About Red Forum

(LAST UPDATE: 940716, BY: VIDAR HOKSTAD)



ON RED FORUM
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    Red Forum is the result of the work of a few revolutionaries in
Norway, with different ideas, and memberships in different parties.[1]
Earlier this year, we met in Oslo to discuss marxism on an inter-
nationalist basis.  We all wanted a new organisation that allowed us to
work together to spread marxist ideas - not necessarily what *we*
thought of as good marxism, but anything that could help people to see
the entire spectre of marxism - and to fight for renewed international
contacts.

    Since the beginning, we have been exploring the possibilities of
information technology in our political work.  In fact the three groups
that met at our Oslo-meeting were brought together as three of us met
on local BBS's.

    Today Internet is our next frontier, and we have begun the struggle
to establish our services on the net.  Breakaway is only the first
attempt.  Hopefully we will next year be able to set up our own
Internet host.

    Our platform, our principles, are not well defined.  We have
started almost on scratch, trying to avoid all the pitfalls that we all
agree our own parties have fallen into.  Today, Red Forum / IC have
only a minimal platform stating that we are a revolutionary
organisation for debate on socialism from an internationalist point of
view.  Anyone accepting internationalist marxism can become a member
(also non-Norwegians - in fact we are *very* interested in members
outside Norway).



ACTIVITIES:

- Production of Breakaway

- E-Publishing of marxist theoretic works. Currently mostly Norwegian
  translations.

  Currently the following archives can be requested by mail, with more
  to follow:

    HOKSTAD1    Articles on modern marxism - 1
    HOKSTAD2    Articles on modern marxism - 2
    FEUER       Theses on Feuerbach
    MANIFEST    The Manifesto of the Communist Party
    
    *** NOTE: All in Norwegian ***

- FAQ on revolutionary resources on the Internet (in English...)

- Meetings



PLANNED TO START THIS AUTUMN:

- An own BBS with UUCP connection to USENET, situated in Oslo, Norway

- A monthly printed magazine in Norwegian

- English and German versions of several marxist classics

- A quarterly English and Norwegian theorethical journal

- Attempts at establishing two or three foreign groups as a
    minimum, with the goal of getting at least one new UUCP
    site during '95



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[1] Currently we have members from the following organisations:

Norwegian Communist Party (NKP) / Norwegian Communist Youth (NKU)
Socialist Left Party (SV) / Socialist Youth (SU)
Young Liberals (!!!)  (Unge Venstre)
Red Electoral Alliance (RV)

in addition to a few without membership in other political
parties/groups.




VIDAR HOKSTAD:  On the "Oslo meeting" in February
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    It was still winter, and cold. Colder than the last years. The
streets were filled with snow, and walking out of the train station, I
think we all wished we'd lived somewhere warmer.

    We were fewer than expected as we reached the offices of the
Norwegian Communist Party, where our meeting were to be held. Still
the meeting was attended by members from a broad range of
organisations.

    The agenda of the meeting was nothing less than to form a new
revolutionary organisation. It wasn't a new party we wanted to build,
but an organisation that could try to unify through open debate, and
to spread information about marxism to new people, outside our
movement, and especially youth.

    As in many other industrialized countries, the revolutionary left
have since long been dying in Norway. After the maoist movement stopped
attracting new youth in the middle of the seventies, almost no more
members came, and the old ones literally started dying.

    However, with Gorbachev, new hopes strated growing. Even though
many of us, looking back, believe that Gorbachev was a lousy leader,
he should still be admired for freeing the revolutionary movement of
the curse which the Soviet union, and the "socialist" countries in
eastern Europe have been.

    Finally it was possible for us to talk freely about the sacred
dogmas, the fanatical love directed towards the October revolution
1917, the admiration of Stalin because of his warfare against Hitler
(how could he not fight Hitler, a man who treatened his reign, a
competitor for the "crown"?), without being insulted; being called
petty-bourgeois, traitor, or "worse":  Trotskyite.[1]

    The main part of our meeting consisted of avoiding "difficult"
matters. Red Forum was never meant to be an organisation with views
about everything - the different parties and groups have thos views.
Too many of them. We wanted an organisation open to everyone,
everywhere, that accepts a basic platform, that consider themselves
marxists and revolutionaries, that are consequent internationalists.

    The firm programme, the strong party line, is not something that
can be voted on by a small group. The revolutionary party, in my
opinion an international party, can only be formed by uniting the
existing movement, by bringing at least the majority of existing
groups and tendencies together. 

    It will take years, but continuous debates internally in the
movement will sooner or later bring the unity that is neccesary;
an unity that will be forced upon us as the threat from capitalist
regimes in crisis, scared capitalists, grow stronger.

    One of the results of these principles were that we decided to
wait before creating a thorough program. We agreed that instead,
for a few months, giving us time to discuss, and to bring more
people into the forum, the following would do:

- Red Forum is a forum for the discussion of Marxist theory and
politics based on a revolutionary, internationlist foundation.

    This is the foundation on which we invite new people to join
Red Forum / IC (so let me se some new members now ;), and which
provide a minimal basis for the work we have started doing. It is
not a foundation that can give us easy solutions to the daily
political struggle, but for this we have our respective parties.

    It is a foundation which we hope will bring together, at first,
a small, geographically and politically, widespread group of people
to discuss new ways for the Marxist movement to escape from the
secterianism that have polluted the left for decades.

    Applications for membership are encouraged. No fees are charged
at present, but expect this to change after the August meeting.

V.H.

----
[1] But secteric organisations still claim to be a guiding light for us
all here too. It's less than a month ago a member of "the ML group
Revolution" published an article covering an entire A3 page in the NCP
party newspaper, trying to insult me by calling me a "pettybourgeois
trotskyite" after I had criticized Stalin in the same newspaper on the
1st of May.