Issam writes:

>On the question of Russia:  Well, You've got a very fractured left in that
>huge country with some unions displaying a greater understanding of
>Marxist tactics and strategy than the self proclaimed Marxist-Leninist
>parties.  Certainly the biggest party, the communist party of Russia has
>to loose a lot of flakes including its leader who has no understanding of
>Marxism at all.

Size isn't always decisive when a movement is taking shape. Capacity for
development and an ability to keep up momentum if things start moving is.
The Russian CP can't be understood without discussing the impact the
Stalinist regime had on Marxist revolutionary ideas and organization from
the early-mid-twenties on. The principles, policies and leadership of the
CP will all need to be dumped before anything valuable could grow where it
has been.

>The working class has taken a big punch to the guts and it's still reeling
>from the experience but I am optimistic that they'll get their act
>together sooner or later and begin their marsh back to socialism.

We're working on it. (That is the International Workers Party in Russia and
the Ukraine, the Koorkom liaison committee to which it belongs and the
LIT). Also many revolutionary-minded workers in the strike committees
nationwide. As for the "marsh" back to socialism, that'll be Proyect
drowning in the quagmire...

>But I do feel that the revolutionary center of the world - to use an old
>formulation - has shifted but still has not coalesced geographically and I
>suspect that is why the left world-wide has not taken advantage of the
>recent shake ups in capitalism around the world.  In fact, it seems we,
>the so-called experts on charting courses through the chaotic dynamics of
>capitalist economics and politics, have been bested by American and
>Canadian capitalists where the economies of these two countries are
>projected to perform very well for the next couple of years.  I don't know
>what the projections are for the European countries.

Capitalism either expands or dies -- the crises are to kill off a too large
base so it can expand from a smaller starting point. So expansion is no
sign of capitalist health, just of  its survival.

As for the left, you've got to look at each current separately, and if you
do that and take the weaknesses seriously you'll find that it's no wonder
little impact has been made. Very few "left" currents are serious about
revolutionary Bolshevik political principle for a start. Some that try to
hold to this screw up by imagining that a workers state can somehow make a
counter-revolutionary Stalinist regime into something good and therefore
not to be fought to the death -- a position that becomes grotesque when it
leads to a characterization of, say, Serbia, as a workers state and
therefore Milosevic's regime as something good for the world's workers.

>What next:  I think the idea of a united front formation is the way
>forward especially for the working class in advanced capitalist countries.
>I think they need to experiment and fail many times before they hit on the
>correct road.  Necessary to this process is an organized Marxist-Leninist
>Party that will maintain its revolutionary outlook throughout this voyage
>and will always put forward both the immediate goals that the working
>class needs to achieve and the only true goal it needs to accomplish -

What's good here is the transitional perspective -- the idea of
transitional demands where the immediate demand implies development towards
revolutionary mobilization for its real satisfaction.

As for the united front it will be essential, but not in the abstract, only
as a nearing of currents and groups with different histories and a lot of
not very revolutionary vested interests. Just preaching a united front
without going into the nitty gritty of who's going to work with who, or who
is close to fusion and why, is just spectator commentary and won't get us
very far.

>Enough for now.  Next week the Ontario Federation of Labor meets for its
>annual convention.  Some of the points that will be discussed by organized
>labor in the most industrious province in Canada is labor's disaffiliation
>from the social democratic party -the New Democratic Party - and putting
>forward an independent Labor program.  I don't know if there's anybody on
>this list from Canada but I'll let you know what the organized section of
>the working class in Ontario has decided for the coming period.  Don't
>hold your breath.

Good luck with getting a toehold with an agenda fighting for the historical
interests of the working class -- however far the struggle gets on this
particular occasion.



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