Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Revolutionary Internationalist Contingent in Britain

Break the Chains! Manifesto of the Revolutionary Internationalist Contingent in Britain


6.1 The Revolutionary Internationalist Contingent in Britain is a revolutionary proletarian organisation of a pre-party kind committed to the overthrow of imperialism and the development of a worldwide communist, classless society. The theoretical basis for its work is Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought. It is a proletarian internationalist organisation and the leading centre to which it adheres is the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement.

6.2 The long term strategic aim of the Marxist-Leninist revolutionaries in Britain during the coming period is to prepare so as to be ready to provide decisive leadership when the intensifying international contradictions reach a crisis point. Our aim must be to create a vanguard of conscious, committed Marxist-Leninist revolutionaries within the ranks of the working class. Only if this has been achieved will it be possible for the working class in Britain, in conjunction with workers and oppressed peoples elsewhere, to either prevent the next major imperialist war or to turn that war into a revolutionary civil war.

6.3 For this strategic aim to be achieved it is necessary not just to develop a body of proletarian revolutionaries but also they must be organised into a disciplined revolutionary party of the democratic centralist type. Only if the conscious revolutionary elements are highly organised will they be in a position to provide clear decisive leadership for the working class at a time of major crisis for the British monopoly capitalist class. Thus the short term strategic aim of the Revolutionary Internationalist Contingent is to build a genuine revolutionary communist party in Britain.

6.4 If there is to be a communist party then there must be a significant contingent of communists within the working class. Those people who are most likely to develop a revolutionary outlook and become committed communists are to be found among the middle and lower sections of the industrial proletariat and among the lower sections of the semi-proletariat. The practical activities of the Revolutionary Internationalist Contingent will be focussed around and directed at these sections of the working class with the aim of generating revolutionary consciousness among them. Particular attention will be paid to the struggles of women, black people and youth in these sections of the working class because these elements tend to suffer the greatest oppression and exploitation and thus, at least in the long run, have the greatest potentiality for revolutionary development. While some attention should be paid to winning over to the revolutionary ranks some elements from the intermediate strata this is definitely a secondary task and no opportunistic compromise should be made in carrying out such work.

6.5 In engaging in class struggle the Revolutionary Internationalist Contingent must practice a mass line. Our starting point must always be the various oppressions and exploitation suffered by the working class and their struggles to resist capitalist domination. Then the Marxist-Leninists must strive to see the possibilities of such struggles being developed in ways which will lead to the generation of revolutionary consciousness. We then have to engage in political struggle to persuade the working class to adopt the right policies. Our general approach to class struggle should not be that of arrogant know-alls who think they have all the answers. Rather, communists should become intimately involved in various working class struggles, so as to achieve real knowledge about them and only then work patiently so as to stimulate sections of the working class to themselves take the initiative and move forwards to a higher level of class struggle. Our task is not so much to get the working class to follow us as to encourage the working class to take the lead for itself in class struggle.

6.6 The Revolutionary Internationalist Contingent will participate in the day-to-day struggles to help workers develop revolutionary consciousness. In participating in those struggles such as to defend living standards and jobs, against racism and sexism etc. there are two opportunist errors we must be careful to avoid. The right opportunist error is to tail behind the popular movements and refraining from struggling to provide political leadership of a revolutionary kind. This approach results in sustaining and even strengthening reformist illusions among the working class. The left opportunist error would be if we held ourselves aloof from the piecemeal, day-to-day struggles of the working class to defend itself from oppression and exploitation, on the grounds that such struggles are not revolutionary. While not in themselves revolutionary, essentially defensive organisations such as trade unions and black people’s groups are nonetheless necessary for the survival of the working class until such time as capitalism is overthrown.

The Marxist-Leninists must support such struggles while at the same time struggling to help those involved to see that only a revolutionary solution will fundamentally resolve the problems the working class faces under capitalism. Our task in such struggles is to provide political leadership which will attract more rebellious elements and lead them to develop revolutionary consciousness. Exercising political leadership is not necessarily the same thing as occupying the leading position in various organisations such as trade unions and womens groups. Rather it is a question of projecting and winning support for a clear revolutionary political line on the issue at hand. While it is essential that the Revolutionary Internationalist Contingent becomes intimately involved in various continuing working class struggles it is also vital that we always keep in view our revolutionary objective of the overthrow of the British monopoly capitalist state and direct the attention of the working class in this direction.

6.7 During the present major depression the sections of the working class which are identified here as having the greatest revolutionary potentialities find themselves increasingly and directly confronted by the British state. As the depression has deepened the state has played an increasingly active role in forcing the less privileged sections of the working class to bear the brunt of the sacrifices necessary if capitalism is to survive. The social security benefits on which the unemployed and low paid depend are being steadily whittled away as is the labour legislation which offered some minimal protection against the extremes of exploitation. The pressure is on to erode some of the reforms in terms of civil rights and employment which women have won in the post-war period. Young people, who are particularly badly hit by unemployment, are perceived by the ruling class as potentially disruptive and thus attempts are made to control them by initiatives such as the Youth Training Scheme. Black people have also shown their capacity for insurrection and so the state has carried further its attempts to sustain racist divisions within the working class by means such as immigration laws.

6.8 What these struggles of these sections of the working class have in common is that those involved are confronted not so much by this or that individual capitalist employer but rather that they are faced directly by the capitalist state apparatus. This can be a very important factor in gradually unifying the struggles of these different sections of the working class into one united counter-offensive. The Revolutionary Internationalist Contingent will concentrate its day-to-day political work on supporting, encouraging and where possible leading struggles against various forms of state oppression. This must be done in a revolutionary way as opposed to reformist way. The main aim in stimulating struggle against the capitalist state is not to win temporary concessions and palliatives but is to raise the political consciousness of the workers involved to a revolutionary level. These struggles must be conducted such that those involved come to grasp the true nature of the state as the instrument of ruling class power and come to recognise that only its revolutionary overthrow will free the working class from capitalist oppression and exploitation. Only if in the course of these struggles clear lines of demarcation from various types of reformism are drawn will the cadre of conscious, committed Marxist-Leninist revolutionaries be created who will form the basis of the communist party.

6.9 The reactionary influences of various reformist ideologies – social democracy, Labourism, Trotskyism, revisionism – have got socialism a bad name among large sections of the working class in Britain. The experience of Labour governments in Britain and bourgeois counter-revolution in Russia and China together with all manner of anti-socialist bourgeois propaganda has resulted in large numbers of workers believing that socialism and communism are utopian fantasies that do not work in actual practice. The Revolutionary Internationalist Contingent must wage a fierce ideological counter-attack against all this bourgeois filth. We must thoroughly expose the reformist Labour Party for what it is and always will be; a bulwark of monopoly capitalism and a deadly enemy of the working class. In particular, we must thoroughly criticise and attack those organisations in and around the Labour Party who claim to be ’revolutionary’ and ’Marxist’. We must unmask their rotten reformism masquerading as revolution. We must also pay attention to criticising the Soviet social imperialists and Chinese revisionists and make it clear to the working class that these people are really a kind of fascist. At the same time we must hold up for admiration and emulation the splendid victories and achievements of the communist movement of the past. The revolutionary conquest of power in Russia and China, the struggle for socialist construction in the USSR and the Cultural Revolution in China are extraordinary revolutionary achievements of which the working class can be justly proud. In drawing the attention of our class to their wonderful revolutionary heritage it is essential that we defend and uphold for admiration and emulation the great leaders of the international communist movement, especially Comrades Joseph Stalin and Mao Tsetung who have been subject to so much vilification .from the mouths of the bourgeoisie and their stooges. The Revolutionary Internationalist Contingent proudly proclaims the great revolutionary heritage of the international working class and its great leaders – Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao.

6.10 In the coming period political struggles should be focussed around the intensifying inter-imperialist war preparations and the struggle to prevent the next imperialist war. The Revolutionary Internationalist Contingent should stress to the working class that the increasing tension between the two major imperialist blocs is no accident but the inevitable outcome of inter-imperialist rivalry. We must point out that the petit bourgeois pacifism of large sections of the anti-war movement will not prevent another major world war. Only revolutionary insurrection in at least some of the imperialist countries can prevent this terrible conflagration. We must struggle to convince workers that they do have the power, if they choose to exercise it, to prevent another world war by means of revolutionary insurrection.

6.11 This is our first line of strategy. However, we must also struggle against the petit bourgeois defeatism which claims that if there is another major world war then this is the end of human life as we know it. While such a conflagration would be massively destructive there would still be millions of people left alive in Britain and our task then would be to lead the working class into turning the inter-imperialist war into a revolutionary civil war to overthrow the monopoly capitalist class. This is our second line of strategy. Proletarian revolutionaries are optimists and we are determined to turn even the most adverse conditions to the advantage of the working class.

6.12 The struggles of the oppressed peoples in Asia, Africa, and Latin America serve to weaken and undermine the imperialist powers. Thus these anti-imperialist struggles are striking at the same enemy faced by the working class in Britain, the monopoly capitalist class. The oppressed peoples of these regions are our natural allies and the Revolutionary International Contingent will campaign for the working class to support such struggles, especially those directed against British imperialism such as the Irish and Azanian national liberation struggles, because those are the ones we can most effectively support. We must clearly expose those who claim that Britain is a neo-colony of America, rather than a junior partner in imperialism and we must also expose those elements who try to disguise the oppressive and exploitative nature of Soviet social imperialism. The position of the Revolutionary Internationalist Contingent is one of uncompromising opposition to all forms of imperialism. In carrying out this task it is our duty to give particular support to and help for the Marxist-Leninist forces involved in the various national liberation struggles. The struggle for proletarian socialist revolution in the imperialist countries and the struggle for national democratic revolution in the oppressed nations are integrally linked.

6.13 If communists are not proletarian internationalists then they are nothing. The Revolutionary Internationalist Contingent in Britain is a participant organisation of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement and adheres to the political line of its Declaration. We must struggle to make workers in Britain aware of the RIM and the political activities of its constituent organisations. The Revolutionary Internationalist Contingent must emphasise to the working class in Britain that they are but one section of an international working class who have a common struggle against capitalism and imperialism. The Revolutionary Internationalist Contingent will do everything in its power to further the development of the RIM and the establishment of a new communist international. This is absolutely vital to the advancement of revolutionary struggle here in Britain for we shall not be able to secure revolutionary victory here on a lasting basis if the communist movement does not make advances in other countries as well.

6.14 The methods of struggle adopted by the Revolutionary Internationalist Contingent will be whatever ones are necessary, without reservation, for the advancement of the revolutionary cause. From its inception the Revolutionary Internationalist Contingent should take all necessary steps to ensure that it is as secure as possible from penetration and disruption by the British state and other enemies. The Revolutionary Internationalist Contingent will be organised in such a way that it can carryon the revolutionary struggle however extreme the repression it faces. As well as agitation, propaganda, and various organisational activities the Revolutionary Internationalist Contingent will begin to prepare itself for all forms of revolutionary activity including the highest methods of struggle. We must be bold and not confine ourselves to traditional methods of political work but develop new ones as well. Our organisational method is that of Bolshevism but one that is truly dialectical in that it takes into account changes of circumstances and adapts to them. The Revolutionary Internationalist Contingent must strive to become a fist of iron striking out from amidst the masses at the monopoly capitalist class.

6.15 If the Revolutionary Internationalist Contingent is to succeed in creating the conditions for the formation of a proper communist party in Britain then it must not only raise revolutionary consciousness among sections of the working class and win a following but it must also deepen and expand the revolutionary programme set out here. This will only happen if a definite and conscious effort is made to draw theoretical conclusions from political practice. For this to occur systematically and speedily definite organisational arrangements must be made within the Revolutionary Internationalist Contingent to develop the programme for proletarian revolution. This is no desultory matter as we are engaged in a race against time with the imperialist war preparations to build the revolutionary party and movement. The task of the Revolutionary Internationalist Contingent is to create the conditions for its own dissolution and replacement by a proper revolutionary party as soon as possible. This can only be done by practising the highest possible level of organisational efficiency and revolutionary discipline.

6.16 We call upon all committed adherents of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought to immediately apply for membership of the Revolutionary Internationalist Contingent in Britain.

6.17 We call upon all workers and other people of revolutionary inclinations to make contact with the Revolutionary Internationalist Contingent, comment on this manifesto, acquaint and involve yourselves with our political work and struggle to unite with us in the revolutionary cause.

6.18 We call upon all workers to strive to raise the level of your struggles against capitalist oppression and exploitation and to work with the Revolutionary Internationalist Contingent so as to hasten the day when our class finally takes its destiny in its own hands and strikes down our oppressors.

’The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win.’