Aims of the Socialist Fight 2022

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31/01/2022 by socialistfight

Draft 4 Aims of the Socialist Fight 2022

Revolutionary socialism

1. We stand with Karl Marx: ‘The emancipation of the working classes must be conquered by the working classes themselves. The struggle for the emancipation of the working class means not a struggle for class privileges and monopolies but for equal rights and duties and the abolition of all class rule’ (The International Workingmen’s Association 1864, General Rules). The working class ‘cannot emancipate itself without emancipating itself from all other spheres of society and thereby emancipating all other spheres of society’ (Marx, A Contribution to a Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, 1843).

2. US imperialism is the global hegemonic power via its great financial houses mainly based in Wall Street and their allied transnational corporation. All other imperialist powers are subordinate to the US via the dollar as the world’s reserve and trading currency, the IMF and World Bank, the global stock exchanges it dominates, its great banking houses and transnational corporations, its string of 800 military bases worldwide and its overwhelming naval and military prowess. It is true China is an aspirant imperialist power and potential successor if the US suffers an economic catastrophe and/or a very serious military defeat which allows others to break loose from its domination. China may now be termed a neo-imperialist or proto-imperialist power.

All the economic and professional means exist right now to provide clean water, adequate food, advanced education, medical care, and welfare to every member of the human race; all that prevents us doing that is this global imperialist system based on the profit system rather than planned for human need.

3. In the class struggle we shall fight to develop every struggle of the working class and oppressed in the direction of democratic workers’ councils (soviets in Russia in 1917, shoras in Iran in 1979) as the instruments of participatory democracy which must be the basis of the successful struggle for workers’ power. We reject any struggle for ‘democracy’ in the abstract (even ‘extreme democracy’) which only confuses this absolutely vital distinction; there is no peaceful, bourgeois democratic gradual parliamentary road to socialism.

The capitalist state forces will always act to prevent a peaceful transition to socialism, as we saw in the Indonesian mass killings of the Communist party and others in 1965–66, the other 9/11, and the Chilean coup that overthrew Allende on 11 September 1973. And we were reminded again of this on 20 September 2015 when a serving general threatened Corbyn in the pages of the Sunday Times with “a mutiny” from the military if as prime minister he tried to take Britain out of Nato, scrap Trident or cut the size of Britain’s forces. That was an act of high treason, of course, and the Ministry of Defence and some right wing Tory MPs condemned it, but no one demanded the Sunday Times reveal the general’s name for prosecution. The Trump coup attempt on January 6, 2021, and the continuing preparation for another such also reinforces this.

Revolutionary strategy and tactics

4. We recognise the necessity for serious ideological and political struggle as direct participants always in the trade unions; membership of an appropriate trade union is mandatory for all members of SF. If unemployed in Britain or Ireland, the Unite Community provides for cheap membership of 55p p/w or £2.38 p/m to continue the struggle; other options internationally should be pursued.

5. We recognise the necessity to work in the mass reformist social democratic bourgeois workers’ parties internationally, and also Stalinist ones where possible, despite their pro-capitalist leaderships when conditions are favourable. We fight neo-liberalism in the Labour Party as part of the broader struggle to transcend reformism. We recognise the Labour party is a reformist party which can never be won to the cause of revolutionary socialism. However, it may well be forced to defend some of the gains of the working class in future periods of developing class struggle as it has in the past; it is subject to pressure from its voter base and from the trade unions; there is no such pressure on the Tories. As the secondary defenders of British capitalism and imperialism it is not simply another imperialist party like the Tories or Liberal Democrats – hence the Leninist term ‘bourgeois-workers party’, which distinguishes it and other such formations internationally from the US Democrats who are a straightforward party of US imperialism similar to the Whigs/Liberals in British history and today.

6. Work within the Labour party is a tactical and not a strategic issue in the struggle to cohere a revolutionary nucleus to build the mass revolutionary party. Whether or not to work within Labour in Britain or in any other bourgeois workers’ party internationally depends on our assessment of the opportunities, whether we still regard them as bourgeois-workers’ parties and if sufficient internal democracy allows us to function independently within them.

7. We strongly support campaigns to democratise the trade unions’ traditional link to the Labour party. We are for funding only those MPs who agree to and have a record of fighting for union policies. We are for the abolition of all anti-trade union laws. We demand an end to the farcical Warwick-type Agreements which sees top TU leaders, acting bureaucratically as plenipotentiaries and defenders of capitalism, asking for miserable reform, accepting far less, and ending up with practically nothing in practice from Labour Governments.

National funding of Labour must also be on the basis of fighting for union policies and must be withheld until the Labour leaders agree to represent the interests of trade union members, the working class and oppressed against the bankers and the capitalist system in general. We support union funding for working class left-wing alternatives to Labour when Labour fails to meet those conditions but never the ‘other political parties’ formulation which would mean funding outright capitalist parties like the Scottish Nationalist Party, the Greens, the Liberal-Democrats and even the Tories.

8. We fight for rank-and-file organisations in the trade unions within which we will fight for consciously revolutionary socialist leadership in line with Trotsky’s Transitional Programme statement:

“Therefore, the sections of the Fourth International should always strive not only to renew the top leadership of the trade unions, boldly and resolutely in critical moments advancing new militant leaders in place of routine functionaries and careerists, but also to create in all possible instances independent militant organizations corresponding more closely to the tasks of mass struggle against bourgeois society; and, if necessary, not flinching even in the face of a direct break with the conservative apparatus of the trade unions. If it be criminal to turn one’s back on mass organizations for the sake of fostering sectarian factions, it is no less so passively to tolerate subordination of the revolutionary mass movement to the control of openly reactionary or disguised conservative (“progressive”) bureaucratic cliques. Trade unions are not ends in themselves; they are but means along the road to proletarian revolution.”

9. We totally oppose all economic nationalist campaigns like Gordon Brown’s, ‘British jobs for British workers’ and the Brexit/Lexit English nationalism of Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson and the ‘left’ nationalists of the CPB/Morning Star, SPEW or SWP that means capitulation to national chauvinism and so to the political and economic interests of the ruling class itself. The main enemy of the working class is always its own ruling class, not some other capitalists in Brussels, Paris, Washington, Moscow, or Beijing; this opportunism only prepares workers to slaughter other workers as in WWI and WWII.

We are strong adherents of Karl Liebknecht’s famous words in his pamphlet of May 1915: ‘The main enemy of the German people is in Germany: German imperialism, the German war party, German secret diplomacy. This enemy at home must be fought by the German people in a political struggle, cooperating with the proletariat of other countries whose struggle is against their own imperialists’. We therefore fight for a Socialist United States of Europe as part of the struggle for a global federation of socialist states via world revolution.

10. Representatives of all political parties are welcome to participate in blocs to organise and support specific, concrete struggles for quantifiable demands that are in the interest of the working class. When under direct attack by reactionaries we may form alliances ‘with the devil or his grandmother’ in defence of life and limb as Trotsky put it. But in forming united fronts of class struggle we must draw a line against anything that even seems to imply a common programme for government, at national or local level, with non-proletarian forces. Such blocs that go beyond practical united fronts for action, with representatives of non-working class parties such as the Greens, Lib Dems or SNP, by definition rule out ever fighting for the socialist revolution, the only ultimate solution to all capitalist crises.

11. We are totally opposed to all these popular fronts, that is, political alliances of workers organisations with political representatives of the capitalist class to ‘save the planet’, ‘defeat fascism’, ‘stop the war’, etc. These characteristically have broadly defined aims that imply an open-ended bloc tailored to the politics of those parties, or even a joint government. As Trotsky said, ‘no mixing of the Red and the Blue’ (or Green – SF). However, whilst recognising the counter-revolutionary essence of the Second, Social Democratic and Communist Internationals our tactics there is to fight to set the base against the leadership to recruit the base of these serious class fighters to the cause of the revolution.

So, we do not identify Labour party members with the leftist reformism of Jeremy Corbyn, or the rightism of Keir Starmer. Likewise, we do not equate all Communist party members in Britain and internationally with the politics of Stalin, Mao, or their current leaders. We are strongly opposed to both Stalinophobia, represented most prominently by the French Lambertists, and Stalinophilia, represented by Michel Pablo and the USFI in a liberal-democratic way and the Spartacist tendency in a more dogmatic, ultra-left way.

Climate Change Crisis and the Ecology

12. Planet Earth is at a crossroad. Capitalist induced massive spewing of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere has reached a critical point. Massive fires that destroy and kill millions of trees has been increasing. Capitalist greed combined with forest destruction is destroying the Amazon Forest which is critical for global ecological stability. The Amazon is changing from absorbing greenhouse gases into omitting greenhouse gases. Since the Amazon Forest is so huge, this by itself seriously contributes to the worsening of Climate Change. Floods are increasing everywhere with horrific consequences, in places like Germany, China and England. Thousands of people are dying from such disasters. Capitalism and imperialism in particular, are fully responsible for this. All the ecology “conferences” boil down to nothing but hollow promises by representatives of the imperialist countries.

And the alternative source of energy (solar, windmills, etc.) only produces a dent in the battle against Climate Change. The truth is that nothing can stop the catastrophic progression of Climate Change short of the international socialist revolution. Only a rational planned economy that stop relying on spewing harmful gases into the atmosphere can stop the catastrophe from Climate Change. But we are running out of time. Climate Change should be a critical element for the class struggle, and it should be a motivation for the socialist revolution. We need a set of Transitional Demands that mobilize the working class against Climate Change. Such demands should be linked with other TP’s demands. The working class must be mobilized against Climate Change. Yet, this is unlikely to happen unless Climate Change is linked to the workers’ struggles. For example, forest firefighters are in a critical short supply, and they are grossly underpaid. We must demand the massive hiring of firefighters and demand that they get good union salary. The drive to unionize forest firefighters is important in this context.”

13. We reject nuclear energy as the solution to the ecological catastrophe facing the planet. The problems with accidents in nuclear power plants like the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011, Chernobyl in 1986 and Three Mile Island in 1979 will always threaten disasters. The problems with the disposal of nuclear waste are horrendous and last thousands of years. And despite the huge cost of nuclear energy governments keep them for producing the raw materials for nuclear bombs.

14. The use of the element thorium instead of uranium has been advocated because it is cheaper, more efficient and there is an almost zero chance of a nuclear meltdown. But the mining costs are still prohibitive, and these contribute significantly to global warming. Nuclear fusion is also much safer, but the energy source of the sun has yet to produce more electricity than goes into achieving the fusion of the hydrogen isotopes so that project still seems decades away. The necessary rapid replacement of petrol and diesel driven vehicles with electric vehicles depends on the rapid expansion of charging points and, of course, sustainable sources in the manufacture of the batteries and the production of the electricity. As we approach the tipping point in the polar and other icecap meltdowns, sharply increasing methane escape and global weather outrages and bushfires, time is not on our side.

 15. The solution to the ecological catastrophe of coal, gas and nuclear is sustainable energy sources, wind, sun, and tides but planned on a global scale to get over local and regional wind and sun source variations. Global water and electrical networks are also necessary; the sun always shines somewhere on the planet and the wind blows enough somewhere. Local and regional droughts could be alleviated by these networks. Massive expansion of desalination plants could assist in areas of chronic low rainfall in the poor third world countries like Africa and southeast Asia super-exploited by imperialism today.

Special Oppression and Racism

16. We recognise that class society, and capitalism as the last form of class society, is by its nature patriarchal. In that sense the oppression of women is different from all other forms of oppression and discrimination. Sexism and the oppression of women is inextricably tied to the ownership and the inheritance of private property. To achieve sexual and individual freedom women need to fight in the class struggle in general to overthrow capitalism itself. We cannot leave the struggle against women’s oppression until the revolution but must recognise it as one of the most fundamental aspects of the revolutionary struggle itself or we will never unite with the fight of women for equality to make that revolution. We therefore give unconditional but critical support to the #MeToo movement, which has encouraged many women to come forward to expose historic cases of sex abuse by famous and powerful men and institutions exploiting power relations like the infamous Hollywood casting couch. The Met Police officer Wayne Couzens abducted, raped, and murdered 33-year-old Sarah Everard as she walked home from a friend’s house in south London on 3 March 2021. Subsequent revelations showed that police violence against women was rampant not only in London police and other institutions but nationwide.

17. We fight racism and fascism. We support the right of people to fight back against racist and fascist attacks by any means necessary. The global movement sparked by the police murder of George Floyd has made Black Lives Matter one of the most progressive movements in the past decades not only in the US but internationally. It has exposed the continuing reliance on racism by the US ruling and other ruling classes internationally and the continued promotion and defence of police murders. In no way will we equate the opportunism of some of the leaders of the #MeToo and BLM with the genuine anger unleashed at racist murders and the sexual exploitation and, degradation and abuses of women. The rise of the Republican far right under Donald Trump signals this problem of human equality will not be solved by appealing to liberal sympathies but by real revolutionary class struggle which unites black, white, Asian native Americans and all the working class and oppressed against capitalism itself. US capitalism is centrally dependent on weaponizing racism to maintain its privileges by divide and rule. From the days of slavery racism is built into the DNA of US capitalism.

The majority of the Founding fathers were slave owners and Abraham Lincoln was an out and proud self-declared racist. In the fourth Lincoln-Douglas debate, on 18 September 1857, in Charleston, Illinois, in refuting judge  Stephen A. Douglas’ charge that he favoured racial equality, he declared, to a baying racist audience, “I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been, in favour of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, [applause]-that I am not nor ever have been in favour of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favour of having the superior position assigned to the white race. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied everything. I do not understand that because I do not want a negro woman for a slave, I must necessarily want her for a wife. [Cheers and laughter.]”

18. We also support the fight of all other specially oppressed including lesbians and gay men, bisexuals, and transgender people and the disabled against discrimination in all its forms and their right to organise separately in that fight in society as a whole. In particular we defend their right to organise and caucus inside trade unions and in working class political parties. We defend the right of transgender women to use female toilets in conformity with their gender. As Media Matters have pointed out, experts from 12 US states that protect trans rights have thoroughly refuted the objections of some to allow these transgender women the use of female toilets, pointing out that there was not a single reported instance of this kind of voyeurism occurring in states with legal protections for trans people. In another investigation, Media Matters also found that 17 school districts around the US with protections for trans people, which collectively cover more than 600,000 students, had no problems with harassment in bathrooms or locker rooms after implementing their policies. However, the fears of some women are real, although these have been whipped up by a hostile right wing media and we totally oppose the actions of some transgender activists in physically attacking these so-called TERFs.

19. We support the rights of sex workers and oppose all laws which criminalise them or tend to endanger their lives and health. Whilst recognising that sex work is a commercial activity driven by deprivation which is a product of the oppression of women and the deformation of sexuality under capitalism and knowing that this will disappear with the ending of the patriarchal-dominated private property structure of class society we raise the demands to protect their rights now such as free and regular health checks under the NHS and a safe working environment for all sex workers.

19. Fascism today is a growing danger in the US, in France, Italy, Greece and other Eastern European countries. It is vital now to fight for the formation of defence guards based on the trade unions and all other workers organisations. In Vermont. Perhaps the most important development in the current revival of US class struggle, ‘striketober’ as it was dubbed, is taking place in Vermont. Vermont AFL-CIO President David Van Deusen cited the January 6 attacks on the U.S. Capitol as a reason to bear arms and fight back against right-wing and fascist attacks; workers will not have a choice but to do this, with guns, if necessary. Defense guards should also be extended to the oppressed neighborhoods, where fascist attacks take place. Such defence guards should also defend the neighborhoods against police brutality. It is a legitimate act of self-defence for the working class to ‘No Platform’ fascists but we never call on the capitalist state to ban fascist marches or parties; these laws would inevitably primarily be used against workers’ organisations, as history has shown.

20. We oppose all immigration controls. International finance capital roams the planet in search of profit and imperialist governments disrupt the lives of workers and cause the collapse of whole nations with their direct intervention in the Balkans, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, and Afghanistan and their proxy wars in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, etc. Workers have the right to sell their labour internationally wherever they get the best price. The only way to guarantee an open border, in which workers can cross whenever they want to get a better job or unite with their families, is to get rid of the capitalist/imperialist system that rests on the division of the working class via the nationalism of the national states, and the imperialist system that perpetuates the division of oppressor nations and oppressed nations. The trade union leaders and Labour politicians should fight for open borders, and we who see ourselves as its vanguard should strongly criticise and seek to replace those labour movement leaders who fail to do this and advocate immigration controls, albeit ‘non-racist’ ones

21.The Covid-19 pandemic has a dire effect on the class struggle internationally but strikes are now beginning to unfold in late 2021. We reject all anti-vax conspiracy theories that this is a virus formed by China in a Wuhan laboratory to undermine the US, that Bill Gates or Big Pharma invented it, that it is not killing so many people or that lock-downs and social distancing do not work. It is no accident that those former leftists who have gone down this road, like the US SWP under Jack Barnes, have grown ever more sympathetic to the politics of Donald Trump, even defending the fascist murderer, Kyle Rittenhouse. A similar phenomenon is manifest in Britain where the former Revolutionary Communist party, now organised around the Spiked website, also take these red-brown fascistic political stances. Munira Mirza, for example, heads Boris Johnson’s policy unit and was his deputy London Mayor for arts for eight years. She was a supporter of the RCP and wrote for Living Marxism, and then became a libertarian reactionary writing for Spiked.

We were and are for the immediate withdrawal and/or defeat of imperialist armies in wars like Afghanistan Iraq, Libya, Syria and Ukraine.

Revolutionary internationalism

22. We defend the Leninist position on the differences between imperialist and semi-colonial countries. As Trotsky observed in 1937; “…the difference between England and India, Japan and China, the United States and Mexico is so big that we strictly differentiate between oppressor and oppressed bourgeois countries, and we consider it our duty to support the latter against the former. The bourgeoisie of colonial and semi-colonial countries is a semi-ruling, semi-oppressed class.” Leon Trotsky Not a Workers’ and Not a Bourgeois State? (November 1937).

23. We were and are for the immediate withdrawal and/or defeat of imperialist armies in wars like Afghanistan Iraq, Libya, Syria and Ukraine. Whilst giving no political support apart from against imperialism to the Taliban in Afghanistan, the Sunni and Shia militias in Iraq, Hamas or Fatah in Palestine, Gaddafi (as was) in Libya, Assad in Syria, the ‘Islamic State’ in Syria and Iraq, the theocratic regime in Iran or the Donbass leadership in Eastern Ukraine we recognise US-led world imperialism as the main enemy of humanity and so advocate critical support and tactical military assistance from the working class to all those really fighting for the defeat of imperialism, even if only for their own self-preservation, as part of the perspective of Permanent Revolution. The Islamic State is hated by great majority of the masses. It massacres them for the slightest deviation from the Islamic State’s brutal version of Islamism. Any “united front” with the Islamic State and similar organizations could only mean a temporary truce in which we, and the Islamic State shoot in the direction of the imperialist troops and their collaborators. But when the imperialists are defeated, our guns must turn against the Islamic State and all similar reactionary forces.

24. We defend all semi-colonial states and all third world formations like Syria and Iraq against the bombing of US imperialism but do not give any political support to them against their own working class and oppressed minorities. We support the Kurdish defenders of Kobane and Rojova (Western Kurdistan) against the Islamic State and the Turkish invaders. We support the Kurdish nation’s right to self-determination and to their own nation state, even though they are scattered over four other nations now.

We do not object if the Kurds take advantage of airstrikes against the Islamic State to defend their own territory in a process of nation-building, but we reject any strategic alliance with US imperialism itself, with Israel or with US-sponsored forces on the ground, like the Free Syrian Army. US imperialism betrayed their allies against the Islamic state when Donald Trump gave the green light to Turkey to invade Rojava in October 2019. The Kurds have every right to accept arms from Assad or anywhere else with no preconditions and a section around the PKK is now actively pursuing this option.

25. We stand for a multi-ethnic workers’ state in Occupied Palestine/Israel and are totally opposed to a two state solution. We are for the destruction of the settler-colonial state of Israel and for a Multi-ethnic Workers State of Palestine in a Socialist Federation of the Middle East. The Zionist state is an outpost of imperialism; the US subsidises its military expenditure to the tune of well over $3 Billion annually. This expenditure is to maintain a bridgehead to militarily protect imperialism’s access to oilfields in the Gulf and Caspian Sea and crush any revolutionary developments that might threaten US interests in the region.

We do not recognise Israel as a nation. This Zionist law grants every Jew in the world Israeli citizenship and the “right to return” on the basis of their mother’s religion as determined by a religious court whilst denying the right of return and citizenship to Palestinians and to their descendants who were born there who were driven out en masse in 1948, 67 or 73, continually over that period by settler theft of the lands. We recognise that Israeli Jews constitute a nationality like other nationalities in the region, Christians, Druze, etc but we do not advocate Jewish right to self-determination because that would be to endorse the Zionist racist project of excluding non-Jews from the state.

So, whilst we are for the destruction of the Zionist semi-theocratic state, we defend the rights of Jews as a nationality to their cultural identity and local autonomy. We propose a multi-ethnic workers’ state of Palestine where Jews, Palestinians, and all minorities have equal rights as citizens, to which the several generations of Palestinian refugees are given the right to return and to which all immigrants have equal rights of entry. We reject the two state solution as an impossible dream now. Zionist settlements have made sure of this. The fact that it is a solution advocated by but never seriously sought by Zionism and imperialism and that it has been accepted by successive PLO leaderships and might well be accepted by Hamas does not make it a progressive solution nor one that the majority of Palestinians would opt for if they were given a viable choice.

26. As socialists living in Britain, we take our responsibilities to support the struggle against British imperialism’s occupation of the six north-eastern counties of Ireland very seriously. For this reason, we have assisted in founding the Irish Republican Prisoners Support Group and we will campaign for political status for these Irish Republican and Republican Socialist prisoners of war and for a 32-county Socialist United Ireland. We reject all ‘two nations in Ireland’ theories.

Karl Marx and Frederick Engels made their famous ‘Irish turn’ in 1856 following Engel’s visit to the west of Ireland and the absolute devastation he saw there following the Great Famine, or genocide as it is more properly termed. Previously they had seen colonialism as progressive in transferring advanced technologies, industries, and railways to these colonies. Now Engels saw the brutal reality, confirmed the following year in the Sepoy Mutiny, India’s first war of independence from 1857 to ‘59. Marx and Engels went on the give unconditional support to the Fenian movement, always trying to unite it in struggle with the English radicalising workers.

Marx wrote to Sigfrid Meyer and August Vogt on 9 April 1870 on Irish immigrant labour, “Every industrial and commercial centre in England now possesses a working class divided into two hostile camps, English proletarians and Irish proletarians. The ordinary English worker hates the Irish worker as a competitor who lowers his standard of life. In relation to the Irish worker, he regards himself as a member of the ruling nation and consequently he becomes a tool of the English aristocrats and capitalists against Ireland, thus strengthening their domination over himself. He cherishes religious, social, and national prejudices against the Irish worker. His attitude towards him is much the same as that of the “poor whites” to the Negroes in the former slave states of the U.S.A. The Irishman pays him back with interest in his own money. He sees in the English worker both the accomplice and the stupid tool of the English rulers in Ireland.

This antagonism is artificially kept alive and intensified by the press, the pulpit, the comic papers, in short, by all the means at the disposal of the ruling classes. This antagonism is the secret of the impotence of the English working class, despite its organisation. It is the secret by which the capitalist class maintains its power. And the latter is quite aware of this. Hence it is the task of the International everywhere to put the conflict between England and Ireland in the foreground, and everywhere to side openly with Ireland. It is the special task of the Central Council in London to make the English workers realise that for them the national emancipation of Ireland is not a question of abstract justice or humanitarian sentiment but the first condition of their own social emancipation.”

27. We recognise that many socialists and working class militants may agree with much of the above statement of principles, but still have differences with parts of it. Therefore, the basis of adherence to our trend is acceptance of the above as the basis for current activity, not necessarily agreement with all of it. We are seeking to create a revolutionary party in which Marxism can be developed through open debate of the many complex developments that exist in the real world. This means members must be free to disagree and debate with each other, form tendencies and factions, and publish their views by whatever means is available, provided they do not disrupt agreed actions of the collective while they are being carried out.

One of the problems with the methodology of Stalinism and those in the Trotskyist tradition who follow this, is that it changes Lenin’s understanding of democratic centralism to bureaucratic centralism. However, as we know from the Russian Revolution, in particular with lack of discipline by Zinoviev and Kamenev, that in the midst of a revolutionary development when the questions of power and insurrection are posed, centralism and the success of the insurrection is more important than the debate about it, particularly after the votes are taken in favour of insurrection.

The relationships between democracy and centralism can be complex, and as Trotsky stated a number of times, a revolutionary leadership must be mature in the sense of weighing correctly when centralism must be instituted over democracy. But such weighing should mostly be done when the class struggle is advanced, and the question of working class power is posed. However, in most cases before the question of power is posed, democracy should be preferred. And it is better to err on “too much” democracy.

28. We are for the regeneration of the Fourth International based on our support for the first Four Congresses of the Communist (Third) International, the Comintern, and the early years of the Fourth International. We recognise that, whilst most self-declared Trotskyist groups internationally have degenerated into abject centrism (in Marxist terms) they have not gone over to the class enemy and become counter-revolutionary like the Second (Social Democratic) and Third (Stalinist) Internationals did in 1914 and 1935.

Most of those of Trotskyism origins who did go over no longer call themselves Trotskyists and those who claim the name of Trotsky contain many sincere revolutionaries who are versed in the Marxist classics, including Trotsky’s works, in their ranks, in second level leadership levels and some leaders. It is therefore necessary to continue to orientate to these layers sensitively and to appeal to these revolutionaries. It is by orienting to the ranks of workers in struggle; wages and conditions struggles against capitalist exploitation itself, against imperialism in Ireland and internationally, struggles of oppressed minorities against varied all forms of social oppression, as well as political ferment among intellectual layers radicalised through these struggles, that we will lay the basis for regroupments with forces internationally breaking with reformism, centrism and various forms of radical populism/nationalism, and seeking to reforge and rebuild the regenerated Fourth International.

8 thoughts on “Aims of the Socialist Fight 2022

  1. Viriato says:

    My comments on this document:

    1. What is meant by “proto-imperialism”?
    If China needs the permission of the US to become an imperialist, then do the UK, France, Germany and other countries need the same permission? No, of course not, they are already second-rate imperialists.

    There are people who consider a lot of countries as imperialist.
    The word thus loses all meaning, because if any country that exports capital becomes imperialist, there will not be many left that are not in this situation.

    It is necessary to redefine the concept because there is only one hegemonic imperialism and all the others are either subordinate to it or cannot compete with it or with the power of their currency and their army.

    2. In points 13 and 14, which deal with nuclear energy, there is clearly a logical contradiction.
    If Thorium is expensive to extract, in a socialist society concerned with human welfare, this would be an insignificant problem.
    If nuclear fusion is not yet perfected, this does not call nuclear energy into question, it makes it remote, if the scientific difficulties are not overcome i.e. if the means are not put in place because it will not increase profits as much as windmills or other equally polluting sources.

    We could stop the actual nuclear power plants but put the means to advance other sources of nuclear energy.
    Making concessions to the ideological offensives of the bourgeoisie via the environmentalists is not healthy.

    Points 16 and 17
    If we oppose racism and the oppression of women, we must first oppose class racism and the oppression of women workers.
    The racism of middle-class blacks against Latinos or poor blacks, as well as that of Ashkenazi against Sephardi and Arabs in the Zionist entity, shows that if you don’t take the issue on a class basis, you can easily go astray.
    On these questions we have to be very careful because there is objectively a campaign by the bourgeois US Democratic Party and the right-wing social democrats to bring these themes to the fore to obscure the class struggle with them.

    Point 19

    Is “fascism” a danger in the countries mentioned or the extreme right?
    Fascism and the far right or Bonapartism are not the same.
    In France and elsewhere, I do not see organized fascist parties as in Italy in 1922 or Germany in 1933.
    The practice of the Italian MSI or the Austrian extreme right-wingers is right-wing politics but not fascism. Trump’s so-called coup is an attempt to change the outcome of the election by mobilizing his most right-wing electorate. If clowns in buffalo clothing can be a fascist party make a “fascist coup” the word loses all meaning.

    Fascism is a movement of the 1930s which, considering the sociological changes that have occurred since then, the exponential increase of wage earners and the disappearance of important petty bourgeois strata such as peasants and shopkeepers totally crushed by the supermarkets, is not likely to be repeated any time soon.

    Moreover, fascism was a response to the very real threat of the workers to take power through their Marxist (or supposedly Marxist) political organizations.

    Nothing like that today.

    There may be a danger of Bonapartism, but fascism?

    Point 21

    One thing is the “anti-vax” and another is the mass movements against the liberticidal measures and the all-vaccine of the bourgeois governments.
    First of all, this is not a “vaccine” but a gene therapy that has never been tested as it should have been.

    Governments used the pandemic, which was really affecting part of the population (the obese and the comorbidly elderly) for their own political ends to suppress public freedoms, the right of association, to strike, to move, provoking the anger of population;

    Because, at the same time, the Metros, public transport were crowded, the workplaces were in operation to ensure profits that have doubled in two years.
    The repeated lies of governments have created total distrust in the speeches of the rulers and scientists who surrounded them.
    in France the Scientific Council met in secret, under a statute of war, which made the reasons for their decisions totally obscure.

    These decisions weekly contradict each other and were defended by doctors and scientists who had not practiced for decades and who all had conflicts of interest with the big pharmaceutical industry. They are the main propagandists of the Pfizer “vaccine”. The vaccines coming from Cuba, Russia, Chine are not allowed…

    Doctors and scientists who had a different opinion and/or offered cheap drugs and other ways to heal the sick and thoroughly study the pandemic and gave clear explanations to a panicked population, were openly persecuted by the government who was waging a Goebbel’s press campaign and administrative actions against them.

    This caused a movement of anger which manifested itself in demonstrations every Saturday all over the country.

    Today, despite all the disinformation carried out with deafening beating drums, it turns out that the so-called “vaccines” are completely ineffective and that, on the contrary, the most vaccinated countries present the higher “case” rates (another mystification because a “case” is almost never a patient).

    The least affected countries are in Africa. The population is young but also accustomed to anti-malarias (exactly the drugs proposed in France by the eminent professor Raoult and other renowned epidemiologists and virologists.

    The “vaccination” madness went so far as to want to “vaccinate” young children who risked absolutely nothing, but they came up against the resolute opposition of the parents except the ones terrified to the point of having lost all capacity for reasoning, a tiny minority.
    The same no danger risks applies to people under 45.

    The government has decreed laws to oblige the population who did not want to be injected with a “vaccine” whose medium and long-term side effects are not known. The Pass Sanitaire and now the Pass Vaccinal that have forced people to be vaccinated. Between young vaccinated there are dead ones, blindness and other serious cases of “secondary effects” of the “vaccine”.

    These are political measures that do not change the variants (which the “scientists” of the government had previously denied, “there are not variants but ‘second waves’ of the disease” they dare to say those ignoramus) nor the contagion, nor anything. Their argument that vaccination would “prevent severe cases” does not yet have sufficient proof.

    The only ones who should get vaccinated are the elderly with obesity and comorbidities. This is statistically the absolute majority of deaths from a pandemic which only kills 2 to 3% of hospitalized patients in intensive care and less than 0, 001% of the “cases”. A little bit more than the flu.

    I don’t know how this happens elsewhere, but I see that everywhere Omicron (here called “Ohmacron”) is in free fall without having caused any deaths (because even on this question the falsifications are going well. Deaths from any cause are tested and if we find the virus with extensive tests until we find the slightest particle of virus… we declare them dead from Covid!).

    As the presidential elections approach, the Covid terror is whipped up worse than ever at Goebbels’ level, but less and less people believes in it.

    Recently the government decided to remove the obligation to wear masks outdoors because no one respected this absurd measure for a variant which causes a mild cold when there are symptoms and which does not cause hospitalizations or deaths except after very rare cases of immunosuppression or co-pathologies or people at the end of life with serious health problems

    In short, in this Covid question it was not worth mouthing the panicking trumpets of the bourgeoisie.

    Like

  2. Viriato says:

    On the question about China imperialist or not, I have found a good article in the FRanch’s Worker’s Fight Magazine.
    Here is an extract:

    ” China a new superpower?

    Since China’s reintegration into the world market, which began in the 1980s at the initiative of the United States and mainly for the benefit of its capitalists, China has experienced spectacular development. Chinese workers now produce 25% of the world’s value added, compared to 5% in the 1990s. This industrial development has transformed China. There are now 22 cities with more than 5 million inhabitants. They are linked by some 30,000 kilometers of new high-speed rail lines. China’s ability to send satellites and people into space fuels its image as a technological superpower.

    At the same time, it retains many features of an underdeveloped country. While there are a thousand Chinese billionaires in dollars and three hundred million petty bourgeois with a standard of living close to their Western counterparts, 600 million proletarians and peasants have a monthly income of less than 125 euros.

    Although China’s development remains profoundly unequal, it has led to the emergence of very large companies. In 2021, according to the Forbes ranking, 13 of the world’s top 50 companies were Chinese, three in the digital economy, including Alibaba and Tencent, one in oil, Sinopec, and all the others being banks. These figures fuel the image of China as the alter ego of the United States. But this is an optical illusion.

    The position of Chinese banks does not reflect their dominance of the global economy, but the fact that they finance the economy of a country of 1.4 billion people. Unlike the big Western investment banks, Chinese banks make most of their investments within the country. In 2016, the country’s largest bank, ICBC, made over 90% of its profits in China. These banks are directly linked to the Chinese state. Their colossal size reflects another feature of China’s economic development: its massive indebtedness, which accelerated after the 2008 crisis.

    The Chinese currency, the renminbi, or yuan, is not an international currency like the dollar or the euro. Even though the IMF included it in 2015 in the basket of currencies with which it makes its special drawing rights, i.e. the loans it grants to various poor countries, the yuan is very little used outside China. Its exchange rate with other currencies is not set on the currency market, but by the Chinese government, which seeks to limit the value of the yuan against the dollar to favour Chinese exports. Less than 2.5% of rich countries’ central bank reserves are in yuan, compared to 60% in dollars and 20% in euros.

    Since January 2020, the Chinese government has reduced the legal obstacles that prevented Western capital from investing in Chinese companies. In the automotive, railway and banking sectors, Western companies no longer need to enter into joint ventures with Chinese companies. In these sectors, Chinese groups have technology that is competitive enough to compete with Western companies.

    The Chinese government has encouraged Chinese companies to list on foreign stock exchanges to raise capital. According to “Le Monde Diplomatique”, “American inflows into China totaled $620 billion during Donald Trump’s presidency, to which must be added dozens of IPOs of Chinese companies on American exchanges. At the end of 2019, US investors held at least $813 billion in Chinese stocks and bonds, up from $368 billion in 2016.”[1]

    These figures show that, despite Trump’s protectionist rhetoric, US capitalists have increased their holdings in Chinese companies. The coupling between the Chinese and US economies has increased and this interdependence continues to be to the primary benefit of US capitalists.

    Unequal relations

    China is still the workshop of the world. Because of the relative rise in workers’ wages in China (13 to 15% per year since 2008, compared to 1 to 2% in France), some manufacturers, such as Samsung, have relocated their production to Vietnam or India, where they impose even lower wages. But this movement remains marginal because, as an employer representative says, “China is still the best market for multinationals. It is the only country that offers such a skilled workforce along with a complete production chain. In other words, for a high level of qualification and productivity, wages remain low.

    At the same time, China is an unavoidable market. The construction of important infrastructures and the existence of a petty bourgeoisie with a good standard of living make Western capitalists dream. Of course, the competition is tough and they are now facing powerful Chinese industrialists in several sectors. This is the case in railway construction with CRRC, which produces 200 TGVs per year against 35 for Siemens and Alstom combined. This is true for the automobile sector, for which China is the world’s largest market, but where Chinese manufacturers, such as Geely or Saïc, are now overtaking the Westerners. Despite this, Volkswagen now sells half of its production in China and the rich Chinese continue to drive BMWs, Teslas and Mercedes.

    China remains a major market for Boeing and Airbus, which sell 20% of their production there. In the words of a brochure designed to promote French investment in China, entire sectors remain “open” or “under development” due to the lack of Chinese competitors of the same level. In addition to aeronautics, these include automotive equipment manufacturers, certain sectors of the food industry and of course the luxury goods industry. Valeo, Danone, LVMH or Hermès make a significant part of their profits there and will not leave the Chinese market any time soon.

    In most fields, Western capitalists dominate their Chinese competitors. This is the case with semiconductors, whose current shortage, caused above all by the existence of monopolies and the lack of economic planning, is used by politicians to denounce Europe’s dependence on Asia. The main manufacturer is not Chinese, but Taiwanese. It is the TSMC company, which has acquired a virtual monopoly over the past twenty years, along with the Korean company Samsung, in producing the most powerful chips.

    TSMC was founded in 1987 by Morris Chang, a Chinese man who emigrated to the United States after Mao’s victory in 1949 and worked for Texas Instruments for a long time as an engineer before being hired by the Taiwanese government. TSMC sells its semiconductors to the whole world. China buys 11 billion euros worth of them every year, because Chinese semiconductor manufacturers cannot produce chips of the same quality. Chinese manufacturers are at the mercy of an embargo like the one imposed on Huawei since 2019.

    But TSMC, despite its immense size and its investments of tens of billions of euros, remains a subcontractor whose products are entirely designed in California by Apple, Qualcomm or Nvidia. As for the machines used to engrave the latest semiconductors, with a precision of five nanometers, they are produced by the Dutch company ASML, founded by Philips. These technological gems are sold for 120 million euros each. ASML has a monopoly position and has seen its market capitalization soar over the past two years, even surpassing that of Volkswagen. To date, the Dutch government has prohibited ASML from selling its machines to Chinese semiconductor manufacturers.

    This example illustrates several aspects of globalization. First, that productivity improvements and technical progress are inseparable from the international division of labour. The relocation of production touted by so many politicians is absurd and would be catastrophic. Secondly, this globalization continues to benefit first and foremost the capitalists of the old imperialist countries, who remain technologically ahead of the game and capture the lion’s share of surplus value.

    A new imperialism?

    This does not prevent large Chinese groups, Huawei, Cosco, Alibaba, Geely, Sinopec and a few others, linked to the state, from emerging in various fields.

    The press regularly reports on Chinese groups taking stakes in Western companies. Political leaders point to these groups as predators that threaten Western industry and therefore jobs. Thus, the failure of the merger between Alstom and Siemens in 2019 was presented by Bruno Le Maire as a boulevard for the Chinese railway manufacturer CRRC. However, to date, no Chinese TGV has been purchased by European operators.

    This propaganda aims to close the ranks of the workers behind their exploiters. As if the French, German or American capitalists were not the ones primarily responsible for job cuts, factory closures and attacks on workers’ living conditions!

    Beyond the propaganda, however, there is a reality. Like all capitalists in the world, those in China are seeking to take market share from their competitors, and if possible to take control of them. Among the Chinese groups seeking to conquer the wider world is Huawei, founded in 1987 by a former Chinese army colonel to produce hardware and networks for telephone operators. Huawei once became the world’s second largest mobile phone manufacturer, behind Samsung but ahead of Apple. It is its lead in networks and 5G technology that makes Huawei a threatening competitor.

    In 2010, Geely bought Volvo’s car business and then, in 2013, London’s taxis. Since 2018, it has held almost 10% of Daimler’s shares. Cosco Shipping, China’s largest shipowner and the world’s third largest, made a name for itself by buying the port of Piraeus, near Athens, in 2016. It has port facilities in Africa. Until last December, Cosco was mentioned among the candidates for the purchase of Bolloré’s port facilities in Africa. Some concluded that China would replace France in its former African colonies, until Bolloré announced that it was selling its logistics subsidiary to the Italian-Swiss group MSC.

    China’s economic presence in Africa fuels the idea that it has become an imperialist power. China is buying up copper and cobalt mines in the Republic of Congo that were long exploited by Americans and Canadians; Sinopec is exploiting oil in Sudan, Gabon and Angola; it is buying up farmland and forests from Mozambique to Cameroon; and it is carrying out construction projects in various countries. According to the Senegalese newspaper Le Soleil, from January to September 2021 China-Africa trade reached 164 billion euros, making China Africa’s leading trading partner.

    Holding 62% of direct state-to-state loans in 2020, China is financing roads, hospitals, etc. Kenya borrowed $3.5 billion from China to build the new Nairobi-Mombasa railway line, built and operated by the Chinese company CRBC. As these loans are often indexed to commodity prices, fluctuations in commodity prices make it impossible for many states to repay their debts, even by squeezing their populations. They then have to ask China for a moratorium, as Angola and Kenya have done.

    From this point of view, despite all the talk about cooperation between countries, despite its anti-imperialist stance, China behaves in Africa like the old colonial powers. It maintains the same unequal exchanges. This observation gave Jean-Yves Le Drian, Macron’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, the opportunity to condemn China for “putting countries under tutelage after having made investments and pushed them into debt”[2]. This is truly the tribute of vice to virtue! Because when it comes to trusteeship and unequal development, China is not playing in the same league as the United States, Britain or France. China holds only 7.5% of the total African debt. The sectors that Chinese companies are investing in are those that imperialism has neglected.

    These powers defend their prerogatives tooth and nail, the mines, oil installations and mineral reserves that they hold dear. To defend them, France or the United States overthrow regimes and wage wars all the time, like the dirty war in the Sahel. China is only the fifth largest supplier of arms to Africa, far behind France.

    Imperialism is the mobilization of armed forces, diplomacy and secret services to defend the economic interests of large national groups. In Africa, France has four permanent military bases and troops in five other countries. The United States has 14 permanent bases and 20 temporary camps. China has only one military base, in Djibouti. According to the Wall Street Journal, China is in talks with Equatorial Guinea to open a second base, a move that is being resisted and vetoed by the US. The comparison is eloquent.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s the Lutte Ouvriere group’s article. Can you provios a link/ its very good.

      Like

    • On the question of China replacing the US as the global hegemonic imperialist power

      There is no possibility of China replacing the US as the global hegemonic imperialist power. The details in that Little Ouvriere article (it is not mine, they just reach the same conclusions as I do) are the same as those in the long article of statistics I produced. Japan is imperialist and has been so since the middle to late 19th century. Remember when Japan was muted as about to overtake the US on the 60s and 70s? The overwhelming economic power of the USA quickly put a stop to that.

      Some European countries and Australia and New Zealand are also imperialist powers because they form a bloc under US domination, some, like Germany, France and Japan partially, less willing than others. That is the outcome of WWII, now, unlike before that war and before WWI there are not two approximately equal rival imperialists power blocs. Since then it has been the US as the sole global hegemonic imperialist power, several subordinate imperialist powers and the USSR and China up to 1989-92.

      China and Russia are barred entry since they have become capitalist states and economics. They cannot expolit semicolonies economically under the financial umbrella of the IMF and World Bank.

      That LO article explains that China’s relationship with Africa is much more like early colonial powers after their agreement to divide Africa in the 19th century. That was the Scramble for Africa that began at the Berlin Conference in 1884. Not at all modern imperialism as defined by Lenin and understood by Marxists since. This is more defined by the hegemonic control of Imperialist powers by finance capital in alliance with monolopolistic transnational corporations.

      Export of capital does not define imperialism on its own. Ireland’s transnational corporations have long piggybacked on British imperialism to access global markets. But it remains a semi colony. As does Argentina, Brazil and South Africa, the other 3 BRICS countries. And every semicolony which has has even moderate development exports capital, but all with the permission of the US. Look at what happened to Iraq and Iran when that permission was withdrawn. And look what happens to every transnational corporation from other imperialist imperialist powers when they do not impose sanctions, e.g. against Cuba or Iran, as directed by the USA.

      The original LO article in French can be found here:

      Like

  3. Viriato says:

    And the paper is as good as it has been reduced and published in Socialist Fight.

    The rest is their common “nor this one, nor this other” policy with a journalistic scope.

    They just put forward the facts, don’t take a position and wait for the next developement to comment it. Goods press comments, no politics or no proletarian politics. As always.
    The last sentence is just how they are, propagandists of general trues.In this case, totally out of the subject.
    The agressor? The agressed?
    Ther day there will be a conflict, they will choose,” nor the one nor the other” It is written in their quote of K. Liebknecht.

    Liked by 1 person

    • On the question of China replacing the US as the global hegemonic imperialist power

      There is no possibility of China and/or Russia replacing the US as the global hegemonic imperialist powers or becoming imperialist powers themselves. The details in that Little Ouvriere article (it is not mine, they just reach the same conclusions as I do) are the same as those in the long article of statistics I produced. Japan is imperialist and has been so since the middle to late 19th century. Remember when Japan was muted as about to overtake the US on the 60s and 70s? The overwhelming economic power of the USA quickly put a stop to that.

      Some European countries and Australia and New Zealand are also imperialist powers because they form a bloc under US domination, some, like Germany, France and Japan partially, less willing than others. That is the outcome of WWII, now, unlike before that war and before WWI there are not two approximately equal rival imperialists power blocs. Since then it has been the US as the sole global hegemonic imperialist power, several subordinate imperialist powers and the USSR and China up to 1989-92.

      China and Russia are barred entry since they have become capitalist states and economies. They cannot freely expolit semicolonies economically under the financial umbrella of the IMF and World Bank.

      That LO article explains that China’s relationship with Africa is much more like early colonial powers after their agreement to divide Africa in the 19th century. That was the Scramble for Africa that began at the Berlin Conference in 1884. Between 1870 and 1914 Africa went from 10% colonised to 90%. Not at all modern imperialism as defined by Lenin and understood by Marxists since. This is more defined by the hegemonic control of Imperialist powers by finance capital in alliance with monolopolistic transnational corporations.

      Export of capital does not define imperialism on its own. Ireland’s transnational corporations have long piggybacked on British imperialism to access global markets. But it remains a semi colony. As does Argentina, Brazil and South Africa, the other 3 BRICS countries. And every semicolony which has has even moderate development exports capital, but all with the permission of the US. Look at what happened to Iraq and Iran when that permission was withdrawn. And look what happens to every transnational corporation from other imperialist imperialist powers when they do not impose sanctions, e.g. against Cuba or Iran, as directed by the USA.

      The original LO article in French can be found here:

      Like

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