Friday, September 01, 2006

Notes from the Trotskyist underground

Let the last bastions of the bourgeoisie quake. There's a new Trotskyist international on the block, set up by the folks recently expelled from Workers' Power. Sadly, the comrades don't quite spell out whether they regard themselves as a new Fourth International, a new Fifth International, or neither:

On 22/23 July, over 30 comrades from Britain, Australia, Ireland and Sweden, who had been expelled by the League for the Fifth International (LFI) three weeks earlier, met to set up a new international organisation.

And there was even an unmistakeable omen for those present at the founding conference:

Our discussions went on despite interruptions caused by the decaying infrastructure of British capitalism. A widespread power cut meant that the building where the conference was held had to be evacuated for most of the second day. We carried on our discussions in the open air, so that our firststeps to setting up our new tendency were made in the full heat of the hottest British summer in living memory.

I know several people who will have been at the meeting, and can vouch for the fact that they are intelligent and dedicated revolutionary socialists. But sorry, a new 'international organisation' with just 30 members? What really is the point? Surely it would have made more sense to affiliate to one of the (all too many) existing Trot groupings, as a distinct tendency if necessary?

Meanwhile, the International Bolshevik Tendency does the workers' movement a service in exposing the scandalous Northite revisionism on the China question. According to the International Committee of the Fourth International, China has been a deformed bourgeois state since 1949. But the Northites have only just noticed.

It all makes you want to pull your hair out, doesn't it? Despite being described elsewhere as 'the grand old man of semi-Trot types', in fact I remain as committed to the basic ideas of revolutionary socialism as I was when I first became involved with the far left.

But I will only be able to take groups like these seriously when they start taking themselves seriously, and there is no sign of that happening any time soon.

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