Committee for Revolutionary Regroupment

PO global at
Sun Sep 8 12:12:26 MDT 1996

Statement on Revolutionary Unity
Committee for Revolutionary Regroupment (CRR)

The CRR is a group of comrades who were formerly members of the British
section of the United Secretariat of the Fourth International (USFI).

The collapse of Stalinism and the sidelining of reformism by the
political situation leaves us with the responsibility of being the
continuation of the Marxist and Leninist tradition, the only tradition
that has not failed the working class. For these reasons it is
fundamental that we regroup and concentrate our forces. This is no easy
task. There are decades of sectarian hostility to overcome. There are
also some fundamental differences between groups that cannot be bridged
by discussion alone and will have to be resolved by history - an example
being the current courting of unreconstructed loyalist paramilitaries by
the Alliance for Workers Liberty (AWL) and Militant. Even in these
cases, however, we need to be aware that individual members of those
groupings may not share the group view. Over the past decade all the
Trotskyist groups have gone through massive changes.

Stalinism was a massive block to us in its claim to be genuine, existing
socialism. Its collapse, while being a major defeat in opening the way
for capitalism in eastern Europe, has removed this block. Linked with
this, the global capitalist offensive has forced us to re-evaluate our
perspectives. The rise of the far right, in particular, has forced us to
work closer together. We should expect instances of movement - both
convergent and divergent - within this situation.

Any attempt to regroup Trotskyists must be on a basis of building a
World Party of Socialist Revolution. For any group to have such a
commitment, it is almost inevitable that they will in practice attempt
to construct international currents. In any regroupment initiative,
therefore, we have to consider the effect of there being differing
internationals, and not see international affiliations as sectarian
barriers but as equally part of a global regroupment initiative.
Regroupment with other organisations has to be on a basis of collective
discussion and a programme of shared work. It would culminate either in
a decision that we were sufficiently close to fuse on a basis of
democratic centralism, or an assessment by one or other party that
there was not a basis for fusion. If a fusion took place, we would
still have to have a commitment to discussing through the various issues
that still divided us.

So far this discussion has been abstract, pitched at a level that few
could disagree with. It is time to turn it into something more concrete.
The first step has to be to try to build something with the
organisations and individuals closest to ourselves. The closest
organisations we would see as Socialist Outlook (SO), The Leninist
Trotskyist Tendency and its British section the Workers International
League (WIL), the Liaison Committee of Militants for a Revolutionary
Communist International (LCMRCI, split from the League for a
Revolutionary Communist International [LRCI]), the LRCI and its British
section, Workers Power (WP).

The CRR originated as a split from Socialist Outlook. We left that
organisation because we saw the demise of democratic centralism within
it due to the ensconced nature and demoralised politics of the
traditional leadership and the inability of any alternative group of
comrades to take over. While we see ourselves as close to many aspects
of the political programme of Outlook there are many points of
political conflict with the Outlook leadership. However our biggest
differences are with how Outlook puts this programme into practice. Our
internal polemics against the leadership have therefore heavily stressed
the necessity for the transitional method and the correct operation of
the united front. We have sought to clarify the theoretical basis of the
continual capitulation of the Outlook leadership to left bureaucrats,
other non-class social movement etc. The WIL have been involved with us
in a number of activities such as Bosnia work and the Clause IV
campaign. Their strength is their political analysis and grasp of the
transitional method; their weaknesses are small size and consequent lack
of implantation in the labour movement and campaigns. They appear to
share with us an awareness of the need to regroup our forces.

The LMRCI is an international grouping which is not politically
homogenous. Nevertheless we share many important political positions
with their national groups and with the international as a whole,
including a similar assessment as to the degeneration of the LRCI, the
historical period we are passing through and the assessment that eastern
Europe and the former USSR are now capitalist states. We have
differences on ex-Yugoslavia and on the national question in general
and on other issues. Discussion and clarification will enable us to
decide whether we can form a joint international with them.

Workers Power is further from us. This group takes an abstract and
dogmatic attitude to struggles, rather than analysing them in their
specific peculiarities. It tends to be ultra left and sectarian in its
practical work because it collapses the distinction between theory and
programme and so relates to practical events on the basis of a
theoretically abstract set of principles. This does not amount to a
programmatic difference, however, and so should be capable of being
encompassed within one organisation. What is more likely to be a
problem with WP is their insistence that their positions are correct
and that all others are therefore wrong. The appropriate attitude for a
revolutionary Marxist would be to approach questions from the
standpoint of what can we both learn from discussing and working with
these comrades?' rather than 'how can I force my view upon them?'

CRR sees promoting a project of real revolutionary regroupment -
involving attempting to work together while discussing out our
differences with the aim of fusing our organisations together - to be of
fundamental importance to the international working class.

However, such a project cannot be the be-all and end-all of a group's
existence, and cannot be conducted in a vacuum. Due to the particular
circumstances of our formation we think that we can advance this project
best at present by being a separate organisation. However, the separate
existence of an organisation basing itself strongly on regroupment when
there exists an organisation (WIL) with whom a principled fusion is
possible is clearly a contradictory situation. When we come to the
assessment that our continued separate existence  is playing no further
positive role in the attempt to draw Trotskyists together we will then
have to consider fusion, hopefully on a wider basis than just ourselves
and the WIL.

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