National Sections of the L5I:

Europe

The French LCR and Pierre Juquin

“In the heart of the French Communist Party, voices are being raised in the name of pluralism and living Marxism, in the name of a radical break with capitalism and with reformism . . . faced with such a situation, all that is necessary is to keep our communist identity, our desire to unify, our role of making things move, in order to meet up with a partner prepared to build the revolutionary party”.1

Thus spake the “Trotskyists” of the French Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire (LCR) in March 1987, with regard to the “Rénovateur” current inside the French Communist Party (PCF). A year later, the LCR are busy putting up posters for Pierre Juquin, presidential candidate for the Rénovateurs. The LCR’s orientation to the “revolutionaries” of the Rénovateurs is in full swing, with all eyes on the post-election period in the hopes of building a common organisation. The LCR’s position is not simply based upon the particular circumstances in France: it draws its political inspiration from the perspectives of their international organisation, the United Secretariat of the Fourth International (USFI). However, this current “turn” of the French section has not gone smoothly. Once again, the LCR is in turmoil as rival tendencies grapple with the implications of the Ligue’s analysis of Juquin’s candidacy and of the Rénovateurs. Read more...

MRCI Theses on Gorbachev

Adopted by the MRCI conference, July 1987

1. From the mid-1970s the Soviet economy has shown mounting signs of slowdown and stagnation. Initially, this effect was partially offset by the high world market price of Soviet raw material exports. That cushioning no longer exists. The Stalinist model of a centrally bureaucratically planned economy has increasingly become a drag on the development of the productive forces. Its initial achievements in the sphere of industrialisation cannot disguise its inherent historical limits. The reactionary doctrine of socialism in one country isolated the Soviet economy from the world division of labour and forced industrialisation to be based on the material and cultural backwardness of Russia. Read more...

Force Waldheim to resign!

“Every country gets the politicians it deserves” goes the old saying. Certainly, in the figure of Kurt Waldheim, the Second Republic has found the personification of its own vital ideological lies and the living symbol of the political hypocrisy of its ruling class. The mastermind and the accomplice in the general staff of the German Wehrmacht as the Federal President, the man who was an ex-Nazi before 1945 and an obliging democrat after, the man who tries to sell his notorious silences over his own wartime past as a genuine lapse of memory—Waldheim is certainly no “historical accident” for Austrian democracy. On the contrary, as the head of state he has given this system exactly the image it deserves—the face of the fellow traveller and supporter of the fascist dictators whose “doing his duty” in the world war was accepted by the domestic bourgeoisie as an excellent credential for his later career as a representative of democratic class rule. Read more...

Britain 1988 - The state of the unions

The year 1988 opened with an eloquent rebuttal of the arguments from all those who have bid farewell to the working class. The strikes in Ford, on the ferry services, in the mines, in the NHS and in the civil service all demonstrate not merely the physical existence of the working class, but also its continuing capacity for class struggle. Read more...

Gorbachev and the Soviet working class

Mikhail Gorbachev, and those politically close to him, face a most daunting political prospect. He has staked his political future on reversing the tendency to stagnation and decline in the growth of the Soviet economy. But he has gone further than this. The means to that end promise a major attack on the economic privileges and political authority of a significant section of the state bureauracy. In order to deliver that blow Gorbachev is courting limited mobilisations of rank and file workers and party members against those who resist pressure for change. Read more...

From words to deeds by Leon Trotsky

Below appears the first published English translation of Trotsky’s article ‘From words to deeds’(1). Seventy years after its appearance in the paper Vpered (Forward) on 28 June 1917 (2) it remains a key document in the history of Trotsky’s convergence with Lenin’s party.

Vpered was the paper of the Inter-District Organisation of United Social Democrats, the so-called Mehraiontsi. This had been founded in 1913 by Yurenev and other members of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP) who rejected the discipline of both Bolshevik and Menshevik wings of the party. As Yurenev wrote later: ‘In particular we refused to recognise the Bolshevik conference of 1912 as a conference of the entire RSDLP.’(3) Their initial project was to unify the Bolsheviks and the Left Mensheviks in a party of ‘United Internationalists’. Read more...

Ireland: strategies for solidarity

Much has happened but little has changed. General elections in Britain and Ireland have come and gone in the past months. Another loyalist marching season has passed. Read more...

Labour Youth against the bureaucracy: 1960-64

Julian Scholefield reviews the history of the Healy group in the Labour party in the 1960s Read more...