As you know, the Partito della Rifondazione Comunista (PRC) ‑ to which I belong and am also an elected member of its National Executive Committee ‑ has had some good joint activities and co-operation with your organization over the last couple of years. Therefore, I was all the more surprised to hear the news about the expulsion from the SUF - Socialistisk UngdomsFront - of 26 supporters of the Socialistisk Standpunkt tendency.
In the PRC there are also different tendencies and factions working to promote different ideas and proposals within the PRC. However, this is accepted as a legitimate method of discussion. Moreover, the rules of our Party clearly state that any comrade or tendency has the right to defend its views not only inside the party bodies, but also outside it. I think that this should be a feature of the internal democracy within any left-wing party that claims to fight for social justice and equality.
I think that we all can agree that these last 15 years have been quite difficult for the left internationally. The very idea of fighting for a socialist alternative to capitalism has been heavily attacked by the bourgeois-liberal offensive in an attempt to erase from the consciousness of the working class and in particular of the youth any hope for a different and better system, opposed to this nightmare of wars, privatizations, casualisation, endless attacks on the welfare state and on the rights won through decades of struggles.
It is therefore not surprising that in all the left-wing parties and organisations, in the Socialist and Communist parties, in the trade unions, there are differences of opinion, different analyses and different political trends are debating - sometimes in a quite heated manner to be sure - in an attempt to find the best road for our struggle. I think that there is nothing surprising or negative about this, insofar as every tendency and trend that is honestly striving to find an answer to the problems posed by our epoch finds a legitimate role in this debate.
Can we seriously accept the idea that a socialist organisation can do without the participation and contribution of any tendency or group of comrades in the political debate, as long as these comrades are seriously engaged in the struggles of the youth, of the workers? I think that you do not need to agree with all or even most of the ideas put forward by the Socialistisk Standpunkt tendency to accept the fact that these comrades are precisely trying to do this.
There is only one idea that I think should be rejected in the left, the idea that important political differences among socialists can be "solved" through expulsions or any other form of reprisals. This idea has caused endless mistakes and disasters in the history of the Communist and Socialist movements and is the only idea that we should drop and abandon without hesitation.
Every comrade should be able to make up his/her own mind through democratic debate, in which all the different voices can express themselves in a fully democratic manner. There is no other way of building a genuine and conscious movement capable of reaching the youth and fighting for a socialist alternative.
It has come to my knowledge that your organization has published an article in your recent internal bulletin that justifies the expulsions from the SUF without giving any space to the opponents to present their views in the same bulletin. I think this is a very dangerous way of dealing with political differences and that you should give the expelled the right to present their view to your membership.
You may think that it is quite unusual for comrades from other countries to intervene in the internal debate of another organization. I hope that you will consider this letter not as an "illegitimate" interference in your debate, but only as the expression of the interest we should all show in the struggles and the debates of the left internationally. I can add that I was able to verify that these feelings are shared also by other comrades in our party, regardless of their political opinions.
I'm sure that it is still not too late to reconsider these expulsions and to find a proper way of discussing any political differences that may arise inside your organizations.
With internationalist greetings,
Member of the National Executive Committee, Partito della Rifondazione Comunista (personal capacity)