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Socialist Fight Group: Where We Stand

mass workers democracy which can overthrow capitalism and we must continually 1. We stand with Karl Marx: The emancipacounterpose it to the fraud of bourgeois detion of the working classes must be conquered mocracy. by the working classes themselves. The strug4. The capitalist state consists, in the last gle for the emancipation of the working class analysis of ruling-class laws within a judicial means not a struggle for class privileges and system and detention centres overseen by the monopolies but for equal rights and duties armed bodies of police/army who are under and the abolition of all class rule (The Internathe direction and are controlled in acts of tional Workingmen's Association 1864, Gendefence of capitalist property rights against eral Rules). The working class cannot emancithe interests of the majority of civil society. pate itself without emancipating itself from all The working class must overthrow the capitalother sphere of society and thereby emanciist state and replace it with a workers state pating all other spheres of society (Marx, A based on democratic soviets/workers counContribution to a Critique of Hegels Philosocils to suppress the inevitable counterphy of Right, 1843). revolution of private capitalist profit against 2. The revolutionary process of transition to planned production for the satisfaction of communism is based on the struggle to form socialised human need. an international federation of workers states; 5. We acknowledge the need for a leadership such a federation is required in order to deconsisting of the most broadly-based Marxist feat global capital, end world hunger and Revolutionary Socialist Party to defeat this oppression and release the full global potencapitalist state and its political system. This tial of united world working class. A world party must be based on the principle of deeconomy and a worldwide division of labour mocratic centralism contained in Lenins 1906 make this our ultimate strategic goal. article Freedom to Criticise and Unity of Ac3. In the class struggle we shall fight to detion: autonomy for local Party organisations velop every movement in the direction of and of the universal and full rights to criticise democratic soviets/workers councils as the by all members, so long as this does not disinstruments of participatory democracy which turb the unity to achieve defined and imperamust be the basis of the successful struggle tive actions once decided. We rule out all for workers power. Although workers and criticism which seeks to disrupt and make other progressive layers retain overwhelming inoperable the unity implicit in these actions, illusions in bourgeois parliaments and other decided on by the Partys elected leadership. elective capitalist assemblies, which in fact The process of revolution is based upon the work counter to their interests, we will partici- broadest democratic participation of the pate in this parliamentary fraud in order to masses directed by the dialectical interexpose these outmoded forms of so-called relationship between the revolutionary party democracy and those MPs and Councillors and the working-class and its social allies. This who represent it by promoting the cause of interaction creates the political conditions for social revolution through the workers and the self-emancipation of the working class and progressives soviets/workers councils. progressives, through their self-governance of Thereby we will be counter-posing real work- the common ownership of all principal means ers democracy in struggle to finance-capital of production, distribution and exchange democracy. This is the only possible form of

Revolutionary socialism

The emancipation of the working classes must be conquered by the working classes themselves.
that is, socialist governance in all spheres of public life entailing public accord.

Revolutionary strategy and tactics


6. To realise these aims we base our intervention in the class struggle on Trotskys Transitional Programme of 1938. We will work to employ and develop methods and practice embodied in that document because it addresses the Marxist method of mass party work through which the Bolsheviks successfully led the Russian Revolution in 1917 and as developed by Lenin in Left Wing Communism, an Infantile Disorder in 1920. These documents superceded the programme of the 2nd International, mainly the German Social Democratic Partys Erfurt Programme of 1891. That partys right wing interpreted this programme as having an artificial separation between the Minimum programme of the reformist class struggle and the Maximum programme for the overthrow of capitalism, resulting in the destruction of that international in their vote for the Kaisers war credits on 4 August 1914 and other similar capitula-

Unity is strength, L'union fait la force, Es la unidad fuerza, , . , on kt l sc mnh, Jedno jest sia, ykseys on kesto, ., Midnimo iyo waa awood, hundeb ydy chryfder, Einheit ist Strke, , , vienybs jga, bashkimi ben fuqine, , unit la resistenza, , A unidade a fora, eining er styrkur, De eenheid is de sterkte, , N neart go chur le cile, pagkakaisa ay kalakasan, jednota is sla, , Workers of the World Unite!

In Defence of Trotskyism page 2


tion most other sections. Our Transitional Programme and method consists of the essence of the best of the original 3rd and 4th Internationals programmes. 7. We recognise the necessity for revolutionaries to carry out serious ideological and political struggle as direct participants in the trade unions (always) and in the mass reformist social democratic bourgeois workers parties despite their pro -capitalist leaderships when conditions are favourable. In fighting the attacks of this Coalition government it is now necessary to work within the Labour party and the Labour Representation Committee, in particular strengthening the ties with the ranks of the trades unions and the Constituency Labour parities, getting delegated to CLP General Committees, etc. We are totally opposed to campaigns that call on the trade unions to break the link with Labour, stop the political levy to the Labour party or split the TUC to form a new centrist or reformist party. We reject all these attempts like the French New Anti -Capitalist Party, Respect, No to EU, The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) to form other, more radical reformist or centrist parties to avoid the struggle to build a revolutionary party (whilst not rejecting tactical entry into such formations if they contain a large number of radicalised workers). Such attempts are almost always a cover for rightist capitulation to the trade union bureaucracy, as we have seen with the Socialist party in the PCS, Unite etc. and the SWP in the Unite and the CWU, notwithstanding the forced resignation of the leading SWP Executive member, Jane Loftus, and the failure of the SP and the AWL to support the rank-and-file candidate Jerry Hicks for General Secretary of Unite. the most fundamental obstacle to the struggle for power of the working class, outside of the state forces and their direct agencies, we must fight and defeat and replace them with a revolutionary leadership by mobilising the base against the pro-capitalist bureaucratic misleaders to open the way forward for the struggle for workers power. The appropriate transitional demand here is for the formation of rank-and-file workplace-based groups, nationally co-ordinated, where the revolutionary party fights to win the leadership by raising the class consciousness of the working class in struggle. from the Europe-wide proletariat with reformist pleas under capitalism. There is nothing progressive in this and we must at all times patiently explain this fact to workers irrespective of national origin. We are therefore unreservedly for a Socialist United States of Europe.

12. We are totally opposed to popular fronts with the political representatives of any capitalist class to save the planet, defeat fascism, stop the war, fight the cuts or for any other reason; as Trotsky said no mixing of the Red and the Blue(or Green - SF). The fact that Davis Cameron is a member of Unite Against Fascism (UAF) and 10. Our fundamental criticisms of all other far left the Greens are participating as equals in the groups are on how they relate to this trade union Labour movement in the anti-cuts campaigns and labour bureaucracy and therefore to their tends to restrict the working class to the politics own ruling class; their capitulations to this buand programme of its class enemies, in however reaucracy and lack of or one-sided application of democratic or green a form they come. This by the vital rank-and-file tactic. That is they do not definition rules out ever fighting for the socialist take seriously the opening line of the Trotskys revolution, the only ultimate solution to all capiTransitional Programme of 1938: The world talist crises political situation as a whole is chiefly character13. We are full in support of all mass mobilisaized by a historical crisis of the leadership of the tions against the onslaught of this reactionary proletariat. In this period, we repeat, it is the Con-Lib Dem coalition. However, whilst particistruggle against the Trade Union and Labour pating in this struggle we will oppose all policies bureaucracy that defines the fight for leadership. which subordinate the working class to the politiIn its turn how declared revolutionaries perform cal agenda of the petty-bourgeois reformist leadthis task defines them as reformist, centrist, or ers of the Labour party and trade unions. For genuine revolutionary. It is our task as revoluinstance here we must priorities the fight for tionaries to fight in this way and that how we working class leadership against the bureaucracy understand the last sentence of the opening and, where possible base the struggle on Trade section of the Transitional Programme, The Union Councils involving all the local unions and Objective Prerequisites for a Socialist Revolution; spreading to user groups of vital services, the The turn is now to the proletariat, i.e., chiefly to unemployed etc. so that the basis of workers its revolutionary vanguard. (Therefore) The hiscouncils begins to develop. Fighting for rank-and torical crisis of mankind is reduced to the crisis of file organisations in the unions and moving the the revolutionary leadership. struggle in the direction of Soviets/workers coun11. For socialists there are ultimately absolutely cils as opposed to subordinating it to the activi8. We strongly support campaigns to democrano progressive national borders within the ties of Labour lefts in parliament will be our goal. tise the trade unions traditional link to the Laglobal monopoly capitalist system. Defence of a For example the current Communication Workbour party. We are for funding only those MPs nation state as such would only be legitimate in ers Union campaign to target marginal Lib-Dem who agree to and have a record of fighting for the case of a semi-colony under attack by imperi- constituencies in response to the privatisation of union policies. We demand an end the farcical alist forces (see point 17) or after the socialist the Royal Mail is clearly an alternative to mobilisWarwick Agreements which sees top TU leaders, revolution under conditions of isolation after ing the membership for strike action. This is acting bureaucratically as plenipotentiaries and having once established internal socialised prop- made difficult because the membership have defenders of capitalism, asking for miserable erty relations amidst capitalist encirclement. bitter memories of the last struggle in the Sumreform, accepting far less and ending up with Consequently we oppose all opportunist leanings mer and Autumn of 2009, which was betrayed by practically nothing in practice from Labour Govby left-wing movements together with their the entire Executive of the union when there ernments. National funding of labour must also amalgamations with trade unions campaigns to was strong support for strike action. be on the basis of fighting for union policies and make a national alignment for jobs or industries 14. We reject sectarian abstention from the class must be withheld until the Labour leaders agree as in the call for British jobs for British workers struggle in the pursuit of defending the revoluto represent the interests of trade union memthat means capitulation to national chauvinism tionary programme as a propaganda group outbers, the working class and oppressed against the and so to the political and economic interests of side of the class struggle itself. This approach bankers and the capitalist system in general. the ruling class itself. Similarly in 2009, the reveals contempt for the working class and a No2EU campaign based its elective view on an 9. Because we see the trade union bureaucracy profound scepticism of the relevance of the Trotopportunist British particularity in separation and their allies in the Labour party leadership as skyist Transitional Programme. Revolutionary
Leon Trotsky: I am confident of the victory of the Fourth International; Go Forward!

In Defence of Trotskyism page 3


theory that cannot be defended and elaborated in the course of the class struggle itself is not worth the paper it is written on. struggles of these peoples pose the biggest threats to imperialist hegemony. As Trotsky observed; 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 semiThe Palace of King Idris in 1969. The reactionaries ruling, semi-oppressed class. Leon Trotsky Not a Workers and Not a Bourgeois State? (November led revolts to restore him from 1970 in response to Gaddafis nationalising of the oil. Now the pro- 1937). imperialist Contras from Benghazi carry his flag 23. We are for the immediate withdrawal and/or to restore that national humiliation of Libya. defeat of imperialist armies in wars like Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and any future wars. Whilst ences where needed are mandatory goals for all giving no political support to the Taliban in Afserious revolutionaries. ghanistan, the Sunni and Shia militias in Iraq, 19. We fight racism and fascism. We support the Hamas or Fatah in Palestine, Gaddafi in Libya or right of people to fight back against racist and the theocratic regime in Iran we recognise world fascist attacks by any means necessary. Selfimperialism as the main enemy of humanity and defence is no offence! We support No Platform so advocate critical support and tactical military for all fascists but never call on the capitalist assistance to all those fighting for the defeat state to ban fascist marches or parties; these imperialism. We are for the overthrow of the laws would inevitably primarily be used against Zionist state of Israel and for a Multi-Ethnic workworkers organisations, as history has shown. ers state of Israel/Palestine as part of the Socialist Federation of the Middle East. 20. We oppose all immigration controls. International finance capital roams the planet in search 24. As socialist living in Britain we take our reof profit and imperialist governments disrupts sponsibilities to support the struggle against the lives of workers and cause the collapse of British imperialisms occupation of the six northwhole nations with their direct intervention in eastern counties of Ireland very seriously. For the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan and their proxy this reason we have assisted in founding the Irish wars in Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Republican Prisoners Support Group and we will the Congo, etc. Workers have the right to sell campaign for political status these Irish prisoners their labour internationally wherever they get of war and for a 32-county united Socialist Irethe best price. land. We reject all two nations in Ireland theories. 25. We continue to defend the remaining Deformed Workers States of Cuba and North Korea against capitalist restoration and fight for a political revolution to defend national property relations, restore workers democracy and replace the Stalinist leaderships with genuine internationalist revolutionary socialist ones. 26. We are for the refoundation and reconstruction of the Fourth International as the World Party of Socialist Revolution and will fight for the fusions and splits necessary for this in our international work. It is by orientating to the ranks of workers in struggle that we will win the forces from reformist, centrists and self-proclaimed Trotskyist groups, and of course by working closely to regroup with those forces nationally and internationally who have made significant advances in breaking from centrism.

Oppression of women and discrimination against minorities


15. 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. The oppression of women is inextricable 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 class society itself. Therefore we cannot leave the struggle against womens oppression until the revolution but must recognise it as one of the most fundamental aspects of the revolutionary struggle itself or we will never make that revolution. 16. We support the fight of all the specially oppressed; Black and Asians, women, lesbians and gay men, bisexuals and transgender people 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 caucus inside trade unions and in working class political parties.

17. We support the rights of sex workers and oppose all laws which criminalises them or tend to endanger their lives and health. Whilst recognising prostitution as a product of the oppression of women under capitalism and knowing that this will disappear with the ending of the patriarchalRevolutionary internationalism dominated private property structure of class society we raise the demands that protect their 21. We defend the heritage of the Russian Revorights now such as free and regular health checks lution and the struggle for the world revolution under the NHS and a safe working environment and critically support the revolutionary thrust of for sex workers. the first four Congresses of the Third Communist 18. Until capitalism is overthrown and the wage International before the victory of countersystem abolished we demand carer's/mother's revolutionary Stalinism when the theory of sowage for first two years of the childs life because cialism in a single country was imposed in 1924. there are some important psychological attachIn particular we defend the revolutionary integment needs that are not met by placing babies in rity of its two great central leaders, Lenin and day care so young especially where there is a Trotsky, in making and defending that revolution high adult to baby ratio. To enable women to and fighting for the world revolution at all times. have equal opportunities and achieve equal pay 22. As revolutionary international socialists we at work we demand state subsidised socialisation support Trotskys theory of Permanent Revoluof housework: free 24-hour childcare in well tion and its applicability in the present era of equipped nurseries and kindergartens, breast globalisation to all non-imperialist countries, feeding breaks at work, flexible work hours to even, or indeed especially, those relatively well suit the worker not the employer, etc. We fight developed ones, e.g. Israel/Palestine, Ireland, for free abortion and contraception on demand. Argentina, Iraq and Iran etc. This is because the Crches in all working class meetings and confer-

Leon Trotsky: I am confident of the victory of the Fourth International; Go Forward!