Internationalist Standpoint (ISp)
Workers’ International Network (WIN)
Common Statement on working together and developing closer relations
Delegations representing Internationalist Standpoint (ISp) and the Workers’ International Network (WIN) met on a number of occasions in the course of 2023, and discussed key themes related to the conditions faced by the working class globally; the present crisis of world capitalism; and the tasks faced by revolutionary socialists. We continue to meet frequently for political discussions as revolutionary Marxists, on a voluntary basis and where possible in more formal settings. There is a common understanding and agreement on the key issues of our epoch.
Both WIN and ISp consider the present crisis of capitalism deep, long-lasting and pervasive, encompassing economic, social, political, environmental and geopolitical crisis, as shown in the increasing number of wars and catastrophic climate disasters. There is no way out of the impasse faced by the capitalist system except through mass destruction.
As revolutionary Marxists, ISp and WIN consider capitalism to be only one stage in the development of human social organization. The future of humanity depends upon working-class power and the transition to a socialist society. But however deep the crisis it faces, capitalism will not go away on its own. No ruling class ever has or ever will surrender its power without a fight by all means and right to the bitter end.
What is needed for this to happen is a mass revolutionary party, functioning as a centre of co-ordination and guidance for the working class and other social movements. Such a centre will have nothing in common with the top-down undemocratic structures and traditions practiced by Stalinist and sectarian formations; it must be an organic part of the working class itself. All its structures and procedures will be fully democratic and subject to the control of its rank-and-file members. By developing a high theoretical and political level and engaging in open democratic debate it can achieve the common outlook and strategies that are needed to overthrow capitalism and prepare the way for a socialist society.
Socialism cannot be built on a national basis; internationalism is a fundamental principle of Marxism. True internationalism means the building of a workers’ and the oppressed people’s international revolutionary organisation, in the traditions of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Trotsky, Rosa Luxembourg and other great revolutionary socialists of the past. WIN and ISp will work together to lay the foundations of such an international.
Our common efforts will be directed towards the creation of a mass workers’ International on the basis of firm agreed principles. We are not proposing amalgamation just for its own sake, because such an arrangement could not survive the test of time or withstand the historical challenges it would face.
To build a mass revolutionary International requires more than just an abstract commitment to Marxist theory. Rather than the assertion of artificially inflated over-optimistic rhetoric, which unfortunately characterizes many anti-capitalist groups, or the opposite, periodic lurches into pessimism in times of a lull in mass struggles, what are required are the following:
- balanced perspectives based upon an objective analysis of political and economic trends;
- the programme and method of the Transitional Programmelinking current demands and struggles with a socialist perspective;
- the study of revolutionary practices as established by the Bolsheviks and further developed by Trotsky;
- the tactic of the United Front (i.e. unity in action between different working-class organizations to achieve common defined objectives while maintaining a distinct political identity) again as established by Marx, Engles, the Bolsheviks and the 3rd International before the rise of Stalinism, and defended by Trotsky after Lenin’s death.
- The building of mass organization as an insurance against sectarianism on the one hand and opportunism on the other.
We have nothing in common with the practices of bureaucratic centralism based upon the dominance of an unaccountable arbitrary leadership. Instead, our model is the Third International at the time of Lenin and Trotsky, when debate was free and open, not only within the party but also often in public.
Our aim is to win over to the ideas of revolutionary Marxism the broad masses of the working class and the oppressed, in industrially developed, “developing” and neo-colonial countries.
We have confidence in the potential of the working class to break free from capitalism; in the ideas of revolutionary Marxism; and in the working-class’ ability and determination to fight and win.
WIN and Internationalist Standpoint pledge to work together towards these aims.
We will be working together while respecting any differences that may exist between us exploring the potential for a possible unification of the two currents over the next period. At the same time, we are in discussions with other groups and organisations in a number of countries, exploring the possibilities for joint work towards the same goals. We will work resolutely together to develop the Marxist core within the formation of new mass working class organizations internationally.