Dear comrades of the Trotskyist Faction,
We write this letter to your organization to answer, at last, your debate and possible joint effort in class struggle proposal, as you expressed it in 2013 in your “For a Movement for a Revolutionary Socialist International – The Fourth International”, and in the recently published addendum.
As you know, following our congressional and factional battle inside the PCL (Workers Communist Party), we fought for the immediate break form national isolation in which we were de facto confined after the decadence, the freeze and, actually, the political death of the CRFI (Coordinating Committee for the Refoundation of the Fourth International), an international “organization” which never practically worked on the base of democratic centralism, which did not conquer to the cause of revolutionary Marxism any new class vanguard sector in in the world (actually losing during the years entire groups, confining itself to its national groups in Argentina, Italy, Turkey, Greece, and other micro-groups, or single persons linked to them), which replied in different forms and dimensions several defects typical of the leading groups linked to the degeneration and the breakup of the Fourth International as worldwide party of the socialist revolution – bureaucratism, sectarianism, federalism, mational-trotskyism, theoretical eclecticism, organizational laxity. In the Italian politics limited miliey, we could concretely verify the unavoidability of the development of defects and political degenerations for a “trotskyist” organization which does not build itself on solid foundations, which does not infer from them a coherent type of organization, whiche does not develop itself starting from an organically international and democratic centralist policy – not just abstractly invoked and hoped for. One of the clearer symptoms of this regression has been the lacking answer to your manifesto (which in primis singled out the CRFI) and, after all, already before, the denial of your request for joining the MRQI constituent process, the regrouping phase which preceded the CRFI. PCL itself, in last May, committed to respond to your manifesto but, immediately after we recalled this resolution, proposing the party to take immediate concrete efforts, without postponing a serious internationalist policy anymore, actually we were asked to dissolve our fraction, guilty of pursuing “anti-statute policies” – in the political substance, only guilty of the will for an open fight against the deeply wrong political positions and practices of PCL leading cadres. A picture which is clear to whoever reads the documents approved by PCL fourth congress, and knows at least a bit its history and its real activity.
Aware that the defects linked to years of militancy inside an organization with these problems cannot be erased in a moment, we are fully convinced to work towards an all-round break with sectarian and windbag attitudes and, even more so, being in a situation of national isolation which we inherit form our previous militancy.
As we’ve already argued in our balance on PCL fourth congress, the state of international organic crisis of the capitalist society, the renewed nowadays international “war and revolution” scenario, the continuous revolution of the means of production and of the social bonds, which is going to epochal and lacerating contradictions between the economic-productive potential and the scientific progress on one side, and the relations of production on the other: this puts as the order of the day, and not as an abstract necessity for a vague future, an internationalist and international political line and organization, as to concretely carry on with a revolutionary regrouping policy on revolutionary, Marxists grounds, based on the worldwide class vanguard. Even more, aware of the tragedy of “orthodox” Trotskyism of the last century, and of the liquidation of the United Secretariat, which has been busy with the direct participation in bourgeois “centre-left” governments (from Lula’s Brasil to Prodi’s Italy) and authored its main national branch (French LCR) auto-liquidation, with the goal of the foundation of the NPA, replying the ongoing cycle of “left parties” throughout Europe, caring a revolutionary strategy, with the spokesperson Besancenot dreaming of a “guevarist, libertarian, ecologist and feminist” party, in other words a common environment for revolutionaries, centrists and left reformists; a lab for a politically suicidal fusion between Marxism and petit bourgeois, anti-proletarian of different orientation and origin.
Facing the wrecks of historical Marxism and the “back to Marx” campaigns set up by scholars and intellectual clubs, all of them with the goal of removing the Marxist tradition from the ranks of the workers movement, it is strongly urgent to recover the political heritage of Marxism and of its development through the history of the Internationals. We see as crucial the restoration of the Marxist method of building a political revolutionary political direction of the workers movement, starting from the scientific analysis of capitalism, from the strategic tasks which come from it for the working class and for the communists, from a program and a political organization which follow these premises. Against every “party” sectarianism based on group, clan contrasts, or ostracism based on historical, tactical political errors (errors, and not general political degenerations), unable to overcome its own and others0 limits through debate and political polemic: we are not interested in building an organization which, hypothetically, in the middle of 1917 would have kept Lev Trotsky out, or would have expelled Vladimir Lenin, in the name of its own supposed undialectical “orthodoxy”, and of its bureaucratically altered and ossified “democratic centralism”. We are not interested, too, in a political eclecticism which tries to conciliate in the same party who claims the program and the counterrevolutionary degenerations of stalinism, and of the other parodies of Leninism, and who instead claims the political principles, the program and the safeguard of Bolshevism operated by the Fourth International at the moment of its foundation, before the triumph of the opportunists inside it. The Fourth International represents, for us, the historical continuity of revolutionary Marxism in the epoch of its negation, of its attempted destruction by the hands of global counterrevolution, fascism and stalinism. A project which never assumed the state of global class vanguard party (as the past Internationals were) and so is to reclaim and develop, being valid the historical general premises on which it was based, and being proven that no other political project has been able to answer to the revolutionary leadership crisis of the working class, of all the toilers and oppressed. In this sense, we believe that the continue outcome of positions opposing the interests of the working class, among the different souls of the “left”, is the most striking confirmation of great revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg’s statement which says that “the future everywhere belongs to Bolshevism” – so, we must not get rid of the heritage and the political teachings of the Third and the Fourth Internationals. Therefore, the task of merging marxism and workers movement is as relevant as ever, i. e. raise working class vanguard’s political conscience in order to make it recover and handle the heritage of revolutionary marxism – not as an academic knowledge, but as a tool in order to lead and to win the class struggle against the bourgeoisie, to establish its own government and to start the vanishing of the State.
The undeniable usefulness of Marxism for worldwide proletariat’s practical, organizational and strategic tasks brings us to agree with you when you state that “the revolutionary re-grouping that we need now cannot be based only on general principles, but must proceed from agreements on the big strategic matters that the capitalist crisis has already put in debate on the worldwide left”, in order to avoid every unprincipled-bloc policy, mixed with federalism and opportunism.
A method which, moreover, facing the strategic issues which directly pertain to the working class and social vanguards, allows to revolutionary re-grouping non to build an asylum for revolutionary invalids, but an attractive pole for every fighter against exploitation and oppression caused by capitalism, for every worker, for the youth, women, oppressed minorities. A party which proves itself useless to organize, enlarge, deepen social struggles, making them merge in a class struggle – such a party has no importance to the real movement and to the cause of socialist revolution. In this sense, and we have already discussed this in our political documents, we agree in recognizing the centrality of the building of revolutionary fractions, inside unions and movement milieus where revolutionaries act: without them, one tends to “reach the masses” (not being rooted and politically organized among those masses, among their large organizations and movements) through electoralist profiles and tailism tactics towards reformist (even bourgeois ones) organizations.
Precisely starting form an organized intervention with the goal of polarizing vanguard sectors in revolutionary tendencies and fractions, communist can obtain growing successes as for stimulating and leading the general struggle against bureaucracies inside the workers movement: against every attempt to subordinate unions to the bourgeois State, against every sectarian temptation to build little “revolutionary unions” as replaced party, for the renewal of the leading bodies in unions with the ascent of combative cadres, representative of the lower strata of the working class, often lacking unionization, or not adequately represented. We also recognize the historical necessity of inter-union and extra-union re-grouping, through self-organization bodies for toilers’ struggle and organization, which the reorganization of the industrial cycle, from the formal division of workers among littler companies, tertiarisation (especially for imperialist countries like Italy), makes even more up-to-date.
Within the overall strategy, necessary to revolutionaries to put up a scientific praxis, we agree about the restoration, also on the theoretical level, of the bolshevik-leninist united front tactic, in all of its shades, being that in the past decades opportunist parodies of it were born, altering its spirit and applications; a restoration which must not be the mere replacement of the historical addressees of that tactic, using deliberately abstract categories (such as “reformism” with no historical, economic, political specification of the concept) to leave room for windbag and opportunist policies.
The restoration of the Fourth International heritage, and so the task of building revolutionary parties as branches of a worldwide proletarian International, seems to us urgent and fundamental. Especially considering that, like in the post-1929 crisis epoch, the epoch of the rise of fascism and the warfare race towards world war, spaces for compromise solutions, for reformist policies, for peaceful management of class contradictions are progressively closing up, leaving room for the development of a gigantic reactionary wave all over the world, as direct consequence of international finance capital’s crisis, of the long-time historical falling-back of the workers movement in entire continents, and of the resulting strategical all-round offensive by the bourgeoisie, with the goal of re-taking every concession made in the last fifty years, and of erasing as many traces as possible about the past revolutionary workers movement.
An epoch which physiologically generates political polarizations, large potentials for anticapitalist evolutions of conscience and organization among the toilers masses, and at the same time a fertile ground for the spread of the “classic” capitalistic ideologic, i. e. the nationalist one, bound to national traditional segments of the global bourgeoisie: there, we think, are the cornerstones of the new “Trumo era” which you outline, and effectively US president Donald Trump embodies the spirit of our times: a weak Bonapartism, pushed by the bursting magma of class conflict in American, and by the uncertain perspectives of US policy as an hegemonic imperialist global power.
We believe that it is not completely casual that the first translation into Italian of the “Open Letter for the Fourth International”, 80 years after its publication, was curated by comrades who then founded the FIR: then and today the thread of an international organization based on revolutionary Marxism was broken and to be taken up; the sense of the task of “re-founding the Fourth International” precisely lies in the absence of such an organization which could rally the global class vanguard, and in the historical inability, by the leaders of “trotskyism”, to carry on a program and a strategy, so a party, loyal to the political principles of Marxism, able to form a crowd of professional revolutionaries, of people’s tribunes.
Starting form the sharing of communism as the goal of our politics, the dictatorship of the proletariat as an unavoidable phase for the socialization of production and the vanishing of social classes, the claim of the heritage of revolutionary Marxism as it has evolved through the Four Internationals, and so from the theoretical bases and from the set of experiences necessary to set a strategy and to structure all the appropriate tactics – starting form all of this, we believe it is due to begin a coherent discussion which, starting form the debate about the analysis of the main strategical issues which this organic crisis of capital puts on the agenda of the working class and marxists, verifies a process of possible programmatic convergence and of common practical action in the international class struggle arena, being part of a larger process of discussion and debate which has to involve other currents which claim the heritage of the Transitional Program, like, for example, the “left” of the USec, recently founded on the base of the document called “Build an International for Revolution and Communism“.
In this sense, after our participation as guest at the congress of your Spanish branch, CRT, we have already verify a large strategical convergence about the international analysis, the transitional programmatic method, the organizational profile, and the political intervention inspired by the bolshevik-leninist one.
We therefore are at your disposal for the organization, first of all, of internationalist debate meetings in the short run.
International Revolutionary Fraction