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SocialistFight-Where We Stand

SocialistFight-Where We Stand

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Published by Gerald J Downing
We reject sectarian abstention from the class struggle in the pursuit of defending ‘the revolutionary programme’ as a propaganda group outside of the class struggle itself. This approach reveals contempt for the working class and a profound scepticism of the relevance of the Trotskyist Transitional Programme.
We reject sectarian abstention from the class struggle in the pursuit of defending ‘the revolutionary programme’ as a propaganda group outside of the class struggle itself. This approach reveals contempt for the working class and a profound scepticism of the relevance of the Trotskyist Transitional Programme.

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Published by: Gerald J Downing on May 01, 2012
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Socialist Fight Group: Where We Stand
Unity is strength, L'union fait la force, Es la unidad fuerza,
Η ενότητα είναι δύναμη,
سا ترق دا.
đoàn k 
c m
nh, Jedność jest siła, ykseys on kesto,
યુનટિ થૂા.,
Midnimo iyo waa awood, hundeb ydy chryfder, Einheit istStärke,
एकता शि है,
единстве наша сила,
 vienys ga, bashkimi ben fuqine,
חוכ איה תודחא
, unità è laresistenza,
, A unidade é a força, eining er styrkur, De eenheid is de sterkte,
ةولا وه ةحولا
, Ní neart gochur le céile, pagkakaisa ay kalakasan, jednota is síla,
, Workers of the World Unite!
Revolutionary socialism
We stand with Karl Marx: ‘The emancipa-
tion of the working classes must be conqueredby the working classes themselves. The strug-gle for the emancipation of the working classmeans not a struggle for class privileges andmonopolies but for equal rights and duties
and the abolition of all class rule’ (The Interna-
tional Workingmen's Association 1864
 , Gen-eral Rules
). The working class ‘cannot emanci-
pate itself without emancipating itself from allother sphere of society and thereby emanci-
pating all other spheres of society’ (Marx,
Contribution to a Critique of Hegel’s Philoso-
 phy of Right 
, 1843).
The revolutionary process of transition tocommunism is based on the struggle to form
an international federation of workers’ states;
such a federation is required in order to de-feat global capital, end world hunger andoppression and release the full global poten-tial of united world working class. A worldeconomy and a worldwide division of labourmake this our ultimate strategic goal.
In the class struggle we shall fight to de-velop every movement in the direction of 
democratic soviets/workers’ councils as the
instruments of participatory democracy whichmust be the basis of the successful struggle
for workers’ power. Although workers and
other progressive layers retain overwhelmingillusions in bourgeois parliaments and otherelective capitalist assemblies, which in factwork counter to their interests, we will partici-pate in this parliamentary fraud in order toexpose these outmoded forms of so-calleddemocracy and those MPs and Councillorswho represent it by promoting the cause of social revolution through the workers and
progressives’ soviets/workers’ councils.
Thereby we will be counter-posing real work-
ers’ democracy in struggle to finance
-capitaldemocracy. This is the only possible form of 
mass workers’ democracy which can over-
throw capitalism and we must continuallycounterpose it to the fraud of bourgeois de-mocracy.
The capitalist state consists, in the lastanalysis of ruling-class laws within a judicialsystem and detention centres overseen by thearmed bodies of police/army who are underthe direction and are controlled in acts of defence of capitalist property rights againstthe interests of the majority of civil society.The working class must overthrow the capital-
ist state and replace it with a workers’ statebased on democratic soviets/workers’ coun-
cils to suppress the inevitable counter-revolution of private capitalist profit againstplanned production for the satisfaction of socialised human need.
We acknowledge the need for a leadershipconsisting of the most broadly-based MarxistRevolutionary Socialist Party to defeat thiscapitalist state and its political system. Thisparty must be based on the principle of de-
mocratic centralism contained in Lenin’s 1906
Freedom to Criticise and Unity of Ac-tion
: autonomy for local Party organisationsand of the universal and full rights to criticiseby all members, so long as this does not dis-turb the unity to achieve defined and impera-tive actions once decided. We rule out allcriticism which seeks to disrupt and makeinoperable the unity implicit in these actions,
decided on by the Party’s elected leadership.
The process of revolution is based upon thebroadest democratic participation of themasses directed by the dialectical inter-relationship between the revolutionary partyand the working-class and its social allies. Thisinteraction creates the political conditions forthe self-emancipation of the working class andprogressives, through their self-governance of the common ownership of all principal meansof production, distribution and exchange -that is, socialist governance in all spheres of public life entailing public accord.
Revolutionary strategy and tactics
To realise these aims we base our interven-
tion in the class struggle on Trotsky’s Transi-
tional Programme of 1938. We will work toemploy and develop methods and practiceembodied in that document because it ad-dresses the Marxist method of mass partywork through which the Bolsheviks success-fully led the Russian Revolution in 1917 and asdeveloped by Lenin in
Left Wing Communism,an Infantile Disorder 
in 1920. These docu-ments superceded the programme of the 2ndInternational, mainly the German Social De-
mocratic Party’s Erfurt Programme of 1891.That party’s right wing interpreted this pro-
gramme as having an artificial separationbetween the Minimum programme of thereformist class struggle and the Maximumprogramme for the overthrow of capitalism,resulting in the destruction of that interna-
tional in their vote for the Kaiser’s war credits
on 4 August 1914 and other similar capitula-
The emancipation of the workingclasses must be conquered by the work-ing classes themselves.
In Defence of Trotskyism page 2
Leon Trotsky: I am confident of the victory of the Fourth International; Go Forward!
tion most other sections. Our Transitional Pro-gramme and method consists of the essence of the best of the original 3rd and 4th Internationalsprogrammes.
We recognise the necessity for revolutionariesto carry out serious ideological and politicalstruggle as direct participants in the trade unions(always) and in the mass reformist social democ-
ratic bourgeois workers’ parties despite their pro
-capitalist leaderships when conditions are fa-vourable. In fighting the attacks of this Coalitiongovernment it is now necessary to work withinthe Labour party and the Labour RepresentationCommittee, in particular strengthening the tieswith the ranks of the trades unions and the Con-stituency Labour parities, getting delegated toCLP General Committees, etc. We are totallyopposed to campaigns that call on the trade
unions to ‘break the link with Labour’, stop the
political levy to the Labour party or split the TUCto form a new centrist or reformist party. Wereject all these attempts like the French New Anti-Capitalist Party, Respect, No to EU, The TradeUnionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) to formother, more radical reformist or centrist partiesto avoid the struggle to build a revolutionaryparty (whilst not rejecting tactical entry into suchformations if they contain a large number of radicalised workers). Such attempts are almostalways a cover for rightist capitulation to thetrade union bureaucracy, as we have seen withthe Socialist party in the PCS, Unite etc. and theSWP in the Unite and the CWU, notwithstandingthe forced resignation of the leading SWP Execu-tive member, Jane Loftus, and the failure of theSP and the AWL to support the rank-and-filecandidate Jerry Hicks for General Secretary of Unite.
We strongly support campaigns to democra-
tise the trade unions’ traditional link to the La-
bour party. We are for funding only those MPswho agree to and have a record of fighting forunion policies. We demand an end the farcicalWarwick Agreements which sees top TU leaders,acting bureaucratically as plenipotentiaries anddefenders of capitalism, asking for miserablereform, accepting far less and ending up withpractically nothing in practice from Labour Gov-ernments. National funding of labour must alsobe on the basis of fighting for union policies andmust be withheld until the Labour leaders agreeto represent the interests of trade union mem-bers, the working class and oppressed against thebankers and the capitalist system in general.
Because we see the trade union bureaucracyand their allies in the Labour party leadership asthe most fundamental obstacle to the strugglefor power of the working class, outside of thestate forces and their direct agencies, we mustfight and defeat and replace them with a revolu-tionary leadership by mobilising the base againstthe pro-capitalist bureaucratic misleaders toopen the way forward for the struggle for work-
ers’ power. The appropriate transitional demand
here is for the formation of rank-and-file work-place-based groups, nationally co-ordinated,where the revolutionary party fights to win theleadership by raising the class consciousness of the working class in struggle.
Our fundamental criticisms of all other far leftgroups are on how they relate to this trade unionand labour bureaucracy and therefore to theirown ruling class; their capitulations to this bu-reaucracy and lack of or one-sided application of the vital rank-and-file tactic. That is they do not
take seriously the opening line of the Trotsky’sTransitional Programme of 1938: “The world
political situation as a whole is chiefly character-ized by a historical crisis of the leadership of the
proletariat.” In this period, we repeat, it is the
struggle against the Trade Union and Labourbureaucracy that defines the fight for leadership.In its turn how declared revolutionaries performthis task defines them as reformist, centrist, orgenuine revolutionary. It is our task as revolu-tionaries to fight in this way and that how weunderstand the last sentence of the openingsection of the Transitional Programme,
TheObjective Prerequisites for a Socialist Revolution
“The turn is now to the proletariat, i.e., chiefly to
its revolutionary vanguard. (Therefore) The his-torical crisis of mankind is reduced to the crisis of 
the revolutionary leadership.”
For socialists there are ultimately absolutely
no progressive ‘national borders’ within the
global monopoly capitalist system. Defence of anation state as such would only be legitimate inthe case of a semi-colony under attack by imperi-alist forces (see point 17) or after the socialistrevolution under conditions of isolation afterhaving once established internal socialised prop-erty relations amidst capitalist encirclement.Consequently we oppose all opportunist leaningsby left-wing movements together with theiramalgamations with trade unions campaigns tomake a national alignment for jobs or industries
as in the call for ‘British jobs for British workers’
that means capitulation to national chauvinismand so to the political and economic interests of the ruling class itself. Similarly in 2009, theNo2EU campaign based its elective view on anopportunist British particularity in separationfrom the Europe-wide proletariat with reformistpleas under capitalism. There is nothing progres-sive in this and we must at all times patientlyexplain this fact to workers irrespective of na-tional origin. We are therefore unreservedly for aSocialist United States of Europe.
We are totally opposed to popular fronts withthe political representatives of any capitalist class
to ‘save the planet’, ‘defeat fascism’, ‘stop thewar’, ‘fight the cuts’ or for any other reason; asTrotsky said ‘no mixing of the Red and theBlue’(or Green
- SF). The fact that Davis Cameronis a member of Unite Against Fascism (UAF) andthe Greens are participating as equals in theLabour movement in the anti-cuts campaignstends to restrict the working class to the politicsand programme of its class enemies, in however
‘democratic’ or ‘green’ a form they come. This by
definition rules out ever fighting for the socialistrevolution, the only ultimate solution to all capi-talist crises
We are full in support of all mass mobilisa-tions against the onslaught of this reactionaryCon-Lib Dem coalition. However, whilst partici-pating in this struggle we will oppose all policieswhich subordinate the working class to the politi-cal agenda of the petty-bourgeois reformist lead-ers of the Labour party and trade unions. Forinstance here we must priorities the fight forworking class leadership against the bureaucracyand, where possible base the struggle on TradeUnion Councils involving all the local unions andspreading to user groups of vital services, theunemployed etc. so that the basis of workerscouncils begins to develop. Fighting for rank-andfile organisations in the unions and moving thestruggle in the direction of Soviets/workers coun-cils as opposed to subordinating it to the activi-ties of Labour lefts in parliament will be our goal.For example the current Communication Work-ers Union campaign to target marginal Lib-Demconstituencies in response to the privatisation of the Royal Mail is clearly an alternative to mobilis-ing the membership for strike action. This ismade difficult because the membership havebitter memories of the last struggle in the Sum-mer and Autumn of 2009, which was betrayed bythe entire Executive of the union when therewas strong support for strike action.
We reject sectarian abstention from the class
struggle in the pursuit of defending ‘the revolu-tionary programme’ as a propaganda group out-
side of the class struggle itself. This approachreveals contempt for the working class and aprofound scepticism of the relevance of the Trot-skyist Transitional Programme. Revolutionary

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