About

The North Star website was named after the newspaper that Frederick Douglass published from December 1849 to June 1851 in the belief that the American Left must adopt the symbols, language and traditions of our national experience rather than those of another time and another place. Frederick Douglass, Eugene V. Debs, Emma Goldman and Malcolm X—these are the people who lived and fought in the belly of the beast and who should inspire us.

For too long the Left has drawn upon the iconography of the Russian Revolution, including the hammer and sickle that was meaningful to the people who fought against Czarist oppression. It is also necessary for us to stop idealizing V.I. Lenin as if his writings can be mechanically applied to our own experience. Likewise we must avoid treating other such figures as if they had some special insights into the challenges we face, including Mao Zedong or Fidel Castro who fought guerrilla wars based on the peasantry. If we are to succeed in developing the leadership so urgently needed in our own struggle for a new and more just society, it will only be through the process of overcoming the obstacles that the American elites put in our path. We are in a highly advanced industrialized system and we have to employ tactics that are appropriate to our environment and time.

Capitalism robs us of the freedom and justice our societies and our planet deserve. It exacerbates other oppressions such as: racism, sexism, and homophobia and constantly creates rifts and ongoing divisions amongst working people. While we admire some of the work that has been done by the socialist sects in this country, we do not feel that their approach of walling themselves off into self-promoting small groups is the method we should use to fight for systemic change. While we support the formation and promotion of flexible and multi-tendencied mass movements, we also do not see any incentive in keeping these energies trapped within the suffocating confines of the US Democratic Party.

NorthStar supports independent mass movements as well as the formation of a viable left-wing third party for working people. We also wish to move away from the alienating and toxic aspects of the US Left that drive organizers away and keep working people from opportunities to fight for a better world.