Socialist Fight Page 2
Leon Trotsky: I am confident of the victory of the Fourth International; Go Forward!
he 15 September celebrations of DavidCameron and Nicolas Sarkozy over thefall of Colonel Gaddafi in Tripoli high-light yet again the crisis of leadership of the working class internationally. Because thiswas the end sought by the majority of the left
groups, this was their ‘revolution’ this was the
outcome they wished for. As we write the bravesoldiers of the Libyan national army are fightingthe NATO-rebel forces with outrageous courage.Imperialism has robbed Libyan oil and they arecelebrating complete neo-colonial domination of the country. And still the slaughter goes on withthe support of renegades from Trotskyism of Workers Power, the SWP, the SP, the AWL andthe rest. This in the midst of the worst economic,social and political crisis since the 1930s.
This war to ‘protect the lives of civilians’ has cost
the lives of at least 30,000 people and 50,000wounded, according to the TNC health minister
Naji Barakat. Half the total are Gaddafi’s coura-
geous troops, about 2,000 rebel troops and theremaining 13,000 or so civilians.
The Guardian’s Ian Black and Chris Stephen, in
an article of unbelievable hypocrisy on 26 Sep-
tember, reported that there was “mounting
concern over the humanitarian situation in the
city (of Sirte)” not from the savage NATO bomb-
ing which is slaughtering thousands but from
NATO reports that “Gaddafi forces (in the city)are endangering “hundreds of families!!”.”
These lying scoundrels of the mass media andpro-imperialist politicians right into the ranks of the leadership of the majority of the far leftgroups are prepared to lie and cover up for thisslaughter in the hope of benefiting materially orpolitically from the booty robbed from Libya.This is a measure of is the political collapse of the far left into the arms of the trade unionbureaucrats. The chief manifestation of this is
to the Unite Bureaucracy.The SWP have implicitly agreed no longer to
criticise the ‘left
wing General Secretary’ of
Unite as the price of retaining their places on theUnite Executive and the SP and the AWL haveindicated that they had already made that politi-cal grovel by agreeing that the mild SWP criti-cism of the British Airways betrayal by Unite (nodetails of the protracted machinations by Simp-son et al to isolate the dispute and to frustrate
the strike votes) was ‘ultra
left’. The terrible tale
of how this left Abdul Omer Mohsin isolated andfacing eviction with a serious heart attack threat-ening because of acute stress is just one of themost visible consequences of that collapse.That would a very depressing scenario
whole-sale collapse of the left in supporting their owncapitalist class in a war on Libya and wholesalecollapse before the TU bureaucracy on the aus-terity measures. But of course that is not thewhole story. Within the ranks of almost everygroup that betrayed the class by their stance onLibya oppositions have emerged
apart from inthe most degenerate and moribundsuch as the AWL and PermanentRevolution. To these youthful forcesnow falls the mantle of revolution-ary Trotskyism, they must nowexpose and defeat the class com-promisers and the nationalist chau-vinists and fight for the interna-tional revolutionary leadership of the working class.And we have now a force in thetrade unions which aims to organisethe isolated leftist militants and thesections of the workers who wantto fight under its umbrella; theGrass Roots Left. It has enormouspotential as opportunities will ap-pear everywhere; it must pick up
that fallen flag of workers’ fight-
back.The political and industrial go hand in hand. Wemust tackle the first in order to advance thesecond. In order to begin the regroupment proc-ess we need agreement on two fundamentalprinciples and agreement to begin the discussionon the third position.
The principle that we are for the defeat of ourown ruling class and its NATO-rebels agents in itswar on Libya
We are for rank-and-file-mobilisation andorganisations;
“in the trade unions to should always strive not
only to renew the top leadership of the tradeunions, boldly and resolutely in critical momentsadvancing new militant leaders in place of rou-tine functionaries and careerists; but also tocreate in all possible instances independent mili-tant organizations corresponding more closely tothe problems of mass struggle in bourgeois soci-ety; not stopping, if necessary, even in the faceof a direct break with the conservative apparatus
of the trade unions.”
The TransitionalProgramme, 1938.
The third position, on which agreement is notnecessary to begin with, is the relationship tothe Labour party. Is the Labour party still a bour-geois workers party and by extension do bour-geois-workers parties internationally exist inlarge numbers? This discussion cannot beavoided because it concerns the method behind
the theory of the United Front and Trotsky’s
how do small groupsof revolutionaries relate to the mass of theworking class Labour voters?
Where we Stand
“The emancipation of the working classes must
be conquered by the working classes themselves.The struggle for the emancipation of the workingclass means not a struggle for class privilegesand monopolies but for equal rights and duties
and the abolition of all class rule”
.For that reason we quote here from both Leninand Trotsky to demonstrate that the war onLibya and the fight against the TU bureaucracy inBritain can only be conducted by the UnitedFront and Transitional Programme method
Indefending the United Front Lenin quoted fromthe German ultra lefts in
Left Wing Communism
"All reversion to parliamentary forms of struggle,which have become historically and politically obsolete, must be emphatically rejected"
This issaid with ridiculous pretentiousness (says Lenin),and is patently wrong.
“Reversion" to parliamen-
tarianism, forsooth! Perhaps there is already aSoviet republic in Germany? It does not look likeit! How, then, can one speak of "reversion"? Isthis not an empty phrase?
Trotsky also opposed this wrong ultra-leftmethod internationally against Imperialism:
“The only salvation of the workers and peasants
of China is to struggle independently against thetwo armies, against the Chinese army in thesame manner as against the Japanese
(say his ultra-left opponents). And Trotskyexplains
“to participate actively and consciously in the war does not mean ‘to serve Chiang Kai
shek’ but to serve the independence of a colonial
country in spite of Chiang Kai-shek. And thewords directed against the Kuomintang are themeans of educating the masses for the over-throw of Chiang Kai-shek. In participating in themilitary struggle under the orders of Chiang Kai-shek, since unfortunately it is he who has thecommand in the war for independence
is to prepare politically the overthrow of Chiang Kai-
shek... that is the only revolutionary policy”.
So here is Trotsky in 1937 elaborating a policynot only of critical (but not political) support forleft bourgeois nationalist government of ChiangKai-shek by participation in his army in the waragainst Japanese Imperialism. That is themethod we must use in our fight against the TUbureaucracy as well as against the war-mongersof the right.
The Three Principles for Revolutionary Regroupment
A girl holds a picture of Libya's leader Muammar Gaddafi dur-ing a pro-government rally in the Gaddafi hometown of Sirte.
“mounting concern over the humanitarian situation in the city(of Sirte)” not from the savage NATO bombing which is slaugh-tering thousands but from NATO reports that “Gaddafi forces(in the city) are endangering “hundreds of families!!”