Socialists have to be internationalists. This means that they have to organise across national boundaries and draw on the experience of the working class and oppressed around the world. That is why Socialist Resistance is a member of the Fourth International, an organisation which brings together revolutionary organisations in more than forty countries. Each year the International holds a camp for its young members. Jack Whitman was there this year along with a few hundred others.
Going to sleep listening to Italian comrades chanting: “La revoluzione sarà mondiale! Viva la quarta internazionale” (“The revolution will be global, and long live the Fourth International”), and waking up to a day packed full of political content, filled this young revolutionary with both hope and expectation.
The 28th FI Youth Camp took place in a quiet mining town in the South-West of France, a stunning place with its own history of left-wing politics and trade unionism. The hosts of this year’s camp, the youth wing of the Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste (NPA), were both warm in their welcome and efficient in their organisation, if a little relaxed on timing.
Each day was full of opportunities for furthering your understanding of both the theory and practice of socialism. The British delegation made strong contributions on ecology; Palestine; civil disobedience (I still have the scars to prove it); the British student movement; and the building of a Broad Left Party in Britain – a discussion which benefited from the presence of members of the NPA, Bloco de Esquerda (The Left Bloc in Portugal) and the Red-Green Alliance in Denmark, and which was a large focus in our inter-delegation meetings.
There was a lot to be learnt from each other, whether through attending one another’s forums and workshops – there were interventions on youth movements, precarious work, los Indignados, the Paris Commune, Marxist Feminism, LGBT struggles, nuclear power, to name but a few – or through the late night chats over beers sometimes referred to as inter-delegation meetings.
With representatives from France, Germany, Austria, Mexico, Iraq, Tunisia, Switzerland, and many others, you could say that this was truly internationalism at work.
By the end of the week then, delegates had not only made strong ties with fellow comrades fighting their own battles against global capitalism, they had also developed a greater understanding of Marxism, its history and theoretical application, and what it meant to be socialist internationalists.