Chapter V. What are the Consequences of the Political Turn to the Right of the L5I on the EU Issue?



The question of tactics on the issue of EU membership is tremendously important, because the theoretical justification of the L5I leadership contains arguments with consequences extending far beyond the EU question.


The arguments of the L5I leadership to vote for Britain to remain within the EU – the alleged advantages for the development of productive forces and for the international consciousness of the working class – are, of course, arguments calling for other non-EU European countries to join the EU (e.g., in Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Moldova, Belarus, etc.).


And why, if so, should the new method of the L5I leadership be limited only to Europe? Such limitations cannot be justified by even one logical argument. It follows, therefore, that the L5I comrades could see themselves justified in agitating for Mexico to remain part of NAFTA, dominated by US imperialism. Furthermore, as a natural extension of this right-opportunistic logic, the L5I leadership could argue for the extension of NAFTA to other Latin American countries. Certainly, this would result in more favorable conditions for the development of productive forces and of the international consciousness of the working class, à la EU. If the L5I in Europe justifies expanding the EU with such arguments, why not apply the same method to other continents?!


The same opportunistic logic would then also lead the L5I to support the various free trade agreements between the EU and the US (TTIP), between the EU and Canada (CETA), between the US and several Asian and Latin American countries (TPP), or between China and a number of Asian countries (RCEP) – of course extremely “critical” support and naturally in conjunction with their call for “international class struggle.” [1] According to their logic, such free trade agreements would “objectively” promote closer international integration of national economies and the working class! These are extremely concrete and important questions, as these free trade agreements are currently under negotiation, and MPs from the workers’ movement must take a position on them. If the L5I leadership rejects these free trade agreements, then it would have to explain why in one case it is advocating membership in an international political and economic organization but in another case not.


Likewise, the L5I leadership would have to reject the exit of countries from the World Trade Organization (WTO), and would have to advocate joining that imperialist tool of oppression. This question would also be quite concrete, particularly when the growing rivalry between the US and China threatens to tear it apart.


All these examples show that the new position of the L5I on the EU and its justification inevitably drive them in the direction of social-imperialism. Despite their anti-imperialist rhetoric, they would support the concrete central projects of the EU and other imperialist powers – in the name of the “development of productive forces and of the international consciousness of the working class.” Ultimately, the group would degenerate to becoming “critical” (of course) cheerleaders for the imperialist powers and their expansionism. What a sad end for a group that once embodied a proud revolutionary tradition!


It is very likely that the L5I leadership – frightened by the consequences of their right-wing turn based on opportunistic calculations – will indignantly reject calling to vote for the free trade agreements or WTO membership. But, if so, it will not be possible for them to explain why they use double standards regarding the EU and other such economic agreements.


Finally, Marxists know – and even the L5I leadership should not have forgotten this – the principle of the Prussian military theorist von Clausewitz, often cited by Lenin, according to which the “war is nothing but the continuation of politics by other means.” If the alleged advantages of larger imperialist countries and business associations for the development of productive forces and of the international consciousness of the working class are actually so important for the L5I leadership, so much so that they are in favor of EU membership – then why not support achieving such greater political and economic state organizations by military means? Of course, the comrades will reject this as an “outrageous insinuation,” and we do not for a moment doubt in the least their honorable intentions. But that does not change the objective logic of their position by means of which they unfurl the presumed advantages for the development of productive forces and the international consciousness of the working class and wave them above the political significance of the “tactical” support to imperialist states and confederations. Anyone who extends even a little finger to the program of social imperialism is inevitably caught in the net of its political chasms.


[1] On these free trade agreementzs see e.g. RCIT: Advancing Counterrevolution and Acceleration of Class Contradictions Mark the Opening of a New Political Phase. Theses on the World Situation, the Perspectives for Class Struggle and the Tasks of Revolutionaries (January 2016), chapter IV.1,



About RCIT Britain

What the RCIT stands for Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT)is a revolutionary combat organisation fighting for the liberation of the working class and all oppressed. It has national sections in a number of countries. The working class is composed of all those (and their families) who are forced to sell their labor power as wage earners to the capitalists. The RCIT stands on the theory and practice of the revolutionary workers’ movement associated with the names of Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Trotsky. Capitalism endangers our lives and the future of humanity. Unemployment, war, environmental disasters, hunger, and exploitation are all part of everyday life under capitalism as are the imperialistic oppression of nations, the national oppression of migrants, and the oppression of women, young people, and homosexuals. Therefore, we want to eliminate capitalism. The liberation of the working class and all oppressed is possible only in a classless society without exploitation and oppression. Such a society can only be established internationally. Therefore, the RCIT is fighting for a socialist revolution at home and around the world. This revolution must be carried out and lead by the working class, for only this class has the collective power to bring down the ruling class and build a socialist society. The revolution cannot proceed peacefully because a ruling class never has nor ever will voluntarily surrender its power. By necessity, therefore, the road to liberation includes armed rebellion and civil war against the capitalists. The RCIT is fighting for the establishment of workers’ and peasants’ republics, where the oppressed organize themselves in councils democratically elected in rank-and-file meetings in factories, neighbourhoods, and schools. These councils, in turn, elect and control the government and all other statue authorities, and always retain the right to recall them. Authentic socialism and communism have nothing to do with the so-called “socialism” that ruled in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, and which continues to do so in China and Cuba, for example. In these countries, the proletariat was and is dominated and oppressed by a privileged party bureaucracy. Under capitalism, the RCIT supports all efforts to improve the living conditions of the workers and oppressed, while simultaneously striving to overthrow this system based on economic exploitation of the masses. Towards these ends, we work from within the trade unions where we advocate class struggle, socialism, and workers’ democracy. But trade unions and social democracy are controlled by a bureaucracy perniciously connected with the state and capital via status, high-paying jobs, and other privileges. Thus, the trade union bureaucracy is far from the interests and living conditions of its members, based as it is on the top, privileged layers of the working class – a labor aristocracy which has no real interest in replacing capitalism. Therefore, the true struggle for the liberation of the working class, the toppling of capitalism and the establishment of socialism, must be based on the broad mass of the proletariat rather than their “representative” from the upper trade union strata. We also fight for the expropriation of the big land owners as well as for the nationalisation of the land and its distribution to the poor and landless peasants. Towards this goal we struggle for the independent organisation of the rural workers. We support national liberation movements against oppression. We also support the anti-imperialist struggles of oppressed peoples against the great powers. Within these movements we advocate a revolutionary leadership as an alternative to nationalist or reformist forces. While the RCIT strives for unity of action with other organizations, we are acutely aware that the policies of social democrats and pseudo-revolutionary groups are dangerous, and ultimately represent an obstacle to the emancipation of the working class, peasants, and the otherwise oppressed. In wars between imperialist states we take a revolutionary defeatist position: we do not support either side, but rather advocate the transformation of the war into a civil war against the ruling class in each of the warring states. In wars between imperialist powers (or their stooges) and a semi-colonial countries we stand for the defeat of the former and the victory of the oppressed countries. As communists, we maintain that the struggle against national oppression and all types of social oppression (women, youth, sexual minorities etc.) must be lead by the working class, because only the latter is capable of fomenting a revolutionarily change in society . Therefore, we consistently support working class-based revolutionary movements of the socially oppressed, while opposing the leadership of petty-bourgeois forces (feminism, nationalism, Islamism, etc.), who ultimately dance to the tune of the capitalists, and strive to replace them with revolutionary communist leadership. Only with a revolutionary party fighting as its leadership can the working class be victorious in its struggle for liberation. The establishment of such a party and the execution of a successful revolution, as it was demonstrated by the Bolsheviks in Russia under Lenin and Trotsky remain the models for revolutionary parties and revolutions in the 21st century. For new, revolutionary workers' parties in all countries! For a 5th Workers International to be founded on a revolutionary program! Join the RCIT! No future without socialism! No socialism without revolution! No revolution without a revolutionary party!
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