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Political leadership of the proletariat (letter from Greece)

posted 13 Mar 2010, 20:03 by Admin uk   [ updated 13 Mar 2010, 21:14 ]

The virtual alternative political leadership of the proletariat 

The dynamics between social reality and political self-imaging in the epoch of crisis of capitalism 

Labros Kostopoulos 

Athens, February 28, 2010


The failure of the leadership 

The essential task of the leadership of a revolutionary organization is to direct its development towards the formation of a mass party. So, the final criterion of success of an alternative political leadership is the degree in which it has built and the rate in which it is building the mass party. 

In the past two decades this task has been facilitated by the fall of the soviet bureaucracy and its associated Stalinism. Further, this task has been facilitated by the social movements that have developed in Latin America. Finally, the current world crisis of capitalism facilitates incredibly this task but also imposes a quick pattern in the building of the mass party.   

Has the leadership contributed to the achievement of this aim either in quantity or in quality? No, it has not on any criteria and at any rate. So, the leadership has been proved to be completely incapable to do what is supposed to be the reason for its existence. This conclusion is simply a fact of life. 

Further more, the leadership has been proved also to be incapable to maintain the unity of the organization.  

Concretely, the sections in Greece, Pakistan and Venezuela have been split from the organization. The sections in Spain and Mexico have left the organization. The Russian and Turkish connections have disappeared mysteriously from the scene.  

So, this conclusion is also a simple fact of life. 

The irresponsibility of the leadership 

Has the leadership recognized these elementary facts of life? No, it has not and still does not! The leadership does not interest in what happens in reality as well as in the organization. Instead, it is exclusively interested not to take any kind of responsibility for its obvious failure.  

The way for diverting responsibility is very well known and familiar to all of us: the failures are due to some “bad guys” who hate the leadership, have betrayed the revolution, do not respect the collective discipline defined by the constitution and the principles of democratic centralism, etc, etc.  

This is a childish reaction when caught out in front of the teacher: “Sir, I didn’t do it. S and L did it in Greece. M did it in Pakistan. Etc, etc. … Any other person did it, except myself!”.  

This irresponsibility of the leadership leads it to “the restoration of the disturbed order by the expulsion of every one who is fount to be guilty by it each time of political failure”.  

The negation of the internal discussion and collective decisions from the part of the leadership 

But this “restoration of order” by the leadership is not done on collective terms, openly and in the framework of the established procedures of the organization. Oh, no! It is done “privately”, in the framework of a parallel informal network established by the leadership for its defense against its own rank and file. So, a part of the leadership has substituted the proper operation of the whole organization by its parallel informal network.  

So, instead of discussing with the comrades, the leadership expels the comrades who dare to put it in the corner of reality and responsibility. 

The negation of any internal discussion is proved by the fact that the leadership has not be able and willing till now to establish an internal discussion bulletin / internet forum for the members of the organization.  

It seems that the leadership thinks that the political participation of the rank and file is incompatible with their employment as fulltime wage-earners. 

The gradual silent destruction of the organization by the leadership 

Of course, the leadership’s expulsions and splittings do not restore any order. In reality the leadership sacrifices each time of failure a part of the organization without being able to replace it with new recruits. So, the leadership  continuously reduces the organization. In the final step of this diminishing process the leadership will be indentified with the organization. Leadership and organization will be one and the same thing. But for this reason there will be neither leadership nor organization. There will be only independent journalists and columnists striving to get a retirement from anywhere it seems to them to be possible.       

The political content of the leadership’s failure 

Why is the leadership irresponsible and consequently destructing the organization as well as self-destructing? Is its attitude due to the “foulness of grandeur”, to the ill belief that it is the “reincarnation of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky all together in one collective person”, to the “professional incompetence for the task to be wage-paid revolutionaries” or to the fact that it is composed simply by “bad guys”?  

All these factors as well as others not included in the above list can be valid or not. But also in this symmetrical case, it is not a question of others’ faults. All these factors are not the causes of the actual leadership failure but the effects of leadership’s incapacity to formulate a revolutionary program of political action, a historically updated transitional program. 

The leadership’s complete political incapacity to lead anybody to anywhere is extremely flagrant in the case of Venezuela.  

“Bolivarian revolution” is considered by the leadership to be the nucleus of the of the contemporary world revolutionary process. Consequently, the first mass revolutionary party has to be built in the context of the ongoing revolution in Venezuela. Has the leadership built this mass party after a decade of revolutionary mobilization of masses? No, it has not! And that’s not all: not only the leadership has failed to build a mass revolutionary party but it has also achieved to split the small organization in Venezuela in two mutually competitive parts! This is not building something, this is destroying everything. 

The leadership can not engineer in a ten years period of time a transitional set of slogans to overthrow Chavez’s Bonapartist regime!  Lenin was politically capable to overthrow Kerensky in about 3½ months and the leadership can not overthrow Chavez in ten years!  

On the top of that some comrades think to join in the 5th International proclaimed in the end of the last year by Chavez! These comrades fail completely to understand that the revolution is against Chavez and not in association with him. 

The evident inability of the leadership to transit politically from February to October in Venezuela is the historical cause of the actual disarray in its state of mind and conduct. The major political issue to discuss openly and thoroughly in the organization is this unfinished transition and not either the “civic rights of revolutionaries in privacy” or “what democratic centralism is in theory and how it is applied in practice”. 

The organization can not intervene politically anywhere in the world. Its ideas and principles have not the least appeal on the proletarian vanguard, the intellectuals and the rebelling youth. For this reason, now in the epoch of crisis and of the associated mass action, the organization is disintegrating under the leadership of its leadership. Only politics, a brand new transitional political program of social action, can save it from the fatal end already coming to us very quickly.