This is why we segment the business community. Generally speaking, we divide them into our adversaries, our tactical allies, and our strategic allies. This is based on a concrete analysis of their material interests and actual practice from period to period: Are they mainly productive capital or low road speculators? If so, are they working on progressive or backward projects and programs? And what skills, knowledge, and resources can they either bring to the struggle for change or can they use to prevent change? There is also the "third sector" or "social economy" of capital, the nonprofit and public sectors, which can be longer term allies. We need to recognize the Low as well as the High Road trends in this sector as well.
Our struggle is one to transform an existing society into a new one-building on its strengths and libratory possibilities and decisively combating its weaknesses and retrograde practices. Key is bringing forward those who gained skill and leadership in the positive aspects of market activity. We want as many friends as possible in order to divide, isolate and defeat those key enemies who are the more dangerous and have the greatest power and influence at any given time.
The search for successful models and tools turns of necessity to the world economy, since the framework for local development is global. There is not only the space, but the urgent necessity to advance a comprehensive, popular and democratic alternative to actually existing low-road capitalism. It must be an alternative that is practical at the micro level of society, profoundly productive and innovative, that creatively uses all aspects of the state and market, and is consistent with our objectives of solidarity and justice. There are growing segments of the labor movement, community residents and civic organizations, religious institutions, sections of the business community, and leaders in government and policy circles, both alone and together, that can be engaged in projects to create an alternative.
But these are only first steps. There is still a specter haunting this world. Our political generation must also look to the future and rise to the challenge to develop a more strategic theory that envisions a world beyond capitalist economies of scarcity, that sees a new world based on abundance, ecological harmony and the vast expansion of human liberty. We do not believe capitalism is eternal. In our struggles for the High Road alternatives within the current capitalist system, we are concurrently building a movement for a new socialist system. In addition to fighting abuses and demanding a redistribution of resources, it must primarily be a movement that can seriously contend for power in the economy, in society, and in the state premised on programs of social, economic, and environmental sustainability and solidarity.
Currently, the political parties and movements challenging capitalism and it abuses in our country, both tactically and strategically, are fragmented and weak. Mainstream parties have declared peace with the current paradigm. Parties and organizations of the left, in the main, are marginal and sectarian-caught in the organizational and programmatic time warps of the Second, Third and Fourth Internationals of the past. There are periodic surges, often magnificent, in the spontaneous movement, as recently around the War on Iraq. Yet no organization is successfully galvanizing, consolidating and organizing the hundreds of thousands, even millions, of young, middle-aged, and older people who are looking at deeper systemic questions, and looking for systemic alternatives.
On the other hand, there are thousands of veteran leaders in the trenches of the day-to-day struggle who are recognized experts in their fields. They intuitively share a vision for profound democratic change, and have enormous collective potential. Yet they remain dispersed, unorganized and far less effective than they could be. The moment begs for a truly revolutionary organization in the U.S., communicating with like-minded groups elsewhere, that can create the mass formations and alliances, that can gather these many parts into a powerful whole-an organization, along with its allies, capable of contending for power in our society, and capable of wielding power and transforming--in radically democratic fashion--our communities; companies; local, state, and federal governments; and major institutions.
We want to be clear. We are not calling for forming a new party; the conditions-in theory, in program and in practice-are not yet ready for that goal. Yet we also want to be clear that such a goal is necessary and desirable, and we want to help achieve it.
This organization we are calling for, nonetheless, must be profoundly skilled and creative. It cannot wage class struggle if it defines itself outside of the actual terrain where policy and program is being contested. It must contend with the ruling elites around all the vital issues of the day, around programs of economic and political democracy, justice, and solidarity in the market place, the state, and civil society. It must be as effective and creative in advancing a practical alternative as it is in opposing the current system, its leaders, and its apologists. It must be as capable in the work of advancing and building, as it is in opposing and fighting. It must be effective in linking its work inside key institutions to its work outside key institutions in allied arenas in pursuit of its program. Both arenas for activity are essential for success and require sophistication and skill in maintaining a constructive tension and not tearing the cloth. This includes critical work in the labor movement, in educational and governmental institutions, in businesses and business associations, in the environmental justice movement as well as the mainstream environmental organizations, etc.