I was thinking. The reason that communists and socialists are not in power somewhere is because they are split into factions, with their differences ranging from obvious to minute to very minute to the fact that they don't like the leader of some other faction.
So, comrades, do you think that, under certain circumstances, these parties could join together; to form a coalition party? I think "Red Party" is pretty damn catchy.
If so, what certain conditions must be met? If not, why not?
Countless threads and posts here at Soviet-Empire talk a lot about the "need for unity" amongst revolutionaries, and I have been talking to some people recently who have expressed the wish to see a much more united Communist movement. "Why are there so many different types of Communists? Why must they argue so much? Why can't we just unite into one big party to fight the enemy?"
Many people feel that the Left should just simply unite into one big party/organization to defeat capitalism, and should put aside all differences until that goal is accomplished. My understanding of the whole "left refoundation/regroupment" outlook is that it basically says, "Look, the reason 'the Left' hasn't been able to accomplish various things, the reason we've suffered different kinds of defeats is because we're too divided, we're too busy fighting among ourselves - so let's put our differences aside, unite, and stand together in the fight. This division is our main stumbling block, and if we could stand together, we'd have greater success."
This approach, in my experience and in researching it, seems to ignore crucial ideological and political differences between different groups. Such as:
* Who is the enemy? Is it "the Right?" The imperialist bourgeoisie? Middle-class people who buy into the consumer culture?
* How does fundamental change come about? Voting? Demonstrations to pressure the government? Revolution?
* What should our goal be? What should our strategy and tactics be to achieve this goal?
To organize some kind of broad-left party that doesn't agree on these questions seems counter-productive. With major differences like these, on what basis would you even decide what to do day-to-day?
Of course, in broader struggles, like the Anti-War movement, the struggle against police brutality, the fight against the roundups of immigrants, the struggle for abortion rights, etc., we should unite as broadly as possible - not only with various "left" groups and parties but with churches (& synagogoues & mosques), student groups, unions, and other individuals and organizations that want to take on the enemy in this field of battle.
Also it seems the idea of "Left Refoundation/regroupment" is a strategy for uniting the left - not for uniting the masses.
It assumes that certain people are down for the struggle, and we have to create a broader grouping of those people before we can go forward. But in reality, there are literally millions (and tens of millions) of people here in the US who hate a lot of the shit that's going on (the war, round-ups of immigrants, etc.) who aren't hooked up with any left groups or organizations. There are many more who have a basis to be won to this position. Our focus should be on reaching out to them.
In reality, the "left" in this country (at least as how it's usually viewed by groups pushing this "refoundation/regroupment" strategy) is relatively small. Only a small minority of people in this country have even heard or most of the various left parties (I include the Revolutionary Communist Party in this). The point is not to be pessimistic or to view this as an unchangeable reality, but right now, the main problem isn't that millions of people are lined up behind the banners of these different left parties and if only they could get together, things would really roll.
And even if that was the case, there'd still be a need for political and ideological struggle. I mean sure, we all hate Bush and Ashcroft, we all want to stop the war and the detentions, maybe we all even have some generally anti-capitalist viewpoint.
But if the group I'm down with has a strategy of "create public opinion - seize power - prepare minds and organize forces", while the group you're down with sees a massive voter registration campaign as what we need now, we can't just throw that all in together and work as some indivisible, unified whole. Maybe we can both build for an anti-war demo, but we have some major differences that means we won't be doing the same things a lot of the time, and we need to have some serious ideological struggle.
For example, the RCP, USA tries to lead and organize the masses to take on all the outrages that the system brings down on us today and does this as part of building for revolution when the conditions are right. They'll work with all kinds of people on a principled basis if doing this is in the interests of the people. They'll do this even with people they have serious political and ideological differences with. But they won't try to obscure or "liquidate" these differences.
The "Left refoundation/regroupment" people don't seem to see it this way. They want to liquidate these differences so that the Left can be one big happy family. However, this mindset doesn't deal with important life-and-death questions - it just avoids them.
In conclusion, I think we need to keep in mind that the process of building unity amongst Communists around a correct political line is not so easy... Communists cannot just ignore significant line differences amongst each other, and it takes a great deal of struggle over correct ideology before unity is usually achieved. Simply uniting on common goals and forgetting our differences almost always leads to quick disintegration and even WORSE disunity than before.
What do you guys think?
Comrade Andrei Mazenov
2007 Winner of Soviet-Empire's A View to Kilt Award
Good article about unity in the International Communist Movement, and why we must be principled about it:
On the Struggle to Unite the Genuine Communist Forces
Throughout the history of the international communist movement the question of unity has been of paramount importance. Against powerful, well-organised enemies at both national and international level, the need for the unity of the working class and the oppressed masses under the leadership of a single vanguard constantly reasserts itself. The masses want the revolutionaries to unite and they often have difficulty understanding why they are not united. But despite the obvious need for unity and despite the wishes of the masses, unity has always been difficult to achieve. From the time of Marx and Engels until today, the international communist movement has been marked by repeated and fierce struggles. Indeed, it has only been through waging such struggles that the scientific ideology of the proletariat has been able to emerge and establish an identity different from the numerous other trends that spoke in the name of the working class and the oppressed and thereby serve as a basis for the unity of a vanguard party capable of uniting the great masses of the working people. At a time when the problem of uniting the vanguard communist forces is again emerging as an urgent task on both the international and national levels, we must have a firm grasp of the dialectical relationship between unity and struggle and how the unity of the communist movement is to be forged.
If we look to the origins of the Maoist movement itself, we can see that it was born out of a revolt against all that was rotten within the communist movement of the time, what we know as revisionism, in which the words "communist" or "Marxist-Leninist" or even "internationalism" remain but are gutted of their essential revolutionary content: the fight to overthrow the dictatorship of the exploiting classes and establish in its place the rule (dictatorship) of the proletariat and the masses of the people as part of a protracted world-wide struggle to abolish class society all together.... continued here: http://www.awtw.org/current_issues/on_t ... _Unite.htm
Comrade Andrei Mazenov
2007 Winner of Soviet-Empire's A View to Kilt Award
Though I like the idea of a 'left refoundation' party, I admit that it would be near impossible to organise. Major differences on how to achieve a communist society (Should Dictatorship of the Proletariat be democratic or undemocratic) How we want to achieve the Dictatorship of the Proletariat (By Bourgeiousie democratic means,mass demonstrations, violent revolution) or even if we want a communist society truly hinder its existance. Of course, whenever they can, parties should unify and ignore small differences until later. Parties encouraging armed revolution should team up with those wanting democratic reformation towards socialism for example.
I actually haven't found much argument on this. I think a compromise could be reached on that the 'right' and the imperialist bourgeosie are the enemy.
What I think is needed is an international socialist workers' organisation that can bring together all parties for discussion.
I hope this doesn't get me banned again-Fontis
I Agree that unity is not easy, but that is no reason at all that it cannot and should not be attempted. Form a coalition of all major leftist parties, and form a sort of representative assembly where the goals of the movement can be discussed. Meanwhile, the verious parties can coordinate their efforts, building ties among aupporters of different parties until all the leftist support groups become inextricably linked.
All of these! They can all be accomplished at the same time! in zones where the need is greatest, the leftist parties can unite and put their resources into a violent revolution and protests. In areas of less inter-class stress, voting and peaceful demonstrations can still be carried out.
At least the first steps should be taken. an official forum and assembly should be created and regular meetings of representatives of the seperate leftist parties should be held.
And now, If you'll excuse me, I've got one tremendous headache on my hands.
Whoppee for Comrade Sergei.
Lets say Andrei Mazenov, Sergei, Trust and I start a red party HQ Web site everything...What would our first step be? We would send Invations to other partys Demanding that we must unite in the name of a socialist/communist state. Would anyone would respond....Ok lets do it...
I don't think demanding is going to get us anywhere, but besides that, Marxist, what you said was what I had in mind. form a website base, and then INVITE and COMPROMISE.
I, in my relatively uneducated way, say the way to go is to gather the representatives of the Left and find what common ground we DO have and work from there. Granted, there are differences in strategy and tactics, but to face such an entrenched foe as Capitalism we will need every weapon, every method at our disposal to be applied where appropriate.
Perhaps not exactly a single, monolithic Party is in order, but a sort of 'Comintern' on a smaller scale- a clearing-house for information and guidance, manned by representatives from all the participating organizations. A new coalition...a new Red Front...might be strong enough to get something accomplished.
Of course, when the marches/walkouts/civil disobedience get cranked up, everybody is going to want to know what the end result of all this would be- I think it would be wise for that 'Red Front' organization to be working towards the formation of a temporary coalition government to be in place until such time as the System is smashed and the workers are in full control.
Pie-in-the-sky thinking? Perhaps, but I think it's something to work towards.
In theory, you could do the following;
1. Get every one of the few million communists/socialists around the world together in one democratic country.
2. Get evertbody to drop their respective citizenships and apply for citizenship in that country.
3. Hope they all get citizenship.
4. Make sure you picked a country where your few million communists would have just composed a majority of the population.
5. Run for president; but make sure the people you just brought here all vote for you .
6. Convince some of the people that were in this country in the first place to pack up, and everybody moves one democratic country over and starts again.
But in practice;
1. Say that you want to try to do this.
2. Get assassinated by the American pig-dog CIA within 48 hours.
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