The Transitional Program

In our work of raising the class-consciousness of the workers, we raise certain demands which workers can relate to. These demands are designed to bridge the gap between the current conditions of life under capitalism, and the need for a socialist revolution in order to genuinely improve the lives of working people.  These demands are outlined in the program of the WIL.  Agreement with the program is the most basic condition of membership in the WIL, and it is around these demands that we organize, agitate, and spread propaganda. As explained by Trotsky:

"The strategic task of the next period – pre-revolutionary period of agitation, propaganda and organization – consists in overcoming the contradiction between the maturity of the objective revolutionary conditions and the immaturity of the proletariat and its vanguard (the confusion and disappointment of the older generation, the inexperience of the younger generation . It is necessary to help the masses in the process of the daily struggle to find the bridge between present demand and the socialist program of the revolution. This bridge should include a system of transitional demands, stemming from today's conditions and from today's consciousness of wide layers of the working class and unalterably leading to one final conclusion: the conquest of power by the proletariat.

"…[There is no material base for reformism] in an epoch of decaying capitalism: when, in general, there can be no discussion of systematic social reforms and the raising of he masses' living standards; when every serious demand of the proletariat and even every serious demand of the petty bourgeoisie inevitably reaches beyond the limits of capitalist property relations and of the bourgeois state.

"The strategic task of the [Workers International League] lies not in reforming capitalism but in its overthrow. Its political aim is the conquest of power by the proletariat for the purpose of expropriating the bourgeoisie. However, the achievement of this strategic task is unthinkable without the most considered attention to all, even small and partial, questions of tactics. All sections of the proletariat, all its layers, occupations and groups should be drawn into the revolutionary movement. The present epoch is distinguished not for the fact that it frees the revolutionary party from day-to-day work but because it permits this work to be carried on indissolubly with the actual tasks of the revolution.

"…Indefatigably, [The Workers International League] defends the democratic rights and social conquests of the workers. But it carries on this day-to-day work within the framework of the correct actual, that is, revolutionary perspective …. [The WIL] advances a system of transitional demands, the essence of which is contained in the fact that ever more openly and decisively they will be directed against the very bases of the bourgeois regime…the task of which lies in systematic mobilization of the masses for the proletarian revolution."

This in essence is the role of our program in our work of building the forces of Marxism in the US and internationally.

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