Youth and Student Voice

Each Day We Are Advancing and Winning

March 28, 2008

A Youth and Students for a Democratic Foreign Policy (YSDFP) activist contributed the following article.

In YSDFP meetings that have taken place over the last several months, activists recounted story after story illustrating that the people’s agenda wins nearly every time anti-imperialist politics is introduced into the discussion. Whenever we initiate such discussions, our efforts are met by people who engage with us and speak out against chauvinism and the aggressive war program of the U.S. government. While doing this work we often learn of meetings and other activities being carried out day by day. Time and again this experience has taught us that the deep aspirations of the American people to live in a world of peace and friendship are unconquerable.

A major part of YSDFP’s activity is that we go amongst broad sections of people to bring them into the anti-war struggle. We do this by standing up for what is right.

This work is part of the struggle for a democratic foreign policy. A democratic foreign policy is one which ends U.S. militarism, interference and aggression and recognizes the sovereign equality of all peoples. Winning this struggle requires that we strengthen our political independence by organizing in opposition to and struggle against the source of war and militarism—the capitalist class and its political parties.

Carrying out maximum discussion amongst the people is a key activity required for furthering the politicalization process needed to achieve these independent political aims.

A variety of pressures work to prevent such discussions. One is the atmosphere of the entrenched politics of the status quo. Take for instance the fact that tons of pictures, stories and soundbites about Democratic and Republican Party candidates bombard our senses all the time. When they stop to think, everyone knows these candidates have nothing to say that has to do with the real lives and strivings of people. Yet within this imposed atmosphere, the discussion must be over which representative of the capitalist class is bound to win the next election. In this environment, people are supposed to be only voting cattle that can have no real say about what kind of society we live in. According to this way, politics means playing word games, outdoing the sleight of hand of rivals, making false promises, refusing to acknowledge the essence (and often the very existence) of the issues of the day, etc, etc. In short, thought and honest discussion are supressed.

More and more discussions about anti-imperialist politics are taking place despite such pressures. Many are learning more and further politicizing themselves.

In order to advance this process we need to foster a new and truly democratic political culture. The atmosphere needed is one in which the lies of the media can be exposed and the facts can be brought out, in which those pushed aside and suppressed can speak. It is one in which there is serious analysis so people can get to the root of the problem. Such a culture assists people to organize themselves—to carefully lay down plans and keep coming together to evaluate the results of their actions. The environment that is needed is one in which people can come together to deliberate over their real interests and give expression to their profound anti-chauvinist and anti-war aspirations. Such a culture is built firstly by telling the truth and taking a stand for what is right. It means struggling to secure and expand the space for independent political discussion everywhere—both inside and outside of our meetings and gatherings.

This new political culture—one involving telling the truth and having maximum political discussion—is one that people yearn for. It is also a key part of building the powerful political movement which can stop the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, can prevent new wars, and that advances towards the goal of abolishing the imperialist system altogether. The experience of YSDFP is that the more we take up this activity, the more our successes multiply. To be active is to win!