This examination and exposure of the inveterate opportunism of Savas Michael-Matsas, was originally published on August 11, 1989 and appeared in Volume 16, Nos. 3-4 of the Fourth International magazine. It was written by David North in response to the split between Gerry Healy, the long-time leader of the WRP, and Michael-Matsas, the national secretary of the Workers Internationalist League in Greece.
Michael-Matsas had previously supported Healy in 1985, defending his opportunist politics and betrayal of Trotskyism. He broke with the ICFI, refusing all discussion with other sections. He asserted that they had no authority to even meet without the permission of Healy. In 1989 Healy and Michael-Matsas came into conflict over tactical issues relating to their opportunist agendas, which led to a sudden and bitter collapse of their unprincipled collaboration.
Healy died five months later, on December 14, 1989. For a Marxist analysis of Healy's political career, see Gerry Healy and His Place in the History of the Fourth International by David North.
The split between Gerry Healy and Savas Michael brings to a shabby and pathetic end the squalid partnership of two opportunist renegades from Trotskyism and lackeys of the Soviet Stalinist bureaucracy.
In October 1985, Healy found in Savas Michael, who was then secretary of the Greek section of the International Committee of the Fourth International, the one man so devoid of political principles and personal integrity that he was prepared to justify and even eulogize the depraved practices and gross abuse of authority that had led to Healy’s expulsion from the Trotskyist movement. Michael lied to his own members about the circumstances of Healy’s expulsion, refused to permit the distribution of the documents of the International Committee, and split his organization from the ICFI. Finally, he sought to defraud the workers’ movement in Greece by presenting himself as the secretary of a bogus “International Committee.”
This entire miserable enterprise has come to the end it deserved. The self-styled secretary of the “ICFI” has been abandoned by Healy. Though he claims to have had the support of the majority of the party’s leadership, Michael has been tossed out of the premises of the Greek Workers Revolutionary Party and his name, without even the dignity of an official announcement, no longer appears in its press.
In a mimeographed English-language statement, dated July 1, 1989, the central committee of Michael’s faction of the Greek Workers Revolutionary Party gives the following account of the split (which, except for corrections in the spelling, is reproduced exactly as written):
“The Workers Revolutionary Party of Greece, affiliated until recently to the ‘ICFI’ led by G. Healy, became the target of a vicious attack and of the split activities of G. Healy himself and his tiny clique:
“Healy, presenting himself as more Gorbachevite than Gorbachev himself—in matter of fact he is well on the right of the Gorbachev group—tried to impose on the WRP, his pro-Stalinist line, forbidding any criticism to the policies of the official leadership of the CPSU. The WRP, although supporting Perestroika and Glasnost in the USSR, had and has a critical attitude, fighting for the independent Trotskyist analysis, programme and leadership of the developing political revolution.
“G. Healy clashed with the WRP, in November 1987, when S. Michael, the general secretary of the WRP, with the support of the Greek Trotskyist leadership, issued an ‘Open Letter to M. Gorbachev’ sharply criticizing the attacks on Trotsky and the historical truth incorporated in the official speech of the 70th anniversary of the October Revolution.
“This ‘Letter’ was, for Healy, an ‘unforgivable crime,’ as well as the support given by the WRP to Boris Yeltsin against his bureaucratic purge, which took place at the same period. Healy, not only accused Yeltsin for ‘ultra-leftism’ and openly supported his Stalinist opponent, Ligachev, but tried also to silence, with bureaucratic means, the criticisms of the WRP and S. Michael.
“As G. Healy himself said, from November 1987 he started to organize a split in the WRP through a secret tiny faction of supporters. As he could not have a majority in the elected leadership, Healy intervened, using all the cominternist methods to change the composition of the PC and the CC of the WRP, expelling elected members who politically disagree with his line and his unconstitutional actions.
“In a 2 days time, an ‘emergency congress’ of the Greek section was called by Healy and his ‘IC’—against all the rules of the constitution of the WRP and of the FI—in April 1-2, 1989. An orgy of bureaucratic purge escalated from the so-called ‘congress’ onwards continued afterwards with a campaign of expulsions, slanders and intimidation.
“The WRP was split by the actions of Healy. But the continuity of Trotskyism was not destroyed: the majority of the party leaders, cadres and members and all the youth organization the Young Socialists, fought back the liquidationist attack and defended the principles of Trotskyism against the pro-Stalinist revisionists.
“The WRP had its constitutionally held emergency congress in June 11th 1989, broke irrevocably with the revisionism developed by Healy in his decay, defended all the revolutionary heritage of Trotskyism, including the heritage of the first 10 congresses of the ICFI, and decided to fight, in the road of the world socialist revolution to build the Fourth International.”
Even if one were to accept this account of the split between Healy’s “Marxist Party” in Britain and the Greek Workers Revolutionary Party, it represents a devastating self-indictment of the unprincipled political activities of Savas Michael over the last four years.
It is the height of political cynicism for Michael to complain that the Greek WRP has been the victim of the unconstitutional activities of Gerry Healy. When Savas Michael split from the International Committee in October 1985, he did so in order to defend the personal and unchallengeable right of Healy to do whatever he pleased!
Michael refused to attend a duly-constituted emergency meeting of the ICFI, which had been called following the expulsion of Healy from the British Workers Revolutionary Party on October 19, 1985. The WRP Central Committee took this action on the basis of evidence that Healy had engaged systematically in the sexual abuse of female party members, many of whom were underage.
The ICFI scheduled a meeting for October 25, 1985. It recognized that the gross abuse of authority of which Healy was accused was inextricably linked to the opportunist degeneration in the political line and organizational methods of the British WRP over an extended period. This crisis had developed to such a point that the WRP leadership was on the verge of a devastating split and the entire organization threatened with a political collapse.
For this reason, the International Committee insisted that it intended to examine the evidence relating to the allegations against Healy and also to analyze the political issues underlying the crisis inside the Workers Revolutionary Party.
Michael, however, proclaimed that Healy was a “historic leader” with unchallengeable authority and who, therefore, was not subject to any constitutional procedures either within the WRP or the International Committee. He asserted that the WRP Central Committee did not have the power to expel Healy and that the International Committee could not hold a meeting unless it had been personally summoned and sanctioned by Healy!
The International Committee rejected this reactionary position, which had nothing to do with constitutional procedures based on the organizational principles of democratic centralism. It informed the Greek section that Michael could, as a delegate to the ICFI, oppose the expulsion of Healy and attempt to win the international movement over to his position. But, it insisted, Michael and the Greek Workers Internationalist League (as the organization was then known) could not defy the political discipline of the International Committee on the preposterous ground that Healy was some sort of Stalin-style infallible “historic leader.”
Michael ignored the instructions of the International Committee, the highest body within the Fourth International. Instead, Michael entered into a behind-the-scenes conspiracy with Healy and his supporters in a minority faction of the WRP headed by Sheila Torrance. He also established contact with the representative of the Spanish section of the ICFI, urged her to boycott the ICFI meeting, and then issued a “joint communiqué” rejecting the authority of the International Committee.
The International Committee meeting was held on October 25, 1985 as scheduled. Its delegates voted unanimously in favor of the expulsion of Healy based on irrefutable and uncontested evidence which confirmed the charges against him. At the same time—despite fierce opposition from the leaders of the WRP majority faction, Cliff Slaughter and Michael Banda—the ICFI adopted a procedure to resolve the crisis within the WRP on the basis of an exhaustive discussion of all issues of political perspective and program. This procedure required scrupulous respect for the rights of the pro-Healy minority faction led by Torrance.
The Torrance faction immediately rejected the independent intervention of the International Committee and officially split from the ICFI on the morning of October 26, 1985. They were case-hardened nationalists who believed that the ICFI had no business “interfering” in disputes inside the British WRP.
But it was the intervention of Savas Michael that provided them with a bogus “international” cover for their reactionary split from the International Committee. Moreover, Michael’s action rescued Healy and provided him with a new international forum for his opportunist activities. Without Michael’s defense of Healy’s supra-constitutional powers in 1985, this so-called historic leader would not have been in a position to organize inside the Greek WRP what Michael now denounces as an “orgy” of “expulsions, slanders and intimidation.”
Indeed, the International Committee foresaw the inevitable results of Michael’s unprincipled maneuvers and issued a clear warning to the Greek Workers Internationalist League. In a letter dated November 9, 1985, the International Committee told the Greek section that its rejection of international collaboration and discipline meant that “the WIL faces destruction as a Trotskyist party.” Noting that the WIL had disregarded the ICFI’s advice that it postpone its plan to “transform” itself into a mass-type revolutionary party pending the political clarification of the issues arising from the crisis inside the British WRP and the International Committee, the letter stated:
“Comrade Savas and the CC [of the WIL] know that there are gigantic destructive dangers in founding a party on the unprincipled foundation of a break with internationalism. The very best interpretation which can be placed on Comrade Savas and the Greek CC’s break from the IC is that they fear disruption of their work for the transformation into a party. Such a position, politically, means that internationalism, the foundation of our movement in every country, is rejected in favor of immediate national concerns as perceived by the WIL leadership.”
Not only did this letter anticipate the eventual collapse of Michael’s new “revolutionary party.” The ICFI was entirely correct in its evaluation of the nationalist opportunism which underlay Michael’s unprincipled support for Healy. He and his right-wing associates in the WIL anticipated that their split with the International Committee would liberate their activities in Greece from all international Marxist supervision. The new Greek Workers Revolutionary Party—as the organization was renamed in late November 1985—would be free to do whatever it liked in Greece.
Michael immediately hailed the split as an opportunity to repudiate all the fundamental political conceptions of the Fourth International. He denounced the International Committee’s uncompromising defense of the Marxist program as “the reactionary return to the practices of the period of the defeats and isolation of Trotskyism.” In opposition to the International Committee, which, due to its obsession with principles, “wanted to confine Trotskyism to small sects,” Michael discovered in unrestrained opportunism a new political panacea.
Thus, as soon as the split was consummated, the Greek Workers Revolutionary Party turned to popular front politics. Its work within Greece became centered on working out electoral alliances with the Greek Stalinists and various petty-bourgeois “progressive” forces. In municipal elections held in Piraeus in 1986, the WRP entered into discussions with the Stalinists and several small bourgeois parties with the aim of forming a political bloc. It attempted to justify its capitulation to popular frontism by proclaiming that “a broad collaboration of the progressive and left forces of Piraeus can become the key which will give to our municipality a capable and fighting municipal authority, which together with the people of Piraeus will struggle for a new political agreement for the people’s interest.”
Little more than one year later, the transformation of the WRP into an open agency of class collaborationist politics had reached the stage where it supported the election of the bourgeois politician Vassiliou to the presidency of Cyprus.
One does not know whether to laugh or retch upon reading Michael’s claim that Healy “tried to impose on the WRP his Stalinist line.” This absurd attempt to portray himself as the innocent victim of Healy’s political chicanery is contradicted by Michael’s own account of his relations with the “historic leader.” In another document, dated May-June 1989 and published in a magazine called Revolutionary Marxist Theory, Michael makes clear that he collaborated fully with Healy in the elaboration of their pro-Gorbachev line.
“In the summer of 1986, after the Congress of Soviet Cinematographers and the Soviet Writers’ Congress and after the speech of Gorbachev at Khabarovsk, at the same time G. Healy and S. Michael—who then and until 1987 collaborated closely and fruitfully, being in nearly daily telephone communication—reached the same conclusion that the turn to perestroika meant a leap in the political revolution against the Stalinist bureaucracy in the Soviet Union.”
On the basis of this Pabloite adaptation to the “reform wing” of the Stalinist bureaucracy, Michael gave full backing to Healy in the ensuing fight inside the Healy-Torrance faction of the British WRP. In opposition to Torrance, who objected to Healy’s support for Gorbachev, Michael wrote a “joint communiqué,” signed by Healy and himself on November 4,1986, which asserted, “The Trotskyist movement is not indifferent or neutral towards the changes in the Soviet Union. It must urgently and actively intervene into them supporting with a united front action every blow against the bureaucracy....”
Michael went along entirely with the pro-Gorbachev line worked out by Healy. From 1987 on, Socialist Change, the newspaper of the WRP, became the local Athens house-organ of the Gorbachev bureaucracy. There is ample reason to believe that Michael’s services to the Gorbachev regime were financially rewarded. Similar propaganda services rendered by Socialist Change to Middle Eastern regimes and bourgeois national movements had previously been offered by Michael in exchange for special subsidies of which the rank- and-file members were not informed. Indeed, in one of his own documents, Healy noted in passing that Michael “has close contact with the Libyans, the Soviet Embassy, the CP and the PLO.”
At any rate, Michael became a specialist in providing cynical rationalizations for the counterrevolutionary politics of the Kremlin bureaucracy, as witnessed by his rapturous praise for the Soviet-US agreement on missiles in September 1987, in which he compared Gorbachev’s dealings with Reagan to the revolutionary diplomacy carried out by the Bolsheviks in the early years of the Soviet regime!
On the question of the economic policies of perestroika—whose essential aim is the restoration of capitalist property in the Soviet Union and its integration into the structure of world imperialism—Michael was, and remains, in agreement with the Gorbachev regime.
However, and this is where he apparently ran afoul of Healy, Michael insisted, though not too vigorously, on his right to occasionally criticize Gorbachev. To a great extent, this position arose from Michael’s need to maintain some small political justification for the continued existence of his petty-bourgeois group outside the ranks of the Greek Communist Party. However, this was not acceptable to Healy, who made it clear that he saw no need for the continued existence of Michael’s organization. At the third congress of the Greek WRP, according to Michael, “The greatest confusion was provoked as the membership of the WRP, thunderstruck, heard the historic leader of postwar Trotskyism, Gerry Healy, tell them that for the sake of the political revolution in the USSR, with a turn to the membership of the Communist Party of Greece and a United Front with it, the road was open for ‘a unified CP on a Trotskyist basis.’” (Revolutionary Marxist Theory)
Once Healy arrived at this conclusion, he proceeded to organize the removal of Savas Michael and his supporters from the Workers Revolutionary Party.
The documents of the split provide further illustration of the grotesque character of Healy’s degeneration. He now operates as nothing more than a paid stooge of the Moscow bureaucracy. In October 1988, with the full support of Savas Michael, Healy’s bogus “International Committee’’ announced it was forming a united front with the Memorial Union in the USSR, an organization of a faction of the bureaucracy, including physicist Andrei Sakharov and academician Yuri Afanasyev, which explicitly supports the restoration of capitalism. A photograph of Healy and Vanessa Redgrave meeting with leaders of Memorial in the editorial offices of the Moscow News was prominently displayed in the April 1 issue of Socialist Change.
Like Healy’s previous “united fronts” with the Palestine Liberation Organization and the governments of Libya and Iraq, this one consists of providing “Trotskyist” support for a counterrevolutionary regime in exchange for money. The Soviet bureaucracy, whose intelligence agencies are intimately familiar with the circumstances surrounding the catastrophe which overtook Healy in 1985, know how easy it is to use and manipulate a man in his desperate political straits. Pathetically dependent upon the good graces of his Kremlin patrons and working under the supervision of whoever the KGB has assigned to “handle” him, Healy became frightened that Michael’s “unauthorized” letter to Gorbachev—which contained criticisms of the Soviet leader’s televised denunciation of Leon Trotsky on November 2, 1987—might undermine his “united front” with the Soviet government. He came to the conclusion that it was necessary to disband this organization.
First, he informed Michael that while his criticisms were correct, “the content was historically an error” and the letter should not have been sent because Gorbachev’s speech had also announced the Politburo’s decision to investigate Stalin’s crimes. While Michael submitted to Healy’s criticism, a new pretext was soon found to resume the offensive against the Greek WRP. Michael’s organization produced a 1989 calendar which apparently did not include a photograph of Trotsky and other martyrs of the Left Opposition. It is likely that Michael was simply trying to adapt himself to what he thought Healy wanted; for Vanessa Redgrave—Healy’s principal accomplice—regularly gives interviews in the Soviet press without mentioning the name of Leon Trotsky.
However, Healy pounced on Michael, intoning, “The calendar presented the forms of appearance which the political revolution takes without their historical content. Thus, it represented a continuation of the political error which took place in connection with the speech of November 2, 1987 by Gorbachev, on the 70th anniversary of the October Revolution. There was an attack on its form, a criticism against Trotsky, Bukharin and others, while the historical content, the [formation] by Gorbachev of a Committee of Investigation for the examination of the crimes of Stalin, was ignored.”
When Michael, at long last, refused to quietly accept the removal of all his supporters from the central committee and make the necessary “self-criticism,” Healy resorted to his special mystical language to explain the gravity of the issue:
“A leader who refuses to base his political analysis on the Thing-in-itself, counterposes to dialectical materialism self-constructed images which are a determinateness of his own Ego... The Egotist is incapable of correcting errors, given that he is limited only to self-constructed thought forms. Without the establishment of the ‘in-itself’ of the historical content of thought forms, it is impossible to correct errors. Without the negation of Being from the external world, where, within its unity of analysis and synthesis with historical materialism, not-Being emerges, it is not possible, for any historical content to exist. No ‘thing-in- itself’ content (not-Being)—no correction of errors. The individuals who, like Fichte, exceed their own Ego, generally speaking, turn to blaming others for the very mistakes which, in the name of the ‘excessive subject’ of their Ego, they made themselves. Egotism is the deadly enemy of the training of a collective Marxist leadership. It is the trademark of subjective idealist bourgeois ideology.”
It is not very hard to decipher this pseudophilosophical verbiage. One has only to understand that the real “thing-in-itself” with which Healy’s ego is preoccupied is his cash subsidy from Moscow.
The political outcome of Healy’s purge of Michael and his supporters from the Greek WRP has been clearly indicated by the recent change in the masthead of Socialist Change. It now carries the hammer and sickle—without the number four! This is a necessary symbolic preparation for the eventual liquidation of the WRP into the Stalinist party.
It should be noted that within weeks of the split, Socialist Change was able to complete its special fund on time, due to a sudden and miraculous last-minute infusion of three million drachma, nearly half the total of the entire fund!
Before the split of 1985, Healy’s political and personal opinion of Savas Michael was usually expressed in language which is unprintable. He spoke with contempt of Michael’s political spinelessness, indifference to principle, ignorance of history, and nationalist provincialism, and would refer with bitter sarcasm to evidence of his physical cowardice and petty-bourgeois vanity. Michael would seem to shrivel beneath the force of Healy’s withering and merciless denunciations. So brutal were Healy’s verbal onslaughts that even those on the International Committee who agreed with the gist of his criticisms could not help but feel sorry for the hapless Michael, whose eyes would grow red and watery during these terrible tirades.
That Michael and Healy would eventually emerge as allies in a common front against the International Committee would have seemed inconceivable even to an astute observer. But politics possesses an inexhaustible gift for irony; and the crisis which overtook the British Workers Revolutionary Party in 1985 brought about the unexpected reconciliation. There was, of course, a deeper logic at work. Without him being fully conscious of it, Healy’s protracted opportunist degeneration had drawn him closer to Michael over the years. In retrospect, it may well be that his often-apoplectic reaction to the mere physical presence of Michael may well have reflected Healy’s inner anxiety over what he himself was becoming.
Now that his marriage of convenience with Savas Michael has been terminated, Healy has produced a document, dated April 23, 1989, in which he recalls that Michael’s politics “contains the worst features of Greek nationalism.” He recalls that prior to the split of October 1985, Michael’s section “had to be expelled on account of a nationalist orientation.”
Despite the Greek organization’s subsequent readmission and its defense of Healy in October 1985, “bourgeois ideology remained deeply entrenched within the section.” Healy asserts, “In the objective conditions of Greek bourgeois nationalism, the number of cadres was reduced to a ‘hard core’ within which reactionary Greek bourgeois nationalism continued to develop. As the number of members fell after the founding congress of October 1985, so the nationalist orientation developed until it began to threaten the very existence of the Greek section of the ICFI.” This account is a devastating indictment of Healy. After all, how does he explain that his only international base of support in 1985 was provided by an organization based on Greek bourgeois nationalism? Of course, Healy will not attempt to answer this question.
Nor does Savas Michael help his own political cause with his account of the split. He writes the following about Healy’s organization of the split within the Greek WRP:
“The methods which they have employed to wound the party and its cadre have lacked nothing of the villainous, bankrupt and filthy methods of Stalinism: intrigues, unconstitutional dismissals of members of the Politburo on the order of Gerry Healy alone and only because they expressed differences, unconstitutional dismissals of members of the CC, splitting, the organizing of ‘congresses’ in two days in violation of the constitution and without discussion and informing members and closed to them. Slanders of the most vulgar police and Stalinist type.”
In other words, exactly the methods which Healy employed, with the full support of Savas Michael, against the International Committee.
What Michael does not attempt to explain is how his infallible “historic leader”—the peerless author of Studies in Dialectics, whose “dialectical materialist method of training” represents, in the words used by Michael in early 1986 to denounce the ICFI, “the highest creative contribution ... of Cde Gerry Healy to the world revolution”—has within such a short period of time been transformed into an out-and-out Stalinist gangster.
Michael cannot and will not answer this question because he himself shares essentially the same Pabloite perspective as Healy; and his differences with him, despite all the fighting and shouting, are essentially of a tactical character. Both Michael and Healy take as their theoretical point of departure the basic Pabloite conception that the political revolution will be realized through the initiative of one or another section of the bureaucracy.
Even as he is licking his wounds, Michael declares: “Against false charges, the CC of the WRP shows that it supports warmly and without conditions the political antibureaucratic revolution in the USSR, which is developing in the form of perestroika, while we give critical support to the leadership of Mikhail Gorbachev. We support every measure of Gorbachev which strikes against the bureaucracy and we exercise criticism of every practice or speech which delays the revolutionary process. We support the formation of a united front with the leadership of Gorbachev and much more so with the fighters of the left wing like Boris Yeltsin and the anti-Stalinist Memorial Union.”
If this is supposed to represent a break with the Stalinism of Healy, it is truly mutiny on one’s knees. In fact, to the extent that a genuine “programmatic” difference can be gleaned from this brawl between two Pabloite factions, it would appear that Michael is more openly aligned with that section of the bureaucracy—led by the Inter-Regional Group of Yeltsin, Afanasyev and Sakharov—who are emerging as the most militant procapitalist element within the Stalinist leadership. But even this difference should not be overstated, because Healy himself has already proclaimed these very individuals to be the “leaders” of the political revolution.
Less than four years after he claimed that his break from the “sectarians” of the International Committee would quickly transform the Greek WRP into a mass party, Michael now wanders around Athens without a press and without a party. Like all opportunists, he foresaw absolutely nothing. Having no understanding of the implications of the protracted struggle waged by the International Committee against Pabloite opportunism, he blindly pursued the same opportunist methods which have led so many times to political shipwreck. Michael stupidly believed that he could combine a purely platonic adherence to Trotskyism with practical support for the Stalinist bureaucracy.
Two years ago, this writer ridiculed Michael’s conception of “critical support” for Gorbachev and predicted its pathetic outcome:
“Savas Michael, dressed in a warrior’s toga, will fight alongside Gorbachev sword in hand as the Soviet leader combats the bureaucracy; but then, the moment Gorbachev and the bureaucracy attack the workers, Michael will deftly pivot to his left and hurl himself against Gorbachev. We can be sure that in the course of this complex and awkward maneuver, Savas Michael’s toga will become unraveled and this petty-bourgeois sophist will stand politically naked in front of the working class, exposed before one and all as a charlatan.” (Fourth International, September 1987, pp. 11-12.)
And so it has come to pass.
There is one other feature of the Healy-Michael split of which we must take note. In the document of April 23, 1989, Healy makes a dark reference to the possibility of police penetration of the Greek WRP. “In a section plunging into debt to the usurers,” he writes, “the doors are wide open for the Greek state to work unhindered inside the party.” In October 1985, it was none other than Savas Michael who joined with Healy in making slanderous allegations, which they did not even attempt to substantiate in any way, that their opponents in the International Committee were police agents. How the wheel does turn!
The split between Healy and Michael is the final vindication of the struggle conducted by the International Committee of the Fourth International against all the revisionist tendencies that emerged out of the opportunist degeneration of the British Workers Revolutionary Party. Each of these tendencies refused to recognize the political authority of the International Committee, proclaimed its political demise, and, as in the case of Healy-Michael and Torrance, even went so far as to usurp the name of the ICFI for the purpose of endowing their own essentially nationalist activities with some historical legitimacy.
But in the course of less than four years, all of these opportunist formations have been politically shattered.
The WRP faction led by Cliff Slaughter, Michael Banda, and Bill Hunter has broken into approximately a dozen fragments. Michael Banda has denounced Trotskyism and proclaimed his allegiance to Stalinism. Cliff Slaughter and Bill Hunter, who following Banda’s desertion proposed to rebuild the Fourth International on the basis of an alliance with the Argentine Morenoites, came to blows over the failure of the WRP to consummate the alliance. Hunter is now the representative of the Morenoites in Britain.
The original Healy-Torrance faction of the WRP broke up within a year of the split—with Torrance preserving the name Workers Revolutionary Party, while Healy and Vanessa Redgrave formed their “Marxist Party.” Later, another leading member of the Torrance group, Richard Price, split with Torrance to form the Workers Internationalist League. And, finally, the Healy-Michael alliance has broken apart.
All of these bewildered and demoralized groups and individuals operate within a purely national framework. Not one of these organizations are related on the basis of a common program to any organization existing outside their own national boundaries. And, as with all radical petty-bourgeois organizations that operate on such a parochial foundation, their own national existence lacks all political stability.
On the other hand, the International Committee of the Fourth International has demonstrated astonishing strength and viability during this same period. Since its final split with the British WRP on February 8, 1986, the International Committee has developed an unbreakable unity between its sections. Not only have there been no splits between sections of the ICFI, not a single split has taken place within any of the ICFI sections.
This internal strength within an international movement that is active in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia is the expression of the profound political clarification that the International Committee has achieved on the basis of the unrelenting political, theoretical and organizational struggle it has conducted against Pabloite opportunism. This struggle is recorded in published books, articles and documents totaling thousands of pages.
The unity of the International Committee is not merely an organizational achievement. It reflects, if still only in embryonic form, the emerging political reunification of the vanguard of the international working class under the banner of Marxism. The Fourth International, under the leadership of its International Committee, is becoming the proletariat’s World Party of Socialist Revolution.