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Newsletter (in English)


Open letter of iRevo to the RIC and the LFI-IS

The statement is based on the discussions at the iRevo conference in Berlin on October 7, 2006 in Berlin. The conference charged one comrade with formulating the agreed points in a document. However, on October 14, before this document was finalized, the LFI faction declared we were expelled from Revo. Thus hey answered the question we posed at the end of our letter – “is your absolute control of REVOLUTION more important than the unity of our organization?” – with a loud “Yes!”

Dear comrades,

We find ourselves in a period of general offensive of neoliberal globalization, in the time of new, dangerous challenges imposed by global capitalism on the international working class and all oppressed people. Recently we witnessed Israel’s latest military aggression in Lebanon as well as the re-occupation of the Gaza strip, where the situation is reaching the point of a humanitarian catastrophe. We see continuing imperialist pressure on Iran, Venezuela, Bolivia and all other countries which aren’t run according to the wishes of imperialist rulers. These same rulers are pushing to limit our social rights and democratic freedoms, by launching neoliberal campaigns of social cuts, increasing the flexibility of the work force, expanding market and profit principles into all areas of our lives (including the education and health systems). These rulers aim to create an atmosphere of fear, xenophobia and alienation amongst the oppressed, ensuring they will accept the “protection” of the rulers themselves.But all these neoliberal attacks incite militant counter-attacks of the workers, poor peasants and anti-capitalist youth. This is true in US immigrant workers’ communities, in Iraqi towns and villages, in Palestinian refugee camps, in German and French schools and universities, in Greek and Italian factories etc. In Bolivia, the workers and their poor allies are rising up against capitalism. With international assistance, they are fighting against its dark heritage of illiteracy, poverty and murderous epidemics. The anti-capitalist youth make up a very important part in these vital struggles against neoliberalism, imperialism, xenophobic hysteria and wars, and will continue to play a leading role in the future.

REVOLUTION was built precisely because we understand ourselves as young revolutionary fighters, as youth who want to change the world according the objectively existing base for such change – understood through scientific Marxist theory – through revolutionary praxis. Our program, which we are proud to stand for, “The Road to Revolution”, leaves no doubts about our goals: a proletarian revolution and the construction of a new socialist society without exploitation, oppression and wars. However REVOLUTION was also built as an independent revolutionary youth organization, because “only independent, that is self-governing, youth organizations develop bold and determined revolutionary fighters.” (Comintern resolution) We second: The youth movement must “have complete organisational and political independence, deciding on its own activity and policies” (Revo’s manifesto).

REVOLUTION is therefore organization of youth for youth – an organization where young people can learn and use revolutionary Marxism by themselves (of course we always mean this as independents who collaborate with “adult” workers organizations and parties, not in isolation! That would be ridiculous!). An organization where youth can learn from their own mistakes, learning to make decisions and take responsibility for them; where youth aren’t used purely to fulfill the tasks given to them by adults (like in the bourgeoisie’s schools); where youth aren’t constantly disregarded (like they unfortunately are inside many trade unions, political parties, “official” anti-capitalist movements etc.). REVOLUTION gives the youth a unique opportunity to learn through our own experiences to build on the lessons offered by the rich and glorious tradition of revolutionary communism.

Our international tendency “Independent REVOLUTION” (iRevo) was established by REVOLUTION members exactly because we see that the character of REVOLUTION as an independent revolutionary youth organization under threat. We see that the LFI abandoned its original (often valuable) support for REVOLUTION as an independent revolutionary youth organization and launched a policy of secret fractional work with the aim to turn REVOLUTION into a youthful actionistic front of the LFI, without its own policy, without its own decision-making, without development of its own revolutionary leaders. iRevo was and is determined to prevent this.

You, the LFI faction, and your so-called RIC refuse to accept us as a tendency and demand of us that we should first accept the development of REVOLUTION towards a dependent affiliate of LFI’s IS; that we should recognize the structures which destroy our independence and have no meaning other than transmitting LFI-IS decisions to REVOLUTION’s membership. But then why would we have needed our tendency in the first place? You say that according to democratic centralism, it is a basic duty of a minority to accept majority decisions and implement them (and you are right with this). However, our problem is that we don’t have any democratic centralism in REVOLUTION now. We don’t have it because democratic centralism must also have some component of democracy. This was unfortunately broken by the factional policy of LFI in REVOLUTION. Therefore, it makes little sense to speak about some “majority” or “minority”.

We don’t have any problem to be in a minority with our political opinions and proposals and, following democratic centralism, implement a decision of majority – we have obviously been in such situations many times in our political lives. However we definitely oppose the implementation of decisions made beforehand by leadership of LFI and then pushed through in REVOLUTION by your fraction, which is under LFI discipline and is required to vote for such decisions. That is completely against our political and organizational independence, which is anchored in our manifesto and constitution! We strongly oppose the way your faction approached work in REVOLUTION: through secret parallel information channels (for example only the LFI knows which international contacts REVOLUTION has!!!); a concealment of oppositional Czech, German and Swiss Revo documents in the pre-conference discussion to the membership of the sections you bureaucratically rule (for example we already know that our conference documents weren’t all introduced to members in REVO UK); completely ignoring any of REVOLUTION’s decisions if these didn’t match the aims of LFI-IS (the ASt’s sabotage of REVOCAMP 2005, the ban on publishing Mi.’s balance sheet), etc…

We also can’t accept the decision of the “desectionization” of REVO Australia and expulsion of its members, not least because the independent members and delegates of the REVOLUTION internation conference 2006 weren’t familiar with the materials used by the LFI majority as the alleged base for this decision. This decision was made with no discussion with members of REVO Australia (not to say that it was bureaucratic, factionally motivated decision). Yet, we recognize that open discussion, transparency, the possibility to listen to the arguments of both sides and the respect of our constitutional principle of independence should be the basis for democracy in REVOLUTION. As we wrote earlier: “Democratic centralism without democracy is a bureaucratic centralism” and yes, we are opposed to bureaucratic centralism, and we are proud of it!

You claim that we are completely politically bankrupt if we don’t accept your ‘political and Marxist arguments’ and instead only shout ‘liars!’. Firstly, we wrote number of political documents and recently even published pamphlet about the independence of youth movement, so it is funny to see how you use what Marx called ‘hostility by silence’ towards this political manifesto. We also understand well that you have a reason to try to keep it quiet. Secondly, it isn’t our political bankruptcy that we must point out your bureaucratic maneuvers and lies, but it is precisely because of the bankruptcy of your politics (visible in the way that LFI has been in continuous decline over the last 6 years) that you are forced to lie us (and yourselves?).

We point out and recently published in full some clear examples of decisions made in the name of REVOLUTION beforehand by the LFI’s IS. We point out the cases where the LFI-IS willfully changed majority decisions of REVOLUTION by orders to LFI faction members. We showed you your own document, where you explicitly stated that you work as an undeclared fraction in REVOLUTION against independent members. Yet, what was your reaction to this clear evidence? You still deny all of this!!!

What does it mean? What should we think about it? Is it really the case that you have lost even the natural decency of someone who is caught lying? Is it the case that you don’t care about it, that you completely leave the terrain of discussion – where the search for the truth is the only point of discussing in the first place – that the only question that actually occupies your minds is the speculation of one infamous personality – ‘How many divisions do the Australians have? How many divisions does iREVO have?’ We can’t know the answers – they are not of course about your personal character but about the degeneration of your politics. We can only ask: ‘Isn’t it about time to stop lying to us?’ This is de facto the only thing we want. We don’t ask for any functions in the RIC or anywhere. We request ‘only’ political honesty and the dissolution of the LFI fraction (majority fraction of members under LFI IS discipline) and its work (e.g. rubber stamping of decisions made by IS, concealment of information to independent and often even rank-and-file LFI members of REVOLUTION etc…) in REVOLUTION. That is the basis for real unity we sincerely and seriously offer you. Of course we can’t accept your so-called “proposals of unity” based on our acceptance of your factional activities in REVOLUTION. By the way, the recent attempt of the GAM to blackmail REVO/DE, based on nothing more than bourgeoisie property rights, shows how unserious how little value the independence of REVOLUTION, proclaimed in our constitution, has for you.

However we must once again emphasize: we really wish for unity on a healthy political basis and we want you understand this clearly. Therefore, once again we want to point out that the LFI-IS and its current RIC-subcommittee aren’t in a position to call on us to “return to the organization”. We never left REVOLUTION, we never declared an intention to split, we never called for a split (like the LFI fraction: “one has to raise the question, if the views of the different comrades is still compatible with our program” – quotation from REVO Austria document), we never had a policy of exclusions and splits. We know that a lot of bad things have happened between us and a lot of bad words have been said. We understand that it will be a long process to re-build the unity we need in our organization in the struggle against capitalism. However we want to start such a process – therefore we proposed a provisional RIC, a sign that we are willing to compromise to maintain unity. We know very well that it isn’t a perfect solution, we aren’t at all preachers of such kind of structures (and federalism generally). All our political documents for the international conference were far from proposing federalism, even if you claim the contrary. However we currently see this as a possible, temporary framework for our political work on re-establishing of unity in REVOLUTION. Why didn’t you give us any response on it?

We began our letter with description of cruel social reality of the capitalist system we live in and also with our devotion to smash and overcome this inhuman system. However it’s not simply words that show our intentions, above all our actions speak for us. REVO/DE recently played a leading role in organizing a school students’ strike in Berlin with 8,000 participants. German members of iRevo wrote the press releases, gave interviews on TV and radio, organized the demonstration and won many new contacts for REVO. Even the GAM admitted “they could not have done a better job”. German iRevo members are also actively working in the preparations for the international anti-G8 campaign and honorably fulfilled their revolutionary duty in their active support for our comrade Mario. Czech members of iRevo actively participate together with LFI members in REVOLUTION in the campaign against a USA military base. They participated together on petition tables, organized actions, wrote the leaflets about the campaign and articles for REVO, won new contacts and still found a time to write 80% of the last newspaper issue. There isn’t any necessity to speak about the work of the Swiss section. Since REVOCAMP 2005 they have given the best proof of the dynamism of an independent revolutionary youth group and through their systematic anti-racist work in schools and through demonstrations and other activities they are establishing themselves as a strong and respectable revolutionary communist youth organization. It is worth noting that the only two new branches of REVOLUTION to emerge anywhere in the world in the last year – in the cities St. Gallen and in Wolfsburg – were set up by independent comrades, who now make up iRevo. This is not because we are more charismatic. Our sincere belief in the independence of the revolutionary youth movement means we can help young activists set up their own independent groups.

Of course, don’t want to speak about our work like it has some special merit. We only want to put down criticism of passive-propagandism and emphasize the basic thing all REVOLUTION members have in common – revolutionary activism. We appeal to you to abolish your factional policy and start to work with us as equals, demonstrating the real unity we need to win.

What to say at the end? We of course recognized the ultimatum in your last letter and we know what you mean by the phrase about the “biggest mistake of your political lives” (you copied it from a document you wrote against members of Permanent Revolution, shortly before you expeleld them from the LFI). We are against the split in REVOLUTION, we are against the expulsions. You must ask yourself: are you willing to accept independent activists in Revo who stand for the same action program, fight for the same goals, work in the same campaigns but don’t accept the directives of the LFI-IS? Or is your absolute control of REVOLUTION more important than the unity of our organization?!?


iRevo, October 21, 2006

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