The following document was sent to me by a non-member of the IMT, it confirms what I had been told about the hysterical atmosphere in the International leadership.
The explusion of the entire Iranian section passed without the right of defence against allegations.
To IEC members, national leaderships, sections and groups
We send you a first report on the IEC meeting of March 1-7. This IEC represents a turning-point in the International's development. Contrary to the false impression that a small group of individuals are attempting to create, there was no mood of crisis, and all the discussions took place in a calm and serious atmosphere. The comrades in Spain, Mexico and Venezuela displayed complete confidence and enthusiasm for the perspectives that open up in these countries.
The experiences of these sections provide both the comrades concerned and the whole International with important lessons, which we will discuss in detail over the next few months. We had very in-depth discussions on orientation, tactics, organisation building, etc. for all these three countries. The reports show that possibilities in Venezuela and Mexico are tremendous, and that the reorientation of the work in Spain can give important fruits in the next future.
We will produce more detailed material on these subjects in the future. All comrades should study this material and learn from it, as it is rich with lessons for our future work in the mass parties and the unions.
The explanations of the comrades from those sections shed a lot of light on the problems of the work that was being done there before, the real political differences that were emerging with the old leadership, and organizational methods that had become or were becoming consolidated which were completely alien to our traditions. It goes without saying that we were not looking for a split. But it is clear that, under the circumstances, a split was inevitable.
The quality of the comrades who support the International is very high. In Mexico we took a big majority. In Venezuela we took a majority of the active members. In Spain the comrades have regrouped and are already intervening. For example, in a recent demonstration in Bilbao, we had more comrades selling our brochure as against the supporters of the EC and we have recruited our first worker since the split and have many contacts who can join. In spite of the difficulties they have experienced, the morale in all three sections is excellent.
The expulsion of HK
Comrades will have seen the resolution on the expulsion of HK we sent out on Friday, and the attached explanation. We do not often resort to expulsions. In almost twenty years we have never expelled anybody. But where it is necessary to defend the organization against provocations and sabotage, we have the right to take the appropriate measures. We point out that this resolution was passed with no votes against and the abstention of only one full member and one alternate. This means that not even members of the "faction" were prepared to defend him.
We have been informed today that HK is continuing his provocations. As part of his personal war against the International has decided to publish on the internet, available to the broad public, the whole content of the intranet website that was set up by the self proclaimed "Bolshevik Faction". By his deeds HK is showing to the whole organisation how well founded were the objections we raised to the use of intranet or facebook forums to host internal debates. This is not a game, nor a justified difference of opinion between comrades. It is an all-out attack against the International.
We ask all sections to inform all members of the International as soon as possible of these developments, in order to counter the lies and disinformation that is being spread by this individual.
The IEC had to take other measures to defend the organisation from what is quite clearly an organized and concerted attack against the International, namely, the expulsion of MR and the disaffiliation of the Iranian section (see resolutions).
A criminal act
What is the reason for this drastic step? Before the IEC, MR had publicly attacked the positions of the International on several occasions. In spite of being offered all the internal channels to express his disagreement, he decided to boycott the IEC, considering it to be a bureaucratic rubber stamp for the IS (he sent a representative to read a statement to this effect).
His deliberate boycotting of the democratically elected leadership of the International and his slanderous campaign against it were sufficient reasons for disciplinary action – suspension from the IEC at the very least. But what he did subsequently can only be described as a crime. In his latest tirade of insults against the International, sent out to undisclosed recipients, he deliberately leaked personal information on two young Iranian comrades who support the line of the International.
This information was enough to allow the Iranian state to identify them, making it virtually impossible for these comrades to return to Iran to build the International or even to visit their families. These comrades' "crime" was to disagree with the position defended by MR that there is no revolution in Iran. This is no longer a political question. It is a betrayal of the most elementary principles of the workers' movement and is equivalent to acting like a police informer. The only possible response was immediate expulsion. And since these actions were carried out in the name of the whole Iranian group (there are only a few of them), the consequence was the disaffiliation of the group itself.
This does not mean the end of our work in Iran. On the contrary, it will be stepped up and put on a far healthier basis. Our ideas are having a big impact in Iran and we have many contacts in Iran and in exile, in addition to the Persian speaking comrades in Pakistan. The antics of MR, who denies that there is a revolution in Iran and has a sectarian approach, has alienated many people on the Left who would otherwise have joined us. His departure from our ranks, far from being a problem, will open new doors. On this basis we are sure that the work in Iran (which was at a very embryonic stage) can be quickly rebuilt on a far sounder basis.
For months JC and his followers (including HK) have been waging a noisy campaign to the effect that there is a "bureaucratic and totalitarian" regime in the International. He issued a document putting forward a completely false and distorted picture of the International. He was offered the chance to participate in an orderly debate, and the IS guaranteed to distribute his document, first to IEC members and then to the whole International and give him equal time to defend it on the IEC. Instead, he immediately distributed it to an undisclosed list of recipients.
How did the IEC react? Did it decide to suppress the views of JC and his supporters? No, it gave them plenty of opportunity to put their views, including a special session devoted to these ideas. During the IEC discussion on democratic centralism, contrary to the norm, which would be an IS lead off followed by a counter lead off, we proposed JC to give the only lead off, to allow for more time for discussion.
In his speech in the session on democratic centralism JC complained that there were "unwritten rules" that he did not recognise and would not obey. These rules are really ABC for anyone with the slightest knowledge of democratic centralism and the history of our movement. What did the IEC do? It simply to put these rules in writing. In that way there could be no confusion or ambiguity about the position.
What the IEC did was to establish the rules by which a genuinely democratic debate could be conducted, and what was acceptable and what was not. It established certain perimeters that must not be transgressed. It prohibited the irresponsible use of emails to conduct campaigns against the official positions of the International – both inside and outside our ranks. It prohibited the practice of leaking internal IEC correspondence and publishing internal documents on Facebook. It specified our attitude towards the formation of factions etc.
It was precisely at this point that JC decided to walk out, together with the representatives of the self-proclaimed "Bolshevik faction": ML (a Swedish alternate), and WF (a visitor from Poland), walked out of the IEC, announcing they were leaving the IEC and would the next day "recommence the work of building a revolutionary organization". This happened on Friday at the beginning of a session where a number of resolutions were to be discussed and voted, including one reaffirming the right of the IEC to confidentiality.
An organized walk-out
There was also nothing spontaneous about the walk-out of JC, ML and WF. In the resolution of the "faction", we read the following:
"In view of the fears expressed by some comrades that the present internal discussion can lead to a split, either as a result of expulsions by a majority or the withdrawal of a minority" (our emphasis)
Nobody had mentioned expulsions before. Neither had anyone hinted at the possibility of a "withdrawal of the minority". On the other hand, in the emails of MR, there were implied threats of a split, if the IS did not print his views denying the existence of a revolution on the website of the International. These threats and ultimatums were a form of blackmail: "do as I say – or else!" HK used the same method: "do what I demand or I will denounce you as Stalinists!" But we have never given in to blackmail and do not intend to start now.
What we have here is an unscrupulous and cynical attempt to force the majority to accept the ideas and methods of a tiny minority, on the basis that the latter can make a lot of noise, cause a scandal, throw mud at the organization in public, provoke splits etc. This is like the behaviour of a spoilt child, who shouts and breaks his toys and wrecks his bedroom because he cannot get everything he wants. Such behaviour is not acceptable on the part of adult people, and far less on the part of people who claim to be revolutionary Marxists.
The International is a democratic organization, with well-established channels in which comrades are free to defend whatever views they wish. But in a democratic organization, there are rules that everyone must obey, and the majority decides. This is not the first time our movement has seen such conduct. In the Second Congress of the RSDLP, Lenin broke with Martov and his supporters precisely because they would not accept being in a minority. Let us remember that the word Bolshevik originally meant a supporter of the Majority (bolshenstvo in Russian) and Menshevism meant a supporter of the Minority (menshenstvo). It was the refusal of the Martovites to accept the decisions of the Congress that led to the split in 1903, although on all the political questions there were apparently no differences.
Let us be clear. Nobody forced JC to walk out. Nobody prohibited him from expressing his opinions inside the organization, and not outside it, following the rules of debate agreed by the majority, not made up by an unelected and unrepresentative minority, using the internal channels that are open for democratic debate, not facebook, Intranet and emails to "undisclosed recipients".
JC walked out, complaining of an "unbreathable atmosphere", but everybody in the room was breathing quite normally. What did he mean by this? Only this: that JC can only feel "free to breathe" when there are absolutely no rules and anyone can behave as scandalously as they wish – including in the public domain – with complete impunity. When he realized that this game was up, and the IEC was going to pass resolutions that would finally introduce some order into the proceedings, he decided to walk out and organize a split. And this is supposed to represent "democracy"!
What do they represent?
Other than those who walked out, these ideas received no support whatsoever on the IEC. We could only interpret their words and actions as an indication that they were leaving the International. The full transcript of JC's statement is attached as the resolution condemning their walkout that was passed with one abstention of an alternate member.
For months we have been receiving emails and documents signed by the "Swedish, Polish and Iranian ECs". When he was asked who was on the Polish EC and when they were elected, WF from Poland told the IEC that their EC is composed of just two comrades. He also admitted that they had only sent out their factional documents two weeks before the IEC.
In other words, they flooded hundreds of comrades and non-comrades from around the world with their factional emails signed by the Polish EC (jointly with the Swedish and Iranian ECs) before they even informed the comrades in their own section. All this in the name of democracy.
The representative of the Iranian group (who we invited to the session on Iran, although we were under no obligation to do so, since MR, the elected IEC representative had boycotted the meeting) was asked several times to give the figures for membership of this group, but refused to do so "on security grounds". But they showed no such concern for security when they effectively betrayed two young Iranian comrades to the authorities. To the best of our knowledge the group consists of only a handful, with not more than a few in the interior. And the "Iranian EC", like the "Polish EC" consists in reality of two people: MR and A.
The situation in Sweden is not much better: only around 12 members are, according to the EC, actually active in the labour movement of the 45 members. Of these twelve active members, five have declared their disagreement with the EC on these questions, including the whole of the Gothenburg branch. Moreover, the question of declaring a faction has never been put to the Swedish CC.
The mass organizations and the Fifth International
The IEC was not devoted purely to these questions, which we reluctantly had to deal with as a result of the scandalous campaign that has been waged inside and outside the International.
The IEC held very good discussions on a number of very important matters that will be part of our discussion up to the world congress. We held an in-depth discussion on the question of our work in the mass organisations. Throughout the last 20 years we have accumulated much experience in many sections which should be discussed and shared with the whole International. On the basis of this discussion, the IS will present a short document to be discussed in the International in the lead-up to the World Congress and voted upon there.
Also of great importance, is the IEC's decision to support Chavez's call for the 5th International and participate actively in it. In the words of comrade SG (Brazil): "this is a discussion of transcendental importance because it concerns the essence of what Trotskyism is." We will be publishing material on this question very soon and it will be discussed at all levels of the International in the lead-up to the World Congress.
We will also be re-emphasizing the Venezuela solidarity work in light of the upcoming regional elections, and will hold a Panamerican gathering in Caracas in April, in conjunction with the official launch of the 5th International. We will have more statements and information coming soon, and the sections should prepare to organise delegations to Caracas. We will also be launching issue 2 of the Pan-American journal. More information on this will be forthcoming.
IEC resolutions – March 1-7, 2010
1) The split in Spain, Venezuela and Mexico
This IEC notes that the Spanish EC and their supporters in Spain, Mexico and Venezuela split from the IMT in December 2009 and have now publicly announced a separate group. They have not been expelled by anybody who supports the IMT. They were not expelled, but have left of their own accord and in a completely undemocratic and bureaucratic manner.
This is an unprincipled split which was decided without any consultation with the rank and file members of these sections. The political differences that emerged in the polemic between the IS and the Spanish EC in 2009, though important, did not justify a split. The Spanish EC, fearing an open and frank debate of ideas, decided to split away. This shows a light-minded and irresponsible attitude towards politics, one that puts the prestige of the leadership above principled political considerations.
The split also reveals a completely bureaucratic attitude which deals with political questions with administrative measures by resorting to splits and expulsions. These methods are alien to our international and to the genuine traditions of Bolshevism.
The casual way in which they decided to split also reveals a narrow, parrochial and nationalist approach, which has nothing to do with genuine proletarian internationalism. Rather than attempting to convince the IEC and the membership of the International of their points of view, they decided to split away before the debate could take place.
From the end of November, comrades in the Spanish section who did not agree with the Spanish EC were excluded from branch meetings and other activities. The Spanish EC refused to pay international subs, JIR resigned from the extended IS and they cut off all links with the IMT. This process led to the expulsion by the Spanish EC of anyone who was not in favour of splitting away from the IMT, including comrades who did not support the views of the IS in the debate in 2009.
At least in Spain there had been a semblance of a debate. In Venezuela and Mexico the situation was worse. In these two countries, the supporters of the Spanish EC in their ECs and CCs decided to split even before any documents had been sent to the ranks and before there was any debate about those, never mind a debate about splitting away from the IMT.
In the case of Mexico, the majority of the EC took the decision to split against the expressed will of the majority of the members of the section. In the case of Venezuela, 40 comrades, representing at least half of the active membership, signed an appeal for an extraordinary congress which the EC completely ignored, fearing that such a meeting would never support the split with the international. The small group in Colombia decided, without hearing the opinions or the IMT to also split away with the supporters of the Spanish EC.
The IEC therefore:
condemns this unprincipled split in Spain, Venezuela and Mexico.
appeals to all comrades in these countries to come back to the IMT, regardless of their political views, as long as they are prepared to work within the democratic structures of the International.
fully supports the efforts of the comrades in Spain and Venezuela who are rebuilding the sections of the IMT.
recognises the democratic congress of the Mexican section of the IMT which took place on January 16 and 17, and the CC that was elected.
2) On Security, Intranet and FB
It has been brought to the attention of the IEC, presently in session, that a "Facebook" discussion group has been set up in order to discuss the internal affairs of the International. The IEC has not authorised this initiative – and was not even asked to do so – and considers it to be a totally unacceptable breach of internal democracy. It poses a very serious security threat to the work of our national sections. In a number of countries, this work is carried out in extremely difficult and potentially dangerous conditions. Such methods expose our organisation to attacks from the ruling class, from the state, and also from our enemies within the workers' organisations.
The IEC understands that not all comrades will necessarily agree with this point of view. These comrades have the right to put forward their arguments, on this and on any other question, within the organisation. In the meantime, however, as the elected leading body of the International, the IEC demands that this discussion group, together with the "Intranet" site set up for the same purpose, should be immediately closed down, and formally instructs the comrades who are responsible for it to do this within the next 24 hours, as from 22h.00 this evening (2nd March).
The IMT is a democratic organisation. All comrades, at all levels of the organisation, are free to present their views and criticisms on all aspects of our policy, perspectives and organisational methods, through the democratically established structures of the tendency. However, the unauthorised publication of internal discussions, outside the structures of the organisation, is clearly an intolerable breach of revolutionary democracy. The maintenance of these public networks would amount to active sabotage of our organisation.
[Passed in a special session on Tuesday, March 2]
Full members: In favour: 24; Against: 1; Abstentions: 0
Alternates: In favour: 5; Against: 1; Abstentions: 0
3) On the Expulsion of HK
For many months, the International has been subjected to a systematic campaign of harassment and intimidation, organized by Heiko Khoo.
This campaign, allegedly intended to "inform" the membership of the International, is in fact based on an avalanche of lies, insults, slander and disinformation. It is calculated to create the maximum confusion, disrupt our work and demoralize comrades.
These attacks on the International have been deliberately introduced into the public domain, where they are being used by our enemies, to blacken the name of the International.
The only effect of this campaign has been to cause resignations, damage the work in a number of sections and assist our enemies.
In the face of gross, deliberate and repeated provocations, the International has shown extraordinary patience and restraint. But all things have their limit.
We have made repeated requests to Heiko Khoo to desist from his disruptive actions. He has had every opportunity to make use of the democratic channels of the organization to put forward his ideas. But he has not used these channels and all our appeals have been cynically ignored.
These actions show a complete contempt for the most elementary norms of revolutionary morality and discipline.
The exact motivation behind Heiko Khoo's activities remains obscure. But we can say that they constitute a deliberate and systematic sabotage of the work of the revolutionary tendency.
Whether Heiko Khoo is conscious or not, such activities are indistinguishable from the work of a provocateur who seeks to destroy the organization from within.
The International has the right to defend itself against sabotage and provocation. We therefore resolve that Heiko Khoo is expelled from our ranks with immediate effect.
[Passed without votes against – Thursday, March 4]
Full members: In favour: 24; Against: 0; Abstentions: 1
Alternates: In favour: 5; Against: 0; Abstentions: 1
Visitors: In favour: 9; Against: 0; Abstentions: 1
[On Friday morning, March 6, before a session where a number of resolutions were meant to be voted, JC (Full member), ML (alternate) and WF (visitor) announced their walk-out – See full transcript of the statement of JC further below.]
4) Resolution on Intranet Forums
1.This IEC pledges to uphold the democracy and security of the International. All differences and discussions should be channelled through the existing structures of the organisation.
2.This IEC for reasons of internal democracy and security rejects the setting up of online discussion forums (intranet). Such mechanisms are wide open to security breaches where our internal material would be easily made available to our enemies. This has already occurred. They are in flagrant contradiction with our existing policy making structures. They would be dominated by those with plenty of time and immediate access to the Internet and would tend to exclude those comrades with restricted time and access. This is a recipe for substituting control by elected leading bodies by the rule of unelected and self-appointed cliques.
3.The "assurances" that it will be "strictly controlled" and "for members only" are worth nothing. In the period that opens up, and especially with our growing success, witch-hunts and attacks on the organisation will become more frequent. As this intranet will make available all our internal material in electronic form, such sites would be a magnet for provocateurs and infiltrators, eager to get their hands on compromising internal material. It greatly increases the risk of expulsions, proscriptions and witch-hunts in a number of countries and also of state repression in others. This is completely unacceptable.
4.For these reasons, this IEC places a ban on intranet sites and calls on sections to keep all discussions and disagreements within our internal channels.
[Passed unanimously, Friday March 6]
5) Resolution on emails
1.This IEC recognises the damage done to the International by the indiscriminate circulation of emails, in a completely destructive manner. It is an attempt to undermine the democratically elected structures of the organisation.
2.The practice of sending unsolicited blind carbon copies of email correspondence for factional and destructive reasons has resulted in our security being breached and our internal affairs being leaked to non-members and enemies of the tendency.
3.This kind of behaviour creates disruption, forcing the elected bodies to drop important work in to respond to the a mass of misinformation. If this practise is allowed, it will have a damaging effect on our work and undermine the organisation.
4.This IEC views such behaviour as an assault upon the democracy of the organisation and condemns it. The International must take steps to defend itself. We consider such activity to be incompatible with membership of the IMT and call upon national leaderships to take whatever measures they consider necessary to put a stop to it.
[Passed unanimously, Friday March 6]
6) Resolution on Winter School
This IEC considers that the manner in which the 2010 Winter School was organised is unacceptable. The IEC resolves that in future the Winter School or any other events encompassing more than one section should be in the hands of the IS, the appropriate elected body to oversee such events.
[Passed with 1 abstention (alternate member), Friday March 6]
7) On Confidentiality
1) The IEC is the highest body of the IMT between World Congresses. Membership of the IEC implies rights, but also obligations. There is no question of IEC members or invited guests doing whatever they please, without reference to the rules of conduct agreed by the IEC as a whole.
2) The IEC guarantees to provide the membership of the IMT with full reports of the political discussions and organizational decisions.
3) However, the practice of systematically leaking information about internal discussions on the IEC is unacceptable.
4) Without the principle of confidentiality, it would be impossible to have a free and frank discussion on any question. The leaking of internal IEC business is a violation of the democratic rights of IEC members.
5) Correspondence between the IS and IEC members is of a confidential nature, unless otherwise stated. It is impermissible for any IEC member to circulate internal IEC correspondence to persons outside the IEC. Any member who breaks this rule will receive a warning, and if these actions are repeated, may be suspended from the IEC, subject to ratification by the next World Congress.
6) The use of Facebook, or any other public electronic media, for unauthorized and unofficial factional purposes, and the unauthorized publication of internal documents , audio recordings and other information, which in the hands of our opponents does serious damage to the work of the International is unacceptable.
7) The IEC has the duty to take whatever measures are necessary to preserve the democratic rights and security of the membership. Members of the leading bodies of the International, must be able to express their ideas and criticisms without fearing the communication of these outside the normal channels.
8) The IEC instructs the IS immediately to take whatever measures it deems necessary – up to and including expulsions – in order to protect the rights and the security of the membership of the International.
[Passed unanimously, Friday March 6]
8) On Factions
The right to form a faction is a democratic right, which is recognized by the International. However, it is not the case that every group of comrades can simply declare themselves a faction without more ado. Factions are not a good thing, but are sometimes necessary, after all the normal channels of democratic discussion have been exhausted. They are not a first, but a last resort; they should not be resorted to in a light-minded manner and should reflect a clearly defined political line.
The "declaration" of a faction by some comrades in the last few weeks does not comply with the most elementary conditions for a faction.
In the first place, we have yet to see a coherent political platform for such a faction. The document "Forward to Democratic Centralism" does not constitute such a platform. What is being proposed, in effect, is a faction formed on the basis of forming a faction. This is not serious. Before forming a faction, the comrades should have exhausted all the normal channels for democratic discussion that were open to them: branches, central committees, national congresses, the internal bulletin, the IEC, and the World Congress. This was not done. At this moment in time, therefore, we consider a faction to be premature and out of order.
We call on the comrades to take a step back, to dissolve the faction, and participate in the common work of building the International and strengthening it politically through a comradely exchange of opinions. This must not be a confrontational and public discussion of differences on the Internet and Facebook, and the indiscriminate distribution of alarmist and misleading emails to members and non-members alike.
We draw the comrades' attention to the fact that we are at present in a pre-Congress period, where there will be every opportunity for every comrade to express their point of view on any subject. We invite the comrades to participate in the pre-Congress discussions and to go through all the normal democratic channels inside the organization. Such discussions will help to raise the collective political level of the whole International.
[Passed - Friday March 6]
Full members: unanimously in favour
Alternates: In favour: 4; Against: 1; Abstentions: 0
9) On the Walkout of JC, ML and WF
The IEC condemns the walk-out of JC and ML from Sweden and WF from Poland. This behaviour is unprecedented in the whole history of the International. The tactic of boycotts, walk-outs, threats, ultimatums and blackmail is completely unacceptable in our organization. We note that in the resolution on "Unity" which they submitted they talked about the dangers of a split and the "withdrawal of a minority" (which until then had not been raised by anyone). Within 48 hours, these comrades had staged just such a withdrawal. This clearly indicates that this was a premeditated act.
The IEC stresses that nobody forced these comrades to leave. They had every opportunity to speak and defend their ideas. In fact, a whole session on Wednesday was devoted to a discussion of JC's document "Forward to Democratic Centralism", where JC gave the introduction and the IS renounced its right of reply in order to allow more time for the discussion.
On Thursday, the IEC voted for the expulsion of HK for his actions, which amounted to deliberate sabotage of the work of the International. The vote was unanimous except for JC and ML, who abstained. This indicated an ambiguous attitude toward the destructive activity of HK, who is a member of the self-proclaimed "Bolshevik Faction" set up by JC, ML and others.
In recent months, internal IEC correspondence and documents have been systematically leaked and published on the internet. This has led to serious damage being inflicted on our work in a number of sections. The IEC was going to vote on a resolution on confidentiality which prohibits these unacceptable practices. Before the matter could be discussed and voted on, JC announced that he wished to make a "Short Statement". He stated that the International was "like the [Taaffeite] CWI and the Swedish Young Socialists". He concluded by saying that they were leaving the IEC, and "we will recommence the building of a revolutionary organisation".
He then walked out, followed by ML and WF. As he was leaving, he was asked to clarify whether he was leaving the International, but he said only, "I have answered enough questions". These words and actions can only be interpreted in one way: they have split from the International. The conduct of their faction in recent weeks confirms this. The publication of internal documents and audio recordings on the internet, the sending of factional emails to non-members and to the leaders of the split-off group in Spain, were clear acts of sabotage, calculated to do maximum damage. Comrades in Spain and Venezuela were given to understand by the Spanish split-off group that something serious was going to happen at the IEC. In addition to this, there is the scandalous attack of MR, who has circulated personal details of comrades, exposing them to reprisals by the Iranian state.
By their words and actions, it is clear that these three comrades have split from the organization. The International must take immediate action to defend itself against what is clearly an organized and systematic attack.
The IEC therefore instructs the IS to intervene in the Swedish and Polish sections to rally the forces that support the International.
[Passed with no votes against and one abstention (alternate member)]
Appendix: FULL TRANSCRIPT of JC statement
"Well, comrades, unfortunately this IEC has proceeded in a manner which is both expected and familiar. I recognize it both from the last period in CWI and the last period in the Swedish Young Socialists. And we will leave the IEC now, because there is no point in continuing to be here. We will go out into the sunshine. We'll have dinner tonight, we'll have a laugh tonight, tomorrow morning we'll get up and have a shower. And then based upon our firm convictions we will recommence the building of a revolutionary organization. Other people will leave the IEC with different attitudes. Some comrades will be pleased about what has happened this week. They will feel a sense of belonging and a sense of power and they will build nothing. I think the majority of comrades will be a bit disquieted. Maybe in one year, maybe in two years, maybe in five years, they will understand what has happened and I hope, at that point, they don't draw the conclusion to leave
revolutionary politics. Because that is the most common conclusion to draw at that point, but we must continue the struggle and we certainly will be."
[He was then asked whether he was splitting to which he replied:]
"I have answered enough questions. I will not answer any more questions."
10) On the Work of the Spanish Section
This IEC ratifies the decisions adopted by the provisional National Committee of the IMT in Spain, held on 6-7 February.
Particularly, we think the Spanish comrades must take advantage of the project to relaunch Izquierda Unida and decisively orient their forces to work in IU, as a Marxist current, linking the newspaper of the section to this orientation.
We mandate the IS to produce a more detailed resolution to serve as a basis for discussion in the debate that will take place in all branches, in the lead up to the June conference which must take definitive decision on the tactics we should adopt.
In the meantime, we call on the comrades in Spain to intervene in the movement and not limit themselves to an internal and introspective discussion.
11) On the M. Appeal
Having considered the appeal by the group of comrade M., this IEC concludes that these comrades were unjustly expelled from the former Spanish section of the International.
Irrespective of the political positions defined by comrade M., the methods used by the former Spanish leadership, including the hacking of emails, were unacceptable, and amounted to an attack to eliminate by bureaucratic means an opposition that they were unable to answer politically.
The IEC recognizes that the International made a very serious mistake in failing to investigate these matters with the necessary attention at the time, and in accepting as good coin the false arguments of the Spanish leaders to justify their actions.
We express our appreciation for the courageous and principled stand taken by the comrades in maintaining their commitment to revolutionary internationalism under difficult conditions. We accept the offer of the comrades to open the lines of communication and discuss our ideas, with the aim of arriving at a principled agreement. We understand that the comrades have expressed some doubts and differences concerning the positions taken by the International, and the prolonged period of separation may have deepened these differences. We hope that we will be able to overcome those differences through patient discussions, and, where possible, practical collaboration. The IEC therefore instructs the IS to open a discussion with the Municio group, and report to the next IEC meeting on its progress.
With comradely greetings,
5 March 2010
12) Resolution on the Conduct of Comrade Maziar Razi (1)
This IEC condemns the action of comrade MR in boycotting this meeting. Comrade MR was elected to the IEC by the World Congress. If he has serious differences with the line of the International on Iran or any other question, he had the duty to attend the IEC and explain his ideas. For unacceptable reasons, he has refused to attend the IEC and instead sent a letter announcing he was boycotting the meeting. The International is a democratic organization where comrades with differences are given every opportunity to put their point of view. The IEC has guaranteed comrade MR's right to express his ideas freely, with the same time as the representative of the IS. For unacceptable reasons, he has refused to attend. We reject the undemocratic method of "debate by email". Neither do we accept the method of threats, ultimatums and blackmails that has characterised comrade MR's correspondence with the IS in the recent period. We totally reject the unfounded
allegations made by comrade MR against the IS, and in particular the assertion that he has been "censored". We point out that, while any comrade is free to express criticisms and differences within the normal channels of the International, the articles published on the public organs of the International must reflect the line of the International, decided democratically by the World Congress and its elected bodies - the IEC and the IS. Neither comrade MR nor anyone else has any right to demand that our public organs must publish opinions that contradict the line of the International. The actions of comrade MR, in publishing articles in alien websites, and giving interviews on the radio, attacking the positions of the International and the International itself constitute a blatant and unacceptable violation of revolutionary discipline.
13) On the Provocations of MR (2)
Following the deliberate and scandalous boycott of the IEC, MR has launched a vicious attack on the International which has been sent to an undisclosed list of recipients. The material he circulated includes personal attacks against two young Iranian comrades whose only "crime" is that they dared to disagree with the political line of MR. In making these personal attacks, MR saw fit to publish detailed information about them, from which their identities can be easily determined by the Iranian state forces. One of these comrades has previously been arrested, imprisoned and tortured in Iran.
By publishing information that compromises these two comrades, MR has made it impossible for them to return to Iran to build the International without putting their lives in danger, even to visit their relatives. MR is not an inexperienced person. He is well aware of the question of security. His group has even refused to give the most basic membership figures to the International, alleging it was a "security risk". He was therefore well aware of what he was doing when he circulated this information. It was an attempt to strike back at his critics by exposing their identity, thus opening them to identification by the Iranian authorities. This was the action, not of a Marxist revolutionary, but of a vulgar police informer. This is a crime against the International, against the working class, and against all the democratic and progressive forces in Iran. We therefore declare that MR is expelled with ignominy from the International with immediate effect. In
view of the fact that this criminal conduct was carried out with the active participation of both the internal and external ECs of the Iranian section, the IEC hereby disaffiliates the Iranian section of the International.
14) The IMT and the V International
In November 2009 Chavez made an appeal for the formation of a V International. He specifically explained that this international should be anti-imperialist but also anti-capitalist and socialist. He also put the appeal in the context of the previous Internationals (I, II, III and IV). Some of the representatives present at the Gathering of Left Parties in Caracas opposed this call with the argument that we already have the "Foro of Sao Paulo" and that such an international did not need to be openly anti-capitalist. Chavez said that the appeal is made to parties, organisations and currents.
The appeal has opened a mass debate in Venezuela and also a debate within many left wing parties and organisations throughout Latin America and beyond. In El Salvador for instance, while president Funes has opposed the V International and said he has nothing to do with socialism, the FMLN has officially come out in favour. In Mexico the idea has been taken up by sections of the PRD and other mass organisations. In Europe this will be surely discussed in the Communist Parties and ex-Communist Parties in Europe.
We as Marxists are in favour of the setting up of mass international organisation of the working class. The IV International created by Trotsky was destroyed after the 2nd World War, and in effect is only alive in the ideas, methods and programme defended by the IMT. As Marxists we carry out work in the mass organisations of the working class in all countries.
We do not know wether this appeal for a V International will actually lead to the formation of a genuine international or not. It is possible that it will remain on the level of an idea, or a meeting of bureaucrats from different parties on a regular basis.
However, it is clear that the fact that this appeal comes from Venezuela and president Chavez means that it will be an attractive proposition for many. This appeal will also raise many questions about the programme such an international should have and about the history of the previous internationals, their rise and fall.
This is a debate in which the IMT, which is already recognised widely for its role in building solidarity with and providing Marxist analysis about the Venezuelan Revolution, must take a clear position.
We need to take a bold initiative and declare our support for the setting up of a mass based revolutionary international, and make a clear proposal of what we think its programme and ideas should be.
This IEC agrees to:
issue a public statement of the IMT supporting the appeal for a V International, while at the same time stressing that this should be armed a clear socialist programme, and based on the struggle of the working class.
discuss in each country how we can participate in or launch initiatives to promote the V International and how we can best intervene politically in these
participate in the founding conference of the V International in Caracas in April and other meetings like that, where we will defend our programme and ideas