In the KNACK of 5 August appeared an interview with Peter Mertens. This whole article is placed the 17 August on the web-site of the WPB, making of its content “official party-line” A part:
Walter Pauli (KNACK): The predecessor of Peter Mertens as president of the WPB(PVDA/PTB), Ludo Martens has written that Mandela was an agent of American imperialism.
Peter Mertens: Such an absurd analysis you will not find anymore in a publication of the WPB! With that sectarianism we have broken definitively.1
The “absurd” and “sectarian” analysis of Ludo Martens, when it still appeared in a publication of the WPB (namely the weekly Solidair in 21 May 1997): Solidair nr. 22 • 21 mei 1997 - Long live Kabila! Long live the free Congo! (I translated the article from Dutch to English) The quote with the allegation of compliancy of Mandela with American imperialism I put it in red.
|Peter Mertens:"Ludo Martens, absurd and sectarian"|
While declaring that making an anti-imperialist analysis is “absurd” and “sectarian” and that this will not be repeated again by a cadre of the WPB, Peter Mertens is confirming his entrance to the “workers-aristocracy” and the evolution of the WPB into a “bourgeois-party” of which Lenin said(italic-fat by me):
In all countries the bourgeoisie has already begotten, fostered and secured for itself “bourgeois labour parties” of social-chauvinists. The difference between a definitely formed party,(...) and, say, the semi-formed near-party (...) is an immaterial difference. The important thing is that, economically, the desertion of a stratum of the labour aristocracy to the bourgeoisie has matured and become an accomplished fact; and this economic fact, this shift in class relations, will find political form, in one shape or another, without any particular “difficulty”.
On the economic basis referred to above, the political institutions of modern capitalism—press, parliament associations, congresses etc.—have created political privileges and sops for the respectful, meek, reformist and patriotic office employees and workers, corresponding to the economic privileges and sops. (...) by which the imperialist bourgeoisie attracts and rewards the representatives and supporters of the “bourgeois labour parties”.
The mechanics of political democracy works in the same direction. Nothing in our times can be done without elections; nothing can be done without the masses. And in this era of printing and parliamentarism it is impossible to gain the following of the masses without a widely ramified, systematically managed, well-equipped system of flattery, lies, fraud, juggling with fashionable and popular catchwords, and promising all manner of reforms and blessings to the workers right and left—as long as they renounce the revolutionary struggle for the overthrow of bourgeoisie. (...)
(...)Certain individuals among the present social-chauvinist leaders may return to the proletariat. But the social-chauvinist or (what is the same thing) opportunist trend can neither disappear nor “return” to the revolutionary proletariat. Wherever Marxism is popular among the workers, this political trend, this “bourgeois labour party”, will swear by the name of Marx. It cannot be prohibited from doing this, just as a trading firm cannot be prohibited from using any particular label, sign or advertisement. It has always been the case in history that after the death of revolutionary leaders who were popular among the oppressed classes, their enemies have attempted to appropriate their names so as to deceive the oppressed classes.
The fact that is that “bourgeois labour parties,” as a political phenomenon, have already been formed in all the foremost capitalist countries, and that unless determined and relentless struggle is waged all along the line against these parties—or groups, trends, etc., it is all the same—there can be no question of a struggle against imperialism, or of Marxism, or of a socialist labour movement. (...) There is not the slightest reason for thinking that these parties will disappear before the social revolution. On the contrary, the nearer the revolution approaches, the more strongly it flares up and the more sudden and violent the transitions and leaps in its progress, the greater will be the part the struggle of the revolutionary mass stream against the opportunist petty-bourgeois stream will play in the labour movement. (...)(T)he danger of Kautskyism lies in the fact that, utilising the ideology of the past, it endeavours to reconcile the proletariat with the “bourgeois labour party”, to preserve the unity of the proletariat with that party and thereby enhance the latter’s prestige. (...)
One of the most common sophistries of Kautskyism is its reference to the “masses”. We do not want, they say, to break away from the masses and mass organisations! (...) Secondly—and this is the main point—it is not so much a question of the size of an organisation, as of the real, objective significance of its policy: does its policy represent the masses, does it serve them, i.e., does it aim at their liberation from capitalism, or does it represent the interests of the minority, the minority’s reconciliation with capitalism? (...)
Neither we nor anyone else can calculate precisely what portion of the proletariat is following and will follow the social-chauvinists and opportunists. This will be revealed only by the struggle, it will be definitely decided only by the socialist revolution. But we know for certain that the “defenders of the fatherland” in the imperialist war represent only a minority. And it is therefore our duty, if we wish to remain socialists to go down lower and deeper, to the real masses; this is the whole meaning and the whole purport of the struggle against opportunism. By exposing the fact that the opportunists and social-chauvinists are in reality betraying and selling the interests of the masses, that they are defending the temporary privileges of a minority of the workers, that they are the vehicles of bourgeois ideas and influences, that they are really allies and agents of the bourgeoisie, we teach the masses to appreciate their true political interests, to fight for socialism and for the revolution through all the long and painful vicissitudes of imperialist wars and imperialist armistices.
The only Marxist line in the world labour movement is to explain to the masses the inevitability and necessity of breaking with opportunism, to educate them for revolution by waging a relentless struggle against opportunism, to utilise the experience of the war to expose, not conceal, the utter vileness of national-liberal labour politics.2
1http://solidair.org/artikels/knack-peter-mertens-bart-de-wever-laat-graag-uitschijnen-dat-antwerpen-een-rechtse-stad, Knack | Peter Mertens: “Bart De Wever laat graag uitschijnen dat Antwerpen een rechtse stad is, maar dat is helemaal niet zo”, BELGIË17 augustus 2015 PVDA
2https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1916/oct/x01.htm, V. I. Lenin in "Imperialism and the Split in Socialism". Written: Written in October 1916 . Published: Published in Sbornik Sotsial-Demokrata No. 2, December 1916. Signed: N. Lenin. Published according to the Sbornik text. Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1964, Moscow, Volume 23, pages 105-120. Translated: M. S. Levin, The Late Joe Fineberg and and Others Transcription: Zodiac. HTML Markup: B. Baggins and D. Walters. Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive 1996(z), 2000(bb,dw), 2002 (2005). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.