Manifesto adopted by the IV. Congress of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), September 2023, www.thecommunists.net
This Manifesto has been discussed and adopted at the IV. Congress of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT). Resting on the methods and strategies of our previous programmatic documents – “The Revolutionary Communist Manifesto” (2012), the “Manifesto for Revolutionary Liberation” (2016) and “The Fire of Revolution Will Burn Down Catastrophic Capitalism!” (2021) –, this document should be seen as an update which takes into account the changes and challenges of the current phase.
An Era of Catastrophes, Wars and Revolutionary Struggles
We are living in an era which many people perceive as a never-ending period of catastrophes. The climate crisis with devastating consequences for the world population, slumps alternating with stagnation of the world economy, rising inflation, a Cold War between the Great Powers of East and West which could easily transform in a nuclear Armageddon, a major war in the Ukraine, Artificial Intelligence, threats of comprehensive surveillance and control of the society under the pretext of a pandemic or other dangers, …
All these developments confirm the RCIT’s analysis of the profound revolutionary character of the historic period which opened in 2008 with the Great Recession and the rise of China as an imperialist power ending the long-term U.S. hegemony. Today, it is obvious that the capitalist social order is broken and has entered a protracted period of collapse, characterized by chaos, catastrophes, and wars. Faced with the terminal crisis of their system, the ruling capitalist class – the notorious Lords of Power and Money – tries to save themselves from drowning by all available means.
Everyone can see that – contrary to claims of bourgeois fabulists – the market and the attached political system are incapable of creating a rational economy which could ensure a sustainable future allowing a decent life and democratic rights for the majority of the world population.
From invading foreign countries to threatening rivals with a pre-emptive nuclear strike, from attacking living standards and social rights to super-exploiting migrants and women, from recklessly plundering natural resources of our planet, from transforming the society into a glass house with the top brass watching everyone and everything – this is capitalism in the raw. It can not be otherwise since it is a system where the capitalist superrich try to squeeze profits from wherever they can and where the Great Powers are addicted to strive for armament and annihilation of their rivals.
To save humanity, we must destroy capitalism. It is them or us. Either the ruling class keeps power and wrecks our planet and its inhabitants. Or the working class and the oppressed overthrow these decadent parasites and take fate in their own hands. It shall be the latter because we want to live – free, without chains; peacefully, without fear of war; with children who don’t have to go to bed hungry or being scared for the future!
To achieve this, we must not passively resign ourselves to our fate. We need to take fate in our own hands! Taking power means deposing the ruling class of its power. This means a revolution, i.e. an armed insurrection since rulers never give up power peacefully. A revolution which abolishes capitalism is, by definition, a socialist revolution. This is what we need, and this is what we must do!
All over the world the masses have repeatedly rebelled in the past years against misery and oppression. To give a few examples of the determination of workers and oppressed to fight for their rights we refer to the Great Arab Revolution which started in 2011, the heroic Intifada of the Palestinian people, popular uprisings in Burma/Myanmar, Peru and Hong Kong, Somali partisans fighting foreign occupiers, the Southern people in Nigeria resisting against national oppression, mass protests in France and Catalonia, Ukrainian workers and youth taking up arms to resist Putin’s invasion, courageous anti-war protesters in Russia. Other examples are the great workers and popular battles in the US "backyard" like the rebellion in Plaza Dignidad in Chile – stopped with the policy of restrictions of the COVID Counterrevolution – or the militant mobilizations against the dictatorship of Dina Boluarte in Peru which show that the continent is inevitably going towards another revolutionary rise against populist or neoliberal governments.
But all these struggles lack a revolutionary program of liberation and a party which could lead them to victory. Instead, such protests are either spontaneously and the militant energy soon fizzles out; or they are led by non-revolutionary forces – reformists and populists, petty-bourgeois nationalists and Islamists – which steer such struggles to a dead-end.
Hence, a revolution will not just happen. It must be done – done by us. It will definitely not happen under the leadership of non-revolutionary forces. A revolution can only succeed if it is organized and led by revolutionaries. Such an endeavour needs preparation and organization. It requires the collective association of likeminded activists who agree on the goal and the means to achieve it.
In other words, we need a party based on a clear program; concretely, we need a revolutionary party based on a scientific Marxist program. Such a party must not be limited to a single city or a single country – it must be a revolutionary International, a World Party for Socialist Revolution in the tradition of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky.
The RCIT is an international organization dedicated to these great tasks for which we promote the unity of consistent revolutionaries. We call those who agree with the perspective and our program as it is elaborated in this Manifesto, to join us and to contribute to the greatest challenge of our time: the liberation of the working class and oppressed from the shackles of catastrophic capitalism – a social order which is in decay, and which threatens to engulf humanity in the abyss!
Wars of Oppression and Wars of Liberation
As we are living in an era of capitalist collapse, it is inevitable that social, political, and military contradictions result in explosions. This is why the current period is characterised by wars and revolutions – the two sharpest forms of class contradictions.
The inter-imperialist rivalry between the Great Powers (U.S., China, Russia, EU and Japan) is a key driving force of the world situation. Currently, these powers are basically grouped in a Western (U.S., Western Europe and Japan) and an Eastern alliance (China and Russia), albeit both alliances are not without inner contradictions.
All imperialist states have entered an armament race, impose trade sanctions against their rivals and try to expand their influence in the semi-colonial countries. The U.S. occupied Afghanistan and Iraq in the period of their notorious “War on Terror”, Russia brutally occupied Chechnya and invaded the Ukraine, France and other European powers have sent troops to Northern and Central Africa and so has Russia’s Wagner PMC, U.S. special units equipped with high-tech drones operate and kill in Somalia, etc.
As Marxists, we strictly differentiate between just wars and unjust wars, wars of oppression and wars of liberation. Just wars are armed insurrections and civil wars of the working class and the popular masses against the ruling class, of oppressed nations against their oppressors, of democratic forces against reactionary and fascist opponents. Just wars are wars of national defence of semi-colonial countries against imperialist aggressors. Reactionary wars are wars of the ruling class resp. imperialist powers against the oppressed as well as military conflicts between sectors of the ruling class resp. between reactionary or imperialist states.
In a world ridden by explosive contradictions, by oppression and inter-imperialist rivalry, it is possible (and to a certain degree inevitable) that both types of conflicts – just wars of liberation and inter-imperialist rivalry – become intermixed (e.g. the Ukraine War). It is the task of Marxists in such a situation to concretely analyse the evolvement of such conflicts and to determine which element is dominating (resp. when such a character is changing).
The RCIT and all authentic socialists have always unconditionally supported the oppressed in wars of liberation without lending support to their non-revolutionary leadership (e.g. Argentina against Britain in the Malvinas War 1982, Afghanistan and Iraq against the U.S. and their allies in 2001/03 and after, Chechnya in 1994-96 and 1999-2009 as well as Ukraine against Russia in 2022/23, Bosnia 1992-95 and Kosova 1998-99, the Syrian rebels against the military forces of Assad and Russia, the rebels in Burma/Myanmar against the military dictatorship since 2021, the Somali resistance against ATMIS/Western troops).
In reactionary conflicts, we oppose both camps (e.g. the Cold War between the Western powers and Russia/China; in reactionary civil wars like the one in Sudan between the army and the RSF forces in 2023).
In wars of liberation, we call for the military victory of the progressive camp and the defeat of the reactionary forces. We support military aid for the oppressed and support all means which weaken the oppressors (boycott, sabotage, fraternization of soldiers, turning the guns against the army command, etc.) In reactionary wars, we advocate Lenin’s program of revolutionary defeatism in both camps (no support for military efforts or for non-military means of aggression like economic sanctions or chauvinist campaigns, for fraternisation between the workers and soldiers of both camps, transform the reactionary war into a civil war against the ruling class, etc.)
Socialists strongly oppose pacifism and its poisonous advocacy of non-violence. Surely, we fight for a world of peace. But this will only be possible if the global capitalist system based on classes and states has been replaced by a socialist world federation. But until then, renouncing the use of violence in the struggle for liberation is being led like lambs to the slaughter. Those who preach pacifism – even if they have the best intentions – are objectively aiding those who are in power and have guns. To such pacifists we say, sorry, but non-violence is not the solution! Take a gun in the struggle for freedom or remain a helpless slave forever!
Capitalist Civilization Threats and the Struggle to Save Humanity
The reckless drive for profit and power is destroying our planet and endangering the society with increasing pace. If we don’t stop the Lords of Money and Power, life on earth will become increasingly unbearable or a global detention centre.
Climate change resulting from widespread use of fossil fuels in capitalist industries and means of transport, the use of increasingly energy-intensive technologies, the unrestrained destruction of forests, the expansion of monocultures in farming, the development of companies related to mega-mining, fracking, nuclear energy and other techniques that pollute and destroy nature, etc. – all this endangers the foundations of human life on the planet. Global warming provokes water scarcity, expansion of deserts, unbearable heat waves, floodings, destruction of flora and fauna, etc. As a consequence, hundred of thousands of people are dying and millions are forced to flee their home – mostly in the Global South. Such undermining of public health and destruction of natural balance also create the basis for proliferation of pandemics.
Cynically, the same capitalist corporations and state leaders who are responsible for environmental destruction, try to utilise such threats to legitimise their attacks on democratic rights via dramatic expansion and further development of technologies for surveillance and replacement of humans – a system which we call Chauvinist State Bonapartism. We have seen such during the COVID pandemic in 2020-22 when capitalist governments all over the world forced populations to stay at home (“Lockdowns”) or imposed regimes of restricted mobility (“Green Pass”). Such developments have not stopped after the end of the pandemic. In fact, the rapid expansion of Artificial Intelligence (AI) massively facilitates the possibilities for capitalist corporations and state machineries to undermine the most elementary social and democratic rights of the popular masses.
In general, AI in the hands of capitalists serves a reactionary purpose. If and to what extent AI can and will be utilized in a future socialist society, will be decided after the destruction of the capitalist system via the global socialist revolution. Maybe these technologies will find their application in a socialist society to work for the benefit of humanity.
It is evident that only a radical reversal of the energy and environmental policy can save our planet and our future. One must not have any illusions in capitalist governments and their “climate summits”. The only way to combat climate change is the formation of a global mass movement fighting for an international emergency plan controlled by the working class and the peoples, who are the ones who suffer the most from the consequences of the policies of capitalism. The struggle for necessary environmental reforms must be combined with the aim of overthrowing capitalism, because only then can such an emergency plan be implemented fully and permanently.
The RCIT and all authentic socialists call for a conversion of the energy and transport system and a global phasing out of fossil fuels and nuclear energy production. Massive research into the use of alternative forms of energy such as wind, tidal and solar power as well as a program for global reforestation are necessary. For the nationalization under workers' control of all energy companies and all companies that are responsible for basic supplies such as water and agricultural products as well as the airlines, shipping and rail facilities!
We also propose the replacement of several of the main techniques that are used by large agro-livestock companies, pesticides and transgenic seeds, which, as activists from the most affected countries have shown, produce food that makes people sick and generate irreparable damage to the population which lives close to the crops (e.g. cancer). A similar situation occurs in the production of meat, since in order for these to go quickly to the market, they are inoculated with vaccines and products that threaten the health of the population.
We strictly oppose all steps towards increasing surveillance and control of mobility by the capitalist state or corporations. They might say that these are means to protect people’s health or living conditions – in fact “Big Brother” only protects the Lords of Power and Money from the popular masses! Hence, we oppose Lockdowns, the “Green Pass” system as well as the expansion of AI. Our guiding principle in the struggle against such evils is the slogan “oppose and obstruct”! As the Bolsheviks, who faced all kinds of plagues as soon as they took power in 1917, stated, the best way to deal with such problems is the mobilization and organization – in contrast to the policy of isolation! – of the class capable of revolutionizing the world, the working class.