Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Healy's 'Yellow Brick Road' to Revolution (1977)

Workers Vanguard No. 155 (29 April 1977)

Give Him a Brain!

Healy's “Yellow Brick Road” to Revolution
...We can confidently say that no force on earth can challenge the analysis made by the ICFI [International Committee] of this crisis.
So boasted the Workers League (WL), American satellite of Gerry Healy's IC, in a recent perspectives document, under a heading appropriately called The World Crisis.

For some sixteen years now, the American Healyites have been crisis-mongering with strident regularity. To those who protested the WL's cynical efforts to gear up its dwindling band for one last sacrifice by invoking the
crisis just around the corner, the WL hacks replied by charging that their critics must believe in the fundamental stability of capitalism. But of course the decaying capitalist system cannot escape periodic severe crises. Finally the WL has got its long-awaited crisis, but their general situation recalls the unfortunate boy in the fable who cried wolf; vindication is likely to do the WL about as much good as it did him.

The WL's incessant cries of
crisis have a political function which is more than inspirational. For the WL, The Crisis means that it is okay to support reformists and lesser evils, because even a tiny tap is supposedly sufficient to topple imperialism in this epoch. Thus the WL's Bulletin was full of enthusiasm for... Jimmy Carter's electoral victory!
“The intensification of the world economic crisis is the direct cause of the election of Jimmy Carter... The election of Jimmy Carter is a clear sign of the political radicalization of the working class... Millions of disillusioned working class Carter voters are heading for a revolutionary confrontation with this administration.
- Bulletin, 8 February
Now the WL is similarly enthusing over the electoral victory of the bourgeois Janata Party in India. On the Road to Revolution screams the 24 March Bulletin headline for the article on the Congress Party defeat. While dutifully noting the right-wing character of the Janata Party, the article claims that its victory dealt a smashing blow to the economic policies of the Indian bourgeoisie, and that the radicalization of the masses now opens the door to the most powerful revolutionary struggles in India.

Truly the WL has outdone even the Pabloist substitutionalists whom it professes to oppose from the left. But no amount of enthusing for popular petty-bourgeois currents can obscure the fact that it was the absence of proletarian leadership in India which allowed the just rage of the bitterly oppressed workers and peasants to be channeled into support for a bourgeois party every bit as dedicated to the preservation of capitalist class rule as was its predecessor.