MIA: History: ETOL: Documents: International Communist League/Spartacists—PRS 4

The Document the USec Majority Refuses to Print:

Appeal of the Bolshevik-Leninist Group of Vietnam

—from Workers Vanguard No. 72, 4 July 1975

Written: 1974
Source: Stalinism and Trotskyism in Vietnam, A Spartacist Pamphlet (Chapter I)
Transcription/Markup/Proofing: John Heckman.
Public Domain: Encyclopedia of Trotskyism On-Line 2007. You can freely copy, display and otherwise distribute this work. Please credit the Marxists Internet Archive as your source, include the url to this work, and note the transcribers & editors above.

The following letter was sent to last year’s “Tenth World Congress” of the “United Secretariat of the Fourth International.” This poignant appeal is itself a devastating comment on the liquidationist consequences of the USec’s capitulation to Vietnamese Stalinism. If as USec leaders allege, the “Vietnamese Communist Party” is “empirically revolutionary,” and the “Vietnamese leadership as a whole has assimilated the decisive implications of the permanent revolution for colonial and semi-colonial countries” (Pierre Rousset, Le Parti Communiste Vietnamien) what interest can Ernest Mandel & Co. have in building a Vietnamese Trotskyist party?

It is small wonder, then, that to this day the Bolshevik-Leninist Group of Vietnam has received “no help whatsoever from the International or from the Ligue Communiste.” Not only does the BLGV’s letter remain unanswered, but the top leadership of the French Ligue (now LCR), the USec majority’s star section, has refused to “publicize” the existence of the Vietnamese group even by publishing this letter in its internal bulletin or discussing the matter in its Central Committee!

The BLGV asks pointedly, “Should the International concern itself with a Vietnamese Trotskyist group” loyal to the USec under difficult conditions? And “Should we work towards the creation of a section of the Fourth International in Vietnam?” Following the taking of Saigon, the professional tailists of this fake-Trotskyist fake International have in effect responded to the questions of their Vietnamese comrades...in the negative.

In articles and statements celebrating the military victory of DRV/NLF troops over the puppet Thieu regime, neither the guerrillaist majority nor the orthodox-posturing reformists of the minority “Leninist-Trotskyist Faction” have seen fit to even mention the assassination of several thousand Vietnamese Trotskyists by the followers of Ho Chi Minh in 1945-47. USec majorityites actually apologize for the Stalinist butchers and now hail the overthrow of capitalist rule in South Vietnam as “the first victorious ‘permanent revolution’ since the victory of the Cuban revolution” Inprecor, 8 May 1975).

It has been left to the international Spartacist tendency to uphold the struggle of our martyred Vietnamese comrades and call for the formation of authentic Trotskyist parties in Indochina as part of a reborn Fourth International. While unconditionally defending the new deformed workers states of South Vietnam and Cambodia against imperialism, we have called for extending the revolutionary conquests and opening the road to socialism by political revolution to replace Stalinist bureaucratic rule with the democratic rule of the working class (supported by the exploited peasantry) through soviets.


* * * *

Dear Comrades,

The Bolshevik-Leninist Group of Vietnam (BLGV), sends you its fraternal greetings and wishes the Congress great success in keeping with our great hopes.

We know that serious subjects are presently being discussed in the International, especially the Vietnamese problem. We deeply regret that for material reasons (date of the Congress became known too late, passports, visas...) the BLGV is absent from your debates. We regret it all the more because our group does not have the same position as the International nor the comrades of the opposition. We could contribute original ideas as Vietnamese Trotskyists, having been able to read many Vietnamese documents hardly known outside of the country.

Our BLGV group was constituted as a section of the International in 1947, by joining the International. It has a long history behind it. It was our group that had successfuly led, during the 1946-1953 period, the movement of 20,000 emigrant workers in France.... Our group was able to resist the most brutal repression of French imperialism during the first war in Vietnam.

...a small group remains in France and carries on in spite of a thousand difficulties. It is the present defender of Vietnamese Trotskyist traditions and ideas.

Although for tactical reasons we don’t officially identify ourselves in our press as Trotskyists, all the Vietnamese political circles in France know of our existence, especially the North Vietnamese ruling circles. We are seeking to constantly intervene in the struggle against American imperialism through all sorts of actions taking many different forms.

In the very special historical conditions in Vietnam, where the enormous weight of the VCP [“Vietnamese Communist Party”] crushes all the organisations to its left, maintaining a Trotskyist group, even a propaganda group, is an extremely difficult task. We have been able to do this during these last years with no help whatsoever from the International or from the Ligue Communiste.

In the political debate now unfolding in the International, we note two opposite errors. The first consists of prettying up the VCP to the point of labelling it a Revolutionary Party, thus forgetting the entire past historical development of this party, and not taking into account its present opportunistic and empirical policy which could cause serious setbacks for the Vietnamese Revolution. The second error is wanting at all costs to stick to the old schemas and refusing to see the evolution of this party in the new conditions and the fact that it has successfully led the national liberation struggle.

The BLGV group is constantly careful to not fall into either of the two errors. It constantly attempts to keep in touch with reality, to understand it and to draw the lessons from it for action, never losing sight of the fundamental principles of Trotskyism and Leninism.


We request that you make our existence known to the sections and that you debate out the following questions.

1) Should the International concern itself with a Vietnamese Trotskyist group which has remained loyal to the International and which has carried on against great obstacles, in the most difficult of conditions?

2) Should we work towards the creation of a section of the Fourth International in Vietnam?

An answer to these two questions would already resolve half the debate under way on the Vietnamese problem.

Our very fraternal greetings,
the BLGV 
February 5, 1974