To start “The Black Dwarf”
on a mass distribution basis was something of an adventure. But
then, weren’t the barricades of May 1968 in Paris something of
an adventure, too? Well, DeGaulle is out of the picture now, and
“The Black Dwarf” is still alive. So we have to become
conscious of the fact that we are living in a period in which
revolutionary daring, audacious initiative, can achieve much
greater results than ever before.
The reasons for this
astonishing turn in objective conditions have to be understood.
The crisis of capitalism continues, with its ups and downs --
and we are just now witnessing a sharp “up.” The
conservative bureaucratic apparatus of social democracy and
world Stalinism, which for four decades controlled and canalized
the revolutionary mass movements and instinctively
anti-capitalist working class aspirations the world over, is
losing its grip on the youth, both student youth and working
class youth. There does appear a vacuum, which bold
revolutionary initiative can fill.
The first example was offered
by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara ten years ago. The revolutionary
youth movements -- some independent, some inspired by the Fourth
International -- which organized world-wide militant protest
actions against American imperialism’s dirty war in Vietnam,
and achieved spectacular successes in Japan, West Germany,
France, Britain and above all in the USA itself, were a second
example. The revolutionary students’ bold initiative which
triggered off a revolutionary general strike in May 1968 in
France was a third example. Its echoes are still resounding in
many countries and have been followed up in a spectacular way by
the Mexican and the Pakistani students. The courage and
militancy with which the revolutionary students and workers of
Czechoslovakia have stood up against the occupation armies of
the Soviet bureaucracy and their lackeys was another inspiring
example of the same type.
This is the spirit of the age.
That spirit inspires “The Black Dwarf”. It is the spirit of
socialist world revolution, to call things by their name. “The
Black Dwarf” has tried not without success to throw a bridge
between the somewhat insular and traditionalist moods of the
British students and radical intellectuals on the one hand, and
the temper of “Che”, of the Vietnamese, of the French May on
the other hand. It did an excellent and necessary job in that
field. That’s why it merits our heartiest congratulations on
this first birthday.
Now another bridge must be
laid, a bridge between the rising revolutionary mood of the new
youth vanguard in Britain too, and the advanced workers of that
country, which have a tremendous revolutionary potential.
This means that great attention
must be paid to those propagandists and agitational points which
present direct links with the working class aspirations:
educational conditions of working class children; transfer of
the revolt to secondary schools and technical colleges; working
out of specific demands for the young workers and apprentices,
which are among the most exploited sections of the working
class; elaboration of a real strategy for workers control.
This also means that an
increasing emphasis must be laid upon organization. Workers,
whether young or adult, cannot be attracted to people who just
play at politics. For them political activity is a serious
business, once they are ready to involve themselves in it.
Capitalist production teaches them to take tools seriously. And
organizations are tools for the overthrow of capitalism.
Some radical students
participate in revolutionary movements today especially, if not
exclusively, for purposes of individual self-expression and
self-emancipation. They have of course the right to do so, --
nobody should try to bring them up on charges for their motives.
We have to judge them on their activities, and on their verbal
radicalism, they are in reality just another variant of
reformists, and not a new one at that! Because in the same way
as the reformists they believe that within the framework of one
capitalist system, of commodity production, of exploitation, of
alienated labour, and of degradation for the overwhelming
majority of human beings, a niche of individual emancipation can
be somehow conquered. They are the more honorable equivalent of
those trade union bureaucrats, “socialist” mayors and labour
ministers, eager to achieve socialism immediately for
themselves, and for themselves only.
Our ambition is a bit larger.
We are out to achieve socialism for the working class as a
whole, for the whole of mankind. It is a hard and difficult job.
It takes the efforts of a whole life, and of several
generations. But for anybody to whom the word “solidarity”
remains meaningful, it is worth all the effort. “The Black
Dwarf” has shown that this effort can be undertaken in a way
which excludes neither irony nor outright fun, neither
bitterness nor outright hatred. That’s all to the good. For no
human emotions should be left out of that most human of all
endeavors, the endeavour at total human emancipation, the
endeavour to build a socialist society on a worldwide
So without saying that “The
Black Dwarf” is the red sun in our heart, we shall persist in
wishing it a long, long, long, long life!