January 26, 1986
On Saturday, the 26th of October, 1985, the Central Committee unanimously passed a resolution on the crisis in the British section, from the ICFI. This resolution was passed on the basis that 1. the IC was explicitly supporting the expulsion of Healy by the WRP Central Committee; 2. the WRP had to face up to its international responsibilities and reverse the national chauvinism which existed under Healy.
On this basis the resolution was put to a special conference and passed with no votes against and only a handful of abstentions. Included in this resolution was the call for reregistration of the members of the WRP on the basis of an explicit recognition of the political authority of the ICFI and the subordination of the British section to its decisions.
In hindsight the Central Committee realizes that it had no right, politically or constitutionally, to take such a decision. This reregistration amounted to a change in the Constitution of the WRP by stating that only those comrades who signed the form would be members of the party. The Central Committee and the special conference had no authority or constitutional powers to make such a change.
There is historical precedent for the reregistration and even the reorganization under different leadership of a section of the Comintern. But then they were forming a new international with the authority of having just made a successful revolution. The present ICFI has not led any struggle in the working class in any of the few countries it is organizing.
The 1958 congress of the IC stated: “6. In applying the concept of democratic centralism the leadership must act in conformity with the present stage of development of the Fourth International. The leadership’s role must be primarily to give ideological guidance to the movement, rather than to be excessively preoccupied with organizing interventions. Before reorganization of the FI, launching any new political reorientation or initiating any major political action, the leadership must consult the cadres.
“7. Functions of the international center can be realistically enlarged only as the growth and experience of the movement permit the rise of representative executive bodies with earned authority. These international bodies must arise from among the leading elements in the national parties. They must be composed of leaders tested in struggle, known and trusted by the membership. Selection must take place in normal, natural and voluntary fashion.”
The Third Congress of the IC in 1966 stated: “16. At this stage the decisions of the International Committee will be based on the unanimity rule. The International Committee does not at this stage declare itself centralized organs of the Fourth International. This centralized organization remains to be constructed.”
The recalled 8th Congress of the IC passed a resolution “Elements of Dialectics” signed by G. Healy which was the main plank of this Congress. It declared: “The crisis within the recalled 8th Congress of the IC is to be resolved as follows. 1. The author of this statement proposes that the IC as at present constituted considers itself the nucleus of the World Party of the Socialist Revolution and not a sum total of national sections meeting under the auspices of the IC as a coordinating body.”
We reject this arbitrary decision which was not based on any real development of the IC in building revolutionary leadership in the international working class. This was a manifestation of Healy’s subjective idealism in which he asserted that the IC was the nucleus of the World Party of the Socialist Revolution.
We call on the IC to reject the subjective idealism contained in the decisions of the 8th Congress and face the real task of building the Fourth International. The CC endorsed the IC resolution on the 25th as a weapon against the Healyites. However, it was not used against them. Healy’s supporters were properly charged and expelled under the constitution. Now the reregistration has been used as a weapon against the opponents of Healy. It has been turned into its opposite and the Central Committee resolves to discard it.
We therefore withdraw the registration form of 11-8-85 issued in the name of the general secretary. We call on the IC delegates to endorse this decision and repudiate the decisions of the 8th Congress of the IC. The CC therefore instructs branches to submit full lists of membership by February 2 to the center. These lists must be the basis for the election of delegates to the 8th Congress of the WRP in accordance with our constitution.