With social democracy wracked by crisis and the far right on the rise, the need – and opening – for a rigorous and radical socialist alternative is glaring. Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party, meanwhile, managed to buck a very powerful trend of social-democratic decline in the 2017 general election, leading an inspiring campaign that generated tremendous energy and enthusiasm - earning 12.8 million votes for Labour in the process.
New Socialist aims to build on this by engaging with and supporting the grassroots left movement to shape a Labour Party that's inclusive, diverse, transparent and truly democratic. It seeks to help build, organise and encourage the movement as well as fostering robust intellectual discussion, razor-sharp debate and thorough criticism. Unashamedly partisan but by no means an echo chamber, New Socialist will continue to serve as an intransigent rabble-rouser as well as a journal of ideas, providing a home for domestic and international socialist left perspectives.
If you believe – as we do – that such an initiative is sorely needed, follow us on on Twitter or Facebook to keep up to date, or if you want to get more involved, email us at email@example.com. If you'd like to subscribe, please head over to our Patreon.
Tasks and Values
We believe New Socialist is necessary as a tool for a specific politics, to advance the left both in and through Labour and in society as a whole. All our activity in New Socialist aims to be in the service of this. We believe that debate and discussion are an essential part of a vibrant, democratic culture on the left. However, New Socialist will not be a platform for debate for its own sake but for discussion that is always attentive to its practical consequences and advances the position of the left. We may offer space to the left outside Labour and Labour members not on the left as we believe there are lessons to learn but these contributions will be on our terms. We condemn and will allow no space not only for sexism, racism, ageism, homophobia, ableism, transphobia or other discriminatory language, but also for positions useful to social reaction or imperialism. We believe in tactful, generous, supportive discussion between comrades.
Towards an Intellectualism of our Movement
One of the fundamental, and deepening, contradictions of capitalist society is that between a generic and ever expanding human intellectual capacity for clear, creative and effective thought and the narrow, specialised, socially authorised function of “the intellectual”. New Socialist aims to provide a platform for discussion to help organise the left, clarify and socialise experience and knowledge and demystify politics and economics in the service of participation in the transformation and democratisation of the Labour Party and society. There is vast creative and intellectual potential in our movement but much of it is latent, much contradictory and unclear.
Equal Opportunities and Accountability
Some limits to the full development of the intellectual capacities of our movement are deeply rooted in social structures and therefore can only be overcome by the radical social transformation we aim to support. However, we can work to develop these capacities in the here and now, directly through the activity of New Socialist itself. One of the major ways in which the expression of the intellectual capacities of our movement is limited is that certain voices, experiences and organisations of knowledge are dominant, certain voices, experiences and organisations of knowledge are marginalised. This may be through discrimination, whether direct or indirect, or due to a lack of confidence or a lack of material support to allow the time to develop ideas and produce work. New Socialist aims to undo this suppression of capacities and experiences, not only because it is right, not only because it makes our values concrete, but even more importantly because the contributions emerging from them will strengthen New Socialist and our political usefulness.
We will monitor equal opportunities data and publish it so that we can be accountable. As well as being attentive to the traditionally monitored categories, we will encourage new writers from a wide range of educational backgrounds, and writers from all parts of the UK, as we are aware that the dominance of London and the South-East in political writing reflects and reinforces geographical inequalities. Once we are able to pay writers, at least 50% of our pieces will be written by women and if we are notably failing in other areas we will introduce quotas for that too. We will also monitor for the type of pieces being written, we believe discussion of issues affecting marginalised groups should be led by members of those groups but also that members of marginalised groups are as able as anyone else to contribute in whatever way they want.
Our editors will make a particular effort to reach out to potential contributors to ensure we meet these commitments.
We will also aim to be accountable to our readers. We will invite responses to pieces, which if they help hold us to account or develop debate, we will publish. We will also seek to have some of these comments expanded into future contributions.
Money and Structure
All of us who are involved in setting up New Socialist are contributing time, unpaid, because we believe it is necessary. New Socialist is, and will always be, not for profit.
We will be seeking money in order to, first, pay contributors, as we believe that work should be paid for and also because material support for those who otherwise would not have been able to contribute is an essential part of widening opportunities and drawing on a wider range of experiences and thought. Secondly, we will pay for editorial work, again, as we believe this is work that should be paid for and because paying for it will allow editors to spend more time seeking and helping a wider range of contributors. Thirdly, should we have any more money, we will use it on political education projects, including supporting New Socialist clubs as community hubs of socialist discussion.
We commit to transparency about what use we make of donations.