Our Next Steps – International Revolution

A Proposal for Building a New Revolutionary International A contribution to a highly important debate among Marxists By Michael Pröbsting, International Secretary of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 11 February 2019, http://www.thecommunists.net All serious Marxists recognize that the crucial problem of our time is the profound crisis of leadership. Humanity experienced in the 20th Century (and continuing into the 21st) an unprecedented bourgeoisification of the workers movement and, equally, a degeneration of the official Marxist organizations. The working class and the oppressed fight and revolt again and again, but they are continuously misled by reformist and populist leaderships. The role of the centrists is opportunist adaptation. As a result, our class has suffered a succession of defeats and setbacks for an entire historical period. Some of the worst enemies of the working class and the oppressed camouflage themselves today as “communists” (e.g. the Stalinist-capitalist dictatorship in China). Furthermore, it is an obscene, tragicomic contradiction that numerous so-called “Marxists” – e.g. Stalinist and former Stalinist, Bolivarian and various other “left-wing” forces – lend open or concealed support to Chinese, Russian, European or Japanese imperialism or reactionary capitalist regimes like Assad in Syria. [1] At the same time, one has to recognize the bitter truth that authentic revolutionaries represent much smaller forces than these diluters and corrupters of “Marxism”. However, this is only one part of the picture. At the same time, the decay of capitalism and the evident crisis of the bourgeois order, the acceleration of the rivalry between the Great Powers and the eruptions of class struggles and revolutionary upheavals in numerous countries around the world – all of this offers tremendous opportunities for authentic Marxists to overcome this crisis of leadership. Overcoming this crisis means building a new International or, to use the language of Leon Trotsky, a World Party of Socialist Revolution. In order to exploit those opportunities for rebuilding a revolutionary International, Marxists must, following the advice of the Jewish-Dutch philosopher Benedictus de Spinoza, “neither laugh nor weep but understand.” In the following article we will focus on the ongoing discussion among Trotskyists on how to overcome this crisis of leadership. At this point we will not discuss our assessment of the world situation or the strategic and tactical conclusions following from it as the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) has elaborated on these in detail in numerous available documents. [2] We will rather limit ourselves to discussing some principles and lessons that, in our opinion, are crucial for the next steps towards building a revolutionary International. The RCIT clearly understands that the historic task of building a new International will be neither easy nor achieved in a single day. However, we have to emphasize that this must not delay the energetic commencement of such an effort. We must start now and not wait for better times. Just the opposite. We are called upon to recognize the central role that our interventions must play in transforming the inevitable opportunities… into real advances! We do not start from zero in such an endeavor. We can build upon a rich accumulation of experience in building a Revolutionary World Party – in particular the lessons of the work towards building the Communist International by Lenin and the Bolsheviks in the Zimmerwald Movement and, later, the lessons from building the Fourth International by Trotsky and his comrades-in-arms. Furthermore, we can build upon our experiences of several decades of international party building without ignoring their limitations. [3] While implementing these lessons does not guarantee automatic success in the building of a revolutionary world party (as this also depends on related objective circumstances), refusal to proceed based on these lessons and their derivative principles can only ensure failure. What are the lessons and principles that the RCIT consider as essential for the next steps in building a Revolutionary World Party? We summarize them as follows: 1) We must begin on a clear programmatic basis. 2) Agreement in words is not enough – that agreement must be applied to the class struggle today. 3) Every single step towards building the Revolutionary World Party must begin on the basis of internationalism. 4) The process of building the World Party must be advanced with neither ultimatism nor delay. 5) Building the new International must not be limited to self-proclaimed Trotskyists. Let us elaborate on these principles and lessons in more detail. 1) The process of building the Revolutionary World Party must start on a clear programmatic basis The party – nationally as well as internationally, in its first pre-party stages as well as later as a fully developed party – is an orga

Source: Our Next Steps – International Revolution

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