Manifesto for Revolutionary Liberation

The Tasks of the Liberation Struggle against Decaying Capitalism

Manifesto for the Socialist Revolution of the Workers and Oppressed

Adopted by the 1st Congress of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), October 2016, www.thecommunists.net

 

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Contents

 

Introduction


I.             Decaying Capitalism

 

II.            Today’s Worldwide Historic Revolutionary Period

 

III.          The Reactionary Offensive of the Ruling Class


IV.          A Program for Socialist Revolution to Halt Humanity’s Collapse into Barbarism

Defense of Democratic Rights! Down with Bonapartism, Monarchies and Dictatorships! 

Down with Austerity, Precarity and Privatization! Against the Great Powers’ “Free Trade Agreements”! 

Land to the Peasants! No to Land Grabbing by the Multinational Corporations!

The Struggle of Oppressed Peoples against Imperialist Aggression

Militarism and Inter-Imperialist Rivalry between the Great Powers 

The Defense of Minorities against National Oppression

The Struggle to End Violence against Women

Capitalism and Climate Change 

Workers’ and Poor Peasant Government versus “Left-Wing Government”

Towards the Expropriation of the Bourgeoisie – For Socialist Revolution!


V.            The Crisis of Leadership and the Construction of a Revolutionary World Party

 

VI.          Work in Mass Organizations and the United Front Tactic

 

VII.        The Semi-Colonial South

The Middle East and North Africa

Latin AmericaAsia
Asia

Sub-Sahara Africa


VIII.       The Emerging Imperialist Great Powers of the East: China and Russia


IX.          The Old Imperialist Great Powers: the EU, North America and Japan

 

X.            Conclusion and Appendix

 

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Manifiesto por la Liberación Revolucionaria (The RCIT-Manifesto in Spanish language)

 

 (The RCIT-Manifesto in Arabic language)  بيان من أجل التحرير الثوري
 

Manifeste pour la Libération Révolutionnaire (The RCIT-Manifesto in French language)

 

Manifesto Para a Libertaçao Revolucionária (The RCIT-Manifesto in Portuguese language)

 

Manifest für Revolutionäre Befreiung (The RCIT-Manifesto in German language)

 

Manifesti për Çlirimin Revolucionare (The RCIT-Manifesto in Albanian language)

 

המניספט המהפכני לשחרור האנושות מהקפיטליזם (The RCIT-Manifesto in Hebrew language)

 

 

* * * * *

 

Introduction

 

The world we are living in is in turmoil. Capitalism has entered a period of never-ending crisis. In fact, it is decaying. Climate change, long denied by the big corporations and their puppet governments, is endangering increasingly larger sectors of humanity. The ruling class around the globe is relentlessly accelerating its attacks on the workers and poor. The imperialist Great Powers of West and East, whose mutual rivalry is steadily intensifying, are terrorizing the peoples of the semi-colonial world both militarily as well as economically by means of super-exploitation. The oppressed are initiating mass struggles to revolt against this situation again and again, even to the extent of waging armed uprisings and civil wars. But they are being betrayed by their leaderships, who are either selling out the just struggle being waged in exchange for some governmental posts or, if not corrupt, lack a valid program to overthrow the greedy rulers.

The coming years will be increasingly marked by a reactionary offensive of the ruling class, but also by mass struggles of the workers and oppressed. This is the time for every person to decide. All who don’t want to stand by in indifference; everyone who wants to change the fate of the oppressed, should join the struggle. But he or she should join the struggle not like some blind daredevil, but with a plan, a program and as part of a collective.

The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) calls upon all revolutionaries to rally under the banner of authentic Marxism. We want to unite with all who can identify with the program presented here and who are willing to seriously dedicate their lives to the liberation struggle of the working class and the oppressed. We have no time to loose. We have everything to win. Our struggle against the ruling class will neither be easy nor short-term. It will take years and it will demand great sacrifices from us all. But can there be a higher purpose for one’s life than dedicating it to the struggle for universal emancipation; to save the future of humanity?!

We are only too well aware that the most important feature of the present period is the tremendous gap between, on the one hand, the intensifying class struggle as well as the objective urgency of overthrowing capitalism and, on the other, the currently relatively small number of revolutionary forces. This, however, is no reason to despair, but rather should augment and strengthen our commitment and duty to unite all authentic revolutionaries on the basis of a serious program and perspective and to found a revolutionary world party.

The RCIT is issuing this Manifesto in order to present a platform by means of which all revolutionaries can unite and intervene in the class struggles in the period before us. This Manifesto constitutes a reconfirmation, continuation and actualization of the RCIT’s Program (The Revolutionary Communist Manifesto), published in 2012, while taking into account the important lessons and experiences of the world class struggle during the last four years.


I.             Decaying Capitalism

 

The present historic period which opened in 2008 is characterized by a dramatic decay of the productive forces of capitalism. As the RCIT has elaborated in numerous documents, this decay manifests itself in the dramatic depth of the Great Recession of 2008/09, the lack of any dynamic of growth since then, and the approach of the next recession.

However, the decay of the productive forces is most dramatically reflected by the deteriorating living conditions of the global working class, peasantry and urban poor – those who constitute the vast majority of humanity. Officially more than 200 million people are unemployed, but the real figure is much higher. According to the United Nations, 100,000 people throughout the world die of hunger every day, and approximately 852 million suffer from chronic hunger. This scandalous situation exists in spite of the fact that the world produces more than 1½ times enough food to feed everyone on the planet. However, in a world in which 2.2 billion people live on less than US $2 a day (in 2011), many cannot afford to buy sufficient amounts of food.

At the same time, inequality has increased dramatically. According to the latest OXFAM study, in 2015, the 62 richest individuals in the world held the same amount of wealth as the 3.6 billion people who constitute the economic bottom half of humanity. But this is only the tip of the iceberg. Never before has inequality between the classes and between nations been so great on a global level. According to figures from Credit Suisse – a source which no one could accuse of anti-capitalist ideology – an insignificant minority (0.7% of the world population), representing largely the global capitalist class, owns 41% of the world’s wealth. The global middle class (7.7% of the world population) owes together about the same amount (42.3% of the world’s wealth). The next 22.9% of the world’s population, probably representing a significant share of the working class of the imperialist countries and the middle class of the semi-colonial world, own 13.7%, and the huge majority of the world’s population (68.7%) – representing mostly the working class and the poor peasants of the South – own the little which remains, only 3% of the world’s wealth.

As Marx pointed out, capitalism in decay increasingly transforms productive forces into forces of destruction. An example of this is the dramatic change in climate and its consequences for many countries and their populations. Scientist estimate that continuing today’s patterns of carbon-intensive energy use, with the resulting changes in climate that this will induce, will cause 6 million deaths per year by 2030. They also warn that “unless strong preventative action is taken, between now and 2050 climate change will push the number of displaced people globally to at least 1 billion.

Another example of the horrific transformation of productive forces into destructive ones is the massive increase in military spending. The Great Powers – led by the US and followed by China, Russia, France, UK, and Germany – annually spend more than US$1.2 trillion for weapons and related systems.

The increasing number of wars and military occupations has led to a dramatic rise in the number of victims of war and displaced persons. In Syria alone, at least 470,000 people have been killed as the result of the Assad regime’s determination to hold on to power and privilege. According to the UNHCR, the global number of displaced people rose from 42.5 million (2011) to 63.5 million (2015), an astounding increase of 50% in just four years!

What are the reasons for the historic crisis of capitalism? Significantly, they cannot be found in the bad decisions of politicians or the greed of the capitalists – even though both of these certainly exist and are widespread. The fundamental cause of economic depression and the increasing number of wars, catastrophes and misery lies in the inner mechanism of the capitalist system itself. An ever-expanding accumulation of capital finds fewer and fewer opportunities for profitable investment – reflecting the law of the tendency of the rate of profit to fall (which Marx considered as the most important law in political economy). This results in the accelerated antagonism between the social nature of the forces of production and the private nature of means of production (i.e., capitalist property), as well as the exacerbated contradiction between the global nature of the productive forces and the nation state.

Consequently, contrary to the mistaken beliefs of reformists, populists and centrists, the misery of humanity caused by crisis-ridden capitalism cannot be overcome by reforms (Keynesian economic policy, “left-wing government”, etc.), but only by the smashing of the global capitalist system itself, by means of an international revolution of the working class and the oppressed, which will overthrow the ruling classes and establish a world federation of republics of the workers and oppressed.

                                                                                   


II.            Today’s Worldwide Historic Revolutionary Period

 

Due to the decay of the productive forces of capitalism and, consequently, the system’s economic, social and political viability, today’s world is pregnant with major explosions – economic crashes, major wars, climatic catastrophes, and political revolutions.

It is because of the inherently contradictory dynamic of increased concentration of capital accumulation and the decreased rate of profit from capitalist production that, in lieu of non-existing major productive channels for investment, the bourgeoisie has for decades been forced to defend and augment its accumulated capital and future profits by two main means: (1) the increased financialization of the world economy (creating one investment bubble – “wealth on paper” – after another) and (2) relentlessly attacking the working class with one austerity package after another. Naturally the two are inextricably linked, as we witness whenever the latest financial bubble bursts. This was in particular obvious when in 2008 the potential collapse of the great Western banks was only averted by the unprecedented criminal transfer of workers’ taxes by the bourgeois governments to the financial wizards of Wall Street. When the treasuries of the capitalist states are looted to save the criminal bankers, the working class faces huge cuts in government spending on health, education, housing, and social welfare.

Due to the very same decreased rate of profit, the imperialist bourgeoisie increasingly and relentlessly needs to strangle the semi-colonial countries of the South, siphoning off more and more of the profits produced there to its own coffers via economic concessions granted by puppet governments and “benevolent” interest-bearing loans which these pillaged countries find impossible to pay back. This ongoing robbery from the countries of the South in turn obliges each of the imperialist nations to make its presence felt, leading to the waging of more and more military interventions and occupations (in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Mali, etc.), thereby shoring up its control of one or other of these “peripheral” countries.

And it is precisely for this reason that the rivalry between the imperialist Great Powers is exacerbating, since they all have to compete against one another to gain a larger share of the relatively decreasing global capitalist wealth. The result is the increased conflict we witness today, for example, between the US and the EU against Russia over the Ukraine or Syria, or between the US and Japan against China in East-Asia.

None of these contradictions can be solved within the limitations of the capitalist system. Crisis, depression and wars will accelerate more and more if the working class does not smash the capitalist system.

If the imperialist Great Powers are not stopped in time, their rivalry will lead to a Third World War. The working class can only end this continuous chain of misery, wars and catastrophes via a world socialist revolution. Rosa Luxemburg’s statement that humanity is faced with the alternative “Socialism or Barbarism” is more relevant today than ever. Under the conditions of the early 21st century, the concretization of Luxemburg’s statement means: “Socialism or Widespread Death through Climate Destruction and World War III”!

This is why the RCIT, as it has already stated in its Program of 2012, characterizes the present historic period of capitalist decay as a long-term revolutionary period (which could last for many years or even decades). Capitalism’s decay constantly provokes economic crises, political instability and the incessant danger of war and in doing so continually generates revolutionary situations, as well as counterrevolutionary dangers. Historic events like the breakdown of the world economy in conjunction with a major political and military crisis between the Great Powers or a popular uprising in China could inaugurate a worldwide revolutionary situation. The RCIT calls the working class vanguard to prepare itself for such a period replete with revolutionary convulsions.


III.          The Reactionary Offensive of the Ruling Class

 

Since the beginning of the present period in 2008, we have witnessed different phases of the class struggle. When the popular masses felt the consequences of the Great Recession, they rose up against the ruling class. The most important revolutionary upswing took place in the Arab world, where the masses overthrew the dictators in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen in 2011 and continue their heroic resistance in other countries in which the rulers have defended and, and for the time being, managed to retain their power by all available military means (Syria, Bahrain, etc.).

In addition to the heroic armed uprising of the Syrian people against the Assad regime and the ongoing resistance against the military dictatorship in Egypt, a series of other important class struggles have taken place in recent years: the teachers struggle in Mexico; the popular protests in Brazil in 2013 as well as the resistance against the coup in 2015/16; the 2012 Marikana miners’ strike in South Africa; the biggest general strikes in human history in India, in which 150-180 million people participated in September 2015 and 2016; the Black Live Matters movement in the USA; more than 35 general strikes in Greece; and the mass protests against the Labor Law in France in 2016.

However, as these mass struggles were mostly spontaneous, they sadly lacked a leadership with a perspective which would enable them to overthrow not just specific rulers, but the entire ruling class of their respective countries. As a result of the absence of revolutionary leaderships, these struggles came up against immense obstacles. Again and again, the ruling class managed to either pacify these movements or to brutally suppress and defeat them.

As a result, the working class is now experiencing reactionary offensives by the local ruling class in many areas of the world. Not only is the bourgeoisie continuing and intensifying its reckless austerity attacks and privatizations programs, driving larger and larger sectors of the working class and the oppressed into poverty and social insecurity; it also is increasingly attacking the basic democratic rights of its citizens. Thus, for example, we are witnessing reactionary offensives like the military coup d’état in Egypt; the return of the Ben Ali clique in Tunisia; the 2016 institutional coup in Brazil; the advance of the right-wing forces in Argentina and Venezuela; the 2014 military coup d’état in Thailand; the general exacerbation of Islamophobia and racism against migrants and refugees; and the increasing militarization throughout the Western world and among Russian and Chinese imperialism as well.

With their armories bulging at the seams, the imperialist Great Powers have stepped up their military interventions in the semi-colonial world in order to defeat any popular resistance. As a result, tens of thousands are slaughtered by the rockets, bombs, and shelling of the US, France, Britain, Russia and Israel, or by their local lackeys in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Mali, Libya, Somalia and other countries.

Furthermore, the Great Powers – the US, EU, Japan, China and Russia – are whipping up militarism and chauvinism as well as the use of economic sanctions to increase their respective spheres of influence at the expense of their rivals, and to chauvinistically rally their domestic population behind their expansionist programs.

Already now we see an increase of economic protectionism, de-globalization, the creation of regional blocs and isolationism. The exit of Britain from the EU (Brexit) is an example for this. The rise of rabid chauvinists (e.g. Trump, Le Pen, Strache, Farange) is another indicator. A disintegration of the EU as a result of Le Pen und like-minded figures in key countries of the EU or a termination of the “Atlantic Partnership” between the US and the EU under a President Trump would be dramatic world political events and would lead to a massive escalation of global political and economic contradictions.

In short, in today’s world we are witness to an increasingly massive exacerbation of contradictions along all three axes of economic and political antagonisms – the class struggle between the capitalists and the workers and oppressed; the struggle between the Great Powers and the multi-national corporations against the oppressed peoples of the South; and the conflict between the rival imperialist powers.

These reactionary offensives of the ruling classes have resulted in a number of serious defeats for the working class and the oppressed. But they also inevitably provoke new upsurges in the class struggle – economic struggles, general strikes, popular uprisings, armed resistance against foreign occupiers, and insurrections. Before us lies a period of sharp and explosive class struggles full of revolutionary potential and counterrevolutionary dangers.


IV.          A Program for Socialist Revolution to Halt Humanity’s Collapse into Barbarism

 

In order to repel the reactionary offensives of the ruling class, the workers and oppressed must fight under the banner of a program which defends every single democratic and social right, and which combines this struggle with the perspective of the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism. As revolutionaries, the RCIT does not in any way scorn the struggle for reforms and the defense of existing rights. Quite the contrary, in nearly all cases revolutionary situations will only emerge out of struggles where the popular masses are defending their social and democratic rights against the attacks of the ruling class.

Therefore, any revolutionary action program for the present period must start with the most burning issues of the class struggle today, i.e., the defense of the workers and oppressed against the capitalist onslaught. Such a program is not a list of appeals which we call upon the capitalist state to implement, like reformist and populist bureaucrats regularly do, focusing on behind-closed-doors negotiations, elections and parliamentary maneuvers. Rather a revolutionary action program is a militant one focusing on the means to lead an uncompromising class struggle and to advance the self-organization of the workers and oppressed.

It is for this reason that revolutionaries call upon the working class and the oppressed to fight for their interests using all forms of mass struggle dictated by concrete circumstances – beginning with mass demonstrations, strikes and general strikes, occupations, up to armed insurrections and civil wars. Similarly, in all struggles revolutionaries call for the formation of action committees of workers, youth and the popular masses in workplaces, neighborhoods, villages, schools and universities. Furthermore, revolutionaries call for the formation of self-defense units in order to defend strikers, demonstrators, migrants and refugees against the violence perpetrated by police and fascists. In situations of acute class struggles, such bodies can be expanded so that action committees can become councils (like the soviets in Russia in 1917) backing and backed by armed workers’ and popular militias.

The RCIT has outlined its program for action in its Revolutionary Communist Manifesto (2012). Below we will summarize what we consider to be the most important issues for the current political phase and provide for each of them revolutionary answers.

 

Defense of Democratic Rights! Down with Bonapartism, Monarchies and Dictatorships!

The struggle for democratic rights has become one of the most important issues in this age of capitalism in decay. In this context, the ruling classes inevitably violate and trample on democratic rights and strive to replace even limited bourgeois democracy by capitalist Bonapartism and dictatorship.

Since 2011, the struggle for democratic rights has become a battle cry in the Arab Revolutions against the local dictatorships. This struggle has become crucial for the defense of workers and oppressed against military and institutional coups (Honduras 2009, Paraguay 2012, Egypt 2013, Thailand and Burkina Faso 2014, Burundi 2015, Brazil and Turkey 2016). It is also a central issue in China, where the working class and the poor peasants are oppressed by the Stalinist-Capitalist dictatorship. And it has become an important issue in the Western imperialist countries where the bourgeoisie is increasingly ruling by Bonapartist means, mass surveillance and the expansion of the police state (a permanent “state of emergency” in France; increasing use of the army for domestic operations in various European countries, etc.)

The RCIT calls the workers’ vanguard to mobilize for the defense of all democratic rights (for example, the right to strike, freedom of speech and assembly, freedom of political and union organization, as well as the freedom to make use of all communication and information media).

Likewise, the working class must mobilize against all dictatorships, the police and the surveillance state; against expanding the powers of the police and the courts; against the institutions of the presidency, monarchies and Bonapartist foundations (like Military Councils, National Security Councils, etc.); against the inherent corruption of all kinds of bourgeois state apparatuses (both in their authoritarian as well as their “democratic” version) – here we call for a radical purge of the state apparatus! All state officials and their actions – especially police, army, intelligence, administration, legal, enterprise directors, etc. – must be screened under the control of workers’ and popular councils!

Socialists oppose the overblown bureaucratic state apparatus and support the extension of local self-government in its stead. In order to fight against the bureaucratic and corrupt state apparatus we advocate the right to elect and recall all public officeholders.

A central slogan in the struggle for democratic rights – not only in the struggle against dictatorships but also in situations where democratic issues are at the center of deep political crises – is the call for a Revolutionary Constituent Assembly. Such an assembly should be a bourgeois democratic body with delegates who are controllable by those who elected them and who are open to recall by their constituents. Determining the age for the right to vote should be decided by the workers’ movement of each country. The minimum age for allowing young people to work or to be held criminally responsible should be the basis for this decision. The assembly’s role is to debate and decide on constitutional issue, and it should be protected by workers’ and popular militias against any intimidation of reactionary forces.

The RCIT sharply condemns all reformist and centrist forces who fail to take a clear stand in defense of democratic rights; who refuse to participate in popular struggles (which are usually led by bourgeois-populist or petty-bourgeois forces) against dictatorships or reactionary forces attempting to foment a coup d’état. It is vital that socialists implement the united front tactic – including its formation with those bourgeois-populist or petty-bourgeois forces that are highly influential among the masses disposed against any dictatorship (e.g., Chavismo in Latin America, various Islamist parties like al-Ikhwan al-Muslimin [Muslim Brotherhood] in Egypt, Thaksin’s party in Thailand) – in the struggle against the forces of reaction and in defense of democratic rights! Any sectarianism under the slogan of “political purity,” any refusal to join a camp fighting concretely against the main enemy in a class struggle, under the pretext that “both sides are bourgeois in character” can only lead to well-deserved self-isolation; and this is pseudo-ideological condescension is nothing but a gross betrayal of the fundamental democratic interests of the working class and the poor.

Particularly revolting forms of centrist treason characterizes those who hailed Genera al-Sisi’s military coup in Egypt as a “second revolution” (the Morenoite LIT, Alan Wood’s IMT, the Cliffite RS/IST); those who praised the Ukrainian right-wing Euromaidan movement as a “democratic revolution” (i.e., the Mandelite FI, the Morenoite LIT and UIT); and those who support the bloody dictatorship of Assad against his own people (e.g., WWP, PSL)

Naturally, any defensive struggle for democratic rights can only achieve temporary victories as decaying capitalism aims to strangle and abolish bourgeois democracy. Hence, as Leon Trotsky – leader, along with Lenin, of the October Revolution, and founder of the Fourth International – emphasized in his Theory of Permanent Revolution, that the democratic revolution can only win sustainable victories if it is led by the working class which will combine the democratic struggle with the task of the expropriating the bourgeoisie. In other words, in order to succeed, the democratic revolution must be combined with socialist revolution.

 

Down with Austerity, Precarity and Privatization! Against the Great Powers’ “Free Trade Agreements”!

As the capitalist crisis deepens, the bourgeoisie inevitably increases its attacks on the working class and the poor: cuts in wages; “liberalization” of labor rights (e.g., the labor law reform in Mexico or the 2016 El Khomri Law in France); making working hours “flexible”; cuts in pensions and education – all these are severe attacks on the working class and on popular rights on the economic front, which are taking place on all continents.

Another crucial arena of today’s economic class struggle is the continuing wave of privatizations. In their desperate search for new sources of finance, bourgeois governments are relentlessly selling off state property to oligarchs, often at a fraction of their true worth. This is particularly harmful when it affects basic commodities for society like water, electricity, transport, etc. When such services are privatized, many public workers usually get fired, basic commodities become much more expensive and, at the same time, their quality deteriorates.

Yet another main front in this struggle is the attempt by monopoly capital to increase its power at the expense of the state and society by lobbying for the imposition of so-called “free trade agreements” like: the US-dominated Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the China-dominated Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the US and the EU or the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada. In fact, such agreements only serve to increase the domination by the capitalist mega-corporations of workers, consumers, as well as the nation state and its legal regulations.

The RCIT calls upon the workers’ vanguard to mobilize the trade unions and social movements against all such kinds of attacks by organizing mass actions on the streets. When companies cut wages, sack workers, or intend to close and move on, we demand an opening of the books and the nationalization of the enterprise under workers’ control. We call for the cutting of working hours and a public employment program so that all can have a job and work fewer hours while receiving the same wages. Such reforms could easily be financed by massive increases in taxation of the rich and the expropriation of the super-rich.

 

Land to the Peasants! No to Land Grabbing by the Multinational Corporations!

The same process of monopolization, which we are witness to in the industrial and service sectors, is taking place in the agriculture. While 382 million of the world’s 450 million farms (85%) are worked by small farmers, they control less than half of the land under permanent cultivation. The rest is owned by a small elite of agricultural corporations, big private landowners and mid-sized farmers. For decades, more and more small peasants have been forced by their governments to abandon diverse, nearly self-sufficient subsistence agriculture and switch to the cultivation of monoculture cash crops. In tens of millions of cases worldwide, this has resulted in their being crushed under huge debts unpayable with little income they derive as prices are determined globally for the one crop they raise. Ultimately these peasants are driven into extreme poverty, or worse, and are forced to sell their land and to migrate to urban areas to find precarious, highly-exploited employment. To give just one example: In India, during the decade from 2005-2014, more than 250,000 small farmers committed suicide because of their debts to the Monsanto corporation for the purchase of genetically modified seeds and fertilizers. Thus we see that, in recent decades, the proletarianization that was foisted upon the peasants in England in the years leading up to the industrial revolution has been and continues to take place in the South on a far greater scale. Of course, the only winners in this game are the vast agricultural corporations and big land-owners who gobble up the abandoned land to increase their profits. This trend towards the monopolization of the land has been only intensified by the recent wave of land-grabbing by multi-national corporations centered in the US, the EU or China. They buy up vast tracts of lands and expel the peasants – often with the help of the police and armed thugs.

These are major factors which explain why millions of people are forced to flee their homes and to join the urban poor or to become migrants and refugees in the rich imperialist countries.

The rural poor are the most important ally of the working class. Therefore, the RCIT calls the workers’ vanguard to energetically support the struggle of the poor peasants expressed in the following slogans:

* For the expropriation of the big landlords, the church and the multinationals!

* Nationalize the land under the control of workers and poor peasants!

* The land belongs to those who cultivate it!

* Only local democratic action councils representing the poor and landless peasants should decide the question of the allocation and use of the land!

* Promote voluntary agricultural cooperatives and the formation of larger state production units!

* Cancel debts and abolish rents for the peasants!

* Interest-free loans for small peasants!

On the same tenor, we call for the support of the urban poor and street peddlers in order to integrate them into the class struggle against the banks and the monopolies.

 

The Struggle of Oppressed Peoples against Imperialist Aggression

In a period of capitalist decay it is inevitable that the imperialist Great Powers intensify the oppression of politically weaker peoples in general and specifically increase the super-exploitation of semi-colonial countries. This is the background of the increased military aggression by the US, the EU or Russia that we are witnessing in recent years.

Examples of such aggression are the attacks of NATO in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq; the Russian intervention in Syria and its brutal genocide of the Chechen people; the French intervention in Mali and the Central African Republic; and Israel’s ongoing wars of oppression and displacement against the Palestinian people. China, too, is increasingly sending troops abroad (e.g., to South Sudan) and intimidating semi-colonial countries like Vietnam. Yet another example of imperialist aggression is the continuous intimidation of North Korea by US imperialism and its South Korean ally.

In various cases the Great Powers let their local lackeys do the dirty work of assaulting rebellious people. For example, the African Union Mission in Somalia which is trying to smash the armed rebellion led by the Islamist al-Shabaab militia or the aggression of the army of Mali in the Azawad region. Also, we are witnessing the Saudi aggression against the people of Yemen.

In all such cases it is the utmost duty of revolutionaries to fight against the imperialist aggression. While such conflicts represent unjust wars of aggression on the side of the imperialists, for the oppressed peoples they are just defensive wars. Therefore, , the RCIT calls all upon socialists to stand unequivocally for the defeat of the Great Powers or their local allies and for the military victory of the oppressed peoples. Applying the anti-imperialist united front tactic as formulated by the revolutionary Communist International in 1919-23, we are on the side of those resisting the imperialist invaders, regardless of their non-revolutionary leaderships, while giving no political support for nationalist, Islamist or Stalinist forces!

We condemn those centrist forces who fail to support the struggles of the oppressed peoples against the imperialist powers, citing the non-revolutionary leaderships as an excuse (e.g., Peter Taffee’s CWI, Alan Woods’ IMT, the Lambertists as well as the Mandelist NPA). Some, like the CWI, even go as far as to support the existence of a “socialist” Israeli Zionist settler state.

Naturally, revolutionaries oppose the reactionary Salafi-Takfiri Daesh / Islamic State. This group is counter-revolutionary poison – it foments sectarian hatred and division among the peoples in the Muslim countries and, with its reactionary terrorist attacks against civilians, provides an excuse for the imperialist powers to continue their wars of aggression in the Middle East. While we would defend Daesh/IS in any confrontation with the imperialist Great Powers, we support the struggle of the Syrian rebels to liquidate this cancer.

 

Militarism and Inter-Imperialist Rivalry between the Great Powers

The decay of the capitalist system is intensifying the rivalry between the imperialist Great Powers (the US, EU, Japan, China and Russia). Consequently, we are witnessing an increasing number of conflicts between the Great Powers over spheres of influence (e.g., in the Ukraine, in Syria or in East Asia). Other manifestations of this rivalry are various projects of US imperialism (e.g., the various “free trade agreements”) as well as of the new Eastern imperialists (China and Russia) which are increasingly challenging the hegemony of the old Western imperialists (e.g., China’s Nicaragua Canal Development Project; the New Development Bank operated by the BRICS states as an alternative to the existing American and European-dominated World Bank and International Monetary Fund; the spread of trade conducted in Yuan and Ruble, etc.). Another manifestation of this accelerating rivalry are the economic sanctions imposed by the US and EU imperialism against Russia during the civil war in the Ukraine. In the period of capitalist decay, the perpetual more acceleration of this rivalry is inevitable. If the working class does not liquidate the Great Powers in time in an international socialist revolution, humanity’s existence is threatened by World War III.

Against the backdrop of the accelerating rivalry between the Great Powers, the workers’ movement is increasingly dominated by various trends of social-imperialism – not dissimilar to the period after 1914. Thus, in the present period, failing to recognize the existence of different, rivaling imperialist powers (i.e., ignoring the emergence of the new Great Powers, China and Russia) or failing to take a consistent revolutionary defeatist stand against all imperialist states, condemns any self-proclaimed socialist organization to political disorientation. In fact, the populist and reformist bureaucracies, as well as large sectors of centrism, opportunistically adapt, whether openly or covertly, to one or another Great Power. Basically we can distinguish three different trends among these revisionist tendencies:

i) The pro-Western social-imperialists and social-pacifists, who capitulate to the old Western imperialist powers by either openly supporting their wars by taking a pacifist position or by failing to support the resistance against them (e.g., in Afghanistan, Iraq, Mali, and Gaza). Among these forces are Western social-democrats and various (ex-)Stalinists (e.g., the Party of the European Left) as well as a number of right-wing centrists.

ii) The pro-Eastern social-imperialists and social-pacifists, who either openly or covertly support the emerging imperialist powers in the East (e.g., Russia’s involvement in the Ukraine and Syria, and China’s aggression in East Asia) or support their reactionary proxies against democratic popular uprisings (e.g., Assad in Syria). Among these forces are many Castro-Chavista parties in Latin America, Stalinist parties (e.g., KPRF in Russia, CPI(M) in India), as well as a number of centrist groups.

iii) A smaller current, mostly centrist sects, are the Imperialist Economists, who recognize the imperialist character of both the Great Powers in the West as well in the East, but who fail to understand the nature of the increasing number of just national and democratic movements and uprisings. As a result, they tend to take abstentionist positions in democratic revolutions and anti-imperialist struggles – confusing them as simply “conflicts between imperialist proxies.

Only the Proletarian Internationalists – to which the RCIT belongs – take a consistent and intransigent approach against all imperialist powers based on the Bolshevik program of “revolutionary defeatism.” We say: Down with all imperialist Great Powers – whether the US, EU, Japan, China or Russia! In any political, economic or military conflict between these Great Powers, the workers’ movement must not give support to any one of them, but must instead declare: The Main Enemy is at Home! No to imperialist sanctions which are nothing but an instrument of economic warfare!

While we oppose all forms of bourgeois armies and fight for their replacement by workers’ and popular militias, we oppose the introduction of professional armies and the abolition of conscription as a step towards the creation of an even more submissive bourgeois army.

At the same time, proletarian internationalists support all just national and democratic movements of the oppressed masses, while fighting against imperialist interference and for a program of class independence and socialist revolution.

 

The Defense of Minorities against National Oppression

The growing importance of the democratic question is also reflected in the increasing number of struggles of national and ethnic minorities against national oppression. There have been important struggles of oppressed nations both in imperialist countries (e.g., the Catalans and Basques in Spain, the Irish in Britain, the Chechens in Russia, the Uyghurs and Tibetans in China) as well as in semi-colonial countries (e.g., the Palestinians, the Kurdish people, the Tamils in Sri Lanka, the Kashmiri in India, etc.). Furthermore, many ethnic groups face increasing oppression (e.g., the Ogoni and the Ijaw in the Niger Delta, the indigenous people in Latin America, the US, Australia, and New Zealand). The brutal persecution of the black African-American minority in the US is another example of the rise of racism and national oppression.

Finally, we also cite the rising of minorities composed of migrants in most imperialist countries (as well as in the Gulf States) where they constitute, in their huge majority, a nationally oppressed and economically super-exploited sector of the working class (irrespective of their objectively being lower strata of the petty bourgeoisie). In the last decade, Islamophobia has become a particular vicious form of racism.

The RCIT strives to achieve the closest unity between the workers and oppressed of different nations and religious beliefs. However, this goal is impossible to achieve by simply denying existing national oppression or by abstract appeals to “class unity.” This task can only succeed if revolutionaries acknowledge the oppression and fight for the full equality of the oppressed group.

Thus, the RCIT calls upon the workers’ vanguard to oppose all forms of chauvinism, pressure to assimilate, etc., and to implement the program of revolutionary equality. Socialists unconditionally defend the right to national self-determination for all oppressed peoples. Socialists must support the struggle for full equality (equality of their native language, equality of citizenship rights, equal wages, etc.), local self-government and territorial autonomy. Whenever an oppressed people wishes to have an independent state, socialists are obligated to support this demand.

The internationalist struggle for revolutionary equality of migrants sharply condemns all forms of opportunistic adaption to chauvinism inside the workers’ movement. We therefore condemn those British centrists who supported the chauvinist “British Jobs for British Workers” strike in 2009, who denounced the August Uprising in 2011, and who oppose the call for “Open Border for Migrants” (like the CWI and the IMT).

 

The Struggle to End Violence against Women

The acceleration of the class contradictions inevitably also leads to an exacerbation of the oppression of women. The most brutal and visible form of this oppression is the pervasive violence against women, including rape and murder (femicide). Violence against women, both inside and outside of families, a growing culture of the sexualization of women, justifying aggressive male behavior up to rape, an expanding sex industry where women are exposed to disgraceful conditions, etc., are the social environment which accelerates the oppression of women.

Official statistics indicate that every year 66,000 women are violently killed around the world– and this figure is certainly an underestimate. In Ciudad Juárez alone, on the border between Mexico and the US, hundreds of women are murdered every year. According to some estimates as many as 25,000 newly married women are killed or maimed each year in India as a result of dowry-related violence. Add to this the numerous “honor killings” of women in countries with a strong patriarchal culture.

The RCIT advocates a mass campaign by workers’ and popular mass organizations to combat all forms of violence against women. We must create a social climate where the “honor” of people is seriously damaged if they commit or even only endorse violence against women. It is crucial to build self-defense units of the workers and poor to defend women against violence. Such brigades must consist of and be directed primarily by women, but should also be accompanied by men who support this struggle.

Likewise, the workers’ and popular movements must fight for a public employment program in order to offer women the opportunity for secure full-time employment with equal wages, as well as the creation of a comprehensive child-care program to ensure the full integration of women in the working world.

Women’s oppression is an integral part of the class society and hence inextricably connected with capitalism. Consequently, women of the working class, of the urban poor and the poor peasantry are much more affected by their social oppression than women of the bourgeoisie or the middle class. For the same reason, women’s oppression can only be abolished by the revolutionary overthrow of the system of class exploitation. Therefore, the RCIT calls for the formation of a revolutionary women’s movement as part of the proletarian liberation struggle.

 

Capitalism and Climate Change

Decaying capitalism threatens to destroy the natural living conditions for increasingly larger sectors of humanity and ultimately to even make the planet as a whole inhabitable. In contrast to various petty-bourgeois environmentalist forces, socialists consider the climate disaster as a class issue. It can only be resolved by means of a working class and popular struggle against the Great Powers and their monopolies.

The biggest destroyers of the environment are the multinational corporations of the imperialist states - most notably the US (it alone produces 25% of all greenhouse gases!), the EU, Japan and, increasingly, the new imperialist superpower China. Britain, for example, produces 10 times as much CO2 per capita as India. On the other hand, the poorest 3 billion people worldwide contribute almost nothing to climate change.

Of course, today even the rulers talk about the need to reverse climate change. But these are phrases. The failures of the Kyoto Protocol and the climate summit in Copenhagen clearly demonstrate that the capitalists and their governments are unable and unwilling to stop climate change because of the negative impact that this will have on the profits of the capitalist corporations.

Only a radical reversal of the energy and environmental policy can save our planet and our future. Instead of hoping for a solution of the climate crisis by the capitalist governments and their “summits,” the RCIT calls for a global mass movement fighting for an international emergency plan to combat climate change. Such necessary steps include the emergency plan to convert the energy and transport system and for a global phasing out of fossil fuels and nuclear energy production tied to a program for public employment. Furthermore we call for the 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! The workers’ movement should fight 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.

The struggle for necessary environmental reforms must be combined with the aim of overthrowing capitalism, because only then can such an emergency plan to be implemented fully and permanently.

 

Workers’ and Poor Peasant Government versus “Left-Wing Government”

The workers and oppressed cannot escape the capitalist hell on earth without seizing power from the ruling class. Therefore, the central task of the working class is to fight for a government of its own, a government which opens the road to socialism.

A number of left-wing populists, reformists and centrists call for a “left-wing government” as a strategic slogan in the liberation struggle. While the RCIT advocates the application of the united front tactic to petty-bourgeois populist and reformist workers’ parties – including in the electoral field as well as in the adoption of slogans related to governmental policies – we warn against the illusionary strategy of so-called “left-wing government.” As recent history has demonstrated, all these “progressive” or “left-wing” governments have not only failed to break with capitalism but were even incapable of stopping their countries from becoming victims of the deep recessions which have resulted from the decay of capitalism: for example, the bankruptcy of the Brazil PT-led government of Dilma Rousseff, the Maduro government in Venezuela, the SYRIZA government in Greece. All these governments are in fact bourgeois-populist or popular-front governments which leave power and wealth in the hands of the capitalist class and which chain the working class and the oppressed to the bourgeois system. We therefore say that praising such “left-wing governments” as a way forward is a reformist betrayal of the working class.

This does not mean that revolutionaries should refrain from deploying the united front tactic towards parties which are part of such popular front governments and which have a strong base among the working class and the oppressed. Rather, the RCIT defends such governments against any attempted coup d'état by right-wing forces or imperialism. We call the workers and popular mass organizations to break with the openly bourgeois forces in such governments and to create their own government (like the Bolsheviks called the Mensheviks and Social-Revolutionaries to break with the Kadets in 1917).

Likewise the RCIT advocates critical electoral support for reformist workers’ parties or – in semi-colonial countries – for petty-bourgeois populist parties where they have significant support among the workers and oppressed.

However, all such demands and critical support must be combined with a clear warning about the inevitable betrayal of the leaderships of such reformist and populist parties.

We also state unambiguously that the only way forward is the creation of a workers’ government allied with the semi-proletarian layers and the poor strata of the rural and urban petty-bourgeoisie. Naturally, the actual application of this governmental slogan depends on the concrete social conditions of each country. Such a government should be based on action councils of the workers, peasant and poor as well as on armed popular militias. All representatives of these action councils are elected directly by the workers and can be recalled by them, and they should receive no more than the salary of an average skilled worker!

Such an authentic workers’ government would turn immediately to the decisive task of expropriating the capitalist class as well as smashing the apparatus of bourgeois state repression by means of workers' and people's militia.

In other words, the struggle for a workers’ and popular government is inextricably linked with the struggle for the socialist revolution.

 

Towards the Expropriation of the Bourgeoisie – For Socialist Revolution!

While the working class can achieve temporary victories, if it is fully utilizing the weight of its social power in the class struggle, it would be a terrible illusion to imagine that such reforms could be sustainable as long as the capitalist class controls the means of production. Any lasting reform, even more so, any successful defense of past victories, is even more illusionary in a period of decaying capitalism.

The only way forward is to wrest control of the means of production as well as the state apparatus from the bourgeoisie. This is why the RCIT understands the struggle for a workers’ and popular government as a subordinate tactic of the strategic goal: socialist revolution.

The struggle for a workers’ government must go hand in hand with the struggle for the nationalisation of banks and fusion into a single central bank as well as the nationalisation of large companies, large wholesale trade and transport organizations, and social, health, education and communication sectors without compensation and under workers' control. Similarly, the workers should fight for the expropriation of the superrich, for the abolition of the stock market as well as for the introduction of a foreign trade monopoly.

Contrary to the illusions of the left social democrats, Stalinist and various centrists (e.g., CWI, IMT), the socialist transformation cannot take place via parliamentary elections or in a gradual, peaceful way. All historic experience – both of successful socialist revolutions like Russia’s in 1917-21, bureaucratic social revolutions (e.g., Cuba in 1959-61, China in 1945-49), unfinished democratic revolutions (e.g., Nicaragua or Iran in 1979), or even stranded revolutions like the Spanish Civil War of 1936-39, Chile of 1973, the Arab Revolutions since 2011, etc. – demonstrates that the ruling class will never give up its power peacefully. The working class and the oppressed can only take power and overthrow capitalism if they organize themselves – under the leadership of a revolutionary party – in popular militias and prepares for armed insurrection, civil war and the dictatorship of the proletariat as the only means by which the struggle for liberation can be advanced.


V.            The Crisis of Leadership and the Construction of a Revolutionary World Party

 

The central task in the upcoming period consists in the need to overcome the dramatic crisis of leadership. The objective development of capitalism – its decay and crisis-ridden character – will certainly help the masses understand the bankruptcy of this system, and the necessity of overthrowing it. However, in order to help the masses in this process, the workers’ vanguard must apply a program of transitional demands which creates a bridge from the struggles of today and the present consciousness of the masses to the strategic task of socialist revolution. This is why revolutionaries have to combine relentless propaganda for such a program with exemplary mass work and the application of the united front tactic towards the mass organizations of the workers and the oppressed.

The programmatic and organizational collapse of the Trotskyist Fourth International in 1948-52 interrupted the revolutionary continuity which had previously extended from the days of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels’ leadership in the Communist League, through the Second International until 1914, Lenin’s revolutionary Communist International up to Trotsky’s Fourth International. Today, small forces like the RCIT are taking up the thread of revolutionary continuity in their struggle for the construction of the revolutionary world party. Such a world party will be the fifth time that the working class has established an International (hence we call it the Fifth International).

However, there are huge obstacles on the road to building the revolutionary world party. In addition to the imperialist powers and the bourgeois state, the working class faces numerous enemies, opponents and unreliable advocates, in its own ranks. The lack of revolutionary continuity for many decades has led to a situation in which the workers’ and popular mass organizations are dominated by reformist and populist bureaucratic leaderships. These reformist forces are the main obstacle to transforming the huge objective revolutionary potential of the present historic period into actual proletarian revolutions.

Wars, revolutions and counter-revolutions are the most decisive tests for any political organization. Such situations inevitably lead to the surfacing of their true political character behind any declared formal program, as well as their relationship to the struggle of the workers and oppressed. Recent years have demonstrated that the official leaderships of the trade unions and popular organizations, of the reformist and bourgeois and petty-bourgeois populist parties (e.g., the Castro-Chavistas, Kirchnerists and Rousseff’s and Lula’s PT in Latin America, SYRIZA in Greece and other social democrats in Europe, the Stalinist CPI(M) in India and the Maoists in Nepal) as well as of the various strands of Islamism (e.g., the Muslim Brotherhood, various rebel groups in Syria or the Houthis in Yemen) – have all failed to offer the workers and popular masses a road out of their capitalist misery and humiliation. In other words, their political inclination – irrespective of their official “radical” proclamations – is to remain or become part of the state apparatus of the ruling capitalist class. It is, therefore, hardly surprising that they often have been, or aspire to become, an ally of one or several imperialist Great Powers. Centrism, irrespective of its political zigzagging and its use of “Marxist” terminology, always tends to adapt to one or other faction of the reformist bureaucracy, and serves as their “left” auxiliary troops.

The workers’ vanguard and all socialists must break with all these variations of political cul-de-sacs. We must choose a different path. As long as the working class and the oppressed do not possess a revolutionary combat party – nationally as well as worldwide – they cannot succeed in their struggle for liberation. In order to succeed against its powerful enemies, the working class must have a party with a clear program – outlining the way from the present situation to the conquest of power. It needs a party which concretizes such a program in a series of strategies and tactics related to the changing conditions of the class struggle. And it must have a party which accompanies such a program with a combat organization of steeled cadres which act in a centralized, coordinated fashion as a single clenched fist for the proletarian class struggle.

Therefore, the most urgent task in the present period is the timely founding of revolutionary parties and a new World Party of Socialist Revolution.


VI.          Work in Mass Organizations and the United Front Tactic

 

The necessary struggle against reformism and populism must under no circumstances be confused with any form of sectarianism towards the mass organizations of the working class. In a period of rising class struggle, in light of the dominance of reformist and populist bureaucracies in workers’ and popular mass organizations on the one hand, and the small size of authentic revolutionary forces on the other, the application of the united front tactic plays a central place in the revolutionaries’ arsenal. It is a fundamental element in achieving the strategic goal of breaking the working class away from the treacherous labor bureaucracy. Such tactics must be focused on practical activities and should include mobilizing and organizing ordinary members, placing demands on leaders, warning the workers against having any illusions in the bureaucratic leadership, in addition to independent agitation and propaganda. Thus, the united front tactic must go hand in hand with the sharp denunciation of the entire bureaucracy, reformist and/or populist, and the steadfast refusal to form any strategic bloc with any ostensibly “left” faction of the bureaucracy. This is the only way to defend the political independence of the working class from all bourgeois influence.

It remains crucial to work within the unions and other workers’ and popular mass organizations in order to revolutionize them. Communists should therefore organize themselves into factions and assist in building a broad rank-and-file movement to fight against the privileged bureaucracy and to ultimately oust it. However, revolutionaries are also aware that the unions usually organize only a small minority of the working class. In addition, unions are often dominated by the labor aristocracy or by the more affluent sectors of the proletariat. Hence, it is crucial during struggles to use all opportunities to form factory committees and similar bodies in order to broaden the base of organized workers. Furthermore, revolutionaries must strive to organize the lower strata of the working class and the oppressed layers within the unions as well as ensure that representatives of these layers achieve leadership positions so that the dominance of the aristocratic layer can be eliminated.

Such an orientation to the lower strata of the working class and the oppressed is particularly crucial in the present period, when many social democrats, Stalinist and centrist parties are more than ever dominated by sectors of the labor aristocracy and middle class intellectuals. This has resulted in the creation of a culture of “elitism” and “aristocratism” within the petty-bourgeois left milieu, rife with arrogance towards the lower strata of the proletariat, the migrants and the oppressed, and totally isolated from these sectors.

In contrast to such elitism, the RCIT directs its efforts in building revolutionary parties primarily to the proletariat of the South and to the lower strata of the working class and the oppressed in the imperialist countries.

The decline and degeneration of the reformist parties, the complete absence of any workers’ party in many countries, and the intensifying class struggle all make the application of the united front tactic in the field extremely urgent. In countries, where no bourgeois workers’ party (not even a reformist one) exists or where the existing bourgeois workers’ parties are already so degenerated that they repel the workers’ vanguard, revolutionaries call upon the workers’ vanguard and mass organizations to found a new workers’ party (or “Labor Party”). In the struggle for such new workers’ parties, interim stages are certainly conceivable. Revolutionaries might initially support alliances towards such a goal or the foundation of new organizations of oppressed layers (e.g., migrant organizations) which could also stand at elections. In addition, entry into existing reformist or petty-bourgeois parties as a faction, on the basis of a revolutionary program, is also a legitimate tactic.

We have seen attempts to found new workers’ parties in Brazil in the 1980s and currently in South Africa and Bolivia. The Brazilian example of Lula’s PT demonstrates that revolutionaries have to fight against the danger of a reformist degeneration of any new workers’ party. They should do so by counterposing a revolutionary strategy, i.e., a full transitional program, as the program of the party, against the more “mainstream” reformist program. Revolutionaries should found a revolutionary tendency within such a party which will fight for the leadership of the party by exposing the betrayal of the reformists and the centrists in actual struggles. This can be done by putting forward a set of appropriate minimum and transitional demands which will unify and mobilize the workers and the oppressed against the capitalist class enemy. On such a basis, revolutionaries should use the tactic of the united front with other forces against the common enemy according to the principle "march separately, strike together."

However, revolutionaries must not be ultimatists. In other words, they don’t enter such a labor party, present their program and, if rejected, immediately leave the party. Such a sectarian tactic would only be in the service of reformist forces trying to control the party. Communists must attempt to win over rank and file workers and youth and left-wing forces within the party by proposing concrete campaigns which help to advance the class struggle and the political development of the party in a militant, socialist direction.

Of course, sooner or later the party will stand at a crossroads: either it will develop in a revolutionary direction and become a truly socialist party or it will degenerate bureaucratically and be transformed into a reformist force. When revolutionaries prove too weak to halt the reformist degeneration of such a party, they will be obliged to split away from it.


VII.        The Semi-Colonial South

 

The increasing shift of capitalist production from the old imperialist metropolises (the US, Western Europe and Japan) to the semi-colonial world as well as China has resulted in a decisive shift of the center of the world proletariat to the South. Given the fact that the huge majority of the international working class lives in the South, and that the contradictions of world capitalism also appear in their sharpest forms there, it is most likely that the world revolution will start and initially be focused in the semi-colonial world or emerging imperialist countries like China.

Therefore, every revolutionary international organization must put an emphasis on studying the problems of the class struggle of these regions and must build sections primarily there. Conversely, it must avoid any centeredness on the US or Western Europe, something which is so typical of many centrist tendencies.

The following sections are intended to provide a brief overview of the main issues of the revolutionary strategy in different parts of the world. They should help revolutionaries to concretize the revolutionary program in their own regions. This is all the more important since the crucial task in the present period is to intensify uncompromising propaganda for a working class and socialist program, to advance independent self-organization of the working class and, most importantly, the formation of revolutionary parties as sections of a new Workers’ International.

 

The Middle East and North Africa

The Arab Revolution, which spread like wildfire in 2011 and overthrew a number of dictators, subsequently suffered a number of defeats. The most important of these was the July 2013 military coup in Egypt. The emergence of the reactionary force of Daesh/IS reflects and, to a large degree, is a product of the period of retreat currently being experienced by the Arab Revolution.

However, the Arab Revolution is ongoing and certainly has been not decisively defeated as is clearly attested to by the Syrian Revolution, the heroic Palestinian resistance against Zionist aggression in 2012 and 2014, the Yemeni defensive war against Saudi aggression, the continuing popular struggles in Egypt and Libya, the defeat of the July 2016 military coup in Turkey, and the vital as ever Kurdish liberation struggle.

The crucial tasks for revolutionaries in the coming period are:

* To support the ongoing popular struggles which currently center mostly on democratic demands and to participate in the formation of workers and popular militias;

* To defend the Arab Revolution against the intensifying military aggression of the Great Powers;

* To advocate the united front tactic towards all forces (including various Islamists) that are engaged in the popular struggles against the dictatorships as well as against the imperialist Great Powers and their local lackeys, while at the same time giving no political support to such forces.

 

Latin America

In the late 1990s and the first decade of the new millennium, a number of progressive bourgeois-populist and popular-front governments came to power on the backdrop of a massive increase of the class struggle (e.g., Argentinazo 2001/02, Bolivia 2003-05, etc.). These governments tried to utilize the boom in prices of raw materials on the world market, along with the emergence of China as an imperialist counterbalance to the traditional US domination of the continent. However, all these governments were both unwilling and incapable of breaking with capitalism and, therefore, when the raw material price boom collapsed, they entered a deep crisis.

Currently Latin America is experiencing a phase of a reactionary offensive by the ruling class in which the latter is attempting to annihilate social and democratic achievements of the popular masses. The most prominent examples of such reactionary offensives are the institutional coup d’état against the PT-led government in Brazil in 2016; Macri’s electoral victory in Argentina; the all out attack of the right-wing opposition on the Maduro government in Venezuela; and the capitalist restoration in Cuba under Castro leadership. However, this reactionary offensive inevitably provokes mass struggles, as we have witnessed, for example, in the anti-coup mobilizations in Brazil, the heroic struggle of Mexican teachers which even resulted in dual power situations in several regions of the country, and mass strikes in Argentina.

The crucial tasks for revolutionaries in the coming period are:

* To participate in the mass struggles against the reactionary offensives of the ruling classes;

* To defend democratic rights and social achievements against the reactionary offensive of the ruling class (including, for example, the defense of popular front governments against a coup d’état or imperialist intervention, while at the same time giving no political support to these governments);

* To advance the independent organization of the working class and to break the workers’ and popular organizations away from the popular frontist parties and governments.

 

Asia

Home to 60% of the world’s population and the location of crucial imperialist Great Powers (China, Japan, Russia), smaller imperialist states (South Korea, Australia) as well as important semi-colonies (e.g., India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia), Asia will be the most important single continent in the future world revolutionary process.

The region’s working class and oppressed have experienced both important upswings of the class struggle (in India, for example, the September 2015 general strike in which 150 million workers participated; women’s mass campaign and protests against gang rape; the Naxalite-led peasant struggles) as well as serious defeats (for example, the smashing of independent Tamil Eelam in 2009 by the Sri Lankan regime and the 2014 military coup in Thailand). In addition to the inter-imperialist rivalry in East Asia (the US and Japan vs. China), in the present period the class struggle is focused along two main axes:

a) Fundamental democratic and economic issues (struggles against dictatorships, for national liberation, and against poverty, etc.)

b) Against imperialist aggression and occupation (e.g., the US war in Afghanistan and Northwest Pakistan, the US vs. North Korea, and China vs. Vietnam)

The crucial tasks for revolutionaries in the coming period are:

* To support all struggles of the workers and oppressed in defense of their democratic and social rights (including supporting peasant demands for land as well as the popular resistance against ecologically disastrous project, with the aim of  deepening the alliance between the workers and the poor peasants);

* To defend oppressed peoples against imperialist aggression while at the same time giving no political support to non-revolutionary leaderships;

* To break the hold of bourgeois and petty-bourgeois political forces over the mass of the working class, poor peasantry and urban poor.

 

Sub-Sahara Africa

Sub-Sahara Africa is the continent with the world’s fastest growing economy and population. It is a chief object of desire for the imperialist Great Powers – in particular the US, EU and China. The combined existence of disgraceful living conditions for the popular masses, brutal oppression by corrupt dictatorships, increasing interference by the Great Powers, limited industrialization and the growth of the working class – all these factors inevitably pave the road for future political and social upheavals.

It is hardly surprising, therefore, that the continent has witnessed a tremendous increase of strikes and mass demonstrations since 2011. The heroic miners’ strike in Marikana (South Africa) in 2012, the democratic popular uprising in Burkina Faso (2014), Burundi (2015) and the regular mass protests against the Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe unmistakably attest to the flammability of the situation in this region. Furthermore, NUMSA’s political break with the popular front ANC government opens the door to the formation of a new mass workers’ party in South Africa.

The crucial tasks for revolutionaries in the coming period are:

* To support all struggles of the workers and oppressed against poverty and dictatorships as well as abetting peasant struggles and popular struggles against ecologically disastrous projects;

* To support the popular resistance against super-exploitation by multi-national corporations and against intervention by Great Powers and their local lackeys;

* To advance the struggle for the political independence of the working class (e.g., independence of the trade unions from the state, new workers’ parties, etc.).


VIII.       The Emerging Imperialist Great Powers of the East: China and Russia

 

The emergence of China and Russia as new imperialist Great Powers are among the most important political developments of world politics since the collapse of Stalinism in 1989-91. As new Great Powers, the respective ruling classes of these countries are obliged to challenge the world order dominated by the old imperialist masters – the US, EU and Japan. This rivalry inevitably results in increased tensions and eventually, if the socialist revolution does not stop the warmongers in advance, a Third World War. One of the key factors for the rise of China and Russia has been the existence of a stable dictatorship (in China) or semi-dictatorship (in Russia) which ensures the successful exploitation of the domestic working class, the dissemination of unhindered chauvinist propaganda and the suppression of any popular resistance (workers’ strikes, peasant protests, national uprisings).

However, China and Russia cannot escape the accelerating contradictions of capitalism as we already witnessed in the 2015 stock market crashes in China. Sooner or later the intensifying subterranean contradictions will provoke social and political explosions. Indeed, one of the most important events, if not the most important, of the global class struggle in the next years might be the outbreak of the Chinese Revolution.

The crucial tasks for revolutionaries in the coming period are:

* To fight against the chauvinism and militarism of their own imperialist ruling class;

* To support struggles for economic as well as democratic demands and to relate them to the struggle for working class power.


IX.          The Old Imperialist Great Powers: the EU, North America and Japan

 

Since the end of the Second World War, the US has been the absolute dominant power among the imperialist states. The emergence of China and Russia has ended this period, even though the US still relatively remains the strongest power. The decline of the US has provoked, on one hand, in a rise in ultra-reactionary, racist and belligerent wings of the bourgeoisie with significant support among the middle class (e.g., Tea Party movement, Donald Trump) and, on the other hand, an upsurge in the class struggle (e.g., Verizon strike, Black Live Matters movement).

The government of Shinzō Abe reflects the determination of the Japanese ruling class to advance domestic reforms against the working class and to overthrow the “pacifist” constitution and to transform Japan into an aggressive military Great Power.

The working class in Europe is faced with a reactionary offensive by its ruling class. Its governments combine a continuation of their vicious austerity offensive with increasing chauvinism against migrants (especially Muslims) and the establishment of anti-democratic police states along with increasing military adventures abroad (mainly in North Africa and the Middle East). The acceleration of the capitalist contradictions intensify two trends: on one hand the subjugation of semi-colonial European countries (e.g., Greece, Portugal, Ireland, and Eastern Europe) under the diktat of the leading Great Powers of the EU (Germany, France); on the other hand the conflict between those sectors of the European imperialist bourgeoisie which strive towards the formation of a pan-European imperialist super-state and those which opt for an “independent” imperialist nation state (e.g. the BREXIT referendum in Britain).

The crucial tasks for revolutionaries in the coming period are:

* To fight against austerity offensives as well as the chauvinism and militarism of their own imperialist ruling class;

* To support the struggle of semi-colonial countries like Greece to leave the EU; no support for the EU nor for an independent imperialist national state – abstention in any referendum in imperialist states on the issue of remaining or leaving the EU; for the United Socialist States of Europe!

* Fight against the reformist parties – for new Workers’ Parties!


X.            Conclusion

 

Faced with reactionary offensive, the RCIT calls upon all sincere revolutionary organizations and activists around the world to unite in the struggle for an authentically Marxist international organization – meaning Bolshevism applied to the conditions of the 21st century. Such an international organization needs theoretical and practical clarity. It must be based on a joint understanding of the application of the revolutionary program to the main questions of today’s international class struggle. It must not only proclaim the road to liberation, but must also name and fight against all obstacles. In other words, it must take up the struggle against the numerous left-reformist and centrist forces which disorient and mislead the working class under the banner of “Marxism” – which is a “Marxism” devoid of its revolutionary spearhead, a “Marxism” conveniently and opportunistically adapted to all possible non-working class leaderships (reformists, populists, Islamists, etc.), or a “Marxism” which vegetates in sectarian retirement from the class struggle.

Such new revolutionary parties are forged in the class struggle as well as in the ideological struggle against the official leaderships – the treacherous labor bureaucrats, Social Democracy, Stalinists, petit-bourgeois Nationalists and Islamists – who consciously or unconsciously mislead the workers and oppressed.

To make significant progress in this task, the unity of revolutionaries all over the world is vital. Such a unity can succeed in building a strong international Bolshevik organization which shares a common program as well as common understanding of the methods of party building and thus serves as a pre-party formation towards the founding of a new World Party of Socialist Revolution. Join the RCIT!


This Manifesto should be read in conjunction with the RCIT’s Program published in 2012 as well as other major theoretical and programmatic documents of the RCIT which outline our theoretical analysis and programmatic positions in more detail:

 

The Revolutionary Communist Manifesto (2012), http://www.thecommunists.net/rcit-manifesto/

 

Theses on the Principles of the United Front Tactic and Its Application to the Current Conditions of Class Struggle (2016), http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/united-front-tactic/

 

Marxism and the United Front Tactic Today. The Struggle for Proletarian Hegemony in the Liberation Movement and the United Front Tactic Today. On the Application of the Marxist United Front Tactic in Semi-Colonial and Imperialist Countries in the Present Period, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/book-united-front/

 

World Perspectives 2016: Advancing Counterrevolution and Acceleration of Class Contradictions Mark the Opening of a New Political Phase. Theses on the World Situation, the Perspectives for Class Struggle and the Tasks of Revolutionaries (January 2016), http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-perspectives-2016/

 

Open Letter for Revolutionary Unity (2015), http://www.thecommunists.net/rcit/open-letter-revolutionary-unity/

 

Revolution and Counterrevolution in the Arab World: An Acid Test for Revolutionaries (2015), http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/theses-arab-revolution/

 

The Struggle for Democracy in the Imperialist Countries Today. The Marxist Theory of Permanent Revolution and its Relevance for the Imperialist Metropolises (2015), http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/democracy-vs-imperialism/

 

Building the Revolutionary Party in Theory and Practice. Looking Back and Ahead after 25 Years of Organized Struggle for Bolshevism (2014), http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/rcit-party-building/

 

Russia as a Great Imperialist Power. The formation of Russian Monopoly Capital and its Empire – A Reply to our Critics (2014), http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/imperialist-russia/

 

Lenin’s Theory of Imperialism and the Rise of Russia as a Great Power. On the Understanding and Misunderstanding of Today’s Inter-Imperialist Rivalry in the Light of Lenin’s Theory of Imperialism. Another Reply to Our Critics Who Deny Russia’s Imperialist Character (2014), http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/imperialism-theory-and-russia/

 

Theses on Revolutionary Trade Union Policy (2014), http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/theses-trade-union/

 

Cuba’s Revolution Sold Out? The Road from Revolution to the Restoration of Capitalism (2013), http://www.cuba-sold-out.net/

 

The Great Robbery of the South. Continuity and Changes in the Super-Exploitation of the Semi-Colonial World by Monopoly Capital. Consequences for the Marxist Theory of Imperialism, RCIT Books, Vienna 2013, http://www.great-robbery-of-the-south.net/great-robbery-of-south-online/download-chapters-1/

 

China's transformation into an imperialist power. A study of the economic, political and military aspects of China as a Great Power (2012), http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/why-china-is-imperialist/