Trotskyism

13. THE COUNTER-REVOLUTIONARY CHARACTER OF THE 'WORKERS' PARTIES'

All those parties or organisations which today defend, even ‘conditionally’ or ‘critically’, certain states or fractions of the bourgeoisie whether in the name of ‘socialism’, ‘democracy’, ‘anti-fascism’, ‘national independence’, the ‘united front’ or the ‘lesser evil’, which base their politics on the bourgeois electoral game, within the anti-working class activity of trade unionism or in the mystifications of self-management, are agents of capital. In particular, this is true of the Socialist and Communist parties.

4. STATE CAPITALISM

In all periods of decadence, confronted with the exacerbation of the system’s contradictions, the state has to take responsibility for the cohesion of the social organism, for the preservation of the dominant relations of production. It thus tends to strengthen itself to the point of incorporating within its own structures the whole of social life. The bloated growth of the imperial administration and the absolute monarchy were the manifestations of this phenomenon in the decadence of Roman slave society and of feudalism respectively.

What distinguishes revolutionaries from Trotskyism?

We are publishing two articles from Internationalisme, organ of the Gauche Communiste de France dedicated to the question of Trotskyism and written in 1947. At this time, Trotskyism had already abandoned proletarian internationalism by participating in the Second World War, unlike the groups of the communist left who, in the 1930s, had resisted the gathering wave of opportunism engendered by the defeat of the worldwide revolutionary upsurge of 1917-23...

Polemic: Where is the F.O.R. going?

The Ferment Ouvrier Revolutionaire is a component part of the revolutionary milieu. It is one of the rare groups to defend communist positions (against the unions, parliamentarism, national liberation struggles, frontism, state capitalism, etc...) and to intervene with them in the class struggle. For this reason it is worth while making a political balance sheet of this group, whose positions are not very well known in the proletarian milieu.

 

Workers Power attacks No War But The Class War

In WR 249 we reported the return of the ‘No War But The Class War’ group in response to the ‘war on terrorism’ and the first attacks on Afghanistan. As the basis of the group is opposition to war on a class basis, the ICC thinks that its re-appearance is positive and our militants have participated in the majority of NWBTCW’s London meetings. As in its previous manifestations NWBTCW contains all sorts of people. Some call themselves anarchists, some anti-capitalists, some communists and some who would resent any label being put on their views. This means there are a number of different approaches to the ‘anti-capitalist’ movement, to activism, and to political discussion. One thing that is shared by all NWBTCW participants is a rejection of the leftist campaign of the Stop The War coalition. In response Workers Power have attacked NWBTCW - at a meeting, in their November paper and in on-line discussion.

Tony Cliff: defender of state capitalism

The death in April of Tony Cliff, leading figure in the Socialist Workers Party, and, before that, the International Socialists (1962-76) and the Socialist Review Group (1950-62), was greeted with expressions of solidarity and criticism from his fellow Trotskyists. For the SWP it was an opportunity to declare that "his unique intellectual contribution was to describe, in the late 1940s, the Soviet Union as state capitalist, and therefore imperialist" (Paul Foot in the Guardian 11/4/00). In his autobiography Cliff says that he thought about the question for two months and then "One early morning I jumped out of bed" and told his wife "‘Russia is not a workers’ state but state capitalist’".

1940: Assassination of Trotsky

Sixty years ago on 20th August 1940, Trotsky died, assassinated by Stalin’s underlings; the second imperialist war had just begun. In this article, we want not only to remember a great figure of the proletariat, sacrificing a little to the fashion for anniversaries, but also to use the event to examine some of his mistakes, and the political positions that he adopted at the beginning of the war. After a life of ardent militant activity, entirely devoted to the cause of the working class, Trotsky died as a revolutionary and a fighter. History is full of examples of revolutionaries who have deserted, and even betrayed the working class; few are those who remained faithful all their lives and died fighting, as did Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht. Trotsky was one of them.

The national question today: response to the CRI

At the beginning of 2004, we had an exchange of e-mails with the CRI which claims to be breaking from the logic of official Trotskyism in the name of a return to “authentic” Trotskyism. This group also sent us a collection of documents, which we studied along with the texts published on its web site. As a result, we sent the group a detailed reply, which we reproduce below. In it, we demonstrate on the basis of Lenin’s writing that there is no possibility of defending proletarian positions within Trotskyism today. Breaking with a particular Trotskyist organisation without making a complete break with the whole logic of Trotskyism, can only, as far as the question of war is concerned, lead to supporting one bourgeois faction against another.

The bourgeoisie uses 'popular protest' to hide the class struggle

The crisis of capitalism is making living conditions worse for virtually everyone, causing a great deal of anger among workers and other sections of the population. This growing discontent has been channelled into a number of protest demonstrations. In particular we have seen the ‘anti-capitalist’ demonstrations outside the World Economic Forum in Melbourne and the World Bank and IMF in Prague; the opposition protests against Milosevic in Serbia; and the blockades of oil refineries in Britain and various European countries.

Iraqi Resistance is fighting for capitalism

On May 1 2003 George Bush said that the war in Iraq was over and won. Since then the likes of Rumsfeld have had to acknowledge a "war that is complicated and difficult". The occupation forces led by the US now talk about "uprisings" across the country. With the Iraqi population caught in the chaos and the crossfire, with many deceived into joining pro- or anti-US militias, this is just what the capitalist left has been hoping for. Against the repression and torture of the occupation they celebrate the car bombs, kidnappings and land mines of the 'resistance'.

Revolutionaries in Britain and the struggle against imperialist war, Part 4: How the Trotskyists enlisted in WW2

In the concluding part of this series by an ICC sympathiser, we examine the failure of the Trotskyist movement to uphold an internationalist position and draw some conclusions about the response of proletarian political groups to the Second World War.

Leftism in France: 10 years on

Far from being an expression of the petty bourgeoisie or an ‘activist', ‘centrist', or ‘opportunist' proletarian current, the leftist movement is part of capital's left front. There is nothing proletarian or revolutionary about either Trotskyism or Maoism. On the other hand, they share any number of basic agreements with Stalinism and social democracy even if they may differ on secondary, tactical questions.
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