First Published: In Struggle! No. 236, February 3, 1981
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Malcolm and Paul Saba
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Last year, IN STRUGGLE! embarked on an ambitious project: to put out an international bulletin that would help unite Marxist-Leninists internationally. What makes International Forum different from other international journals is the attempt to make it a place where the views of all the divergent Marxist-Leninist formations, without exception, can make their views known to others. Forum is trying to promote debate between often sharply contradictory positions relevant to the working out of a programme for world-wide revolution.
International Forum is now being published in three languages (French, Spanish and English). It is distributed in many parts of the world. In Latin America. it reaches 11 countries. Marxist-Leninists in two of those countries have just ordered another 50 copies so that they can distribute them among their membership. Just last week, the Filipino Research Centre in the Unites States requested extra copies. They will be sent to comrades in the Phillipines fighting the Marcos regime.
We met with the editor of Forum concerning the fund-raising campaign. He explained that many organizations find a bulletin like Forum useful, especially as a source of hard-to-get information: “When you realize that not so long ago, when some organizations had already got to the point of taking a “final” stand on Mao, that most of the revolutionaries in Iran had just heard for the first time that there was a debate over the Three Worlds Theory, you can begin to understand how necessary and urgent it is to improve the circulation of political information.”
Publishing Forum and distributing it all around the world is no easy task. It is all the more difficult because it is tough to maintain regular contact with many organizations who face severe repression from their governments. Further, we do not pretend to know even the names of all the revolutionary organizations in the world. Fortunately, Forum has aroused sufficient interest in some quarters to have lead a number of organizations to help us out in this and other regards.
The article in the last issue on the revolution in Azania (South Africa) and the letter explaining the important issues coming up at Greek party’s 2nd Congress came from the organizations directly involved. The People’s Action Movement (MAP) in Nicaragua has promised a brief analysis of the lessons to be drawn from their people’s struggle for the last few years.
The many direct discussions we have had with Marxist-Leninist organizations elsewhere have often provided the basis for figuring out what issues Forum should focus on for debate. This has made it easier to wade through the dozens of newspapers and journals that we receive in 6 or 7 languages from over 50 different countries. We look selectively for articles relevant to a single theme which has been chosen as the focus for each issue of Forum. The next issue will deal with the path of the revolution in imperialist countries. The next one after that will be about the role played by the Soviet Union and the communist parties allied with it. And so on.
The last issue tried something new: the positions of revolutionary organizations, like the PLO and the El Salvador Revolutionary Coordinating Body of the Masses, which do not necessarily see themselves as Marxist-Leninist were presented. “This is simply a reflection Of the fact that in many parts of the world, organizations of that sort and not the Marxist-Leninist forces as such are playing the major role in the revolutionary struggle at present.” explains the editor of Forum. “One of our objectives in the next while will be to seek out and publicize still further the views of these revolutionary groupings. For example, in the next issue, we are printing texts by the Guerrilla Army of the Poor (EGP) in Guatemala and the Irish Republican Socialist Party from Ireland. Hopefully, it will be possible to get the views and criticisms of those positions from various Marxist-Leninists subsequently. The purpose of doing this is to genuinely promote a constructive dialogue not to set a position up to be summarily smashed in sectarian, dogmatic fashion.
If that works out, Forum will be able to become a useful “instrument for those other revolutionary forces in their struggle too.”
We also hope to make Forum more polemical by selecting the articles more carefully and by taking clearer positions in relation to the debates presented in the various articles. We will try to do this without making Forum the mouth-piece of any single organization or tendency in the international communist movement.
Support Forum by giving generously to IN STRUGGLE?’s fund-raising campaign. Take out a subscription. The money will go to help build the unity of Marxist-Leninists around the world in concrete ways. It will help make it possible to distribute Forum, often for free, in many countries where the extreme conditions of poverty and repression would otherwise make the circulation of this important political information to the revolutionary fighters impossible.