ICL Statement for Prague Protest Against IMF, World Bank

Smash Imperialist Exploitation Through World Socialist Revolution!

We publish below a 16 September statement by the International Communist League directed at the planned protests against the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank in Prague, capital of the Czech Republic, this month. These are the latest in a series of anti-“globalization” protests which have become a major focus of left-wing activism internationally: the protests against the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Seattle late last year, against the IMF/ World Bank in Washington, D.C. this past spring and against the World Economic Forum in Melbourne, Australia earlier this month. As with the earlier protests, the Melbourne demonstrators were met with vicious police terror and mass arrests. We demand the immediate release of all those arrested and the dropping of all charges.

The radicalized youth attracted to these protests want to overcome the hideous impoverishment of the masses in the “global South” which is justified and enforced in the name of “free market” capitalism. However, the organizers of the anti-“globalization” campaign seek to channel these concerns and the striving for social justice into national-chauvinist appeals to their own imperialist bourgeoisie.

The main demand of the Seattle protest was that the Clinton White House pressure the WTO into adopting and enforcing a code of international labor and environmental standards. Moreover, that protest was politically dominated by the AFL-CIO labor bureaucracy, which staged an orgy of anti-Communist China-bashing and flag-waving trade protectionism. The demonstrations in Washington a few months later were focused on liberal appeals to the directors of the World Bank to cancel the debt of “Third World” countries.

The organizers of these mobilizations angrily denounce the IMF, WTO and World Bank for being undemocratic and under the control of large “transnational” corporations. At the same time, they appeal to the “democratic” governments of North America and West Europe. In reality, the American capitalist state is the primary political instrument of the Wall Street banks, General Motors, Boeing et al.; the German capitalist state is likewise that of the Frankfurt banks, Daimler-Benz and Siemens; etc. International economic institutions like the IMF and WTO are politically dominated by the major imperialist states while increasingly becoming an arena of conflict between them.

In fundamental opposition to the pseudo-leftist purveyors of “human rights imperialism,” the International Communist League stands for the liberation of the workers, peasants and other toilers from exploitation, poverty and social degradation through proletarian revolutions both in the imperialist centers and against the imperialists’ henchmen in the dependent neocolonial countries, thereby laying the basis for an international planned socialist economy.

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“Turn Prague into Seattle”? Were it not for the capitalist counterrevolution which destroyed East Europe and the former Soviet Union a decade ago, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund would not be meeting in Prague! The “velvet revolution” ripped Czechoslovakia apart and now the working people, women and national and ethnic minorities suffer the raw exploitation, impoverishment and depredations of the capitalist market. As for the illusions of “freedom,” today police forces specially trained by the American FBI and backed up by NATO threaten labor and leftist demonstrations with a brutal enforcement of “law and order” for the imperialist bankers.

For all the talk about concern for the toiling masses, the official call for a “global day of action” in Prague says nothing about the capitalist shock treatment which has led to a plunge in life expectancy and returned starvation to Russia, rolled back women’s right to abortion across East Europe, and given rise to a murderous brown plague of fascist terror directed especially against immigrants and Roma (gypsies). Last year’s Balkans War wreaked worse devastation on Serbia than Hitler’s Nazis. The resulting economic, social and ecological disaster in the Balkans also does not merit mention in the official manifesto for Prague. Why is this? Because ostensible leftists organizing this year’s “anti-globalization” protest are mainly the very same people who supported the imperialist war against Serbia in the name of “humanitarian” concern for the Kosovar Albanians. They are also the same “leftists” who joined with their own capitalist rulers in fighting for the destruction of the Soviet Union and the East European deformed workers states and who supported the election of the bloody cabal of fake “socialist,” ex-“communist,” and “Labour” leaders presently ruling capitalist Europe.

We comrades of the International Communist League are proud to fight for the authentic communism of Lenin and Trotsky’s Bolsheviks. Our perspective is proletarian, revolutionary and internationalist. We recognize that the fundamental conflict in society is the struggle by labor against capital. Because of its central role in production, the proletariat has the social power to bring down the capitalist exploiters and their whole system of class exploitation, racial, sexual and national oppression and imperialist war. The proletariat has the power and the class interest to create a society—initially a workers state—based on collectivized property and a rational, planned international economy, leading to a classless, communist society and the withering away of the state. To achieve this goal requires the construction of an international Leninist-Trotskyist egalitarian party. We struggle to become the party fit to lead international socialist revolutions.

Integral to our fight is holding on to proletarian conquests already wrested from the capitalist class. That is why we Trotskyists fought for the unconditional military defense of the Soviet Union and the deformed workers states of East Europe against imperialist attack and capitalist restoration. With every resource at our disposal we fought in 1989-90 in the DDR [East Germany] to lead a workers political revolution, maintaining the collectivized property forms and replacing the Stalinist misleaders with the rule of workers councils. This could have been the beacon for resistance against capitalist restoration across East Europe and for proletarian socialist revolution in the West. The ICL again fought to rouse the Soviet workers to preserve and extend the gains of the 1917 Russian Revolution which had been grossly betrayed by decades of Stalinist misrule but not overthrown until 1991-92. Today the fate of the Chinese deformed workers state and the lives of billions of working people in China, across Asia and around the world hang in the balance. We fight for the unconditional military defense of the Chinese workers state against renewed imperialist military machinations and economic encroachments. The gains of the 1949 Chinese Revolution are threatened by the Chinese Stalinists’ market economic “reforms,” but these attacks have also engendered significant proletarian revolt. A Trotskyist party is necessary to lead the proletariat to victory through a workers political revolution to preserve and extend the gains of the 1949 Chinese Revolution.

The devastating and worldwide consequences of capitalist counterrevolution also destroy the anti-Marxist theories of “state capitalism” espoused by the late Tony Cliff’s International Socialist Tendency and the crackpot and ever-shifting “theorists” of the League for a Revolutionary Communist International (LRCI, a/k/a Workers Power) and other renegades from Marxism (see “The Bankruptcy of ‘New Class’ Theories,” Spartacist [English-language edition] No. 55, Autumn 1999). According to the Cliffites, the triumph of counterrevolution in the former USSR was merely “a step sideways” from one form of capitalism to another. Their rabid Cold War anti-Sovietism was expressed at the time: “Communism has collapsed.... It is a fact that should have every socialist rejoicing” (Socialist Worker [Britain], 31 August 1991).

Today, the proletariat has been hurled back, worldwide, and the U.S. imperialists, unhindered by Soviet military might, now ride roughshod over the planet, sometimes using the United Nations as a fig leaf, wrapping global military interventions in the cloak of “humanitarianism.” Rival imperialisms, especially Germany and Japan, no longer constrained by Cold War anti-Soviet unity, are pursuing apace their own appetites for control of world markets and concomitantly projecting their military power. These conflicting national interests led to the breakup of the WTO talks in Seattle last year. These interimperialist rivalries outline future wars; with nuclear weapons, this threatens to extinguish life on the planet.

Thus the task of wresting power from the capitalist exploiters is more urgent now than ever. Without revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement. Today the basic premises of authentic Marxism must be motivated against the false and prevalent misidentification of the collapse of Stalinism with a failure of communism. Stalinist rule was not communism but its grotesque perversion. The Stalinist bureaucracy, a parasitic caste resting atop the workers state much like a labor bureaucracy sits atop a trade union, arose in the Soviet workers state under conditions of economic backwardness and isolation due to the failure to extend the revolution to any of the advanced capitalist countries. The Stalinists claimed they were going to build “socialism in one country,” an impossibility, as Leon Trotsky (and before him Marx and Engels) explained since socialism is necessarily international in scope. “Socialism in one country” was a justification for selling out revolutions internationally to appease world imperialism. As Trotsky brilliantly explained in The Revolution Betrayed (1936), the contradictions of Soviet society could not endure forever: “Will the bureaucrat devour the workers’ state, or will the working class clean up the bureaucrat?” That contradiction was resolved bitterly in the negative.

Marxism vs. Anarchism and “Globalization”

People who call themselves “anarchist” run the gamut from right-wing petty-bourgeois thugs who hate the working class and attack communists to subjective revolutionists who solidarize with the proletariat and genuinely seek the overthrow of the bourgeoisie. In the latter case, anarchism’s appeal is a healthy rejection of the parliamentary reformism of the social democrats, the ex-Stalinists and the fake leftists who prop up and maintain the capitalist order. In fact, for opposing the reformist falsifiers of Marxism, Lenin himself was denounced as an anarchist. When the Bolshevik leader arrived in Russia in April 1917 and called for a workers revolution to bring down the capitalist Provisional Government, the Mensheviks denounced Lenin as “a candidate for...the throne of Bakunin!” (Sukhanov, The Russian Revolution, 1917: A Personal Record [1984]). (Bakunin was the anarchist leader in the First International.) As Lenin put it in State and Revolution: “The opportunists of modern Social-Democracy accepted the bourgeois political forms of a parliamentary, democratic state as the limit which cannot be overstepped; they broke their foreheads praying before this idol, denouncing as Anarchism every attempt to destroy these forms.”

It is not surprising that there is something of a revival of anarchist beliefs, fertilized by the all-sided bourgeois triumphalism that “communism is dead.” The Russian Revolution redefined the left internationally and its final undoing is having a similar impact in reverse. When the new workers state was in fact a beacon of liberation, and at the height of the international revolutionary upheavals spurred by the Russian Revolution, the best of the anarchist and syndicalist militants (e.g., James P. Cannon, Victor Serge, Alfred Rosmer) became dedicated and disciplined fighters for the communism of Lenin and Trotsky. Before his later break from Marxism, the anarchist Serge reviled the social democrats who led the workers to the imperialist carnage of World War One and he traveled to Soviet Russia to support the new workers state. In the course of struggles against counterrevolutionary revanchists (which some anarchists criminally supported), Serge joined the Bolshevik Party and wrote to his French anarchist friends motivating communism against anarchism:

“What is the Communist Party in a time of revolution? It is the revolutionary elite, powerfully organised, disciplined, obeying a consistent direction, marching towards a single clearly defined goal along the paths traced for it by a scientific doctrine. Being such a force, the party is the product of the necessity, that is the laws of history itself. That revolutionary elite which in a time of violence remains unorganized, undisciplined, without consistent direction and open to variable or contradictory impulses, is heading for suicide. No view at odds with this conclusion is possible.”

La Vie ouvrière, 21 March 1922; reprinted in The Serge-Trotsky Papers, Cotterill, ed. (1994)

The diffuse popularity of “anarchism” among youth today is itself a reflection of the retrogression in political consciousness in the new political period which began with the colossal defeat of capitalist counterrevolution in the USSR and East Europe. At bottom, anarchism is a form of radical democratic idealism which appeals to the alleged innate goodness of even the most rapacious imperialists to serve humanity. The League of the Just (which changed its name to the Communist League around the time Karl Marx joined it in 1847) had as its main slogan, “All men are brothers.” Observing that there were some men whose brother he was not and had no desire to be, Marx convinced his comrades to change the slogan to “Workers of all countries, unite!”

Historically, anarchism has proven to be a class-collaborationist obstacle to the liberation of the oppressed. Uniting with the counterrevolutionary White armies, some anarchists hailed the Kronstadt uprising against the Russian Revolution, and Kronstadt remains an anti-communist touchstone for anarchists today. During the Spanish Civil War, anarchists became ministers in the popular-front government which disarmed and repressed the armed workers’ struggle against capitalism, opening the road to decades of Franco’s dictatorship.

Today the fundamental differences between revolutionary Marxism and anarchist liberal idealism can also be seen in the “globalization” protests. The notion that large capitalist corporations have today transcended the nation-state system and now rule the world through institutions like the IMF and WTO is false to the core. “Globalization” is a present-day version of the notion of “ultra-imperialism” put forward by the German Social Democrat Karl Kautsky, who argued that capitalists in different countries can resolve their conflicts of interests through peaceful (even democratic) means. As we pointed out in our pamphlet Imperialism, the “Global Economy” and Labor Reformism: “So-called multinational or transnational firms do not operate above or independently of the nation-state system. Rather they are vitally dependent on their own bourgeois national states to protect their investments abroad from popular opposition and rival capitalist states. Hence, imperialist states must maintain strong military forces and a corresponding domestic industrial base.”

Many organizations supporting the Prague mobilization call for “democratic control” over the IMF or World Bank in order to better the conditions for people in the “Global South” (Asia, Africa and Latin America). The German PDS (Party of Democratic Socialism) argues that the work of the IMF and World Bank must become more transparent and for a genuinely international United Nations. We’ve called these appeals for action on behalf of the workers and the oppressed by their direct imperialist overlords and oppressors “human rights imperialism.” Not only absurd, these appeals to imperialism to somehow become responsible and humane are reactionary because they foster deadly illusions that the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie in its “democratic” trappings can somehow be the agent for social change in the interests of the workers and the oppressed. This lie binds the exploited to their exploiters and charts a dead-end road for social struggle.

The notion that a “global” United Nations could act in the interests of humanity is a lie which masks the fundamental economic mechanisms of capitalist imperialism. Imperialism is not a policy based on “bad ideas” but is integral to the workings of a system based on private property, the extraction of profit and the necessity for capitalism to conquer new markets. As Lenin explained regarding the UN’s predecessor, the League of Nations: “It became plain that the League of Nations was non-existent, that the alliance of the capitalist powers is sheer fraud, and that in actual fact it is an alliance of robbers, each trying to snatch something from the others.... Private property is robbery, and a state based on private property is a state of robbers, who are fighting for a share of the spoils” (“Speech to Chairmen of the Executive Committees,” 15 October 1920).

The UN’s first intervention (1950-53) was a “police action” against the North Korean and Chinese deformed workers states, slaughtering up to four million Koreans. A decade later, the murderous military intervention in the ex-Belgian Congo was led under UN auspices and included the killing of left-nationalist Patrice Lumumba.

At the left end of the anarchist spectrum appears an article on the anarchist “A-Infos Web site” which stands out among builders of the Prague demonstration for its sharp opposition to begging the class enemy to act morally and “cancel the Third World debt.” They call to smash the IMF and World Bank and propose: “Direct demands will be placed not on the appeasers and Co., but on workers organizations and their reformist leaderships to scrap the IMF-World Bank and to cancel the trillion-dollar debt—NOW!” But the world won’t be transformed through slogans raised at one big demo or even one big strike, and the reformist leaderships they call on support capitalist imperialism. How then do we get from capitalism to socialism? That’s the question to which anarchism has no response.

Marxist theory and the model of Lenin’s Bolsheviks leading the working class to state power in the October 1917 Russian Revolution is the only revolutionary solution. The workers cannot take hold of the machinery of the capitalist state and “reform” it in the interests of the oppressed. They must fight for power, smashing the capitalist state and creating a workers state—a dictatorship of the proletariat—which will put down the counterrevolutionary resistance by the former capitalist rulers. Lenin’s Bolsheviks canceled the debt amassed by the tsar and the Russian bourgeoisie by taking power and refusing to pay it. This was part of the Bolsheviks’ revolutionary internationalist perspective—against appeasement of imperialism, they fought to extend the Russian October to world socialist revolution. They understood that socialism could not be built in one country.

Against the reactionary aspects of the idealism preached by traditional anarchists like Proudhon and echoed today by petty-bourgeois “Greens” that workers should not aspire to wealth but live a spartan communal existence, we Marxists fight for the elimination of scarcity, for a society where workers enjoy the fruits of their labor which today are expropriated by the capitalists. Telling workers to “tighten their belts” is in fact the program of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank through starvation “austerity” policies inflicted on the masses of the “Third World.” In the name of “defending the environment,” the Green parties now in the governing coalitions in Germany and France are even more aggressive in imposing capitalist “austerity” than the social democrats. In the face of recent mass protests against extortionate fuel prices, the French Greens opposed the concession by the Socialist prime minister to reduce the tax on fuel by 15 percent.

In contrast to the anarchist/green impulse to hold back technological advancement and drive down levels of consumption, we Marxists side with Big Bill Haywood, a leader of the IWW (Industrial Workers of the World, a/k/a the “Wobblies”). When reproached by a comrade for smoking a good cigar, he replied: “Nothing is too good for the proletariat!” Marxists recognize that the history of human progress has been a struggle to master the forces of nature. The development of agriculture and domestication of animals was a successful incursion into the “natural ecology” of the planet which created a social surplus, opening a way forward from the brief and brutal struggle for daily survival in early human society. To extend to the impoverished masses of the “Third World” all the things Western petty-bourgeois leftists take for granted—electricity, schools, clean drinking water on tap, medicine, public transport, computers—will require a huge leap in industrial and technological capacity. That leap requires a victorious international revolution led by a conscious revolutionary vanguard to render the working class conscious of its mission and to break it from the grip of capitalism’s reformist and pseudo-revolutionary lackeys.

It is precisely the loyal service of bourgeois-nationalist “Greens” to the ruling class that leads them to ignore the greatest ecological disasters on the planet. Thus Joschka Fischer, the “Green” foreign minister for the Fourth Reich, vociferously backed bombing Serbia. The Balkans are now riddled with depleted uranium shells; the poisoned water and destruction of modern industrial and social infrastructure mean the true death toll of the Balkans War will be tallied for years to come. With “Greens” like this, who needs Dr. Strangelove, I. G. Farben and Dow Chemical Company?

Likewise, the 1991 Gulf War against Iraq has destroyed one of the most advanced societies in the region. Ten years ago, the child mortality rate in Iraq was among the world’s lowest and today it is the highest; a population whose overwhelming majority was literate and had access to medical care now is literally being starved to death by the ongoing United Nations blockade. So-called “leftists” who opposed the devastating air war against Iraq counterposed UN sanctions as a “humanitarian” alternative. The ICL opposed sanctions as an act of war which has killed more people than the bombs. The support of the fake left for the bloody crimes of “human rights imperialism” is the only explanation for the thundering silence on these questions in any official propaganda for “anti-globalization” protests in Seattle, Washington, D.C. and Prague. The French LCR openly called for an imperialist military intervention in Kosovo under OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe] or UN control (Rouge, 1 April 1999). The LRCI (Workers Power) openly campaigned for the defeat of Serbian forces by the KLA tools of NATO imperialism, shared a platform in London with enthusiasts for NATO bombing and cheered the withdrawal of Serbian troops, idiotically proclaiming “in the aftermath of NATO’s victory in Kosova, a pre-revolutionary situation is maturing” (“The Fight to Overthrow Milosevic in Serbia,” 11 August 1999 LRCI statement).

In contrast, the ICL fought everywhere for military defense of Serbia against U.S./UN/NATO imperialism without giving a milligram of political support to the Serbian chauvinist Milosevic, just as earlier in the Gulf War we fought to mobilize the proletariat for the defeat of imperialism and forthrightly championed the defense of Iraq (see April 1999 ICL declaration on the Balkans War in Spartacist). Revolutionary internationalists struggle for the defeat of their “own” bourgeoisie and the defense of the victims of imperialist war. The orgy of social-chauvinism of ostensible leftists is a direct reflection of their support to the European governments prosecuting the Balkans War. Two years earlier, the British SWP [Cliffite Socialist Workers Party] campaigned for and declared itself “over the moon” for the election of Tony Blair, who was the biggest NATO hawk in Europe. While posturing to the left in the Balkans War against the craven “poor little Kosovo” crowd, the SWP gave their game away in their fulsome support to “New” Labour’s Tony Benn, whose opposition to the war was steeped in “Little England” chauvinist anti-Americanism. To argue that the war should be run directly by Europe’s imperialist pigs rather than Americans is hardly an antiwar movement!

At the right end of this nationalist spectrum are the fascists. Last year, German Nazis marched against the Balkans War with slogans like “No German blood for foreign interests!” The nationalist anti-Americanism which the European anti-“globalization” movement deeply imbibes shades over to outright fascism. Czech fascist organizations plan to stage a provocation for their genocidal program in Prague on September 23.

In the crucible of the first major war in Europe in 50 years, the fake “Trotskyists” proved themselves to be decomposition products of the “death of communism.” Today they jockey for position to wrest control of the “anti-globalization movement.” Only a fool could trust that groups which helped bring the present European capitalist governments to power can now fight these governments, their banks and institutions in the interests of the oppressed. Far from a Marxist alternative to anarchism, the pseudo-Trotskyists are active opponents of revolutionary Marxism embodied in the program and practices of the ICL.

The Material Basis for Opportunism and National Chauvinism

Bourgeois ideology—e.g., nationalism, patriotism, racism and religion—penetrates the working class centrally through the agency of the “labor lieutenants of the capitalist class,” the parasitic trade-union bureaucracies based on a privileged upper stratum of the working class. If not replaced by revolutionary leadership, these reformists render the working class all but defenseless against capitalist attacks and allow the organizations of the proletariat to be destroyed or rendered impotent by tying the unions increasingly to the capitalist state. In his 1916 work, Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, Lenin explained:

“The receipt of high monopoly profits by the capitalists in one of the branches of industry, in one of the numerous countries, etc., makes it economically possible for them to bribe certain sections of the workers, and for a time a fairly considerable minority of them, and win them to the side of the bourgeoisie of a given industry or a given nation against all the others. The intensification of antagonisms between imperialist nations for the division of the world increases this urge. And so there is created a bond between imperialism and opportunism.... The most dangerous of all in this respect are those (like the Menshevik, Martov) who do not wish to understand that the fight against imperialism is a sham and humbug unless it is inseparably bound up with the fight against opportunism.”

The national chauvinism and craven capitulation of the organizers of a movement against “globalization” are abundantly evident. Thus trade-union organizers of the Seattle protest against the WTO united with far-right anti-communist forces denouncing “slave labor” in the Chinese and Vietnamese deformed workers states. Chinese steel was dumped in the harbor and signs proclaimed, “People First Not China First.” Illustrating why Trotsky described the American labor bureaucracy as Wall Street’s ideal tool for imperialist domination of Latin America, American trade-union tops campaigned to ban Mexican truck drivers from work in the U.S. Not for nothing, the AFL-CIO is popularly known throughout Latin America as the “AFL-CIA.” Incredibly, the Italian Rifondazione Comunista and the pseudo-Trotskyist Proposta grouping uphold the AFL-CIA’s “leadership” as a model for the European workers to emulate (see Proposta No. 27, January 2000)!

Before Prague, the British SWP labored mightily to promote a Labourite trade-union demonstration in defense of saving British jobs at the Rover car plant. This demonstration was a sea of Union Jacks and virulent anti-German chauvinism pitting British workers against Germans and tying the former to the British ruling class. Slogans like “Britain won two world wars, let’s win the third” give a flavor of the poison. After Rover, the SWP buried itself in campaigning for Ken Livingstone for mayor of London, a Labourite politician who was a vociferous proponent of imperialist terror against Serbia and unbridled police force at home. When anarchist protesters irreverently defaced the symbols of British imperialism in a May Day protest in London, the SWP stayed away (bar a token presence) for fear of embarrassing their candidate for London mayor, “Red” Ken Livingstone. Livingstone endorsed police repression of the May Day protesters, several of whom still languish in jail or face prosecution.

In France, José Bové leads masses in protest against McDonald’s and the incursions of American fast food on the French palate. Our interest is organizing the horribly underpaid workforces in these fast-food chains, whatever their national ownership or “cuisine.” Moreover, if cultural or culinary preferences are synonymous with “imperialism,” then by the dim lights of Bové we better worry about the Italians, because people love pizza and it is now marketed everywhere from the Aleutian Islands to the Amazon. Or was it “imperialism” when a particular German device, namely the printing press, conquered the world and made mass literacy possible?!

More seriously, the national chauvinism and opportunism of the labor tops and fake left poison class consciousness and solidarity among workers by fomenting religious, national and ethnic divisions. In recent years this has reached a fever pitch in an anti-immigrant frenzy. This threatens the unity and integrity of the proletariat as a class to resist attacks by the capitalists and their state. As noted in the ICL Declaration of Principles (Spartacist [English-language edition] No. 54, Spring 1998):

“Modern capitalism, i.e., imperialism, reaching into all areas of the planet, in the course of the class struggle and as economic need demands, brings into the proletariat at its bottom new sources of cheaper labor, principally immigrants from poorer and less-developed regions of the world—workers with few rights who are deemed more disposable in times of economic contraction. Thus capitalism in ongoing fashion creates different strata among the workers, while simultaneously amalgamating the workers of different lands.”

In the Schengen agreement, European powers closed their borders to immigrants, many of whom fled the counterrevolutionary destruction of East Europe. The racist anti-immigrant policies of today’s ruling social democrats echo “the boat is full” demagogy of the Nazis and indeed fuel fascist terror. Meanwhile, the social-democratic popular-front governments across Europe (coalition governments involving reformist workers parties and bourgeois parties) dangerously lull the workers with parliamentary illusions that the social democrats, whose own policies pave the road for the fascists, will “ban” the fascists. Such bans historically serve only to refurbish the image of the very bourgeoisie which resorts to fascism when its rule is threatened. Historically such bans against “extremists” have been used against the left, not the right. In Germany in the immediate postwar period, a small neo-Nazi party was banned in 1952 to cosmetically touch up the “democratic” credentials of the heirs of the Third Reich rebuilding capitalist Germany under American imperialist auspices. The real purpose was to “justify” a constitutional ban of the German Communist Party in 1956. We demand: Full citizenship rights for all immigrants! No reliance on the bourgeois state! For labor/minority mobilizations to stop the fascists!

The Party Is the Instrument for Socialist Revolution

The Leninist party is the instrument for bringing revolutionary consciousness to the proletariat, for organizing proletarian struggles and guiding them to victorious consolidation in a socialist revolution. A revolutionary party must fight every instance of social injustice and all manifestations of oppression. Central to our task is combatting every instance of women’s oppression and “all the old crap” which has come back with religious obscurantism, attacks on abortion rights and anti-gay bigotry. Welding the audacity of the youth to the social power of the proletariat is crucial to the fight for a new socialist society.

Our aim is a revolutionary leadership whose cadre must be tested and trained in the class struggle. The road forward is for the presently small forces adhering to the program of Lenin and Trotsky to forge parties with the experience, revolutionary will and authority among the masses to lead successful proletarian revolutions. Nothing less than a reforged Trotskyist Fourth International will suffice for the task of leading the workers and oppressed to the victory of world socialism. We have no illusions that this will be an easy road, and we recognize that the possession of the technology of nuclear holocaust by an irrational and genocidal ruling class foreshortens the possibilities: there is not a lot of time.

We are guided by the program and practices of authentic communism. As Trotsky wrote in “The Death Agony of Capitalism and the Tasks of the Fourth International” (1938):

“To face reality squarely; not to seek the line of least resistance; to call things by their right names; to speak the truth to the masses, no matter how bitter it may be; not to fear obstacles; to be true in little things as in big ones; to base one’s program on the logic of the class struggle; to be bold when the hour for action arrives—these are the rules of the Fourth International.”

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