THIS IS THE FIRST issue of Class Line, an Organ of proletarian communist theory, program and discussion produced by the Workers’ Group, a workers’ political organization and fraction of the proletarian communist movement.
Normally, in a presentation for our first issue, we would take a moment to tell you about our organization, its politics and a little of our history. However, in this situation, it is not really necessary. This issue of Class Line is, in many respects, is a comprehensive introduction to us and our political perspectives, as well as the history and revolutionary heritage the Workers’ Group defends.
We begin this issue with our central document, Foundations, Positions and Guidelines of the Workers’ Group. This piece provides the reader with a summary of our organization and its principles, as well as basics of our functioning. The importance of this article is that it encapsulates the views of the Workers’ Group into a singular format, allowing potential friends and comrades — as well as opponents and enemies — of our Group to know where we stand in a clear and unapologetic manner.
We follow this with a groundbreaking piece on class and ideology, Beyond the Left-Right Spectrum of Exploitation. This document explores the phenomenon of “left” and “right” in capitalist ideology and politics, its origins and its use as a means of keeping various political currents, including the Left Wing of Capital, locked into the existing system of social (class) relations. The article also demonstrates how the historic program of the proletariat — based on the lessons of the class struggle — breaks with the spectrum and exists on a path outside of capitalism’s ideologies.
The next section of this issue of Class Line involves the first exchanges between the Workers’ Group and the Internationalist Communist Tendency. The ICT is one of the oldest organizations in the proletarian communist movement, with its core being the Internationalist Communist Party of Italy, formed in 1943. The exchange begins with a document by the International Bureau of the ICT, On the Future International, which outlines their views on the building of a new world party of proletarian communism in the 21st century. This is followed by our Letter to the Internationalist Communist Tendency, which offers both a lengthy commentary on the question of building a new International party today, as well as contributions to discussions that we believe will need to take place as part of the process of political clarification essential to that building. Finally, we include the Reply of the ICT IB to our letter, which offers further comments on our letter.
As part of our regular Lessons of History series, we present the first part of an article by Russian Bolshevik Nikolai Ossinsky, on The Construction of Socialism. Written in 1918 as part of the struggle of the Proletarian (“Left”) Communists against the Leninist (“Right”) majority, Ossinsky’s document offers a detailed critique of the process of “economic reconstruction” that had taken place in the Russian Soviet Republic during the first several months, as well as one of the first comprehensive polemics against the rise of state capitalism in Russia — a polemic not just of the economic problems arising from it, but also the effect on the transformation of social (class) relations such a retreat would have on workers.
Finally, we publish our Style Guide, which will be helpful for all those wishing to contribute to Class Line. We hope you enjoy this issue, and we welcome all comments on these documents.