LO-LCR - What next?

From Lutte de Classe #44 (published in Class Struggle #27 - Britain)
June 1999

Beyond the positions that we will have to adopt as we discover the issues which are discussed and decided upon in the European Parliament, we can already define our fundamental orientation.

We know that the European Parliament cannot change the fate of the working class. Not only because this is not within its real powers, but also because, as an institution, it is designed the serve the interests of the capitalist class.

We know that we will make up only a tiny minority in this Parliament, just like the representatives of all the groups that we can hope to be able to influence.

What we commit ourselves to do, however, is to support the few decisions which have some chances of being beneficial for working people, and to fight against all those which are designed to benefit the bosses of whichever nationality.

We commit ourselves to publicise to the best of our possibilities what is being discussed in this Parliament and the real meaning of the decisions it takes.

As to the relationship between our two organisations, as things stand today, we can say that will try to maintain the joint working relationship which has operated during the election campaign.

It is still too early to say whether our activities during this campaign, our public meetings - particularly in the towns where our militant presence is minimal - and our election results will bring us militant reinforcements. This is what we hope, of course, as this would be an important factor in deciding what our two organisations can do jointly.

During the election campaign, everyone noticed that LO and the LCR complement one another. In many areas, our ways of seeing things are different. But we also have a large common ground. In particular we have a large social common ground which allows many people - whether working people, jobless, immigrant workers, homeless, youth, intellectuals, teachers, students - to identify with our criticism of this society and government.

And it is because our two organisations complement one another around such a large common ground, that together we can appear as a solid pole of attraction. And as events have shown, only our two organisations could achieve this.

Our different ways of seeing things mean that we choose to invest the energy of our activists in different fields, we give different priorities to various activities and the initiatives we take are different - but never in opposite directions. This was shown by the smooth operation of our election campaign, and it is a vital confirmation.

We believe that, in the immediate future, our organisations should maintain close contact at every level. The joint platform around which our organisations have been united during this election campaign will unite them tomorrow in their interventions.

If we have been a pole of attraction in this election it was both because we complemented one another without losing our respective identities and, at the same time, we were fundamentally united. Our two organisations have, therefore, every interest in carrying on operating along these lines, jointly.

We intend to discuss together all the problems which will be raised by the situation and all the interventions that can be envisaged. We will act together whenever it is possible and we will act separately when doing otherwise would compel our activists to give up their normal political tasks. This is the only way to ensure that, with the passage of time and the emergence of new situations, what is common between our organisations takes precedence over what is different.

To summarise, we can operate politically and practically in the way that two fractions within the same communist party would. Proclaiming such a party today would be meaningless without the emergence of a new generation of activists, coming both from the youth and the working class, and numerous enough to enable this new party to be present in the vast areas of society from which we are absent today. But the emergence of such a new generation could transform the unity between our two small organisations into a party capable of having a real influence on the political scene. In such circumstances, it would be possible to arbitrate the differences that may exist between our organisations, or even better, it would become possible to intervene in all social spheres without having to abandon any other tasks.

These are the perspectives that we are discussing with the LCR. And as the views of our organisations come closer, we will translate these common views into practice.

Of course, there will be no current towards building a party representing the political interests of the working class without the working class rebuilding confidence in its own strength. Only the development of the class struggle can bring into activity and steel a new generation of activists.

The success of our joint slate in this European election can, nevertheless, be a step in this direction. The election results we have achieved over the past four years have brought us a bit closer to the spotlight as far as the working class is concerned. This may help us to be in a better position to play a role in the struggles to come. And there will be struggles, inevitably. It will then be up to us to be capable of facing up to our responsibilities.