Why I Joined the Workers International League

The world is filled with injustice and exploitation. From the brutal wars and occupations the US government is waging, to racism, homophobia, poverty, sexism and more, fighters for social justice find ourselves confronted with a host of causes to join in our quest to do our part to make the world a better place.

But, like a homeowner placing bucket after bucket under a leaky ceiling without looking up to see where the fissure is, many activists eventually find themselves demoralized, co-opted, or burnt out. After all, one can only switch buckets so many times before surrendering to the water. How is it that so many well-intentioned people — labor organizers, local anti-war leaders, students fighting for access to higher education — simply go home one day and give up on the convictions that they have held for years, if not decades?

It is because without a worked out method of analyzing the root cause of the social ills they fight against, workers and youth who endeavor to take on any particular aspect of the system’s injustice will inevitably hit a brick wall when they are confronted with the full array of the capitalists’ state, political parties, and propaganda, all of which are designed either to exhaust progress-seeking activists or divert them into safe channels where they will not threaten the existing order.

The only way we — as I count myself among those workers and youth who see the crimes and absurdities that pervade the world and are eager to fight them — can overcome this process of degeneration is by adopting a rounded-out analysis of the world that is capable of looking at the fundamental cause of the social ills we face, as well as prescribe the correct methods to uproot it.

This analysis is the science of Marxism, and is defended by the International Marxist Tendency (IMT), and in the US by the Workers International League.

Being a part of an international movement allows us to develop truly global perspectives, harmonizing our local and national work with the context of the world situation as a whole. Just as Marxism is the distilled experience of the working class against exploitation and is therefore essential in all labor and youth struggles, so too is Marxism itself only complete when it is internationalist in its outlook.

But even to call oneself a Marxist isn’t enough. There are scores of organizations that wear the Marxist label on their banner, but only the IMT and the WIL have maintained the real methods of scientific socialism embodied in the ideas of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Trotsky and might I add, Ted Grant. Where others try to sidestep the traditional mass workers’ organizations by constructing their own small unions and parties isolated from the mass of politically conscious workers, the Marxists work side by side with our class, working inside the traditional organizations to build a Marxist tendency from within them that can challenge the pro-capitalist policies of the leaders with policies based on class independence and workers’ democracy.

Where others deny the unfolding revolutions in the world, whether Bolivarian, Tunisian or Egyptian, the IMT recognizes and enthusiastically intervenes in them, seeking at all times to build a new state power of the organized working class and an economy based on taking society’s wealth out of the hands of the bosses and into the hands of the producers of the wealth themselves.

And in the United States, where no mass voice of the working class exists on the political plane, the WIL has taken the initiative in forming the Campaign for a Mass Party of Labor, a fighting organization designed to take the message of labor’s need to break with the bosses and form its own party to the unions and to the streets.

As Frederick Engels said, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Theory is only useful insofar as it applies to reality. One can judge the IMT’s theory according to this standard and find that it is completely in line with the actual situation facing working people across the world. In the 1980s, the Militant Tendency, forerunner to the British Socialist Appeal journal, played a decisive role in building the Anti-Poll Tax movement that helped lead to Margaret Thatcher’s fall from power after the highly regressive tax was defeated. Militant also built a powerful Marxist tendency inside the Labour Party, with three MPs, eight thousand registered supporters and a broad hearing and support base for socialist ideas.

Across the globe today, the comrades of the International Marxist Tendency are leaders of anti-war, union, youth and solidarity movements, and are on the front lines of building a consistent Marxist presence in the workers’ parties in France, Italy, Venezuela, Canada and beyond.

The WIL is a relatively young organization, but our ideas are those that can shake the world to its very foundations and solve the crisis of capitalism, along with the all attendant social ills generated by it. We place complete confidence in the international working class as the only force in society capable of ushering in this change.

I joined the WIL so that my burning desire to change society in the interests of the overwhelming majority of humanity would be met with the theory and practical methods necessary to achieve that goal. I invite all those who believe that a more human, more democratic world is possible, to learn more about our organization and consider doing the same.


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