Programmatic Agreement for an International Conference

From Class Struggle 51 July-August 2003

We call for an International Conference, in which groups, fractions, militants, who are for the following principles and programmatic points, will be able to take part:

(1) All kinds of pseudo-theories have been adopted or invented by the revisionists to explain that decadent capitalism can overcome its crises and develop the productive forces without limits: “technical and scientific revolution”, “monopoly state capitalism”, “neocapitalism”, “the permanent arms economy”, “neoliberal globalization”, “new economy” etc.Against all these false theories, we affirm that for the whole imperialist epoch, capitalism has already exhausted its progressive role and is reactionary through and through.The current imperialist counteroffensive and the war against Iraq is proof that this capitalist system in its dying, destructive, imperialist phase, survives only by ferociously exploiting wage earners, and casting millions of workers out of production where they are condemned to misery, destroying the productive forces by means of economic crises and wars, each time more parasitic and destructive than the last, and threatening to destroy the whole of human civilization.
(2) All the imperialist powers, in the present crisis phase and the recurrent failure of the world economy – that since 1997 has struck from Asia and Japan, to Brazil and Russia, to Argentina and Turkey, and has now arrived at the heart of the United States itself – as well as exploiting their own working classes, urgently need cheap sources of commodities, slave labor and reserves of unemployed to boost their superprofits by superexploiting the colonial and semi-colonial world, so that they can resolve the present crisis and restore the rate of profit.The present colonising offensive of US imperialism is for a new repartition of the world at the expense of the imperialist powers of the second or third order.The second war against Iraq carried out by the US and Britain, despite the opposition of France and Germany, illustrates the inevitable increasing rivalry among the imperialist powers.If the revolutionary proletariat does not stop it first, capitalism will take humanity to new depths of barbarism beyond that seen in the 20th century.
(3) Revolutionaries must join forces militarily in the trenches of every oppressed nation attacked by imperialism, and be for the military victory of that nation and for the military defeat of imperialism. But we fight for the proletarian leadership of the war, and to transform that national war into a socialist revolution both in the country attacked and also in the aggressor imperialist nation. We proclaim to all who will listen, that those who, in the imperialist countries, are not unconditionally for the defeat of their own imperialism and for the victory of the working class and of the oppressed nations, are neither revolutionary nor anti-imperialist. We call on the US working class, today confined in a straight jacket by the national patriotic politics of the AFL-CIO, and the Japanese and European working classes, to fight to break the subordination of workers organizations to the imperialist bougeoisie and to ally with its class brothers and sisters in the colonial and semi-colonial countries, to overthrow the their own imperialist bourgeoisies, their governments and their states,on the road to the socialist revolution.
(4) We fight against the reactionary utopia of a united capitalist Europe, and we call on the European working class to oust the monarchy and the reactionary government of Aznar in Spain, the Gaullist 5th Republic in France, the anti-worker imperialist government of the united Germany, and the monarchy and the imperialist government of Tony Blair in Great Britain, etc.In other words,we call on all to defeat the governments and the states of the imperialist powers, by overthrowing the bourgeoisie, by demolishing the bourgeois state and putting in place Workers and working Farmers’ governments in these countries, opening the road to the United Socialist States of Europe.
(5) We reaffirm the validity of the theory and program of Permanent Revolution, against the policy of the "united anti-imperialist front" refuted after the tragedy of the Chinese Revolution in 1927. We support the widest anti-imperialist unity for action which takes even a small step forward in the struggle against imperialism for the working class and the exploited, always maintaining our absolute independence and political intransigent before all bourgeois currents in opposition or in government. Every semi-colonial bourgeoisie is necessarily pro-imperialist. As the smaller partners of the imperialists they can haggle over the surplus value extracted from the workers of their own countries, but, because they are an exploiting class, they are more afraid of the proletarian revolution than of the victory of the imperialists. Bourgeois or petty bourgeois nationalism, secular or clerical, always gives up the national struggle against imperialism and contains the proletariat and the masses under the yoke of capitalist exploitation. We fight for the overthrowing of the bourgeoisie and for the imposition of a Workers' and Peasants' government, because the only class that can liberate the oppressed nation from the domination of imperialism is the working class, leading the peasants and the exploited and oppressed masses.
(6) We denounce the surrender of the Iraqi bourgeoisie and of Saddam’s anti-worker officers and the Republican Guard before the imperialists attack, for betraying the national war of the Iraqi people and the anti-imperialist struggle ofthe masses of every Middle Eastern country, which today allows many leaders of the Ba’ath bourgeois nationalist party to collaborate with the Yankee and British occupiers. We denounce the bourgeois nationalist leaders of the oppressed Kurdish people because they were the allies of the invading Yankees and British in their war of colonial occupation against Iraq, and who will deepen the oppression and crush every struggle of the people for their legitimate right to national self-determination, includingtheir right to secede from Iraq,Turkey,Syria and Iran. We denounce the governments and states of the Persian and Arabian bourgeoisies of the Middle East, who kept “neutral” in the war against Iraq, refusing to constitute, against the imperialist military coalition, a coalition of all the oppressed nations of the Middle East to send arms, military equipment and supplies to fight against imperialism in Iraq.
(7) We denounce the Palestinian bourgeoisie and its political leadership, the PLO of Arafat, who gave up the revolutionary struggle of the Palestinian people and who kneel down before imperialism, before the "two states" plan of the UN and before Zionism. The Palestinian bourgeoisie wants to administer a caricature of a State as an agent of imperialism, in exchange for the blood of the martyred people. We declare war against all the treacherous leaderships and the renegades of Trotskyism who support the Zionist State of Israel by endorsing the counter-revolutionary policy of "two states" of the UN and the imperialists. We fight for the destruction of the State of Israel and for a secular, democratic and non-racist Palestinian State with a Workers’ and Peasants’ Government of the self-organized and armed Palestinian masses, on the road to a Federation of Socialist Republics of the Middle East.
(8) We denounce Chávez and his Bolivariano Movement for giving up the anti-imperialist struggle of the Venezuelan masses. Chávez sat at the negotiating table with the USA, with governments like that of Lula, and with "ambassadors of democracy" such as Carter and Alfonsín, and signed an agreement in which everything the imperialist and putschist reaction had not been able to achieve in the streets in two counter-revolutionary attempts was then handed over to them. We denounce also in Bolivia, the truce made by the COB, Quispe and Morales – leader of the WSF – with the murderous government of Sánchez de Lozada, thereby preventing the working class and the peasants from making the uprising they started last February victorious. In Colombia, for years, the truces and agreements of the FARC with the successive genocidal governments of this country have isolated the peasants’ war in the country from the proletariat in the cities who face the fascists "death squadrons". At the same time, the Stalinist leadership of the FARC refuses to expropriate a single oil well, or a millimetre of territory that it controls. Down with the truces and the agreements! For the independence of the workers’ organizations from the regimes, governments and lackey bourgeoisies! Only with such a proletarian strategy will we be able to set up a workers’ and peasants’ movement that, united with its class brothers, the American workers, fight to put an end to the slavery and misery in the "backyard" of Yankee imperialism. It is from this perspective that we raise the cry: Yankees out of Cuba, Ecuador; Puerto Rico, Colombia and the whole Latin America! Out with the European powers who are as much exploiters and oppressors as the Yankees! British out of the Malvinas! For a Federation of Socialist Republics of Latin America!
(9) We call the Russian working class to take up again the road of the Red workers, soldiers and peasants who in October 1917 made the first triumphant workers’ Socialist republic. The fight to create new workers’ states in the territories of the former USSR is an urgent task for the European and the world proletariat. We fight against Kim Song II of the North Korea, Fidel Castro and the Cuban restorationist bureaucracy, and with the new restorationist Chinese bourgeois, who adopted the reactionary and anti-worker pseudo-theory of "market socialism" which, as is shown by the brutal exploitation of the Chinese working class, and by the advance of restorationist measures in Cuba, and the submission of the Argentinean working class, is the counter-revolutionary policy of the World Social Forum to make the working class subservient to the capitalists. At the same time, in the case of the bureaucratized workers' states that still remain in existence, we unconditionally defend them from imperialism, in order to better overthrow the bureaucracies that are anxious to restore capitalism in these states.
(10) We declare war on all those leaderships that cling to the shirt-tails of the bourgeoisie, on their policy of class collaboration and their "popular fronts".History has proved time and time again that conciliation of class interests between the capitalists and the workers leads to the defeat and massacre of the masses. There is no possibility that the situation of the world proletariat nor the emancipation of any exploited class can be improved by submitting to the interests of any faction of the exploiters.
(11) We denounce and declare war on all the servants of the UN, including the majority of the renegades of Trotskyism who kneel before it. They follow their new leader Gladys Marin of the treacherous Chilean Stalinists, General Secretary of the Latin American Communist Parties Conference that meets twice a year. She is the spokeswoman for Fidel Castro, who abandoned the Chilean revolution in 1973, the Central American revolution in the 80s, and who also went to Argentina to support Kirchner against the revolution.Fidel Castro and Gladys Marin, mainstays of the World Social Forum, have declared that "another world is possible" without expropriating the capitalists, and continuing the exploitation of the working class. They call for the "redistribution of wealth" just as do the liberal democrats, hands in hand with the UN, the “thieves kitchen” of the imperialist gangsters. The same UN that approved the first war against Iraq, the genocidal blockade, and today is trying to get back into Iraq to defend the interests of the French and German imperialists. The same UN that in 1948 established the occupation of Palestine and the creation of the State of Israel, and which today supports the Zionist massacre of the Palestinian people with its policy of "two states". The same UN that promoted and supported the war against Korea in 1950, etc.
(12) We proclaim that, as it has been clearly demonstrated by the Argentinean revolution, in a pre-revolutionary or revolutionary situation the basis of any revolutionary program must be direct democracy and self-determination to enable the development, extension, centralization and arming of the masses’ organizations, such as the popular assemblies, the occupied factories, the commissions of the factories won from trade-union bureaucracy and the piquetero movement, which are expressions of the movement of the masses to create organs of dual power. In other words, when a revolution starts, those who do not fight for power and for the creation of Workers and Peasants Governments are no more than the servants of the bourgeois state. This is why in the Congress of the COTP-CI we put forward the demand: “For a government of the Third National Assembly of workers, unemployed and popular assemblies, with their self-defense organs!”
(13) We declare war on the pacifism that infects the consciousness of the working class.We also oppose the petty-bourgeois policy of individual terrorism that separates itself from the masses and disarms the masses.The uprising of the Bolivian working class and peasants with their cry: "Guns and grapeshot, Bolivians will not stay silent", shows the necessity to arm the proletariat. The bourgeois and counter-revolutionary leaderships prevent the arming of the proletariat, the formation of workers’ militia, and the destruction of the officer strata of the bourgeois armed forces. This has been proved in Palestine where Arafat and the bourgeois leadership of the PLO, along with Hamas and Hizbollah, prevent the generalised arming of the Palestinian people and sacrifice them to the murderous Sharon and his genocidal army.Despite this, we defend all anti-imperialist fighters against repression and demand the liberation of all anti-imperialist fighters in the world.
(14) Everywhere we confront the bureaucracies of all shades in the workers' organizations, bribed and corrupted by large capital; the bourgeois nationalists, social democrats and Stalinist trade-union bureaucrats, paid by the State to confine the workers to their narrow economistic interests and to the interests of the bourgeoisie and imperialism; the leaderships of the organizations of piqueteros that dominate the Argentinean working class, now begging for crumbs from the reformists, and that prevent the unity of the occupied workers and the unemployed and divide the workers ranks. The trade unions that were created to defend the economic interests of the workers have been transformed, over several decades by the trade-union bureaucracy coming out of the aristocracy of labour, into apparatuses where the bureaucracy is paid to collaborate with the bourgeoisie and its state to subordinate and impoverish the workers. We Trotskyists fight in the trade unions to eliminate the bureaucracy, and to win workers' democracy. We affirm that this is not possible without fighting for the complete independence of the workers' organizations from the bourgeois state that incorporates and corrupts them. We fight to impose workers' democracy based on the factory committees and the strike pickets; for renewing the leadership of the trade unions by resolutely putting up militant delegates at critical times to form a revolutionary leadership in the trade unions.
(15) We proclaim that any people that collaborates in the oppression of another people is unable to liberate itself. The imperialist bourgeoisies oppress what remains of their colonial empire(Puerto Rico, Northern Ireland, Martinique, Guadeloupe, New Caledonia…) and occupies again dominated countries (Bosnia, Afghanistan, Iraq…). We are for the independence of all protectorates and all colonies from imperialism. We are for the national rights of those peoples kept under armed oppression within bourgeois states (Basques, Kurds, Kabyles, Tamouls…). We categorically support the oppressed and invaded Chechyen nation against the genocide it suffers at the hands of the troops of the white counter-revolutionary army of Putin and the Russian bourgeoisie, today the agents of imperialism. We are for the unconditional right of national self-determination of all oppressed peoples, including the right to separate if the majority demands that right. In no case do we adapt ourselves to bourgeois or petty bourgeois nationalism. Only the recognition of the right of the self-determination of the oppressed people ensures the unity of the proletariat. For the same reason, we pronounce ourselves for the freedom of movement and settlement of workers, and for the complete equality of rights of all workers.
(16) We reaffirm the validity of Leninism–Trotskyism, of the program of Fourth International, as the continuity of that school of revolutionary strategy founded by the Third International of Lenin and Trotsky. It is from this strategic position that we call all the currents that say they fight for the interests of the working class, to break with the bourgeoisie and to start the struggle for power based on the autonomous and armed organizations of the masses. In the process of this combat, we are prepared to enter all united fronts and united actions with any workers' current ready to make even a single step forwards to advance our class. But as Lenin would say:while we are ready to strike together, we march separately. Before, during and after any such action we will not weaken our criticism of the reformist leaderships that are obliged to leave their luxurious offices and to put themselves at the head of the action of masses.
(17) The social democrat and Stalinist reformists poison the workers with the claim that capitalism can be reformed by means of the bourgeois state. It is useful for the plans of the bourgeoisie that the political apparatuses of social democracy and of the trade unions allies with it through "participatory" or "popular" democracy and manages their state to prevent the proletarian revolution. Social democrats and Stalinists are agents bought by the capitalist enemy.
(18) Pseudo-Trotskyist centrism has claimed to be revolutionary for fifty years while in practice it was subordinated to the reformist apparatuses. The Pabloist IC-USEC, the Lambertist IC-AIT, the Morenoist LIT, UIT, MAS and CITO, the Hardyist UCI-LO, the Cliffite IST, the Grantist ICT or The Militant, Altamiraist CI, the Loraist POR, etc., represent tedencies that have broken from Trotskyism into the camp of reformism.
(19) Social democracy, Stalinism and the trade-union bureaucracies have liquidated the most elementary principles and morals of the class. The centrists, revisionists and liquidators of the Fourth International are following in their path. The proletariat wants staunchness, honesty, loyalty, and the broadest workers' democracy. To discuss, to decide and to act, workers and youth must expel from the workers' organizations the method of lies, misrepresentation, and physical violence introduced by these leaderships who try to suppress or conceal the political differences inside the workers' movement
(20) We affirm that the 21st century has begun in the same way the 20th century finished: as an epoch of crises, wars and revolutions, highlighting all the characteristics of capitalism in decomposition. Against all the revisionists of Trotskyism who want to put the responsibility for the defeats on the masses and to hide their own capitulations and treacheries by saying that the problem is the "crisis of subjectivity" of the masses, or its "backward consciousness", we state that the start of 21st century confirms the central premise of the program of the Communist International and of the Fourth International: without a social revolution in the next historical period, all of human civilization is threatened by catastrophe. Everything depends on the proletariat, and on its revolutionary leadership: the historical crisis of humanity is reduced to the crisis of revolutionary leadership.
(21) Those who call for this International Conference, proclaim the necessity for revolutionary internationalists to build revolutionary workers' parties and the world party of the socialist revolution, from the forces emerging out of the struggle of the masses. With such organizations, the proletarian insurrection will be able to triumph, world revolution will succeed, and socialism will be able to develop.

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