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Newsletter (in English)


In the run-up to the international conference of the communist youth organization REVOLUTION, the delegates and members of the international leadership who are not part of the League for the Fifth International (LFI) have been involved in an ongoing struggle to create an open and honest, independent revolutionary youth tendency. Political discussions about the future of REVOLUTION have been going on for several months, and have culminated in recent weeks in the documents for the second international delegate conference. The debate, which the LFI has posed as ‘democratic centralism or no democratic centralism’, expands far beyond these simple phrases.

The views presented by the non-LFI members have been in support of increasing the democracy in decision-making and the unity in action within REVOLUTION internationally. We have proposed a realistic path towards creating an functioning, democratic centralist youth organization.

Unfortunately, these perspectives did not match the LFI’s concept of democratic centralism, which was based on creating a two-person “Political Bureau” (two LFI members under the direction of the LFI leadership) who were to have authority to make decisions for every section of REVOLUTION. As the LFI faction in Revo showed time and time again, they were not prepared to allow the decisions made by the LFI before the conference be called into question.

This was at its clearest when the delegations to the conference were presented: 13 LFI members and 5 independent members of REVOLUTION. These delegates were of course elected by the members, but did the members expect these delegates to use their own judgment, or to carry out the decisions, the discipline and the orders of the LFI? The cynicism of the LFI faction with regards to democracy in REVOLUTION was expressed by the fact that financial assistance was refused for the elected delegates of the Revo group from Germany, which is independent of the LFI – yet the trip was paid for the one LFI member in Revo Germany, who has no support within the group, to attend as an observer; his role appeared to be no more than to attack the elected delegation.

All hopes of consolidating the Revolution group internationally were washed away when the document “REVOLUTION: A youth organisation at the end of democracy?”, authored by the Austrian delegation, called for a split to resolve the political differences. The LFI had no intention of integrating all members of Revo into a unified and cohesive group. The documents show that they were intent on driving any non-LFI elements out of the international leadership or out of the organization altogether, at any cost. Today, the final day of the conference, this LFI made good on their threat and divided the organization.


Most decisions were made beforehand by the LFI and its International Secretariat, to be pushed through by the LFI majority faction at the conference. An LFI member from Revo Australia was to write a balance sheet, but her document, felt to be too critical, was suppressed and then re-written by the IS. All LFI members were required to tow the IS’ line – only when this particular comrade was expelled by the IS three weeks ago could her balance sheet be circulated in Revo.

Moreover, the IS issued a resolution to its members in Revo in regards to their intervention into the conference. This resolution instructed that the members of LFI shouldn’t speak about different perspectives and analyses of the world situation, anti-capitalist movement etc., and in addition, they were instructed to simply agree, without question, to the explanation of the ASt (Austrian section of the LFI) for the disastrous events in Revolution Austria, in which several members were effectively forced out of both organizations due to uninvestigated claims of bullying and harassment, among other complaints.

Silence was ordered in this resolution under the heading of “security” – such a discussion would probably attract police, secret services, nazis, UFO’s or some other dangerous powers. In reality, this measure was to protect the political security of the IS against critics in Revo and the LFI itself.

The majority of delegates on the conference, similar to the previous year, belonged to the undeclared faction of the LFI – 72%. At both conferences documents and decisions that had been prepared by the IS were waved through by the LFI majority. This practice was vehemently denied by the LFI faction; but when confronted with proof that these methods had been used, they gave the historic answer: “I am proud to be in a Bolshevik organization that makes decisions in advance.” OK, but if you’re proud of something, why do you deny it for months on end?

One LFI cadre observed that he would like to see more independent Revo members at such conferences – yet the few independent members present were subject to constant attacks, exclusions and expulsions.


The analysis of the different sections was ridiculously one-sided. The German Revo group, the one large section not working under the leadership of the LFI, was constantly dragged in the mud: evidence of 30 members, constant activity, a relatively high political level, “high quality publications” (to quote an LFI faction leader) and an unmatched geographic expansion (one new big branch and helping to set up a new section in Switzerland) was brushed aside with curt remarks about “passive propagandism.” The LFI denounced every practical step towards independence as “anarchistic”.

The “model Revo group” presented by the LFI, was of course the Austrian section. This group has had major campaigning success in the past months. Although they emphasized recruiting 14-15-year-olds, they count among their members a 39-year-old LFI full-timer who acts as unofficial spokesman and leader. Representatives of this section stressed that a youth organization not led by adults could not be successful. Yet they were representatives of an “independent” youth organization!

The primary target of the attacks was Revo Australia, because after the LFI expelled all its Australian members they had no possibility to overview and control this section. On the last day of the conference at 11:04 AM the LFI majority faction passed a resolution expelling the whole Australian section from the organization. The official explanation was that the delegate couldn’t prove the existence of REVOLUTION Australia, while other – even weaker – sections weren’t confronted with the task of defending their existence or right of existence. The accusation that the members of the expelled faction of the LFI wanted to use Revo simply for recruiting to their group sounded strange coming from the LFI members themselves, since this conference was meant to maintain and extend the absolute supremacy of the LFI over all sections of Revo.

Since we saw no reason to believe the accusations of the LFI faction more than the report of our Australian comrades, every single independent member present at the conference immediately left after reading the following statement:

“We, all independent members of REVOLUTION present, can no longer be part of this conference. This bureaucratic expulsion shows us that this conference has no legitimacy. A section, not the smallest and certainly not the weakest, has been expelled for being opposed to the LFI. We have no choice but to leave this conference, return to the groups that delegated us and consider our options for building up Revo as an independent communist youth organization.”

Our criticisms and our decisions are based on our negative experiences with the LFI. We will continue our work to build up an independent youth communist organization. We believe that young people should have their own organization where they can make their own decisions, carry out them out and take responsibility for them. We don’t want only to implement the decisions made by middle-aged functionaries. Our work in REVOLUTION over the last several months is an eloquent proof that young people our able to organize independently.

We are confident of the support of the REVOLUTION sections in Germany, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Australia, as well as independent comrades from LFI-controlled sections, on this path. For many years we have worked with(in) the LFI and the Revo structures to build up REVOLUTION as an independent youth organization. But at this time we cannot recognize the legitimacy of a conference which in its decisions represented only three sections of REVOLUTION, with every delegate under the discipline of the LFI leadership.

We want to maintain our independence, which is the guarantee we can develop a revolutionary policy and ourselves as revolutionaries. As the Communist International said: “The entire history of the proletarian youth movement in every country shows that only independent, that is self-governing, youth organisations develop bold and determined revolutionary fighters.”

independent participants at REVOLUTION’s second international delegate conference (4 delegates and 1 observer), July 20, 2006

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