Workers Vanguard No. 1169

7 February 2020


The Leninist Press and the Working Masses


2 October 2019

Dear friends and comrades at Workers Vanguard,

I am happy with your excellent paper, “Workers Vanguard.” I see much insight and well-reasoned analysis of major events of the world.

My concern is that in the area of organizing and developing close emotional bonds with working people, your strong advocacy for revolution may be too radical to gain the trust of most ordinary people.

I love your honesty and straightforwardness. But how can you work on the practical day-to-day issues with so many ordinary people if you are emphasizing such strong and radical measures to relatively inexperienced and politically “pragmatic” people?

Most sincerely,
Rama Kumar

WV replies:

Rama raises an important question. Along with the other sections of the ICL, the Spartacist League/U.S. is dedicated to the fight for international socialist revolution, and our paper upholds the revolutionary program of Bolshevik leaders V.I. Lenin and Leon Trotsky. We recognize the gulf between our Marxist goals and the present reality. Our “strong advocacy for revolution” is about underlining the truth that the misery of the populace can only be fundamentally resolved by sweeping away the capitalist order.

As a small fighting propaganda group, we don’t pretend to have a mass audience or to address all the “day-to-day issues.” We energetically intervene with our paper in the struggles that break out, like the recent UAW auto strike in the U.S. and the mass strikes over pensions in France, hoping to sow some seeds by linking the felt demands of working people to the need for workers revolution. Our aim is to win over the most class-conscious workers, and the few exceptional students, intellectuals and fighters against capitalist oppression to our program and principles. We intend to cohere them into cadre who can become the nucleus of a future revolutionary workers party, capable of leading struggle when explosive political crises erupt. Our Leninist press also crucially acts as the educator and guide of that cadre.

Working-class consciousness is not static—what is not accepted or understood today could be tomorrow. In the meantime, we do not water down our program to make it match up with the existing low level of consciousness, which is influenced by pro-capitalist agents in the working class—such as the trade-union bureaucracy and the reformist left—and the bourgeois media. The conception of the revolutionary newspaper as a combat press and collective organizer was laid out by Lenin, who built a party that steeled the most advanced elements for the proletarian conquest of power in the 1917 October Revolution in Russia.