The Revolutionary Communist International has arrived!

After a fantastic week of revolutionary ideas and inspirational reports from all over the world; following many months of preparation by thousands of comrades in dozens of countries; the founding conference of the Revolutionary Communist International (RCI) concluded with a unanimous vote to launch this new International. But this is just the beginning. We are building the worldwide party of revolutionary communism and we need your help. Join the newly-founded RCI, study the genuine ideas of Marxism, and help us fight for revolution in our lifetimes!

The founding conference has been a stunning success. Two years ago, when all meetings were restricted to zoom, we held a tremendously successful online International Marxist University with 7,700 participants. This week’s events brought together the same number online in over 120 countries, as well as 500 comrades in person, here in Italy. This was a truly international event, the likes of which cannot be found anywhere else on Earth.

We raised a breathtaking €488,930, held over 20 discussions on all the fundamental elements of our programme, distilled in our Manifesto, which was also unanimously endorsed. We crowned this outstanding week with the official founding of the Revolutionary Communist International.

For more on the events of the first half of this week, you can read the reports from day one and day three of the conference.

Building Revolutionary Communist Parties

The closing session of our founding conference gave an overview of the phenomenal advances made by our organisation across the world. Hamid Alizadeh from the International Secretariat of the RCI, introducing the discussion, pointed out that there is nothing like the RCI anywhere in the world. No other organisation has taken a serious approach to the genuine ideas of Marxism and the real traditions of revolutionary communism.

The RCI might be new, but our roots run deep. An unbroken thread connects us to the ideas of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky. As Hamid noted: “We are a revolutionary organisation, we have always been one and we will always remain one.”

In previous decades, we, the genuine communists, were perhaps the weakest force in politics.  But if we were numerically weak, we had something else that in the long term is decisive, the value of which none of our competitors understood: Marxist theory, our focus on which will not slacken as we grow.

Explosive growth around the globe

During the discussion, comrades from around the International explained the stunning successes that have led up to the founding of the RCI. In April 2023, we had 4,400 comrades internationally, but in just 12 months we grew to 6,500. It is only a matter of weeks before the RCI reaches 7,000 comrades – a major milestone in our development. The International has grown by almost 50 percent in one year, with some sections growing by as much as 150 percent in the same period, such as our Danish section which now has 247 comrades.

Currently, the RCI has full sections in 26 countries, with sizable groups in 12 further countries working towards applying to become sections. When you add smaller groups and individuals around the world, we have comrades building the work of the RCI in more than 70 countries.

Britain is currently the largest section of the RCI, with over 1,200 comrades and over 100 branches across the country. Having only just founded their Revolutionary Communist Party, the British comrades were unexpectedly catapulted into the spotlight following comrade Fiona Lali’s televised demolition of right-wing Tory Suella Braverman, which went viral. 

Now, the British comrades have launched an election campaign to get Fiona elected to parliament, which has enjoyed a tremendous reception. For the first time, in Britain, we have entered into dialogue with the masses. The comrades’ goal of building a party of 10,000 trained class fighters in the coming period feels well within reach!

In Canada, the recently-founded Revolutionary Communist Party is now larger than any self-proclaimed ‘revolutionary’ group in the country, with 820 members spread across most major cities in the country. Such successes are mirrored south of the border in the United States, where the revolutionary communists now have over 800 comrades, reflecting an astounding growth rate of 150 percent since August 2023. In coming weeks, the comrades will mark this success by founding the Revolutionary Communists of America.

The US report highlighted the audacity of our comrades. As we reported yesterday, RCA comrade Milos Minos has been threatened with 90 days in jail, because of the enormous impact of his leaflets exposing the exploitation of workers at the Minneapolis International Airport. This is evidently a politically-motivated attack, and the comrades in the US intend to campaign energetically for the charges to be dropped.

In Pakistan, the RCI now has 705 members, who have taken the decision to found a Revolutionary Communist Party in December this year. This will, without doubt, detonate like a bombshell within Pakistani politics. It will, as Hamid and comrade Adam Pal from Pakistan said, “make us many enemies, but many more friends.” Adam fiercely condemned the rotten capitalist system in Pakistan, which our comrades have committed themselves to destroy. He highlighted the situation in Kashmir, where crippling price hikes are driving countless workers and peasants to struggle in the face of repression, as an example of exactly what the RCI seeks to overthrow.  

Comrades also gave inspiring reports on the development of our work in countries where we previously had little presence. For instance, in Ireland, the founding conference of the Revolutionary Communists of Ireland took place earlier this year. The comrades have published the first edition of their newspaper and are working towards taking on a full-time revolutionary. Similar work is rapidly developing in Finland, where there are now 27 comrades of the RCI – up from just three in 2023.

Are you a communist?

Hamid explained that the immense growth of the RCI proves the correctness of our “Are you a communist?” campaign. There are countless workers and youth in all countries in the world, who are actively looking for communism, and nothing less. That we understood this and turned decisively towards this layer constitutes the whole secret to our success.

But as Hamid noted, there is an even larger layer of people who do not yet see themselves as communists, but who are filled with anger and frustration at the state of society. They hate their bosses. They hate the politicians. They have nothing but contempt for the lying media. They are looking for a way out. These people might not be communists yet, but they are open to being persuaded. We need to learn how to speak to these people: presenting our ideas in a way that can be understood, and that connects with the struggles of everyday life for millions of ordinary men and women.

Our consistent revolutionary work has attracted not only a flood of new comrades, but also the attacks of the capitalist class. In Austria, Britain, Denmark, Switzerland, the USA and elsewhere, our comrades have been subjected to political attacks in the right-wing press and by the established capitalist parties. Of course, we welcome their outrage, and the free publicity!

The ruling class attacks us because we are beginning to connect with the real mood in society, which is one of palpable anger against the rotten capitalist system. For this reason, comrades’ resolve is only strengthened by such attacks, which have also drawn a wider layer of workers and youth towards us.

Free Palestine!

A focus of the RCI’s work over the last few months has been the Palestine movement around the world. From the beginning, our comrades have been at the forefront of this struggle, and particularly the international wave of student encampments that have swept over 100 universities.

There is a mood of frustration and rage in the Palestine solidarity movement. What is lacking is a clear political leadership to give this mood expression. There is a huge vacuum to be filled.  

This explains the huge momentum behind Fiona’s election campaign in Britain. She has received millions of views on social media, and acquired hundreds of thousands of new followers, who see her as a beacon for fearlessly calling out the hypocrisy of the capitalist war criminals. 

Hamid pointed out that the incredible publicity for our ideas shows how “we must learn to think bigger”. Fiona’s campaign is a local anticipation of the opportunities that will open up as the RCI grows, making it possible to reach larger and larger layers with our programme and ideas. But to do so we must learn the art of seizing such opportunities to build.

Outstanding achievements

The growth of the RCI over the last year has laid the basis for a major step forward in all aspects of our work.

Wellred Books, the publishing house of the RCI, has become the only publishing house in the world that consistently publishes Marxist theory. The recent republication of Lenin’s ‘Left-Wing’ Communism: An Infantile Disorder with a new introduction, as well as the publication of a new collection of Lenin’s selected writings On Imperialist War are valuable weapons in the theoretical arsenal of communists worldwide.

In just the first six months of this year, Wellred Books has sold 11,700 books, compared to 4,500 in the entirety of 2020. This shows the incredible thirst for revolutionary ideas that exists in society. Roughly one-third of the books sold were copies of Rob Sewell and Alan Woods’ In Defence of Lenin, an indispensable work on history’s greatest revolutionary, published for the centenary of his death.

In Defence of Marxism magazine, the quarterly theoretical journal of the RCI, has also had its best year ever. The latest issue sold 4,200 copies and is being translated into Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, Arabic, German, Chinese, Indonesian and Russian. The caricature of Marxism paints us as concerned with economic questions of bread alone. This is far from the truth, and the upcoming issue will tackle the important question of the communist approach to art and culture, featuring articles on poetry, Greek drama and a key essay by Trotsky on culture and socialism. 

We have also taken many new successful initiatives, including the International’s Spectre of Communism podcast, which was launched last year, has already reached 280,000 plays and has 10,000 followers. The podcast has produced dozens of episodes, covering a wide range of theoretical topics, as well as current events. We have big plans for Spectre of Communism in the coming period, so stay tuned!

International solidarity

As Hamid, and later Alan Woods commented in his closing remarks, we are building a party of communist struggle amidst a bloody and brutal class war that is unfolding all over the world. A stark reminder of this came on the penultimate day of the conference, as we received news of a government crackdown on the leaders of an ongoing mass movement against crippling price hikes on essential goods in Pakistan-held Kashmir. 

Comrades voted unanimously in support of a statement in full solidarity with those persecuted by the Pakistani state. The full text of this statement is available here.

We also received news from our Hungarian comrades that their watch party was violently broken up by a gang of fascists, with one comrade being hospitalised. The entire conference was shocked by the news and immediately sent a message of solidarity.

As communists, we stand united against vile reactionary thugs and refuse to back down in the face of such threats. An injury to one is an injury to all! We will not be cowed!

The communists have arrived!

The founding conference of the RCI was truly a historic event, the likes of which no comrade had ever experienced. Alan Woods, in his closing remarks, spoke for all participants when he said: “I have never in my life seen such an inspirational meeting as this.”

Hamid, quoting Trotsky’s On the Founding of the Fourth International, summed up what it now means to be a member of the RCI:

“The great events which rush upon mankind will not leave of these outlived organizations one stone upon another. Only the Fourth International looks with confidence at the future. It is the world party of Socialist Revolution! There never was a greater task on the earth. Upon every one of us rests a tremendous historical responsibility.

“Our party demands each of us, totally and completely. Let the philistines hunt their own individuality in empty space. For a revolutionary to give himself entirely to the party signifies finding himself.

“Yes, our party takes each one of us wholly. But in return it gives to every one of us the highest happiness: the consciousness that one participates in the building of a better future, that one carries on his shoulders a particle of the fate of mankind, and that one’s life will not have been lived in vain.”

This is what the RCI offers each and every one of us. The confidence and optimism to know that we have the world to win, and that we know precisely how to win it. However, while we will all return to our respective countries from this conference filled with boundless enthusiasm, we also return fully conscious of the seriousness of our job. “We do not offer you a comfortable life,” Alan said to the comrades. “But a life of hard struggle.” 

He drew on the example of Spartacus, whom Marx once named the finest representative of antiquity. This remarkable man raised an army of slaves and defied the might of the Roman Republic, scoring many victories. To explain how slaves could defeat the most powerful military force of its day, the Roman army, the slave-owners invented all kinds of legends: that Spartacus was born of Thracian royalty; that his wife was a magician, etc. Alan cited Stanley Kubrick’s excellent 1960 film about Spartacus’ life, which depicts its hero in a melancholy conversation with his wife Varinia following a successful battle.

Varinia asks Spartacus why he does not celebrate his victory, to which Spartacus answers that he cannot read, that he feels this mark of his bondage, and would like her to teach him. This is what revolution is about: the striving of the soul for a life worthy of human beings.

In a final anecdote, Alan recalled a conversation with an individual who actually lived through such an event. While studying at Moscow State University, Alan met an elderly woman who witnessed the October Revolution in 1917. She later spent 17 years in Stalin’s hellish concentration camps. Alan explained how all the years of pain and hardship lifted from her face when he asked her about her experience of the October Revolution.

“You cannot imagine what it was like,” she said. “It was a spiritual uplift.” At which point, her face fell again and she added: “not like now.”

Today, we must finish what was started by the Bolsheviks over 100 years ago. We must retie the knot of history severed by the crimes of Stalinism, and build a real Revolutionary Communist International that can lead the workers of the world to final victory.

The RCI has been founded, but now the work begins! To grow, to build the world party of socialist revolution. There is no greater cause on earth than this, so if you have not yet joined us in this fight, do so!

Catch up

Over 20 talks have taken place this week, bringing together leading comrades of the RCI from all over the world. The videos of these talks, which are all available online, represent a treasure-trove of revolutionary ideas. You can catch up on the first half of the week here, and Thursday and Friday’s talks below:

The struggle against oppression

The Bolsheviks in power

How can the communists conquer the masses?

Why we need a theory of history

What is behind ‘right populism’ and how do we fight it?

World revolution or socialism in one country?

War and revolution

Does communism mean bureaucracy?

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