In Russia: an internationalist forum

Printer-friendly versionSend by email

The initiative has been taken by three organisations (International Communist Current, the Moscow organisation of the Confederation of revolutionary Anarcho-Syndicalists, Russia, and the Group of the revolutionary proletarian collectivists, Russia) to set up an internationalist discussion forum. The first subject submitted for debate is that of the lessons to be learned from the defeat of the October Revolution.

The terrible defeat of the October revolution by the Stalinist counter-revolution decimated the proletariat's revolutionary forces that followed, the long night of the counter-revolution and the bloodiest war that humanity has ever witnessed, left the tiny groups who remained faithful to the principles of proletarian internationalism scattered and terribly weakened.

The situation of the emerging revolutionary minorities and searching elements is thus doubly difficult today. Not only do they have to struggle to develop ideas and intervention, to understand the situation in which they act and to find an echo in the working class, they must also struggle against the terrible isolation and dispersal of revolutionary forces across the world.

It has always been a fundamental principle of the ICC that the future world wide unity of proletarian revolutionaries can never be forged unless the groups that exist today are able to debate the issues that both divide and unite them in an open and fraternal spirit. Such debate is necessary, not only for the vital clarification of the principles of working-class action, but also to break down the dominant isolation, to create confidence amongst the different groups that exist today, to help them learn what it means to work together internationally as fighters for a single class.

This is why we have undertaken to participate in an Internationalist Discussion Forum set up jointly with groups in Russia, and which for the moment is grouped around an Internet site.

The purpose of this forum is by no means to create an artificial political organisation, or to provide an unprincipled recruiting ground. On the contrary, as the founding address for the forum puts it: "Its purpose is to undertake a systematic discussion, with a view to clarification, of those questions which proved crucial for the workers' movement and which will continue to be so in the future confrontations between the classes: internationalism, the reasons for the defeat of the world revolutionary wave, the degeneration of the Russian revolution, state capitalism, national liberation, the role of the trade unions etc. Its purpose is to gather and to make known contributions on these questions, which put forward different approaches that have already appeared within the workers' movement, as well as differences of view, disagreements, or questionings that may exist amongst the participants in the forum. The forum is therefore an open place for the discussion and confrontation of political ideas, with the sole aim of clarification through political argument, following the proletarian method which excludes any approach in contradiction with the disinterested aim of the emancipation of the working class. In particular, it is not a "hunting ground" for unprincipled recruitment as this is habitually practised by organisations situated on the extreme left of the political apparatus of the bourgeoisie (Trotskyists, etc)".

Such a forum can only be based on principles which separate it clearly from the left wing of capitalism. In this period, marked by generalised imperialist war, we consider that the question of internationalism is critical in separating those who seek to work for the revolutionary emancipation of the working class, and those who merely seek to strengthen the hold of the bourgeois state and its apparatus of control and mystification. Participation on the site is therefore dependent on certain political criteria in this sense.

As it stands today, the discussion group is still at its first, hesitant steps. We cannot know in advance whether it will be a success - there are no guarantees in revolutionary politics.But we remain convinced that only through such patient, unspectacular efforts can we help to lay the groundwork for the future political and organisational unity of the working class, that will be a vital weapon in its effort to overthrow capitalism and establish a new, communist society.