As we have already briefly mentioned, we do not see this review as a collection of various distinct political positions under a common cover: this would neither contribute anything nor help us to overcome the present situation. Moreover, making the various political positions known would only require that the text of each group are circulated. Put we do not see this review as something amorphous, anodine, full of "generalities" on which all would agree simply because they are just generalities. That's why we describe it in a richer, more complex way, made up of three parts:
one part common to all the groups involved, worked out by common consent, and that would clarify and/or reject the fundamentals of shared positions. a second part for which the theme would be chosen by common consent but with individual stand points. and a third part for which each participant could freely chose a theme, where they can bring up subjects that they regard as important and not sufficiently taken into consideration by the others; or a new subject, or a different argument.
We think it is essential to include these three parts in the international proposition.
The first one, because it would make no sense to work and publish in common if we cannot come to an agreement on some points. Hopefully this will be a trend that we are to develop and reinforce. This will help us to establish new bases to come to grips with today's weakness and isolation. The second part, because on some subjects (South Africa, Bolivia, tbe English miners,...) we'll have to a certain extend, common positions and arguments (more or less substantial) but also different arguments, especially as far as practical proposals are concerned. Agreements on one subject would be published in the first part; disagreements on the same subject, in the second part. Therein will lie the possibility of discussing publicly the other positions on which there is no agreement; the possibility to know them and to make them known, the possibility to thrash out differences and smooth the way towards new syntheses. Therein will also lie the possibility to discuss any other subject, already "open" today, which we would have to face together.
For us it would be wrong to have a review restricted to the first two parts. The third part is essential: it is indispensable if we want to prevent in every case struggle between us over polemical issues from being held back bureaucratically. This part, along with the two previous ones, will contribute to the "necessary public debate over vital question, related to the tasks of the moments...". In the two previous parts there was a general agreement upon subject, chosen by common consent; this means that if there is no agreement upon the political evaluation of certain subjects, if we didn't have the third part, discussion of these subjects could not be published. Such questions as appear in this last part are the exclusive responsibility of the group which chose them. The only restriction that can be made is: these questions must respect the agreement on the criteria agreed upon and must not exceed a certain space (e.g. two or three pages). We have agreements, but also disagreements not only in the way we look at some subjects, but also on their scale of importance. We would gain nothing by denying or ignoring this or by using bureaucratic pressure to prevent publication of these differences. On the contrary, we must stimulate straightforward analyses and debate in a respectful and non-sectarian way -AN ACTIVITY THAT MUST BE CARRIED OUT IN COMMON AND PUBLICLY: THOSE WHO WORK PUBLICLY TOGETHER CAN AND MUST DISCUSS PUBLICLY TOGETHER.vThat is the way to strengthen international collective work.
Some might want a review whose content would be entirely shared by each participant and which would express a high degree of homogeneity. But it would take years before a review like that could appear and even if it did, it would probably be of little use, since it would be completely out of date. The fact is that a review is not only a model, it is a relation that of necessity cannot invent a reality with a degree of development and centralisation of the class struggle which does not today exist, a reality of which we are part. Of course, it is possible to produce a more homogeneous review if your international activity (which is not the sane thing as internationalism) remains restricted to yourselves and to some groups (or "sections" with which work is already being done), but all this would not help to improve the situation as described in this proposition.
We also think it necessary to make clear our ideas on censorship, since some will surely propose setting limitations to the "free" part of the review, that is censorship. There will probably be some who will make their participation conditional on their ability to control and censor the articles published in this part: that's the way things are today!
We think it is totally wrong to put things that way. As we said in the proposition, we are starting on a basis: a political and practical agreement bringing forth a coordinated response to certain attacks by capital, work in common, times of real connection and planning as an answer to concrete and serious questions that affect the world proletariat. To talk of the review without considering what has been said before would make no sense at all: therefore it is proposed that the review come from those who actually are united in practice and who support all the points of the proposition, especially point 1. That is precisely why we reject censorship of any article written by those who agree with the established criteria, and with whom we are working by common consent. Of course we are not talking about articles that would go against our common principles: in that case the group itself would be "censored". What we are saying is: to come to an agreement on the criteria of demarcation (allowing for any changes and developments that may be made) does not mean that we can ignore the thousands of differences on or distinct evaluations of very important questions. Hiding or ignoring them would be foolish.
We would be nationalistic if we believed that we could solve these questions in isolation rather than by developing shared international work. To conclude, we repeat what we said earlier: we are not going to defend our every last dot and comma - it is the overall sense of the proposition that we are fighting to achieve. That's why we insist upon the following: the propositions is a whole, we put it forward as such, and it is on this basis that we see relations developing between various groups or individuals throughout the world who have as their fundanental objective: THE WORLDWIDE PROLETARIAN REVOLUTION.
Argentina, march 1996 -
CM4.1.3 International Proposition:
Explanatory note (Worker's Emancipation)