cropped-cropped-dokument-1-seite0015.jpgThe Guardians of Swedish Imperialist Democracy

Another remarkable document from the ex-Trotskyist L5I

 

A comment from Michael Pröbsting, Revolutionary Communist International Tendency, 09 May 2017, www.thecommunists.net

 

 

 

A few weeks ago we published a reply to two remarkable documents from the ex-Trotskyist “League for the Fifth International” (L5I). (1) In one of these documents, our former comrades called for the “defense of the single European market” in the upcoming UK election in June. In the other document, published by their Swedish section, they denounced all Islamist currents as “fascist” and called for a policy of “no platform” for them, i.e., to physically attack them wherever they appear in public.

 

In our reply we explained that such a characterization of all Islamist currents as “fascist” is utter nonsense and, in fact, a capitulation to the Islamophobic wave which currently characterizes European politics. Despite their backward, petty-bourgeois character, many Islamist forces play an important and leading role in various liberation struggles (e.g., Hamas in Palestine, various factions in Syria, etc.). Others have a reactionary, but rather bourgeois-democratic and certainly not fascist character (e.g., Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt).

 

Instead of joining the camp of Islamophobic imperialism à la Trump, Putin, Netanyahu, Le Pen, Strache and Assad, Marxists have to support mass struggles against the Great Powers and dictatorships. This includes the defense of such Islamist forces against US, Russian, Israeli and European imperialism or the Assad tyranny while, at the same time, combating the influence of such Islamist forces among the workers and oppressed. (2)

 

We pointed out that these new positions of the L5I reflect the tremendous shift to the right by this former revolutionary organization. (3) We characterized the statement by the Swedish section as a kind of 1914 bonsai war cry because, with it, the L5I joins the camp of Islamophobic social-chauvinism.

 

Since we wrote our comment, L5I Sweden published yet another longer article which explains more in detail their Islamophobic position. (4) This document is remarkable, since it goes further in drawing the inevitable practical conclusions from the L5I’s Islamophobic social-chauvinist capitulation.

 

The author of this latest article states that the Swedish section of the L5I supported and joined the official demonstrations which were organized by the country’s political establishment in response to the run-down truck terror attack in Stockholm by an alleged supporter of Daesh which cost the lives of four people. (“We Marxists participate without doubt in such mobilizations.“) These demonstrations – which were similar to government-sponsored demonstrations in Europe after the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris in January 2015, were addressed by various bourgeois politicians and “personalities from public life” and served as a rally for ideological support for Swedish (and European) imperialism. (5)

 

The L5I in Sweden is certainly aware of the character of these mobilizations as they explicitly mention the “(Swedish) nationalism” and the “tribute to the police.” However, they downplay these facts as “unfortunate elements” which do not hinder their supporting and joining these reactionary mobilizations! The L5I members have become guardians of Swedish imperialist democracy!

 

As the RCIT has explained many times, Marxists sharply condemn such reactionary terrorist attacks against civilians. But we certainly do not support or even join the pro-imperialist mobilizations which only serve as ideological support for the oppression of Muslim migrants and the Great Powers’ wars in the Middle East.

 

However, the L5I is Sweden is not content with simply supporting such government-sponsored mobilizations. They now also call the Swedish bourgeois state to accelerate the repression of “jihadists” who return from Syria. As we know, the imperialists in Europe denounce everyone as “jihadist” (and not only the counter-revolutionary Daesh) who joins the liberation struggle in Syria against the Assad regime: “Jihadists returning to Sweden should either be punished here or deported to, for example, the Kurdish self-government in Iraq or to Rojava and be subjected to war crimes there.

 

In contrast to the L5I, authentic Marxists do not support the repression of the so-called “jihadists” by the European imperialist states, without, of course, lending any political support to these Islamist groups. (6)

 

Finally, the L5I also calls upon the Swedish state to send heavy weapons to the Kurdish PYD/YPG in Syria: “One demand must be that Sweden immediately donates large amounts of heavy and advanced weapons to YPG in Rojava / Syria, to facilitate their fight against IS.

 

As every observer of the Syrian civil war knows, for some time the YPG has been acting as foot soldiers for US imperialism in their offensive against the Arab-populated territories in Raqqa and other parts of northern Syria. In the very same article, the L5I itself is forced to admit: “The PYD was even so effective [in fighting the ‘jihadists’, Ed.] that the United States was forced to enter into a limited partnership with them in order to strike the IS.

 

In other words, despite being aware that the PYD/YPG currently acts on behalf of US imperialism in their efforts to take control of northern Syria, the L5I in Sweden calls for the Swedish imperialist state to send heavy weapons to them. This is equivalent to openly supporting US imperialism! (7)

 

In our earlier reply to the two articles cited above, we characterized the statement by the L5I Sweden as a kind of 1914 bonsai war cry. Given the shocking deepening of their Islamophobic social-chauvinist capitulation, we can now probably delete the adjective “bonsai.” In any case, there can be no doubt that the L5I in Sweden has positioned itself on the wrong, imperialist side of the barricade on the issue of Sweden’s and the Great Power’s war against the Muslim peoples.

 

It is quite possible that there are comrades in the L5I who are pulling out their hair in light of such a social-chauvinist flip-flop. But their internal criticism has no practical consequences insofar as the L5I has not published a single criticism of the vulgar ideological capitulation of their Swedish section. And even if they would do so, those would-be critical L5I members have to ask themselves: how is it possible that an old section (the Swedish comrades joined the L5I in 1994) has degenerated to such a low social-chauvinist level before the eyes of the whole international organization?! How is it possible that such people are tolerated in a “Marxist” organization?!

 

The uncomfortable truth is that the L5I as a whole has shifted radically to the right, towards centrism, and towards adaption to the petty-bourgeois prejudices of the left-liberal intelligentsia. The L5I Sweden represents only the most “advanced” (or better: regressive) sector of the whole L5I’s political degeneration. It’s high time to break with such centrism and to draw the practical conclusions!

 

 

 

Footnotes:

 

(1) Michael Pröbsting: The Market Marxists. Two remarkable documents from the ex-Trotskyist L5I, 25 April 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/l5i-opportunism/

 

(2) We have elaborated the Marxist approach to Islamist forces in various documents. See e.g., our numerous articles on Syria, Palestine, Egypt and other countries on our website in the section: https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/. See also, Yossi Schwartz: The Marxist View of Religion in General and Islam in Particular, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/marxism-and-islam/; ISL: Islam, Islamism and the Struggle for Revolution, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/islam-and-revolution/; RCIT: France after the Attacks in Paris: Defend the Muslim People against Imperialist Wars, Chauvinist Hatemongering, and State Repression! 9.1.2015, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/statement-paris-attacks/; Michael Pröbsting and Simon Hardy: Theses on Islamism, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/theses-on-islamism/

 

(3) The RCIT has dealt with the centrist degeneration of the L5I in various documents. See e.g., Michael Pröbsting: Marxism, the European Union and Brexit. The L5I and the European Union: A Right Turn away from Marxism. The recent change in the L5I’s position towards support for EU membership represents a shift away from its own tradition, of the Marxist method, and of the facts; August 2016, in: Revolutionary Communist No. 55, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/eu-and-brexit/; Michael Pröbsting: Does the EU Represent “Bourgeois Democratic Progress”? Once again, on the EU and the Tactics of the Working Class – An Addendum to our Criticism of the L5I’s Turn to the Right and Its Support for EU Membership, 16.09.2016, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/eu-brexit-article/ ; Manfred Meier: Nachbeben des Brexit – Zur Rechtswende von GAM/L5I: das „JA“ zum Verbleib in der EU, August 2016, http://www.thecommunists.net/home/deutsch/gam-brexit/; Michael Pröbsting: The British Left and the EU-Referendum: The Many Faces of pro-UK or pro-EU Social-Imperialism. An analysis of the left’s failure to fight for an independent, internationalist and socialist stance both against British as well as European imperialism (chapter III.3.), August 2015, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/british-left-and-eu-referendum/; RCIT: Where is the LFI drifting? A Letter from the RCIT to the LFI comrades, 11.5.2012, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/centrist-degeneration-of-lfi/; On the history of the RCIT and the L5I see our book by Michael Pröbsting: Revolutionärer Parteiaufbau in Theorie und Praxis. Rück- und Ausblick nach 25 Jahren organisierten Kampfes für den Bolschewismus, Dezember 2014, http://www.thecommunists.net/home/deutsch/rcit-revolutionare-partei/

 

(4) L5I Sweden: Efter terrorattentatet i Stockholm, 2017-04-18, http://www.arbetarmakt.com/2017/04/efter-terrorattentatet-i-stockholm/

 

(5) See e.g., RCIT: France after the Attacks in Paris: Defend the Muslim People against Imperialist Wars, Chauvinist Hatemongering, and State Repression! 9.1.2015, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/statement-paris-attacks/; RCIT: Terror in Paris is the Result of Imperialist Terror in the Middle East! 14.11.2015, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/terror-in-paris/

 

(6) See on this e.g., RCIT: Increasing Instability and Militarization in the European Union. On the Tasks of Revolutionaries in the New Political Phase which has Opened in Europe after the Terrorist Attack in Paris, 08.12.2015, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/militarism-in-eu/

 

(7) On the RCIT’s analysis of the current US offensive against Raqqa see Yossi Schwartz: Raqqa: Defeat the US Imperialist Offensive! An assessment of the US/SDF/YPG war against Daesh, April 2017, https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/us-offensive-in-raqqa/. On our analysis of Daesh see RCIT: The Revolutionary Struggle against Daesh and the Imperialist Aggression in the Middle East, https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/resolution-daesh/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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