Falling out among confusionists

While it is too early to make a definitive judgment on all the issues in the recent split in the League for the Fifth International (L5I—the leading section of which is the British Workers Power group) a few things seem clear.

The rejection by the expelled minority (which includes much of the group’s older cadres, writers and trade unionists) of the notion that we are currently in a global “pre-revolutionary” period is correct enough, but hardly unique. We discussed the politically liquidationist impulses that were rationalized by this false perspective in "Fifth Wheel Internationalists" 1917 No. 26, 2004. The minority also correctly criticizes the majority’s absurd enthusiasm for the Socialist Party’s stillborn “Campaign for a New Workers’ Party”—an issue we addressed a few months ago in a letter to Workers Power entitled “Revolutionary Principles vs. Cynical Manoeuvres.”

The minority is now publishing a journal entitled Permanent Revolution. This was the name of Workers Power’s theoretical journal in the 1980s and presumably signals a return to a more “Trotskyist” posture than the eclectic, anti-globalizing Kautskyism of the past few years. It is hardly surprising that this seems to include the auto-Labourism that is the default setting for most ostensibly Trotskyist groups in Britain. We discussed the L5I’s recent zig-zags on voting for Tony Blair and New Labour in “Workers Power’s Labourite Reflex – What’s Bred in the Bone” (1917 No. 28, 2006).

The dust has not yet settled, but so far there is little indication that either wing of this split has broken from Workers Power’s tendency to be consistent only in its capacity for combining sometimes abstractly correct criticisms of the revisionist deviations of others with the pursuit of its own grossly opportunist appetites.

Statements by the two sides in the split
1 July - L5I announce the expulsion "A split in the League for the Fifth International"
2 July - "The Split in the LFI: expelled members respond"
3 July - More from the expelled minority "The split in the League for the Fifth International (LFI)"
4 July - The majority respond with "An outline of the evidence that reveals how the International Minority Faction planned to split the League"

Posted: 08 July 2006