Editorial for Revolutionary Communism No. 6

We welcome our readers to the sixth issue of the RCIT’s English-language journal Revolutionary Communism. In this issue we deal with a number of important international class struggle events in the recent period.

In a RCIT Statement we deal with the spontaneous mass movement in the Muslim countries after the trailer of a racist Anti-Islam film, produced in the USA, was released to the public. It led to a series of protests and riots against Western embassies because people understood the relationship between the imperialist arrogance expressed in the denigration of their religion and the imperialist domination expressed in economic exploitation, war and occupation. While the imperialist US administration mourned for its killed ambassador and three CIA agents in Libya, the Western media largely ignored the fact that the pro-imperialist regimes in Egypt, Sudan, Yemen, Pakistan and other countries killed at least 50 demonstrators during these protests. It should also not go unnoticed that most self-proclaimed “Marxists” failed to see the anti-imperialist content in these protests. In their un-dialectical understanding they superficially saw a clash between “religious bigots” and concluded from this that there was “nothing progressive in these demonstrations” (The quotes are from the ex-revolutionary LFI). This event is therefore a vivid example how the failure to see classes and class contradictions behind ideas and ideologies inevitable leads to failure in taking the right side of the barricade in the class struggle.


Two articles, from the Revolutionary Workers Collective (US section of the RCIT) respectively from Adam Beltz, deal with the upcoming election of the US president. They show that Obama in no way represents a “lesser evil” to the Republican candidate Mitt Romney, if one looks to the practical results of the present administration. Obviously there is a crying need for a new Workers Party in the USA.


Presidential elections in another country, Venezuela, are the subject of two other articles. In opposite to the USA, we had here two candidates who are considered by many as socialists: President Hugo Chavez and Orlando Chirino, the candidate of the centrist party PSOL. Nevertheless, neither of them is an alternative for the workers since they don't represent the political independence of the working class.


Questions of strategy and tactic are also at the centre of our articles on the heroic miner strike in South Africa. This struggle demonstrated the huge obstacles for the working class to achieve victory: the existence of powerful reformist bureaucracies in the NUM/COSATU trade union and the South African Communist Party. These forces are a deadly enemy for the working class liberation struggle.


Furthermore we publish an Action Program which the United Lanka Workers Party (RCIT Section in Sri Lanka) has adopted. Therein the comrades elaborate the perspective for the working class and the oppressed to overthrow the capitalist system and to open the road to socialism in Sri Lanka. Such a road includes the right for the Tamil people to form a socialist Tami Eelam.


Another document – adopted at a conference of the Revolutionary Communist Organization for Liberation (RCIT section in Austria) – deals with the issue of the imperialist European Union. Therein the comrades develop tactics on the question, which position communists should take concerning the accession of semi-colonial countries to the EU. They conclude that the workers vanguard should employ different tactics in imperialist and semi-colonial countries.


A recent feature of the sharpening contradictions of decaying capitalism is the increasing rivalry between Japanese and Chinese imperialism. In a longer article, Michael Pröbsting concretizes the result of his study of China as an emerging imperialism which we published recently in the fourth issue of Revolutionary Communism. He concludes that the looming war on the Senkaku/Diaoyu-islands in the East China Sea must be answered with a consistent policy of revolutionary defeatism by the working class militants in these countries and internationally. The workers must fight against their own ruling class in order to prepare their overthrow. Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, the leader of the Bolshevik Party, wrote in one of his first documents after the beginning of World War I in 1914: “We are always for ‘santa guerra di tutti gli oppressi per la conquista delle loro patrie!’” (“a holy war of all the oppressed, for the conquest of their own fatherland!”, The European War and International Socialism; in: LCW 21, p. 20). This is also the necessary approach today to the imperialist rivalry between China, Japan and the USA.


The subject of imperialism and the class struggle strategy to bring it down is also at the centre of our section “From the Archives of Marxism”. In it we republish two documents from the revolutionary communist movement. The first is a series of short resolutions from the Bolshevik Party which it adopted in February 1915 to codify its strategy of revolutionary defeatism against the imperialist war. The second document is the “Theses on the Eastern Question“, adopted by the Communist International at its Fourth World Congress in 1922. In it the Communists developed the anti-imperialist united front tactic to rally the oppressed people under the leadership of the working class for the liberation struggle.

While the articles in this journal deal with different issues, they have in common what we would describe as the essence of Bolshevism: class independence. Many so-called “Marxists” interpret class independence as being independent of every movement which is “poisoned” with petty-bourgeois or bourgeoisie forces. In fact this has nothing to do with class independence; it rather means independence of real, living masses who struggle for their rights with a still not revolutionary consciousness. Such kind of “independence” has a name: sectarian abstentionism.


Real class independence in a Marxist sense understands the inevitability to fight for such an independence under the conditions of constant pressure by all forms of (petty-) bourgeois forces who permanently exercise their influence on the workers and the oppressed in order to contain their struggle. Class independence therefore is something essentially war-like: it can only be advanced in constant war inside the existing mass movement against their present-day backward leaderships.



22. October 2012

Editorial Board of the Journal Revolutionary Communism


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