Response to Comrade Arney on recommitting to Communist international unity

BY:Wadi’h Halabi| April 3, 2019


Thanks are due Comrade Michael Arney for details on the 1943 resolution dissolving the Communist International.

His apparent support for the resolution is understandable, considering many national sections suffered from incorrect Soviet direction. But better to identify and correct weaknesses of our world movement’s greatest weapon.

A word stands out in that resolution – section. Parties anywhere were understood to be but sections of one world Communist Party. There is a material foundation for this – the single world economy.

Marx and Engels understood that workers now faced the capitalists of the world: global class struggle. Warring capitalist powers joined forces against the workers of the Paris Commune.

Marx and Engels’ conclusion was — Workers of the world, unite. They showed how – an International. (They dissolved it only because Marxism still had to establish its undisputed superiority.)

Engels helped build the Second International. But a privileged leadership with a non-Marxist assessment of the world “led” to the International’s collapse in 1914 along national-capitalist fault lines.

Lenin swiftly moved to reunite our class by organizing our International in 1919. All revolutions of the 20th century, right through Laos in 1975, can be traced to the impulse of 1917 and the Communist International.

The struggle has paused. It had to catch its breath. Remarkably, the sections of our International still live. Divided, many incorrectly seek “national roads to socialism”.

It is time to reunite, consciously. What defines our DNA is the Russian, Chinese and other revolutions, which seized power to advance humanity’s transition.

What distinguishes members of the Communist Party?

This only, the Manifesto explained: “1. In the national struggles of the proletarians of the different countries, [we] point out and bring to the front the common interests of the entire proletariat, independently of all nationality. 2. In the various stages of development which the struggle of the working class against the bourgeoisie has to pass through, [we] always and everywhere represent the interests of the movement as a whole”. Wow.

All the forces at work today are global. Even the mighty Chinese Communist Party faces social and environmental disaster if the world remains mostly-capitalist. Marxism helps us understand why: Advances in technology accelerate destruction as capitalism’s contradictions grow.

Furthermore, most capitalist countries are artificial constructs of wars, many dividing historically-formed nations. How can a divided Communist movement address this?

The US was created by plunder and genocide of indigenous peoples, then built on the labor of millions kidnapped from Africa, enslaved under abject conditions, then “emancipated” to a life of poverty, unrelenting national oppression by police and courts, and denied democratic rights. And isn’t “US territory” the result of armed robbery of Mexico, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, etc.?

Borders in Africa, Latin America and Asia were also largely defined by warring colonial powers. Even in “independence”, one (oppressed) nation or clan commonly oppresses another — whose majority may be living in yet another oppressed country.

Yet isn’t that 1943 dissolution resolution a call for workers to separate along capitalist borders? Naturally, our main work takes place wherever we are living, but fruitful practice requires international unity and strategy.

The Soviet section dominated the International because the Russian Revolution was so extraordinary. That was understandable, but a weakness. Other sections had difficulty learning to think and contributing to an integrated global strategy.

Subcommittees addressing union and other necessary tasks lacked relative separation from the center. Mechanisms were not developed to resolve contradictions between necessary tasks to make the best out of a bad situation.

The USSR faced crushing imperialist economic and military pressures. A relatively-privileged bureaucracy arose — Lenin warned about dangers this posed. Party and government were intertwined. Government tasks took precedence over Party tasks, but the International suffered.

And yet – our sections have largely survived, even in the fallen Soviet Union! There was something that extraordinary about the Revolution that created us.

One example — In history, political parties cannot survive defeats on the scale suffered by the Chinese Communist Party in 1927, a defeat partly traceable to misdirection from Moscow. Yet we know what party – what section — was at the head of the great 1949 Chinese Revolution.

The Chinese party honestly tried to rebuild our unity after 1949, but it was consistently rebuffed. It eventually was compelled to work out an accommodation with imperialism, at great cost.

The Greek section also suffered a terrible defeat after World War II. Again, misdirection and lack of support from Moscow were a factor. But it has survived, although it has not (yet) led a revolution. Its initiatives helped re-start the International Meetings of Communist and Workers’ Parties, and it hosts the new headquarters of the World Federation of Trade Unions.

All revolutions since 1917 have reinforced the centrality of our Party — in Yugoslavia, Albania, Vietnam, northern Korea, China, Laos as well as Cuba. (Why is the CP, not the July 26 Movement, at the head of workers’ Cuba?)

Unfortunately, all big defeats have ALSO been under our sections’ oversight! We really matter! Worst of these have been counter-revolutions in the USSR and eleven other states. Our international disunity was a major factor.

Many great struggles have suffered because our world party was divided. Examples include the Philippines, Indonesia, Palestine, Iraq, Lebanon, Angola, Mozambique, South Africa, Kampuchea – among others. (Should we adopt the motto, ‘No International is worse than a poorly functioning International’? No!)

Fortunately, a comrade in China has explained, The first step in Workers of the world unite is for our parties to reunite, consciously. Our initiatives, and focus on advancing the transition to meet human needs, will win over the best in social-democratic formations while exposing the fakers.

Facing existential threats, the children, the youth, the mass of workers and oppressed of the world are desperately looking for solutions.

Only our reunited world party can lead the way to human liberation.


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