Second part of our reply to the WSP’s answer to our ‘Open Letter to the members of WSP’
We have given, in our first reply (https://rr4i.milharal.org/2018/10/19/reply-to-the-lies-by-wsp-leadership-to-our-open-letter/), a response to WSP’s lies and slanders against us in their answer (https://workersocialist.blogspot.com/2018/10/our-answer-to-frantic-and-spurious-open.html) to our Open Letter (https://rr4i.milharal.org/2018/10/14/open-letter-to-the-members-of-the-wsp-of-india/). Now we will move on to the more purely political aspects of the questions at hand.
On this issue, the WSP leaders say:
“In the open letter, they have addressed us as ‘WSP of India’, that speaks a lot about their ignorance of the very character and politics of WSP. Had they really cared to know us, they would have forthwith learnt in the first instance and had they contacted us we would have corrected them at the outset, that we are not ‘WSP of India’ but the core of an International.”
“In our view, this is nationalist approach to the reorganisation of the Fourth International. As we pointed out earlier, we don’t claim ourselves to be Indian, neither we stand for India. No international can be built by national sections as International is not a conglomeration of nationals. International can be built only on concrete internationalist foundations. Where it is being built, in how many countries, is immaterial. Crucial aspect is the program upon which it is being built. You claim yourself to be ‘Revolutionary Regroupment, Brazil’ but we don’t claim ourselves either to be Brazil or US or Nepal. WSP is the International, the core of the international.”
“You say, ‘Internationalism means both solidarity with the struggles of the workers and the oppressed in other countries’. No, Sorry! This is no internationalism but nationalism! In fact nationalism laced with internationalism! In our age whoever thinks in terms of ‘other’, is no internationalist. Internationalism does not permit this ‘my’ and ‘other’.”
WSP leadership replaces with cosmopolitan moralism the concrete Marxist understanding of Internationalism. Its answer is correct in only one thing: the crucial feature of internationalism is a correct program, which has to reflect the defence of the interests of the global proletariat as a whole, not only this or that section of it. However, the claims that “WSP is the international” and that “Internationalism does not permit this ‘my’ and ‘other’” are phrases devoid of any Marxist content.
WSP is a national organization; it functions within the very definite borders of one nation. An international is neither a simple sum of national parties nor an ethereal organism which exists in the ideal realm, it is an international organization which directs and coordinates on an international level the practical work and general political line of the national parties which are part of it.
Marxist parties function primarily on a national level for the very simple reason that its the main boundary of political events, and that means that the most important delimitation of organizational boundaries is the national one, as each of the national sections requires a good degree of centralization and cohesion to intervene in class struggle. And also because these national boundaries are almost always parallel to the functional boundaries of the bourgeois state, and the Marxist party is an organization built towards the goal of the conquest of state power by the proletariat through the destruction of the bourgeois state, which also makes the boundary between states the main boundary of its activity. Trotsky’s own formulation of the question was that:
“Only by being indissolubly tied together, only by working out answers jointly to all current problems, only by creating their international platform, only by mutually verifying each one of their steps, that is, only by uniting in a single international body, will the national groups of the Opposition be able to carry out their historic task.” (From his Open Letter to All Members of the Leninbund, 1930)
As we said, Internationalism does not consist of empty phrases about there not being any differences between nations, or insisting that organizations whose field activity are restricted to one country are not national organizations. It consists of a coherent policy towards the defense of the interests of the whole international working class. On this, WSP leadership has been terribly negligent. It is a telling fact that in its blog the WSP has almost no public criticisms of IMT, which has a large section in Pakistan, no criticisms of the decadent descendants of LSSP in Sri Lanka, it paid no mind to developing their criticisms of any internationally relevant centrist organizations which could attract dissidents looking for orthodox Trotskyist organizations, except the Morenoite WIL-FI, who, incidentally, has a section in India. By the accounts of its former supporters (some of which we will soon publish), WSP leaders have no intention in expanding its activity outside of India, or South Asia if we are to be generous (WSP does have a plural of articles on Nepal). It recently ignored not only RR, but also a group of Marxists in Turkey with which their members had contact with, and shows no interest in having discussions with groups from other countries. To refuse mentions of “my and other” is a shallow excuse to this blatant abstention from the tasks of building an international party.
Revolutionary Regroupment does not proclaim in an ultimatistic manner that it is the international which everyone should join, but actually acts as a group with international perspectives, forced into an organizational national isolation by circumstances, but dedicating its energy to the construction of an international Marxist nucleus, seeking discussions and interactions with groups and individuals from all continents. Our attempt to reach WSP and its militants and the WSP leadership’s stalling and lack of interest in discussing with us is a concrete example of our difference on this topic. No amount of liberal-moralistic accusations of nationalism will change these facts.
WSP response to us reads:
“On homosexuality, your views are not the views of a Marxist. In fact you agree with apologists of bourgeois society that it is not the social perversions and alienations that are generated by all degenerated systems in the history including capitalism in our times, but are genetic in nature something embedded in biology of man. We reject all such propositions advanced by the bourgeois ideologues and the false lefties.”
“Thus even after revolution and even alongside rapid emergence of revolutionary society, there survive and not on small scale, the die-hard habits for example of stealing, addiction to drugs and various sexual deviations. Apologists for bourgeoisie claim that these are embedded in genes of the man, but Marxist knows they are not.”
WSP leadership openly defends that homosexuality is a sexual deviation created by class society. To begin from the beginning: a “deviation” from what? From the ‘traditional bourgeois family’, whose maintenance is the very basis of persecutions against homosexuals? WSP implies that homosexuality is not “natural”. What is the “natural” sexual relation then? Monogamous heterosexuality, the basis of the ‘traditional bourgeois family’? Or do humans also not reproduce outside of class society? WSP mechanistic approach to the question (presented with empty “dialectical” phraseology) is only a cover for its acceptance of actual bourgeois social-sexual pattern as the only “normal” expression of sexuality.
Homosexuality is a feature of class society as it was a feature in classless societies (not to mention the recent studies on the existence and acceptance of non-binary genders and transgender persons among several societies), and the only ones harmed by its existence are the institutional ‘traditional bourgeois family’ and its supporters, for it is the bulwark which guarantees the sanctity of property inheritance.
When confronted by bourgeois science, WSP resorts to simply denying it by simply naming “bourgeois science” the scientific work painstakingly carried out by hundreds if not thousands of people genuinely interested in studying the reality we live in, despite all the ideological and material pressures that stand on their shoulders, as if that disqualified its content completely. WSP does not even try to prove that, since it can’t. But science based on piles of data compiled through empirical study, even science under these terrible, obscurantist conditions, tends to be correct in the broadest strokes when the results do not go against the direct material interests of the bourgeoisie. It is symptomatic that we were informed by V. that WSP also joined the IMT and a few other groups in their “offensive” against Big Bang and in defense of Plasma Cosmology. As a Marxist political party, and not a club for amateur scientists, we could only effectively criticize in a negative fashion the idealist methodology used by scientists, and in defense of a dialectical materialist perspective in scientific matters. But a serious political party does not add a scientific theory unrelated to class struggle to its program.
V. informed us that the party officially did not have a stance beyond defending the democratic rights of homosexuals against state repression, but that individuals could hold any opinions on its morality, etc. As problematic as this stance already is, it still carried an ambiguity. Apparently ambiguity was no longer necessary after the recent purges. Inside the Bolshevik Party itself, which came to power more than 100 years ago in the backwards Russian Empire, there was a varied shading of internal opinions on this question, and no position was enforced. In the more developed soviet republics it was widely tolerated, exemplified by the prestige of Georgyi Chicherin and his appointment to leading positions in the state apparatus, while in the conservative republics in Central Asia and Caucasus there was more prejudice even within the state machinery.
It is noteworthy that this changed precisely after Stalin’s rise to power: under the Stalinist regime homosexuality was more and more widely considered a “deviation” resulting from bourgeois society, resulting in the re-criminalization of homosexuality in 1936. (See Harry Whyte’s letter to Stalin). The regimes you denounce in Cuba and other places also had similar positions and policies.
The defense of similar beliefs was also common among the workerist centrist parties, which politically adapted themselves to the conservative ‘white male working class’ which was “not under the influence of petit-bourgeois ideologues”. In 1972, the infamous leader of the American section of the ICFI, Tim Wolforth, openly declared that “the working class hates faggots, women’s libbers and hippies, and so do we”. It is worthy of note that this same fine folk later split from the Healyite cult to form the SEP/WSWS, which today defends rapists, denouncing the “#metoo” movement as “bourgeois witch-hunters”. Truly, only the “finest folks” seem to have a “really Marxist opinion” according to WSP leadership on this question.
The fact is that WSP’s official opinion on homosexuality amounts to capitulation to bourgeois moralist conservatism and provides moral support for homophobic attacks against homosexuals. We will not comment on WSP’s comparison of homosexuals with banditry and addiction to drugs. They are damning enough in themselves.
Deformed Worker’s States
Finally, on the deformed and degenerated workers’ states, WSP writes:
“Next, you call China or Cuba for that matter, deformed workers’ states. We seriously dispute it. Neither China nor Cuba were or are workers state, deformed or reformed. Did 1949 of China or 1960 of Cuba produced “Workers’ States”? It’s real parody, rather travesty of Trotsky’s characterization of USSR of his times when Stalinist regime rested upon socialized property that the bureaucracy under him was forced to leave untouched. Today, an imperialist oligarchy reigns in USSR. China or Cuba were never workers’ state ever since from their birth but were bureaucratically organised states in the image of degenerated USSR. While USSR had born out of a genuine working-class led revolution of October 1917, China, East European states, Cuba, Vietnam or North Korea all were born as deformed bureaucratic regimes under the patronage of decaying USSR. The regimes that rode to power in these countries, upon the back of the revolution, put brakes upon the revolution and deformed it into channels of bureaucracy.
While you sit to wait for a ‘bourgeois counter-revolution’ in these countries, they have silently passed over to world capitalism and today constitute its backyard…”
The property we find still socialised in these countries is the economic brace of the parasitic bureaucracy. Bureaucracy did preserve it for itself as it draws its lifeblood from it.”
We will summarize the confused ideas (written in a seemingly “frantic” manner) put forward by the WSP in its response to us:
1) Only the USSR was a (degenerated) worker’s state, since it was the only one to result from a proletarian revolution;
2) What we call “deformed worker’s states” were actually “bureaucratically organized states” of some indefinite nature (since WSP talks about their “passing over to world capitalism”);
3) The USSR and these “deformed bureaucratic regimes” both “peacefully transitioned” into capitalism in an indefinite time in the recent past, despite that WSP itself recognizes the continued existing of socialized property and that the bureaucracy “draws its life blood” from said socialized property.
You “naturally” accept the definition of the USSR as a degenerated worker’s state, but flatly refuse to consider the deformed workers states, rather stating that they are “bureaucratically organized states”, whatever that means in terms of their class character. What is the fundamental difference between these states and the old USSR? The only factor mentioned is that the USSR was born out of a proletarian revolution, while the others apparently were not. We will return to this later, but for the benefit of the readers let us begin from the beginning.
What is a state? According to the Leninist tradition, a state consists of a body of armed men responsible for regulating social relations (i.e. class struggle), in the last instance its role consisting of defending the economic relations and forms of property which it bases itself on. The very form and nature of the bourgeois state, with its bureaucratic and military apparatus, means it is tied to the bourgeoisie itself, to private property and to capitalist economic relations through thousands of threads. Its continued material existence depends on the maintenance of capitalism.
A worker’s state is not different from this general rule in any special way but one (which makes it a “state of a completely different kind”). A dictatorship of the proletariat in the proper sense implies that the proletarian class itself holds ultimate political power and, according to Lenin’s definition in “State and Revolution”, consists as a class of the state itself, since it would take upon itself as a class the administrative and repressive roles of the bureaucracy and army, by making these rotative functions, which is the condition to allow a gradual transition to socialism when the economic and social pre-requisites are met. It is well known this was never the case with the USSR. Due to the cultural, material and the numeric weakness of the Russian proletariat, it had to rely from the beginning on the existing Tzarist apparatus, reconstructed under a new leadership, and on an increasingly professionalized army built from the scratch out of remains of the old Tzarist army, of proletarian militias formed in the heat of October, and of peasants pressed into service. Lenin himself described the Soviet state as a dictatorship of the proletariat with bureaucratic deformations.
As is well known, this bureaucratic deformation eventually took the form of a bureaucratic faction, and ultimately in the monopolized rule of the bureaucracy. The fragile dictatorship of the proletariat became the rule of the Soviet bureaucracy. But it did not cease to be a worker’s state. This bureaucracy, the de facto ruling stratum in the Soviet republics, could not fundamentally change its own nature or the nature of the socio-economic relations it supervised. This is because its basic material existence, the very source of the privileges of the soviet bureaucracy, was based on the economic forms and relations it inherited from the proletariat. In fact, it was the bureaucracy who – not without internal dissent – sought after 1928 to, in a bureaucratic (and therefore inefficient) fashion, eliminate the last remnants of private property and market relations in the country.
This is because the basic privileges of the Soviet bureaucracy were extracted from the nationalized industry and from the exploitation of the petit-bourgeois peasantry which were possible thanks to the nationalized industry and monopoly of foreign trade, and such privileges could only be maintained thanks to the complete political-organizational defeat of the bourgeoisie in the post-civil war climate where there were still remnants of the sharp political differentiations which gave birth to said war in the first place. At that time, the Soviet bureaucracy leaned upon the workers to crush the opposition of the petit-bourgeoisie and of the emergent “sovietic” commercial and rural bourgeoisie (NEP-men and kulaks).
Any complex organization under class society requires the formation of an administrative apparatus, which forms a bureaucratic stratum able to use its position for its benefit. Bourgeois organisms, like states and parties, require a bourgeois bureaucracy, which cannot reach the same social and political level of autonomy of the Soviet bureaucracy due to the pressure of the very class it depends on and whose interests it defends, the bourgeoisie. Reformist trade unions and political parties both require bureaucracies, and in both cases the bureaucracy has a higher degree of autonomy and control, since these organisms were formed as proletarian organizations, and an oppressed class taught to being ruled around which also lacks class consciousness is more easily ruled upon by a bureaucratic stratum which takes inspiration directly from the petit-bourgeois and bourgeois classes.
In the sense that they can only continue to exist under class society, which today means capitalism, bureaucracy in general is, in a certain sense, inherently bourgeois. Therefore these bureaucratic strata tend to seek coexistence with global capitalism. This is a basic component of Lenin’s theory on the proletarian dictatorship, and of Trotsky’s analysis of the Soviet deformed worker’s states. But these bureaucracies are oftentimes forced to carry out partial struggles in the interests of the working class, mobilizing the workers who follow them. This could be in order to defend the very existence of their organizations from bourgeois aggression, or because it was necessary to stem the growth of the influence of radical or revolutionary oppositional elements which threatened their hold onto their apparatuses.
From “Not a Workers’ and Not a Bourgeois State?”, 1937, Trotsky’s response to Burnham’s revisionist conceptions on the USSR:
“Comrades B. and C. are completely correct when they say that Stalin and Company by their politics serve the international bourgeoisie. But this correct thought must be established in the correct conditions of time and place. Hitler also serves the bourgeoisie. However, between the functions of Stalin and Hitler there is a difference. Hitler defends the bourgeois forms of property. Stalin adapts the interests of the bureaucracy to the proletarian forms of property. The same Stalin in Spain, i.e., on the soil of a bourgeois regime, executes the function of Hitler (in their political methods they generally differ little from one another). The juxtaposition of the different social roles of the one and the same Stalin in the USSR and in Spain demonstrates equally well that the bureaucracy is not an independent class but the tool of classes; and that it is impossible to define the social nature of a state by the virtue or villainy of the bureaucracy.”
Now, what exactly would a “bureaucratically organized state” consist of? A state commanded by the bureaucracy? As we have said, the USSR was commanded by a bureaucracy, but they were commanding a structure built by the proletariat, a worker’s state. What about the bureaucracy in these other countries? Were they a different kind of bureaucracy, a new class, whose privileges and power were drawn from completely new forms of property and of economic relations? Even WSP recognizes that the bureaucracy in these nations “draws its life blood” from collectivized property, it even says that it still today draws its privileges from the existing collective property in these nations. That is, on proletarian forms of property, which oftentimes still include conscious state planning and the monopoly – more or less restricted, varying from country to country – of foreign trade.
WSP leadership talks about the “heritages of the revolution” in the USSR which makes them consider it was a worker’s state. Of what do these heritages consist? Politically, socially, and even artistically, the USSR was more conservative and, arguably, bourgeois, during the end of Stalin’s regime than immediately after the October revolution. The heritage of the October revolution which was preserved and even expanded under Stalin was exactly the nationalized industry, the collectivized farms, the monopoly on foreign trade, etc. The soviet state was not a workers state because of some generalized feeling of nostalgia for Lenin, but because the bureaucracy expanded the collective forms of property, increased the predominance of (bureaucratic) economic planning, and consciously attempted to weaken the bourgeois aspects of economic relations, such as the influence of the law of value.
Then we think worker’s states can be built without proletarian revolutions? Technically, yes. Poland, for instance, was not born out of a revolution, but of the extension of an existing revolution by bureaucratic military means. In preparation for the coming war, the Red Army marched first into Eastern Poland, distributing most of the land amongst the republics bordering it, then ‘peacefully’ marched into the Baltic states, and tried to do the same in Finland, but only managed to wrestle a few strategic locations which were integrated into Russia. In all these nations/regions the forceful political expropriation of their bourgeoisie was followed by their economic expropriation. After Barbarossa and the defeat of the Heer, they rolled into Poland, Czechoslovakia, Romania, among other Eastern European nations which would later form the Warsaw Pact, and did the same there. The creation of ad hoc Stalinized apparatuses and parties whose formal national independence did nothing to hide their most complete subservience to the Soviet bureaucrats, who had the Red Army parked in their territory, consisted of mere bureaucratic capriciousness.
In the 1920’s Lenin and Trotsky had done, mutatis mutandis, basically the same thing when the infant Soviet Republic forcefully absorbed Georgia and remote regions of old Imperial Russia which literally lacked an organized proletariat in order to prevent Imperialist intervention and decisively smash the White forces. But what about the states where the Red Army never entered? You can ask: “Will you tell us that the Stalinist parties, that is to say, petit-bourgeois socialist parties, carried out proletarian revolutions?” Yes. In a certain sense of the word, that is absolutely what they did.
The Chinese case was the most perfect expression of this: Mao was forced to wage war against the Kuomintang to assure the very physical existence of his own party, even if its whole political line was towards forming a coalition government with the Chinese bourgeoisie (which was the essence behind the formula of “New Democracy”). The bourgeoisie trusted its guts more than Mao’s words. They saw the armed peasants led under a red banner and their reaction could only be appropriately described as a fight-flight reaction. Once Kuomintang’s armies were defeated in mainland China, they fled to Taiwan. Of course, Mao could theoretically have attempted to reconstruct a bourgeois government in absence of the bourgeoisie. But he had to account for the pressure of the armed masses of workers and radicalized peasants, who in the absence of the bourgeoisie saw themselves as their own masters. Yugoslavia, Cuba, Vietnam, etc… all followed more or less the same pattern, with their particular variations in the composition of the rebel armies and difficulties.
All of this was considered a distinct possibility by Trotskyists before the war. From the 1938 Transitional Programme:
“Of all parties and organizations which base themselves on the workers and peasants and speak in their name, we demand that they break politically from the bourgeoisie and enter upon the road of struggle for the workers’ and farmers’ government. On this road we promise them full support against capitalist reaction. […]
Is the creation of such a government by the traditional workers’ organizations possible? Past experience shows, as has already been stated, that this is, to say the least, highly improbable. However, one cannot categorically deny in advance the theoretical possibility that, under the influence of completely exceptional circumstances (war, defeat, financial crash, mass revolutionary pressure, etc.), the petty-bourgeois parties, including the Stalinists, may go further than they wish along the road to a break with the bourgeoisie.”
As for WSP claim that these states peacefully transitioned to capitalism, Trotsky himself already answered in advance, in his article “Once Again: The USSR and Its Defence”, from 1937:
“Against the assertion that the workers’ state is apparently already liquidated there arises, first and foremost, the important methodological position of Marxism. The dictatorship of the proletariat was established by means of a political overturn and a civil war of three years. The class theory of society and historical experience equally testify to the impossibility of the victory of the proletariat through peaceful methods, that is, without grandiose class battles, weapons in hand. How, in that case, is the imperceptible, “gradual,” bourgeois counterrevolution conceivable? Until now, in any case, feudal as well as bourgeois counterrevolutions have never taken place “organically,” but they have invariably required the intervention of military surgery. In the last analysis, the theories of reformism, insofar as reformism generally has attained to theory, are always based upon the inability to understand that class antagonisms are profound and irreconcilable; hence, the perspective of a peaceful transformation of capitalism into socialism. The Marxist thesis relating to the catastrophic character of the transfer of power from the hands of one class into the hands of another applies not only to revolutionary periods, when history sweeps madly ahead, but also to the periods of counterrevolution, when society rolls backwards. He who asserts that the Soviet government has been gradually changed from proletarian to bourgeois is only, so to speak, running backwards the film of reformism.”
In the USSR and the deformed workers’ states in Eastern Europe, the attempts by the Stalinist bureaucracy to overcome bureaucratic improductivity by re-introducing limited forms of capitalist relations allowed for the emergence of a native petty-bourgeoisie and bourgeois social forces. Thanks to the lack of a political alternative to the bureaucracy, there were sections linked to these nascent social forces (or at least what they represented) which felt comfortable enough to defend the overturn of social relations. During the acute socio-political crisis of 1989-91, when the government as a whole was de-legitimized and weak and the masses sought an end to the bureaucratic dictatorship, a section of the bureaucracy coalesced around a nucleus of dissident right-wing bureaucrats whose leader had been purged because of his consistent criticisms of the regime, and they managed to polarize and split the weakened state apparatus, isolating without armed struggle the sections of the bureaucracy which wanted some form of resistance but could organize none, as there was no one among the apparatus and the masses who were willing to defend the status quo. Trotsky’s prognosis of the bureaucracy was confirmed, as it was shown to be an heterogeneous formation, prone to submitting to the most varied forms of social pressure, which meant that within it there where those who wanted to maintain the workers’ state to those that want to reintroduce capitalism through the destruction of the former. This counterrevolutionary nucleus reorganized the apparatus along new lines and seized power for itself, then proceeding to disassemble the socialized economy.
The same did not happen in China, who we will use yet again as an example. Despite all the economic (and therefore political) concessions to global and now native bourgeoisie, despite the relative growth of the influence of bourgeois economic relations, despite the various pro-capitalist circles which have emerged in Chinese politics, despite the presence of bourgeois elements in the leadership of the CCP itself, decades after the Chinese Revolution, it is still the same state apparatus which Mao built which rules China, a ruling stratum composed of millions of bureaucrats, who extract their material privileges directly from the extensive nationalized sector of the economy. It is to them that the armed forces are subjected; it is still they who determine the policies and laws of the Chinese state, despite the great social pressures which push them into making concessions. At the same time, the attacks against what the Chinese proletariat consider to be fundamental rights of theirs caused generalized reaction. Among numerous strikes and protests, not to mention the emergence of “radical Marxist student groups”, the pressure and opposition to the bureaucratic apparatus from the left is consistently picking up pace and developing more definite forms. The formation of centrist parties which call for a new revolution is just a question of time. The astounding rate and consistency of economic growth is the only thing to keep these deep contradictions in check. That is: even if the contradictions within the Chinese society increase day by day, the question of the final abolishment of nationalized property and of the deformed worker’s state in China (as with Cuba, DPRK, Vietnam) has not yet been solved by history. It has just been posed.
While paying lip service to Trotsky’s analysis, WSP not only revives a form of Burnham’s theory of “bureaucratic states” (which resulted from the pressures of bourgeois Stalinophobic sentiments) but also repeats en bloc the mistakes of the post-war leadership of the Fourth International, whose incapacity to analyse in a Marxist manner the Stalinist-led revolutionary upheavals plunged them, fraction by fraction, into a revisionist, liquidationist course. The study of Trotsky’s articles in “In Defense of Marxism” and of the polemics of the Vern-Ryan Tendency of the American SWP on these questions would be highly instructive. WSP position that these states all transitioned to capitalism peacefully is not only a capitulation to reformism in general, but also a capitulation to the dominant forms of faux-Trotskyist revisionism in particular. On this question WSP is in a bloc on theoretical questions with the Mandelites, Lambertists, Morenoites, Taafeites, Grantites, et al, who all “recognize” that China “silently passed over to world capitalism”, and the futility of “wait[ing] for a ‘bourgeois counter-revolution’ in these countries”. To quote Trotsky’s response to those who declared that the USSR had already “silently passed over to world capitalism”:
“In any case, it would be an act of abysmal cowardice and of direct betrayal to announce that the greatest revolutionary battle has been lost – before the battle, and without a battle.” (From The class nature of the soviet state, 1933)
We place no expectations in the bureaucracy. Our policy is still the same as it always was for Trotskyists: unconditional defense of the socialized property despite and necessarily against the Stalinist bureaucratic apparatus. Our program in the Deformed Workers’ States is for the overthrow of the bureaucracy through a proletarian political revolution, to build in these countries a proletarian dictatorship in the purest sense of the word. Our banners are: Completely free soviet (proletarian) democracy, the ousting of the corrupt bureaucracy from the administrative affairs of the workers state, socialization of private economy and democratization of economic planning, and putting the workers’ state in the struggle for international socialist revolution. We will defend the existing socialized property against bourgeois counterrevolution and imperialist aggression while we cannot put this program in action. This is the only way to defend the historical interests of the proletariat in these nations. Without a correct appraisal of the question, in case a conflict alike to the Russian one develops, it is probable WSP would tail public opinion and the centrists in defending the “democratic”-demagogic counterrevolutionaries, in the interest of establishing “bourgeois democracy” against the autocratic “autarky” which rules these “crony states”. In this they would only follow the tradition among centrists of supporting counterrevolutions, as they did in the conflicts between Solidarność and Stalinism in Poland, or between the Yeltsinites and the Committeeites (a.k.a. “Gang of 8”) in Russia.
WSP’s internal regime
As for the question of internal regime, we believe it will be properly answered soon enough by the comrades in India which were driven from the WSP for having shown interest in principled politics, regardless of their lack of previous ties to RR. The WSP, if it ever defended principled politics (and its generally correct program make us think that perhaps that was so), today has clearly put other considerations above the political ones.