World Perspectives 2018: VII. Building the Revolutionary World Party in the Present Period

 

 

 

153.        The RCIT has pointed out many times that – contrary to the cries of the reformist and centrist naysayers – the central problem of the present period is not a so-called “crisis of struggle” or a “lack of confidence in socialism” of the working class. The central problem is rather the crisis of proletarian leadership. The working class and the oppressed have given proof in the past years in numerous uprisings, general strikes and militant class struggles – from India, Iran, the Arab world, South Africa, Brazil, Argentina to Catalonia – that they are willing to fight. However, what they are lacking is a revolutionary party with a program and cadres able to fight and lead them to victory. Building such a revolutionary party – nationally and internationally – is therefore the most important task for all authentic liberation fighters in the present period. [1]

 

154.        If there exists any temporary “crisis of struggle” or “lack of confidence in socialism”, it is rather the result of the crisis of proletarian leadership and not the other way around. Wherever the working class brings its official leaderships to power they get nearly immediately betrayed by the reformist and populist bureaucrats. SYRIZA, the Greek flagship of the former Stalinist and now social-democratized Party of the European Left (which has also the Communist Party in France, the German Linkspartei and others among its members), is a prime example. Since it came to power in January 2015 it created an unprecedented record in neoliberal “successes”! The SYRIZA government, in coalition with the right-wing ANEL party, implemented more privatization projects than all the other, open bourgeois, governments before. It paid the imperialist banks more interest rates than its predecessor governments. And, recently, it even attacked the workers’ constitutional right to strike! With “friends” like this, the Greek workers hardly need any enemies! And the SYRIZA leadership is no exception! Just think about Zyuganov’s Communist Party in Russia who flatters the arch-reactionary Orthodox Church or Viktor Tyulkin’s RKRP-RPK which supports Russian imperialism in Syria and the Ukraine. The same is true for India’s CPI(M) which implemented the IMF program when it was in power in West-Bengal. And let us not forget the “Communist” Party of Egypt which hailed General Sisi’s coup and their Syrian “comrades” who lick Assad’s boots until today.

 

155.        All these are powerful demonstrations that not everyone who swears to God in words also serves his goals in deeds. It is a widespread misunderstanding of people to imagine that an “agreement in principle” on the ideas of Marxism, Leninism or even Trotskyism would be sufficient. In fact, the experience of the big social liberation movements in history serves very well today. Take the different wings among the Jews during the time of the Roman occupation. They all praised Yahweh but the Pharisees collaborated with the Empire while the rivaling Zealots fought heroically against them. Or take the two opposing wing in the early Christian church: Their joint reference to Jesus’ teachings didn’t stop them that the official representatives prostituted themselves and served the Emperor while the Donatists, rooted among the poorer classes (particularly in North Africa) renounced any collaboration with Rome and one sector of them, the “extremist” Agonistici (also called “Circumcellions” by their enemies), led an armed struggle against the slave holders, big land owners and treacherous bishops in the name of God. The same has been the case with Taosim in China in the epoch of the Han Dynasty when is served both as a state religion as well as a spiritual inspiration for the major peasant uprising of the Yellow Turbans led by Zhang Jue and his brothers who were fighting for social equality. Or compare Abū Dharr al-Ghifārī, the loyal and dedicated companion of the Prophet Muhammad with the corrupt caliph ‘Uthmān; or take 'Ali ibn Muhammad and the social revolutionary Zanj Rebellion of the slaves and poor against the corrupt Abbasid Caliphate. Both sides praised Allah in words, but, in fact, they served completely opposite causes. Later we saw Thomas Münzer leading the revolutionary uprising of the poor peasants against the ruling feudal class in Germany and Martin Luther, compromising with the same class. The same with the “moderate” Hussites and the Taborites in Bohemia. Both sides did so in the name of Christianity and the struggle against the corrupt Catholic Church. All this is the result that different classes and factions of classes pursued their goals in the name of the same ideology.

 

156.        This is no different in the history of Marxism. Both the Mensheviks as well as the Bolsheviks praised Marx and Engels as well as the early works of Plekhanov. Similarly, both Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht as well as Karl Kautsky publicly esteemed the works of the founders of scientific socialism. But when they were tested by war and revolution, the found themselves on opposite sides of the barricades serving the revolution respectively the counterrevolution! Likewise, let’s remember how much the banner of communism has been misused by the Stalinist bureaucracy who brutally suppressed the working class and slaughtered hundreds of thousands of honest communists. Today they continue to mock the ideas of Marx and Lenin by their deeds. Things are no better among the so-called “Trotskyists”. As we have mentioned before, such so-called “Trotskyists” are dragging the name of the founder of the Red Army through the mire when they combine their praises for the Fourth International’s foundation program of 1938 with practical support for the military putschists in Egypt or with cowardly “Third Campism” in face of the coup in Brazil 2016 or the Syrian Revolution. All these pseudo-socialist forces are a modern version of the mendicant orders in the Middle Ages. The mendicant orders, like the Franciscans or the Dominicans, emerged in a time when the Catholic Church was totally discredited in the eyes of the popular masses. They were crucial to regain the influence of the papacy as the monks lived among the masses under modest circumstances and hence were able to win the trust of the people. While the fat and openly corrupt bishops were despised by the people, the monks were able to win respect and confidence as they appeared as coming from the mid of the people. The mendicant orders acted as pro-Papacy forces pacifying the popular masses and fighting against the social revolutionary Christian heretical movements which at that time gained strong influence. Like the mendicant orders in the Middle Ages, the so-called “left” today uses radical phrases so that it appears as serving the interest of the oppressed. But in fact, they are spreading confusion and serving the ruling class. No, we repeat: praying to the same God does in no way mean serving the same goals!

 

157.        This is why the RCIT insists that an abstract agreement on the principles of “Trotskyism” is in no way sufficient to unite the forces of revolutionaries. What is at least as important, if not even more important, is agreement on the tasks in the class struggle today. Agreement on the principles of the Transitional Program of 1938 is worthless if one stands on different sides of the barricades in the class struggle today! Agreement on Lenin’s theory of imperialism is meaningless if one isn’t capable to recognize the new imperialist Great Powers China and Russia as such! Praising the “Communist Manifesto” is useless if one does not divide the world in classes but rather shares the approach of bourgeois geopoliticism and divides the world, and corresponding tactics, in the main enemy, U.S. imperialism, and all its opponents in order to support the latter.

 

158.        This is why the RCIT considers it as crucial to conduct the struggle for a new Revolutionary World Party in combination with the fight against all revisionist deviations of the reformists and centrists in the name of “Marxism”. Trotsky’s statement in the Fourth International’s Transitional Program is fully valid today: “The Fourth International declares uncompromising war on the bureaucracies of the Second, Third, Amsterdam and Anarcho-syndicalist Internationals, as on their centrist satellites; on reformism without reforms; democracy in alliance with the GPU; pacifism without peace; anarchism in the service of the bourgeoisie; on “revolutionists” who live in deathly fear of revolution. All of these organizations are not pledges for the future, but decayed survivals of the past. The epoch of wars and revolutions will raze them to the ground.[2]

 

159.        The RCIT calls revolutionaries around the world to unite in a single international organization in order to advance the struggle to build a Revolutionary World Party as soon as possible. Such a party is highly needed for the working class to march forward in its struggle for liberation. It must have a common approach to the all major issues of the class struggle in the three axes of the world situation in the epoch of imperialism: the struggle between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, the struggle between the imperialist states and the oppressed people, and the rivalry between the Great Powers. The RCIT has elaborated its program and its method in numerous Manifests and documents. [3] We are not ultimatists. We consider every concrete step of joint struggle on a clear foundation and every rapprochement on the basis of agreement on the present tasks as highly valuable. For this reason we have elaborated a document which summarizes our positions on the major issues of the world class struggle today. We present these “6 Points for a Platform of Revolutionary Unity Today” to all liberation fighters around the world as a proposal for discussion and, hopefully, basis for joint activities. Forward in building the Revolutionary World Party!

 



[1] The RCIT’s history and understanding of party building has been summarized in a book by Michael Pröbsting: Building the Revolutionary Party in Theory and Practice. Looking Back and Ahead after 25 Years of Organized Struggle for Bolshevism, Vienna 2014, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/rcit-party-building/

[2] Leon Trotsky: The Death Agony of Capitalism and the Tasks of the Fourth International: The Mobilization of the Masses around Transitional Demands to Prepare the Conquest of Power (The Transitional Program); in: Documents of the Fourth International. The Formative Years (1933-40), New York 1973, pp. 215

[3] For a more extensive overview of the RCIT’s viewpoints we refer those who are interested to our website www.thecommunists.net. We want to draw particular attention to our two programmatic documents: The Revolutionary Communist Manifesto (2012), http://www.thecommunists.net/rcit-manifesto/ and the Manifesto for Revolutionary Liberation. The Tasks of the Liberation Struggle against Decaying Capitalism (2016), https://www.thecommunists.net/rcit-program-2016/). Both programs have been published in seven different languages.