The ICFI Defends Trotskyism

Resolution of the Workers League Central Committee

1. Having heard the report of our fraternal delegates to the December 16-17 meeting of the International Committee of the Fourth International, the Workers League Central Committee fully supports the decision of the ICFI to suspend the Workers Revolutionary Party from membership as the British section. We understand that this action is not aimed at “disciplining” present leaders of the WRP and that it does not call into question the Trotskyist convictions of the hundreds of loyal and self-sacrificing members of the WRP. Rather, it is an action required by the fact that an objective investigation, conducted by the International Control Commission, has exposed a betrayal of Trotskyism. This betrayal was carried out under conditions in which leaders of the WRP systematically deceived the International Committee. The exposure of this situation does not permit a “business as usual” position. New and principled relations must be established between the WRP and the International Committee. The suspension of the WRP from the ICFI is a decisive first step toward establishing such relations.

2. The unprincipled and mercenary relationship established with the semi-colonial Arab bourgeoisie, behind the back of the ICFI, is a political crime against the international working class, above all the Palestinian and Arab workers. This was expressed most foully in the decision by the WRP leadership to sanction the execution of the Iraqi Communists in 1979. These and other actions were not “simply” political mistakes. They were part of a prostitution of principles aimed at gathering large amounts of money. While this was being done, the WRP concealed from the ICFI the true extent of its relations with non-proletarian and reactionary forces. The policy of lying to the ICFI continued into August 1985—even after the crisis within the WRP had exploded—when money was unscrupulously taken from the sections without telling them of the real situation within the party leadership.

3. In subordinating its responsibility to the ICFI, the World Party of Socialist Revolution, to this mercenary relationship with the Arab bourgeoisie, the WRP betrayed the fundamental principles of Trotskyism, abandoned the theory of Permanent Revolution and the struggle for the independent, leading role of the working class, and broke with proletarian internationalism.

4. The Workers League Central Committee totally rejects the claims by leaders of the WRP that there was an “equal degeneration” of all sections of the ICFI, or that all sections are equally responsible for the degeneration of the WRP, and therefore cannot criticize or conduct any struggle against this degeneration. We point out to the WRP Central Committee that the “alliances” signed by Healy were between the Arab bourgeoisie and the Workers Revolutionary Party, not the International Committee of the Fourth International or the Workers League. The ICFI and the Workers League never sold out their Trotskyist principles. The ICFI has every right, in fact a duty, to act as it did in suspending the WRP. Those who claim otherwise are simply minimizing the seriousness of what the WRP leadership did, inculcating an attitude of political cynicism within the party ranks, and fanning the flames of reactionary nationalism.

5. We reject the claim that this degeneration was solely the responsibility of Healy and that it has ended with his expulsion and the split by the pro-Healy renegades. The political degeneration of the WRP towards Pabloite revisionism was both bound up with and facilitated by the domination of the party by a nationalist clique leadership. That clique required and used Healy’s personal authority as its shield against political criticism, whether from the International Committee or the rank-and-file membership of the WRP. As the interim report of the Control Commission has established, a large section of the WRP leadership—including those now taking credit for having resorted to a conspiracy to remove him—worked from 1982 on to conceal the catastrophic financial crisis from the Party membership. This enabled Healy, with the political support of other leaders inside the WRP, to block political discussion inside the International Committee of the party’s drift toward revisionism.

6. Moreover, it is entirely non-Marxist to attribute the crisis in a political party to the failings of one man. The regime within the WRP was not, as Comrade Slaughter has stated in his recent letter of November 26 to Comrade D. North, the personal creation of Healy. We remind the WRP Central Committee that the entire leadership of the WRP supported the resolution, adopted at the WRP’s Fifth Congress in 1982, vesting Healy with absolute authority, an action unprecedented in the annals of the communist movement. Among those who spoke strongly in favor of this resolution was Comrade Slaughter. Attempts to explain away such positions with references to Healy’s “will” and personality are theoretically worthless and serve only to cover up the real issues. The WRP leadership now has the obligation to honestly analyze the social and political roots of the inner-party relations which gave rise, independent of subjective intentions, to a regime centered on a single individual. Without such an analysis, the political degeneration of the WRP leadership will continue and the stage will be rapidly set for even greater betrayals in the near future.

7. The Workers League Central Committee fully supports the resolution of the ICFI, adopted December 17, reaffirming the historical continuity of the struggle of Trotskyism against Stalinism and revisionism. We strongly urge the Workers Revolutionary Party to declare its agreement with these historic principles and reject all efforts to place a question mark over the political and theoretical conquests of the International Committee. We look forward to the resumption of full fraternal ties with the WRP within a united International Committee in the very near future.