Avant-Guarde Organisation

Posted: April 6, 2011 in TANIT-Forum

TANIT Discussions:

1- Avant-Guarde Organisation

SUMMARY

Is defending Avant-Guarde Organisation “sectarian”?

NO! As I have categorically in many previous debates (in “Internationalists” list) wrote and proved, that this position is not advocating formation of a “sect” (as an organisation). In fact, the supporters of genuine “vanguard organisation” are strongly against any sects or sectarian approaches, which is usually imposed by ultra-leftists within mass movements. The “vanguard organisation”, is an organisation which has to be within the masses on daily basis. It has to use many tactics such as: united fronts with all anti- capitalist organisation regardless of political differences; it has to use the tactic of enterism within mass parties (depending on situation); it should fight against any sectarian positions within mass movement, which splits the anti-capitalist unity within working class movement. The members of this organisation, wherever possible, will be members of trade unions, or any organisation and party which attracts the masses. The members enter into lively debate on any section of the mass movement. The members are part of the mass movement in every level, where there is a movement and struggle.

At the same time to keep and preserve their socialist ideas and identity, to discuss their tactics, to educate their members and their contacts theoretically on Marxism, develop their ideas theoretically and exchange experiences, they need an independent organisation around a revolutionary socialist programme. Why? Because many workers, students, oppressed layers are not yet become socialist and are not yet ready to work consistently and with conviction for socialism. Why? Because the propaganda machinery of bourgeoisie (state, media, religion, reformist institutions, etc) does not allow them to do so. Only a minority of the oppressed workers (due to long experiences and theoretical work) can break away from this mighty ideological warfare, which is staged by bourgeoisie and its reformist institutions.

So it is logical and correct to form an organisation (which ever country we are in, and eventually an international organisation), to organise ourselves and the masses of the workers. Unfortunately, because of the dictatorship of bourgeoisie (whatever form it takes in different counties), the most advance layers of the oppressed people (vanguard), have to organise themselves separated from mass reformist parties and institutions (in a “vanguard organisation”). But the condition of formation of this party is to have internal democracy. Why? Because the members of it are working within the masses and everyday new ideas and tactics can be learnt from the mass activities. Why democratic organisation? Because it is the only method to prevent bureaucracy and developing a sect with some self made “leaders” who theoratise everything for the members. The right to form a tendency and faction is the essence of this organisation. Why democratic debates? Primarily for discussing the relevant and live debates in the mass movement, finding solutions to intervene and work within them (based on rich theoretical and practical experiences of Marxism and working class movements).

Why some comrades reject the idea of Avant-Guarde organisation?

Traditionally, there has been three concept of workers organisation. The first, was a “mass party”, which included all trends and tendencies within the working class (this was historically the basic position of Mensheviks and Social Democracy). The second, was the “vanguard party” (known as Leninist party, historically supported by Bolsheviks). The third, has been a caricature of “vanguard party” (created by petite bourgeoisie within the working class movement). It is unfortunate that many of us (IMT, CWI) fell into this third category, and experienced the cliques as “leaders” who by misusing the rich experience of the Russian Revolution and misdealing the members on the necessity of the genuine vanguard party (using the same terminology and pretending to be defenders of these ideas). For obvious and right reasons, many of the honest and active members of these organisations, rejected the method and concept of these deformed “leaders” and organisations, and parted from them. This reaction, unfortunately has lead to rejection of the concept of the genuine “vanguard party”. But this reaction, can have some dangerous consequences as well. Such as believing that it is possible to achieve socialism by being “radical” wing of mass reformist parties or even having illusion on “bourgeois parliamentarism”. Some even take a turn to views of  “socialist intellectuals” of 19th Century  such as James Keir Hardie who was an early “democratic socialist”, who founded the Independent Labour Party in Britain. The views who have been supported by “left wing” of bourgeoisie in last decades up to today in opposition to Marxism, Bolshevism and Comintern (in support of “Second and a Half International“). This is, in fact, a turn towards “neo-utopian socialism” and not revolutionary socialism.

I believe TANIT can only be built on the concept of the international organisation (based on documents of first four Congress of Comintern). Other versions and interpretations, will not lead to a radical and revolutionary organisation capable of leading the masses for a future socialist revolutions.

Maziar Razi

6 April 2011

Further READING:

The question of the party & democratic centralism (MR)

A contribution towards the Concept of the Vanguard Party (MR)

Draft Resolution: Organizational Culture (Emce)

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