Workers Hammer No. 192
Why I joined the Spartacus Youth Group
For a revolutionary socialist programme to liberate humanity!
(Young Spartacus pages)
We print below an application letter from Dan L for membership of the Spartacus Youth Group, dated 7 June 2005. Some punctuation and spelling has been changed to conform to Workers Hammer style.
It is not hard to see how vile the present social order is. That is not what I wish to write about. The purpose of this letter is to explain how the Spartacist League has taught me that it is only through communism that humanity can rationally control its environment: by eradicating scarcity, and by placing social production under social control. Whilst many can identify the vast hypocrisies, oppressions, and injustices that the imperialist system creates, in which the parasitic classes of the few gorge themselves out of the blood and toil of billions, it is only through the politics of an effective and principled communist party that humanity can discard the embarrassment that is the decaying imperialist order. I understand that the forging of a party that provides leadership for the workers and oppressed of the world is our task.
I was in my late teens when I first began to realise that Marxism not only identifies the material basis of understanding class society, but provides, through dialectical materialism, the answer [to] how to transform society to provide for the needs of all. I understood that socialists need to look towards a revolution led by the proletariat — the worlds producers who have both the incentive and social power to overthrow capitalism. However, a basis of understanding how capitalism works and a theory — however apt — in explaining how to overthrow a bourgeoisie that is armed to the teeth with disproportionate wealth, nuclear arsenals, and the oppressive powers of the state and ideological hegemony, is only the very start of becoming a revolutionary. The understanding of the need to build a party that is free from chauvinism, reformism, and opportunism, is another step entirely.
Until I was introduced to the Spartacist League through my brother, I was lost in search of a party that was worthy of inheriting the mantles of Lenin and Trotsky. I was never enthused by joining such groups as the SWP who at one point can speak rhetorically of tearing down the gates of Parliament whilst at the same time celebrate the careers of such avid parliamentarians as Tony Benn. I remember attending one of the SWPs sham Marxism events in which they invited the past member of one of Her Majestys Governments, Tony Benn MP, to speak. Moreover, according to their programme, it was my proletarian responsibility to vote Labour in my 2001 constituency. Was this revolutionary? Obviously, I was confused. My uncertainty of what these charlatans called for meant that I never became enthusiastic. I never joined, felt disillusioned, but continued to read their red-top. I would later understand that their seemingly contradictory programme is consistent with the rotten core of their inability to question the class nature of the state.
I finally abandoned any illusions with reformism when I began to learn of the Spartacist League. I could leave the petitioning to local MPs to those that knew how to do it best: for I was now in touch with revolutionary Marxism. What first attracted me to the Spartacist League was its heroic history of at all times defending, and calling for the extension of, the gains of the Russian Revolution. The concrete historical example that proved to me that this was key to Trotskyism was the Spartacist defence of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. This was an important factor of why I joined. I read and discussed about the issue at a time that was important to learn the history of such a degenerated society as, when I was first interested in the Spartacist League, the imperialists had just invaded Afghanistan — after their old allies had just destroyed the World Trade Center.
The Spartacist hailing of the Red Army was a truly heroic example of putting into practice the Trotskyist principle of defending the social gains of October, whilst calling for the proletarian political revolution to oust the Stalinist bureaucracy back in the Soviet Union. As Trotsky argued, Those that cannot defend past positions, cannot conquer new ones. Unlike ostensible Trotskyists on the fake left, the Spartacist League did defend a past position. At the same time the charlatans were celebrating the cause of the Reagan and Thatcher-sponsored motley bunch of mullahs, landlords, tribal-chiefs and their bands of reactionary cut-throats, the Spartacists hailed the Soviets who, as a force of modernity, were building schools, hospitals, and basic infrastructure. Two images that really brought the truth home to me over Afghanistan were two photographs printed in Workers Vanguard. One shows empowered women wearing modern clothes and bearing rifles, the other was that of subjugated women shrouded in burkas. It is not hard to see which society shown in the images any professed progressive should have supported, but still the fake left celebrated the jihad in which the mujahedin threw acid into the eyes of schoolteachers for simply teaching girls to read. This support is one of the many crimes of the leadership of the fake left who have not only been on the political barricades with Islamic fascists but have also bedded Solidarność — Thatchers favourite union.
I became interested in the Spartacist League purely because its programme consistently espouses the correct class line. The Spartacists heroically fought against the reunification of Germany under German imperialism — even organising a mass demonstration with historical impact in Treptow Park in 1989. This was a mobilisation against fascist desecrations of a memorial to the Red Army soldiers who died in the liberation of Berlin from the Nazis. The Spartacists also called for proletarian political revolution in the USSR right up to its demise, and were there at the crucial moment. These were both times when such principled acts of heroism were going against the grain of the general cowardly opinion of the left in the imperialist centres.
The Spartacist League has taught me the lessons of history; of how the workers movement has continually been betrayed by its misleaders. It has taught me how vital it is never to pander to opportunism. The programme and consistency of the Spartacist League gives it the moral authority to alone call itself the heir to the work started by Lenin and Trotsky. For this reason I am writing to apply to join the Spartacist Youth Group. I agree to follow the disciplinary procedures, and fully agree to the programme. I believe that:
• The party must continue to function independent from the bourgeoisie and its state. No to the class-collaborationist politics of reformism and popular frontism! From Spain in the 1930s to Chile in 1973, class collaboration has meant bloodshed for the workers. The state is not neutral.
• The ICL must continue to maintain its international character. Socialism cannot be built in one country. The workers must be united against imperialism internationally. No to peaceful co-existence! For class war! For revolution in the imperialist centres in order to create abundance and eradicate scarcity!
• The deformed workers states of China, Vietnam, North Korea, and Cuba must continue to be defended. The fall of the Soviet Union devastated conditions throughout the area, has let the imperialists run amok in the semicolonial world, and has left the workers movement demoralised. Dont let the imperialists turn China into a giant sweatshop!
• Sexual and racial oppressions have a material basis: capitalism. For the eradication of the material basis of social oppressions! For a multiethnic workers party! Full citizenship rights for all immigrants!
• Socialism must be built by the dictatorship of the proletariat, in which the collectivised economy will be administered by workers councils, democratically accountable to the class-conscious revolutionary workers.
Above all, the Spartacist League means the maintenance of a consistent programme. Despite all the difficulties of forging a revolutionary party from a small cadre in these difficult times, it is the strength of the programme that should give us optimism.
As Lenin said [in Russia in April 1917]: We are not charlatans...We must base ourselves on the consciousness of the masses. Even if it is necessary to remain in a minority. We will carry on the work of criticism in order to free the masses from deceit...Our line will prove right...All the oppressed will come to us. They have no other way out [Quoted in History of the Russian Revolution, Leon Trotsky, 1933].
I hope you accept my application,