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a socialistworld is possible: the history of the cwi by peter taaffe
new introduction

Revolutionary events impending

The role of a Trotskyist-Marxist leadership is to foresee events and trace them out, including examining the political weaknesses of parties, their programme and the method of their leadership.

Inevitably, the leaders of these parties can move in a rightward direction unless checked by a conscious rank and file that is influenced by the Marxist alternative. By these criteria, the USFI has failed, and will continue to do so as long as it keeps on its present political trajectory. None of this means that the possibility of new mass parties of the working class, containing within them a revolutionary core, is off the agenda. Nor has the prospect of a new mass International, which was the perspective of the CWI from its inception, become less important. On the contrary, the conditions which led to the foundation of the CWI – the revolutionary events of 1968-76, and the emergence of a new combative generation – will be overtaken by the explosive events that impend in the first decade of this new century.

The first few years of this millennium have opened against a backdrop similar to that of the 20th Century. It is one of wars – the most devastating of which, so far, has been Iraq – the poisonous fumes of racism, economic dislocation and crisis. Yet there is also an unparalleled yearning on the part of the mass of the world’s population for a society of plenty and peace, of social harmony, and of the liberation and development of the talents of all. Such a world is not possible under outmoded capitalism. Sooner or later, the mass of the world’s people – beginning with the working class – will clearly see this.

But great social overturns – and the socialist one will be the greatest in world history – are prepared for by a courageous minority. They sum up this yearning for change in the form of a programme and in the form of a conscious socialist, Marxist and revolutionary party, and the organisation that goes with this. This is what the CWI stood for in 1974. This is as relevant and as “modern” today as it was 30 years ago!

In the age of capitalist globalisation, we see the emergence of an embryonic ‘socialist globalisation’, which can only be fully realised through a new revolutionary mass International. This will not entail a sterile sectarian struggle between small groups. It will require a battle of ideas before mass movements for the acquisition of clear ideological answers to the problems of the working class and encompassing all the tactical and organisational inferences that flow from this.