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Spartacist League versus Trotskyism

Copyright: Iskra Research; By: F. Kreisel; Oct. 27, 1994

Dear comrade,

Thank you for your evaluation of my post about CoC. I fully appreciate the fact that you are searching for a true Marxist revolutionary movement. Based on my experience, the Spartacist League is, unfortunately, not such a movement.

The workers' movement is today suffering from the deadly and false identification of Marxism with Stalinism. Concepts like "revolutionary violence", "soviets", "democratic centralism", etc. were thoroughly compromised and undermined by the betrayals of Stalinism.

A Marxist movement must develop an international revolutionary program based on the history of past struggles of the working class and on its own history in the class struggle. It is certainly not enough to shout RRRRRRevolutionary slogans, swear on a stack of Transitional Programs or carry icons of Marx and Lenin.

Such a program must be developed as part of the patient education in the working class; it must be reflected in the propaganda of the party press. It is through the party newspaper that the movement is talking to workers in their everyday struggles.

But when one looks through the Workers Vanguard one is immediately struck by its insanely distorted view of the world. The political campaigns of SL are a caricature of Trotskyism: e.g. their defence of the "socialist" porno movie starlet, their applause for the Stalinist suppression of Polish Solidarity or of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, their continuous reference to the Stalinist army as "Red", etc.

Whenever they refer to strike or labor struggle in the US they celebrate union militancy as if it were the magical panacea for the working class. At the same time they neglect to mention the betrayal conducted daily by the trade union bureaucracy or to discuss the bankruptcy of a national union militancy in the period of the world crisis of capitalism and of the multinational corporation. Right now the SL is conducting a campaign to defend a jailed Black nationalist. But a few years ago they applauded the middle class subway rider in New York who became terrified of some black hooligans, pulled out a gun and shot four of them right on the train.

The Spartacist League is a very subjective middle class outfit. Their zigzags and wild publicity stunts (dressing in Civil War outfits, or organizing the Yuri Andropov brigade) prevent the workers from learning anything.

On the theoretical level it must be classed with the Pabloites who diverged from Trotskyism in the direction of Stalinism. SL does not distinguish between the revolutionary progressive violence of Trotsky and Lenin and the counterrevolutionary violence of Stalin-Brezhnev-Gorbachev. In Russia today, the supporters of SL flirt with the various nationalist "bolshevik" groups and despite their loud shouting about fascism are themselves drawn in that direction.

You ought to investigate the history of LaRouche and the National Caucus of Labor Committees. The Spartacist League resembles them to an astonishing degree.

I am a supporter of the International Committee of the Fourth International and its co-thinker in the USA, the Workers League. You might want to check out the newspaper of the WL, the International Workers Bulletin and also read David North's book The Heritage We Defend which is a history of Trotskyism since Trotsky's death.

I wish you success in your Marxist education.