Editorial for Revolutionary Communism No. 3

 

The third issue of our English-language journal Revolutionary Communism reflects the progress we have made in the recent past. Since the appearance of the last issue of this journal in January 2012 we have deepened the political and organisationally homogeneity of the organisations who collaborated closely since last year: the Revolutionary Workers Organisation (RWO, Pakistan) and the United Lankan Workers Party (ULWP, Sri Lanka), the Revolutionary Workers Collective (RWC, USA) and the Revolutionary Communist Organisation for Liberation (RKOB, Austria). In particular we have discussed, agreed and published an international programme – The Revolutionary Communist Manifesto.


Based on programmatic unity and the practical experience of collaboration we have fused in spring 2012 to form an international organisation based on democratic centralism – the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT).


We will continue to publish Revolutionary Communism as the English-language journal of the RCIT several times a year. We also have set up a new website: www.thecommunists.net which is regularly updated. Our e-mail Newsletter (RC-News) will also continue to be published about once a month. The Revolutionary Communist Manifesto can be ordered at our contact address or can be read on our website www.thecommunists.net/rcit/rcit-manifesto.


We are fully aware that the RCIT is a small international organisation, uniting revolutionary cadres in three different continents. However, smallness at the beginning did not discourage Marx and Engels when they joined the Communist League or Trotsky and his supporters when they started to organise the Bolshevik-Leninists as an international unity after 1928/29. Neither does it discourage us today. Those who are prepared to join an organisation only after it has become strong enough are useless human material for a force which often has to swim against the stream and which by the nature of its struggle faces numerous difficulties, dangers and deprivations.


For an organisation which wants to win over the workers vanguard, the most important pre-condition is an exact understanding of which politics it wants to convince others. A pathfinder who does not know the territory in which he or she wants to lead others is a useless charlatan who can only create confusion. This is why Trotsky insisted “Programme first!” and why we united in the RCIT only after the elaboration of a common international programme.


The Revolutionary Communist Manifesto is the political platform of the RCIT. Hence it is the programme on which we seek to unite with other forces to build a stronger joint organisation. Does this mean that our programme is "the last word"? In the preface to the programme we already replied to such a question: “Of course not. There is no ‘last word’ because the world never stands still. Just as society continually develops, the workers and oppressed always gather new experiences, so a programme, by its very nature, must continue to evolve. It must reflect and include new developments, new experiences and new lessons.


As important as the programme is our principle that a Bolshevik organisation must be an international organisation from the beginning. This principle is rooted in the nature of capitalism and of the working class which both are international in their essence.


Only as an international organisation we can develop a truly internationalist outlook, internalise international experience and work as internationalist revolutionaries. If a group exists for too long as a national organisation it runs into serious danger to develop a national-centred experience and viewpoint.


This was the attitude of Trotsky too as he explained in a letter to the German Leninbund in 1930:

From its very first steps the Opposition must therefore act as an international faction – as did the Communists in the days of the publication of the Communist Manifesto, or in the Zimmerwald Left at the beginning of the war. In all these cases the groups were for the most part small numerically or it was a matter of isolated individuals; but they nevertheless acted as an international organization. In the epoch of imperialism such a position is a hundred times more imperative than in the days of Marx.

Those who believe that the International Left will someday take shape as a simple sum of national groups, and that therefore the international unification can be postponed indefinitely until the national groups “grow strong,” attribute only a secondary importance to the international factor and by this very reason take the path of national opportunism.

It is undeniable that each country has greatest peculiarities of its own; but in our epoch these peculiarities can be assayed and exploited in a revolutionary way only from an internationalist point of view. On the other hand, only an international organization can be the bearer of an international ideology.

Can anyone seriously believe that isolated Oppositional national groups, divided among themselves and left to their own resources, are capable of finding the correct road by themselves? No, this is a certain path to national degeneration, sectarianism, and ruin. The tasks facing the International Opposition are enormously difficult. Only by being indissolubly tied together, only by working out answers jointly to all current problems, only by creating their international platform, only by mutually verifying each one of their steps, that is, only by uniting in a single international body, will the national groups of the Opposition be able to carry out their historic task.“ (Leon Trotsky: An Open Letter to All Members of the Leninbund (1930); in: Writings 1930, p. 91f.)


We will finish this editorial by giving a brief overview over the articles in this journal. Greece is naturally a focus of our analysis and propaganda since it is by far the most developed country in Europe from a class struggle point of view. It bears strong similarities with the Revolution in Portugal 1974/75 and we try to apply the Marxist programme to the actual situation.

Another focus of the journal is Pakistan. Our section has elaborated an extensive Action Programme which contains both an analysis of the major problems of the country and revolutionary answers. A report on recent clashes in Karachi supplements our programmatic assessment.


In addition to these two key issues we also publish articles on the freedom struggle of the Tuareg people in Mali, racism and perspectives for migrants in France, analyses of Chinese imperialism, a leaflet from revolutionaries in Zimbabwe and a polemic against the former revolutionary LFI.

 

8. June 2012

Editorial Board of the Journal Revolutionary Communism