By Spring Magazine
We live in a world of climate crisis, austerity, oppression, and war.
But just as spring is the season of renewal, movements of the past and present continue to spring up for a better world.
In the 19th century, the “People’s Spring” of 1848 shook autocratic regimes across Europe, showing the potential of workers to unite and fight. In the 20th century, the “Prague Spring” of 1968 rose up against Stalinism, as part of a global year of rebellion and revolt including student protests from Pakistan to Mexico, anti-racist movements from Black Power to Red Power, Vietnamese resistance to US war, and a general strike of ten million workers in France. The 21st century has already seen the “Arab Spring” and “Quebec Spring”, as part of a series of protests including a mass anti-war movement, the Occupy movement, Black Lives Matter, Idle No More, #MeToo, Extinction Rebellion, and strike waves from fast-food workers to teachers.
With the rise of these new movements, the word “socialism” is back on the agenda, as millions around the world discuss and debate its history, meaning, and potential–from social democracy to revolutionary socialism and everything in between.
At Spring, we are a group of revolutionary socialists across Canada who want to tap into this discussion and be part of the debate, and the movements that shape it. We call ourselves “revolutionary” because we believe that the capitalist system that dominates the globe–and that is fuelling the rapid destruction of our planet and threatening the survival of future generations–cannot be reformed. It is based on making profit at all costs–even if it makes human life impossible on Earth.
Instead, we urgently need a radical and democratic transformation of society–what some people call a revolution–so that the vast majority of people around the world can begin to halt the juggernaut of climate change, restore the environment, reverse the spread of hatred and bigotry, share and re-distribute the world’s resources, and build a system that can protect and sustain the planet, while unleashing the vast human potential that is currently crushed by poverty, debt, hunger, and oppression. We need a world based on solidarity and cooperation, not one driven by profit and greed.
But the question is, how do we get there? How do the struggles of today–no matter how big or small–lay the foundations for the kind of world we need to save humanity? How does the fight for reforms, for example, help train and prepare workers, teach them crucial lessons of solidarity and organization, and build their confidence to lead the struggles of the future?
In other words, how do we go from reform to revolution?
Spring Magazine aims to learn the lessons from all of these experiences and apply them to today’s struggles, as we strive to build movements based on solidarity, self-emancipation, and struggle from below. It also aims to raise the profile of every successful struggle and movement victory, understand and make sense of defeats, and make it easy for working-class people to join and be part of these discussions.
There is a global radicalization against the capitalist system and a polarization of mainstream politics. In the midst of this, we hope that Spring’s “socialist ideas in action” will contribute to the process of socialist renewal that is currently underway. We also hope that, as we produce and distribute Spring, we can begin to create the kind of revolutionary socialist organization that pulls all our struggles together, unites workers in activity, learns from the movements and each other, and helps us realize the massive potential power that workers have when they organize and fight back together: to take on the capitalist system at its roots and begin a process of rebuilding our world from the bottom up.
In the face of a worsening climate crisis and the growing threat of fascism and the far right, the stakes for all of us couldn’t be higher. But the emergence of new and exciting movements, against all odds, gives us reason to be confident about the possibility of fighting for–and winning–the better world we all know is possible.
In the words of Leon Trotsky, a leader of the Russian Revolution in 1917, hope for a better world springs eternal:
‘I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression, and violence and enjoy it to the full.’
In this spirit, we look forward to being part of struggles already underway, those just just emerging, and those yet to come. And we look forward to hearing from you and working with you in our common project for a world of peace, justice, equality, and real human liberation.
If you’d like to write for Spring, or join a Spring reading group near you, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep reading! Check out Spring’s full archive of articles here.
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