The Workers League rejects with contempt the statement published in the March 21, 1987 issue of Socialist Change, newspaper of the Greek Workers Revolutionary Party, which bears the hypocritical title: “Hands Off Alan Gelfand.” With the shameless and impudent opportunism that has characterized the Greek associates of Gerry Healy, it has issued this fraudulent statement for two related reasons: first, in order to salvage some political credibility for its petty bourgeois organization by belatedly posing as defenders of Security and the Fourth International; and, even more despicably, to create a cover for the craven capitulation of the Greek WRP to the Gorbachev wing of the Stalinist bureaucracy.
The Greek WRP is making a serious mistake if it believes that either the International Committee of the Fourth International or the Workers League will permit Security and the Fourth International to be used as a vehicle of unprincipled maneuvers.
For nearly two years, this organization has done everything in its power to discredit Security and the Fourth International and the Gelfand case. The foul slanders spread by its secretary, Savas Michael, against the leadership of the Workers League played directly into the hands of the Socialist Workers Party and all who opposed the Security investigation. Moreover, while Security and the Fourth International and the Gelfand case were being attacked from all sides, the Greek WRP and its British allies remained completely silent.
Now, it feigns anxiety over the fate of Security and the Fourth International and the Gelfand case. However, it is not hard to figure out what has motivated its sudden expression of concern. We note that the publication of its statement coincided with the collapse of the reactionary alliance of Healy and Sheila Torrance, whose bogus “Workers Revolutionary Party” was created with the collaboration of Michael. The split has left Healy without an organization in Britain and has totally exposed the criminal role played by Michael in breaking with the International Committee of the Fourth International. The adventure upon which Michael embarked in October 1985 has come, as we predicted, to an ignominious conclusion.
Neither the prestige nor the credibility of the WRP will be restored by latching, at this late date, onto Security and the Fourth International. The text of its statement serves only to underscore the political cynicism of Michael and the utter lack of principle that has guided the work of the Greek Workers Revolutionary Party over the last two years.
It now asserts, “The legal struggle of Gelfand has dealt decisive blows and exposed the counterrevolutionary operations of penetration and extermination which imperialism and Stalinism directed against the Fourth International.”
As Michael knows very well, virtually all the political work related to the Gelfand case was carried out by the leadership of the Workers League and by its national secretary, David North, in particular. And yet, Michael wrote, in an article published in the May 1986 edition of Marxist Review, “It is established in the most indubitable way exactly what North is—a professional liar and an agent provocateur.” This shameless slander, which was used for the most base factional reasons, played into the hands, as Michael and Healy knew it would, of all the enemies of Security and the Fourth International.
The fact that the Greek WRP has never repudiated this slander and issued a public apology is sufficient grounds for rejecting its “support” for the Gelfand case out of hand, and it makes a mockery of the WRP’s claim that “we consider it our inviolable class duty to denounce before the entire world working class the state attack which has been unleashed against Gelfand on the part of the SWP.”
It states that its support of Gelfand “is an inseparable part of the defense of the whole history, theory and political heritage of Trotskyism, which is contained in the struggle of the International Committee of the Fourth International from 1953 and whose crowning achievement is Security and the Fourth International.”
These words are simply empty rhetoric, designed to fool the Greek working class and any rank and file members of the WRP who, despite their rotten leadership, remain devoted to Trotskyism. If the WRP indeed believed that Security and the Fourth International is the “crowning achievement” of the International Committee, then on what principled basis can it justify its decision to sever political relations with the ICFI majority, whose sections have at all times been in the forefront of the struggle to defend the investigation and carry it forward? Though the Workers League is barred from membership in the International Committee due to the reactionary Voorhis Act, it unquestionably played the leading and decisive role, from at least 1977 on, in developing this “crowning achievement” of the ICFI; and yet it is precisely against the Workers League that the WRP has directed its most unscrupulous attacks.
In order to evade the politically-damning contradictions in its position, the WRP statement again resorts to a lying account of the circumstances surrounding its split from the International Committee in the autumn of 1985. Savas Michael makes a deceitful amalgam between North, Slaughter and Banda, writing:
These three were the protagonists in the expulsion of the leader of the WRP and of the International Committee of the Fourth International from 1953, Cde. Gerry Healy, and in the overthrow, without a Congress, of the perspectives and the line of the Tenth World Congress of the International Committee of the Fourth International. Against them, a portion of the WRP rose up together with the Greek and the Spanish sections.
This is a version of events which every leader of the WRP—or at least those who have had access to the documents—knows to be a lie. First of all, it is a historical fact that North raised principled criticisms of the line of the Workers Revolutionary Party beginning in 1982. (It is not accidental that North developed his political and theoretical critique of the degeneration of the British WRP in the midst of the most crucial period of the struggle being waged by the Workers League in support of the Gelfand case.) These criticisms were suppressed by an unprincipled clique leadership consisting of Healy, Banda and Slaughter. Michael himself, whose Pabloite outlook was first denounced by North at a meeting of the International Committee in June 1982, fully supported the Healy line.
In the aftermath of the split in the WRP, the International Committee obtained copies of the private notes of Healy as well as his personal correspondence with Slaughter which showed clearly how the British leadership collaborated to prevent a discussion of political differences, in violation of all the traditions of the Trotskyist movement.
At any rate, the explosion inside the WRP in 1985 totally vindicated North’s warning of January 1984 that without a thorough examination of the growth of revisionism inside the International Committee, “we will face greater and greater confusion which inevitably, if not corrected, will produce political disasters within the sections.”
When the crisis erupted inside the Workers Revolutionary Party, the Workers League took the position that it could be resolved only on the basis of a principled discussion inside the International Committee, to whose authority all sections were subordinate. However, this meant ending the totally unprincipled domination of the ICFI by the leadership of Healy-Banda-Slaughter.
This position was unacceptable to Michael, whose reactionary petty bourgeois outlook found its most miserable expression in the cultist conception that Healy personally was the International Committee, and that he stood above any constitutional authority and party statute. According to Michael, no meeting of the International Committee was valid unless it was called and sanctioned by Healy!
It is a measure of Michael’s ignorance that his most important charge against the majority of the International Committee—that it sought illegally to overthrow the perspectives of the Tenth Congress—repeats, almost word for word, the same allegation that Pablo threw against Cannon in 1953 when the SWP, along with Healy, repudiated the revisionist documents of the 1951 Third World Congress and issued the “Open Letter.”
In this case, however, Michael lacked even the technical arguments that Pablo was able to make. A clear majority of the sections of the International Committee assembled in London in October 1985 to discuss the crisis which had erupted inside the Workers Revolutionary party. This crisis had been precipitated by the exposure of Healy’s systematic sexual abuse of cadre—allegations supported by devastating evidence. (The truth of these charges has been recently conceded in a public statement by a former ally of Healy and Michael, Richard Price, who has recently split from the Healy-Torrance group.)
While acknowledging the right of the WRP Central Committee to take appropriate disciplinary measures against Healy, the International Committee recognized that his activities were only the surface expression of a profound political degeneration inside the Workers Revolutionary Party. It was for this reason that the International Committee sought to create the conditions for a full discussion of the political crisis of the WRP both within the British section and the ICFI. Far from lining up with either Banda or Slaughter, the International Committee consistently opposed any premature and unprincipled organizational settlement of the crisis.
As late as October 25, 1985, the International Committee demanded that the majority leadership of the WRP—which was then led by Banda and Slaughter—accept a resolution guaranteeing the minority rights of the Healy tendency inside the British section. The statement drafted by the ICFI stated:
The first step towards overcoming the crisis in the WRP is the recognition by its leadership and membership that it requires the closest collaboration with its co-thinkers in the ICFI.
In the past the WRP has correctly urged its international comrades to always begin from the needs of the world party and not from narrow national considerations.
Now the ICFI calls on all leaders and members of the WRP, whatever their legitimate differences on perspective and program, to subordinate themselves to the discipline of our international movement and uphold its authority.
If this is not done, there is the imminent danger of a split without clarity on issues of principle and program. Such a split would severely weaken the party and create the conditions for provocations against the WRP and other sections of the ICFI.
Certainly the section that has played the leading role in exposing the activities of the agencies of imperialism and Stalinism in the Trotskyist movement cannot be unmindful of the dangers inherent in the present situation.
Political differences should be neither suppressed nor concealed. They exist and must be openly and fully discussed in a party united under the leadership of the ICFI and the Central Committee of the WRP. In this way the cadre of the WRP and the entire international movement can be educated and the present crisis overcome in a way which will bring gains for the ICFI as a whole.
After Slaughter and Banda reluctantly agreed to accept these proposals, the ICFI contacted a representative of the WRP minority—Ben Rudder—and asked for a meeting so that the terms of the ICFI resolution could be explained. However, Rudder informed the ICFI that the minority no longer accepted the authority of the International Committee. The WRP minority refused to meet with the ICFI and carried out an utterly unprincipled split.
Savas Michael played a central role in this betrayal of Trotskyism. He refused repeated appeals by the undisputed majority of sections to attend a scheduled meeting of the ICFI to discuss the crisis inside the Workers Revolutionary Party. While representatives of the WIL in Athens lied to the International Committee and claimed that Michael was in northern Greece and could not be contacted, he had actually flown to Barcelona to meet privately with Ester Romero of the Spanish LOC. There, they drafted a communique which proclaimed that they recognized no political authority except that exercised by Gerry Healy as an individual.
Later, in his pathetic account of the events of October 1985, Michael admitted that all the sections of the ICFI outside the Greek and Spanish called upon him to attend the scheduled meeting and fight for his views if he disagreed with the majority. His rejection of this course of action demonstrated that Michael was a political coward who had no confidence in his own position and felt no political responsibility to the International Committee.
In contrast to the nationalist and dishonest methods of Michael, the political record shows that the Workers League adopted an entirely principled and internationalist attitude toward the problems arising from the crisis in the WRP.
The best refutation of Michael’s lies about a conspiracy by North to overthrow the perspectives of the Tenth World Congress without a discussion and behind the back of the International Committee is contained in a letter to Banda, written by North on September 30, 1985. It was drafted in response to a telephone call in which Banda informed North that the WRP Political Committee had unilaterally decided to publish a statement repudiating the existing ICFI line on the Iran-Iraq War. What follows is the full text of the letter:
After having given some consideration to our discussion Friday morning, I thought it necessary to ask that you hold off the publication of a WRP Political Committee statement which would publicly change the party’s position on the Iran-Iraq war. I very much appreciate your willingness to wait until you learned my reasons for making this request.
There is no doubt in my mind that the line of the International Committee on the Iran-Iraq war has been utterly wrong. We were originally caught flat-footed as a result of the unprincipled relations with the Iraqi Ba’athists. Between 1980 and 1983, we called for an end to the fighting, but we never made a Marxist analysis of the underlying historical causes of the war or of the class nature of the regimes which are waging it. Without a Marxist perspective, our line on the war went from bad to worse. In the autumn of 1983, without any explanation, the WRP suddenly came out for an Iranian military victory over Iraq. This then became the line of the International Committee.
There have now been over a million casualties in this endless war, which has thoroughly exposed the organic incapacity of the national bourgeoisie of either country to break the stranglehold of imperialism and solve the economic and cultural problems of the people on a progressive basis. The war is the most tragic expression of the inability of the bourgeois regimes of Iraq and Iran—regardless of their Pan-Arabist or Pan-Muslim pretensions—to unify their peoples. This can be accomplished only by the Iranian and Iraqi working class, led by a revolutionary Trotskyist party, mobilizing the masses against imperialism, the native bourgeoisie of both countries, and the reactionary state boundaries which both regimes defend.
Naturally, we wish to change the present line—which hangs on the International Committee like an albatross—as quickly as possible. But I firmly believe that this is by no means a matter that simply concerns the Workers Revolutionary Party, nor is this only a matter which affects our political line on the Iran-Iraq war. At the present time, all the sections are working with an incorrect world perspective that was adopted at the Tenth World Congress. This perspective is the outcome of incorrect political, theoretical and organizational conceptions that have dominated the work of the International Committee for at least a decade.
It has become painfully apparent that the theoretical conquests of the International Committee’s long struggle against Pabloite revisionism have been dangerously undermined by the last decade’s preoccupation with the subjective idealist pseudo-dialectics of Comrade Healy. This has rendered the International Committee vulnerable to the pressure of alien class forces and serious political concessions have already been made to positions historically associated with Pabloite revisionism.
No matter how galling it is, the Iran-Iraq war is only one manifestation of the problem we confront. Our entire political line is in desperate need of reworking. But this requires a full political discussion within the international movement. Isolated corrections of this or that political position will not seriously contribute to the education of the international cadre. For example, a statement by the WRP Political Committee repudiating the very line on the Iran-Iraq war which it foisted upon the International Committee is bound to produce a great deal of confusion. There have already been a series of unexplained shifts and now another reversal will only produce disorientation and even cynicism unless this change is preceded by a genuine discussion.
Permit me to speak frankly. When we spoke Friday, you said that you wanted to get the Iran-Iraq statement through the WRP Political Committee for two reasons: first, you didn’t know whether the change would be endorsed by the International Committee; and second, you wanted Athens to know who is running the WRP. I suspect that the last comment was meant, at least in part, as a jest. However, for the sake of argument, let us consider both points.
First: if there is disagreement within the International Committee on the question of Iran-Iraq or any other pressing issue (such as our relations with bourgeois national movements in general), these differences should be properly aired and discussed. Every section should have the right to express its views. If Comrade Savas wants to support the Iranian bourgeoisie, then let him say so and explain why. I suspect that the views of Comrade Savas are held by members of the WRP leadership, not to mention Comrade Healy. In the course of the struggle, we shall strive to change his mind, and, even if that is not possible, educate the rank and file who shall have access to all the discussion documents. If we should find ourselves in the minority, then we must recognize that this is the price which must be paid for the political errors of the last decade. But there is no need to be unduly worried about such a prospect. No petty-bourgeois group will be able to dominate either its own section or the International Committee.
Second (and I hope that you do not take offense to the following point): the development of the international discussion must neither be subordinated to nor preempted by the internal political struggle within the WRP leadership. I believe that this is precisely what happened between 1982 and 1984. Moreover, it is my impression from the discussions which I had with a number of comrades during my recent trip to Britain that the international significance and implications of the present crisis within the WRP are not recognized. As you correctly noted, the International Committee has been viewed by the WRP as a sort of milch-cow and it is necessary that this nationalist outlook be consciously combated. I suspect that not a few members of the WRP Political Committee view the small sections of the International Committee with disdain and see no need for serious international collaboration. After all, this outlook was cultivated by Comrade Healy during the past decade, as he demoted the International Committee to a “nucleus” and concentrated on building WRP “alliances” with more prosperous nationalist movements.
There is no point in trying to patch up the line of the WRP and the International Committee as a whole piece by piece. First of all, we must establish how we arrived at an incorrect line. Otherwise, we will simply be making a series of pragmatic adjustments to meet our immediate political needs. That was the approach of the SWP after 1953 and you know very well the results.
We must have a preliminary meeting of the International Committee as soon as possible—no later than early November—to prepare the convening of the Eleventh Congress. In our capacity as fraternal observers, the Workers League delegation intends to move a motion for the repudiation of the Tenth Congress Resolution and the opening up of an international discussion. It will be necessary to prepare documents for circulation within all the sections. An agenda and date for the Eleventh Congress will have to be fixed.
What we really need now is the political collaboration of internationalist Trotskyist leaders who represent the sections of the World Party of Socialist Revolution. We must theoretically rearm the movement by resuming the conscious struggle against Stalinism, social democracy and their Pabloite apologists.
With warmest regards,
The disparity between the principled position of the Workers League and the disloyal cowardice of the WIL could not be more obvious. Far from entering into a bloc with Banda, North warned that the Workers League would not accept the continued subordination of the International Committee to the WRP and the factional struggles within its leadership. He insisted that Michael be given the opportunity to defend his positions inside the ICFI, and that a new congress be prepared on the basis of the most thorough political discussion. Above all, North explicitly declared that the Workers League would bow to the decisions of the majority within the ICFI, accepting minority status as “the price which must be paid for the political errors of the last decade.”
It was Savas Michael who repudiated the principles of democratic centralism in refusing to accept the authority of the leading committee of his international party. While accusing North of organizing a conspiracy with Banda against the International Committee, it was, in fact, Michael who entered into a conspiracy with Healy and deserted the Fourth International.
Michael claims that in the months after October 1985, “the Banda-Slaughter-North alliance fragmented.” As we have already demonstrated on the basis of documents, there never existed such an “alliance.” The Workers League, within the limits of US law, worked in political solidarity with the ICFI. A majority of the International Committee laid down the conditions upon which it would collaborate with both the majority and the Torrance-led minority of the Workers Revolutionary Party.
The first condition upon which the ICFI insisted was that membership in the WRP depended upon “an explicit recognition of the political authority of the ICFI and the subordination of the British section to its decisions.”
Torrance and Michael rejected this provision out of hand and broke with the ICFI on October 26, 1985. Slaughter and Banda attempted to adapt themselves to it while further preparing the ground within the WRP for a complete break with the International Committee. But on all questions of principle, the ICFI refused to make a single concession to Banda and Slaughter.
The decision of December 16, 1985 to suspend the British section from membership in the International Committee made it absolutely clear that the ICFI would not accept any superficial organizational settlement of the crisis, that it held the entire leadership responsible for the degeneration of the previous decade, and that future relations between the ICFI and the Workers Revolutionary Party depended upon the latter carrying through a genuine break with the opportunism that had flourished under Healy.
The refusal of the WRP to endorse the programmatic foundations of the International Committee and its rejection of its political authority on January 26, 1986 led inexorably to a split. With the exception of just one section—the Peruvian organization, whose right-wing central committee repudiated the ICFI’s suspension of the WRP—the entire International Committee stood firm against the WRP’s betrayal of Trotskyism. Moreover, a large section of the WRP, including its entire youth leadership and the best working-class cadre, supported the International Committee and went on to reconstitute the British section as the International Communist Party.
It is somewhat ironic to hear Savas Michael speak of “fragmented” alliances, considering the subsequent evolution of that faction of the WRP with which he has been associated.
There are now at least three different fragments of the bogus Workers Revolutionary Party formed by Healy and Torrance in 1985. We now read in the Marxist Review of April 1987 that in August 1986, “G. Healy withdrew from the Party, refused to work under its discipline, refused to come to Political Committee and Central Committee meetings to discuss his differences and demanded that letters sent by him to individuals, the PC and CC, be immediately sent out to the Party in its internal bulletin.”
The report reveals the political basis of Healy’s actions:
At a meeting of the Political Committee, on August 13th 1986, G. Healy announced that the Soviet bureaucracy was no longer Thermidorean, was moving to the left in the USSR and was going to move to the left internationally. The political content of his refusal to subordinate himself to the decisions of the 8th Congress was emerging.
This development comes as no surprise to the International Committee, and is an unchallengeable vindication of the entire struggle that it has waged against Healy and his gross distortion of Marxism. The working class now can see the fundamental political issues that underlay the historically decisive split inside the International Committee. Underlying Healy’s perversion of dialectical materialism and his abandonment of the fight against Pabloism was his own transformation into a political agent of the Stalinist bureaucracy.
The April issue of Marxist Review has also reprinted a document published by Healy’s supporter M. Blakey, who wrote on October 23, 1986 that the “development of dialectics” by the Stalinist academicians Ilyenkov and Oizerman “has entered into the thinking of a left moving section of the bureaucracy, which today occupies the leading positions, and which is De-Stalinizing the bureaucracy.”
Blakey-Healy goes on to declare: “I contend that the Political Revolution is under way and is evident in the highest echelons of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.”
Is that so, Mr. Savas Michael? Tell us what this has to do with Trotskyism? These positions are nothing less than the most extreme formulation of the basic propositions of Pabloism. Indeed, the only conclusion that can be logically drawn from the position of Blakey-Healy is that Pablo and Mandel were right in 1953! When Blakey-Healy argue that each of the various working class uprisings in Eastern Europe during the last 34 years were merely stages in the evolution of a revolutionary, de-Stalinizing wing of the bureaucracy, they are merely repeating word for word what Pablo and Mandel originally wrote long ago.
It is somewhat amusing to read the Greek WRP’s denunciation of Banda for having “rejected the whole history of the Fourth International,” when the positions of Healy are, in essence, identical.
The only difference between Banda and Healy is that the former, in embracing Stalinism, openly denounces Trotskyism, whereas Healy now claims that Gorbachev is the greatest Trotskyist! In our opinion, this last position is the most obscene form of political renegacy.
Nothing has been published in Socialist Change about the political collapse of the Healy-Torrance bloc. The WRP evidently feels no obligation to present an honest assessment of the evolution of its international associations to the Greek working class.
However, a review of Socialist Change shows clearly that the Greek WRP has joined Healy in his capitulation to Stalinism. Again, this comes as no surprise to us. As far back as October 1986, the International Committee publicly commented on the pro-Stalinist formulations which had appeared in its press. Moreover, the ICFI analyzed the WRP’s shameless adaptation to the Greek Stalinists in last autumn’s municipal election. But the most recent developments confirm that the WRP is well on its way toward becoming an adjunct of the Soviet bureaucracy in the Greek workers’ movement.
We have noted with disgust that Socialist Change now prints without criticism translations from the Soviet press. Its new regular column, “News from the USSR,” is full of sickening adulation of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring). In the April 15, 1987 issue of Socialist Change (which should be renamed Stalinist Change), the WRP declares:
Now the wind of the developing political revolution, following the perestroika and glasnost, is changing things. Above all, it is raising the necessity of the development of socialist self-management.
One week later, in the issue of April 22, Socialist Change states:
The struggle for perestroika in the USSR reflects the deep currents of the Political Revolution, the conditions for which matured under the impact of the world crisis and the world revolution.
The article goes on to pay special tribute to Alexander Tvardovsky and his journal, Novy Mir, whom it portrays as one of the intellectual leaders of the “Political Revolution” that is supposedly sweeping through the ranks of the bureaucracy under the benevolent leadership of Gorbachev.
How ironic it is that just as we were reading this fulsome tribute to Tvardovsky, we happened to notice an article in the New York Times, leading organ of the American bourgeoisie, which was reporting enthusiastically on the recent publication in Novy Mir of an article on economics which openly denounces socialism and the planned economy. This article, which the Times praises as an example of the “new thinking” which is being encouraged by Gorbachev, openly states that backward countries can develop more rapidly with “free market” rather than state-controlled and planned economy.
Those who are responsible for this prostration before Gorbachev are traitors who have nothing whatsoever in common with the proud traditions of the Trotskyist movement in Greece. Michael and his cohorts are an insult to the memory of all those who gave their lives to defend the program of the Fourth International against the crimes of Stalinism.
Under no conditions will the International Committee permit Savas Michael and his cohorts to use Security and the Fourth International as a means of building up the authority of the WRP and its pro-Stalinist line within the Greek workers’ movement. Both Security and the Fourth International and the Gelfand case were part of a struggle to educate the working class in the struggle against the Soviet bureaucracy—not to provide a political cover for those who are capitulating to it.
Long ago it was written, “Beware of Greeks bearing gifts!” The International Committee has no intention of allowing Michael to use Security and the Gelfand case as a Trojan horse in which he can conceal the political rottenness of his organization and smuggle its right-wing politics into the Trotskyist movement. That is why we reject the WRP’s “support” with the contempt that it merits.
There is one final point: according to the Blakey-Healy document, it appears that Healy, with the support of S. Michael, has at least strongly suggested that Alex Mitchell is a state agent. The sole basis for this allegation seems to be that he has broken with Healy and returned to Australia where he currently works on the staff of a capitalist newspaper. It should be recalled that when Mitchell left his post during the miners’ strike in 1984-85 and took an unauthorized leave to Australia, Healy concealed this event from the International Committee and opposed, on the political committee of the WRP, the imposition of sanctions against Mitchell. When Mitchell returned from Australia, he was allowed to resume his work in the party leadership without any issue being made of his desertion.
Now, for what clearly seem to be nothing but factional reasons, an allegation has been made against Mitchell, who, as the Greek WRP knows, played a leading role in Security and the Fourth International. Until Healy and the Greek WRP are prepared to substantiate this allegation with concrete evidence, we denounce this charge as an unsubstantiated and malicious slander. Once again, Healy and S. Michael, while professing support for Security and the Fourth International, do everything in their power to discredit it.
We have no sympathy with the politics of Alex Mitchell and the International Committee has documented his role in the political degeneration of the Workers Revolutionary Party. But in that degeneration, he played a distant second fiddle to Healy, Banda and Slaughter, who exploited the talents of professional people like Mitchell without attempting to properly train them as Marxists.
The time has long since passed when Savas Michael could pretend that the split in the International Committee was the product of a conspiracy by the Workers League. No further information is needed to draw the balance sheet on the politics which has been pursued by S. Michael since he deserted the International Committee. He declared that the WIL was rejecting “the reactionary return to the practices of the period of defeats and isolation of Trotskyism.” Having pompously promised the dawn of a “new era,” Savas Michael has instead dragged his party into the old political nightmare of Stalinism.