The International Socialist Organization (ISO) is committed to building an organization that participates in the struggles for justice and liberation today--and, ultimately, for a future socialist society.

The ISO has branches across the country whose members are involved in helping to build a number of struggles: the movement to stop war and occupation, fights against racism and anti-immigrant scapegoating, the struggle for women's rights like the right to choose abortion, opposing anti-gay bigotry, and standing up for workers' rights.

The misery that millions of people around the world face is rooted in the society we live in--capitalism, where the few who rule profit from the labor of the vast majority of the population.

In the U.S., a tiny proportion of the population enjoys fantastic wealth, while millions of people live in desperate poverty, and many more live paycheck to paycheck. Yet we have the resources to feed, clothe and educate everyone on the planet.

A world free of exploitation--socialism--is not only possible but worth fighting for. The ISO stands in the tradition of revolutionary socialists Karl Marx, V.I. Lenin and Leon Trotsky in the belief that workers themselves--the vast majority of the population--are the only force that can lead the fight to win a socialist society. Socialism can't be brought about from above, but has to be won by workers themselves.

The Democratic Party, much like the Republicans, acts in the interests of Corporate America and the privileged few at the top. Therefore, we do not support their candidates.

We see our task as building an independent socialist organization with members organizing in our workplaces, our schools and our neighborhoods to bring socialist ideas to the struggles we are involved in today, and the vision of a socialist world in the future.

Here are some articles that further explain the politics of the ISO:


THE CASE FOR SOCIALISM
We live in a world where millions of children die each year because they lack food--while the rich get richer. A world where the living standards of workers and the poor continue to erode, year after year. A world threatened by environmental catastrophe. The Case for Socialism argues that another world--a socialist world--is possible, in which people come before profit and working people control society democratically, putting the world's resources to meeting human needs.
Read an online excerpt.
Buy The Case For Socialism.


THE MARXIST TRADITION
The Meaning of Marxism
Read a selection of Socialist Worker's Paul D'Amato's The Meaning of Marxism columns, which look at the basic ideas and theories of the Marxist tradition and how to apply them in today's world. Columns include topics such as: Why Marx is more relevant than ever, Proving Marxist ideas in practice, and What will socialism look like?

The Legacy of Karl Marx
In 1983, while the International Socialist Organization was still a very young group, Duncan Hallas came to the U.S. to give a national tour of meetings about Karl Marx--in honor of the 100th anniversary of Marx's death. Many of the meetings were small--often, they were held in living rooms. But those who attended couldn't help but be persuaded by Duncan's presentation. Read Duncan's article from Socialist Worker.

THE WAR ON IRAQ
The Case for Withdrawal
The most common objection to an immediate U.S. withdrawal is that the troops must stay in order to protect Iraqis from the lawlessness and likely civil war that would fill the vacuum left by the United States. But the opposite is true. The continuing U.S. presence is the greatest threat to the safety of Iraqi civilians and the greatest source of instability.
Read this article from the International Socialist Review.

U.S. Middle East Policy: Democratic Illusions
Bush and the neocons often chide their critics as being opponents of democracy in the Middle East or believing that Arabs and Muslims aren't "ready" for democracy. For those of us on the left, this charge is baseless. In fact, the left has been in the forefront of fights for genuine democracy and the rights of the oppressed in the region. But what Bush really means is that there is only one kind of acceptable democracy in the region--the pro-U.S./pro-Israel kind.
Read this article from the International Socialist Review.

Iraqis Have a Right to Resist
A progression of lies has been advanced about the nature of the Iraqi "insurgency." U.S. planners first denied that there would even be a resistance--Iraqis were going to welcome the U.S. with open arms. Then, as this proved fanciful, the U.S. denounced all resistance in Iraq as "terrorism" committed by a small number of disgruntled "Saddam loyalists," "foreign" al-Qaeda operatives, or fanatical Sunni "extremists."
Read this article from the International Socialist Review.

IMPERIALISM AND WAR
Washington's New Imperialism
Washington is dividing the globe in the name of democracy and freedom. Phil Gasper discusses the roots of imperialism, and why imperialism is critical to understanding U.S. war aims today.
Read this article from Socialist Worker.

The Truth About Empire
Words like "colonialism" and "empire" were once frowned upon in the U.S. mainstream media as worn-out left-wing rhetoric that didn't fit reality. Not anymore. A growing chorus of right-wing ideologues, with close ties to the Bush administration's war-making hawks, are encouraging Washington to take pride in the expansion of its power over people and nations around the globe. But this project depends on erasing--or justifying--the long and bloody history of imperial conquest that began with the dawn of capitalism.
Read this article from Socialist Worker.

How Can We Stop Wars?
Human kind is naturally aggressive, naturally territorial--and naturally warlike. You can find this claim in all sorts of places--in school textbooks and nonfiction bestsellers, in newspapers and throughout the media. In effect, we're told that people are programmed by their genetic makeup to go to war. But is this "common sense" belief true? In this special feature Paul D'Amato shows why the claim that humans are naturally warlike lets the real culprits off the hook--and he explains how socialism would eliminate the horror of warfare forever.
Read this article from Socialist Worker.

U.S. Imperialism: A Century of Slaughter
The U.S. stands alone as the world's superpower. It is the only country with the ability to go to war anywhere in the world. The U.S. attained its position of dominance through competition with other powerful nations. The U.S. and the world's other major powers--Britain, Russia, China, France and Germany--fought two world wars, threatened each other with nuclear annihilation and divided and redivided the world between them. How can we explain this madness?
Read this article from the International Socialist Review.

REFORM OR REVOLUTION
Can Elections Bring Socialism?
The Polish-born German revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg argued that even if socialists were able to achieve a majority in parliament in a given country, this would not signal the victory of socialism.
Read this article from Socialist Worker.

Rosa Luxemburg on Reform or Revolution
Though it was written more than 100 years ago under vastly different conditions, Rosa Luxemburg's pamphlet Reform or Revolution is still important reading. Elizabeth Schulte explains why.
Read this article from Socialist Worker.

THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION
80 Years Since the Russian Revolution
The Russian Revolution of October 1917 remains to this day the most decisive event of the international workers' movement. The Russian events took place in the midst of the barbaric carnage known as World War I. The swift overthrow of the Tsar in February of that year and the almost bloodless Bolshevik-led insurrection in October held out the hope for millions across Europe.
Read this article from the International Socialist Review

How the Russian Revolution Was Won
The standard story we hear about the Russian Revolution of 1917 is that it was a coup. The real history of the Russian Revolution can teach us a lot about both the potential for ordinary people to take action and the hope for a better world.
Read this article from Socialist Worker.

THE FIGHT AGAINST STALINISM
The Fall of Stalinism: Ten Years On
Joseph Stalin came to power in Russia after the death of Lenin in 1924. Stalin, who had played so marginal a role in the Russian Revolution of 1917 that he would later ban John Reed's magnificent account, Ten Days that Shook the World, for revealing this fact, headed a counterrevolution that destroyed the gains and the promise of October. Stalin's dictatorship arose from the defeat of the Russian Revolution and the failure of revolution to succeed in more advanced capitalist countries in Europe. Stalinism was actually the negation of socialism. It was the opposite of workers' control, democracy, a classless society and the smashing of the state.
Read this article from the International Socialist Review.

Also see these shorter articles from Socialist Worker:
Lenin, Trotsky and Internationalism.
Why did Stalin Rise to Power?

WHAT IS LENINISM?
Why We Need to Build a "Vanguard" Party
Lenin's insistence on the need for a revolutionary party is based on the idea that the working class can't be liberated by anyone standing over or outside its ranks.
Read this article from Socialist Worker.

Lenin and the Socialist Paper
The paper was, in Lenin's words, not only a "collective progagandist," but also a "collective agitator" and a "collective organizer." Our watchwords, Lenin argued, were "Learn, propagandize, organize--and the pivot of this activity can and must be only the organ of the Party.
Read this article from Socialist Worker.

WOMEN'S LIBERATION
Turning Back the Clock? Women, Work and Family Today
Thirty-five years ago, the women's liberation movement raised the hopes and expectations of a generation of women. This movement challenged the prevailing notion that women were supposed to spend their entire lives engaged in housework and raising children. It demanded equal pay for women in the workplace, publicly funded child care, and the legalization of abortion. Today, both the ideological and the material gains of the women's movement have come under a sustained attack. This backlash has its roots in the assault on working-class people over the last three decades.
Read this article from the International Socialist Review.

Abortion is Every Woman's Right
The right to choose is just one aspect of a much larger issue of reproductive rights--women's right to control their own bodies and reproductive lives. Although in recent decades the battle has centered around the right to abortion, this includes more than the right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy--but also the right to have children in the face of racist sterilization programs that targeted African Americans, Native Americans and disabled people in the U.S. throughout much of the 20th century.
Read this article from Socialist Worker.

Engels and the Origins of Women's Oppression
How can we end women's oppression? This question can only be answered by posing yet another question: why are women oppressed? Unless we determine the source of women's oppression, we don't know who or what needs changing. This, the "woman question," has been a source of controversy for well over a century. Karl Marx and Frederick Engels located the origin of women's oppression in the rise of class society. Their analysis of women's oppression was not something that was tagged on as an afterthought to their analysis of class society but was integral to it from the very beginning.
Read this article from the International Socialist Review.

THE FIGHT AGAINST RACISM
The Real Martin Luther King
George W. Bush had the gall to use Martin Luther King's birthday as the occasion for announcing that his administration wanted to gut part of King's legacy. The truth is that Martin Luther King's commitment to justice--and his determination to fight for it--sets him apart from everyone in the Washington establishment today.
Read this article from Socialist Worker.

Malcolm X: Legacy of a Revolutionary
Lee Sustar looks at Malcolm X and the relevance of his ideas 40 years after his assassination.
Read this article from Socialist Worker.

Slavery and the Origins of Racism
If racism is part of human nature, then socialists have a real challenge on their hands. If racism is hard-wired into human biology, then we should despair of workers ever overcoming the divisions between them to fight for a socialist society free of racial inequality. Fortunately, racism isn't part of human nature. The best evidence for this assertion is the fact that racism has not always existed.
Read this article from the International Socialist Review.

Civil Rights and Civil Wrongs: Racism in America Today
The statistics, which are the clearest barometers for determining and measuring the quality of life in American society, show that African Americans continue to lag behind whites in every possible category. Not only does this point to the depth of racial inequality in this society, but it clearly undermines the idea that racism is simply a matter of prejudice, existing only on an ideological level.
Read this article from the International Socialist Review.

GAY LIBERATION
The Roots of Gay Oppression
Gay oppression hasn't always existed, and neither have gays as a distinct sector of the population. The oppression of gays and lesbians--aand all sexual minorities--is one of modern capitalism's infinite contradictions. Capitalism creates the material conditions for men and women to lead autonomous sexual lives, yet it simultaneously seeks to impose heterosexual norms on society to secure the maintenance of an economic, ideological, and sexual order.
Read this article from the International Socialist Review.

NATIONAL LIBERATION
Marxists and the Right of Self-Determination
Critics of Marxism who argue that it cares only about economics and has nothing so say about questions of oppression might attribute such views to a Marxist. But it was Marx who said that a nation that oppresses another cannot be free, and Lenin who argued that nations oppressed by imperialism have the "right to self-determination."
Read this article from Socialist Worker.

THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY
ISO Web Book:
The Democratic Party and the Politics of Lesser Evilism

This book traces the history of the Democratic Party as a party of Southern slaveholders, a party of big business, and a party playing on populist themes in order to win the votes of workers and the oppressed. Lance Selfa also looks at the party's latest, neoliberal incarnation under Clinton and the "new Democrats." As Selfa shows, the party has always played the role of coopter of any left alternative outside the limited framework of the two-party system. Selfa argues convincingly that the current "Anybody But Bush" mantra that has gripped many on the left has once again set back the struggle to organize a genuine independent left political alternative in the United States.
Download The Democratic Party and the Politics of Lesser Evilism (1 megabyte PDF)
This book is available in PDF format (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader).

Can We Change the Democrats?
One of the greatest obstacles to building a working-class movement for fundamental change in the United States has been the two-party political system.
Read this article from Socialist Worker.