BT contribution to the second session of the IG/SL debate (13 January 2024)


I am Christoph from the Bolshevik Tendency. Comrades, this afternoon we have heard a lot of political name-calling and while this can be fun, I am not going to engage in it, because I only have three minutes.

In 2001 when the military aggression of the U.S. against Afghanistan was underway, the IG criticized the SL for not calling for the defeat of imperialism. It was clear though that the SL was opposed to U.S. imperialism. We therefore thought that the IG was engaged in stick-bending and that it was not a big deal. However, it turned out that the IG was correct. Where is the ICL Going?

The SL responded to the criticism as follows: “there is no way to defeat the inevitable drive towards war”. While this is generally speaking true, it is possible, and is the duty of revolutionaries, to organize against the concrete war of our own ruling class against Afghanistan.

The SL also came up with the argument that a land invasion by the U.S. was unlikely. As if the U.S. was not really involved in the bombing of Afghanistan. This is very similar to their position on Ukraine today, where they claim that U.S./NATO are not really waging war against Russia. That is a way of distorting the facts to fit your political position! Back then the SL actually denounced an anti-imperialist position:

“the call for a U.S. military defeat is, at this time, illusory and the purest hot air, and ‘revolutionary phrase mongering’” – Wow.

So in 2001 they refused to call for the defeat of U.S. imperialism in Afghanistan and today the SL refuses to call for the military victory of Russia over NATO, the combined military might of the imperialists. The IG initially shared the position of neutrality of the SL, but to their credit they changed their line. (Better late than never) I think this is really good. Perhaps there are other questions that the IG might want to reconsider, and it could lead to a fruitful outcome?