1.1 Today the whole world is in the grip of a deep economic crisis of capitalism. In the Western imperialist countries of Europe and North America millions of workers are unemployed and reduced to subsistence standards of living. In the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe there also grave economic problems. In the economically backward, oppressed nations of Asia, Africa and Latin America general living standards are falling sharply and a growing proportion of the people of these countries are underfed and actually starving. It is an astonishing paradox that, in a world where science and technology have advanced to the stage where there could be plenty for all, there is a growing amount of want and hunger.
1.2 Not only are untold millions unnecessarily materially deprived but the great majority of the people of the world are oppressed in various ways. Capitalists oppress workers, states oppress whole classes, some nations dominate other nations, men oppress women, etc. Even those people who escape the worst excesses of oppression and exploitation often find that their lives are empty and meaningless; they experience severe alienation. Wherever one looks in Britain and the world people are turned away from each other and thrown into all manner of antagonistic conflicts. The human species is even developing an antagonistic relationship with its environment. Slowly but surely by poisoning the atmosphere, polluting the oceans and ravaging the land, nature is being turned against us.
1.3 None of these things is an isolated accident: rather these increasingly antagonistic contradictions are all interconnected in one way or another. If they are allowed to continue unchecked then sooner or later they will explode in another major world-war. It is clear that although the human species has shown itself able to radically change itself and the world it lives in, it has not yet brought these processes under full conscious control. Our species has developed to the point where, if we so choose, we can gain mastery over ourselves and our environment so as to bring about our further development in a positive direction. However, if we are to do this then we have to grasp what are the real forces that determine the development of human societies and give rise to various antagonisms.
1.4 At the root of all these problems is the exploitation of some people by other people. In Britain today, and in the world at large, the principal form this takes is the capitalist class exploiting the working class. All of the deprivations and conflicts mentioned here are in the last analysis brought about by a society divided into oppressors and oppressed. No lasting solution to any of these problems will be found while capitalism and imperialism are allowed to survive in the world. For the working class in Britain and other countries, as well as for other oppressed people, the only way forward is to struggle to bring about proletarian revolution and begin the struggle to eventually build a communist society where oppressive and exploitative class divisions and all the evils that go with them are abolished.
1.5 Today the human species stands at a turning point: either we develop further by means of the revolutionary socialist transformation of society towards communism or we decay and are eventually destroyed by the increasingly antagonistic contradictions of capitalism and imperialism. There is nothing inevitable about the further advancement of the human species. True, the only real, lasting way forward is socialism and then communism but whether or not this road is taken is a matter of decision for human beings and one class in particular: the working class. Only if as a result of protracted class struggle the working class in Britain and other countries come to develop a revolutionary outlook whereby they decide to take their own fate into their own hands by means of the revolutionary overthrow of monopoly capitalism is there any possibility of progress to a higher state of human development. In the world today only the working class has sufficient objective interest in the overthrow of capitalism and the strength to carry out this revolutionary task if it chooses to do so. The working class has it within its power to overthrow decaying, crisis-ridden moribund capitalist society and in so doing to pave the way for the liberation of the whole of humankind.
1.6 The Revolutionary Internationalist Contingent in Britain is dedicated to the cause of proletarian revolution in Britain as part of the world-wide struggle against capitalism and imperialism. We shall do everything within our power to stimulate the working class to overthrow its capitalist masters. History never stands still: if we do not move forward then we will move backwards. The choice before us in the coming period is, as Karl Marx once put it, “Socialism or barbarism”.