control most of the world’s business.
Capitalism can’t be reformed. As long as it exists, it will put profits before people. It must be overthrown and replaced with people power. We want the people who produce the world’s wealth to enjoy the full benefit of that wealth, and we want those who make the world run to be the ones who decide *how* it is run.
We stand with all the oppressed and exploited people of the world, and we aim to create a world where there is no oppression and exploitation.
Proletarian (worker) feminism
Just like men, women can be in the working class or the ruling class. Working-class women and ruling-class women do not have the same interests at all.
Some types of feminism up to this point have simply tried to give more power to ruling-class women, for instance by bringing in more women CEOs and senators—but this has not helped most women. It has only given ruling-class women more power over working-class women.
We promote proletarian feminism, which seeks to build power for *all* women by empowering the women who make half the world run: working-class women.
We seek to combat patriarchy, in other words the systematic oppression of working-class women, including transgender women. Patriarchy forces those it oppresses into lower-wage and dangerous jobs and unpaid labor, and it weakens the ability of the working class to resist the exploitation of capitalism.
Patriarchy has not always existed. It came into human society at a specific point in time: when property, such as land, stopped being owned in common by the whole tribe and instead became the property of private families headed by men.
Patriarchy is a weapon that capitalism uses to rule. In order for either patriarchy or capitalism to be destroyed, we must fight them both. In order to succeed we must always struggle against patriarchal thinking wherever it manifests.
Patriarchy also oppresses working-class people who do not identify as the gender they were assigned at birth, and/or who are romantically and sexually attracted to people of the same gender, and/or who refuse to obey traditional gender roles.
Just as there are various types of women’s movements, some methods of LGBT struggle have only tried to provide protections and rights to ruling-class LGBT people. This does not help most LGBT people. We seek power and liberation for all working-class LGBT people.
In a similar way to how it oppresses working-class women, patriarchy forces working-class LGBT people into lower-wage and dangerous jobs and unpaid labor, and turns the working class against itself instead of against the real enemy: the owner class.
We believe that in order to succeed we must always struggle against anti-LGBT thinking wherever it manifests.
Imperialism is the final stage of capitalism, where rich countries (and groups of rich countries) have fully divided the world’s poor countries up between themselves, parasitically exploiting them to steal their resources and seek out cheap labor. The main form that imperialism takes is the financial power of rich countries dominating poor countries. The main export of these rich countries is money itself—they send it wherever it makes them the most profit, flooding it into poor countries that heavily exploit workers and resources while denying it to any countries that offer some protection to their workers and the environment.
Because nothing in nature stays the same forever, the balance of power among imperialists is always changing. This leads to never-ending war across the planet as the imperialists struggle with each other over control of the poor countries. These wars are almost never directly between imperialists—instead, each imperialist trains and gives aid and weapons to local forces, who try to seize power in order to become the new puppet government, selling out the rest of their country.
The United States was built on slavery as well as genocide against indigenous people, and today the U.S. is the strongest and most dangerous imperialist power in the world. This makes U.S. capitalists especially strong, giving them great power over the working-class populations here, especially black, brown, and indigenous communities, who are oppressed both as workers and as people of oppressed nations.
We have the duty to fight against U.S. imperialism however and wherever we can, and to stand in solidarity with those it oppresses.
We believe that all peoples have the right to resist imperialism. We further believe that the struggles of working-class people here are part of the same global struggle of working-class people everywhere, and that there is one single world working class that shares the same long-term interest: the overthrow of capitalism everywhere.
This shared long-term interest is what makes it possible for us to overcome the prejudice that some subgroups of the global working class currently have for other subgroups.
Internationalism means striving to build unity among all the workers of the world on the basis of full mutual respect, and to overcome capitalist ideas and behaviors, such as racism and backwards nationalism.
Our work is solidarity, not charity.
While charity is a handout from above, our work is solidarity, which means workers struggling alongside other workers. It means working together to build real power in our communities. Solidarity also means sharing the same fate—we stand and fall together, we suffer and thrive together.
Serve the People will never have a paid staff. We will never take sponsorships or grants from anyone—we will always be run only on volunteer labor and donations, mostly from working-class communities themselves. Nor will we ever rely on politicians—we will build power among the people.
When capitalism is in crisis, it summons up fascism to protect itself. Fascism is a form of ultra-conservative nationalism that tries to win over sections of the working class to work with the owner class. Fascism is totally opposed to equality in society.
In the United States, the forms of fascism we are most familiar with are white supremacy and other far-right-wing movements.
It is incredibly dangerous to underestimate fascism, because history has shown that once it takes root it can grow rapidly, like a weed. Once it has grown large it requires extreme human costs to defeat. If fascists are allowed to express their views in public, they will grow bold and keep repeating them, winning converts. But if instead the people confront them whenever they speak up, they will be forced to hide their views and will be unable to grow their forces.
Fascists pose a major and immediate threat to our communities, and we must always and everywhere confront them and isolate them.
The police are the enemy of the people and we do not speak with, work with, or assist them.
The function of the police in our society is to protect the ruling class and their ability to profit from exploiting the working class.
This means the police enforce white supremacist capitalism against black, brown, and indigenous people as well as working-class whites. The police forces in the United States grew out of teams of slave catchers and strike-breakers. They have always been the enemy of the people.
The police stand as an occupying army in oppressed neighborhoods. They use violent repression as well as lies and slander to drive people out of their homes and communities so that their land and neighborhoods can be sold to the highest bidder, in a process some call “gentrification,” which is more accurately called “urban removal.”
By their very existence, the police deny the people the ability to participate in protecting their own neighborhoods, because the police always try to maintain exclusive control as an outside force. We seek to empower communities to build up self-defense against the police and capitalist exploiters.
We are a mass-line organization.
We believe that the most effective way for the people to build up the power needed to resist and overcome capitalism’s attacks, and to create a new and better society, is to organize using a method called the mass line.
The essence of this method is “from the masses, to the masses.”
We believe that the masses are endlessly creative, and they are the true makers of history. We also believe that organizers are necessary for the victory of any mass movement. The mass line acknowledges both of these crucial facts.
The mass line has three steps:
1. Gather all the diverse and sometimes contradictory ideas and demands of the people.
2. Analyze them using our understanding of revolutionary theory, revolutionary history, and revolutionary experience in order to sharpen the people’s ideas and demands into programs, policies, and slogans that meet the immediate needs and demands of the people in a way that also (1) strengthens and deepens the people’s political understanding and (2) promotes the long-term interests of the entire global working class.
3. Go deeply among the people and spread these programs and ideas. Then, keep and improve the ideas that have been proven correct because the people have adopted them and made them their own—repeating this process over and over.
This method is absolutely crucial, because Serve the People can never have all the answers by itself and must depend on the people for support and guidance. We seek large-scale participation from the people so that we can look for answers and move forward together.
This method allows us to correct whatever incorrect ideas and programs we may have developed along the way, while also encouraging people in the communities we serve to join the organization, becoming organizers themselves and developing as strong leaders within Serve the People.