by the Editors 22nd December 2020
Classconscious.org was started in 2016 by two Australian socialists, Davey Heller and Owen Hsiesh, both of whom had former ties to the Socialist Equality Party (Australia). Since then we have added third editor, Robert Montgomery from the US, a long term veteran of the Trotskyist movement for over four decades.
Initially we considered ourselves in basic agreement with the ICFI of which the SEP Australia is a section and who publish the wsws.org. We maintain our agreement with the ICFI in regards to the importance of internationalism to Marxism, their opposition to the use of identity politics to divide the working class and in the insistence that the working class must be independent of all factions of the bourgeoisie in opposition to the reformist socialist tendencies who continue to try and subordinate the working class to “progressive” elements of the bourgeoisie and the dead end of electoral politics. In addition the ICFI have published important works on the corrosive political impact of post-modernism and the Frankfurt school on class consciousness.
However over a number of years we developed principled criticisms of the ICFI. These include:
When the editorial team revisited Trotsky’s transitional program in 2020 it became clear to us that the SEP’s line of rejecting work within the trade unions was a serious deviation from Trotskyism and from Marxist theory and practice in general.
We also rejected the ICFIs abandonment of the united front tactic, its use of the term pseudo-left to characterize other political tendencies, its Healyite position on Cuba, and its abstention from conducting mass work.
During our intervention in the Assange solidarity campaign in 2018-2019 instead of backing our opposition to the promotion of toxic alt-right wing elements within the Unity4J online panels the SEP publicly denounced us. The ICFI censored WSWS articles and comments to hide this debate from readers and prevent examination of its decision to cooperate with the opportunist “Unite with the right” strategy which culminated with the then Australian National Secretary of the SEP appearing on the Unity4J panel.
We aren’t a party, fraction or tendency, but a platform offering socialists a place to develop their own voices free of the constraints imposed on membership within formal parties. We have published film reviews, topical pieces on the Assange campaign, the pandemic, and the call by Trotsky’s grandson promoted by the IMT for donations to support the Trotsky Museum in Coyoacan, Mexico. We are intervening in debates and campaigns where possible as represented by our recent proposal for an anti-fascist united front in the United States to defend the protests against fascist attack, and for a general strike against the incipient electoral coup. We have also published on the class character of China and Marxist Crisis Theory. Published submission’s include include articles on the Ecosocialist faction of the Canadian Green Party and a four part series on the history of the police.
We also seek to make links with other socialists around the world. We welcome submissions. It should be emphasized we have published and continue to publish articles that disagree with the editorial line of classconscious.org in the interest of promoting debate. Submitting an article to classconscious.org does not denote supporting the positions of the editors.