Declaration of the Delegates of the French Majority and Resolution on the Austrian Question
These documents appeared in the SWP’s International Information Bulletin, December 1951.
Declaration of the Delegates of the French Majority
The Congress of the PCI rejected the resolution of the 9th Plenum not because of its totally erroneous character, but because of its inadequacies, its contradictions and the considerable confusion which it creates. This is particularly the case because of the inclusion of correct amendments besides false ideas which are maintained in contradiction to these amendments and has obliged the Congress of our party to present a complete document for the World Congress discussion. The eclectic character of the resolution made this method necessary for political clarification particularly after the publication of the article “Where Are We Going” in the press of the International which explicitly develops the erroneous ideas which are only indicated in the Plenum resolution. We do not renounce our rights to fight in the World Congress for the adoption of a correct orientation on the part of all the delegations who have in the majority taken a position in favor of the line of the resolution of the Plenum.
The conditions of a correct orientation for us are:
–the adoption not in doses, but in its totality of the Ten Theses written by Comrade Germain and adopted by our Congress;
–the abandonment of all ambiguous formulations on the role of the Soviet bureaucracy and on its relations with the CP and the masses;
–a serious analysis of the present situation and the perspectives of development of the mass movement in the entire world, including the countries controlled by the bureaucracy of the USSR which is directly counter to the idea of the division of the world into “the capitalist system and the Stalinist world”;
–a clear definition of revolutionary perspectives in the two to four years up to the outbreak of the war;
–the reaffirmation of the Trotskyist analysis on the role of the Soviet bureaucracy as a caste in the unfolding of the Third World War whose outcome can only be the victory of the world revolution or that of imperialist barbarism;
–a definition of the tasks of the International in the USSR in line with that defined by the Second World Congress;
–a clear analysis of the lessons of the Yugoslav and of the Chinese revolutions, and a clear definition of the tasks of the International in the revolutionary struggle of the masses.
AUSTRIA: Resolution on the Austrian Question
1. Both parts of the Austrian section are of the opinion that any aggravation of the class struggle in Austria finds its expression especially in the aggravation of the internal contradictions of the Austrian SP, because this party has the support of the great majority of the proletariat and as a result of its historic development and the experiences which the Austrian workers have had with Stalinist policy.
2. For this reason, work in the SP is today recognized by both parts of the Austrian section as the field of action on which the forces of the organization should be concentrated. This signifies work in the units of the SP, in the Socialist Youth, and in the factory groups of the SP.
3. Work in the SP should be carried on in a way to facilitate and to support the creation of a broad left tendency in the SP with the aim of forming a left wing. This left wing should express the experiences and the will to struggle of the broadest workers’ layers, and it will only be able to take a first step in the direction of a revolutionary program. All other organizational tasks (individual recruitment for our own organization, etc.) should be subordinated to the tasks which flow from this orientation. In the course of the formation and of the development of this left wing, a real field of work will also be created for the growth of our own organization.
4. To successfully achieve the orientation thus defined, the majority of the members of both parts of the organization should become members of the SP or of the Socialist Youth and actively participate in the work of these organizations. Exceptions are permissible for comrades with personal reasons or where the needs of our own organization run counter to work in the SP. The work of our members in the SP will be carried on under the firm direction of the leadership of both sections of the organization.
5. The activity of our members in the SP will be governed by the following directives:
a. Not to come forward as Trotskyists with our full program.
b. Not to push forward programmatic and principled questions.
c. To begin with the level of consciousness of the workers in each sector of a given activity and to avoid the danger of isolation by going too far beyond this level.
d. To impel the differentiation in the party with the aid of central questions of the day on which broad strata of workers are ready to fight (questions of prices and wages, rents, coalition policy, etc.).
e. To impel forward and to resolutely encourage the members of the SP, etc., oriented towards the left so that they, influenced by us, can create a broad peripheral stratum around our own organization.
The general line of this activity aims to connect left groupings which appear in branches of the SP and of the Socialist Youth with the more advanced strata of the factory workers of the SP.
6. A tendency organ defending the line defined in point 5 represents an important aid to work in the SP directed towards creating and strengthening a left tendency. The organ “Y” which is now edited in this sense, will be maintained until the efforts of the members of the SP oriented to the left — which we should support in, this direction — results in the publication of a broader left-wing organ.
7. The orientation thus defined has as its precondition that both sections of the organization, far from dissolving, remain organized as firmly as before under conditions of double illegality, with its own leadership, its own branch and educational activity, with an active participation in the political life of the International, etc. The IKO publishes its own organ whose distribution is to remain limited to members and sympathizers and is not thus to create obstacles for the principal activity which is to be carried on in the SP.
8. The present Resolution expresses the decision of the World Congress as to the orientation of work of both sections of our Austrian section and will be recognized by both parts as the immediate basis of their activity. A parity committee of four members will be constituted which will meet every fifteen days, and apply the directives of the present Resolution, will coordinate the practical steps which result from these directives, and will determine to a growing degree the line of the organ “Y.” On the basis of the practical experience of this committee, the question of a reunification of both parts of the organization will be put on the agenda by this committee.