Points of Political Unity
We believe that capitalism is a social and economic system rooted in exploitation and oppression. The ruthless and unending search for profits in a capitalist system exploits workers for their labor, forces people to live in poverty and devastates the environment. As Marxists, we believe that capitalism can only be overcome through a socialist revolution that seizes the means of production and creates a workers’ state that democratizes the economy and paves the road to communism, a classless society free of exploitation and oppression.
Capitalism uses various forms of oppression––sexism, racism, homophobia, and all other forms of chauvinism––to divide the working class and obscure the nature of capitalist exploitation. Our understanding of oppression and how to fight it is intersectional: rather than prioritizing the fight against some forms of oppression and saving others for “after the revolution”, we recognize that various forms of oppression overlap and reinforce each other, and that confronting oppression in all its forms is necessary to unite and defend the working class against our bourgeois oppressors. We also understand that simply saying that we are against oppression, or even actively organizing against it is not enough: we must hold our own behavior accountable to the standards of our politics, to a revolutionary morality that reflects our politics, rather than operating by the sexist and racist standards of the bourgeois morals of our capitalist society.
Capitalism has entrenched itself throughout the world through imperialism, a process through which the ruling classes of fully industrialized (and post-industrial) countries, such as the United States, Germany or China, expand their influence over the world by using a combination military and economic coercion to direct the economic development of client states and colonies to better benefit only their own interests. As anti-imperialists and internationalists, we understand that the fight for socialism is also a fight against imperialism. As socialists organizing in the United States, the foremost imperialist power in the world, we oppose all attempts to expand the US’s economic and military dominion, and support struggles for national liberation around the world. In order to do so, we believe that it is necessary to build an organization that is international in scope so that we can coordinate with our comrades around the world, both contributing to their struggles and receiving their support in our own.
Read more about our understanding of:
Anti-Imperialism and Internationalism
Our Organizing Principles
In order to defeat capitalism, we believe that we need a revolutionary working class party, and specifically a party organized around the principle of democratic centralism. In order to best develop our politics and remain true to our founding principles, our party must be open to political discussion and debate, and make decisions using democratic processes. We must also have the discipline to carry out the decisions made through these processes. Our membership actively participates in trade unions with the goal of expanding working class power and steering these organizations toward revolutionary politics, engaging in strikes and other militant labor tactics in order to both win concessions from the bosses and build our class’s confidence in its own abilities.
Unlike liberals, we do not believe that it is possible to harness and tame capitalism for the benefit of society. Unlike social democrats, we do not believe that we can use the existing methods of bourgeois government to reform our way to socialism. Unlike anarchists, we believe that we need to build a revolutionary organization that can wield state power to defend itself from reactionary attempts to end the revolution. And unlike Stalinists, we believe that it’s critically important for our socialist society to be a democratic, international revolution led by the working class, as opposed to a bureaucratic regime on behalf of the working class.
We recognize that our party has a long way to go before it can challenge global capitalism, but we also recognize that there are no shortcuts to the revolution, and a party will not simply appear by itself. We are actively working to build the party that we need, and recognize that we will need to work alongside and merge with other revolutionary organizations in order to win our fight against capitalism.
Workers of the world unite! We have nothing to lose but our chains!
For More On Our Organizing Principles see here.
Our political current comes from the Fourth International founded in 1938 by Leon Trotsky and all the revolutionary socialists who supported the Russian Revolution but strongly opposed the Stalinist turn. We identify with the basic principles of “Trotskyism” which for us are simply the principles of Marxism and Revolutionary Socialism: an emphasis on mass action of workers to win our demands, class independence in all our struggles, workers democracy in our organizations and in any future socialist society, the need to form a workers government led by workers and for workers, the constant fight against all forms of oppression, and internationalism.
What separates us from Stalinism, besides the key question of democracy, is the idea that revolution will be international and cannot stop at one country, that our struggles for economic and political demands are connected, and that we cannot do a “partial” revolution or a revolution “by stages”. The International Workers League was founded in 1982 with most of the entire Latin American sections of the Fourth International, which had a real working class base, and splits of the U.S. and European sections. Since then, the IWL-FI has grown considerably.
Today the IWL-FI is officially present in 24 countries, with parties mainly in Europe and Latin America and developing groups in India, Pakistan, the United States among other places. We are committed to rebuild the Fourth International, a world revolutionary party, with other Left forces. We seek to rebuild a national organization in the U.S. and an international one with other groups, tendencies, and parties following a method that combines joint work in the class struggle, and organized political discussion of our agreements and disagreements.