29 April, 2010 — Battle for Democracy
For Inter-Nation Ecosocialism
‘The revolutionary potential of the global working classes for the protection of our environment cannot be realised without the unity of revolutionary socialists.’
The time has passed since it was possible for the one revolutionary socialist party of a nation state, to simply take decisions concerning factions within its own ranks.
With constant splits and divisions, the one party has become many and the revolutionary socialist movement, both nationally and internationally, has disintegrated into the disorder of innumerable centralist factions, each of which aspire to the leadership of the working class.
It is a factional disorder that is denying the working class the leadership that it needs in the struggle for a socialism beyond capitalism, that is, for the socialism of the lower phase of communism.
To take the first step forward from this disorder, the revolutionary socialist movement needs to break away from factional centralism and develop new political and organisational principles for revolutionary democracy.
At all times, the democratic structure of the revolutionary socialist party must maintain a disciplined, centralist capability that can be counterposed against the centralist capability of the capitalist state.
Historically however, the essential need for such a capability matured into the political and organisational form of factional centralism. In this, the supreme authority of the party’s national assembly of delegates is ceded to a single central committee which organises unity in action, but more importantly and crucially in respect to ideology, the central committee is also given the authority to produce proposals on programme and strategy.
What flows from this is the formation of factions, with their own programmes and strategies, which are intent on gaining the vantage point of the central committee in the knowledge that whatever faction gains that vantage point is in the position to manipulate the national assembly and command the party and, eventually, the socialist state.
Any such faction gaining a majority on the central committee can locate itself as a ruling faction within it and consolidate its authority. Critical positions on aspects of programme and strategy are treated as factional attacks upon the party leadership and political independence and self-reliance is muted. Members who do not support any faction are caught in the crossfire and are isolated.
Factions that are unable to defeat the ruling faction esconced in the central committee, sooner or later, break away to form their own party, carrying the political and organisational baggage of factional centralism with them.
The result is what we are witnessing today, the continuing disintegration of the entire revolutionary socialist movement making it incapable of providing the necessary leadership for the working class.
Battle for Democracy
As political organisation, there are just two fundamental kinds of class democracy under capitalism, with each appearing in different but overlapping forms.
There is the democracy that represents the interests of the ruling, capitalist class and the democracy that represents the interests of the working class.
The democracy of evolutionary socialism represents the reformist interests of the working class and it therefore stands for a socialism that is maintained within capitalism.
The democracy of revolutionary socialism represents the revolutionary interests of the working class and it therefore stands for a socialism beyond capitalism, but it is only revolutionary democracy that can bring about the mass democracy of all people in the opening of the classless, higher phase of communism.