The Political Principles of Workers’ Voice
This document outlines 6 key principles that we stand for: the fight for a Socialist Revolution, the Permanent Mobilization of the Working Class towards the seizure of power, the fight Against Oppression, Anti-Imperialism, Internationalism and Revolutionary Morals.
1. For a Socialist Revolution against capitalism – As Marxists, we believe that Capitalism is a social system that, since it reached its imperialist stage, no longer develops the productive forces. By productive forces we do not only mean “growth”, production of commodities, development of technology and machineries etc. The Marxist concept of productive forces includes also human labor and nature – human labor being the most important one. So in the overall it is a complex concept as its different components are in contradiction. When we say the productive forces do not develop anymore we mean that every progress, every new technological advance or growth of production is based today in the destruction of other productive forces (poverty, over-exploitation of labor, unemployment, destruction of nature and Wars). So for us the overall balance of the contradictory relation of productive of forces under capitalism is a negative one for humanity: instead of bringing a better life to all mankind, capitalism makes the dominant minority – the bourgeoisie – richer but the exploited majority – the working class – poorer while threatening our earth and natural environment. This happens because Capitalism is torn apart by fundamental contradictions that from time to time drag the system into deep economic crisis: private property x social production; accumulation of capital x tendency of the profit rate to fall; world production x national borders. Therefore, we fight to overthrow Capitalism through a Socialist Revolution, that will bring the proletariat to seize State power, destroy the bourgeois State Apparatus, and start building a socialist society, through the socialization of the means of production under a workers state, which must exist until world imperialism is defeated, and so we can continue our fight for a classless, world communist society, which is our final goal. This can only be fully achieved under a Revolutionary Proletarian Dictatorship regime, which means suppression of the bourgeoisie and its allies and workers´ democracy at the same time. This is our fundamental difference with Reformism and Liberalism since we don’t agree that elections and social reforms within capitalism can put an end to capitalist exploitation or solve its internal contradictions. It´s a big difference with Stalinism, since for us workers´democracy is a fundamental condition to the success of any revolution. It´s also a strategical difference with Autonomist groups and intellectualist tendencies, who deny either the need to take State power or the socialist character of the revolution and therefore the need to build a political organization to fight for revolution.
2. For the Permanent Mobilization of the working class towards taking State power – We believe the only way to reach the socialist revolution is through the mobilization of the working class and the broad masses towards taking State power. The mobilization of the class is not always a reality but a necessity to combat capitalism, therefore a task of the revolutionary party. This mobilization has its own methods: strikes, pickets, demonstrations, occupations, general strikes, and the highest stage, civil war, which are all valid methods, as long as they correspond to the stage and relation of forces of the class struggle at the moment. The permanent mobilization is a principle and not a constant perspective. The only way to defeat capitalism is to organize and unite the class to fight for power. Lobbying, propaganda, utopian and vanguardist projects have and will fail. But if it is a political necessity linked to the fight for socialism, we also know that the conditions for struggle are not always possible. That´s why we support every minimum struggle for better wages, better working conditions, in defense of workers´ rights and try to develop these fights into a national mobilization against the government and the bourgeoisie. That´s the method of the Transitional Program, that combines immediate and historical demands by linking them to the socialist revolution. In order to achieve these goals, we fight for Working Class political independence from the bourgeoisie and the government, so the working class won’t be trapped in “democratic” maneuvers, such as concessionary negotiations, electoral ballots and other tactics that lead to demobilization. We also fight for the broadest democracy inside the workers movement as a means to organize our class, mobilize it, and fight against the labour bureaucracy and other bureaucratic and petty-bourgeois tendencies act as agents and ideologues of the bourgeoisie inside the working class. In order to unite and mobilize the majority of our class, the workers must struggle to defend its most oppressed sectors: women, blacks, immigrants, LGBT, etc. and put forward their specific demands, such as equal pay, equal rights, no discrimination, no harassment and others.
3. Against all forms of Oppression – Besides its direct exploitation of the working class majority, the bourgeoisie lives and thrives from different kinds of oppression as a means to increase its profits and divide the working class: sexism, racism, chauvinism and homophobia. Women have to face double working hours, lower wages, sexual harassment and violence, which makes it much harder to join political struggles than for a man. Black people suffer with poverty, lack of access to public services and education, worse jobs and wages, and racial discrimination, especially in the U.S, where capitalism was built upon slavery. Immigrants don’t have their rights as full citizens, which makes them vulnerable to worse working conditions, lack of access to social services, deportations and police brutality, as it has been throughout the history of capitalism in the U.S. LGBT are victims of prejudice, violence and disrespect for their rights. We are on the frontline of the struggle against all forms of oppression and for the oppressed peoples´ rights. At the same time, unlike the liberals, intellectuals and many autonomist groups, we don’t see oppression as an “identity” problem, apart from the class struggle. Nor is it simply a moral or cultural problem that can be solved through “education” alone. The institutions and ideologies that support and enforce oppression have been historically built into the the capitalist structure, because the capitalist class benefits directly from the effects of oppression. This is why we argue that any coherent struggle against oppression needs to be a struggle against capitalism. Therefore, we must fight the structural causes of oppression and understand that only a fighting & unified working class can liberate the world from sexism, racism and homophobia. We must always connect the oppressed sectors’ demands with the general demands of the working class, since most women, blacks, immigrants and LGBT are workers. Finally, we also oppose the stalinist view that the fight against oppression “divides the class” and should not be dealt with until “after the revolution”. For us, what divides the class is sexism, racism and chauvinism, since it prevents the oppressed sectors from joining the struggle, so it must be dealt with right now, or the revolution will be much harder, if at all possible, to achieve.
4. Anti-Imperialism – As Leninists, we see Imperialism as the highest stage of capitalism, when the big capitalist companies and governments of Imperialist countries fight to dominate and divide the world to meet their own needs: control weaker national bourgeoisies, have access to markets, exploit natural resources and extract surplus value from the colonial and semicolonial countries’ working classes. Therefore, the fight for an international socialist revolution is a fight to defeat imperialism itself. Since the U.S is the main imperialist power in the world, one of our most important political tasks is to call on the working class to oppose every imperialist measure abroad, such as wars, military interventions, free trade agreements, economic domination through IMF and World bank, support to bourgeois governments and dictatorships, etc. We must also support and intervene actively in the international struggles against U.S imperialism, struggles for national independence, and revolutions in “third world” countries. We oppose the Democratic Party’ liberal-chauvinistic view that the U.S is a “democratic” country that must “spread democracy” all over the world, and that it´s necessary to “reinforce security” to defend the U.S from “terrorists”.
5. Internationalism – The capitalist economy has long surpassed national limits and has become an international economic system. This means that it is impossible to defeat capitalism and build socialism in a single country – or even in several countries – as the stalinists have defended since the 1930s. It is necessary to defeat imperialism worldwide, or else the restoration of capitalism will be inevitable, as history has conclusively proven in the Ex-USSR, Eastern Europe, Asia and especially in China and Cuba. We’re Internationalists not because of an abstract sense of solidarity with struggles in other countries, but because we want to make an international socialist revolution against capitalism, which is only possible by uniting the working class internationally. That is why we support every struggle of workers and oppressed peoples in different countries, because we see them as part of the same international fight against capitalism. The international character of the economy and of the revolution also makes it necessary for workers to have an International Revolutionary Organization, such as the III and IV Internationals were in the past. This organization does not exist at the present time, but we have to start building it now, since it´s impossible to build any national party with a truly revolutionary and internationalist program without, at the same time, contributing to build an International Organization, especially in an imperialist country. That´s why we are building the International Workers League- Fourth International, an organization that fights to rebuild the IV International, stronger than in the past, to carry out the task of the International Socialist Revolution. We disagree with socialist organizations who say that an International as Lenin thought of it – a World Revolutionary Party – is not necessary anymore or not possible to be built right now, so it should be postponed to the future. As Marxists and revolutionaries we should first pose which are the strategic needs of the class and then see what can be accomplished (even if very limited) in the current period to fulfill these intermediate goals, but we cannot start the discussion with an evaluation of what possible now. With the same reasoning the building of a party could be also declared premature in some contexts.
6. For a revolutionary Morals – The bourgeoisie has its own morals as a class, which is in reality based on the principles of maintaining private property and increasing the profit rate. Yet these values are not presented as the expression of a class interests but dissimulated under generalities and justified with a-priori arguments (reason, God, universal utility, etc.). The bourgeoisie often uses its moral discourse to achieve its class goals through wars, massive killings, repression, exploitation, oppression, economic domination, speculation, fraud, etc. Furthermore, within the working class, the bourgeoisie spreads the culture of individualism, careerism, intolerance and prejudice, because it serves their purpose. Our morals, the morals of our class, are founded with opposite methods: the Marxist one. We do not believe in any a-priori values disconnected from the daily experience of exploitation and struggle of our class and the need of a collective struggle for total emancipation. In this sense, we do have moral principles, that are inherently political, and that are derived from these two material processes. This is why we think that as a party of revolutionary militants we must act as the vanguard of the class also defending these moral principles in the movement and in the party such as: never breaking a strike, never restricting workers´democracy, never lying to the working class, & never oppressing a co-worker are not only political principles, but also moral ones. In our party, we should also follow this criteria, since we want not only to be able to trust a comrade, but to give our lives for his\hers, if necessary. We have to be loyal, honest, straightforward and supportive with our comrades, because that´s the only way to build trust, which is the basis of our regime, the democratic centralism. It is also important to fight against oppression inside the party and in our private lives: anyone who fights against exploitation and oppression but oppresses a comrade in the party or his own partner or family at home is a hypocrite. We don´t believe it´s possible to build a “new man” or woman under capitalism, but we believe fighting for these moral principles right now is a condition for them to prevail in our revolution.”