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Taking steps towards revolutionary unity

Tuesday 30 July 2013

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This joint statement was agreed by the International Socialist Network, Anticapitalist Initiative, and Socialist Resistance [1] delegations to recent unity talks. They met to discuss the formation of a united revolutionary tendency. [2]

Delegates from Socialist Resistance, the Anticapitalist Initiative and the International Socialist Network came together on Sunday 7th July to discuss the next steps on the road to forming a united, plural and heterodox revolutionary tendency on the left in Britain.

These discussions were born out of the recent crisis and split in the Socialist Workers Party, which led to the formation of the International Socialist Network, and also inspired debate all across the left in Britain and internationally on how we should move away from the top down and monolithic conception of revolutionary organisation that has proven so damaging in recent years. All of the delegations agreed that they were committed to building an open, democratic and radical left, which encourages free thinking, is built from below and can reach out to a new generation. Wherever necessary delegates tried to make clear the terrain of the debate within their own organisation to the other delegations. This was important for encouraging an open and honest culture in the discussions. It also made clear that the groups participating were not, and did not want to be, monolithic in their approach to revolutionary politics, but even in our own groups we were already attempting to practice pluralism.

Initially discussion focused on a document from Simon Hardy and Luke Cooper (ACI),“What kind of radical organisation?”. Discussion was wide-ranging but focused on the questions of building new left parties, trade union and social movement activism, and democratic organisation. Alan Thornett (SR) had produced a response to the document that focused on the difference between a broad party project and a revolutionary Marxist tendency, as well as raising some differences over how the question of democratic organisation was put across in the document.

After two delegate-based discussions of revolutionary unity it was agreed that the debate must be opened out to our wider networks and memberships, and a date for a joint national meeting was agreed for October. There was also a useful discussion of practical collaboration: plans floated for a joint 12 page publication, a common perspective for student and youth work in the autumn, working together to make Left Unity a success, and developing a joint BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) caucus. For more information on these discussions then contact any one of the three different organisations involved, SR, ACI, and the IS Network.


[1The International Socialist Network (ISN) groups former SWP members who have left in recent months folllowing the crisis in the SWP (see Socialist Resistance “On the situation in the SWP no marxism without feminism”), the Anticapitalist Initiative (ACI) is formed by the former youth group of Workers’ Power, Socialist Resistance is the British section of the Fourth International.

[2For a broader context to this statement see Alan Thornett “New opportunities for left realignment”.