Editorial for Revolutionary Communism No.16

Orientating towards New Layers of Militants

 

The November issue of the RCIT’s journal Revolutionary Communism (RevCom) is centered around two substantial documents: our pamphlet 100 Questions and Answers on Socialism and an essay on the history of the Fourth International and its degeneration called Healy’s Pupils Fail to Break with their Master. While the publication of these two documents in the same journal is accidental, it is nevertheless symbolic. It reflects two major concerns of our international tendency.

As we explained in past documents the new World Party of Socialist Revolution (which will be the Fifth Workers International in our opinion) will be based mainly on the new layers of the massively growing world proletariat. This means first and foremost the proletariat of the semi-colonial world and China as well as the lower strata of the proletariat in the old imperialist metropolises. Obviously the proletarian youth will play a chief role amongst them.

We reject hopes in any self-healing power of the milieu of left-reformism or centrism. In fact, we consider the huge majority of the left-reformist and centrist milieu as politically bankrupt and strongly affected by skepticism, complacency and passive and aristocratic prejudices and modes of thinking. They are politically dependent on the labor bureaucracy and the petty-bourgeoisie intelligentsia.

This is why it so important for the Bolshevik-Communists to undertake propaganda and agitation orientated towards these fresh layers of militant workers and youth. The RCIT and its sections have made this a priority from the beginning of its work. This orientation includes the need to transmit the basic ideas of Marxism to an audience which is not familiar with scientific socialism and its terminology. This is the reason why we have published a pamphlet called 100 Questions and Answers on Socialism. This document, written by Johannes Wiener, has been originally published by the Austrian section of the RCIT in spring 2013. The RCIT has translated and modified the pamphlet for an international audience in order to adapt it to the issues and conditions relevant for militants in other countries.

We have also emphasized repeatedly that our orientation towards such new militant layers of workers and youth does not mean that revolutionaries should ignore the activists in left-reformist parties or the centrist groups. The best ones amongst them will be those who understand the character of new historic period which opened in 2008 marked by the decay of capitalism as well as by revolutionary possibilities and counter-revolutionary dangers. It will be those who are willing to join the masses in their struggles – in particular the lower strata of the working class and the oppressed – without arrogantly sneering about their “backward consciousness” and who are at the same time determined to fight intransigently for the revolutionary program. It will be those who combine such an orientation towards new militant layers with a sharp political and ideological struggle against the reformist and centrist traitors who are misleading the workers vanguard. And it will be those who prove to be capable to find the correct orientation in the major class struggles today like the Arab Revolution, the political upheavals and challenges in South Africa, Greece, Brazil, Palestine, etc., the question of increasing inner-imperialist rivalry with China as an important emerging Great Power as well as in the imperialist wars like in Afghanistan or in Mali. Such activists the RCIT want to win for the joint struggle for the new World Party of Socialist Revolution.

The RCIT is fully aware that so-called historic questions like the revolutionary tradition of the Fourth International and its centrist degeneration in 1948-52 are in fact not purely historic question but are often related to the present-day orientation of revolutionaries. This is why we consider a clear attitude on the issue of the development of the Fourth International and its epigones as an important issue for revolutionaries to clarify today. For this reasons we have replied in a lengthy document to a polemic which the British group Socialist Fight and its Liaison Committee for the Fourth International has published recently against the RCIT’s theoretical foundations. In this document, Michael Pröbsting elaborates how the Fourth International – despite various weaknesses and mistakes – remained a revolutionary force after the death of Trotsky but degenerated into centrism in 1948-52 when it capitulated to the rising petty-bourgeois forces (Stalinism, social democracy, petty-bourgeois nationalism). As the title – Healy’s Pupils Fail to Break with their Master – already suggest the document deals particularly with the centrist tradition of one of the epigones, Gerry Healy and his International Committee, a rotten tradition which the Liaison Committee claims as its revolutionary heritage. The document demonstrates that slogans like the “Refoundation of the Fourth International” only serve to create wrong illusions in the political vigor of the various centrist fragments claiming to stand in the tradition of the Fourth International.

Other articles in this issue of RevCom deal with important issues of the class struggle today. In one of them, Yossi Schwartz from the RCIT’s section in Occupied Palestine/Israel deals with the recent developments in the relationship between Iran and US Imperialism.

Michael Pröbsting shows in another article that those leftists who believe in the pseudo anti-imperialist rhetoric of the Syrian dictator Assad let themselves fool totally.

And in another article, comrades from the RCIT in Brazil report about important developments of workers struggles as well as the latest sell-out of the gigantic pre-salt Libra Oil Field to European and Chinese imperialism by the social democratic PT government of Dilma Rousseff.

We hope that this issue contains a number of interesting documents and articles for our readers. We look forward for responses, criticisms and suggestions.

 

November 5, 2013, Editorial Board