For debate and discussion. Much to agree with here but I feel that we cannot dispense with Trotskyism and start again, the Fifth International was still born and let us not raise the prospect of a Sixth.
No, to understand this crisis odd revolutionary leadership we must examine the crisis of Trotskyism during and after WWII. And in detail and all its currents. Because it was to the banner of revolutionary Trotskyism the best of the youth and fighters for revolutionary socialism were drawn and the ranks of these groups contain the best revolutionary socialists.
We must examine them, critique them mercilessly and via splits and fusions reforge the Fourth International. Not as a sectarian act of taking the crisis of revolutionary leadership as a thing in itself as Robertson’s International Communist League and its derivatives do but as part of our intervention in the class struggle itself.
1. Our references
The Communist Revolutionary Action is inspired by the great revolutionary struggles, the French Revolution, the Commune of Paris, the Red October of 1917, Spartacus, the Spanish Revolution, the Red December of Athens, the post-war revolutions and uprisings against the capitalists and the bureaucrats in both the east and the west, as well as every other small struggle that is a link in the chain of the struggle of the international proletariat for social liberation and the destruction of the capitalist imperialist system, for workers’ power, communism and a classless society.
The Jacobins, the clubs of the early communists (Babeuf, Blanqui), Marx, Engels and their comrades, the internationalist revolutionaries such as Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg, the Bolsheviks of the Russian revolution, the 3rd International of Lenin, Trotsky, Pouliopoulos, the Left Opposition and the 4th International and other contemporary revolutionary militants and thinkers, without any obsession or uncritical mimicry, are points of reference, not only at an ideological and political level, but also for their militant intransigence in the struggle against the bourgeois state and capitalism.
2. Revolutionary road to socialism
The Communist Revolutionary Action considers that no road to the socialist construction of society can be opened without thesocialist revolution. The socialist perspective cannot be the product of a historical compromise of the revolutionary proletariat with the bourgeoisie, neither can it come as an ‘inevitable’ voluntary withdrawal of the aged, decadent capitalism. Historical experience leaves us no room to believe that a series of reforms may lead us gradually to another society, neither that the bourgeois reaction will surrender without a hard and violent confrontation. In this sense, we are for the revolutionary, not the parliamentary «democratic» road to socialism. Therefore, the forces that fight consciously for the overthrow of the bourgeois power and the world socialist revolution must organize into structures that correspond to this end, not ephemeral fronts and formations that are supposedly useful in the current situation but always result in fragmented protest within the boundaries of the system and in partial struggles against one or another form of oppression, postponing indefinitely the formation of an overall plan for the overthrow of the bourgeois power, as well as any thought for the day after.
This does not mean, however, that we deny the struggle for reforms that help shape a favorable class balance of forces or provide better living conditions for the working class and every other part of society that, for whatever reason, opposes any kind of oppression. Every spontaneous struggle of the working class against exploitation, even the simplest negotiation for the price of labor power, as well as any struggle against multiple oppression which broader sections of society suffer (ethnic or religious minorities, immigrants, women, homosexuals) as well as the struggles of the youth, deserve the full and unconditional support of the conscious revolutionary minority, to the extent that they objectively function competitively to the interests of the bosses and to the policies of their collective representative, the bourgeois state, provided that they are not directed against other oppressed sections of society. This does not mean that the revolutionary minority should become a mouthpiece of any kind of corporatist interests. It does certainly not mean that it identifies with the subjects of these partial struggles, either. The communists approach their participation in the current class struggle as part of the overall struggle against the capitalist system, not just as solidarity to the victims of the capitalist exploitation and oppression and support for whatever expectations these subjects may have. At the same time, the active participation in these struggles is a school of class and political consciousness, as well as another rehearsal for the decisive showdown. No «big night» and no seizure of power can come from people and political groups who live in political isolation, indifferent to every-day struggles, in the nostalgia of the glorious past. The difference with the non-revolutionary Left, that dogmatically insists in a constitutional-democratic way, does not lie in the refusal to participate in the struggles within the bounds of the system; it lies in the understanding that the new society cannot occur through a gradual and lengthy process of reform, but requires a revolutionary break, i.e. the destruction of the basic defender of the capitalist production relations – the bourgeois state.
3. Permanent Revolution, against stagism
The Communist Revolutionary Action defends the theory of Permanent Revolution. There is no intermediate stage between capitalism and the socialist revolution. No «real change», «popular democratic overthrow», «people’s power», «anti-capitalist rupture with the EU» etc. can take place without the overthrow of capitalism, the destruction of the bourgeois state and the socialist revolution. There is nothing between them. The day after, the socialist revolution establishes a workers’ state, the dictatorship of the proletariat, toconsolidate the victory of the revolution, to defend its achievements and to stifle any counter-revolutionary attempt. The socialist revolution can only be completed at a global level. Any restriction within the narrow framework of a nation-state as well as any kind of «socialism in one country” are not only counterproductive for the cause of the world revolution, but also function as gravediggers of the revolution and the socialist construction in the very country from which the revolution began. With the extension of the revolution and the socialist relations of production at a global level, a phase of withering away of the statebegins. The state that is necessary, indispensable and irreplaceable for the whole transitional period is the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat.
4. The revolution does not come through the escalation of spontaneous struggles
Spontaneous struggles do not automatically generate revolutionary consciousness, nor does their «coordination and escalation» form the subject that will lead the struggle against the overthrow of the bourgeois rule. The escalation of these struggles does not necessarily result in a revolution, either. Revolutionary consciousness cannot be transmitted to broad layers of the working class with a continuous, exhaustive but abstract propaganda about the bankruptcy of capitalism and the superiority of socialism. Nor can it be built during economic struggles for immediate demands. There have never been, nor will there ever be, revolutions that happen without the conscious efforts of their subjects. Revolution can arise only on the basis of a conscious plan that is carried out by forces that are fully aware of their purpose. Whenever these forces were weak, no kind of resistance has resulted in a final confrontation with the ruling class and the bourgeois state, regardless of how massive or “class-oriented” it may have been. The element that connects the revolutions from 1789 until today is the existence of conscious political subjects that played a major role in them, while at the same time taking responsibility for the day after.
The revolution cannot be completed without an insurrection for the overthrow of the political regime and the seizure of power by the revolutionary proletariat. Insurrection is an art, and it cannot take place without a plan which includes the seizure of the key-centers of the state apparatus, the control of the cities, telecommunications, roads, airports, ports and of course all government buildings. No insurgency can seize power without the existence of a determined political leadership at the forefront of the overall and class confrontation – a revolutionary party that is aware of its purpose, that knows what the seized bourgeois state will be replaced with and what immediate measures will be taken in the name of socialist order.
5. The breadth of class struggle
Marxism of the 19th century expected that, through the maturation of capitalism and the working class, the idea of socialism would simultaneously mature as well. For our forefathers, the advanced nations that expressed this maturation were objectively the leaders of the struggle for social transformation. Then along came Lenin with the theory of the weak link and Trotsky with the theory of permanent revolution, overturning this hierarchy.
A «pure class struggle» without the intervention of external class elements is a mere fantasy. It is the analogue of the illusion of a pure capitalism without intermediaries, banks, monopolies and state. Such an imaginary capitalism, the dream of every petty-bourgeois, did not exist even at its dawn. Capitalism is not just workers and bosses, nor is it just value and extraction of surplus value. Capitalism can be reduced to that only if we remove the state and the entire political superstructure that supports this «dominant relationship». Moreover, capitalism is the imperialism of Lenin’s era, which brings with it a different hierarchy in the priorities of the revolutionary communist movement in the 20th century. The exploitation of weaker nations by the dominant ones, the inter-imperialist antagonisms, the existence of workers’ states, or states that challenge the imperialist geopolitical order at any given time, create a much more complex context which cannot be reduced to the oversimplified conflict between the boss and the worker.
So, if capitalism is an entire social formation that reproduces itself not only through the reproduction of the exploitation of labor, but through a whole social system, that has multiple hierarchies and different management models, that sets up extensive power blocks that correspond to its condition at any given time, with a system of – dominant – ideas and the corresponding political superstructure, class struggle is the struggle against the system as a whole. Only through this lens can the fundamental contradiction of capital versus labor be viewed. After all, without the protective shell of this superstructure (bourgeois state, institutions, ruling ideology), no «dominant economic relationship» could be reproduced. Therefore, class struggle is the struggle directed against the system that defends and reproduces not only the exploitation of the labor force, but also every other form of exploitation and oppression. The Marxist analysis of capital demystified and exposed it as one more class system based on the theft of human labor – through the lawful robbery that is the appropriation of the surplus by the owners of the means of production. However, this analysis does not mean that communists may be exempted from the wider and more important struggle against the overall oppression that a class capitalist society generates. Therefore, the struggle against the bourgeois state and its policies is not simply confined to the economic struggles; it extends to the struggle against the policies of the bourgeois state that reproduce the myth of the nation and the myth of the «healthy» member of the nation (militarism, nationalism, fascism, sexism, patriarchy). Through these policies, the bourgeois class is able to build an inter-class alliance under its hegemony. The struggle against this is direct class struggle in its highest form; and it is much more important than the struggle for better wages or pensions – things that, after all, capitalism is able to provide, at least in the imperialist countries in times of recovery (welfare state, social contract etc.).
6. A revolution without a political subject is doomed to defeat
In the political struggle, the subject consists of those who consciously participate in this struggle. And it is class struggle, regardless of the social origins of the participants. After all, the classes do not conflict as such, but through multiple intermediations and at a higher level than the primary one, that only involves negotiating the price of labor power. The struggle for political power is the highest form of class struggle; it is not carried out spontaneously, but consciously, through structures set up for the pursuit of this end. In the exact same way that the bourgeois state represents, in the final analysis, the interests of the ruling class, so do the political forces that stand on the opposite side: they represent, in the final analysis, the interests of the working class. We say that they represent the interests of the working class in the final analysis, not directly, because the working class itself is divided into corporatist interests. And the competition between each owner of the “labor power” commodity against the others does not automatically create a community of interest; this can only be achieved by surpassing every vertical and horizontal separation. A prerequisite for that is, however, that a big part breaks from the dominant ideology and enters the political struggle against the entire system. The spontaneous struggles can help in the process of this rupture, but do not provide a substitute for it.
What counts for the camp of the revolution is the concentration of conscious forces, regardless of their social origin, without being isolated from the proletarian masses of course, who are fully aware of the objectives of the revolutionary overthrow and consciously pursue these objectives. The fact that the revolutionary ideas find response among other layers of society, as they do among the working class, proves that the revolution inspires not only the working class, but crosses vertically the entire society, in the same way that the dominant ideas do, without caring if a person is a worker or not before getting inside his/her mind. The struggle against exploitation and oppression does not concern exclusively the victims of exploitation; it certainly does not take away the right of those who are not direct victims of it to take action, maybe even more than those who are «directly» involved. Whoever joins the camp of the revolution consciously is axiomatically a subject of it (not just someone standing in solidarity, neither a bearer of consciousness from the outside to the one true social subject, which until then «does not know its historic mission»), in the same way that an armed guard of the state belongs consciously to the army of the bourgeoisie – even if he/she comes from a working class family. Unfortunately, the class origin does not automatically generate the respective consciousness. The selection of class camp is a subjective attitude that depends not so much on one’s social origin, but on one’s attitude towards the system of oppression. The decisive factor is to break with the dominant ideology, which is the ideology of the dominant class – let us remember the whole work of Marx, not only the parts that suit us.
Class struggle is war and its protagonists are involved in it consciously, not incidentally. The revolutions that we have witnessed in recent history after the French Revolution have had a certain socio-class content, defined not by a mechanistic reduction of their social subject but by the program that the leading forces undertook to implement. This is why these revolutions, regardless of one’s sympathies, have been painted by those who were at the forefront, without whom nothing would have happened. The Jacobins in the French Revolution, the Blanquists in the Commune, the Bolsheviks in 1917 Russia, Spartacus a little later in Germany, the CNT (mainly but other political forces too) in the Spanish Revolution, the EAM-ELAS in Greece in 1944, the guerrilla struggles of Tito and Mao, the Arab revolution of Nasser in Egypt in 1952, Castro and Che in Cuba, the FLN in Algiers in 1962, the Vietcong in Vietnam, the Sandinistas in 1979 Nicaragua, the armed forces movement of Carvalho in 1974 Portugal, the Bolivarian movement in Venezuela, the Zapatistas in Mexico etc. Revolutions, some of which won, others lost, others were left in the middle, others won and then degenerated. Revolutions that have had problems, whose outcome we may not like, revolutions which could have been done in a different manner or could have evolved somewhat differently. These revolutions – and many others – have always had a political sign and a conscious instigator. This may spoil the recipes for spontaneous revolutions or for revolutions that develop in time in the course prescribed for them by historical determinism, butwithout these basic conditions no revolution can take place. The different fields of class struggle evolve and expand. Alas, one cannot try to limit class struggle only in the workplaces, as that would mean to not see that the class struggle is everywhere at equal weight. And the breadth of the class struggle is selected by the bourgeois camp when the police is sent to deal with a strike (to help the boss), or when NATO is dispatched to deal with a revolution. In such cases, whether exploitation in the workplace will continue or not depends exactly on the outcome of a battle that is waged far from that workplace.
7. Revolution: why and by whom?
The Left, almost in its entirely, reproduces the myth that the revolution is led by an original and never-changing social subject, which under no circumstances can be «substituted» by anybody, thus underestimating the role of the political subject in the revolution. The reproduction of this myth for decades has made the communists identify themselves with the victims of exploitation. In this sense, the «original subject» of the struggle for socialism is the unmediated working class. For a broader struggle for democracy, civil rights etc the subject is “the people” or a «popular alliance.» All these variations – as well as many others – that the existing Left has used in the past are based on the mistaken identification of «class in itself» with «class for itself». The working class is not revolutionary by nature; on the contrary, it is an object of exploitation. Only when sections of the oppressed act in a conscious manner against exploitation and oppression (i.e. the conditions of existence of the entire working class), through the revolutionary party, does this class become a revolutionary class.
The liberation of the oppressed involves the destruction of the system that produces exploitation and oppression. Nobody is substituting anyone when taking action against that system. No political force represents exclusively or in any way the working class as a whole, nor does any other «social movement» represent the working class more than anyone else. The speeches about the «immaturity of the objective or subjective conditions» or the “replacement of the entire class as such” are only good for justifying the refusal to undertake revolutionary action. The dilemma is not substitution or unmediated class struggle, but conciliatory or revolutionary line within the movement. After all, the working class does not act in some kind of unmediated manner, neither does it become a class for itself unless it adopts a political agenda that is competitive to the bourgeois society as a whole. Dissatisfaction caused by the theft of the surplus value is not enough; the existence of an alternative political plan for a different organization of society is required. Exploitation and oppression do not suggest an alternative to their victims. The development of this alternative is a product of mental processes, not a product of stomach reflections to the brain cells.
8. The crisis of the Left and the escape to the pure past
The dramatic experience of the «actual existing socialism» in Eastern Europe and Asia, Stalinism, the degeneration of social democracy and the communist parties, the bureaucratization of the unions, the collapse of the ‘90s brought a huge wave of disappointment to millions of people around the planet who believed in the «new world». The waves of immigrants from these countries, looking for the “American Dream” in the West while at the same time cursing the «Iron Curtain», was one more slap in the face of all those who believed in the possibility of socialism. Even those who opposed the Stalinist bureaucracy saw themselves equally affected by that wave of defeat and frustration.
During the ‘90s, the Left around the world returned to its childhood, the pure class struggle. Let’s relive the myth from the beginning, they thought, let us push back the nightmare of the 20th century. But, together with the bathwater, they threw out the baby as well. Along with 1990, they also drowned 1917 as well as the best traditions of the communist movement. By repelling 1990, the causes of the collapse were never given any serious thought.
A whole generation of militants was politicized in this environment, with the fetishism of the corporatist struggle, resistance and, of course, the search for the «pure class struggle». Avoiding pitfalls such as strategies, political plans and the revolutionary transformation of society. Each political plan has been dealt throughout these years with suspicion, in a seemingly cunning (but completely guileless) manner. This way of thinking has affected the entire Left, even the Trotskyist Left in all of its versions. Economism, dealing only with the immediate issues, resisting neoliberalism, worshipping spontaneity, rediscovering alternativism and going back to the basics: all of these have formed the Left that we have today. A Left that may differ theoretically in its historical references, but in the current political practice is nothing more than a soup. Economism and alternativism is its prop. The poor results of the effort of anasynthesis is the natural consequence. In that setting, reformism comes as the other side of the same coin, that of economism and spontaneity worshipping. However, 2013 has nothing to do with 1813 and the return to the roots proves to be a farce.
As a result of this course, today’s Left, in an international and Greek environment of structural crisis of capitalism, is stunned by the situation, incapable of interpreting it and creating the necessary policies. Its dominant part autistically resists on the illusions of an unattainable «pro-people» budget management, while turning a blind eye to the class nature and character of the bourgeois state. At the same time, a different part of this Left is indulging in a metaphysical defense of «anticapitalism» that is unable to find its impact in a coherent revolutionary transitional program, without an existent method for intervention in the central political battles.
Even that part of the Left that still refers to the revolution adopts and develops an understanding of a revolution without an organized insurrection. In the imagination of this Left, the revolution resembles an endless festival of millions of demonstrators out in the streets and squares, that would force the government to leave the country by helicopter – after ten days of general strike have paralyzed everything. This myth has been plaguing the existing radical Left since 1968. It is the replication of the model inherited from the French May, and fits perfectly to the economism and the absolute fetishization of mass movements “from below” that characterize the existing Left. If this schema had some probability of success in 1968, it has absolutely none today.
In 1968 the world was completely different. One third of the planet declared to be socialist, even if it was a handful of bureaucrats that had the power. Moreover, a number of movements against the bureaucracy in these countries, such as the «Spring of Prague», or the illusion of a «cultural revolution» against the «cliques that want to reinstate the old regime», gave the impression that nothing had been lost for good. For the left of the Left, at the time, everything came down to releasing the enormous mass dynamics from below that was stifled by the Stalinist and trade-union bureaucracy, which was all-powerful not only in the East but also in the West. This was the heyday of the rise of the movement around the world after the Second World War. The feeling in the late ‘60s was that the planet would soon turn red and that «the last capitalist would be hung from the intestines of the last bureaucrat”.
But, instead of that, a few years later along came Reagan, Thatcher, the collapse of Eastern Europe, the restoration of the hegemony of the US after its defeat in Vietnam, and the complete domination of neoliberalism that put an end to the post-war social contract. The left of the Left of 1968 was defeated, because it fell victim to the obsessions about the invincibility of the spontaneous mass movement, that would supposedly unfold the action that it was destined to unfold and pave the way to the kingdom of freedom, provided only that were freed from the influence of reformist bureaucratic mechanisms. This Left may have always kept talking about a revolution, but it had forgotten that in order to win, a revolution requires a conscious plan for the seizure of power at the right time, not just some hundred thousand demonstrators «celebrating» in the streets. And, most importantly, that a revolution needs conscious forces that will take responsibility for this plan, without hoping that the reformists (despite any pressure that may be exerted on them) or the «people» on its own will undertake such responsibilities.
9. Global Revolution and the discontinuity – crisis – of the political subject
Socialism cannot be built without the extension of the revolution at a global scale, far from – and in spite of – any kind of illusions of national development or socialism in one country. Therefore, the program of socialist revolution in any given country can only be connected with the program of world socialist revolution. Such a program raises the necessity of a global scale organization.
The Fourth International was the last attempt to organize the revolutionaries at an international level after the degeneration of the Third International. Today, 75 years after its formation, the Fourth International is fragmented in a series of international centers with completely different orientations and political plans. Trotskyism is now a part of the crisis of the entire Left. The cause of the crisis is not so much the different tactics that its different factions have adopted from time to time; it is mainly the inability to play a decisive role in large-scale revolutionary events. During a period in which revolutions took place (Yugoslavia, China, Cuba etc), Trotskyism merely observed them from afar. The collapse of the USSR and its satellites was the final blow. The collapse of the “actually existing socialism” brought the Trotskyist identity faced with an existential crisis.
So what remains at this point? Trotskyism was the opposite of Stalinism. The voice calling for the restoration of October. But October was brought down from the other side. Now we need to reflect on a wider range of questions: Why did the working class not defend the workers’ state? Why did it stand indifferent to our existence? Why did it not turn to the Fourth International, as the only consistent communist force, while the Communist Parties were collapsing along with the lowering of the red flag at the Kremlin? Why is it now, when Stalinism is getting out of the way, that we Trotskyists did not manage to fill the gap? Because, quite simply, today’s Trotskyism has become a part of the impasse of the entire Left.
Post-war Trotskyism – as well as the entire Left – was shaped to a large extent by the events of May 1968. The failure of Trotskyism to play an important role during these events did not leave it unscathed from the defeat and the disappointment that followed. But instead of trying to extract conclusions out of this defeat, Trotskyism chose once more to return to the permanent shelter: The working class did not yet enter the scene. It is still trapped in social democracy and the Communist Party. We should probably cling there as well and wait. Then along came the historic compromise, the “change” (a reference to the ascension to power of the PASOK), the “dirty ‘89” (a reference to the participation of the Communist Party of Greece in a bourgeois government), the fall of ‘90 and a whole generation went home, tired of waiting. Instead of strengthening Trotskyism and forging its unity, these events led to new frustrations and new splits. It is now impossible to speak of a Trotskyist movement; we can only speak of a historical reference to a political current which does not exist anymore, either as a methodology or as an actual formation. Today’s Trotskyism is merely a shadow of itself. Trotskyists are now clinging to every part of the Left. We are talking about an identity in complete confusion; this situation cannot be remedied simply by using the Transitional Programme of 1938 as a reference.
Today’s task is not the defense of a metaphysical Trotskyist identity without any specific political issues that would distinguish it on a programmatic and political level, an identity in the name of which all sorts of tactics and decisions are justified. Let everyone assume responsibility for their choices. There is no reason for the history of a political current that gave its battles honestly and proudly to be vilified and shamed. The epigones of Trotsky failed to shape a victorious strategy and policy, but this does not mean that Trotskyism has been defeated at an ideological level. Let us keep the revolutionary spirit of this current, the methodology of the transitional program, the defense of Bolshevism, the permanent revolution and, above all, Trotsky himself. The man who dared to confront the Marxist orthodoxy of his time, who dared to change priorities, to risk violating the «inevitable» stages of social development as imagined by the giants of German Social Democracy. The man who, during the darkest times of the Stalinist Thermidor, dares to risk his own life, until the end, to salvage what could be salvaged from the revolutionary legacy of October. This is what we need today to put communism back to its feet; to bring communism back into the center of events, as a protagonist and organizer of the revolution, and not as a “bearer of consciousness” that must be passed on to the supposedly responsible for the liberation of mankind, as designated by the «implacable laws» of historical development. When communism stops being treated as consciousness and becomes a movement, only then will a new era of revolutions begin; an era of revolutions led by communism itself, not by the ones that step up to cover the gap in its absence – by awaiting for the «social subject destined by history» to take care of everything.
10. For the organization of the revolutionary minority today; for a new communist identity
The Communist Revolutionary Action does not claim any papal infallibility, neither does it consider itself as the sole heir of the Marxist tradition. And it could not possibly do so, as it considers communism as an open revolutionary theory, not a closed system of thought defined by some classics. Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky have contributed greatly, but the history of the communist movement did neither start with them, nor did it end with them. A revolutionary theory is by no means some kind of infallible truth. Alas, if the living do not assume the theoretical and practical responsibilities allocated to them. Alas, if Trotsky had believed that the theory had ended with the will of Lenin; if Lenin had thought the same was true with the preface of Engels in the Class Struggles in France. Anyone who wishes to honor the classics should continue their work; and it is his/her task to exceed them if he/she wants to remain useful in the struggle for the socialist revolution, workers’ power and communism. Let everyone take their responsibilities and stop hiding behind the icons.
We understand that the confrontation with the bourgeois state and its mechanisms requires serious and identifiable forces, who can withstand the actual scale of the conflict. No revolution is going to win without the existence of forces with a strong political presence and organization, who are consciously pursuing it.
The current capitalist crisis, the biggest one since 1929, has hit the center of metropolitan capitalism, putting an end to every post-war balance as well as to any remains of the social contract. The entry of global capitalism in a long wave of recession brings with it the end of the political system and the Left as we have known it until today. The state of emergency coupled with the presence of fascists in the central political scene comes to fill the void that is left from the parties that had been managing capitalism until now.
During the last three years, Greece saw more struggle than it has seen during any other period, at least during the last 40 years, perhaps even since the war. More than 25 general strikes, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators on the streets. Yet this movement was defeated. Those who realize the seriousness not only of the current situation, but of a broader historical period as well, and particularly the seriousness of what is yet to come, must organize their forces here and now.
We need a revolutionary Left that corresponds to the times we live in. A Left that causes revolutionary events instead of just studying those of older times. A Left that will not discard the previous experience (especially the experience that stayed true to the spirit of Lenin’s and Trotsky’s October), but will assess it dispassionately, without clinging to the past. A Left that will not hide behind history, but will take risks and open new roads, breaking with the existent Left that remains in its routine, lacking any faith in itself. A Left that sees itself as a movement, not as an advisor to people who have never claimed to have any wish to pursue its objectives. Such a Left cannot be built together with those whose only concern is the viability of the financial sector and the productive reorganization of the country’s economy, nor with those cheerleading for the patriotic “no” of the Cypriot bourgeoisie, that did not contain the slightest trace of anti-imperialism, but merely their expectation to defend the capitalist model that had been giving them billions of profits for all these years. Above all, it cannot be built anywhere near those whose policy is restricted to issuing calls to “the people” to “take their fate into their own hands”, who stare amazed at the sight of hosts of angry patriots whining and demanding back the lost Belle Époque of the Millennium together with the stock market gambling, the mortgage loans and the credit cards without limit.
At a time when the problems of everyday life cannot be resolved without the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism (not only in the historical sense, but also in the very actual one, as the problems arise from the given situation in the framework of the capitalist crisis), the necessary bridging of these problems with the aim of the revolution is high on the agenda. This bridging can neither be achieved by minimalism nor by an abstract declaratory maximalism. The transitional logic, as a method and not as an ossified transfer of demands of a past period, is the programme-tool that is shaped under the conditions of the objective situation, not the subjective intentions and the level of consciousness of the masses. This is the reason why these transitional demands form axes of struggle through which the politically conscious minority becomes capable of rallying broad masses of the proletariat by its side and unleashing revolutionary struggles against capitalism.
We know that such a Left can only be built against the current, investing first and foremost in the formation of a new revolutionary communist identity. This does not mean abstention from the hot fronts of the class struggle; on the contrary, this is exactly the place where this Left will be forged, giving the battle out on the streets and wherever necessary, striking together while marching separately, with its own flags and its own program. Taking into account the condition of the labor movement, the relation of class forces and the general political situation at any given time, and determining its policy based on these criteria. This is not yet another organization that will replicate the common practices. This is a completely different concept, as well as a great gap that we must fill.