2. The Left

Submitted by Spassmaschine on December 17, 2009

What is your opinion concerning the leftwing movement, and what is your relationship to it: to only criticise it, fight it, or use it like other possibilities to fight the system?

If leftwing means social-democracy and Stalinism, it's quite clear we have nothing in common with them.

Stalinism belongs to the past and today's Labour Party or SPD aren't the same as in 1930 or even 1960, but we'd be naïve to declare reform (and therefore reformism) dead...

...especially as anti-globalisation is a renewal of reformism (see our next answer). We have as much (as little) to do with it as we had with leftism in 1970. In those days, we did not publish long anti-Trotskyst or anti-Maoist pamphlets. Nowadays, taking on anti-globalisation ideas is as futile as would have been disproving the programme of the CP thirty years ago. Reformism does not call for refutation, but for the explanation of why it exists. Our "position" regarding reformism results from the general content of what we do and say.

It's impossible to use a trade-union or an election in a subversive way. But no principle forbids one of us to be a member of a union if he works in a firm where most workers are unionised.

More generally, fighting (even with peaceful and lawful means) for higher wages or shorter working hours is no obstacle on the road to revolution. The improvement of living conditions is not objectionable in itself. Reform is anti-communist when it binds together labour and capital. The criterion does not lie in numbers or fighting methods, but only in the historical function of the reform. A local strike (whether or not it ends in victory) for a 50 centime per hour rise can help the strikers get together and realise what they are and could do. On the contrary, when sit-downs involving millions of strikers, as in Europe and the US in the 1930s, reinforced the integration of labour into capital, via mass support for the New Deal, the new unionism of the CIO, Popular Fronts and parliamentary democracy, these strikes ended up being negative factors from the point of view of proletarian emancipation.