A Letter from the International Secretariat of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 31.12.2016, www.thecommunists.net
Dear Comrades, Brothers and Sisters!
The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) sends its New Year greetings to all revolutionaries striving for the overthrow of global capitalism and who are dedicating their energies to building a world party for socialist revolution.
Likewise, we send our sincerest greetings to all those who are fighting against exploitation by bosses, reactionary dictatorships, and imperialist wars and occupation! We applaud the courageous struggle of all our brothers and sisters around the world who are fighting against the ruling classes:
* The heroic defenders of fallen Aleppo and throughout all Syria who have struggled for so long against the killing machine of Assad, the theocratic regime in Iran, and the imperialism of Russia as well as against the western Great Powers and the conspiracies of their regional lackeys;
* The militant youth in Egypt, who are resisting the bloody military dictatorship of General al-Sisi, as well as the heroic defenders of Yemen who are defending their country against the arch-reactionary Saudi-led forces;
* The courageous Moroccan workers and youth who rose up after the murder of Mouhcine Fikri;
* The Palestinian youth whose resistance cannot be stopped despite the murderous efforts of the Zionist regime; we also send our greetings to the courageous Palestinian Member of the Knesset Basel Ghattas, who has been arrested by the Israeli state;
* The Afghan people who have been fighting without interruption against the imperialist occupation of their country since 2001;
* The heroic sisters of our class who fight for their liberation and against Femizide, as we could see for example with the #NiUnaMenos Movement in Latin America;
* The workers and youth in Brazil who first fought against the right-wing coup d’état and are now struggling against the lackey government of Temer;
* The Venezuelan working class which is resisting the right-wing counterrevolution while defending its gains against the treacherous popular front government of Maduro;
* The courageous youth of Mexico fighting against the kidnapping of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa, and the workers and poor peasants – many of them indígenas – who are forming their own Policías Pomunitarios to resist both the murderous drug cartels as well as the corrupt police;
* The popular masses in Ethiopia who are resisting the murderous dictatorship of Hailemariam Desalegn;
* The workers and youth in South Africa who are fighting against the corrupt and discredited Zuma government and who are in a dialog about the formation of a new Mass Workers’ Party;
* The workers and youth of Zimbabwe who are fighting against both the Mugabe dictatorship and imperialist sanctions;
* The rural poor in Somalia who are resisting the occupation forces of AMISOM who are nothing but imperialist lackeys;
* The women workers of the Bangladeshi textile industry who waged a heroic strike and who are now facing dismissal and persecution by the bosses;
* The Indian workers who launched the largest general strike in the history of humanity in September 2016 with 180 million participating, as well as the heroic poor women of India who are fighting against a reactionary wave of rape and violence;
* The Chinese workers and rural poor who are fighting in ever increasing numbers with strikes and protests against exploitation in the workplaces and against the lack of democratic rights (as the recent uprising in Wuhan underlined);
* The indigenous and oppressed people who fight for their rights all over the world – like the indígenas in Latin America, the native Americans protesting against the oil pipeline in Dakota, the Amazigh, Tuareq and Saharawi people in Northern Africa, the Adivasi people in India, the Aborigines and Maori, as well as the people in occupied West-Papua for an United, Free Papua;
* The courageous black, Latino and progressive white youth and workers fighting against the incoming reactionary Trump administration as well as against ongoing police violence in the US;
* The workers and youth in France who fought bravely against the reactionary labor law;
* The Greek workers and youth who are continuing their struggle against the Third Memorandum imposed by the EU-Troika, despite the betrayal of SYRIZA;
* And the migrants and progressive European workers and youth who are resisting increasing racism and repression, who continue to support the refugees arriving in Europe, and who are standing up against the repulsive wave of Islamophobia.
We refer all those who are interested in a more detailed analysis of the current world situation to the RCIT‘s latest World Perspectives document recently published (World Perspectives 2017: The Struggle against the Reactionary Offensive in the Era of Trumpism, December 2016, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-perspectives-2017/)
Without minimizing the importance of all the other struggles around the globe, we want to draw particular attention to the tragic defeat of the Syrian people in Aleppo under the bombs of Putin’s air force and the guns of Assad’s mercenaries. This defeat has not ended the Syrian Revolution (as coward deserters, like the centrist L5I, erroneously claim), but it is without doubt a serious setback in the liberation struggle against the reactionary dictatorship of Assad which has slaughtered hundreds of thousands since 2011.
Of course, we can not exclude the possibility that the Syrian Revolution will end in the near future and that the Syrian people could be defeated by Assad and the imperialist powers. However it is incredible coward and politically wrong to prematurely draw such a balance on the basis of the recent fall of Aleppo. No authentic Marxist with a minimum of revolutionary spirit will abandon the barricades ahead of the masses and leave them alone to their fate!
The Syrian Revolution has highlighted the abyss which exists between authentic revolutionaries and those who misleadingly call themselves “socialists.” It has shown that forces like Stalinism may claim to follow the path of Marx and Lenin, but in reality they are the rat-tail of the imperialist regimes of Putin and Xi. The same is true of the Castro-Chavistas, who hail Simon Bolivar – the great Latin American bourgeois revolutionary of the 19th century – in words, but in their deeds bow to the emerging imperialist powers of Russia and China and their regional lackeys.
Likewise we witness how shameful “revolutionaries” who hail Trotsky in their theoretical writings (like the IMT of Alan Woods), slander the Syrian Revolution as a “jihadist-fascist adventure” in their political conclusions, thereby assisting the Assadist counter-revolution. No one has forgotten how such groups also deplorably supported the bloody military coup in Egypt in July 2013, as did the Cliffite IST and the Morenoite LIT-CI.
Unfortunately, there are also “socialists” who have for years failed to understand that the revolutionary struggle for working class power must be combined with consistent support for democratic liberation struggles against dictatorships, even when this is under the leadership of non-revolutionary forces – just as socialists always support a strike, even when it is led by backward trade union bureaucrats (like, for example, the PTS/FT-CI which has for years failed to support the Syrian Revolution).
The RCIT has supported the Arab Revolution from its beginning in early 2011. We reaffirm our support for the ongoing Syrian Revolution, despite the terrible defeat in Aleppo, along with our hostility towards all Great Powers and lesser, regional powers, who all share the desire to liquidate the Syrian Revolution. We urgently repeat that the workers and peasants must draw the lessons of past defeats in order to persevere and to revitalize the revolution. Among the most important lessons are:
* No trust in and no collaboration with any Great Power!
* No to sectarianism! For multi-religious and multi-national unity in the struggle against the Assad dictatorship! For full national self-determination for all national and ethnic minorities!
* No trust in the official rebel leaderships!
* For the formation of popular councils and popular militias!
* The international workers movement must rally to support the Syrian Revolution! For a workers’ solidarity aid campaign for the Syrian people – like that organized for the Bosnian people in 1992-95!
* The international workers’ movement must organize a campaign to boycott the regime of Bashar al-Assad and his capitalist friends! For workers’ actions against the imperialist forces attacking the Syrian people!
* Open the boarders for the Syrian Refugees!
* Most of all: For the building of a revolutionary party in Syria as part of a new revolutionary International!
Comrades, we are living in a reactionary phase – the era of Trumpism. The coming year will be witness to a reactionary offensive by the ruling classes around the world. This is true for the US, the Arab world, Latin America, Europe as well as other countries. The monopoly capitalists will intensify their attacks on wages and labor rights as well as on democratic rights in general. They will accelerate their militarist aggression against semi-colonial peoples – in particular in the Middle East and Africa. We will also see an acceleration of the rivalry between the imperialist powers – the US, Russia, China, the EU and Japan.
These attacks will undoubtedly provoke crises and class struggles. The tragedy of our times is not the lack of a class struggle, but the fact that the working class and the oppressed are entering these struggles without the appropriate leadership. Instead, the masses are forced to wage their heroic struggle under the leadership of reformists, petty-bourgeois populists and Islamists. In short, the decisive problem today is the total lack of revolutionary leadership.
Hence, the most important task for the coming period is the building of a new revolutionary world party. Such a party must be founded around a revolutionary action program for the current world situation, one which is based on the method of Trotsky’s Transitional Program of 1938. The RCIT has elaborated in its “Manifesto for Revolutionary Liberation” its contribution to the debate of revolutionaries about such a program. (See https://www.thecommunists.net/rcit-program-2016/)
This Manifesto summarizes the RCIT’s analysis of the present world situation, the position of revolutionaries in the most important class struggles today, and the crucial lessons for the upcoming battles.
We also wish to draw the attention of all serious revolutionaries to the recently published World Perspectives 2017 document in which we elaborate our ideas and proposal for the construction of a new revolutionary world party in greater detail. Here, we only wish to repeat the conclusions of our proposal:
“In our opinion, revolutionaries all over the world should immediately start collaborating in laying the foundations for a principled unification, so that we drive forward the process of creating a new World Party with stronger forces. The starting point for the creation of such a party has to be agreement on the most important issues of the global class struggle. The RCIT considers the following issues as such programmatic keystones in the present political phase:
a) Recognition of the accelerating rivalry between the imperialist Great Powers – the US, EU, Japan, Russia and China. It is only possible to understand the driving dynamic of the present period of capitalist crisis and to take a correct position if one recognizes the imperialist character not only of the US, EU and Japan but also of the new emerging powers, Russia and China. Only on such a basis is it possible to arrive at the only correct program on this issue – revolutionary defeatism, i.e., the perspective of consistent struggle against all imperialist powers. This means that revolutionaries refuse to lend support to any Great Power in inter-imperialist conflicts under the slogan “The main enemy is at home!”
b) Consistent struggle against imperialism. Revolutionaries stand for the defeat of imperialist states in any conflict with forces representing oppressed people and for the military victory of the latter without, at the same time, giving any political support to the non-revolutionary leadership of the oppressed (e.g., petty-bourgeois Islamists, nationalists). This is true both in domestic conflicts (e.g., against an oppressed nation like the Chechen people in Russia) as well as in wars abroad (e.g., Afghanistan, Syria, Mali, Somalia). Likewise, revolutionaries have to fight for Open Borders in the imperialist countries and for full equality for national minorities and for migrants. Furthermore, revolutionaries refuse to lend support to one imperialist camp against another in any given conflict (e.g., Brexit vs. EU; Clinton .vs Trump).
c) Continuing support for the Arab Revolution. The mass popular uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen and other countries have been the most important and progressive class struggle development so far since the beginning of the new historic period in 2008. True, given the lack of a revolutionary leadership, the masses have suffered a number of terrible defeats – like the coup d’état of General al-Sisi in Egypt in July 2013, or the ongoing slaughter of the Syrian people at the hands of Assad and his foreign backers. However, the revolutionary process is continuing, and this is reflected in the ongoing popular resistance in Syria, Yemen, Egypt, etc. Authentic revolutionary forces must give unconditional support to these popular struggles against dictatorships and reactionary forces, without giving any political support to their non-revolutionary leaderships (e.g., petty-bourgeois Islamists).
d) Participation in all mass struggles against austerity programs and against reactionary attacks on democratic rights. Revolutionaries oppose all forms of sectarianism which refuses participation in mass struggles under the pretext of their non-revolutionary leaderships. Instead they apply the united front tactic in the struggles of the workers and peasants led by reformist or populist forces against austerity program (e.g., trade unions, mass organizations of the peasants and the urban poor, but also political parties like MORENA in Mexico, SYRIZA in Greece before 2015, PODEMOS in Spain) or against anti-democratic coups and dictatorships (PT, CUT, MST in Brazil; Islamists in Egypt; rebels in Syria). Such an orientation must be combined with a consistent struggle against all forms of popular-frontism and petty-bourgeois populism, and for the breaking of workers and peasants away from these non-revolutionary leaderships and to advance the formation of an independent and revolutionary Workers’ Party.
Hence we call upon all organizations which honestly strive towards the creation of a new Revolutionary World Party to join forces on the basis of these programmatic keystones. Concretely, the RCIT proposes that revolutionaries constitute a Joint Contact Committee in order to politically prepare and organize an International Conference which will discuss concrete steps to advance the formation of a Revolutionary World Party. The RCIT is committed to serious discussions and the closest possible collaboration with all forces who share such an outlook. We will in the near future address revolutionaries around the world in an Open Letter on this issue.”
We urge all comrades, brothers and sisters to study this document and to contact the RCIT so that we can jointly discuss steps towards closer collaboration in our mutual effort to build the most important instrument of the working class in its struggle for liberation: a new World Party of Socialist Revolution! Let us march forward!
Workers and Oppressed, Unite!
Forward in the creation of a new World Party of Socialist Revolution!
Forward in building the RCIT!
International Secretariat of the RCIT