VI. Concluding words

 

 

 

We conclude this book by pointing out again that it has been written under extraordinary circumstances as it appears in the midst of a historic crisis. Hence, if this book would appear in 6 or 12 months, one could certainly add more data, make more definite assessments about some trends or arrive to clearer conclusions about this or that development. However, as we said in the introduction, the purpose of the book is to aid militants all over the world in developing a revolutionary line in these tumultuous events and, hence, to be better prepared for intervening in the class struggle. Waiting until everything is over and until the picture is clearer would a petty-bourgeois academic approach.

 

While we do not, and cannot, know the exact course of events it is pretty clear what is the objective, historical, meaning of the current situation – irrespective of the intentions of this or that government leaders. What is currently taking place is a global counterrevolutionary offensive – a pre-emptive counterrevolution. The ruling classes launch gigantic economic and anti-democratic attacks which will worsen dramatically the conditions of the working class to fight. This is why the lockdowns and the suppression of the right to demonstrate are so dangerous.

 

COVID-19 is the perfect excuse to suppress these rights. This is why the ruling class is spreading fear and panic. This is why they will use it not only now but for months and years! And if the COVID-19 pandemic is temporarily over, the ruling class will surely warn about a return of it. Or there will be another pandemic by another virus. We repeat our warning: the bourgeoisie will use the danger of such pandemics for years in order to confuse and paralyze the working class and popular masses.

 

This is why accepting the logic of lockdowns and suppression of the right to demonstrate “because of the pandemic” is so dangerous. They want to bind our hands for years of slump and authoritarian rule. This is why the RCIT sharply condemns all those leftists who support lockdowns and suppression of the right to demonstrate. These forces objectively serve the counterrevolution. They are a modern version of social-chauvinism in WWI.

 

We have no doubt that we are marching towards great events. At the moment everything seems to be superimposed by the COVID-19 crisis. However, the fundamental contradictions of capitalism have not and can not disappear. The ruling classes have launched their counter-revolutionary offensive not because they are strong but rather because of desperation given the devastating crisis of their system. The harder the bourgeoisie strikes now, the stronger will be the reaction and the greater the response from the workers and popular masses.

 

As we have outlined in this book the new era provokes a qualitative aggravation of the contradictions between the classes and states. It will massively exacerbate tendencies which have been already in place before. Most prominently among them are the structural crisis of the capitalist world economy and the decay of the productive forces, the rivalry between the imperialist Great Powers – in particular between the U.S. and China –, and the class struggle and revolutionary uprising of the workers and oppressed. We have recognized and analyzed these developments over a number of years and provided a Marxist perspective. The present triple crisis – a new 1929-like slump, the rise of the state bonapartist Leviathan and the COVID-19 pandemic – is a another crucial development.

 

Trotsky once noted: The power of the Fourth International lies in this, that its program is capable of withstanding the test of great events.[1] This statement is no less true today. Revolutionaries around the world should judge organizations which raise the banner of Marxism by their historic record. The RCIT has demonstrated over a number of years that it is capable to recognize new developments and to provide a revolutionary answer. We understood the revolutionary character of the present historic period opening in 2008 when many others were overpowered by pessimism and retreat. We defended the justification of the Arab Revolution when many had dropped supporting it or even turned to support counterrevolutionary butchers like Assad and Sisi. We recognized the rise of China and Russia as new imperialist powers when most denied such or even ridiculed such a position. We stressed from early on the necessity to apply the program of revolutionary defeatism in any Great Power conflict between the U.S., the EU, Japan, China or Russia. And in the current COVID-19 crisis we have been nearly alone in taking a consistent revolutionary stance against the global lockdown policy. We can justifiably claim that the methods of the RCIT, its program and prognoses have been capable of withstanding the test of great events.

 

The new era will also provoke inevitably a qualitative aggravation of crises and contradictions within the workers and popular movement and the so-called “left”. It will trigger political and organizational crisis in organizations; it will push the opportunists even further to the right, into the middle class camp of social-imperialist liberalism which is in tow of the bourgeoisie. However, we are confident that it will also open a process of rethinking and moving to the left among Marxists which can result in regroupement of revolutionary forces. The RCIT orientates to the raw but militant masses and looks for rapprochement with those Marxists who share such a revolutionary outlook.

 

At the beginning of World War I Lenin aptly summarized the tasks of Marxists in a few words. “What is to be done? Preach and prepare civil war. Instead of becoming ministers, join the illegal propagandists!![2] Likewise, revolutionaries today have to prepare for a longer period of struggles under difficult conditions. However, these conditions will give birth to the biggest political explosions the world will have seen for a long time!

 

In such a period, the most important, the most urgent task for authentic Marxists is to combine their forces and to unite their efforts to build a new World Party of Socialist Revolution. The RCIT calls all revolutionaries to join us in this task! We repeat the words of our latest Open Letter: “Act Now because History is Happening Now!

 



[1] Fourth International: Imperialist War And The Proletarian World Revolution, Adopted by the Emergency Conference of the Fourth International, May 19-26, 1940; in: Documents of the Fourth International, The Formative Years (1933-40), Pathfinder Press, New York 1973, p. 323, http://www.marxists.org/history/etol/document/fi/1938-1949/emergconf/fi-emerg02.htm

[2] V. I. Lenin: Plan for a Pamphlet „The European War and European Socialism (1914)“, in: LCW Vol. 41, p. 340