By Michael Pröbsting (International Secretary of the RCIT), October 2015, www.thecommunists.net
Below we publish a summary of the main differences between the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) and the Morenoite Unidad Internacional de los Trabajadores - Cuarta Internacional (UIT-CI).
The UIT-CI is a current which stands in the tradition of Nahuel Moreno, one of the key leaders of post-WWII Trotskyism in Latin America. This becomes obvious from the fact that the UIT-CI runs the website http://www.nahuelmoreno.org/ which republishes many documents and books of Moreno.
In our opinion, the tradition of Moreno is – irrespective of the heroic and honest activism of many of militants – an opportunist and centrist tradition and not a tradition of revolutionary Marxism and Bolshevism. Moreno’s method is characterized by semi-Menshevism which separates the strategic tasks of the democratic revolution from the proletarian dictatorship. Moreno openly argued for the need to revise Trotsky’s theory of permanent revolution. (1) The RCIT shares the idea of the importance of the struggle for democratic demands. However, in opposite to Morenoism, we insist that these democratic demands in their totality can only be realized if the working class takes power and expropriates the bourgeoisie.
From this follows that the Morenoite tradition proclaims as a strategic task the creation of non-proletarian (“class-less”) states. (See e.g. the slogan of a “united Palestine, secular, democratic and non-racist”). This is the same error as the Stalinists did in the 1920s and early 1930s when they repeated the old Bolshevik formula of the “democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry”.
Related to this, the RCIT rejects the revisionist conception of Moreno that the Constituent Assembly would be a privileged road to install a workers government and socialism “in almost all countries of the world.“ (2) In fact, Morenoism adapts to the centrist conception of a peaceful road to socialism. Trotskyists should raise the slogan for a Revolutionary Constituent Assembly under conditions of an authoritarian bourgeois regime or where the popular masses retain massive illusions in bourgeois democracy. However revolutionaries must not spread the illusion that socialism could be built via a Constituent Assembly. In contrast, they have to explain that a violent revolution and the smashing of the bourgeois state apparatus are the preconditions for a successful socialist revolution.
Related to this, the Morenoite tradition plays down the crucial importance of a revolutionary party in order to have a successful socialist revolution. Moreno claimed that socialist revolutions would also be possible without a revolutionary party. (3) As a matter of fact, only under the leadership of a revolutionary party can a revolution become socialist. Without such a party it will either be crushed by the bourgeoisie or it will become a political and/or social transformation expropriated by the “democratic” bourgeoisie or the Stalinist bureaucrats. As a result, Moreonism traditionally adapts opportunistically to various non-revolutionary forces (e.g. Peronism, Castroism).
As a consequence of this methodological failure, Morenoism believes that all mass movements automatically will strive into a revolutionary direction. Hence the UIT-CI uncritically supported the reactionary Euro-Maidan movement in the Ukraine and its overthrow in late February 2014 despite its reactionary goals (accession of the Ukraine to the imperialist EU) and its reactionary leadership (right-wing and fascist parties). (4) In contrast, the RCIT supported neither the Euro-Maidan movement nor the Yanukovych regime. We initially supported the spontaneous mass uprising in the Donbass region until the “People's Republic” became a proxy of Russian imperialism in summer 2014.
Likewise, the UIT-CI views the reactionary mass protests in Brazil as “progressive” despite the fact that they call for a coup d’état against the popular front government of Dilma Rousseff and that they are organized by the right-wing and fascist opposition. (5) In contrast, the RCIT opposes these reactionary demonstrations and supports the working class and trade union mobilizations which mobilize against a coup d’état while at the same time attack the government for its austerity policy.
For the same reason, Morenoism failed to see that because of the lack of a revolutionary leadership the political revolutions against the Stalinist bureaucracy in 1989-91 were defeated and ended in a social counter-revolution.
The RCIT states, that revolutionaries always have to undertake a concrete analysis of a mass movement in order to judge if it fights objectively for progressive or reactionary goals and if it has a spontaneous character or if is controlled by reactionary forces.
Finally, the UIT-CI fails to understand the character of the present historic period since 2008/09 as one of increasing inter-imperialist rivalry. They don’t recognize – as many other centrists – that Russia and China have become emerging imperialist powers. (6)
In summary, we call the militants of the UIT-CI to break with the centrist programmatic method of Morenoism. Fight together with the RCIT for an authentic Trotskyist program and creation of a new revolutionary workers’ international!
(1) “It seems that the fact of capitalist counterrevolution has restated the need that we have to have a democratic revolution. And ignoring that what arises in the developed countries where there are a counterrevolutionary regimes is also a democratic revolution, it’s maximalism; it’s as serious as ignoring the bourgeois-democratic revolution in backward countries. This is very important. I don’t know whether it’s correct or not. If correct, we need to change the entire formulation of the Theses of permanent revolution. It seems to me that it’s correct and that Trotsky was aiming there. If correct, it changes our entire strategy in regard to the opportunist parties, and in good measure in regard to the bourgeois parties that oppose the counterrevolutionary regime. As a step towards the socialist revolution, we’re in favour of the arrival of a bourgeois regime completely different [from the counterrevolutionary regime]. Just as we were in favour of the bourgeois-democratic revolution, and we said it was different from the other, [the socialist revolution], that had to be done, the Tsar had to be overthrown, which was a specific bourgeois democratic task, we need to discuss whether there is now a specific bourgeois democratic task, which is to overthrow the counterrevolutionary regime so it can come, at least a bourgeois regime.” (Nahuel Moreno: Party Cadres’ School: Argentina 1984; Ediciones El Socialista, Buenos Aires, 2015, pp. 47-48. See also e.g. Nahuel Moreno: Revolutions of the XX Century, Buenos Aires, 1986, Ediciones El Socialista, Buenos Aires, 2014)
(2) Nahuel Moreno: The Transitional Program Today (1980); in English: Ediciones El Socialista, Buenos Aires, 2014, p. 72
(3) “We believe that in the last 40 years there have been different phenomena to those that Trotsky witnessed, and they force us to start developing between us all— or some of you will in a few years— a new formulation, a new way of writing the theory of permanent revolution, taking into account all these problems. We have to state that it isn’t mandatory for the working class and for revolutionary Marxist party with mass influence to lead the process of democratic revolution to socialist revolution. It’s not required to be so. On the contrary: there have been, and it isn’t t ruled out there will be, democratic revolutions that in the economic field become socialists. This is to say, revolutions expropriating the bourgeoisie without having as essential axis the working class— or having it as important participant— and not having revolutionary Marxist and revolutionary workers’ parties at their head, but petty-bourgeois parties.” (Nahuel Moreno: Party Cadres’ School: Argentina 1984; Ediciones El Socialista, Buenos Aires, 2015, p. 15)
(4) See e.g. UIT-CI: The Social and Political drama of Ukraine, in: International Correspondence No. 34 (May-August 2014), pp. 15-17; Miguel Lamas: Ukraine: a revolutionary triumph of the masses, UIT-CI, 4/3/2014, http://uit-ci.org/index.php/news-a-documents/802-ukraine-a-revolutionary-triumph-of-the-masses
(6) The RCIT has published numerous documents and booklets on Russia and China as emerging imperialist powers. They can be read on our website at http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/china-russia-as-imperialist-powers/. A summary of our analysis can be read here http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/imperialist-china-and-russia/