Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

5 proposed principles of SDS unity

First Published: The Guardian, July 5, 1969
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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During last month’s SDS convention in Chicago the two SDS factions in the organization considered agreement on a set of “unity principles” before seeking to expel the Progressive Labor party from their ranks. The following “Unity Principles of SDS,” submitted by the revolutionary youth movement-2 faction, failed to win approval. The text will also be published in SDS’s New Left Notes for membership consideration.

1. Oppose white supremacy. Full support to the national liberation struggles of the oppressed peoples against U.S. imperialism; for the right of self-determination for the black and chicano nations; independence for Puerto Rico.

The principal contradiction in the world today is that between U.S. imperialism and the nations it oppresses. The sharpest blows against U.S. imperialism are being dealt by the nationally oppressed peoples of Asia, Africa, Latin America and within the U.S. We recognize and support the struggle of the Vietnamese people, under the leadership of Ho Chi Minh and the National Liberation Front, as the spearhead of all the anti-imperialist struggles in the world today, and support the just struggles of the Palestinian, Congolese, Colombian and all other peoples fighting for national liberation.

The central point in our program is the distinction between the U.S. oppressor nation and the nations it oppresses. As revolutionaries within the oppressor nation, we unhesitatingly assume our responsibility to carry the struggle against U.S. imperialism through to the end by linking our fight with the international struggles of the oppressed people, by consistently opposing white supremacy, repudiating the white skin privilege, and by giving concrete support to the black, Latin and other oppressed peoples within the U.S. for democratic rights, including the demand for community control by black and third-world communities, open admissions for black and third-world students, an end to the special oppression of nonwhite women, equality in skilled jobs and the professions, and full equality in every sphere of life.

Flowing from our opposition to white supremacy, we demand the right of self-determination for all oppressed nations, which means the right to establish an independent state. Within the U.S. we recognize this right with regard to the black and chicano nations, and call for the independence of Puerto Rico.

Furthermore, we recognize the responsibility of the U.S. oppressor nation to make reparations in land and other forms to the Indians, Asian-Americans, Eskimos, Polynesians and all other oppressed peoples in the U.S.

As revolutionaries in the oppressor nation, we recognize our responsibility, in the name of proletarian internationalism, to support and learn from the proletarian forces within the national liberation movements of the oppressed peoples.

2. Oppose male supremacy. Support the struggle for women’s liberation.

The proletariat cannot achieve complete freedom without achieving complete freedom for women. The struggle for women’s liberation is a powerful force against U.S. imperialism. We are dedicated to fighting male supremacy, to destroying the physical and spiritual oppression of women by men, and to the achievement of full equality for women in every sphere of life.

We will fight for the equality of women in job status, wages and education, by launching campaigns to open up “male jobs,” for equal pay for equal work, and for open admissions for women in technical schools and all educational institutions.

We support the struggle of women for control over their bodies, and demand the removal of all legal and financial restrictions on abortion, and the provision of free birth control for those women who desire it.

We struggle against the subjugation of women in the family, and demand the provision of day-care centers, public and free laundries, food centers and other facilities necessary to free women from their status as household drudges.

We oppose male chauvinism, and will fight for the placing of women in leading positions in all people’s organizations, and will take specific measures to guarantee that women can serve in leadership. We encourage the formation of “women’s militias” to ensure the fulfillment of the program of total equality for women.

We demand complete legal equality for women, and oppose existing marriage and divorce laws, prostitution laws, welfare laws and all other legal reinforcements of the subjugation of women.

We affirm our solidarity with and draw inspiration from the courageous historical struggle of black and third-world women against the triple yoke of capitalist white male oppression, the front line in the fight for the rights of all women. The fight for the equality of all women must recognize the primacy of the struggle to end oppression of black and third-world women and base the demands for equality upon the rejection of white skin privileges.

3. Support For Armed Struggle

Recognizing that U.S. imperialism is the most voracious beast that ever stalked the earth, that it is engaged in crimes of blood against humankind, and that it can only be destroyed by the people of the world picking up the sword and fighting it, we affirm the right and duty of all revolutionary peoples and classes to wage armed struggles for liberation, we commit ourselves to give concrete aid to these struggles wherever they arise, and we undertake to educate the U.S. people and prepare them and ourselves to wage a determined struggle with arms in hand to destroy U.S. imperialism in its lair.

4. Exclude Anticommunism

Recognizing that anticommunism is a main weapon of the ruling class to weaken the ranks of the people, we absolutely reject it, exclude it from our movement, and defend the right of people to organize themselves into disciplined collectives based on Marxist-Leninist principle, and to advocate and fight for the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat.

5. Fight for socialism

Recognizing that only through socialism, the public ownership and control of the means of producing wealth, can the people be freed from misery, we declare ourselves a socialist movement, and undertake to conduct propaganda among the people to win them to the need to establish socialism. Further, since socialism can only come through the leading role of the proletariat and since the proletariat can only play its leading role when it comes to see its struggles as an integral part of the worldwide struggles of the oppressed, we pledge ourselves to the forging of that internationalist understanding.