Why Marxist Revival?
The big economic crisis of 2008-09 once again exposed the frailty of the ruling class in all countries and the fragile basis of the world capitalist system itself. While the consequences of the crisis continue (even in countries that are technically no longer in recession) the manner in which the bank bailouts and other 'solutions' were carried out created deep dissatisfaction and suspicion among large sections of the masses.
The economic crisis of capitalism and the political problems of the bourgeoisie also highlighted two other crises. First, the traditional mass organisations of the working class - whether the parties that include the words 'socialist', 'labour' or 'democrat' in their names - or trade unions that have represented generation after generation of workers in various industries, have been unable or unwilling to mobilise their ranks even to fight an effective defensive campaign against the bourgeoisie's attacks on workers and their families.
Second, the various organisations claiming to be 'revolutionary', 'Marxist' or 'Trotskyist' have generally been unable to contribute to the resistance of the masses against the attacks. In many cases they have directly acted as a left alibi of the bureaucratic apparatus of the traditional leadership, or as sectarian commentators of the class struggle.
What we have clearly seen is that the massive onslaught by the bourgeois state on everything from child benefit to pensions, on jobs and conditions, and on all aspects of social provisions (free healthcare, housing, education and so on) has – so far - mostly been successful. All the hard-won gains that helped hold together the very fabric of working class communities are under threat.
While both the reformist and the 'revolutionary' leaders have been in the depth of their own crises, the masses have had to fight their own battles: most recently in particular in Europe, in North Africa and in the Middle East – all as an expression of a world revolutionary crisis. With the reformist leaders offering no campaign to fight back, or, worse still, taking part in the counter reforms, the masses have adopted new methods of by-passing the traditional leaderships and fighting on their own initiative in the streets of cities and towns all over the world. The present crisis of capitalism has sparked the mobilisation of millions all over the world against the austerity measures that are supposed to stabilise the capitalist system.
'The historical crisis of the leadership of the proletariat' has still not been solved. Even the best of the leaderships still have work to do on the theoretical, political and organisational level. It is not sufficient to be at the forefront of defensive campaigns or pressure groups. We must prepare ourselves for the rebuilding of a revolutionary international capable of leading the offensive to take power and taking the first steps in replacing the capitalist mode of production.
The attempt to build a Fourth International and the method presented in Trotsky's Transitional Programme can be counted as some of the biggest steps forward for Marxism after the demise of the workers' state in the Soviet Union. But we cannot merely rely on resurrecting them. Just as surely as the struggles of the working class have continued during the past 70-75 years, the long struggle to make new organisational, theoretical and political gains also continues. The revival of an international organisation that is capable of dealing with all the important tasks facing the working class is now the main point on the agenda.
As revolutionary Marxists, in order to make our contribution to the necessary revival of Marxism, we cannot act without an organisational structure and programme that express our previous experiences and direct our new interventions.
We call our very modest structure Marxist Revival (MR) and we declare our readiness to collaborate with the genuine forces striving in the same direction as us.
Marxist Revival is formed by comrades who consider themselves revolutionary Marxists and base their activities on the experiences of Bolshevism in the Russian revolution, the first four congresses of the Comintern, the International Left Opposition and the Fourth International. We struggle for the formation of an international vanguard organisation in order to prepare the world working class for socialist revolution. The MR is not itself an international organisation or even a tendency. The MR is a project for elaborating contributions to a political platform, together with existing organisations and with individuals. In this way we want to contribute, both on a theoretical and practical level, to the building of an international organisation.
10 June 2012
Maziar Razi of the Iranian Revolutionary Marxists' Tendency speaks on the objective conditions that make the Marxist Revival project necessary now.
(with Farsi subtitle)
Public Meeting organised by Alliance for Workers' Liberty in London, 12 June 2013.