Following, we transcribe an article from Bolpress that reproduces the declaration of the Agrupación Marxista Revolucionaria (AMR - Revolutionary Marxist Group) from Bolivia published facing the foundation of the Instrumento Político de los Trabajadores (IPT – Workers’ Political Tool), voted during the last Congress of the Central Obrera Boliviana (COB - Workers´ General Union of Bolivia). The declaration can be read in its original version in AMR’s blog: http://amr-bolivia.blogspot.com.ar/2013/02/pronunciamiento-de-la-agrupacion.html.
The Tendencia Piquetera Revolucionaria (TPR) is supporting politically and practically at this moment the struggle that the comrades are developing in order to build a tendency to fight for a truly revolutionary, proletarian, anti-imperialist, democratic and mass-bassed IPT, and we call all Latin-American and world-wide left parties, CRFI in the first place, to militate in this same sense.
Let´s build a revolutionary, anti-imperialist, democratic and mass-based proletarian block
FOR A INSTRUMENTO POLÍTICO DE LOS TRABAJADORES (WORKERS´ POLITICAL TOOL), NO CONFIDENCE ON THE BUREACRACY
The Central Obrera Boliviana (COB) [workers´ general union of Bolivia, TN] is discussing the creation of the Instrumento Político de los Trabajadores (IPT) [Workers´ Political Tool, TN], or Workers´ Party. The creation of the IPT is an expression of the sharpening of class struggle and a progressive masses rupture with the indigenous nationalism.
The creation of the IPT is part of a continental process, where there is a tendency of the working class to break with the bourgeois and petit-bourgeois nationalist governments, because of their exhaustion (“right-wing turn”) and commitments with imperialism. In the Bolivian case, it takes place in the framework of a new political period: Evo Morales´ government and the MAS tried to implement a “gasolinazo” (raise of fuel prices), resisted and defeated by the workers of the COB. After that, the government attacked the native people of TIPNIS, willing to impose IIRSA´s project (the building of a freeway through the Bolivian Amazonia), producing the rupture of 2 of the 5 peasants unions with the government and its “Andean capitalism” project (CIDOB and CONAMAQ).
Others events were added to this, as the fight of the industrial workers against the Labor Code and for wage rise; the longest strike of doctors, nurses and health sector against the lengthening of the working day (from 6 to 8 hours); and the enormous struggle of Colquiri mining workers, who, led by Severino Estallani, fought against the cooperatives allied to the MAS in order to achieve nationalization of all the mine (fight that cost the life of the comrade Victor Choque, who was murdered by the capitalists and with full complicity of the MAS).
But the main reason for the REAL creation of the IPT was the relative move away of Trujillo and Perez´s bureaucracy from the official party apparatus of the MAS. They are failing in theirs attempt to achieve better conditions to the COB bureaucracy, and also in getting places in the electoral roll. So it´s not that the most combative sections of the COB are leading the creation of the IPT, but that who lead are those who were elected with the support of Evo Morales and the MAS. It should be enough to remember the XV COB Congress in Tarija, where Trujillo was elected with the help of the MAS (as Miguel Perez in the FSTMB [Bolivian Mining Workers Federation, TN]). They called the 1st Workers´ Union-Political Conference developed in Cochabamba on January 17th and 18th and now they are calling to the First IPT Congress in February 21st and 22nd in Huanuni (the biggest mining workers concentration, with more than 4000 workers).
The documents and the discussion in the COB’s Political Committee
In the meetings of the COB’s Political Committee, a principles declaration, a government program and a statute were discussed, without any democratic discussion before the IPT Conference in Cochabamba. That’s why a lot of members of the IPT Conference questioned those documents. Also the way the debate was organized was put into question. It seemed that Trujillo didn´t read the Political Committee document, considering it as a secondary problem, and relied on the three mayor members of the Committee: Jaime Solares, leader of the bureaucracy historically opposed to the MAS; Montoya, Trujillo´s political operator in the Committee; and Javo Ferreira, leader of the LOR-CI [FT-CI, TN]. Thirty days were assigned to discuss the documents.
It remains fresh the order (several times repeated) said by Trujillo and Perez about the necessity of “maintaining the IPT independent from the unions”: that is, IPT may be independent of the COB. This order, in today´s scenery, is mainly against Solares. But also offers the perspective of transform the IPT in a party with the shape of bourgeois professionals which, although directed by bureaucrats, hasn´t organic relation with the masses of the COB (so not render of account to the COB, the Federations and unions is needed). This is a way to limit the participation of the working class and enclose it in the economic activity. Revolutionaries have always fought against tendencies that defend the autonomy of trade-union movement from the party.
Is Solares the left-wing in the COB?
Jaime Solares, cultural advisor of the COB and member of its National Executive Committee, states that “our aim is to govern, but if we cannot, at least we will be the second force” (this is based on the fact that COB has 2 million workers associated). He spoke attacking Evo Morales government and the MAS, he talked about an IPT “grass-rooted”, about “socialism” and about “political power for workers”. Solares´ statement avoid, as the Political Committee document, the destruction of the bourgeois State and the Proletarian Dictatorship, that is, the organization of the workers as dominant class through the leadership of a Revolutionary Party. His aim is to use the IPT in order to become a Bolivian Lula, and as long as he couldn´t, focuses on parliamentary cretinism, opposite to use MPs as a proletarian revolutionary tribunes.
Solares wants to use these clashes with Trujillo and Perez in order to make the left believe that it’s with him that an overcoming project can be developed. But neither he publicly delimitates from the other bureaucratic block nor propose alternative documents. Therefore, his calls to the left to get support against Trujillo and Perez are a farce. If Solares wanted to break with Trujillo and Perez, he should do it explicitly and, thus, call the left to support him. But this is not happening: Solares aim is to be a Bolivian Lula with the left as a mere puppet. Those who follow him will integrate him, or will be used and cheated, as in 2009 Solares abandoned the common candidature in COB with the left, because he didn´t want to confront with Evo Morales.
The big danger: IPT could transform itself in an anti-workers and parliamentarist freak which serves bourgeois parties
In these conditions, the IPT, which raises so many expectations in many sectors of workers (mainly mining workers), could transform itself in an anti-workers and parliamentarist freak which serves bourgeois parties. As well as Trujillo and Perez, MAS allies in the COB, finally decided to build the IPT in order to maneuver in their own interest; also the MAS, directly and through PCB, PCML and different sectors of the bureaucracy, are doing an effort to show that IPT can be a complement to the MAS. The call of the bureaucracy of Trujillo and Perez, after the Enlarged Committee in Sucre (On January 23rd and 24th), to build a “parliamentary workers’ brigade” (El Cambio, January 25th), is construed by bureaucrats of the MAS as a chance to get into the parliament to vote with the MAS. In this sense, “the regional chief of the MAS, Leonilda Zurita –historical leader of cocalero movement [peasants that cultivate coke leaf, TN]-, said the creation of COB´s party wouldn´t affect the government, but reinforce social organizations” (La Opinion, January 1st).
And as long as they cannot achieve this, they will try to delay everything in order to prevent IPT from running for the elections in 2014. The bureaucracy of oil union, as a case, was with the electricity union one next to Evo Morales in the Plurinational State day and it´s one the more masist wings of the COB bureaucracy. “El Cambio” [masist bolivian newspaper, TN], published an article based on declarations of Hugo Gonzalez (oil union leader) where he state that the creation of IPT “´isn´t from one day to another because a lot of things have to be considered, as the ideological definition” (January 26th).
From the AMR we repudiate these statements and we maintain that this delaying attempt has to be denounced, as every attempt to transform workers deputies into MAS tail-list. We must have revolutionary workers deputies and a revolutionary candidature to the Presidency to confront politically with masism (the new right) and also the old right. As AMR, as well as we reject parliamentarian electoralism, we reject every maneuver to prevent IPT running for the elections in 2014 because we are enemies of the anti-parliamentarian cretinism and abstention which will only favor the MAS. The fact that documents aren´t revolutionary or that the discussion isn´t being democratized cannot be, in our opinion, an excuse to prevent IPT’s existence and strengthening because we know that in many cases are the MAS political operators themselves who guarantee documents are not revolutionaries and discussion is not democratized: the MAS wants to prevent the possibility of a worker candidature at the left of the government, because it would show the anti-workers and anti-popular government´s turn.
The Bolivian left and the IPT: sectarianism and opportunism
The Enlarged Committee in Sucre decided to call immediately the IPT Foundational Congress on February 21st (in the mining district Huanuni). Facing this, the Bolivian left is dissolved, confused and adapted, depending on the case.
The POR: a sectarian pose opposite to its own tradition and in favor of the MAS
The POR hadn´t objection in using the accurate posing about the necessity to fight for the destruction of the bourgeois State and the necessity of the proletarian dictatorship as an excuse to deny the necessity of the parliamentary struggle (which was exemplary used by Bolsheviks). This leads to an objective alliance with the MAS and its political operators, among them the bureaucracy of peasants, cocaleros, native peoples from Amazonia and Kollasuyo, teachers and bartolinas [womenpeasants’ organization, TN].
The struggle of revolutionaries is not turning away from IPT, but over and inside it, posing the necessity of a real revolutionary program in order to make the COB adapt a class perspective, against bureaucracy. On the contrary, POR militants abandon what, according to “MASAS” [the newspaper of POR], they defend: Pulacayo Thesis, the experience of the Workers Parliamentary Block, the Popular Assembly in 1971 and FRA [Anti-imperialist Revolutionary Front, TN]. They will turn away their own experience developed by POR in the 70´s in Brazil, when as part of the Fourth International Tendency (TCI) with Argentinian PO, they promoted the fight of Causa Operaria (today Partido do Causa Operaria, PCO) for a revolutionary, proletarian, anti-imperialist, democratic and mass-based PT. Atilio da Costa, leader of the CERCI (Latin-American organization leaded by Bolivian POR), was part of this struggle. The militancy of POR cannot accept that its organization, with an historical tradition in Bolivian history, adopts the false opposition POR vs IPT, as the current situation offers the POR a historical opportunity to fight for the revolutionary program.
We call the Study Center “Cesar Lora” and every militant cell, regional committee or leader of POR to oppose the sectarianism of the leadership of POR (sectarianism that makes a favor to the MAS), to achieve POR’s break with the OBJECTIVE block with the government and participation in the IPT Foundational Congress in order to fight for a Platform for a revolutionary, proletarian, anti-imperialist, democratic and mass-based IPT. Otherwise they will continue adapted to a party bureaucracy that has treated the strategy and tactic of the working class.
Lambertism, the ASR and different morenoists: complete adaptation to the COB bureaucracy
Different currents of the international Trotskyism with big or little influence in our country, as lambertism, the current of Peter Taëffe (Alternativa Socialista Revolucionaria, ARS –from Cochabamba-) and variants of morenoism, as UIT-CI represented by Miguel Lamas, member of La Protesta and APR (Alternativa Popular Revolucionaria) have saluted without any delimitation of the bureaucracy the initiative of the IPT. Doing this they contribute to a Bolivian version of Lulism. In the same field are Lucha Socialista (LIT-CI) and MST, expelled from the LIT. It´s not casual: all these organizations had supported the adaptation inside Brazilian PT, as they deny the necessity of posing a program. That´s why they tend to join with the bureaucracy in the COB, which changed the original proposal about the name of the party (Frente de la Revolución Social, [Revolutionary Social Front, TN]) to PT, in reference to the tragic Brazilian experience, where a bureaucrat (Lula) originally opposed to the dictatorship ended governing on behalf of the imperialism. Neither lambertism nor ASR can coherently explain how they change from supporting (with some critics) the nationalist petit-bourgeois program of the MAS to support the perspective if the IPT.
LOR-CI is seeking a place in the leadership of the IPT without fighting vigorously against both sectors of the bureaucracy
The LOR-CI, which was put in an important place because of its participation in the Political Committee, didn´t intervene in the Conference of Cochabamba against the poses of both sectors of the bureaucracy. On the opposite, it only claims the abstraction of “an IPT without capitalists, landlords nor bankers”. This is explained because of the (real) fear to be excluded of the Political Committee. But this participation can never be defended with silence, but it has to be done reinforcing the denounce of the positions of the bureaucracy in conflict, and building the IPT really from the bases (as some time ago the LOR-CI denounced the bureaucracy didn´t do). The current policy of the LOR-CI seeks a tactical agreement with the bureaucracy in order to get into the leadership of the IPT, that is, a centrist and opportunist policy. The AMR will defend them if any attempt to expulse Javo Ferreira of the Political Committee occurs (as we defend the largest democracy inside COB and the future IPT).
The AMR calls to the formation of a Block to fight for a revolutionary, proletarian, anti-imperialist, democratic and mass-based IPT
The AMR calls the workers, students, peasants, their organizations and fighters and all the left in Bolivia to break with any expectation in Evo Morales´ government and the MAS and develop a struggle for a revolutionary, anti-imperialist, proletarian, democratic and mass-based Instrumento Político de los Trabajadores. We are facing an event quite important worldwide and in particular in Latin-America. That´s why we accept the collaboration of the Tendencia Piquetera Revolucionaria (TPR) from Argentina in the fight for this Platform (despite of our differences on the vote for Evo Morales in 2005 and the Constituent Assembly in 2007), and we think that also the Coordinating Committee of the IV International (CRFI) has to join us in this political struggle, widely discussing and collaborating.
Some organizations are doubtful, paralyzed or in crisis on this point. Somehow it´s natural, but working class demands definitions. As revolutionary Marxists, we do believe that what we are facing is a kind of centrist bureaucracy because we saw them against class struggle (as in the fight for the 100% nationalization of Colquiri), but at the same time they are stepping towards the formal organization of a workers´ party separated from the bourgeoisie and its State (even if it´s formally). In these sense, we know that IPT isn´t and it won’t be the Workers´ Party the Bolivian proletarian needs, but we won’t stay outside to critic without fighting for this goal, because that pose is for charlatans and not for revolutionaries. It would be useless to wait the fail or cooptation of the IPT by the bourgeoisie and imperialism in order to then state that ´we were right´. Marxist tradition calls to support any initiative that is a first step towards the political differentiation of workers from owners (as it´s seen in the statements of Lenin and Trotsky regarding the English Labor Party). The only Workers Party is the revolutionary one, but an IPT, as it´s separated from the bourgeoisie, is a step forward, where we will promote the discussion to enlighten the workers vanguard. In this sense we call Agenda Revolucionaria, Tesis 11, Patria Insurgente and all the organizations that claim themselves part of the popular and workers struggle to set position in order to join this fight. The little or big possibilities we can have to intervene and transform the IPT in a revolutionary party cannot be wasted. We have to give the IPT a revolutionary content and perspective: we have to claim ourselves an alternative and group AGAINST the bureaucracy, building a tendency inside IPT.
Because of this, as AMR we will combat for an IPT organically linked with the COB bases, which allows the most enlarged freedom of tendencies, and we will be strongly opposite to the reactionary perspectives of the bureaucracy:
1) A revolutionary IPT, because it´s the only way to be really independent of the bourgeoisie and the capitalist state.
2) An anti-imperialist IPT, because the working class has to channel the united front to lead the Bolivian oppressed nation in its fight for the definitive emancipation.
3) A proletarian IPT, because it has to be the tool of the COB and, therefore, be under the control and decisions of its bases, opposite to any idea about an IPT “not linked to the COB”.
4) A democratic IPT, because any ´centralist´ obstacle would be a favor to the bureaucracy against the most consequent tendencies (as Alvaro Linera applies this concept in the MAS).
5) A mass-based IPT, because we have to fill the new party with workers as much as possible, in order to strengthen the independent political movement of our class, to give the word to the more exploited and radical sectors and to oppose to any ´vanguard´ concept, which in the hands of the bureaucracy would be used to build a democratizing and front-populist ´cadres party´.
As it is written in the COB´s flag, “the workers emancipation will be the task of the workers themselves”. To achieve that, the AMR compromises itself with this fight until the end, and we consider our fight in the IPT as part as the struggle for the Workers Party and the IV International. The only way of proletarian political independence is the revolutionary party, in order to overcome the chains of men by men exploitation and the imperialist oppression of Bolivia, Latin-America an all around the world. Let´s develop, as well as the economic struggle, the political and ideological one.
February 7th, 2013
Agrupación Marxista Revolucionaria