Monday, July 27, 2009

Maybe They Did, Maybe they Didn't... (1980)

Workers Vanguard No. 256 (16 May 1980)

Workers League: Maybe They Did, Maybe They Didn't, Maybe They Changed Their Minds

The “Fraudulent Letter”:
January 25, 1980

This is to inform you that we are breaking all connections with the Stalinist and Imperialist Agents inside the Trotskyist Movement. The January 18 issue of the Bulletin will be your last.

David North

- from the Bulletin, 26 February:
Fraudulent Letter

The February 8 issue of Workers Vanguard, the fortnightly publication of the Spartacist League, prints a letter allegedly sent to their editor, and purportedly signed by David North, national secretary of the Workers League.

The Workers League does not conduct correspondence with the Spartacist League, which is an organization led by provocateurs and assistance of the late FBI agent and leader of the Socialist Workers Party, Joseph Hansen.

No such letter was sent by David North or any other member of the Workers League.

The printing of this fraudulent letter has been carried out by the leaders of this organization for reasons best known to themselves.

Muammar el-Qaddafi (1980)

Workers Vanguard No. 259 (8 February 1980)


Muammar el-Qaddafi

January 25, 1980

This is to inform you that we are breaking all connections with the Stalinist and Imperialist Agents inside the Trotskyist Movement. The January 18 issue of the Bulletin will be your last.

David North

WV replies: You have us perplexed - which are we, imperialist or Stalinist agents? and why now? Well, Workers League mentors Qaddafi and Khomeini support the CIA-backed Afghan reactionaries; we headline “Hail Red Army!” But we have not cut off your subscription to Workers Vanguard (which you renewed only last month) for fear of being tainted with Arab oil money.

P.S. Agents are supposed to receive pay. Please take this up with our putative sponsors.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Portrait of a Healyite as Scab/Spy (1979)

Workers Vanguard No. 231 (11 May 1979)

Portrait of a Healyite Scab/Spy

At the May 6 SL picket of the Workers League (WL) slanderers in Oakland, two Healyite goons roamed about seeking confrontations. One of these thugs was already known to us, one “Tim Nichols.”

Who is “Tim Nichols”? He says he dropped out from Princeton, one of the great universities for dumb bourgeois children, and that his father is a CIA intelligence officer. “Tim Nichols” claims the political history of a drifter: after allegedly participating in actions in defense of the Panthers in the 1970 New Left milieu, and in various SWP front groups in 1971, he is known to have joined the Healyite organization in 1972.

He was WL's Oakland organizer in 1974, and claims to have left the WL during the Wohlforth Purge, but the WL's San Jose organizer claims that “Nichols” was asked to resign in 1975 because he had committed racially provocative acts in the black community.

In 1977 “Tim Nichols” came around the Spartacist League intent on joining. But the SL did not take the bait. An SL member who was “Nichols'” roommate during the time they were both in the WL raised questions about him: “Nichols” had come straight from an SWP feminist front to join the anti-women's liberation WL; he was full of questions about international travel; he got a job in the carpenters union by threatening to scab if they refused.

“Nichols'” subsequent conduct as a self-professed SL supporter certainly justified the suspicions about him – that he was irrational, possibly a cop, perhaps a WL penetration agent or maybe all three at once.

We drove “Tim Nichols” away from the SL after a reprehensible incident of crossing the class line, smacking of a provocation. The facts are these. During the 1977 Handyman warehouse strike in Northern California, a picketer was brutally killed. The ILWU in response organized a boycott of Handyman. This boycott was in effect when, in August of 1977, in flagrant disregard for elementary labor solidarity, “Tim Nichols” patronized a Handyman establishment. Since “Nichols” was accompanying a member of the SL on a sale of our press at the time this atrocity took place, the question was strongly posed that “Nichols” – in addition to exposing his own “socialist” pretensions – might be attempting to associate our party with his scabbing.

The SL reacted swiftly. On 21 August 1977 the Berkeley/Oakland SL passed the following motion:
“Whereas Tim N. acted with gross and cynical irresponsibility while on a sale in violating an organized boycott, there by endangering the political reputation of the organization and its trade-union friends, and furthermore that he appears to be erratic and unstable as evidenced by several recent incidents and a perusal of his political history, therefore we do not consider Tim N. a suitible candidate for membership in the common movement... comrades are instructed to keep him at arms length from the organization.”
Now “Tim Nichols” has surfaced as a prominent West Coast goon for the “security” obsessed WL. This provocateur/scab has again found his proper home – if indeed he ever left it. Whoever was running the operation that sent this man up against the SL should take note: if you hope to penetrate the Spartacist League, such low-grade material can't fool our party.

Workers Vanguard No. 232 (25 May 1979)

Correction: In our last issue (WV No. 231, 11 May) “Portrait of a Healyite as Scab/Spy” we attributed to the Workers League (WL) San Jose, California organzier the report that “Tim Nichols” had been asked to resign from the WL in 1975 for committing racially provocative acts. The article should have referred to the former WL San Jose organizer as the source of this statement.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Qaddafi, Billy Carter, Healy (1979)

Workers Vanguard No. 231 (11 May 1979)

Qaddafi, Billy Carter, Healy, Idi Amin

Who’s Behind WL Provocations Against Spartacist?
“Q: What Do Idi Amin, Billy Carter and Gerry Healy have in Common?
“A: The Qaddafi Connection!”
On May 6 trade unionists and supporters of the Spartacist League demonstrated at the Hotel Taft in New York City and the Alameda County Labor Temple in Oakland, California against new provocations against workers democracy by the notorious Workers League (WL), American cohorts of the British-based “International Committee” (IC) of Gerry Healy/Mike Banda. Once a claimant to the mantle of “anti-revisionist Trotskyism,” the Healyite WL/IC has in recent years placed itself in the service of Muammar Qaddafi, megalomaniacal strongman of Libya, utilizing on behalf of its patron the characteristic “method” of the Healyite political bandits – gangsterism and slander.

Demanding “Defend Workers Democracy Against WL Provocation!” the militant demonstrators outside the WL’s May 6 meetings (called ostensibly in celebration of May Day) were replying to a pathological smear article in the WL's yellow journalism Bulletin (1 May) entitled “The Spartacist League: Provocateurs Against Trotskyism and the Iranian Revolution.” This I2-column tirade was the Healyites’ frenzied reaction to the SL's exposure of the WL/IC’s press agentry on behalf of its oil-rich Libyan patron. Last issue, WV had excoriated Healy/Banda for their efforts to justify the bloody suppression of the Iraqi Communist Party at the hands of the Qaddafi-allied bourgeois-nationalist Ba'ath regime (see “Healyites: Kill a Commie for Qaddafi,” WV No. 230, 27 April). Also goading the Healyites to new paroxysms of slander was the SL’s political offensive against Qaddafi’s pal Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran, highlighted by the widely publicized tour by Fatima Khalil, the Near Eastern communist who spoke in eight cities on “No to the Veil! For Workers Revolution Against Islamic Reaction!”

Hoping to egg on the Muslim fundamentalists who have mounted physical assaults on Spartacist forums several times over the past few months, the Bulletin takes the SL’s Trotskyist line on Iran as the excuse for a new orgy of cop-baiting slander:
“[The Iranian revolution] has earned the hatred of the CIA, the U.S. corporations, the military and the entire Carter administration. Nowhere is this hatred expressed more viciously however, than in the pages of the revisionist press The Militant, published by the Socialist Workers Party [SWP], and Workers Vanguard of the Spartacist group.

“Utterly degenerate both politically and morally, it may be said without exaggeration that these groups represent not so much a political tendency within the workers movement, as an out-and-out provocation against the entire working class.

“Upon reading the articles on the Iranian Revolution in both of their newspapers, one cannot help but wonder aloud, In what police academies did these writers complete their educations?...

"If the antics of the Spartacist were directly orchestrated by the FBI and CIA, they could not be more provocative. And, in fact, there is every reason to believe that they are....

“[SL national chairman] James Robertson, an unmitigated degenerate
These vile slanders are intended to provide a “political” cover for physical gangsterism against the SL, befitting the Qaddafi henchmen who applauded the Iraqi colonels’ execution of Communist militants and who now endorse Khomeini’s butchery of Kurdish nationalists in the name of preserving the territorial integrity of “Iran, Iraq and Syria, all centers of anti-imperialist revolutionary activity.” These tools of the capitalist Arab dictators – the worst enemies of the Arab working masses – will stop at nothing to still the voice of authentic Trotskyism.

Lynn Marcus, Gerry Healy – Brothers Under the Skin

Of course, cop-baiting is nothing new for the Healyites, who slandered the SL as “the fingerman for the world capitalist class” as early as 1966. But the Bulletin article represents the full flowering of Healyite paranoia to an extent reminiscent of ex-leftist cultist Lynn Marcus:
“[The SL] is a small sect that was set up by the late Joseph Hansen, the proven FBI agent who for many years ran the Socialist Workers Party, for the specific purpose of organizing provocations against the International Committee of the Fourth International and, in the United States, against the Workers League.

“The activities of Spartacist are intimately bound up with the massive infiltration of the SWP by FBI agents. For many years, Hansen and other FBI agents within the top leadership of the SWP used Spartacist to carry out those sordid political operations with which they preferred not to be associated publicly.

“It must also be said, that if the Spartacists did not exist, the Stalinists of the Communist Party would have had to invent them. Indeed, because of the history of the infiltration of the revisionist movements by the Soviet secret police as well as the FBI, it is not unlikely that the Stalinists did have a hand in the birth of this diseased organization....”
The present slanders thus carry forward the scurrilous campaign to smear Hansen as an “accomplice” of the Stalinist secret police in the 1940 assassination of Leon Trotsky. This slander campaign, ludicrously dubbed “Security and the Fourth International,” has constituted the WL/IC's main activity for four years. The SL replied to these provocations with demonstrations demanding “Who Gave Healy His Security Clearance?”

To support this grotesque paranoid schema, the Bulletin must now create the SWP’s Iran line out of whole cloth. As everyone knows, the SWP has enthused over Khomeini’s reactionary clericalist regime in Iran with only the most perfunctory finger-wagging when the mullahs sought to reimpose the veil and suppress the national minorities. Only the WL/IC can justly claim to be more vulgarly nationalist, more slavishly pro-Khomeini, more programmatically reactionary than the reformist SWP.

And no wonder. The SWP’s pro-mullah capitulation represents mere opportunism; that of the WL/IC is dictated by its sinister ties to Qaddafi. Like the Stalinists whose political line is an apology for the foreign policies of the Sino-Soviet bureaucracies, the WL/IC takes its cues from the Libyan government – with one significant difference: the regimes the Stalinists seek to defend through suicidal “peaceful coexistence” are deformed workers states; the Healyite homeland is a theocratic, militarist, capitalist dictatorship.

The Shoe Fits You, Gerry!

The May 6 SL protest demonstrations reaffirmed the SL’s commitment to defend workers democracy for all tendencies in the workers movement, not only the SWP and the Stalinists but also ourselves. The chants and slogans included:

• What Keeps Billy Carter Out of the Workers League?
• WL Cheers as Iraqi Ba'athists Murder Communists
• Khomeini Attacks ‘Satanic Marxism’ – WL Hails Khomeini
• Lynn Marcus and Gerry Healy: Brothers Under the Skin?
• Healyites: From Political Bandits on the Left to Pimps for Qaddafi
• Gangsterism and Slander Hallmark of Provocateurs
• For the Rebirth of the Fourth International!

At both demonstrations the picketers far outnumbered the WL supporters and easily rebuffed the WL’s attempts to provoke violence.

The WL/IC cop-baiting succeeds only in demonstrating how well the shoe fits them. Organizationally, their “method” of gangsterism and slander has long since been an open invitation to provocateurs. Politically, they sold their soul to the bourgeois “Arab Revolution” so many years ago that when it came time to auction off the stinking body, only the wretched Qaddafi was bidding. It seems likely that the present Bulletin attack was “made in U.S.A.” (or in London) rather than in the Libyan embassy, but it’s getting harder and harder to tell.

Kill a Commie for Qaddafi (1979)

Workers Vanguard No. 230 (29 April 1979)

Healyites: Kill a Commie for Qaddafi

In May of last year 21 members of the Iraqi Communist Party (CP) were executed on charges of forming cells within the army. This juridical murder was part of a major crackdown on the mass party of the Iraqi proletariat by the bourgeois-nationalist Ba'athist regime. According to Iraqi CP leaders, some 15,000 party members are now sitting in jail. Though the pro-Moscow Stalinists still seek friendly relations with the Baghdad butchers, they are obliged to go through the motions of protesting the persecution of their Iraqi corades. So the British CP press, the Morning Star, has run a few articles exposing anti-communist terror in Iraq. In response, the following recently appeared in a certain British paper:
At the obvious instigation of the Kremlin, the Communist Party of Great Britain has become the centre of an immense slander offensive against the bastion of the Arab Revolution - the Republic of Iraq and its revolutionary vanguard, the Arab Ba'athist Socialist Party...
“It is true that 21 CP members were executed early last year for illegally forming cells in the armed forces. The purpose of these cells was to fight against the government. There are no prizes for the answer to what would happen to Ba'athists who set up cells in the Soviet army. They would be ruthlessly purged!”
Is this perhaps a letter from the Iraqi press attache to the London Times or Guardian? No, incredibly, this shameless defense of white terror comes from an article entitled “A Conspiracy Exposed” in the News Line (2 February), organ of the fake-Trotskyist Workers Revolutionary Party (WRP) of Gerry Healy and Michael Banda. The Healyite syphilis within the ostensible Trotskyist movement has now become so putrescent that it can openly support the murder of working-class militants by a capitalist government.

The Healy/Banda tendency has long had an extremely unsavory flavor. It combines idiot organizational sectarianism with the wildest gyrations of gross political opportunism to create an aura of extreme instability. Its penchant for elaborate conspiracy theories and its well-known readiness to employ physical gangsterism against left-wing opponents denote more than a trace of paranoia. But in the past couple of years the Healyites have added another element to their political banditry: they have become the British press agents for Colonel Muammar Qaddafi, the fanatical dictator of Libya. It is evidently in that capacity that they have now become shameless apologists for white terror in Iraq.

This atrocity has produced visible revulsion within the WRP periphery. The 8 March News Line prints a protest letter by one J.A., who identifies himself as a trade unionist, along with the editors' lengthy reply. J.A. writes in a tone of shocked disbelief:
“Are readers of the News Line to conclude that you actually support the murder of members of the Communist Party of Iraq?
“I thought that it was a principle among Trotskyists that they should defend workers against attacks from the state in a capitalist country. How is the British working class to have any confidence in your organization when you show such indifference to the murder of workers abroad at the hands of their state.”
And here is the Healyites’ “theoretical” justification:
“From an historical point of view, the Arab Ba'ath Socialist Party of Iraq has played a hundredfold more progressive role in the Middle East than Stalinism.”
The News Line goes on to list the supposed crimes of Stalinism against Arab nationalism, among them having “led President Nasser around by the nose.”

So according to the Healyites, bourgeois nationalism in the Near East (and why only there?) is historically more progressive than the nationalism of the Soviet bureaucracy, a government based on a degenerated form of proletarian class rule. This kind of “anti-Stalinism” places them in the company of Adolf Hitler, Chiang Kai-shek and Iraq’s Kassem, who likewise condemned the Kremlin supporters as enemies of the “national revolution.” For Trotskyists, Stalinist foreign policy is counterrevolutionary precisely in its support to bourgeois-nationalist regimes for the sake of Russian diplomatic maneuvering. But the Healyites now condemn the Stalinists for betraying bourgeois nationalism through their support to the Soviet bureaucracy!

The enormity of the Healy/Banda tendency’s crime over Iraq goes far beyond typical opportunist betrayals. To put it in perspective, we will use an historical analogy. The Chinese Revolution of 1925-27 was decisive both in the development of Trotsky’s theory of the permanent revolution and in the historic division between Stalinism and Trotskyism. Trotsky opposed the Chinese Communist Party's liquidation into the bourgeois-nationalist Kuomintang as suicidal opportunism. But after his worst predictions had been borne out, he fully solidarized with the Communists against Chiang’s terror. (Even Stalin, who advocated the entry into the Kuomintang, defended the Communists when the bourgeois nationalists turned on them.) The Healy/Banda position in Iraq is equivalent to supporting Chiang’s massacre of the Communists on the grounds that they had “betrayed the Chinese Revolution”! And this is more than an analogy. The Communist Party of Iraq is not merely a Kremlin publicity agency. It is the mass party of the proletariat, centered on the strategic oil workers. And its mass base has a history of resisting Moscow’s “peaceful coexistence” with imperialism and alliance with bourgeois nationalism – namely in the 1958 revolution.

In July 1958 the Hashemite monarchy of King Faisal was swept away by a popular uprising led by the CP in bloc with a nationalist grouping in the officer corps under General Kassem. Under pressure from the revolutionary masses the CP went into opposition to Kassem and sections of the party were pushing to overthrow him and take power directly. So as not to disturb the “spirit of Camp David,” the Kremlin openly supported Kassem, denounced the Iraqi CP for “ultraleftism” and demanded a purge of its left wing. As Isaac Deutscher wrote at the time:
“Since the far-off days of the middle 1920s, when Stalin ordered the Chinese communists to serve as the 'Kuomintang's coolies,' no Communist Party has been exposed to quite so abject a humiliation.”
– ‘Russia and the International Communist Movement,’ in Russia, China and the West: A Contemporary Chronicle 1953-1966 (1970)
Encouraged by Moscow's supoprt and the demoralization of the Communist ranks, Kassem moved against the CP. In 1960 he outlawed all parties affiliated to international organizations. Using this reactionary law he purged CPers from the trade unions and drove the party underground. The 1963 Ba’athist coup intensified the repression which Kassem had begun. Presumably the Healyites retrospectively support the Kassem/Ba’athist terror against the Communist Party because to the latter's “international affiliations.”

With practiced cynicism the News Line tells J.A.:
It is a principle with Trotskyists that we defend workers, whether they are Stalinists, revisionists or social democrats, from the attacks of the capitalist state. But, as the facts show, that has nothing to do with the incidents in Iraq.”
Do the Healyites then maintain that Ba’athist Iraq is not a capitalist state? Or perhaps they mean that they defend the workers movement against capitalist state repression only for groups that don't do anything illegal, like organize within the army. In case the WRP leaders’ parroting Qaddafi’s oratory has entirely rotted their brains, we will remind them that one of the famous “21 conditions” for membership in the Communist International states:
The obligation to spread communist ideas includes the special obligation to carry on systematc and energetic propaganda in the army. Where such agitation is prevented by emergency laws, it must be carried on illegally. Refusal to undertake such work would be tantamount to dereliction of revolutionary duty and is incompatible with membership in the Communist International.”
– Jane Degras, ed., The Communist International 1919-1943, Volume 1, 1919-1922 (1956)
We have long maintained that beneath the bully-boy bluster of Healy, Banda & Co. is the cowardly legalism endemic to the British Labourite bureaucracy. The Stalinist cadres in the Iraqi army, despite their class-collaborationist politics, are a hundredfold more corageous than Qaddafi's yellow journalists in Clapham High Street.

The WRP’s fake-Trotskyist opponents are naturally scandalizing it for its support to counterrevolutionary terror in Iraq, thrilled with the chance to oppose the WRP from the left. But the myriad British centrist groups are by no means champions of proletarian class independence in the Near East (or elsewhere). They too support bourgeois nationalism in backward countries, though now less flamboyantly than the Healyites. They too uphold the notion of the "Arab Revolution" – that most curious “revolution” which is directed not against Arab governments and ruling classes, but externally against Zionist Israel. Like Healy/Banda, they supported Khomeini as “progressive,” “democratic” or “anti-imperialist.” But now it is Healy/Banda who have taken the “Arab Revolution” line to its logical conclusion – opposition to any expression, however partial or deformed, of proletarian class independence which disturbs the Arab rulers, up to and including support to its bloody repression.

We warn the WRP and its supporters in the rump “International Committee” that its cynical embrace of the Lybyan and Iraqi military dictators has consequences. Whereas Stalinists similarly apologize for repression against their left-wing opponents by bourgeois nationalists (e.g. Indira Gandhi, Mengistu, Velasco) as prescribed by the bureaucrats of the deformed workers states, the Healyites have gone them one better in mimicking the class treason on behalf of bourgeois nationalist regimes directly. For a small propaganda group without a significant mass base, moreover, program is decisive in determining a group’s class character. In the case of the Healy/Banda organization, the contradiction between its “Trotskyist” pretensions and the dictates of its Libyan patrons has repetitively come down on in favor of the latter.

WL Thug Gets Lesson (1978)

Workers Vanguard No. 205 (12 May 1978)

WL Thug Gets Lesson in Workers Democracy

SAN FRANCISCO, May 2 – In another of its many unsuccessful attempts to stifle workers democracy through physical intimidation, the Healyite Workers League (WL) launched an unprovoked goon assault on a Spartacist League (SL) sales team here tonight. The attack occurred in front of the Avenue Theater, where a pro-PLO film – The Palestinian, promoted by Healyite Vanessa Redgrave – opened yesterday. The Healyite provocation was doubly dangerous because of the possibility of attack by right-wing Zionists (like the terroristic Jewish Defense League, which has threatened to close the film down) or the cops on left-wing paper salesmen and Palestinians attending the movie.

The previous evening two Workers Vanguard salesmen had been harassed and threatened by WL goons, who resorted to cop-baiting, slandering the SLers as “Zionists” and finally to physical violence. WL Central Committee member David Neita had threatened the salesmen – two young women: “If you are around when the movie lets out, I wouldn't answer for your safety.”

When an SL sales team arrived at the theater tonight, they were greeted with the same harassment and intimidation. Neita attempted to provoke a fight by poking and shoving three SL supporters. Ripping a newspaper out of one comrade’s hands, Neita boasted he would “kill” the three of them. Refusing to be provoked, the salesmen stood their ground and continued selling WV.

About ten minutes later, Neita began his provocative routine again, pushing and poking an SL comrade who was standing on the sidewalk. When another comrade intervened to separate them, Neita shoved him too, then started throwing punches. In the brief scuffle that followed, the SLers defended themselves effectively and left when the cops arrived. The WL must resort to thug attacks to suppress revolutionary criticism of its anti-Leninist tailism of Arab nationalists. Above all, they are desperate to prevent exposure of their corrupt fronting for the reactionary Muslim fanatic, Muammar Qaddafi. But even before the Healy tendency became the publicity agents for the Libyan dictator, these political bandits were notorious for their chronic recourse to gangsterism to suppress political debate. In his 1932 Writings, Leon Trotsky denounced gangsterism as fundamentally alien to the revolutionary movement and identified its source:
“The history of the Russian revolutionary movement is particularly rich in
bitter factional struggles. For thirty-five years I have observed very closely and participated in this struggle. I can't recall a single instance in which differences ofopinion, not only among the Marxists but between the Marxists and Narodniks, and the anarchists, were settled by organized rule of the fist....

“Lenin... saw in ... hooliganism indications and symptoms of a whole school and an entire system: the school and system of Stalin.”

Tempest in a Cracked Pot (1978)

Workers Vanguard No. 194 (24 February 1978)

Tempest in a Cracked Pot

In the throes of a paranoid fantasy worthy of the crackpot Fuehrer of the U.S. Labor Party, Lyndon LaRouche (a.k.a. Lyn Marcus), the sectarian opportunist Workers League has proclaimed that the recent blizzard was actually a “cover for military maneuvers” (“State of Siege in Boston,” Bulletin, 14 February 1978)!

The article, reverberating with Sturm und Drang and Healyite crisis mongering, interprets the removal of snow from Boston streets by the National Guard as a military takeover and a “virtual state of siege for millions of residents.”

While the National Guardsmen, who are serving as armed thugs of the capitalist state against striking miners in southern Indiana, were undoubtedly guilty of abuses, clearing roads, arresting looters and even riding around in “jeeps, trucks and bulldozers as tall as a house” do not add up to a military coup - not even if they shovel the snow in uniform.

In the hysterical view of the Workers League, the street-cleaning operation was:
“a dress rehearsal aimed at disciplining the working class. Its main fear is not a snow storm but the power of the organized working class expressed in the miners strike.”
The state does indeed fear the power of the organized working class and it will respond to threats to its authority with military force - real military force, not tractors and dump trucks! It is genuinely pathetic that the Workers League cannot tell the difference between a military maneuver and a clean-up operation.

Incidentally, the National Guard was also used to clean snow from the streets of New York. At one point, 15 military vehicles were massed in front of the national headquarters of the Spartacist League. What does the Workers League make of that?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Ex WLer Joins Spartacist League (1977)

Workers Vanguard No. 184 (2 December 1977)

Ex WLer Joins Spartacist League

Life in the Healyite Snake Pit

Dear comrades:

I am in agreement with the program of the Spartacist League/U.S. and therefore would like to submit this application for membership in the party. More than seven years ago I came to the understanding that communism represented the force capable of freeing mankind from the various forms of oppression under which it lives. The succeeding years found me seeking to translate my aspirations for revolutionary change into practical activity.

The path to the Spartacist League [SL], the embodiment of the Leninist program, was unfortunately not direct and I took a detour called the Workers League [WL] from 1971 to 1974. Prior to joining the WL, I had had some contact with the SWP [Socialist Workers Party], and read some of Trotsky's books, and considered myself a Trotskyist.

It was the Workers League's espousal of Trotskyist orthodoxy, in particular, that attracted me to the organization. My involvement in the anti-war protests and Black Students Union during my high school days had taught me to despise liberal pacifism and black nationalism, both defended by the SWP, as roadblocks to the development of a communist world outlook. The WL intersected my revulsion towards SWP's reformism by calling for the victory of the NLF and maintaining a knee-jerk reaction against nationalism. With its anti-Pabloist pretensions, the WL seemed to carry the authority held by the leaders of the October Revolution. At a time when many New Leftists still claimed the working class was hopelessly reactionary, the WL's workerist orientation seemed like a defense of principle.

Life in the Workers League was a continual zigzag between socialist posturing and adaptation to the most blatant backwardness in the working class. At Stanford we peddled our “maximum” program to the students. We screamed to them that capitalism's collapse and fascism were imminent, placing the socialist revolution immediately on the agenda. In East Palo Alto the Young Socialists recruited black lumpen youth who had no political understanding. TUALP, the WL's trade-union front, restricted its program to demanding higher wages.

This opportunist practice found a political rationalization in the crisis theory. This asserted that the acute crisis of capitalism made even minimal demands revolutionary. The inexorable march of the class struggle would force the trade union bureaucrats to build a labor party and take up revolutionary demands. In effect, the WL negated the task of revolutionists in the trade unions: breaking the grip of the bureaucrats and constructing an alternative class-struggle leadership.

My three years in the Workers League saw a revolving door of members, the trampling of democratic centralism by Healy's lackeys, and the cultivation of many anti-communist youth who became disillusioned by the WL's deception and manipulation. They were recruited on the basis of dances and basketball games and were tired of having “politics” jammed down their throats. I received a bloody nose from a Young Socialist twice my size while trying to defend another comrade from attack.

After the summer camp I decided to leave the WL. Wohlforth had been deposed and I saw the organization making no serious attempt to assess how it got itself on such a disastrous course. I sensed something was vitally wrong with the organization. But because I lacked political development, I felt ill-equipped to carry out a factional struggle. So outside the WL I read and thought.

The WRP's [Workers Revolutionary Party - the British Healyite organization] expulsion of the Thornett group broadened my understanding of Healy to a certain degree. Attracted to the WSL [Workers Socialist League - founded by Alan Thornett and others expelled by Healy from the WRP in 1974] politics, I joined the American fraternal group - the Socialist League (Democratic Centralist). After a month I resigned, realising that the SL(DC) had not fundamentally broken from Healyism. This circle continues the WL's mass posturing and unashamedly demands a reformist labor party.

Separating the League from every other leftist tendency is its granite adherence to the program. With this program as its core, the SL has assembled an impressive group of cadres. In the WL debate over “mass work” versus the regroupment tactic, the SL has proven its line correct by its ability to assimilate several political generations in one party.

John K.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Healyite Slander Mill Grinds On (1977)

Workers Vanguard No. 176 (7 October 1977)

Healyite Slander Mill Grinds On

The Healyite gang has struck again. As part of the latest installment in its disgusting two-year smear campaign against SWP chief and ex-Trotskyist Joseph Hansen, the British Healyite Workers Revolutionary Party, has published (News Line, 30 July 1977) what it melodramatically terms “the most incriminating document in the history of the Trotskyist movement.” The Healyites' latest exhibit is a two-sentence letter, evidently written by Hansen to one George P. Shaw, the U.S. consul in Mexico City in 1940.

This letter is cited as unimpeachable “evidence” that Hansen secretly collaborated with the FBI. to “shield known GPU agents” responsible for the assassination of Trotsky in 1940. It is backed by other “damning” corroborative testimony, such as the following quotation, dramatically blown up and set against a black background in News Line:
Mr. Joseph Hansen, secretary to the late Leon Trotsky, called yesterday to ask for a picture of Trotsky's assassin. I told him I would be glad to see if we could give him one.”
- U.S. Embassy in Mexico City
Of Hansen's meeting with an embassy official, News Line howls.
There is nothing to rival it in the annals of the world Trotskyist movement: a secretary of imperialism's most feared enemy is walking in and out of the American embassy and holding private discussions with the FBI's head men in Mexico City!”
News Line implicitly acknowledges that the entirety of its “case” for Hansen's involvement as an “accomplice” in the Trotsky assassination rests on the alleged “secrecy” of Hansen's contact with the police agencies of U.S. imperialism. The article concedes that “It is true that other members of Trotsky's household also visited the U.S. Embassy – Albert Goldman and guard Charles Cornell among them.” The article further admits that Trotsky himself met with Robert G. McGregor, the same embassy official with whom Hansen supposedly met. The difference, claims News Line, is that “Trotsky made no secret of his meeting with McGregor.”

The Healyite's “expose” of Hansen, they boast, will “certainly be news to every member of the SWP from the oldest veteran to the youngest rank-and-filer.” We doubt it. The “most incriminating document in the history of the Trotskyist movement” has a return address on it. That address is 116. University Place, New York City. This is not a secret – or even a private – address for the correspondence which Hansen was supposedly trying to hide from the Trotskyist movement, but the public headquarters of the SWP! We would be surprised indeed if any correspondence routed through this mailing address could be “news” to the SWP.

Hansen has much to answer for before the working class: his role as a leader of a reformist organization which has become a roadblock to the construction of a Trotskyist party. But there is no evidence whatsoever of any unauthorized contact or “collusion” by Hansen with the FBI or GPU. Rather, it is perfectly clear that Trotsky and the SWP assigned Hansen to undertake such confidential contact on behalf of the movement and the Healyites are simply exploiting this fact, which for self-evident security reasons would hardly have been officially noted or bandied about at the time. It is the Healyites who, with their cop-baiting smear campaign, have made themselves “accomplices” of the Stalinists' half century of slander against the Trotskyist movement.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Messengers of Qaddafi 2 (1977)

Workers Vanguard No. 174 (23 September 1977)

More from Healy, Messenger of Qaddafi

The Healyite Workers Revolutionary Party (WRP) of Britain has intensified its year-long pandering to the despotic regime of Colonel Muamar Qaddafi's underpopulated but oil-rich Libya to new heights of shameless glorification following last month's brief military conflict between Egypt and Libya. The border clashes between Egypt and Libya represented nothing more than a power struggle for influence in the Arab East between two comparable bourgeois-nationalist regimes, which have consistently answered the democratic aspirations of both Libyans and Egyptians with savage repression. Neither side is deserving of support by socialists.

The WRP, now under the leadership of general secretary Michael Banda, seized on the conflict, however, to provide additional services to what it is pleased to revere as the “Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya” the new Qaddafi-inspired name for Libya. Workers Vanguard first exposed the WRP's weirdly grovelling lauding of the Libyan dictator several months ago (see “Healyites, Messengers of Qaddafi,WV No. 158, 20 May 1977). Since then the WRP's grotesque and fulsome support to Qaddafi has provoked widespread comment in the British left press, as well as in the London Manchester Guardian (16 August).

The WRP (formerly the Socialist Labour League) has a long history of political banditry and Stalin-style organizational methods. Following their hatchet job expulsion of the Spartacist tendency from the 1966 London International Committee (IC) conference, consolidating a rotten bloc of political convenience, the Healyites' cynical organizational methods found political expression a year later in cheerleading a classless “Arab Revolution,” and chronic tailing of Stalinist forces such as Ho chi Minh and the Chinese Maoist Red Guards.

The Healyite operation during the last decade has been built on the principles of a con game, with a central focus on milking high-income “angels” through gimmicky pretensions to mass influence. Combining internal intimidation of members with violence and slander against left opponents, including dragging them into the capitalist courts when convenient, the shrill tone of the Healyite fake “mass press” (Workers Press, News Line) recently reached a new height of witchhunting frenzy in filthy attempts to smear Joseph Hansen, spokesman for the reformist Socialist Workers Party, as an “accomplice of the GPU” in Trotsky's assassination. But the corrupt Healyite “method” of political banditry has reached a revolting nadir in the WRP/ IC's current fealty to the dictator Qaddafi.

Following the Egypt-Libya clash, the WRP Central Committee issued a statement giving full support to the “Libyan Revolution,” stating that “the overthrow of Colonel Gaddafi would be a major setback for Palestine and for Africa.” “Unlike Sadat, the Colonel enjoys universal support amongst the Libyan workers and peasants,” the WRP Central Committee asserted (News Line, 25 July)-and perhaps there is a grain of truth here, since any Libyan who dared oppose the dictator would be swiftly thrown in jail, or worse!

The WRP organized a picket outside the Egyptian embassy in London on July 25, during which Banda and film actress Vanessa Redgrave personally delivered a letter of protest against Sadat to the ambassador. At a special meeting organized by the WRP in “support of the Palestinian and Libyan revolutions,” Banda made a lengthy speech repeating almost word for word the line of the Libyan government. The crowning glory of the WRP's efforts was a “joint communique” put out by the WRP Central Committee and an official delegation from the “General People's Congress of the Libyan Jamahiriya” – i.e., that fake body (which meets once a year) created by Qaddafi as a facade for his dictatorship. The communique (published in News Line, 10 August) hails former Egyptian leader Nasser and his “1952 revolution” which Qaddafi is asserted to be continuing, and praises Qaddafi and his “people's democracy” to the skies – that “people's democracy” whose slogan is “parties arc treason” and is pledged to “purge all the sick people who talk of Communism, atheism...” (New York Times, 22 May 1973)

This unsavory alliance is being trumpeted by the WRP press. Under the grandiose headline, “Unity of the British and Arab Revolution,” the Young Socialist (20 August), organ of the WRP's youth affiliate, introduces the, communique:
An anti-imperialist alliance has been established between the Workers Revolutionary Party and the Socialist People's Libyan Jamahiriya which marks a milestone in the development of the world socialist revolution.”
It is indeed a milestone of sorts – but rather of the sordid and corrupt nature of the WRP, whose only hint of distance from strongman, Qaddafi, is a brief statement in their Central Committee statement of July 25 that,

Colonel Gaddafi is not a communist and certainly not a 'puppet of the Soviet bureaucracy' as Sadat alleges, but hebelieves passionately in the struggle to liberate Arab and colonial people from imperialism. The Workers Revolutionary Party, despite ideological and political differences with Colonel Gaddafi [these are never specified [WV], unconditionally endorses his anti-imperialist views and pledges to defend his leadership against imperialism andits agents.”

Do these “differences” include the recent statement of the Libyan ambassador to Britain that, “If anyone can help find a solution to the Middle East problems, it is Britain” (Arab Dawn, March 1977)? Or include a “difference” over the imprisonment of suspected Trotskyists in Libya? We doubt that the readers of News Line will ever know. The WRP is quite explicit in its allegiance. Its bookshop pushes copies of the Libyan embassy's propaganda brochure on Egypt entitled “The Truth,” which praises Libya's “self restraint and concern for Arab blood in the war.” The printer of this little brochure, interestingly, is the same obscure printer in Runcorn (rather far from London) used by many Healyite publications, including News Line.

While the WRP is wholeheartedly committed to Qaddafi, it is unlikely that the Libyan government's tolerance for even that most loathsome caricature of Trotskyism will be very long-lasting. There may be a certain limited welcome for such prominent personalities as Vanessa Redgrave in the mod, if slightly seedy, Libyan embassy today, which prominently displays a poster advertising Redgrave speaking on Qaddafism in its press suite foyer. But the heat of the “anti-imperialist” colonel's current desires are revealed in the March issue of the Libyan embassy magazing, Arab Dawn, which calls on the cover for “Rapprochement with Britain.” In the interests of this “rapprochement,” Qaddafi has alread ditched the Irish Republican Army. Arab Dawn (October 1976) published an interview with Qaddafi by Arnaud de Borchegrave of Newsweek, who asked, “What about your material support to the Irish Republcan Army?” To this Qaddafi replied: “Our relations with London and Dublin are improving rapidly, and we will soon be exchanging ambassadors with Ireland. The IRA chapter is behind us.”

When the WRP relationship becomes embarrassing to him, Qaddafi will inevitably also put the “WRP chapter” behind him as well. But the WRP will not be able to put behind it this record of crass corruption of revolutionary morality, its utterly revolting glorification of one of the more eccentric, megalomaniacal dictators of the 20th century. The real betrayal, if we can use a word implying a residue of integrity, is that of the Libyan foreign ministry, because the Tripoli government undoubetdly believes it has an important British daily presenting its views, just as in the period before World War II every second-rate power had their press organ in Paris. The venal Banda-led WRP has gotten itself a “good deal” - but not for long.

The WRP's fundamental character as political bandits and con men is well known. However, the WRP's unadorned press pimping for Qaddafi falls well outside the bounds of the working class movement. It is a shameless and shameful act, a truly terrible betrayal of the most elementary class principles. If the WRP can swallow Qaddafi, what other anti-working class forces within Britain itself might they not find it to their advantage to do a deal with?

Healyites, Messengers of Qaddafi (1977)

Workers Vanguard No. 158 (20 May 1977)

Healyites, Messengers of Qaddafi

Something stinks in News Line, daily garbage organ of the British Healyite Workers Revolutionary Party (WRP) -and it's not simply that it continues these political bandits’ unsavory record of sectarianism, Stalinist gangsterism and egregious opportunism. Ever since News Line’s inception on May 1976, it has been a mouthpiece for the megalomaniacal ravings and “people's democracy” pretensions of Colonel Muammar Qaddafi of Libya. Month after month articles in News Line have lauded the dictator in weirdly shameless fashion, hailing his “agricultural revolution,” his support to the “Arab Revolution,” detailing his every attack on the “high treason” of Egypt's Anwar Sadat, and so forth.

Thus a brief article in the 26 February News Line hailed the London publication of the Libyan strongman's Green Book as “an uncompromising rejection of parliamentary democracy in favour of ‘the authority of the people’.” Two Labour MP's who pushed the book were taken to task for giving it “a patronizing send-off”; their praise of the Green Book as “challenging, stimulating, moral” is evidently insufficiently fulsome for the WRP’s taste. Qaddafi’s Healyite press agents complain that his “writings and his drive towards people's democracy hardly received the attention they deserve.”

The WRP has in the last year been making up for that with a vengeance. Over 20 articles on Libya have appeared in News Line, not to mention a considerable increase in “special reports” from Tripoli and attacks on Sadat’s Egypt. News Line's castigation of Egypt, described as “near bankruptcy,” for its repression of leftists is completely in accord with Qaddafi's feud with Sadat – and contrasts sharply with the Healyites’ silence on repression in Libya.

An article in the 14 October 1976 News Line, for instance, discussed a BBC television interview with Qaddafi and dismissed the interviewer's inquiry into political prisoners in Libya as one of the bourgeois media’s “stock-in-trade questions.” News Line smugly added, “Gaddafi was unmoved, saying that they were ‘enemies of the revolution’.” The Healyites praised the program for having “broken at least part of the Gaddafi enigma and answered some of the US State Department and Zionist lies,” but complained that the interview was not shown on prime time:

“Miss Kewley's profile rightly belonged in the BBC’s prestige slot, ‘Panorama’.
“It is a measure of the censorship on television that it was squeezed into
the ‘religious programmes’ department where it could not do justice to the subject of Islam or its leading advocate.”

What is perhaps most curious is that Workers Press, the previous Healyite daily –which folded in February 1976 with the presumption of “lack of funds” – paid little or no attention to Qaddafi and his so-called “Revolutionland.” In the six months prior to its collapse, we could locate only one article in Workers Press dealing specifically with Libya, and this was implicitly critical of Qaddafi, reporting a protest by Libyan students in London against the police slaughter of “at least 16 students” at a demonstration at Libya’s Benghazi University (Workers Press, 14 January 1976). On 8 September 1976 News Line carried a centerfold spread on Tripoli’s “anniversary celebration” of Qaddafi’s military coup. Boasting huge photos and snide comments about the bourgeois press’ lack of coverage of the glorious event, News Line’s spread on “Libya's Day” was a sharp departure from the silence of Workers Press the year before. Something has changed, and it wasn’t the Qaddafi regime.


We are more than happy to give Qaddafi’s policies “the attention they deserve.” Qaddafi is fanatical in his devotion to the Koran, which sanctifies the feudal enslavement of women and prescribes legal punishments such as cutting off the tongues of liars and the hands of thieves. At least 700 political prisoners have been reported held in Libyan jails. Regarding one trial of 17 prisoners (acquitted in 1974) against whom Qaddafi personally intervened to impose new sentences of life imprisonment and death, Amnesty International recently noted: “The accused were allegedly Marxists, Trotskyists, and members of the Islamic Liberation Party” (Intercontinental Press, 4 April I977). Qaddafi's 1973 “cultural revolution" laid out his “Five Principles,” including:
“We must purge all the sick people who talk of Communism, atheism, who make propaganda for the Western countries and advocate capitalism. We shall put them in prison.”

“We live by the Koran, God’s book. We will reject any idea that is not based on it. Therefore we enter into a cultural revolution to refute and destroy all misleading books which have made youth sick and insane.”
– New York Times, 22 May 1973

Qaddafi’s idea of “refutation” is simple: he ordered “the burning of books that contain imperialist, capitalist, reactionary, Jewish or Communist thoughts” (New York Times, 18 April 1973).


The sordid history of the Healyites is replete with examples of slavering enthusiasm for left-talking “Third World” nationalists and Stalinists. Workers Press gratuitously proffered “leftist” cheerleading to assorted petty-bourgeois anti-working-class formations, from the Maoist Red Guards to the Angolan MPLA. But the WRP’s pandering to Qaddafi is surely a new low.

Perhaps the most disgusting was a full-page “special News Line interview” with Hamied Jallud, general secretary of the “Libyan trade union federation, equivalent of the British TUC” (14 September 1976). To News Line questions about collective bargaining and the right to strike, the Qaddafi bureaucrats replied, “The role of the trade unions in socialist countries is completely different from capitalist countries”! After all, “the responsibility of the trade unions is to educate the workers and increase production”; Qaddafi's “General People's Congress” will look after the workers' interests. The WRP’s shameless presentation of Qaddafi's repression of the Libyan working class leaves no doubt of its utter subjugation before this capitalist dictator.

News Line hailed the “General People's Congress” held in early March in Shebha, a small desert village distinguished by Qaddafi’s having gone to school there. Fidel Castro was the guest of honor as the “Congress” renamed Libya the “People's Socialist Libyan Arab Public” (sic) and kicked off Qaddafi's “Third Universal Principle” which he modestly claims solves “the problem of democracy.”

The Healyites have had some “problems” with “democracy” themselves; their solution has generally been to beat up political opponents. Qaddafi, who-unlike the WRP-holds state power, has worked out a more elaborate schema. His little Green Book explains that “both administration and supervision become popular” through “committees everywhere” – while Qaddafi becomes head of the “General People's Congress” which runs everything and is so “popular” that it meets once a year. The sinister meaning of this “solution” comes out in the slogans pasted up around Shebha: “Parliaments are defunct.” “representation is a fraud” and “Parties are treason” (London Guardian, 3 March 1977).

“Parties are treason” – what about the Workers Revolutionary Party? In this “People’s Public” where communists are to be jailed and butchered and their books burned, ostensible leftists would have to do some pretty peculiar things to survive – and News Line has made it clear the WRP would be more than willing to do them. The London Times (6 September 1976) reported:
The repression... in Libya has not, of course, weakened the interest of
left-wing groups in other countries. Representatives of Miss Vanessa Redgrave's Workers' Revolutionary Party, for instance, have visited Libya three times in the past twelve months. Nor has it diminished the affection of those countries like Malta, which feel, with some reason, that Colonel Qaddafi has proved to be their only friend.”

Malta’s reasons are obvious. About to be impoverished by the closing of NATO bases, Malta is now dependent on Qaddafi's aid to remain solvent. The mendicant guerrillas who flock to Tripoli seeking Soviet-made arms and Libyan oil money reportedly have included Muslim secessionists from the Philippines and Ethiopia, opponents of anti-Qaddafi Arab regimes (Sudan, Yemen, Syria, Tunisia, Morocco), the Provisional IRA and various Palestinian organizations. Naturally, such groups do not bite the hand that feeds them and have accorded Qaddafi a high place in the pantheon of “anti-imperialist” leaders.


Workers Press, which folded on 14 February 1976, titled itself the “Daily Organ of the Central Committee of the Workers Revolutionary Party.” Heavy publicity in the preceding months for the paper’s “Crisis Fund” and dire warnings that “the future of the paper is in doubt” would lead to the presumption that it closed up shop for lack of funds. Yet the “Final Edition” Editorial Board statement does not explicitly say so; instead, the Healyites tersely announce that their printing firm, Plough Press, will cease operations.

The Healyites, normally so fond of denying inconvenient reports on the grounds of their bourgeois sources, hid behind an abstract and irrelevant set of statistics from one of the great bourgeois interests, the British Printing Industrial Federation, on “rises in general expenses” increasing printing costs. For two and a half months no Healyite newspaper appeared. Then News Line sprang to life – but not as any kind of party organ – with a format which included paid advertising. At about that same time Healy was replaced by Mike Banda as WRP general secretary.

The WRP ranks have been kept busy with the usual treks across England – and lately the “Children's Crusade” across Europe – designed in part to keep them too exhausted to notice their corrupt leaders’ maneuvering. But even a cursory look at News Line’s year-long pandering to the oil-rich Qaddafi forces the observation that there is indeed something very rotten in the state of Denmark.

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.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

WL Exclusionism Wrecks Own Meeting (1977)

Workers Vanguard No. 147 (4 March 1977)

WL Exclusionism Wrecks Own Meeting

TORONTO – The tiny local branch of the Workers League (WL), reinforced by a goon squad of its cronies from Detroit, forcibly prevented members of the Trotskyist League of Canada (TL) from attending a so-called “public” WL, meeting February 19 at the University of Toronto. Although a showing of the film “Trotsky: His Life and Work” was the drawing card for the meeting, its real purpose was revealed once the WL had corralled about 40 people inside. It was simply a forum to continue the vicious slander campaign of the Healyite International Committee (IC) against United Secretariat (USec) leaders George Novack and Joseph Hansen.

As usual, the Workers League was concerned above all with spreading its lies without having to face exposure by supporters of the international Spartacist tendency. At the entrance to the meeting a WL goon announced, “Everyone is welcome who is not a member of the Trotskyist League.”

To protest this Stalinist exclusion, the TL and its supporters initiated a militant picket line, 40-strong, in front of the meeting site. They chanted: “Let the communists in,” “Down with Stalinist exclusionism – For workers democracy,” “On Sadlowski, Miller and Ho Chi Minh – IC and USec are brothers under the skin,” and “Down with the Healyite slander campaign – Reforge the Fourth International.”

Inside the meeting a supporter of the TL demanded to know why the Trotskyist League was excluded and protested this cowardly act as a blatant violation of workers democracy. WL goons immediately rushed him, pushing him out the door. Two others who protested the exclusion were also thrown out. WL honcho Fred Mazelis took the floor, ranting that anyone who disagreed with the exclusion should “go out and join the protest outside,” at which point six more people left.

Mazelis cynically offered to let the TL have one speaker. But later when a TL delegation came to accept this offer, four goons at the door mumbled, “You're too late.” The remaining audience was treated to over an hour of the WL’s crisis-mongering and GPU agent-baiting of Hansen and Novack before the movie. When one person asked when the film would start, Mazelis replied: “If you don't like it you can leave.” At that point ten more people walked out.

The Workers League’s penchant for slandering and hysterical crisis-mongering is as notorious as its longtime Stalinist exclusion of opponent tendencies from “public” WL forums. Its recent hypocritical appeal against violence in the socialist movement (see “Look Who's Calling Us Comrade,” WV No. 143, 4 February) is belied by its continuing practice of exclusionism.

The Workers League fortunately has no impact on the working class. Its capitulation to the right-wing social-democratic New Democratic Party and its chauvinist refusal to recognize Quebec's right to-self-determination are but Canadian adaptations of its appeals to arch-reactionary labor traitors such as Meany and Abel to form a labor party in the U.S. However marginal this group is, its recourse to lies and slander instead of political debate is a poison that must be vigorously combatted, while its exclusion of and thug attacks against opponents on the left are Stalinist provocations that cannot be tolerated in the workers movement.

Friday, July 10, 2009

WL/SL Exchange on Workers Democracy (1977)

Workers Vanguard No. 143 (4 February 1977)

Look Who's Calling us Comrade

New York, N.Y. , January 23, 1977

Dear Cde. Robertson:

I wish to call to your attention that in recent weeks members of your organization have sought to disrupt both the political work and public meetings of the Workers League and Young Socialists.

On Saturday, December 4, 1976, your organization staged a provocative demonstration outside the election headquarters of the Workers League in Los Angeles. One of our members was physically attacked and thrown through a pane-glass window. The actions of your organization resulted in bringing the police to the scene. As you know, the police raided these election headquarters over the summer, and your demonstration gave them still another opportunity to harass our members.

Less than a week later, in Toronto, two members of the Canadian Workers League were physically attacked by 12 Spartacist members - some of them Americans - as they attempted to distribute leaflets on the university campus to advertise a public meeting.

On Wednesday, January 19, 1977, 13 members of Spartacist physically threatened members of the Young Socialists and prevented them from holding a meeting at California State University in Los Angeles.

Such provocations and use of violence play into the hands of the police and the most reactionary class forces. They can only damage the socialist movement. I urge you to abandon this provocative policy and call your members to order.

David North, National Secretary, Workers League
New York, N.Y., 27 January 1977

D. North, Workers League

Dear Comrade,

We have received your letter of 2nd January. It is evidently either (a) itself a provocation designed to facilitate frame-up attempts by you in connivance with bourgeois police authorities, and/or (b) a tacit announcement, possibly as a result of the current relationship of forces between us, that your organization is contemplating some change in your years-long standard practice against us (as well as other socialists). Both in the U.S. and abroad this has consisted of the eager use of your own violence, limitless slander, and where possible, the employment of the police to do your dirty work. These are facts which can, for example, be testified to first hand by sellers of any other socialist newspaper at your meetings over the years.

We have commented as appropriate in our public press on the motives and purposes behind your long and unbroken record of all-sided attempts to suppress and destroy the processes of workers democracy and we see no reason to pursue these matters here.

As for the particulars which you presently allege, our Workers Vanguard has already noted the very different reality of such incidents (and many others).

Especially significant is the fact that the last two major assaults by your people that we know of were centrally against cameramen in front of Healyite meetings. These comrades were attempting to deter or failing that document your calculated violence against other socialists (see WV No. 130, 22 October 1976 and WV No. 137, 10 December 1976).

To the extent that your organization does not continue to try to deprive us of those rights necessary to the socialist and labor movements, you can assure yourselves that the concerns so hypocritically expressed in your letter will automatically disappear. And we note that in any case we will continue to defend your own legitimate rights should they be threatened from any quarter.

Corresponding to your violence against us has been your previous justification that we are “police agents,” “fingermen of the world bourgeoisie,” etc. (Just try physical assault on genuine police agents sometime!) We therefore find your closing paragraph, with its appeal to us as fellow socialists to stand against provocations and violence, particularly obnoxious and hypocritical. Truly your situation must be precarious for you to certify our “socialist” legitimacy in any case, and in honor of our present elevation by you, we too are giving salutations to you as “comrade” and “fraternally,” although since you also identify us as accomplices to the SWP leaders who are “GPU accomplices” according to your currently most active slander campaign, we do so with repugnance.


J. Robertson

Confessions of a Rubber Stamp (1977)

Workers Vanguard No. 145 (18 February 1977)

Confessions of a Rubber Stamp

On January 14 a host of ostensibly Trotskyist dignitaries got together in a London public meeting to denounce Gerry Healy, the self-styled “anti-revisionist” whose Stalinist-style organizational practices have made him notorious as a gangster and slanderer. The meeting's ostensible purpose was to protest Healy's despicable slander campaign to smear the American SWP's Joseph Hansen and George Novack as “accomplices” of the Stalinist secret police in the assassination of Leon Trotsky (see “Fake Trotskyist Family Reunion,” WV No. 141, 21 January). The meeting's real purpose was to buttress the assembled revisionists' pretensions to Trotskyism, using Healy as a convenient foil. The hypocrisy of the participants' avowed concern for “workers democracy” was demonstrated when the meeting refused to grant Healy the floor to reply to his attackers.

But surely the most shameless of all the hypocrites was Tim Wohlforth, who for some dozen years headed Healy's American satellite. As Healy's chosen instrument, Wohlforth happily emulated every corrupt trick in Healy's book, sanctimoniously parting about the “Marxist method” while arrogantly intimidating any and all opposition to his high-handed tinpot despotism and cynical opportunism. He flinched from nothing in his master's service, until at last a denunciation of himself stuck in his throat.

Wohlforth's testimonial to the crimes of Healy was truly heart-rending:
I got up in the middle of the meeting and said I disagreed with the proceedings. Which was the hardest thing that I have ever said in my life because of the atmosphere. And yet, and any of you here who have ever been in the Socialist Labour League could understand this, and yet I ended up, as those who have been in the Socialist Labour League have done and still do, I ended up voting against my convictions!
"I voted for my own removal; Nancy Fields voted for her own suspension. And then, two minutes out of that meeting, we went back to our cabin with Comrade Slaughter and we told him we disagreed with the way we voted. We just could not say it in front of such a meeting in such an atmosphere.” [emphasis in original]
- Intercontinental Press, 7 February
Heaylite methods are indeed brutal and debasing. But we would like to remind Wohlforth that, despite the intimidating “atmosphere” which is a hallmark of the Healy-Wohlforth school, there is an alternative to sniveling self-denunciation.

In London in 1966, at a conference of Healy's “Inernational Committee,” Healy - an an attempt to guarantee a totally subservient puppet organization in the U.S. - launched a bureaucratic attack on James Robertson, the spokesman for the Spartacist delegation to the conference, for missing a session due to exhaustion and illness. One contemporary account described the incident:
“(1) He was charged with being absent from a session.
“(2) He admitted his guilt.
“(3) A motion was passed demanding that he apologize and admit having committed a 'petty bourgeois act.'
“(5) The escalation proceeded. Healy, according to Rose J., scored Robertson's absence and his refusal to vote for his condemnation, characterizing it as a 'petty bourgeois, reactionary act expressing the chauvinism of American imperialism, etc.'
“(6) Robertson was threatened with expulsion if he did not voice approval of the motion branding him with the alleged class nature of his crime.
“(7) The dazed man still said, no.
“(8) He was expelled.
- “Healy 'Reconstructs' the Fourth International"
The author of these words was none other than Joseph Hansen, who has now gathered into his revisionist fold the very same Wohlforth who in 1966 joyously echoed the slanderous call of his master's voice to lock up his cherished franchise as the head of American Healyism.

For loathsome creatures of the Wohlforth ilk, there was never any choice but to vote “against my convictions,” pleading the “atmosphere” in extenuation. For the principled Leninist politicians of the Spartacist tendency, there was never any choice but to uphold our convictions, in the terrain of organizational pratice as in the terrain of program. Wohlforth was, in Hansen's own words, “a rubber stamp for a Healy.” True enough. And depite a decade of denouncing Hansen's revisionism, look whose rubber stamp Wohlforth is now!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Fake-Trotskyist Family Reunion (1977)

Workers Vanguard 141 (21 January 1977)

Opposing Healy Slanders, Suppressing Workers Democracy

London Meeting: Fake-Trotskyist Family Reunion

At a London meeting attended by some 1,500 people last Friday, Ernest Mandel, Pierre Lambert, Michel Pablo and representatives of the American Socialist Workers Party (SWP) were to have shared the same platform for the first time in over 25 years. Behind the speakers was a banner proclaiming, “For Workers Democracy – Against Frame-Ups and Slanders,” and the ostensible purpose of this reunion of renegades from Trotskyism was to condemn the outrageous accusation by Gerry Healy that SWP leaders Joe Hansen and George Novack were “accomplices of the GPU” in Stalin’s 1940 assassination of Leon Trotsky.

To be sure, Healy’s disgusting slanders deserve nothing but utter contempt from revolutionists as they are manifestly absurd and groundless, and, moreover, serve to fuel the Stalinist lie that Trotsky was murdered by “one of his own.” But the main purpose of the meeting's organizers lay elsewhere. Planned at an October 1976 session of the “United” Secretariat (USec), at the same time as an abortive pact was worked out between the USec and the French OCI (see “No Tango in Paris,” WV No. 137, 10 December 1976), Friday’s meeting provided a forum for the chieftains of the squabbling factions of competing revisionists masquerading as Trotskyists to publicly bury the hatchet.

Much of the meeting was an orgy of indignation against Healy and his Stalinist practices, from gangster attacks against other leftists to pernicious cop-baiting and character assassination. Healy richly deserves the harshest condemnation for his venomous slanders and thuggery, but the ex-Trotskyist dignitaries who use his travesty of anti-revisionism to justify their own maneuvers have little to boast about as partisans of workers democracy.

Starring in the role of “saved” sinner and prodigal son was former Healy lackey Tim Wohlforth. After a dozen years as servile Gauleiter of American Healyism, Wohlforth was blackjacked by his master (and perforce accused of harboring a suspected “CIA agent”).

Wohlforth, now a book reviewer for the SWP’s Militant, appealed for sympathy because of the trials and tribulations he and his companion Nancy Fields faced after being dumped by Healy (“no one knocked on our door”). In the, process he inadvertently revealed his own moral cowardice and total unfitness to be a revolutionary leader. According to Wohlforth, “the hardest thing that I ever said in my life” was to get up in a meeting with Healy and say that he “disagreed with the proceedings.” But this “disagreement” was not sufficient to prevent him from voting (“against my convictions”) for his own removal as head of the Workers League. By his own testimony, then, Wohlforth demonstrates that he would have stood in the front ranks of the capitulators to Stalin in the 1920's. If he cannot stand up to Healy's blustering, how could he have resisted the onslaught of Stalin, who had the full resources of state power at his command, or the pressures exerted by the bourgeoisie?

You Scratch My Back, I'll Scratch Yours

In the chummy atmosphere of a family reunion, the meeting also celebrated the “growth and vitality of the Fourth International.” Mandel put it most clearly: the meeting was not called to refute Healy's vile frame-up, but “to defend the Fourth International through our solidarity with comrade Hansen and comrade Novack... because it needs defending.”

The intervention by Lambert of the OCI – by far the most political of the evening – gently chided the USec majority for refusing to discuss with the OCI so long as the latter refused to characterize the Mandelites as “revolutionaries” (after all, he pointed out, terms such as “centrist” are a legitimate part of political debate among ostensible Marxists). But at the same time he abandoned the OCI's anti-Pabloist tradition and accepted the USec's ultimatum by several times pointedly referring to this gang of revisionists as “the Fourth International.”

Lambert went out of his way to imply that the OCI had never considered the Socialist Workers Party as anything but revolutionary. He claimed that in 1963 when Healy characterized the SWP as centrist the OCI had rejected this label. This bald assertion cannot alter the fact that during the late 1960’s and early 1970’s the OCI referred to the SWP as “revisionist.” Moreover, in 1962 Healy had split the Revolutionary Tendency (RT – predecessor of the Spartacist League/U.S.) of the SWP when the RT majority refused to sign his dictated statement avowing that the SWP was revolutionary and not centrist.

Mandel in his closing speech returned Lambert’s compliment, stating that he must “give credit where credit is due” and praising the OCI for having played “an excellent, excellent leading role" in the campaign to free Leonid Plyushch and to defend other left dissidents in the Soviet Union. Referring to the liberation of Plyushch last February, Mandel assimilated the OCI to the USec by triumphantly proclaiming, “we got him out.”

Michel Pablo, the dean of anti-Trotskyist revisionism, did not show up, no doubt to the secret relief of Mandel and Lambert, since Pablo no longer maintains any pretense of Trotskyism or adherence to the Fourth International and might therefore give the game away. His message read at the meeting was in many ways the frankest of all He disparagingly, referred to “this nasty quarrel” which was “symptomatic of a certain ideological decomposition in the movement of epigones, who have not succeeded in linking themselves up seriously with the natural movement of the class.” But after denouncing the “exacerbated sectarianism of the sects,” in the spirit of the evening he went on to propose “our common task” which was to “search with the utmost determination for what can unite us and not divide ourselves.” All that was necessary, said Pablo, was a “common program which corresponds to the current necessities.”

The speakers wholeheartedly took up Pablo’s admonition. Lambert declared that he didn’t wish to discuss “who was correct” in 1953, when Pablo caused the split and destruction of the Fourth International with his liquidationist program of “deep entrism” in the Stalinist and social democratic mass reformist parties. Mandel, recalling Pablo’s 1950s talk of a “new world reality” in which the Stalinists could no longer betray, discerned that “Eurocommunism” has introduced “new and tremendously vulnerable elements of division into world stalinism,” which can have “fairly big effects in favor of Trotskyism.” He therefore proposed that “all comrades present here, of all different tendencies, factions and organizations," undertake a “common political campaign” to “ask” the European Stalinists to “immediately, openly and publicly rehabilitate all the victims of Stalin, all the victims of the Moscow trials,” and to call on the Spanish Communist Party to expel Trotsky’s assassin! After all, “it can’t hurt to ask”!

Following hard on the USec's prostration before a new wave of popular-frontism in Europe and Latin America, Mandel is proposing a “broad front” of the “family of Trotskyism” to fight “what remains [his emphasis] of the poison of Stalinism today in the working class movement, in the Communist parties and the trade-union organizations” in Europe. As the Stalinists seek to prove their reliability to the imperialist bourgeoisies, in classic Pabloist fashion Mandel capitulates to their talk of classless “democracy” rather than exposing its pro-capitalist essence. Is he preparing for entrism in the “Eurocommunist” parties?

Workers Democracy or Bureaucratic Suppression?

Any remaining doubts concerning the real purpose of the meeting were dispelled after the scheduled speakers had finished. As chairman Tariq Ali was announcing the end of the proceedings, Gerry Healy rose from the audience and demanded speaking time to answer the chorus of attackers. All serious defenders of workers democracy – purportedly the central theme of the meeting – would have wanted Healy to speak, but Ali, with the practised sleight-of-hand of union bureaucrats and shell game operators, called for an immediate vote amidst the uproar, then declared that “workers democracy” had upheld him.

As Healy continued to protest, with considerable support among the audience, the chair demagogically silenced him by bursting into the Internationale to close the meeting.

This outrageous violation of elementary workers democracy – at a meeting allegedly called precisely in order to defend it – again exposes the USec's rotten bureaucratic maneuvers. Moreover, it is only because the decomposition of the “United” Secretariat has reached such a point that it barely exists that this meeting was held at all. Today Mandel and Lambert exchange compliments on the podium and defend the integrity of Hansen and Novack; but when the SWP first sought statements denouncing Healy's slanders a year and a half ago, it took Mandel & Co. quite a while before coming up with a statement.

None of the organizers of this meeting are true defenders of workers democracy or of the Fourth International. The OCI systematically uses thug violence against its ostensibly Trotskyist opponents on the left. Pablo and his acolytes (today the Mandelite USec majority) refused to defend the Chinese Trotskyists jailed by Mao in 1949-51, slandering them as “refugees from a revolution” for their courageous defense of proletarian democracy against the bureaucratic Stalinist regime. As for the SWP, it responded to Castro's jailing of the Cuban Trotskyists by remarking, in the words of Barry Sheppard, now SWP national secretary, “There are Trotskyists and there are Trotskyists. But if I were in Cuba, I wouldn't be arrested.”

While the USec and OCI use Healy's despicable slanders as a convenient excuse for a reunion of the “family” of ex-Trotskyists, the international Spartacist tendency insisted that a genuine and principled programmatic regroupment of authentic Trotskyists can come about only through hard, open debate. A leaflet distributed at the meeting by the London Spartacist Group – cosigned by the iSt, the Organizacion Trotskista Revolucionaria of Chile and the Trotskyist Faction (expelled) of the German Spartacusbund – pointed out that “The real political issues which place all these squabbling, slander-mongering, violence-prone elements at one pole and the iSt at the other are currently posed by two decisive considerations: the popular front and the Fourth International.”

Exposing the speakers’ false pretensions to defending workers democracy, the leaflet explained that behind this lay their capitulation to reformist programs of class collaboration. It concluded, “without the struggle to create a programatically united and disciplined Fourth International the workers are left to wander into the new traps of capital... with the assistance of their revisionist would-be ‘leaders’.” Forward to the rebirth of the Fourth International!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Joe Hansen is an Honest Revisionist (1977)

Workers Vanguard No. 141 (21 January 1977)

“Hypocrisy is the Homage that Vice Pays to Virtue”

Joe Hansen is an Honest Revisionist

We reprint below a leaflet distributed by London supporters of the international Spartacist tendency at a January 14 meeting to protest Healyite slanders of SWP leaders Joseph Hansen and George Novack.

Considering the notorious scoundrels who mainly comprise the speakers tonight, this is not a company that we of the international Spartacist tendency (iSt) would freely choose to be among. But Trotsky has taught us that if the issue is just, one can unite with “the devil and his granddam” (taking due account of the old folk saying that “when you sup with the devil, use a long spoon”). But the ostensible purpose of this meeting – to protest and expose the infamous slanders against Joseph Hansen and George Novack of the American Socialist Workers Party (SWP) by Gerry Healy and his Workers Revolutionary Party – is at most only one of its purposes. For the speakers have another, overriding common denominator: they are all, to a man, revisionists and destroyers of the Trotskyist movement, not merely guaranteed to be oh-so-diplomatic about one another's betrayals of Marxism, but actively in pursuit of new combinations and configurations of revisionism (the stresses of an internationally rising line of class struggle having deeply undermined their old alignments).

It is only abstractly nauseating to think of speaking from the same platform as e.g., a Pierre Lambert, whose organization continues to practice endless physical violence against the “Vargaites” in the streets of Paris; or a servile Tim Wohlforth; now speaking for the shamelessly reformist SWP, who has spent fifteen years as a leading practitioner of Healyite slander and violence; or, above all, a Michel Pablo (sometime arch-enemy,of the former two), who personally has done quite as much as any other living human being to destroy the Trotskyist movement from within and turn “Trotskyism” into a cesspool.

Nonetheless a meeting “for workers democracy” and “against frame-ups and slanders” – even including such elements as these – could be a good thing, only providing that it was an honest meeting with full freedom of criticism.

Unfortunately, as the speakers’ list guarantees, this is not the case here. It is the omissions which tell the story. For example, when Hansen’s Intercontinental Press (6 September 1976) published the statement “A Shameless Frame-Up” signed by a long list of individuals and organizations, IP in its informational breakdown identified from among the hundreds of signers sixteen as “internationally known Trotskyists.” Of these, eleven were supporters of the United Secretariat (USec), two were from the Organisation Communiste Internationaliste (OCI) of Pierre Lambert, two were from Lutte Ouvriere and one was from the iSt. But only some of the USec leaders, and Lambert from the presently ingratiating OCI, and that master of intrigue, Pablo himself, are to speak tonight. Particularly objectionable to the meeting’s sponsors would be a spokesman of the iSt – the group which at the level of workers democracy campaigned earliest against the Healyite slanders (picketing with our slogan “Who Gave Healy His Security Clearance?”) and which helped initiate the impartial Commission of Inquiry into the affair of the highly dubious Varga vs. the slanderous OCI.

It is not enough to describe Healy, as Hansen does, as a paranoid. The conduct of Healy’s organization demands political explanation. The Healyite combination of crude opportunism and fake-Trotskyist “orthodoxy” has repeatedly lost out to the slicker USec, whose internally warring wings are led by Joseph Hansen and Ernest Mandel. In his slander campaign, Healy no doubt thinks he has gone V. I. Lenin one better. Lenin exposed Karl Kautsky as a revisionist through careful and savage analysis. It would therefore have been inconceivable for Lenin, as a Marxist, to have substituted the false and gratuitous – and so simplifying – accusation that Kautsky was an agent of the Kaiser. Healy cannot follow this principled course toward the USec revisionists, for comparable analysis would indict his own conduct. He resorts to contemptible slander which merely brings ostensible “anti-revisionism” into disrepute. As always, Healy is the horrible example which Hansen feeds off, for his own purposes – in this case, an unprincipled attempted international “regroupment” parading as a rally for workers democracy.

The real political issues which place all these squabbling slander-mongering, violence-prone elements at one pole and the iSt at the other are currently posed by two decisive considerations: the popular front and the Fourth International. Of course, as in the 1930's when the centrist London Bureau zig-zagged through the no-man’s-land between Trotskyism and the mass reformist parties, so today one finds more leftist ephemeral groupings which seek to straddle between a revolutionary course and the accommodationism common to all tonight’s speakers. The overriding characteristic of these groups is negative: not to stand for a common and coherent international program, but to posture against those (such as tonight’s speakers) whose betrayals have become too overt. Thus for example there is the “Necessary International Initiative” bloc (including one Roberto from Italy, Sean Matgamna’s recently split International Communist League, the disintegrating German Spartacusbund and maybe somebody else).

Their tendency to themselves capitulate under pressure to popular frontism aside, they have hardly a point in common among their component factions and individuals except their objection to the manifest revisionism of the USec (and to the “sectarian” intransigence of the iSt).

With the renewal internationally of massive proletarian unrest, the popular front is again in the air. And all revisionists must try, in their own ways, to accommodate on the central question of class collaboration and, with their “new mass vanguards” or self-serving descriptions of mass reformist parties as simply “workers parties,” to pave the way for new betrayals.

The 1930s centrists of the London Bureau, which Trotsky condemned, had to verbally separate themselves from the popular front rather more than such types do today:
“The Popular Front practised by the Second and Third Internationals is a form of class collaboration between the proletariat and the Liberal bourgeoisie (and the petty bourgeoisie which depends on this latter) on a capitalist basis which subordinates and sacrifices the class interests of the proletariat and the petty bourgeoisie to those of monopoly Capitalism.... In consequence, the Revolutionary Socialist Movement rejects the Popular Front as being absolutely contrary to the historic interests of the working class. To Capitalism we must oppose Socialism! To the Popular Front we must oppose the United Workers Front.”
– Resolution adopted at the"Revolutionary Socialist Congress" of the
London Bureau, February 1938
Thus despite their anti-Trotskyist obliteration of the necessity of the proletarian vanguard party, the London Bureau was perforce compelled to make a categoric class counterposition to the popular front and did not expect the Stalinist and reformist parties to somehow turn into their opposites. But instead of, and in opposition to, the Trotskyists’ hard, bleak struggle for the Fourth International, those centrists counterposed to reformism their innocuous and impotent phantom, “the Revolutionary Socialist Movement.” This is why the organizations of the London Bureau, 'though nominally disposing of forces one hundred times that of the Trotskyists, are a barely known historical footnote whose descendents must masquerade today as Trotskyists.

The hard lessons of the victorious October Revolution retain their full force on our planet. Lenin and Trotsky did not enter or tail the provisional government of socialists and liberals – they overthrew it on the basis of soviet power.. The international Spartacist tendency stands today with Lenin's Third and Trotsky's Fourth International in insisting not only that the issue of state power is class against class, but that without the struggle to create a programmatically united and disciplined Fourth International the workers are left to wander into the new traps of capital – and, as in the 1930's, with the assistance of their revisionist would-be “leaders.”

[Authorized text] 14 January 1977

international Spartacist tendency
Organizacion Trotskista Revolucionaria de Chile
Trotskyist Faction (expelled) of the Spartacusbund (Germany)
London Spartacist Group BCM Box 4272 London WCIV 6XX England