This statement is an updated and extended version of the earlier statement "For a Proletarian Faction" dated the 18 June 1995. Despite the clear differences between the method, theory and programme of the faction and that of the LRCI, a common response was to ridicule the faction statement as "a joke", "not serious", not having a "sufficiently different programme" to justify a faction. Faction members therefore undertook to produce a much more detailed statement to make it clear to those who have difficulty understanding where the Faction differs from the LRCI, precisely what our differences are, and why they exist.
Like the rest of the post-war Trotskyist left, the LRCI has failed to break decisively from centrism. "Centrism is the name applied to that policy which is opportunist in substance and which seeks to appear as revolutionary in form. Opportunism consists of a passive adaptation to the ruling class and its regime, to that which already exists, including, or course, the state boundaries. Centrism shares completely this fundamental trait of opportunism, but in adapting itself to the dissatisfied workers, centrism veils it by means of radical commentaries". ["Independence of the Ukraine and Sectarian Muddleheads" Trotsky, Writings, 39-40. p.54.]It moved left from centrism in the 1970's to produce an apparently Trotskyist analysis of the degeneration of the Fourth International [FI] and the Degenerate(d) Workers' States [dws] in the early 1980's.Specifically The Death Agony of the FI and The Degenerated Revolution published in 1981 and the Trotskyist Manifesto published in 1989. However, by the late 1980's, as a small international tendency of around 100, it along with the rest of the left was subjected to the massive reactionary pressures of imperialist crisis and the collapse of the DWS's. The LRCI's Trotskyist "orthodoxy" was shown to be hollow.Its method is devoid of dialectics. Its failure to learn the lessons of the collapse of the FI meant that its break from the Cliffites was incomplete and that rather than developing a revolutionary response to the crisis of Stalinism, the LRCI collapsed back into centrism.
Succumbing to its isolation from the class struggle, and the pressure of democratic counter-revolution, a growing gap between theory and practice has arisen. While the LRCI pronounces orthodox Trotskyist positions on method, political economy and the restoration of capitalism in the DWS's, in reality it has a one-sided abstracted Trotskyism which argues for a "revolutionary period" since 1989 and still-existing "moribund workers states". These upbeat historical abstractions coexist with and cover a passive propaganda role in the class struggle which is evidenced by the League's capitulation to the "progressive" nature of democratic imperialism.
The events of this period are every bit as momentous as those after WW2, if not more so. According to the LRCI the collapse of the workers'states would be every bit at catastrophic as the events of the 1930's. As such the end of the workers' states would constitute the supreme test of Marx's dialectical method. But the LRCI has failed to survive the test. Like the centrist FI after the Second World War, the League's inability to recognise the end of the Workers's states and the nature of the period as counter-revolutionary, demonstrates that it has become disoriented by events and liquidated its role as a revolutionary vanguard. That this should have happened comes as no surprise to us, given the history of our relations with the LRCI.