We have been deliberately ambivalent toward Sanders given the way he talks about ‘socialism’ and ‘revolution’ when he has actually changed the meaning of those terms. We speak from a perspective that asks if real socialism requires a real revolution. Continue reading ” Sanders double whammy”
The american republic was always ‘work in progress’ despite all the propaganda about democracy: the period before the civil war makes obvious the flaws in the original formulation, etc&…
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.  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.  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.  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
Everything about our current situation suggests the need for revolutionary transformation. We have lost government: congress, president, courts: nothing can be expected from these. We have lost all the maintream media. Capitalism has run amok and unless we can deal with it it will destroy the planet: capitalists are a collective menace ruling unchecked. WE have lost protest movements or marches on washington. The fascist ‘science of crowd control makes a public demonstration almost impossible short of tame, licensed idiocy demonstrations (the women’s march is an exception, it seems, but that movement is basically a valid feminist process behind which stands a bourgeois phenomenon putting women onto Wall Street, the Milit Complex, the Pentagon…?) Socialists marching the streets will end up in court for years. A lot of progressive candidates have emerged, some winning seats. But they will do no thing but raise hopes and do nothing. I will wager, hopefully wrong, that the Green New Deal will accomplish nothing. And a ‘New Deal’ just proves my point: coopting revolution again. A lot of fresh faces elected. But note that the speaker of the House has already sabotaged the green new deal. Reread the above: we have lost Congress (the Senate), the courts. The President is a joke, street demos, gone. We will be treated to some years of ‘we are trying’ to find out that nothing has changed. One thing more we have lost ‘revolution’ to the non-violent crowd. Every revolution of modern times was a violent process until the gandhians took over. So we have lost the core method of revolution.
Figures like Sanders, who hardly deserves full blame for this, nonetheless has unwittingly paralyzed the left by taking the idea of ‘revolution’ and ‘socialism’ and changing their meaning into their near opposites. We have lost those terms, and a younger generation hardly knows any better. This cooptation was very deft and spread the illusion of a left and made Sanders a lot of money.. I could hardly exempt the DSA from this charge, but Sanders has had a large influence in the past two years and now we have social democracy, barely even that, passed off as socialism. His tactics are suspicious in being deliberate. He couldn’t have done better if he worked for the CIA. The planet is about to self-destruct as the powers that be pretend it isn’t happening.
Everything about our situation suggests a crisis that is being addressed by the wrong methods. We need a revolutionary transformation. Without out it we go down the drain. That’s about it. Your move, dodo.
We have been deliberately ambivalent toward Sanders: if he can run and win, go for it. At the same time we have tried to expose his social democratic and new dealist farce that coopts the terms ‘socialism’ and ‘revolution’. In the end Sanders is no socialist and has led those who might have remained unconfused by terminology into a morass. Why did Sanders balk at the Clinton moment. If he runs he can’t really use his old slogans as a ‘socialist democrat’, now sadly hype.
At a time of planetary crisis the terms ‘socialism’ and ‘revolution’ deserve their real meanings.
Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders transformed their respective countries’ policy agendas. That’s exactly why they can’t step aside for other candidates.
Source: The Fight Is Far From Over