[Marxism] Internationalist tour: Christian Castillo’s talk in Germany

Juan Andres Gallardo juanagallardo at gmail.com
Sun Jan 26 16:40:06 MST 2014


*Christian Castillo is a Workers’ and Left Front (FIT) provincial deputy
for Buenos Aires province, and national leader for the PTS*
Internationalist tour: Christian Castillo’s talk in Germany26/01/2014
[image: Internationalist tour: Christian Castillo’s talk in Germany]
AUTHORPETER ROBE<http://www.ft-ci.org/spip.php?page=2013_autor&id_auteur=351&lang=en>
TRANSLATORYOSEF M. <http://www.ft-ci.org/Yosef-M?lang=en>


In October, 2013, the Front of the Left and of the Workers (FIT) got
1,200,000 votes in the legislative elections in Argentina. Last Saturday,
January 11, Christian Castillo, a national leader of the Partido de los
Trabajadores Socialistas (PTS) and a Deputy of the FIT in the Province of
Buenos Aires, went to a hall filled with an audience of more than a hundred
people, composed of university students, high school students, workers and
militants of the Left, where he told about this experience.

The talk was organized by the groups Socialist Alternative (SAV, a part of
the Committee for a Workers’ International, CWI), the New Anti-Capitalist
Organization (NAO, a project of several organizations with a Trotskyist
background) and the Revolutionary Internationalist Organization (RIO, the
section of the FT-CI in Germany).

One hundred years after Karl Liebknecht’s "No" to the war credits and the
bankruptcy of the German Social Democracy, the question of revolutionary
parliamentary activity and the current challenges in Argentina and Europe
was discussed in the talk. For that, together with Castillo, Martin
Suchanek (GAM/NAO), Sascha Stanicic (SAV), and Stefan Schneider (RIO)

Christian Castillo’s visit to Berlin is a part of an internationalist tour
through Europe, to make the experience of the FIT better known. Just in the
context of a capitalist crisis, it is necessary that the workers, young
people and the Trotskyist Left be able to learn from this experience. He
has already given talks in London, and he brought support to the striking
workers of a food factory in Catalonia, Panrico. In the following days, he
will visit Greece, France and Spain, where he will give several talks.

Castillo, a militant of the PTS, a sister organization of RIO, began his
speech by paying homage to the great revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg, who fell
fighting for the socialist revolution. He showed that the historic election
of the FIT is based on a long experience of a break that the working class
made with the "national and popular" government of the Kirchners. Now there
is an initial crisis of the political regime, exacerbated by stronger
economic tensions. "Groups of the workers are breaking with their
historical leadership, Peronism, and they are going to the left," Castillo
noted. That was seen in the national strike of November 20, 2012, that was
led by the workers, many times even against their own bureaucratic
leaderships. At the same time, the tenacious work, in the first place, of
the PTS, in the most recent decade in the workers’ movement, with which
they recovered committees at enterprises in big industries, is noteworthy.

That is now reflected in the result of the FIT, that set out a clearly
socialist program. Central demands, like non-payment of the foreign debt
and expropriation without compensations of the mines, the banks and big
industry, and starting up under the management, administration and control
of workers and of the service users, are part of an anti-imperialist and
anti-capitalist profile, for which the Trotskyist Left is renowned. "We are
participating in the Parliament," says Castillo, "not because we have
illusions in parliamentary activity, but to advance in the struggle for a
workers’ state based on soviets."

In his speech, Martin Suchanek (GAM/NAO) spoke about the European and
German situation, where the revolutionaries have to struggle against big
reformist machines. In Greece, the election result of the left-reformist
party Syriza strengthened these variants of mediation. Likewise, in
Germany, the main task is the building of a workers’ revolutionary party,
that will be independent of the apparatuses of the unions and of the party
Die Linke. For that, parliamentary work is a subordinate but serviceable
job. To reach that point, "the forces of the Left have to overcome their
weakness and begin a process of regroupment," Suchanek concluded.

Sascha Stanicic (SAV) contributed several experiences of his international
tendency, the Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI) to the debate.
It has only been some weeks since Kshama Sawant of Socialist Alternative, a
sister organization of the SAV in the US, took office as a City Council
member in Seattle. "An openly socialist program is not the only explanation
for such an election victory, but it is its precondition," Stanicic
explained. He also told about the positions of his Irish comrades that are
in the European Parliament and that are at the service of the social
movements. Concerning Germany, he said that only a good base of militants
makes it possible to work on a city council. In that sense, the demand of
the FIT that a Deputy earn the same amount as an average worker has its
topicality here.

Stefan Schneider (RIO) emphasized the significance of the FIT beyond the
borders of Argentina. The election result shows that it is possible to
reach the masses with a clearly revolutionary and socialist program. This
is quite the opposite of the broad anti-capitalist or openly reformist
projects of the Left, as they have emerged in the most recent years in
Europe. In Germany itself, there are many people that defend Die Linke as
the only possible variant. "In many struggles we can observe a questioning
of the dominant system, as in the struggle of the refugees against state
racism, in the strikes of the street vendors or in Neupack by a rejection
of the bureaucratic leadership of the struggle," Schneider stressed. For
that reason, it is necessary to build an alternative force, that will take
the banner of self-organization of those in struggle and an
anti-bureaucratic perspective for the unity of workers’ ranks.

After the speeches, there was a long debate in which the question of
building a revolutionary anti-capitalist party in Germany, particularly in
relation to Die Linke, and the significance of the votes for the FIT, for
revolutionaries in Germany, was discussed in a polemical fashion. A big
dispute in that context was whether it was possible to win the masses with
an openly socialist and revolutionary program. Everyone agreed that the
need exists for united front actions, that will not dilute the program. Jan
Richter, part of the enterprise committee of H&M on the Friedrichstraße,
told about the big support that several revolutionary groups in Berlin gave
the picket lines during the strike of the street vendors, that lasted for
seven months.

In his final speech, that took place when it was already very late,
Castillo again emphasized work in the workplaces and the universities.
While a large part of the Left abandoned the centrality of the working
class after the fall of the Berlin Wall, with that method, the PTS sought
to get organized strongly in the industrial working class, For that reason,
one of the main tasks of the PTS today consists in going for the recovery
of the unions from the hands of the bureaucrats. Another task is opening
the discussion on the construction of a great revolutionary party with the
forces inside the FIT. "The task of the revolutionaries is to train the
social force that can bury capitalism."

On Sunday, he visited the traditional march in commemoration of Rosa
Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, that went from the Frankfurter Tor to the
commemorative site of the socialists. Together with other Trotskyist
organizations, RIO was part of a "Bloc in Memory of the Fallen
Bolshevik-Leninsts," that fought against the Stalinist bureaucracy in the
Soviet Union and against the reformist leaderships of the workers in the
capitalist countries.


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