After a more than two years lasting and gradually intensivated convergence process based on discussions and cooperations, AGM (Working Group Marxism) and AL (Antifascist Left) officially finalized their fusion on May 19th 2007. Both organisations are rooted in the revolutionary-Marxist, Trotskyist tradition and have a long political activity record.
AGM was founded in 1994. The organisations’s initial focus was on the examination of theoretical questions. Within thirteen years of activity AGM published the book series “Marxismus”, consisting of 25 books, and about 50 brochures. However, AGM joined in large political movements such as the 1999 protests against NATO war in Jugoslavia and the movement against the right-wing government of ÖVP and FPÖ in Austria in 2000. Having developed a political-theoretical profile and having grown numerically, especially after the year 2000 protests, the possibilities for the organisation-building process widened and also for systematic political interventions. Consequently, the formation of different substructures in Vienna (a youthgroup and a workers’ issues focused group) along with the leaflet-newspaper „roter stern“, were eventually followed by activities in Germany and Switzerland.
AL was founded in 1999. At the beginning the main focus was on anti-fascist and anti-racism activities especially for young people. AL was heavily engaged in the year 2000 protests against the ÖVP/FPÖ government and always played a crucial role in antifascist mobilizations. In the last years the emphasis was placed more on theoretical education to build up a revolutionary organisation and a steady cadre. Since 1999 AL published 40 issues of its political organ „Morgenrot“ which was released in a two-months frequency, and additionally ran its own website, www.sozialismus.at. By the way, the new RSO domain will be www.sozialismus.net .
AL’s and AGM’s cooperation started during the protests against the right-wing government of ÖVP and FPÖ in 2000. Since both organisations felt close on fundamental issues, first discussions were launched. However, these dicussions were soon suspended when both organisations reasoned that conceptions of how to build an organisation were too controversial.
On the basis of the developments that had taken place in both organisations after this first approach in 2000, a new attempt characterized by cooperations in political interventions and organisational issues as well as the systematic clarification of political positions was started in 2005.
Since then we performed together at all relevant demonstrations in Vienna; among which the 1st of May marches, protests against the EU-Latin America summit and George W. Bush’s visit in Vienna, as well as the mobilization against the neoliberal Austrian goverment of the social-democratic chancellor Gusenbauer. We arranged common public rallies. Since fall 2006 we ran common substructures (two local groups and one university group) in Vienna. In that practice of building an organisation together we developed a common organisational culture.
The whole development was connected with a more and more intensive discussions and the passing of a series of common documents. Here are listed the documents and brochures that were published together: EU Thesis and Additional Thesis, Zionism/Palastine/Israel Thesis, the intensly discussed Venezuela Brochure, Central and South America Thesis and Thesis on the National Question. In addition AGM and AL worked out common positions on how to build an organisation and on how to perform anti-fascist activities. At the fusion conference we passed the „RSO Principles“.
Following papers additionally provide the basis of the new organisation: United Fronts/Elections/Alliances, Thesis on revolutionary work at workplaces and in unions, Thesis on anti-imperialism, Thesis of the AGM-youthgroup, Anti-war movement and Islamism, From Seattle to Genua, Marxist theory of revolution in the working-class movement in the last 150 years, Parts of “Socialist and Marxist feminism (Introduction, Gimenez, Results/Perspectives), USA/EU/UNO: Out of Iraq!, The political situation in Austria (2005), Marxist theory of the state, Vanguard concept and revolutionary organisation.
Other brochures published together: „Cyprus“, „Anti-Capitalism by the right-wing“ and „University protests & ÖH“ (Austrian Students’ Representation) as well as written statements on the „War in Lebanon“ and the new Austrian social-democratic and conservative government together and on aligned protest movements. These publications went hand in hand with an intensive exchange of articles in „Morgenrot“ respectively „roter stern”.
From our point of view, the fact that revolutionary organisations are hardly rooted in workplaces and in the working class will never be conquered by more or less skilled campains or through a reformist party. We place emphasis on building systemetically and continiously an organisation based on theoretical strength and a consistent cadre formation, and oriented on its own political rooting in the working class. Being a member of our organisation requires an continious activity based on our common political positions. To us, knowing realistically what an organisation is able to do or not and how it is able to affect social developments, is the basis of a stable political perspective. Tactics are not abstract slogans but always depend on the balance of power in society and the strength of the revolutionary organisations involved.
The new organisation will create fundamental marxist documents and basically join in important mobilizations; systematic interventions will be continued, circumstances permitting. Most of our members and supporters are in Vienna. However, we want to intensify the building of our organisation in Germany and Switzerland. Moreover we have comrade in other countries or parts of Austria where we are (due to lack of ressource) are not able to a systematic building of our organisation.
We are interested in cooperations and the exchange of opinions with organisations from Austria, Germany and Switzerland being close to us. The reason why we concentrate on the German-speaking area in the moment is that we think revolutionary regroupment only serious if it is rooted on a deep political-theoretical basis and if a mutual test in practice is possible. For an organisation of our size the expendidure for travelling and the translation of documents means an obstacle. Nevertheless buliding up a revolutionary international is a pivotal goal and we are of course already today also interested in international exchange of opinions and cooperations with organisations we share many political positions with. Also in the near future we do not exclude convergence processes with organisations from other countries.
However, with those international currents with revolutionary claim that we know sufficiently we have that substantial political differences that we can not join on a serious political basis. We also do not have the megalomaniac claim of some groups to be the only “real revolutionaries” in the world. We do not want to blur or to hide our political differences with other organisations but we know that there is also plenty to learn from comrades with revolutionary claim from other countries and continents
We believe us to be part of a spectrum of revolutionaries who trie to do their best to build up a revolutionary organisation in order to overthrow capitalist class rule. We are convinced that a new revolutionary international can emerge only through a regroupment within this spectrum, in interaction with new experiences and militants of aggravated class struggles. We want to step into this process as a politically, organisationaly and nummerically strong organisation and fight for our positions.
We think that unifying our organsiations on an politically strong, tried-and-tested basis, we came a step closer to our aims. We call all the people who in the past have been in the periphery of the two organisations, who sympathized with us or supported us, to take a stake in an organised way in this new organisation. If you are interested in our project of buliding up a new revolutionary organisation come and discuss.
Passed at the Fusion Conference on May 19th 2007.