Party time

Internationalist Notes in the final paragraph of their article "Capitalism Promises Annihalation" writes: "Only international proletarian revolution, led by the proletariat’s class party, and the creation of a global system of workers’ councils present the escape from climate hell." Presumably the formulation that the revolution will be 'led' by 'the class party' is just clumsy phrasing in an otherwise good article. However, the idea of an international party being created in the looming near-future that promises climate breakdown, economic crisis, and war is a hard one to find credible. The calls for an International in CWO articles sounds much less Dave Spart and much more serious (the ICT's support of internationalism as fundamental to NWBCW work with other groupings is a welcome move away from the 'accept-all-our-positions-or-fuck-off' approach that has scarred the left-com milieu).


Hello AKAshug,

The end of the IN article isn't anything different from conclusions that the CWO or BC have stated in their agitational material. Additionally, the Party and the International are the same. We also obviously don't see the creation of the class party, nor of world proletarian revolution, as something that we can point to as something in the immediate offing; at the same time, we continue to affirm that international proletarian revolution (which will of necessity be lead by the proletariat's political party) is the only way that humanity can exit from the mounting barbarism of the generalization of imperialist war, ecological collapse, economic crisis, health emergencies, etc. As for the comment about NWBCW and the holier-than-thou attitude, we work with other groups on the basis of internationalism summarized by the five points:

  • Against capitalism, imperialism and all nationalisms. No support for any national capitals, “lesser evils”, or states in formation.
  • For a society where states, wage-labour, private property, money and production for profit are replaced by a world of freely associated producers.
  • Against the economic and political attacks that the current war, and the ones to come, will unleash on the working class.
  • For the self-organised struggle of the working class, for the formation of independent strike committees, mass assemblies and workers’ councils.
  • Against oppression and exploitation, for the unity of the working class and the coming together of genuine internationalists.

but this does not at all signify that the sum of our politics becomes reduced to just this broad internationalist outline.

For the self-organised struggle of the working class, for the formation of independent strike committees, mass assemblies and workers’ councils.

Im going to agree with AKAshug's point about the word 'led' It is not at all what you normally say, indeed you contradict this term yourself in the above quote. The revolution will be led by the working class itself in its workers councils. The party will have a pollitical role to 'guide' the working class maybe 'advise' the working class and be in the vanguard politically but i cant see it be able to leading the the working class ie telling it what to do, is something we have surely learnt is not what is wanted. Maybe this is a problem of terminology as AKAshug suggests but it is an important point as 'to lead' has significant connotations.

A month's passed, so it would appear you're not getting an answer from the editor, Link. At least you're not being patronised though. Maybe I should have pointed out to him/her that I've read every fucking article the CWO have published since 1975.

Apologies for the unnecessary tone.

As long as we understand that the party (i.e. the future international) doesn't constitute a power over and above the working class, then we are on the same page and whether the party "guides" or "leads" becomes a bit of a semantic discussion. For example, the ICT Platform states:

The soviets are the expression of working class political power (the dictatorship of the proletariat) and their decline and marginalisation from political life in Russia symbolised the strangling of the infant soviet state by the capitalist counter-revolution. The power that remained in the hands of the Bolshevik commissars as they became isolated from an exhausted and decimated working class was the power of a capitalist state. In the future world revolution the international party must aim to lead the revolutionary movement exclusively through the mass class organs which it encourages to come into being. However, there are no formal guarantees of victory and the revolutionary party cannot tie its hands in advance by erecting mechanistic barriers based on the fear of defeat. Neither the party nor the soviets are in themselves insurance against counter-revolution. The only real guarantee of victory is the class consciousness of the working masses themselves and the continuous spreading of the international revolution.

The term "lead" is obviously not used here in the sense that the working class is a mindless mass following the orders of some self-elected political elite. Instead, the party provides a lead in the struggle to the degree that workers identify their interests with the political perspectives that the party puts forward. It is not a one way street.