Principles and Priorities


  • For Good Faith – We believe that rooting our socialism in our shared moral values opens room for constructive disagreements on political strategy. Analyses of political and economic conditions can differ among sincere socialists. Ethical socialists believe that we must respect the diversity of opinion among comrades, avoiding internal political maneuvering aimed at marginalizing points of view with which we disagree.
  • For Inclusion – We believe that building welcoming, supportive and equitable spaces within DSA for women, people of color, LGBTQIA people, disabled people, people of all ages, and other marginalized groups is every DSA member’s responsibility. Training and preparing members to exercise their relative privilege productively and positively must be an ongoing internal project.
  • For Effective Organizers – We believe that most non-capitalists hold basically decent moral beliefs which predispose them to socialism. We also believe that most Americans do not understand socialism. Building a strong labor movement and winning the trust of workers requires socialists to articulate themselves within a moral framework that workers already share. Ethical socialists aim to give DSA members the training and resources to develop socialist rhetoric that is accessible to all workers, including workers who may never appreciate Marxian political theory and economics.
  • For Democracy – We believe that socialism can inadvertently recreate some of the evils of capitalism if vulnerable populations, such as those with disabilities, their caregivers, and elders, are not guaranteed a minimum standard of living and meaningful participation in economic democracy. Universal suffrage must be a part of any socialist society or organization.  We believe that democracy is central to socialism. The socialist movement must express the general will of the victims of capitalism. But we believe that many forms of democracy are vulnerable to manipulation which produce anti-democratic results. Ethical socialists believe that researching and developing the fairest and most representative forms of democracy is critical to DSA’s future but it requires that we develop alternatives to familiar democratic institutions.

Our Priorities:

  1. Building a framework within DSA that ensures the inclusion and empowerment of marginalized communities.
  2. Supporting and organizing new members so that they can advance the cause of socialism regardless of their knowledge of political and economic theory.
  3. Developing strong educational resources that address the internal needs of DSA.
    1. Addressing the history and theory of socialism (including but not limited to Marxism)
    2. Addressing the theory and practice of democracy
    3. Addressing and assessing policy proposals to ensure they do not reproduce some of the evils of capitalism