The situation of the radical left today

The left-wing and workers' movements of today face a crisis of orientation. The weakness of the left isn't simply a matter of numbers, but is also a matter of confused strategy and tactics.  To help organize the coming struggles, the left-wing movement must reject all that has proved false, such as Stalinism and Trotskyism, and update Marxist theory to take account of both the experience of the past and the changes in world capitalism. We need to oppose both market capitalism and the state-capitalist regimes (such as Cuba or China today or Russia and most of Eastern Europe yesterday) which falsely call themselves socialist or communist. We must be oriented instead to the struggle of the millions of oppressed and exploited people here and around the world. The Detroit/Seattle Workers' Voice mailing list and the Communist Voice magazine not only presents news about current struggles, but focuses on the theoretical crisis of the left. In doing so, we present not only our own work, but evaluate the best thought about revolutionary theory from others.

As we said in the first issue of Communist Voice in 1995:

"This is the moment of the greatest triumph of modern capitalism. And it is the moment of its bankruptcy. If it is going backward today, if all it can bring is more wars and ethnic massacres, more enrichment of the few at the expense of the many, then it is a system which has lived beyond its time. ...

"[But] we do not lament the fall of the fake 'communist' regimes. This is clearing the way for a rebirth of real communism. It would have been better if the workers could have replaced false socialism by real socialism, but one way or another, the fraud had to be punctured. 'Revisionism' used the words of Marxism but turned its ideas on their head in order to present a bureaucratic variant of capitalism as communist liberation. The collapse of revisionism will help clear the way for the real ideas of Marxism-Leninism, as opposed to such tragic parodies as Stalinism and its twin brother, Trotskyism.

"... exposing capitalism is not enough. It is necessary to deal with the tragedy that befell the revolutionary movement. The workers and toilers put their mark on [the twentieth] century by overturning many dictatorships, defeating a world fascist offensive, overturning the colonial system and making attempts to build socialism, but the regimes they established all degenerated. ... We aim to revitalize communism, to once again bring Marxism to life, to preserve the spirit of the best accomplishments and struggles and theorizing of the past by rejecting all that has proved false and analyzing the needs of the new class struggle that is coming into being." (The Rebirth of Communism, CV #1, April 15, 1995) 

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