On October 28th and 29th, 2022 the International Left (IL) convened an event entitled “Socialism or Extinction” to unite workers organizations in action around a manifesto of the same name.
The IL reports that the conference was held at the SITUAM (Workers’ Union of the Autonomous University of Metropolitana) building in Mexico City and attended internationally on-line. And that: “Among the participants were representatives or members of four international streams. In addition to ours, the International Left, with its organizations from Argentina, Bolivia, Mexico and the United States that were the conveners, there were organizations that participated as observers of the Unified Secretariat, the LIT(CI) and members of the International Leninist Trotskyist Tendency. (ILTT), as well as members of other national organizations such as the Liga Che Comunista of Argentina or the Ecosocialistas of Bolivia and individuals. All the procedures and interventions, which exceeded 100, as well as the documents and draft resolutions, were made in Spanish and English.”
The Communist Workers Group (NZ/Ao), a constituent organization of the International Leninist Trotskyist Tendency (ILTT), received the conference call reviewed the Manifesto, agreed with its general thrust and critiqued it both at the conference and in letters to the conference committee. We informed the conference organizers that we have also been explaining that the “anthropocene” is actually the capitalocene in our propaganda. The slogan for the conference recalls Rosa Luxemburg’s 1915 slogan against the inter-imperialist war in which she famously warned: “Socialism or Barbarism”! She organized for revolution against inter-imperialist wars and we know she would join us in raising the cry: Socialism or Extinction!
Since February the ILTT has reached out across the workers movement in search of a principled working class anti-war united front. In particular we looked for those who agree that the Ukraine war is an inter-imperialist proxy war. We looked for those who understand that capitalism has been restored in Russia and China, that State Monopoly Capital and the legacy institutions of the defeated deformed/degenerated/bureaucratized workers states have allowed China and Russia to escape being subordinated as semi-colonies and emerge as new imperialist powers.
These understandings synthesize the struggle for class war against capitalist war concretized as the program and application of the strategy of revolutionary dual defeatism against both the NATO US/EU bloc and the Russia/China bloc, which can only be made real by stepped up working class struggle in all the imperialist centers, dependents, semi-colonies and proxy nations. For the working class as a ‘class-for-it-self’ to emerge internationally it needs a program that unites Leninism’s rights of oppressed nations to self determination with Trotsky’s Theory of Permanent Revolution. Such an understanding proves that only an Independent Soviet Ukraine which extends self determination as a right to Donbass and Lukansk can beat back the two imperialist blocs from dividing, subordinating and exploiting the workers and farmers of Ukraine. And for the Ukrainian workers to win their national democratic rights and socialist revolution it must spread beyond its borders in every direction. This war demands a New Zimmerwald to launch a New Workers international based on the method of Trotsky’s 1938 Transitional Program on the agenda.
We were enthused to learn that the comrades of the International Left agree on the nature of the war and the need for an international workers party that fights for the program of dual defeatism and an Independent Soviet Ukraine.
Based on these mutual understandings the ILTT participated in the conference. The ILTT IEC took the task of addressing its reservations about the LI’s Ukraine position in a draft resolution on Ukraine which the conference adopted. The ILTT also submitted its reservations, elaborations and suggestions on the Manifesto in a letter to the conference, the on-line chat and in oral contributions to the conference.
The conference resolved agreement on four points and assigned tasks to a continuance committee.
1. The necessity of overcoming the crisis of the leadership of the working class by bringing together discussions of the vanguard workers addresses the task of building a New International.
2. The general thrust of the Manifesto Socialism or Extinction and for the conference continuance committee to entertain discussion by the conference participants as regards reservations, elaborations, clarifications and amendments.
3. The resolution characterizing the Ukraine war as an inter-imperialist proxy war and identifying the task of building a working class United Front for dual defeatism in the war with a New Zimmerwald the builds toward a New International based on the method of the 1938 transitional program.
4. The formation of a Conference Continuance Committee of five representatives, two from the LI, two from the ILTT and one from the Liga Che Comunista.
Organizations represented in the Continuation Committee of the Conference:
Left Party (USA)
Communist Workers Group (USA)
Socialismo o Extinción (Mexico)
Grupo Marxista (Bolivia)
Grupo Ecosocialista (Bolivia)
Organization of the Revolutionary Left (OIR-Argentina)
Liga Che Comunista ( Argentina)
Grupo de Trabalhadores Revolucionários do Brasil
Revolutionary Workers Group (Zimbabwe)
Communist Workers Group NZ/Ao (Aotearoa)
ILTT Nov 4