Thank you for your letter of December 3. Frankly, I was quite a bit astonished by it. If I am to follow your representation of events knowing persons, facts and thoughts on this side of the ocean as I do, I should arrive at the conclusion that the most serious and deep-going crisis in the history of our movement is nothing but a tragi-comedy of errors and misunderstandings. Pablo failed to write explicitly to Cannon that Clarke was not his agent and that he had neither instigated nor advocated nor even supported the minority's faction fight (a fact which stands established not only from what I know but from the very letters of the minority itself)! The second IS Bureau letter of August 1953 -- which, it is true, I did not sign because at that time I had already left -- destroyed the positive effects of the first letter. The IS failed to express its disagreement with the idea of 'sharing of power' in the USSR, with which it most certainly disagrees. I myself didn't get in time money and mandate to arrive in Canada...If all these small incidents wouldn't have happened, i.e., if Pablo would have given the clear answer asked for, if there wouldn't have been a second August Bureau letter, if we would have published a criticism of the 'sharing-of-power-idea' and if I would have succeeded to complete my trip with a clear mandate in hand (by the way: I did not receive your cable)-- then there would have been no international split, no public attacks against the Stalinophile leadership of the FI, no break between the majority of the American cadre and the quasi-totality of the world cadre...Do you really believe that this is the way things usually happen in our movement?
Of course, you were due to say that a posteriori the split reveals 'deepgoing political differences,' 'differences of a fundamental nature, on basic issues,' which, again a posteriori, justify the organizational course taken. Pardon me, what are these 'fundamental differences'? If one cuts through the obvious slander contained in the paper's Open Letter (that the IS is 'revisionist,' that it 'capitulates before Stalinism,' that it is 'working consciously and deliberately to liquidate the FI'), one sees differences in appraisal of the events following Stalin's death in the Soviet Union and the glacis countries; one sees differences in policy toward the workers' uprising in Eastern Germany; one sees differences in estimation and approach toward the public servants' general strike of August 1953 in France. That's all. Even to arrive at that sum, it is necessary to stretch things quite a bit. I myself have failed to grasp till today the differences in approach to the Eastern German events, for example. Surely, by repeating a thousand times that the IS 'capitulates before Stalinism,' 'is in reality opposed to a political revolution in the Soviet Union' or is 'revisionist through and through' (what part of our program we are charged with 'revising' nobody yet bothered to tell us), you will not change the fact that these charges are untrue and slanderous, which is proved not only by resolutions, articles, speeches, appeals, but also by practical action.
Now all the differences which are till today actually revealed are of course of a tactical nature. They don't put a question mark on any of the basic principles of our estimation of Stalinism and the USSR. They are, in fact, slighter than the differences between the French majority and minority in 1951-52, differences which involved the whole of the practical work of that section and which, nevertheless, in your opinion remained 'purely tactical.' They are certainly slighter than the differences between the 1940 majority and minority in the USA, differences which, in the Old Man's opinion, wouldn't have necessitated a split even if the Shachtmanites happened to find themselves momentarily in a majority at the convention.
Yet on the basis of such tactical differences you go ahead and break publicly with the International, attack publicly its leadership, call publicly for a world-wide extension of the split, in short disregard completely all established organizational rules and behaviour of discipline and act like our movement acted not even in 1928 but in 1933 toward the Komintern, like Lenin acted not in 1903 but in 1914. This is a principled difference, the main and only fundamental difference which I see at the present stage of the fight: the overthrow of the principle of one World Party in a manner which, I regret to have to repeat this, I cannot characterize otherwise as criminally lightminded, irresponsible and cynical.
I don't know if you understand how we -- and I don't say this for five IS members but for the great majority of the World movement's cadres -- felt about this action of yours. For us it denotes a basic break with the principle of the World Party which is the only organizational framework in which our movement can be built. One doesn't break with an International for tactical reasons. One doesn't break with an International because, hypothetically, it is wrong on the issues of your own country. One doesn't break with an International even when the first basic, principled differences develop. One sees in an International a whole epoch of world history and of the development of the labour movement. One breaks with an International when it has finished its historical mission. Remember when Lenin and Trotsky broke with the Second and Third International: after the betrayals of 1914 and 1933. Historical betrayals of such a dimension as the capitulation toward the imperialist war or the fascist dictatorship were necessary to convince our principled masters that the International they lived in till that time had become hopeless and couldn't be reformed any more from within. Even when such grave events happened as participation in a bourgeois government and acceptance of this betrayal by the Second International, Lenin didn't break with it, not because he 'underestimated' or 'misunderstood' the gravity of the event but of course because he rightly thought that one had to correct these deviations from within. When such grave events happened as the betrayal of the General Strike in England with the co-responsibility of the Third International or, worse, the betrayal of the Second Chinese revolution, Trotsky did not break with the Komintern, did not bring the conflict out in public, did not attack in the public press a single time the criminal leadership of the Third International. He didn't even do that when mass expulsions of Left Oppositionists had already started, and he and his followers were ready to accept discipline even after 1927 if only they would have received the right to defend their positions inside the movement. Was this course wrong? Did it prove, like Shachtman and other neo-Mensheviks today have discovered, that Trotsky 'underestimated' the degree of degeneration of the Komintern? Not at all. This course was the only principled course to be taken, i.e., the only course which corresponds to the Marxist understanding of the meaning and the role of the Workers' International.
Now compare with this principled attitude of our masters on the basic question of international democratic centralism the attitude of you people. Let us admit one minute that all your suspicions and misgivings about 'Pablo' -- in fact the IS myself included -- were correct. Has the IS betrayed any revolution? Has it done anything comparable to participation in a bourgeois cabinet or allying itself with counter-revolution in the midst of a growing revolution? Have we lived our 1923 or our 1927 , not to speak about our 1933? Surely the very question sounds so incongruous that no one can hesitate one second how to answer it. Surely, all differences should then be exposed first inside the movement, probed and discussed inside the International. Surely then the correct course to follow was to attempt reforming the movement misled by Pablo from within. Surely then the correct course to follow was to come to the normal leading bodies of the International, to bring the differences before these bodies, to wait for the verdict of these bodies and, in case this verdict would be negative, to start patiently convincing the rank-and-file of the incorrectness of the leadership's decisions, culminating in a proposal to the next WC to do away with that leadership. But what you did was in fact to pick up the characteristic Shachtmanite-IKD sentence of 1947-8, to disregard all IS, IEC, WC' and to address yourself to the 'real movement.' Which is this mysterious 'real movement,' outside of the normal sections and the normal leading bodies of the international?
You say you don't want to quit the International,you want to live in it and to build it! You say only the 'Pablo regime' has become a prison to you! Pardon me: haven't we heard that before? Didn't all the people who ran away from us use the same subterfuge! Didn't they always claim in the States they ran away not from the Trotskyist organization, but from the 'Cannon regime'? Doesn't Shachtman claim even today to be a genuine representative of the 'real Trotskyist movement'? Unfortunately, Lenin -- and Cannon! -- have educated us to be very suspicious of people who love 'the movement' a lot but just hate 'the regime' and therefore betray the organization. You think the'Pablo regime' is bad? That is your full right. You want to fight that regime? We may disagree, but we certainly will not deprive you of your rights to do so within established rules of organizational behavior, but when, under the pretext of'breaking with the regime, you publicly break discipline and trample down with heavy boots of 'military factionalism' the normal framework of international democratic centralism, anybody with some experience will tell you:'Please drop these silly pretenses and speak out openly that you broke with the FI as an established organization, with its established leadership and statutes, whatever may have been the reasons which led you to do such a thing.' The Old Man never played around with the fact that Stalin succeeded in precipitating a split between the Left Opposition and the Komintern -- not just a break of the Left Opposition with the 'Stalin regime.' That split he considered at that time historically unjustified. You, by your action, consider today the break between your party and the FI -- not the 'Pablo regime' -- as inevitable and justified. That's where you act in the most cynical and unprincipled manner imaginable.
You say you have the support of the world movement, but that this would not find expression in a 'rigged world congress.' This is again a subterfuge too cheap to be used in our movement. Either you consider the FI your organization, whatever may be the 'regime' and its tactical mistakes. In that case, surely, you could find or at least propose some organizational device for rigid guarantees of internal democracy. Why, even Shachtman found them as late as 1947, and God knows he had more 'fundamental differences' with the FI than you people have. We could get together any time and draft rules of representation of sections which would satisfy everybody, e.g., give voting rights to all sections or expelled groups of sections which were members of the movement at the time of the Third WC, or any other expedient. If you were really eager to have a democratic WC with all members expressing their opinions, there could be no difficulty in finding such a device. If you thought you had the slightest chance to get a majority or even a strong minority under such circumstances, you would have rushed forward with such proposals, as in fact you intended to do first if I'm not mistaken. You would have sent your criticism to the IEC, prepared a strong plea for the WC and fought it out in that forum. But that precisely is the course you have not taken. You have acted implicitly on the presumption that the FI is no more your organization, that you don't want to abide to any discipline regardless of the fact that that you are minority or majority, that whenever the movement puts I you in a minority you will grandiosely' disregard' the movement. That is the meaning of disregarding IS, IEC, WC, etc. That is the meaning of this new talk about a 'rigged WC.' In that frame of mind, any WC is going to be declared a priori 'rigged' if it places you in a minority.
This opinion was already clearly expressed in Cannon's speech on 'Internationalism'. Suddenly he discovered that, in opposition to I what had been his practice in his own party and his advice to us in the past, one had to be extremely liberal in the International. Suddenly he discovered that the International was composed of 'weak groups', that the International leadership was even 'weaker' and especially'young and unexperienced', and that under these conditions it should limit itself to ideological work and 'advice,' i.e., it should dissolve the movement as a World Party and keep only a federation of national sects,'an international letter-box' like the Old Man used to call contemptuously similar set-ups of the pre-war centrists. What else was the meaning of this sudden revision of our basic organizational principle -- democratic centralism on a world scale -- if not the fact that your party's leadership was not going to recognize any discipline towards international bodies in which it happens for once to be in a minority? What else was the meaning of the mechanically theoretical justification Cannon tried to give to this behaviour -'The American revolution will decide world revolution; the SWP will decide the American revolution; the present leadership will have to lead the SWP if it has to fulfill its role; therefore the fate of world revolution hinges not on the building of the FI as an organization but on the permanency of the SWP leadership; therefore, the basic allegiance of the world ,Trotskyist has to be not to the FI as an organization (it's much too weak!) but to the SWP leadership' -- !
The same opinion is even more clearly and naively expressed in your own letter, dear George. You write about Pablo's letter in answer to Cannon's request concerning his dissociation from the minority, that this answer was not 'the behavior of a principled collaborator(!)'. You write that 'throughout its history our party has been accustomed to getting support of the International against all revisionist developments that arose in our ranks.' You write: 'Was this too much to expect from one (!) with whom we had collaborated in the most loyal fashion ?' In other words: you only saw a relationship of friendly collaboration, with an individual, not a relationship of organizational allegiance to a world organization! What do all your sentences mean but one single thing: that your adherence to the world movement is subordinate to complete and full endorsement by the International leadership of every single move of your party's leaders? That, in other words, your basic organization is the SWP and not the FI, and that the FI is only accepted, tolerated and helped with 'freedom of criticism as long as it 'goes along' with the SWP leadership? Can't you visualize how the world movement reacts to opinions like a these? Don't you see this is exactly the same thing Stalin asked for the Russian party in the mid-twenties from the Komintern, and got away with it, and destroyed the International for that reason? Can't you visualize a situation in which, not because of sordid maneuvers, but for valid -- even if you think incorrect -- political and organizational considerations the International leadership may disagree with your party, may want to end a faction fight by a compromise and not by a split, may have misgivings about the political turn the fight takes, without therefore either 'aiding and abetting' that fight or becoming ipso facto 'pro-Stalinist,' 'revisionist' and 'liquidationist'? If you can't visualize such a movement, in which its leadership takes a principled stand on matters in dispute following its own convictions and not always and automatically supporting the SWP leaders' actions, then really the building of the FI was a big misunderstanding on your behalf right from the start. You will never build a Trotskyist International with people ready to act in that way -- real agents in the worst sense of the word. You will only build an international clique. Is that what you want?
Perhaps it is not unnecessary to repeat once again that it was never in Pablo's or the IS's or the IEC's intention to 'remove from office' the present SWP's leadership -- only a mind grotesquely distorted by fear can conceive such a ridiculous proposition. Even if we thought, and 1 wrote, that Hansen's article on Stalinism was not very good or that we didn't like the harsh tone of the discussion, this surely does not imply such diabolic intentions. Isn't it the right of an International leadership to judge things in their own merit? But I'm afraid Cannon himself did not believe the story that Pablo wanted to remove him from office. What he feared, with some reason indeed, was that the IS was not ready to accept passively any form of bureaucratic expulsion of the minority. You may think this is wrong. But frankly is it a principled and justified reason to split the International?
In the mass movement, the masses themselves put a check on all irresponsible factionalists and splitters. These drift away or are driven out, and when they represent no historical necessity of any kind, just wither away; in any case, nobody cares. In our movement, unfortunately, the check of a strong mass basis does not yet exist. Irresponsible people can start all kinds of fights and splits and think, at least temporarily, they can get away with it. Given a minimum material basis,they can put up quite a show for a certain period. Even today the Shachtmanites continue to exist on a level which is not qualitatively 8 different from ours, and so do even the DeLeonists. Under such conditions, in a movement like ours where every talented cadre looks upon himself as a Lenin or Trotsky in being and where sad experiences of the past have taught everybody to be over-sensitive for ideological nuances, there would be an uninterrupted series of brawls and splits without some basic loyalty which checks such people. This basic loyalty cannot be only the one to the program, although, of course, this is a fundamental one. It is well-known that a common program has never prevented a periodic appearance of tactical differences and will never do so. Therefore, there is only one basic loyalty possible to keep our movement together: the loyalty to the International! One has to penetrate oneself in one's most intimate consciousness with the conviction that the International, not only as a program or a body of ideas but as an organization with a given structure, represents all hopes of mankind in our epoch. Thousands of people have died, not for Cannon or Pablo or the SWP nor even for the Old Man, but for the International. To split the International before it has demonstrated its inadequacy in events of colossal historical scope is a real crime against the labor movement. It is a thousand times preferable to find some organizational modus vivendi and to have confidence in the ultimate lucidity of our world cadre, a healthy cadre, which in due time will correct all mistakes it occasionally makes. As long as everybody does not adopt such a rule of behavior, any national section or faction of a national section will be liable to split away lightmindedly on the basis of some occasional difference or organizational dispute. We shall never be able to build the movement as long as people show such an attitude. And that is precisely the attitude your leadership has shown in an extreme manner during the final stage of the present dispute.
Surely these ideas are neither new nor surprising for you. You yourself express the very same principles -- when you think of your party on a national scale. You write that if you would happen to find yourself in some tactical difference with your party, but would be sure of the support of the majority of the world movement -- isn't that what you claim today for the SWP majority? -- you would then act in the following manner:'I'd not only want to remain in the party, but I'd fight to remain in,and I'd subordinate every other consideration of an organizational character to stay in just so long as I'd have the right to continue to present my political views.' I am therefore justified to ask: Why didn't you people act in this same way -- on an international scale? Why on the contrary did you follow the opposite course, to rush out and denounce the whole outfit as 'pro-Stalinist' and 'liquidationist'? Don't tell me you were afraid Pablo would have you expelled because you sent Internal Bulletins to all sections,or that you feared to be confronted with a 'rigged WC. ' If one really wants to stay inside an organization, one always finds organizational expediencies for such kind of problems. So the question remains: Why has the International suddenly become a prison to you? Because the IS wasn't ready to approve the expulsion of the minority, didn't give Cannon 'loyal support' in his fight against the minority? But isn't this utterly unprincipled and cynical? Isn't this destroying the basic principle of internationalism, of democratic centralism on an international scale, of the meaning and mission of the FI?
Need I add that what you think to be 'stages of Pablo's intrigue' against the SWP leadership are mainly misunderstandings indeed? Need I add that Clarke most definitely was not 'Pablo's agent,' that Pablo urged him in many letters not to attack the party's leadership, to stop the fight, to accept every reasonable organizational truce? We shall publish the letters and you will be able to see for yourself. Need I add that our June 1953 IEC letter to your leadership was a genuine expression of satisfaction with the truce, that all of us were sincerely convinced this was going to work -- except of course Burns who already had information to the contrary from Cannon! Need I add that the second IS-Bureau letter of August was a natural reaction upon the Stein document and all other many indications that you were rapidly heading for an international split? Need I add that Pablo wrote to you about my trip in the sense you indicate only because I had not yet received the information about the latest developments and was therefore unable to represent IS opinion after these developments? Need I add that even given all these misunderstandings, some organizational compromise could have easily been found at the eve of your last Plenum? Really, the organizational procedure we have followed in the past should have warranted that to you. Didn't we discuss with the Bleibtreu group for over two years, not withstanding repeated and open breaches of discipline (recognized by Cannon himself as late as his May speech of 'Internationalism')? Haven't we cohabited with the Swiss section, which violently disagrees with us on every major political issue which cropped up since the end of the war? Even if you were so afraid of Pablo's 'apparatus,' haven't we got a world cadre of fine comrades who think and judge by their own mind, their own convictions? Your party's action implies in fact a terrible contempt of the real world movement, which is only the sum of our sections. The break-away from the movement is a logical outcome of that contempt. The political nature of that contempt is unprincipled through and through. As for its social nature, what name can you give it?
Faction fights and splits have a logic of their own, dear George. This logic has already brought you in few months' time to a radical change of opinion on our 'Rise and Decline of Stalinism.' Yesterday you thought it 'on the whole an excellent document.' Today you accept Stein's view that it is 'the most revisionist (!) document ever written in the history of our movement.' To justify your retreat, you write: 'The text of resolutions is important, but I need not tell you that we have learned that in the hands of unscrupulous people the text itself alone is not enough to indicate the real line intended(!)'. You certainly need tell me that, for it is the first time I hear about it in our movement. The Stalinists used to tell us that all our theses, resolutions, articles, books, speeches, were of no importance. Important, you see, were only the hidden intentions of that arch-traitor Trotsky. You try to get away with the same method in our movement, by simply substituting Pablo for Trotsky? You won't succeed, I can tell you that in advance. I told Bleibtreu the same thing three years ago. Ours is a principled, serious movement, a conscientious cadre. If you have misgivings about a document, you present amendments or counter-documents, and everybody will judge them for their own merit. But if you use the smear-tactic, if you don't discuss what people say and write but what they intend and hide, i.e., what they don't say and don't write -- you won't get the support of any serious principled revolutionist. Cannon, not so long ago wrote the very same thing to Renard. Have you already forgotten this serious lesson?
It will not be possible to convince the movement that 'fundamental issues' are involved in the 'suppressed sentence in the quotation of the Transitional Program,' or in one wrong sentence in Clarke's article (sentence with which we disagree, I repeat once again). We shall put the 'suppressed sentence' back in our document this very minute. We shall dissociate ourselves in the same document from any 'sharing-of-power-ideas.' You can't go on living just on 'intentions.' You need more substantial nourishment. It will come, don't worry. The behavior of the Bleibtreu group, since it split away from the International, is a clear example of this; sad to say, this group is now in the Process of becoming the political advisor of your paper! You have already completely modified your position on the Chinese revolution(I remember vividly, like all IEC members do, Manuel's excellent speech on that subject!)for the purpose of an unprincipled bloc with Peng, who doesn't represent the Chinese section but just his own egotistic warped personality. Suddenly you discover that Peng always followed a 'principled course,' the principled course of calling for a truce and 'elections for a Constituent Assembly' late in 1947, after the decisive offensive of Mao Tse-tung had already started, the principled course of calling as late as 1951 the Chinese CP a 'peasant party,' the Chinese government a 'coalition government with the bourgeoisie, and the conquest of power by Mao as 'instructed by the Kremlin diplomacy. Thank you for these principles; they are certainly not ours nor Trotsky's! For a short time you'll have to satisfy yourself by playing around eclectically with all kinds of conflicting hypotheses, like Hansen did in his latest series. That too was a sad sign, to see a Trotskyist paper with nothing else to say on perspectives than 'perhaps this is going to happen, perhaps this is not going to happen, let's just wait and see.' But it won't stop there. Worse will come. You'll have to swallow the Bleibtreu-Swiss line hook, line and sinker. That will really give you some 'fundamental differences' with the FI: the idea that not a revolutionary upheaval but capitalist restoration is brewing in the USSR; that not world revolution but world reaction is on the move; that as long as 'we' don't lead the masses, there will be no change in this trend of events (nobody yet explained how 'we can capture the mass movement if world reaction grows stronger and stronger as in the pre-war period); and that therefore the danger of barbarism grows from day to day. These ideas will transform your party into an inept, sterile sect. They will cover you with ridicule, like they covered with ridicule the Bleibtreu group which has replaced Marxist analysis by fantastic stories, like the one that Stalin has been secretly poisoned that Beria and the GPU leaders of all people represented the left, i.e., Reiss wing of the bureaucracy; that Malenkov wants to send the workers back to the farms because he is afraid of the numerical strength of the proletariat, etc., etc. It is a sad perspective for me, who felt closer to the SWP than to any other Trotskyist organization in the world. But it is the price one pays for a political and organizational break with the FI, the only revolutionary organization on a world scale, the price one pays for unprincipled politics.
As you certainly did not lose your capacity for sober thinking like the Bleibtreu group has, it won't take you long to have a second look at the International situation and to 'take stock' a second time. You will have found out by then, on the basis of the answers to your Open Letter which will pour in from all sections, that you did not just break with the 'Pablo' regime but with the FI organization and nearly all its sections· Perhaps that will give you some food for thought, and many things you don't grasp today on the basis of illusions as to the recruiting possibilities of Cannon's prestige in the International, will become clearer at that time. You will have to ask yourself over and over again if it was justified on principle to break with the FI on the issue you broke with it. You'll also take a look at some of the fancy people you certainly will attract: all the kibitzers and splitters who broke away in the years since the 2nd world war, all kinds of people opposed to the defense of the Soviet Union, all types of hopelessly ossified sectarians, in which you yourself won't have any confidence whatsoever. Perhaps some of you, all of you, will reconsider then their organizational attitude and come to the conclusion that it has been wrong. We on our part will always keep the door open for any group agreeing with our program and willing to function within the normal framework of our statutes and organizational tradition.
I shall answer presently your questions:
1. The immediate reason why the SWP leadership changed so radically its course of principled politics in the past is the fact that for the first time it was confronted with a situation in which it was not sure of the International's support for its actions. This was a test of the seriousness of its international allegiance -- and in this test it failed miserably. Underneath there is a reaction of self-consciousness and self-delusion towards the growing objective difficulties -- an escape from reality of a sectarian type. I would add that objectively this is a result of alien class pressure, without saying that your party has already succumbed to that pressure. (But breaking away from the FI definitively would certainly be a very bad sign indeed.)
2. You are profoundly misinformed about the International situation if you think we have suffered 'so many losses and splits' since the 3rd WC. Until the crisis your party started in the International, I know only of 2 splits, the one in France and the one in the Indochinese group (where we lost l/4 of the membership in France but gained important forces in Indochina itself); much less than in the period between the 2nd and 3rd WC when there was no question of the 'Pablo regime.' In Ceylon we didn't have a split but an epuration of the party which was due for a long time given the character of that party. In most cases, as in Ceylon itself, there have not been 'losses' but big organizational gains, as in South America, in Germany, in Britain (till Cannon ordered Burns to repeat Operation Killer on the 'Pabloite' majority of that party. Do you know that between 2/3 and 315 of that party remain with the International?), in Italy, etc. The only serious crisis that existed at the time of the 3rd WC, the split in Austria, has been healed in the meantime. And the one important section which had been much weakened, the Indian section, has greatly recovered since.
3. I consider the FI the only organization I owe allegiance to. When my organization is attacked in the most unprincipled and slanderous manner, I'm not going to squabble about words with my comrades who defend my organization. Isn't that the way you also act -- on a national scale?
It is now my turn to ask some questions:
1. Why should Pablo, Frank, Germain and the other 'followers of Pablo, i.e., 17 or 18 of the 23 members of the IEC unanimously elected by the 3rd WC, comrades in whom you always had the fullest confidence, after having faithfully built the movement for many years, suddenly transform themselves into criminals who 'are working consciously and deliberately to liquidate the FI,' i.e., into Stalinist agents and spies, for what else can be the meaning of that formula?
2. Is it true or isn't it true that the basic reason why your Plenum wrote the 'Open Letter,' i .e., called publicly for a split of the FI, was the fact that you had become convinced that the IS and the IEC wouldn't approve the expulsion of the minority? Is it tolerable from a principled point of view to break with the International on such an issue?
3. If you really don't want to break with the FI, but only want to 'fight the Pablo regime, are you ready:
(a) To participate in a WC of our movement representing all the sections at the stand of the 3rd WC, on the basis of representation modus adopted at the 2nd and 3rd WC or any other basis usual in the revolutionary movement and acceptable to both sides?
(b) To declare at the beginning of that WC, like we ourselves would do without hesitation, that you would abide by its decisions, regardless of the fact that your proposals would be adopted or not?
(c) To accept an organizational compromise for reestablishing the unity of the world movement, e.g., the reunification of the British section and the recognition, both in France and the USA, of both groups as affiliated to the FI with certain forms of non-aggression agreements, based on a functional division of labor?
(d) To call publicly (in forms adapted to security), on the basis of an agreement with points (a), (b), and (c), upon all sections of the FI to participate in the 4th WC regularly convened by the regularly elected leading bodies of the movement (in which, if you wished, you could of course occupy the position you always occupied in the past), while keeping all your rights to defend your political views in the pre-Congress discussion, with the clear understanding that any public attack on the international leadership would be answered publicly by that body?
To accept such proposals would have been of course normal procedure for all groups, tendencies, parties or individuals who recognize the principle of democratic centralism not only on a national but also on the international field. Allow me to repeat what I already wrote in my last letter: on the basis of your friends' actions of the last months, I do not have much hope left as to your and their answer to these questions.
Back to The Split in the Fourth International Document Index | Toward a History of the Fourth International | Back to Trotsky Encyclopedia Home Page
Last updated 17.10.2003