Open Letter: Revolutionary Unity in the Struggle for the Fifth Workers International!
Revolutionary Unity in the Struggle for the Fifth Workers International!
Open Letter to All Revolutionary Organizations and Activists
Issued by the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 15.5.2013, www.thecommunists.net
We are living in such contradictory times! Capitalism has sunk in its deepest crisis since the 1930s and even bourgeois media have to admit that many of Marx’s analyses and predications turned out to be true. The USA – the biggest imperialist power for more than half a century – is about to lose its colonial war in Afghanistan after it was already forced to leave Iraq in 2011. We see a wave of popular revolutions sweeping the Arab world for more than two years, militant mass struggles in Greece, Bulgaria, South Africa, and India as well as the heroic and successful resistance of the Palestinian people in Gaza against one of the most modern armies in the world.
But all these heroic mass struggles have not resulted in any serious attempt of the working class to take power. Why? Because the masses “are not ready”? Nonsense! The masses are ready but the most heroic mass struggle cannot win if it is not led by a steeled revolutionary combat party as the Bolsheviks were in Russia. So, while the masses are ready, the official leaderships of the workers movement as well as most of the so-called “Marxists” are not ready. To be more precise, these leaderships cannot be ready because they are inextricably linked with capitalism. They are linked due to their domination by and orientation towards the labor bureaucracy and aristocracy as well as the petty-bourgeois intelligentsia. In opposition to the mass of the world working class which indeed “has nothing to lose but their chains”, these privileged layers have something to lose with capitalism’s demise. Those, who do not break with such an anti-revolutionary orientation both in theory, program as well as praxis, are politically trapped in the ghetto of reformism and centrism and hence politically lost.
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 world-wide – they cannot succeed in their liberation struggle. Therefore the most urgent task in the present period is the timely building of revolutionary parties and a new, Fifth Workers International. Such new revolutionary parties are built in the class struggle as well as in the 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 highly desirable. Such a unity can achieve 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 for the Fifth Workers International.
The RCIT calls all sincere revolutionary organizations and activists around the world to unite in the struggle for authentic Marxist – which means Bolshevism applied for the conditions of the 21st century – international organization. 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 question of today’s international class struggle. They must not only proclaim the road to liberation, but must also name and fight against all the obstacles. In other words it must take up the struggle against the numerous left-reformist and centrist forces which disorientate and mislead the working class under the banner of “Marxism” – which is a “Marxism” without its revolutionary arrowhead, a “Marxism” conveniently 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.
Programmatic clarity on the burning issues of world class struggle
Programmatic clarity and unity has to be examined on the basis of the most important issues of world class struggle such as the following.
* Victory to the Syrian Revolution! Reject the Stalinist’s (e.g. KKE Greece) and Chavezista’s support for the Assad regime!
* Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, and Libya: Down with the pro-imperialist Islamist regimes! For a Workers Government allied with the Peasants and Poor! No popular-frontist political blocs with bourgeois forces (like the IST’s Revolutionary Socialists electoral support for Mursi and its participation in the National Salvation Front together with Mohamed ElBaradei, Wafd etc. in Egypt or the Workers' Party’s - the former Hoxhaist PCOT – participation in the Popular Front)
* Smash the imperialist Apartheid State Israel! For a Democratic, Palestinian, Multinational and Socialist Workers and Fallahin Republic from the River to the Sea! Reject the reactionary support for a Two-State Solution by the European Left Party (ELP) or the CWI. Victory to the Palestinian Resistance! Marxists must support the Resistance struggle and not fail in taking its side (as the CWI, IMT etc.) Condemn the Linkspartei (ELP in Germany) slander of the Boycott campaign against Apartheid Israel and the Gaza Freedom Flotilla as “anti-Semitic”! No to the Menshevik concept of a class-less “democratic” Palestine state by the Morenoite LIT.
* Down with imperialist aggressions and wars! In Afghanistan, Mali, Somalia, Iran, North Korea: Defeat the imperialist NATO forces and their local allies! Defend those resisting the imperialist invaders! No political support for nationalist, Islamist or Stalinist forces! It is significant for the social-imperialist character of the Parti Communiste Français (ELP in France) and the Front de Gauche that they openly support France’s imperialist intervention in Mali. Many centrists fail to call for the defeat of the imperialist occupiers and the military victory of the resistance (like the CWI or the Mandelite NPA).
* For socialist revolution against the Stalinist-Capitalist Dictatorship in China! China has become an imperialist power. Support the independent trade unions and workers strikes as well as national self-determination for Tibet and East-Turkmenistan! Reject the various mischaracterizations of China as “socialist” (many Stalinists) or “degenerated workers state” (Spartacists). Instead of taking the side of one imperialist camp, socialists should oppose all expansionist plans of US, Japanese and Chinese imperialism in East Asia! In all possible conflicts between these Great Powers we say: The Main Enemy is at Home!
* Pakistan: Support the workers struggle and the formation of independent trade unions as well as the struggle of the Balochi people for national self-determination! Down with the NATO war – Victory to the Resistance! Reject the popular-frontist policy of the IMT/Lal Khan group which opportunistically entrench themselves since decade in the bourgeois PPP. A similar dead-end is the road of the Awami Workers Party’s leadership which adapts to liberal, pro-Western forces.
* Russia: Down with the Putin regime! For independent working class struggle! Defend the protests for democratic rights! Equal rights for Migrants! National Self-determination for the Caucasian people! Reject the Stalinists denial of Russia’s imperialist character which serves as a pretext for their social-chauvinist adaption to the regime. No to any political support for the bourgeois-liberal forces which dominate the democratic anti-Putin protests.
* South Africa: Support the militant miners and their struggle for trade unions which are independent of the treacherous ANC/CPSA government! Condemn the support of Stalinist forces world-wide for the CPSA and the NUM and COSATU leadership.
* Down with the reactionary Constitution in Zimbabwe imposed by the coalition government of ZANU-PF and MDC! For a revolutionary Constitutional Assembly based on Workers and Peasants Councils! No to the support for the Mugabe regime by Stalinist parties but also no to the political adaption to the popular frontist MDC by the IST Zimbabwe group.
* For independent working class struggle in Latin America both against all bourgeois governments like Kirchner (Argentina) and Rousseff (Brazil) but also in Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia! No political support for the Bolivarian popular front governments! But defend them against right-wing coup d’états and imperialist intervention! No political alliance with the right-wing forces against Venezuela’s PSUV government like Chirino and the Morenoite UIT are practicing in their trade union work. Expropriate the multinational corporations from US, EU and China! Defend Argentina against British imperialism and kick Britain out of the Malvinas! No to political support for Bolivarism (e.g. Stalinism, Alan Woods’ IMT), no to centrist failure to oppose imperialism (e.g. CWI and IMT support for the British occupation of the Malvinas).
* Europe: Down with the reactionary austerity policy! Cancel all Debts! Expropriate the Banks and Corporations! No to the reformists support for capitalist governments (PCF/FdG for Hollande in France, AKEL in Cyprus). No alliance with right-wing nationalist party like SYRIZA’s “front” with the Independent Greeks (ANEL). Instead of symbolic general strikes against the austerity policy – for indefinite General Strikes – nationally and European-wide – to defend Jobs, Wages and Savings! No trust in the trade union bureaucracy – for independent rank & file committees and action councils of struggle! Instead of the ELP’s and SYRIZA’s illusionary strategy to reform the European Union or the Stalinist’s “National road outside of the EU” – Smash the imperialist EU by Socialist Revolution! For the United Socialist States of Europe! In semi-colonial countries like Greece, Cyprus and Bulgaria: Support the workers and popular struggles against the imperialist plundering! Exit the EU and fight for a Workers Government!
* Workers, African-Americans and Migrants in the US: Fight for the Independence of the Trade Unions, the Black and Migrant Organizations from the capitalist Democratic Party! No to the CPUSA’s support for the Democratic Party.
* Support the struggle for Liberation of the Oppressed all over the world: For revolutionary working class movements of women, migrants and youth! For the right to caucus for the oppressed in the mass organizations of workers and its movements! Down with all forms of aristocratism – recognition of the important role of these layers in the liberation struggle of the working class! Equal rights for migrants! No immigration control in imperialist countries! Equality for migrants and national minorities’ languages in the education sector and the public administration! Down with left-reformists and centrists capitulation to imperialist chauvinism (e.g. CPB, CWI, IMT etc. during the “British Jobs for British Workers” strike in 2009)! No to political adaption to feminism and nationalism. No to the misuse of feminism in order to capitulate to imperialism (like the demand of CWI, IST etc. to extradite Wikileaks founder Assange to Sweden)
Revolutionaries must combine their participation in the class struggle with a program for working class power. This means the total renunciation of the ELP’s, Stalinists and various centrists (e.g. CWI, IMT) pipedream of a peaceful, parliamentary road to socialism. It means fighting for the building of Action Councils of the Workers, Peasant and Poor, of armed popular militias, for the expropriation of the capitalist class and for a Workers Government allied with the Peasants and Urban Poor and based on local Councils and Militias. It means preparing the working class for the armed insurrection, the civil war and the dictatorship of the proletariat as the only means by which the proletariat can advance in the struggle for liberation.
Unity on the methods how to fight for the Program
These are some of the most important questions of today’s world class struggle. Programmatic clarity on what to do and what not to do are basic for a sustainable revolutionary unity. However, it is not sufficient to agree on a program. One must know how to fight for the program. In short, what is necessary is a congruence on the kind of combat organization which is the tool to put the program into reality in the class struggle.
Currently it has become fashionable amongst many so-called “Marxists” to praise and call for “Left Unity”. “Left Unity” represents the opposite of what the working class needs. “Left Unity” means the unity of bureaucrats and workers, of supporters and opponents of imperialist wars, of supporters of the peaceful, parliamentarian road as well as of the revolutionary road. In short, “Left Unity” is unity to paralyze revolutionary activities, hence it is a useless unity. What the working class needs is a revolutionary combat party and this has to be openly proclaimed.
This however does not mean that revolutionaries should ignore the emergence of new political formations. A new party which represents layers of workers and oppressed who are looking for a political tool to fight for liberation is an important step forward. This is true even if the leadership of such a formation consists of left-wing bureaucrats. Authentic revolutionaries could join such a new party, fight openly for its revolutionary program but argue pedagogically with their class brothers and sisters who might have many political deficiencies but who are honest and militant. They would try to save these workers from the useless maneuvers of their leaders.
It is however something completely different if a new party is announced which consists mostly of the old, moribund left-reformist and centrist left or libertarian university students. To acclaim such a “left unity” as a step forward for the working class is nothing but the worst possible stupefaction of the people. Instead of opportunistically adapting itself to such crooks, revolutionaries must sharply fight against such a sham.
Surely, we cannot simply found a truthful revolutionary party and international today. For this task, we are too small in numbers and not sufficiently rooted in the working class. But big accomplishments in the history of humanity are never gifts from heaven but are achieved by hard and systematic work. Forming an organized international unit of determined revolutionary workers and oppressed, based on a common program and a joint understanding of their practical and organizational methods is the most important prerequisite to build such a new, revolutionary International.
Such a new International will be the fifth attempt in the history of the revolutionary workers movement. We have seen already four revolutionary Internationals in the past: the First International of Marx and Engels, the Second International until 1914, the Third International founded under the leadership of Lenin up to its Stalinist degeneration in 1924 and the Fourth International led by Leon Trotsky. However since the centrist degeneration of the Fourth International, the working class lacks a World Party of Socialist Revolution. Whatever will be the formal name and number of the future International, it must be based on the revolutionary program for the present historic period as well as the lessons of the past four Internationals.
A true revolutionary party as well as pre-party organization must exist as an international formation from the beginning. Such as the revolutionary program can only live, breathe and develop in an organization of revolutionary militants, so can the international program as well as proletarian internationalism and solidarity only exist in an international organization. Without it, national centeredness and finally nationalist deviations are unavoidable. There is no consciousness without matter, no spirit without a body.
Against the Anti-Leninist trend of Liquidationism which is currently so fashionable amongst the petty-bourgeois intelligentsia and the centrist left, the RCIT emphasizes the validity of the lessons of Bolshevism – the necessity of building vanguard organizations and parties which fight for a revolutionary program amongst the workers and oppressed and which are based on the principles of Democratic Centralism. Such revolutionary parties as well as pre-party organizations must orientate towards and must be formed from the middle of the lower and middle strata of the working class and the oppressed. We reject the orientation of the majority of the centrist organizations toward the middle class intelligentsia as well as the labor bureaucracy and aristocracy.
Comrades, we are living in such a complex, stormy period, which is so rich in changes and turns – it is a time to overcome routine and make bold steps forward! The RCIT calls all fighters for the liberation of the working class and the oppressed people around the world to join forces in the struggle to build new revolutionary parties and a new Fifth Workers International.
No future without socialism!
No socialism without a revolution!
No revolution without a revolutionary party!
For a more extensive overview of the RCIT’s viewpoints we refer those who are interested to:
* Program of the RCIT: The Revolutionary Communist Manifesto, www.thecommunists.net/rcit-manifesto
* The World Situation and the Tasks of the Bolshevik-Communists (March 2013), www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-situation-march-2013
* Workers and Oppressed of the World, Unite in the Struggle for Liberation! May Day 2013 Statement of the RCIT, www.thecommunists.net/rcit/mayday-2013-greetings
* Michael Pröbsting: 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. More details of this recently published book at www.great-robbery-of-the-south.net