Programmatic basis of the future International party

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Zanthorus
Programmatic basis of the future International party
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 What basis would the ICC envision as the foundation of any future world party of the proletariat? Obviously such a formation could not come about mechanically through the schemes of one or another socialist group. It would necessarily entail the coming together of several groups, many of which may only have formed in the immediate situation which led to the reformation of the party, and which may not be entirely clear on various questions. There may be some groups who still have illusions in 'revolutionary parliamentarianism' or reconquering the trade unions. Following the experience of the Communist International, there will also probably be various anarchist and syndicalist groups formed as a reaction against the opportunism of Social-Democracy, Official Communism and Trotskyism. How would it be possible to avoid the party sliding into various fatal errors whilst uniting all revolutionary elements under a common banner?

Devrim
On the formation of the world party

 I don't know if the ICC has a majority position on this issue. I know that even in the Turkish section there are different views on it. I am not sure that having a position would be actually that useful as it would probably end up as crystal ball gazing it what will have to be an organic process.

The ICC is for an internationally centralised world communist party, and, obviously, it doesn't see itself as that party at the moment. On this we are all agreed.

I will try to sum up what I think and hope that it can open a discussion. 

I don't think that a new party can will be formed merely by the existing left communist groups. I think that an increase in the level of class struggle will lead to new groups, splits and regroupments. This is natural. Although at the moment there are only two main international left communist organisations, the ICC with members in sixteen countries, and the ICT with members in six countries, there are of course many others groups scattered across the world. I don't think it would be at all surprising if in the future these groups grew and some of them came together on an international basis.

Nor do I think that a future party will only be based upon the groups of the communist left. It could also find parts of its roots in anarchism or in radical breaks from Trotskyism, or from new groups coming together directly from the struggle itself.

I would imagine that as the tempo of the class struggle increases organisations, groups and individuals will be forced into more and deeper cooperation. Of course there will still be splits, but I think that organisations have a tendency to split more during ebbs in the class struggle. Also, and not to be forgotten is that the influx of new militants that the struggle will bring will profoundly change many facets of existing organisations.

Within this process, I imagine that there would be the coming together of various organisations, groups and tendencies. I don't imagine that it would be possible for one single organisation to be at the centre of this process in all countries, however, even if just for the fact that it would not exist in some countries, but also because in some countries, it will make mistakes, and find itself outside of the centre of the process, and in some countries, though it may exist, and apply itself well, it may never develop the forces of already established organisations.

The actual emergence of a party, which for the communist left isn't merely about a name, but about the organisation of communists at different stages of the struggle, will in my opinion happen on a world scale. What makes me suspect this is that in the revolutionary wave after the First World war most of the countries in the world were effected. However, I don't think that it will proceed at exactly the same pace everywhere, and effectively the party will emerge in different countries as an expression of the struggle in those countries and then struggle to unite itself internationally.

One member of the Turkish section who I was discussing this with recently seemed to think that an international party will be proclaimed as an international party. To me this seems to imply that such a party would be the creation of one organisation, which I don't think will be the case. I suspect it will be a lot messier than that.

This brings us on to the programatic basis of the party, which was your original point. I think it is something that will have to be thrashed out through long discussion and interaction.

 

Above all though I feel that we can't be carried away by crystal ball-gazing.

Devrim

 

 

 

Alf
agree

 Agree that the party will - as it always has been in the past - be the result of the coming together of different tendencies and not of one group proclaiming itself to be the party.  If I understand your question properly, you are asking how such an organisation can resist the danger of opportunism, of being too 'broad'....That is a valid concern, because opportunism is always a danger; but I think we would see the party still being formed on a rather narrower basis than you do.  Would it really be possible, in a situation of near revolution, to co-exist with groups that called for the conquest of the unions or wanted to stand in elections? We are no longer in the period of Third International and some issues have been made far more clear cut by historical experience than they could be in 1919. 

Crisanto
On the formation of the world party

I agree with Devrim's opinion on the formation of the world party: a regroupment of old and new groups and individuals in the midst of intense international-wide class struggles with no single organization could claim that it is the "leader".

However, before the "formal" formation of the world party I think there will be a common understanding and unity among the groups concern on questions of workers assemblies/councils, unionism, nationalism and national liberation movements, all variants of "official" leftism, etc.

Even the new groups emerging (splitting) from leftism are oblige to have some level of clarification on their own regarding these questions.

 

Zanthorus
re: International Party

Devrim wrote:
I am not sure that having a position would be actually that useful as it would probably end up as crystal ball gazing it what will have to be an organic process.

Yes, I think I worded that wrongly. I wasn't so much asking what the official position of the ICC as an organisation was but what the opinion of it's members was.
 

Quote:
The actual emergence of a party, which for the communist left isn't merely about a name, but about the organisation of communists at different stages of the struggle, will in my opinion happen on a world scale. What makes me suspect this is that in the revolutionary wave after the First World war most of the countries in the world were effected.

I'm not exactly clear on why the party would be formed in a directly revolutionary situation, in fact it would seem to me that this is quite a bad idea, as it would involve gathering together all the most active class fighters into a single organisation, hammering out the various aspects of this organisation and all the other things associated with building a party all the while attempting active intervention in the struggle to ensure that the revolutionary wave leads to a victorious outcome. Or even worse, what would happen if the revolutionary situation came, but by the time the party had formed, the situation had ended, as happened in Italy when the Communists broke with the PSI as the struggle in Italy had already peaked?

 I'm also not clear on the point about the "party, which for the communist left isn't merely about a name, but about the organisation of communists at different stages of the struggle", surely the party is the organisation of the working-class as a class for itself? (As in "This organisation of the proletarians into a class, and, consequently into a political party" - Communist Manifesto)

Alf wrote:
Would it really be possible, in a situation of near revolution, to co-exist with groups that called for the conquest of the unions or wanted to stand in elections?

It seems to me, though, that this essentially limits the groups which could form such a party to Left-Communists and certain breeds of Anarchist. The vast majority of the class at present is not even aware of much of the history of working-class struggle, let alone actively Communist. It seems to me that confining the party to Left-Communists and certain Anarchists in this way is essentially expecting that during any future revolutionary situation the entire class is suddenly going to be embrued with the history of class-struggle and realise that parliamentarianism, trade-unions, anti-fascist struggle and so on are dead ends. To clarify, I was not positing that wholesale representatives of Orthodox Trotskyism could possibly unite with the Communist Left in such a party, but rather that there would be confused currents which might agree with us on say, the trade-unions, but still have confusions on the question of participation in parliament. It seems to me that your approach would exclude proletarian currents which are striving for clarity but which have not yet achieved this clarity.

 

Devrim
Reply to Z

Zanthorus wrote:
I'm not exactly clear on why the party would be formed in a directly revolutionary situation, in fact it would seem to me that this is quite a bad idea, as it would involve gathering together all the most active class fighters into a single organisation, hammering out the various aspects of this organisation and all the other things associated with building a party all the while attempting active intervention in the struggle to ensure that the revolutionary wave leads to a victorious outcome. Or even worse, what would happen if the revolutionary situation came, but by the time the party had formed, the situation had ended, as happened in Italy when the Communists broke with the PSI as the struggle in Italy had already peaked?

I think that the party can be formed before the actual revolutionary situation, but it must be formed in a period of heightened class struggle. My example of the period after WWI was just to show that these things have an international basis. We could equally say that the period after 1968 showed an international tendency albeit on a smaller level.

Having said that I think that it may well be formed late in some places, and things will be more messy than we would like.

Zanthorus wrote:
 I'm also not clear on the point about the "party, which for the communist left isn't merely about a name, but about the organisation of communists at different stages of the struggle", surely the party is the organisation of the working-class as a class for itself? (As in "This organisation of the proletarians into a class, and, consequently into a political party" - Communist Manifesto)

To put it in the terms that you express it, the working class isn't currently a class for itself, which is why we don't have a party. The working class becoming a class for itself is directly related to the class struggle.

 

Zanthorus wrote:
 It seems to me, though, that this essentially limits the groups which could form such a party to Left-Communists and certain breeds of Anarchist. The vast majority of the class at present is not even aware of much of the history of working-class struggle, let alone actively Communist. It seems to me that confining the party to Left-Communists and certain Anarchists in this way is essentially expecting that during any future revolutionary situation the entire class is suddenly going to be embrued with the history of class-struggle and realise that parliamentarianism, trade-unions, anti-fascist struggle and so on are dead ends. To clarify, I was not positing that wholesale representatives of Orthodox Trotskyism could possibly unite with the Communist Left in such a party, but rather that there would be confused currents which might agree with us on say, the trade-unions, but still have confusions on the question of participation in parliament. It seems to me that your approach would exclude proletarian currents which are striving for clarity but which have not yet achieved this clarity.

I think that the union question is the one that there will be the most confusion on, and indeed that the question itself will be the most unclear. I think groups will emerge that aren't a part of the 'traditional communist left', and certainly as we expand and make new contacts internationally, this will almost certainly be the case.

An example of this happening at the moment could be the Brazilian group OPOP, who the ICC has relations with. As I understand it, they came to their positions pretty much outside of the influence of the history of the communist left, though their positions are pretty similar to ours.

Devrim

 

 

Devrim
To develop Alf's point

Alf wrote:
...but I think we would see the party still being formed on a rather narrower basis than you do.  Would it really be possible, in a situation of near revolution, to co-exist with groups that called for the conquest of the unions or wanted to stand in elections? 

 

I agree with this. Certainly for us there can be absolutely no compromise on the idea of internationalism, and we firmly believe that this is the basis on which a party must be constructed.

Nor do I think that we would end up working with groups that called for a take over of the unions. At the base level of the unions things will, however, be a lot more confusing, which was the point I was trying to make above.

Devrim

 

Alf
another point on the party

 The formation of the party is unlikely to mean that it can regroup all the revolutionaries in the world. There will still be a plurality of groups - perhaps more than one organisation calling itself a party - even if the tendency towards unification would be uppermost. It is quite possible, for example, that a lot of internationalist anarchists will change their mind about the party question, but unlikely that all of them will, and they will probably preserve their organisations in one form or another. The party would have to work with them in a fraternal way but fusion would hardly be possible with comrades who reject the very idea of the party!  

devoration1
In terms of those individual

In terms of those individual and groups of internationalist anarchists, I think what's most important is their activity on the ground. A number of tendencies within class struggle anarchism reject the party, but are for organizational forms that mimic in many ways what the party does and will do in practice. I think whats most important is a recognition from the beginning by all revolutionaries of the 'proletarian camp'- that there is an 'us' and 'them', and the 'us' will not agree on everything, or may disagree vehemently on certain topics (like the party), but that they are all part of the revolutionary workers movement; and as such should not try and take a monopoly of influence or sabotage/work against the efforts of other groups. Only from such a basis can the international class party, in my opinion, start with a 'healthy root system'.

As for the organization of the class party, as it is conceived today, is it fair to say that left communism in general supports a 'Third Internationalist' vision of the class party? That is, a centralized world party of the revolutionary minorities of every nation/region? I ask because it is very likely that the 'Socialist International', the various 'Fourth Internationalist' and 'Fifth Internationalist' (not to mention the Maoist internationals) will all try and monopolize the international regroupment effort in such a pre-revolutionary and revolutionary situation- and this can only add extreme confusion into the mix of trying to organize a class party along centralized, international lines, especially among newly politicized workers.

 

Zanthorus
Internationalism

Devrim wrote:
Certainly for us there can be absolutely no compromise on the idea of internationalism, and we firmly believe that this is the basis on which a party must be constructed.

What does Internationalism have to do with standing for elections or taking over the unions?

LoneLondoner
The party as a result of and factor in the mass struggle

In my view, and I think this is generally agreed in the ICC, when we talk of the "the Party" we are talking about an organisation (to over-simplify the question, no doubt) which is recognised by the working class as a whole, or at least by very large fractions of it, as "their" (ie the workers') organisation, and that as a result is able to have a decisive influence on events - clearly not the situation we are in today, which is why it doesn't make any sense to talk of any organisation today being "the Party" or even "a party".

But for the working class to be in this situation, it must inevitably be engaged in a high level of class struggle which allows it - through its own experience - to recognise some of the basic positions which emerged from the last revolutionary wave as being valid, and that the organisation that defends those positions expresses the general interests of the working class. It is also hard to imagine the Party as a revolutionary organisation existing unless these same broad strata of the working class are beginning at least to pose the possibility and necessity of overthrowing the existing order. 

In a sense then, the emergence of the Party will be the fusion between the historical experience of the working class (which we think is best embodied in the political principles worked out by the left communists in the past), and the immediate experience of the struggle, which will undoubtedly throw up new questions that require new answers. 

As for which groups end up coming together to form the Party (and I think it highly unlikely that the Party will emerge from just one group), this will be determined in part by their own attitude towards the events of the class struggle as they unfold. I think that a Trotskyist group that continued to defend the unions (for example) would necessarily be pushed to one side or shown up for a merely bourgeois faction because the workers will be forced by the needs of the struggle itself to confront the unions, and therefore also those that support them.

This is very schematic of course. The one thing that we can be sure of is that the emergence of the revolutionary struggle and the formation of the party will be much messier than that, as Devrim so rightly puts it.

On the anarchists, I recently read Rosmer's book "Moscow in Lenin's days" which has a fascinating passage from the Second Congress of the Communist International, where Trotsky addresses Pestana (delegate from the Spanish CNT, though Pestana was more a syndicalist than an anarchist if I remember right) in the following terms: "Comrade Pestana, who is the secretary of the big Spanish syndicalist organization, has come to Moscow because there are among us people who, in different degrees, belong to the syndicalist family; others are, so to speak, ‘parliamentarians’; others, finally, are neither parliamentarians nor syndicalists but supporters of mass action, etc. But what do we offer him? We offer him an international Communist Party, that is, the union of the advanced elements of the working class who have brought their experiences here, confronting them mutually, criticizing each other and after discussion, adopting decisions. When Comrade Pestana returns to Spain, bearer of the decisions of the Congress his comrades will ask him: ‘What do you bring us from Moscow?’ He will present to them the fruits of our labors and will submit our resolutions to their vote, and those of the Spanish syndicalists who unite on the basis of our theses will be forming nothing but the Spanish Communist Party".

Trotsky was overoptimistic of course, but in general terms I think he was right.

Zanthorus
Trotsky Quote

haha, I recognise that quote. It's from Speech on Comrade Zinoviev's Report on the Role of the Party. I was recently reading through Trotsky's writings from the Civil War period so that's how I remember it. Incidently, it seems that Trotsky generally concieved of the Communist International as a single International party. For example, in On the Coming Congress of the Comintern he writes:

"Let us repeat, the Communist International is not an arithmetical sum of national workers’ parties. It is the Communist Party of the international proletariat. The German Communists have the right and the obligation to raise pointblank the question: on what grounds is Turati a member of their party? In reviewing the question of the entry of the Independent German Social Democrats and of the French Socialist Party into the Third International, the Russian Communists have the right and the obligation to pose such conditions as would, from their viewpoint, secure our international party against dilution and disintegration. Every organization entering the ranks of the Communist International acquires in its turn the right and the opportunity to actively influence the theory and practice of Russian Bolsheviks, German Spartacists, etc., etc."
 

It also flows from what was his basic assessment of why the Second International failed - that the national workers' parties became instruments of their respective nation states. In May Day and the International he writes:

"In the majority of states May Day was celebrated either just in the evening after work was finished or else on the following Sunday. In those places where the workers celebrated it by a stoppage of work as in Belgium and Austria it served the cause of realizing local tasks but not the cause of closing the ranks of workers of all countries into one world working class. Side by side with progressive consequences (as a result of bringing together the workers of a particular country) it had therefore a negative conservative side—it linked the workers too tightly with the fate of a particular state and in this way prepared the ground for the development of social-patriotism.

The task which had been placed on the order of the day by the Paris Congress has not been realized. The formation of an International as the organization of international revolutionary proletarian action, with one centre and with one international political orientation, had not been achieved. The Second International was merely a weak union of workers’ parties which were independent of each other in their activity."
 

And in War and the International:

"The present War signalizes the collapse of the national states. The Socialist parties of the epoch now concluded were national parties. They had become ingrained in the national states with all the different branches of their organizations, with all their activities and with their psyology. In the face of the solemn declarations at their congresses they rose to the defense of the conservative state, when imperialisrn, grown big on the national soil, began to demolish the antiquated national barriers. And in their historic crash the national states have pulled down with them the national Socialist parties also."

Since I'm not familiar with the details of Trotsky's later career, to what extent did the Fourth International maintain these conceptions and to what extent did they abandon them?

Devrim
unions and internationalism

Zanthorus wrote:

Devrim wrote:
Certainly for us there can be absolutely no compromise on the idea of internationalism, and we firmly believe that this is the basis on which a party must be constructed.

What does Internationalism have to do with standing for elections or taking over the unions?

Of course it is not directly related. However, political positions don't just appear in isolation, and usually come as a sort of 'package' related to a general understanding of the world.

As the class struggle intensifies, I expect that less and less groups will hold these positions anyway. On a really small scale, in the TEKEL struggle in Turkey, it was noticeable how various groups began to sound more and more against the unions. I think in a more widespread period of generalised class struggle various different approaches will be taken by the left, but most of them will shy away from just saying that we can put in new leaders who can change it. Probably the ones saying this will be the ones who already have some sort of base in the leadership of the unions.

Devrim

 

 

 

Devrim
4th 5th 6th? Internationals

devoration1 wrote:
As for the organization of the class party, as it is conceived today, is it fair to say that left communism in general supports a 'Third Internationalist' vision of the class party? That is, a centralized world party of the revolutionary minorities of every nation/region? I ask because it is very likely that the 'Socialist International', the various 'Fourth Internationalist' and 'Fifth Internationalist' (not to mention the Maoist internationals) will all try and monopolize the international regroupment effort in such a pre-revolutionary and revolutionary situation- and this can only add extreme confusion into the mix of trying to organize a class party along centralized, international lines, especially among newly politicized workers.

Yes, I think this will certainly happen.

Devrim

 

Leo
re: Programmatic basis of the future International party

Quote:
One member of the Turkish section who I was discussing this with recently seemed to think that an international party will be proclaimed as an international party. To me this seems to imply that such a party would be the creation of one organisation, which I don't think will be the case. I suspect it will be a lot messier than that.

 

Although obviously not just because I am the member of the Turkish section in question and the topic is very important in itself, I thought it would be a good idea to explain my own opinions on this. I will try to formulate what I think point by point.

- First of all, I don't think that saying that the formation of the world party will be the creation of a single organization. In fact I quite disagree with such a perspective. I think that the future world party will be formed on the basis of the unity of different international currents, tendencies, organizations etc., local groups in some countries, in some cases in the same country, local groups in the same cities even, possibly groups organized in several countries in certain geographical regions, and of course individual elements who may or may not be around all the sorts of possible groups described.

-My point is that without such an international regroupment, it would be a mistake for any organization to proclaim itself as the party in a certain locality. For without the formation of the centralized world communist party, I don't think organizations in certain localities, no matter how strong they are, will be able to fulfill the responsibilities of the party in the given locality. This sort of an organization can only do if it is an organic part of a centralized international whole.

-Similarly, however, I think that an international organization, even a centralized one, will be making at worst a serious and at best a ridiculous error if it proclaims itself to be the party by itself. Although existing international organizations surely will have a task of taking initiatives when necessary towards such a process of regroupment, without the regroupment of the militant proletarian forces in localities, the declaration of the world party can only be something made on paper, a bluff.

-All this is not to say that the elements who will form such party will have to have a very strong presence in every single country before the party is formed and that such a party can't develop in some countries after its formation, but it does mean that it will have to have a strong presence in all the countries and localities where there is a significant proletariat and more importantly a significant proletarian movement. I think that the world communist party can only be the result of an international wave of intense class struggle. As Bilan wrote, "We do not need the party to create class struggle; we need the class struggle to create the party." Of course the party will have to be formed some time before the insurrection for its main tasks in the class struggle it will have to fulfill in the revolutionary process leading up to it, but whether its formation will predate the beginning of such process or not, I don't know.

-Obviously the historical example of the formation of the Communist International as well as the formation of some of the major historical Communist Parties will shed light on how this process might work and all these episodes are full of heroic and dramatic episodes, experiences to learn from and positions to uphold still. Fundamentally, however, I think the main point here to emphasize is that what is needed will be to do better than the historical examples rather than simply repeat the same formulas.

-The Communist International was, as rightfully pointed out by some of the posters, seen as an international party by its leading members. Obviously I agree with what these revolutionaries of the past intended. We do, however, have to recognize the fact that it was in reality not an international party and even the very inadequate 21 Conditions for entry was never really applied in most countries. Still, we can clearly see that while it was the Russians who were the main actors of its formation, the Communist International had its basis in the initiatives of the Zimmerwald movement, and more specifically its left wing (for details: https://en.internationalism.org/node/3154).

-The example of the Bolshevik Party is significant for understanding the nature and role of the party in an abstract revolutionary situation. When we look at the process following February 1917, we see a party which has regrouped a significant militant minority of the class, which has an increasing mass support among the working class as a whole, which has an immense moral authority due to the radical nature of its slogans and its uncompromising position against the war and for the revolution as well as a party who, despite all the internal discussion it is having ends up taking the correct position on every turn. When we look at the evolution of its positions, we see that it is directly affected from the course of the class struggle in Russia, when we look at their ranks we see that the cadres are directly coming from the struggles and so on. On the other hand, the Bolsheviks themselves are first of all themselves a part of the old workers' movement and they are also initially a fraction of it. So while there might be a lot to learn from the formation of the Bolshevik Party and their split from the Mensheviks, that example does not really tell us anything on how the future party will be formed.

-The example of the formation of the German Party is, I believe, a possibly more relevant and important one here. Undoubtedly one of the core lessons of the German revolution is that, while it was evidently possible for the revolution to succeed in Russia without an international, this proved impossible in Germany. In this sense, I think there is validity in the argument that the International was founded too late. However, given exactly its nature of not being a united centralized international party, given the fact that it ended up being completely dominated by the Russian Party and given its quick degeneration, certainly the argument of the leaders of the Spartakusbund that it was formed prematurely is quite valid as well.

-The formation of the Communist Party of Germany is, because of the clarity expressed in the program of the first congress of the party, generally hailed as a positive development as well, and in this too there is I think quite a lot of validity. Nevertheless, we have to recognize that the KPD itself ended up as a failure. The process of the formation of the KPD which very much mirrors the dilemmas of the formation of the Communist International, is summarized in sufficent detail in this article: https://en.internationalism.org/node/2626

-I will oversimplify the situation in Germany here to make a clearer point, although certainly the historical reality itself wasn't as clear cut. So basically, before the formation of the party, there were three main channels where the revolutionary forces expressed themselves. First, there was the Spartakusbund, the leadership of which consisted of old, well-known, devoted militants and theoreticians of the left wing of the old workers' movement, militants who hadn't betrayed in 1914 and thus militants who were deeply respected by the working class as a whole and who enjoyed a significant moral authority. Then there was the immensely politicized "young radicals", who were organized around the IKD and who also made up some of the base of the Spartakusbund. Lastly there was the informal structure of factory delegates, the "Revolutionare Obleut", the workers who had led the strike movement. The KPD ended up regrouping only the Spartakusbund and the IKD, but not the revolutionary factory delegates.

-The article above says: "The factory delegates were not invited to participate, since it was felt that it would not yet be possible to unite them with the very decided revolutionary positions defended by a majority of the often very young members and supporters of Spartakus and the IKD. Instead, it was hoped that the factory delegates would join the party once it had been formed." From the same source: "Jogiches on the other hand seems to have wanted the Obleute to take part in founding the party." The Obleute ended up not joining the party, as it is well known. I personally think that this proved to be, on the national level, the most significant weakness of the initial KPD and that Jogiches was right on this.

-The most major problem of course, was the absence of the world party. Of course it would be quite pointless to speculate and say this or that course would have proved the most fruitful, but I do have to admit that I wonder how things would have turned out could the formation of the German Party and the Communist International happened at the same time, with the delegates of the Spartakusbund, the IKD and the Obelute being present in the forming congress of the Communist International. To draw a general lesson, however, would be to say that for the future, rather than the model of existing parties forming an international, however centralized as it was intended to be in the example of the Communist International, a more organic approach to regroupment is necessary.

-Going back to a previous point, when we look at the revolutionary groups present at the time of the KPD, we basically see three elements: the long-time revolutionary militants, more or less newly politicized young proletarians and groupings of militant and leading workers. Without making a formula out of this, of course, I think it can be said that this is likely to be quite a generally applicable description of the existing revolutionary forces prior to the formation of the party.

-I agree with Devrim completely when he says  "Nor do I think that a future party will only be based upon the groups of the communist left. It could also find parts of its roots in anarchism or in radical breaks from Trotskyism, or from new groups coming together directly from the struggle itself". However I also agree with Alf that the future world communist party will be the only revolutionary organization of the time and other revolutionary organizations, like those of genuine anarchists who don't change their positions on the party question, will exist. I also agree that the party would have to work with other organizations like that of revolutionary anarchists. I'm not sure whether there would be multiple organizations calling themselves the party, however - it would be quite contrary to the point of regroupment and unity. Also, I think that the future world party will be the main revolutionary organization of the working class although not the only one.

-The international organizations of the communist left of course would correspond to the long-time revolutionary political militants, the cadres regardless of the demographic of their make-up at the time, simply because I think that they carry the "historical torch" so to speak. Elements moving from anarchism who would be involved in such a process, again regardless of the demographic of their make-up at the time, would correspond to the radicals who lacked a deep theoretical formation. With the regards to the radical breaks from Trotskyism (and I suppose the far-left in general) I would say that they would in all probability be mostly young proletarians demographically as well along with some worker militants - I don't see their well established leaders making radical breaks though.

-Fundamentally I think that the initiatives of the militants who carry the historical torch, that is the international organizations of the communist left, whatever their shape or form is at the time, will be crucial to begin the process of regroupment towards the formation of the international party, and the enthusiasm of radical elements even if they might lack a deep theoretical background in the beginning will be necessary. Nevertheless, I think that the most important part, the bulk of such party can only be made up of the informal or semi-formal militant and leading workers' groups coming directly out of the struggle. Without the participation of these groups in the formation of the party, it can never be declared in a meaningful sense.

-The future world communist party will be, fundamentally, the organization of the vanguard of the working class, so it has to regroup the militant workers, the leading workers arising directly from the actual struggles of the class. I think Rosa Luxemburg was absolutely correct when she wrote in January 1919 "The leadership failed. But a new leadership can and must be created by the masses and from the masses. The masses are the crucial factor." No matter how strong the current organizations of the communist left will grow, no matter how many radical break-away groupings are formed who are really enthusiastic, and even if every single element involved in these organizations or groupings are active, militant workers in their work-places, I don't think they can ever be organically strong enough to assume the responsibilities of the party unless a regroupment with the militant minority of the working class arising directly from the struggles takes place.

-The formation of the party is "a moment in the development of class consciousness directly linked to class struggle, to the relation of forces between the classes at a given moment due to the economic, political and social sit­uation at the time; to the legacy of past struggles and the short and long-term per­spectives of future struggles." (https://en.internationalism.org/node/3124) The widespread appearance of militant workers groups directly arising from class struggle, as informal or semi-formal as they might be in the beginning, is the very expression of the development of class consciousness directly linked to class struggle in relation to the formation of militants for the party.

-I think the unitary political positions of the future party will be much simpler that those of the existing organizations today. The point Devrim makes about the positions of the left in regards to the unions in relation to TEKEL is quite valid in my opinion and are also generally applicable. Aside from some very basic political positions, that is being against all sorts of nationalism, being against parliamentarianism and for the destruction of the parliaments, being against trade-unionism and for the destruction the trade-unions etc. there can't be, and won't have to be that much political and theoretical unity. I think the programmatic and the practical positions to be taken, stances, suggestions, measures and so forth, will have much more importance. The emergence of such programmatic and practical positions of course can only be the result of a rich debate among the revolutionary elements. The April Theses can be considered to be a program proposal which was accepted in the 7th Party Congress held on April 24, 1917 (http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1917/apr/04.htm). The draft program of the KPD entitled What Does the Spartacus League Want? (http://www.marxists.org/archive/luxemburg/1918/12/14.htm) and the Program of the KAPD (https://en.internationalism.org/ir/97_kapd.htm) are also good examples which might give an idea on how such a text in the future might look like.

Devrim
A question

Leo wrote:
-I think the unitary political positions of the future party will be much simpler that those of the existing organizations today. The point Devrim makes about the positions of the left in regards to the unions in relation to TEKEL is quite valid in my opinion and are also generally applicable. Aside from some very basic political positions, that is being against all sorts of nationalism, being against parliamentarianism and for the destruction of the parliaments, being against trade-unionism and for the destruction the trade-unions etc. there can't be, and won't have to be that much political and theoretical unity. 

 

Which begs the question of what the point of having an organisation with 'more complex' political positions today if we are aiming for one with 'simpler' ones.

Devrim

 

 

 

Leo
Quote:Which begs the question

Quote:
Which begs the question of what the point of having an organisation with 'more complex' political positions today if we are aiming for one with 'simpler' ones.

I think the point is that we are aiming for the formation of the cadres at the moment before the formation of the party, and that the unitary basis of the party are rather the burning practical issues of the specific time than very complex political positions.

We are of course not aiming for growing into an organization with 'simpler' political positions, we are aiming for being a part of it.

devoration1
What did the group around

What did the group around Bilan have to say about the future world party? I understand they sort of outlined the modus operandi of left communist militants during the time of the counter-revolution; what the duties and goals of the left fractions ought to be in times of low class struggle. I imagine they also wrote about the eventual renewal of class struggle and revolutionary pitch (leading to the formation of the world party)?

Alf
Bilan and GCF on the party

Hi Devoration: good question. I am not sure that Bilan wrote much that is specific about the formation of the party, beyond pointing to the general conditions that would give rise to it, and the need for the left fractions to see themselves as playing a key role in this process. But to answer you in more detail would require a bit of research. I am pretty sure that Internationalisme wrote a substantial text on the role of the party, which I will try to dig out.