Declaration of constitution of the International Liaison Committee made up of the PCO (Argentina), the CSR-El Topo Obrero (Venezuela) and the FSR-BOP Jaime Zavaleta (Bolivia)
1.- An economic crisis “with no way out” that has been dragging on for 12 years
A growing gap opened up between the great imperialist powers. The dispute for dominance of the world market is growing. Since the assumption of Trump as president, the US has decidedly gone on the offensive, putting in crisis all the agreements and the atlantist consensus that had been sustained since the end of the World War II.
The background to the political and military operations we are seeing is the global economic crisis that has been dragging on since 2007/8. This crisis is general, worldwide, and of a severity comparable to the great depression of the 1930s. If there has not been a general depression as deep as that one, it has been because of the enormous amount of millions of dollars and euros that the imperialist powers have used to bail out banks and companies, for incentives, subsidies and the low-interest policy for banks, throwing money into the market to encourage a very modest short-term recovery (to which the adjustment policies they implemented and the lowering of the living conditions of the working class and popular sectors also contributed), but which soon vanishes, giving as a result, the trend towards stagnation that has crossed these last 8 years of the crisis. But this situation is unsustainable. The same “medicine” no longer produces the expected effects, and the main “heads” of imperialism know that, at some point, somewhere one of the existing bubbles will “burst” causing a new depression.
An OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) report from late 2017 concludes that while global economic growth would be faster in 2017 and 2018, that was the peak. After that, global economic growth will weaken and remain well below the pre-crisis average of 2007/8. In other words, according to everything it indicates, the rebound in 2017-2018 was cyclical and will not consolidate into a new and sustained “boom”.
But even more worrying for world capitalism is the prospect of a new economic crisis. In a chapter of “World Economic Outlook”, OECD economists raise the problem of the high levels of debt (both in the public and private sectors) since 2009: “Despite some deleveraging in recent years, the household and nonfinancial corporate indebtedness remains at historically high levels in many countries, and continues to rise in some.”
This means that depression is inevitable, because the disproportionate growth of fictitious capital inflates many bubbles that make up a large bubble, which sooner or later must burst. The struggle to survive the bursting of the great bubble and the consequent depression -first- and for dominance of the world market -later-, is a struggle between “highly concentrated capitals”, each of which is supported by imperialist states or alliances of states, which will appeal to all means to avoid falling. And although they say that “no one wants war”, capitalism in its imperialist phase not only generates crises that are inherent to them, but also wars between imperialist powers that are inevitable. In turn, crises and wars are “the mothers” of revolutions, which in order to succeed need to be fertilized and led by a revolutionary marxist party, like that of Lenin and Trotsky.
2.- A World War III seems inevitable
To many it might seem like a crazy prediction, others directly ignore it, brimming with disbelief, while the vast majority of workers, busy getting their daily livelihood, do not even have an opinion, they have not even realized the catastrophe that lies ahead that threatens us in the near future.
And why are we so sure that the world situation is heading towards a new war?
To explain our position we have to go back to the characterization of the imperialist era.
At the beginning of the 20th century, a new phase in the existence of capitalist society was consolidated, which marxists called imperialist. In his well-known pamphlet “Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism”, Lenin states that it is a new stage of capitalism, a stage of decadence, of decomposition, which opened an era of crisis, wars and revolutions.
And indeed, when Lenin wrote his pamphlet, the second year of World War I was taking place, a war of robbery between the imperialist powers for the division of the world, a war that broke out as an immediate consequence of the general crisis of 1913.
The second great crisis of the last century was the so-called Great Depression, the crisis of 29-30, which lasted at least until the year 1933-34, and after a brief Keynesian recovery, it relapsed into the crisis in the year 1937. Two years later the World War II broke out. Of the crisis of 1930, Trotsky said that it was a “crisis with no way out”, that is, with no way out through “normal” economic means, and that therefore it was pushing the entire international situation towards war. So much so that Trotsky wrote his first programmatic document on the coming war (War and the Fourth International) in 1934.
The result of the second war, which cleared the way for the exclusive domination of US imperialism, in turn opened a period of growth that lasted around 20 years, known as the post-war “economic boom”. In Western Europe, the post-war reconstruction promoted by the Marshall Plan allowed for a series of social concessions, which constituted a situation known as the “welfare state”. European imperialist capitalism, in that phase of accelerated economic growth, was able to give those reformist concessions, but it was also forced to give them, due to the threat that half of Europe had been transformed, due to the pressure of the USSR and the occupation of the red army, in workers states, although deformed, bureaucratized from its origin.
But the bonanza ended with a crisis in ’70-71 and then a deeper one in ’74-75. Imperialism’s way out of these crises was to deepen the exploitation of semi-colonial countries, and deregulate the financial system, giving rise to what was later journalistically called “globalization”, and which the “left” called the neoliberal period.
Despite the increase in the rates of exploitation of the world working class and the increase in the plundering of the semi-colonial nations with the mechanism of usurious financial loans, and the deregulation that freed the circulation of financial capital from obstacles, another crisis occurred in ’80-82, and again another and more pronounced in ’86. Multiple national crises also developed, such as those in Mexico, Brazil, Russia, Argentina, and regional ones, such as the crisis in Southeast Asia in 1997. Until an international crisis with an epicenter in the US broke out again: the so-called dot-com crisis (punto com). The recovery -by dint of state “incentives”- after this crisis lasted only 5 or 6 years until the great recession of 2008-09, which began to take shape in 2007. It could be said that there was a recovery in 2011, but it was driven by a large injection of monetary liquidity and all kinds of economic incentives that cost several tens of billions of dollars to the imperialist states and China. All of them, both the US and Europe, Japan, as well as China, were enormously indebted to avoid a deep depression like the one in the 1930s. And yet the growth rate has stagnated since then, with no real recovery in sight soon, but rather the opposite, the forecasts are very pessimistic.
The law of the decreasing tendency of the rate of profit discovered by Marx has once again demonstrated its validity. The injections of money only dangerously inflate the speculative bubbles, because the rate of profit does not reach an “acceptable” level that makes the investment “interesting” for the big bourgeoisie.
This “capital saturation” that lowers the profit rate and, therefore, productive investment and growth, is due, on the one hand, to the European “reconstruction” (which determined the crises of ’70 to ’90) , which, in order to compete with the US, became part of the European Union, reaching the same level as the US GDP. On the other hand, as the United States fell into economic decline, a large flow of investment was directed to take advantage of the cheap labor offered to international capital by the capitalist restoration of the most populous country on earth, with which China’s international specific weight began to grow, with a GDP that reaches 16% of world GDP, against 26% in the US and 24% in the European Union.
From the beginning, we have characterized this crisis as a general crisis of over over overaccumulation, and in the same sense as Trotsky we have stated that it is a “crisis with no way out” by “normal” economic means, and that is why this general crisis of imperialist capitalism leads to a new world war.
Since the beginning of this crisis, 12 years have passed, and the stagnation of the economy has been dragging on for at least 8 years. But capitalism cannot function indeterminately without accumulating capital. It needs crises or war to clear the way for some big corporations to survive. Some will have to succumb so that others can continue their accumulation. But each large corporate consortium is backed – and if need be rescued – by its imperialist state or by an alliance of states. For this reason, it is not the “normal” economic mechanism of the crises inherent to the system’s own functioning, which can provide a way out of this crisis. War appears as the only and inevitable way out, just as it happened in 1914 and 1939.
Now there is no more room for imperialist investments to expand. The world market is already all distributed for capital and saturated with investments. “It will have to be distributed again”, the imperialists say to themselves. And then Trump shows up, raising the “Make America Great Again” banner. That means that the US wants to recover the exclusive hegemony that it had at the end of the second post-war period.
3.- United States on the offensive
The first bell for the US rang with the “dot com” crisis. A new general crisis of world capitalism had the US as its center. The attacks on the Twin Towers gave them the excuse to head off against Afghanistan and Iraq, in an offensive aimed at militarily controlling the Middle East and disposing of its abundant oil resources. But Bush Jr. did not have it as easy as he hoped. After the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime, the Iraqi armed resistance to the invader put the Yankee occupation in crisis, which also began to be questioned within the US. Obama was in charge of finalizing the withdrawal of most of the Yankee troops, having previously reached an agreement with the Shiite bourgeoisie of Iraq, with which Iran was indirectly strengthened as a regional power. Later, Obama himself had to sign an agreement with the Iranian ayatollahs that would supposedly guarantee the peaceful nature of the Persian country’s nuclear development project.
The arrival of Donald Trump to power aims to close that period of relative setback for the US, which began with the withdrawal from Iraq, and continued with the policy of agreements to stabilize the international situation crossed by revolutionary upsurges in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Syria. And more generally, because of the historical decline of the United States in relation to 1945.
Trump weighed his economic power -in decline, but still predominant- and above all his military power, to renegotiate agreements such as NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) and to withdraw from others, seeking to impose his conditions on the world market: the commercial “war” with China, the pressure against the construction of the Nordstream 2 gas pipeline, the new treaty with Mexico and Canada. The offensive to impose its economic interests is backed by growing military pressure: the hitherto failed coup attempt in Venezuela, the rupture of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty (INF) and the projects to install missile launch bases in Poland and other European countries close to Russia, support for the independence of Taiwan, the naval military presence in the South China Sea and the plans for the militarization of space.
And after the rupture of the agreement with Iran, from the sending of aircraft carriers and warships to the Persian Gulf, plus the recent accusation of Iran being responsible for the attacks against two oil tankers, to the almost retaliation for the shooting down of a stopped drone “10 minutes” before.
The US offensive also targeted Europe, prompting a tightening of the alliance between Germany and France, who began building a separate European army from NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization). In reality, it is against them, against European imperialism commanded by Germany and France, that the US disputes the dominance of the world market, and in particular the imperialist control over China and the political and military subordination of Russia.
Argentina, with its unconventional fuel reserves in Vaca Muerta, lithium in the Puna, agricultural productivity in the humid pampas and aquifer resources, will not be exempt from the imperialist offensive, nor will the other Latin American countries, as is clearly shown with the situation in Venezuela.
4.- War threats
Today we cannot only deduce the tendencies towards a world war from the characteristics of the world economic crisis, but we can characterize that the war is posed for a near period, analyzing the practical facts that occur every day and indicate an accelerated rearmament, not only conventional, but also nuclear, and even the empowerment of new military branches such as the United States Space Force that Trump ordered to create. Several sources of tension increase the risks. But perhaps the hottest today are the Persian Gulf, the South China Sea and the Taiwan situation.
The curious thing is that while in the US and Russia there is more and more frequent talk about nuclear weapons and the possibility of a third war, with some exceptions, the currents that claim to be Trotskyists have not raised this question or even as a possibility, or at any rate they admit it for a nebulous long term.
But it is in the very center of power of the main world imperialist power where they are considering a new world war as the main war hypothesis: The Commission on the National Defense Strategy, a bipartisan commission made up of 6 Republicans and 6 Democrats, states that: “The security and well-being of the United States are in more danger than they have ever been in decades.” Since World War II, “United States has led the way in building a world of unusual prosperity, freedom, and security. This achievement, from which [the United States] has benefited enormously, has been made possible by the unparalleled US military might.” But this American military power, “the backbone of the influence in the world and of the national security of the United States“, has dangerously eroded. And that’s because “authoritarian competitors – especially Russia and China – are seeking regional hegemony and the means to project their power on a global scale.” (Red Voltaire).
For its part, the Department of Defense made public the new US nuclear operations doctrine for a few days, before deleting it from the Internet. It is a doctrine called “Nuclear Operations”, or JP 3-72, which it is expressly intended to provide “fundamental principles and guidance for planning, executing, and evaluating nuclear operations.” “Using nuclear weapons could create conditions for decisive outcomes and the restoration of strategic stability,” the report said, adding that the use of these weapons “will fundamentally change the scope of a battle and create conditions that will affect how commanders prevail in a conflict”.(RT) A short time ago it was Russian President Vladimir Putin who issued a warning, pointing out that the world underestimates the danger of nuclear war that can lead to the “destruction of civilization and perhaps of the entire planet“.
Putin underlined as particularly dangerous the “tendency to lower the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons with the creation of low-impact ‘tactical’ nuclear charges that can lead to a global nuclear disaster“.
Precisely in this category belong the new B61-12 nuclear bombs that the United States will deploy in Italy, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and possibly in other European countries during the first half of 2020. The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) warns, in effect, that:
“High precision and the ability to use less destructive nuclear payloads may prompt military commanders to push for the use of atomic weapons in an attack, knowing that radiation and collateral damage will be limited.” (Il Manifesto)
Could it be that the period of more than 70 years that has elapsed since the end of the last world war has made many who consider themselves Marxists believe that a world war is a thing of the past? That globalization, by causing the “interpenetration” of international capital, goes against wars that are necessarily based on national states. And that the abundance of nuclear weapons, instead of increasing the danger of war, deters it, because a nuclear war would imply the destruction of a large part of humanity. They ignore, or question the relevance of this statement by Lenin written in the preface of “Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism”:
“Imperialist wars are absolutely inevitable under such an economic system, as long as private property in the means of production exists.“
And in the development of his pamphlet, whose concepts are totally valid, we find the polemic against Kautsky who, being the paradigm of the centrist, it is natural that his positions, a century later, are fully reflected in the petty-bourgeois leaders who still call themselves “Trotskyists”:
“…under capitalism, a division of spheres of influence, interests, colonies, etc., is inconceivable, other than by the force of those who participate in it, economic, financial, military force, etc. And the strength of those who participate in the distribution changes unevenly, since the harmonious development of the various companies, trusts, industrial branches and countries is impossible under capitalism. Half a century ago, Germany was an insignificance compared in capitalist strength to that of Great Britain; the same can be said when comparing Japan with Russia. Is it “conceivable” that in ten or twenty years the correlation of forces between the imperialist powers will remain unchanged? It is absolutely inconceivable. Therefore, in the real capitalist world, and not in the banal petty-bourgeois fantasy of the English priests or the German “Marxist” Kautsky, “inter-imperialist” or “ultra-imperialist” alliances -whatever their form: one imperialist coalition against another or a general alliance of all the imperialist powers- can only inevitably be “truces” between wars. Peaceful alliances are born from wars and at the same time prepare new wars, mutually conditioning each other, engendering a succession of forms of peaceful and non-peaceful struggle on one and the same basis of imperialist ties and reciprocal relations between world economy and politics.“
But the imperialist epoch is not only one of crisis and wars. It is also a time plagued by revolutions. But not of “democratic revolutions”, that is to say bourgeois, in which the bourgeoisie overthrew the monarchical regimes to establish the republic or a parliamentary monarchy. The time when the Constituent Assembly was a historical necessity to constitute the bourgeois republic is over. Now, since the beginning of the 20th century, it is the time of the socialist revolution, because this is how the objective conditions of the situation of capitalism in its imperialist phase state it:
“When a large company becomes gigantic and systematically organizes, based on an exact calculation with lots of data, the supply of two-thirds or three-quarters of the raw materials needed by tens of millions of people; when it systematically organizes the transport of said raw materials to the most suitable production points, sometimes separated from each other by hundreds and thousands of kilometers; when a center directs the successive phases of transformation of the raw materials into numerous elaborated products; when these products are distributed among tens and hundreds of millions of consumers (sale of fuels in the United States and Germany by the American oil trust) according to a single plan, then it is clear that we are facing a socialization of production, and not a simple “intertwining”, that the relations between the economy and private property constitute an envelope that does not run already responsive to the contents, a wrapper that will necessarily decompose if its removal is artificially delayed, a wrapper that can remain in a state of decay for a relatively long period (at worst, if the opportunistic pimple cures for too long), but which, however, will inevitably be eliminated.“
The only political factor that can liquidate this “wrapper”, that is, end private ownership of the means of production and exchange, liquidate state borders, and plan the economy in the hands of the workers’ states and then on the international plane, leading the force of the world proletariat, is a revolutionary, Leninist, international Marxist party.
That the objective conditions will be ripe, but that the consciousness of the proletariat -which is the political subject of the socialist revolution- is tremendously behind in relation to the objective conditions? Well, that’s a platitude truth, it’s nothing new. But faced with this reality, the path is not the opportunistic dissolution of the revolutionary program, but rather the struggle to win over the workers’ vanguard, and to mobilize the working class and behind it the popular masses, with the method of the transitional program, to establish the bridge between their current consciousness and the program of the socialist revolution. There is no shortcut, there is no other way out.
Only a socialist revolution that liquidates imperialism in the main countries could prevent war. And if it cannot avoid it, which is most likely due to the historical backwardness of the revolutionary party, it will be possible to forge it in the course of the struggles that will inevitably provoke the calamities of war, following the Leninist strategy of transforming the imperialist war into a civil war, that is to say, in insurrection and revolutionary struggle of the working class and the poor people against the bloody military and political cliques at the service of the big bourgeoisie.
Build a Leninist party and fight for the socialist revolution: that is the only hope to get out of capitalist barbarism, for a new resurgence of humanity.
5.- Workers’ and popular uprisings are going to defeat or fall into impotence due to the lack of a revolutionary leadership
The effects of this period of crisis hit the working class and poor people everywhere very hard, but above all in the semi-colonial countries, provoking truly revolutionary mass uprisings in some of them. Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Syria were shaken by revolutionary uprisings of the popular masses, between 2011 and 2013. A new wave of large mobilizations has also occurred between 2018 and today in Sudan and Algeria. Hundreds of workers’ struggles took place within the United States itself during 2018, most of them victorious, which marked an important change in the social struggle in this country. Also in Central America, the masses are leading large processes of struggle in Haiti, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Honduras. Important general strikes and workers’ strikes in Bangladesh, India, Mexico and Chile, as well as important mobilizations are taking place in Hong Kong, based on democratic demands.
6.- A period of abrupt turns in the situation
Although the situation remains of a general reactionary character, we have entered a period of “abrupt turns” in the political and social situation, and we must be attentive to changes in the mood of the masses so as not to be caught off guard by the “raging swirls” of the class struggle, in which the role of the subjective factor, that is, of the revolutionary party, is essential to transform a pre-revolutionary situation into a revolutionary situation in which the struggle for power is posed. We must not forget that, as Trotsky explained:
“But the most striking features of our epoch of capitalism in decay are intermediate and transitional: situations between the non-revolutionary and the pre-revolutionary, between the pre-revolutionary and the revolutionary or the counter-revolutionary. It is precisely these transitional stages which have a decisive importance from the point of view of political strategy.” (Leon Trotsky – Whither France?)
Unfortunately, the revolutionary party, the most subjective factor of all those that come together for the socialist revolution, and the most decisive, is greatly delayed, due to the post-war crisis of Trotskyism.
The latest popular uprisings are less radical in their methods than those that characterized the revolutionary processes from 2011 onwards in the Arab countries of North Africa and the Middle East. But its dynamics must be carefully observed, because, given the crisis that tends to deepen, the bourgeoisie has no margin for important concessions. It should also be noted that until now the working class has not appeared as such, organized, centralizing and “leading” the struggle of its popular allies. The absence of this fundamental factor means that the popular uprisings do not have sufficient force, the forcefulness of the working class, in its struggle against the regime, which prevents the situation in those countries from clearly transcending the “pre” revolutionary situation. However, it is necessary to note the appearance of one of the characteristic elements of this situation, which marked the situation in recent months in France:
“The development which is taking place among the masses of the petty bourgeoisie has exceptional importance for an understanding of the political situation. The political crisis of the country is above all a collapse of the confidence of the petty-bourgeois masses in their traditional parties and leaders. The discontent, the nervousness, the instability, the fluidity of the petty bourgeoisie are extremely important characteristics of a pre-revolutionary situation. As a sick man, burning with fever, tosses from right side to left, so the feverish petty bourgeoisie can turn to the right or to the left. In the coming period, the side towards which millions of French peasants, artisans, small merchants and minor officials turn will determine whether the present pre-revolutionary situation will develop into a revolutionary or a counter-revolutionary situation.” (Leon Trotsky – Whither France?)
On the other hand, having pointed out the extreme historical weakness of the revolutionary Marxist party, which does not exist as such on a national scale (in which we could only note the existence of small groups) and even less so as a world party, and for this very reason, we must remember with Trotsky that: “A revolutionary situation develops out of the reciprocal action of objective and subjective factors. If the party of the proletariat is incapable of analysing in time the tendencies of a pre-revolutionary situation we shall inevitably have a counter-revolutionary situation.” (Leon Trotsky – Whither France?)
This is the great handicap that the imperialist bourgeoisie has. However, no one will be able to prevent a small group with a correct policy from being able to strengthen itself in the face of each of these sharp turns. As well as that enormous events at the international level, provoke strong tendencies of sectors of the centrist parties towards revolutionary Marxist positions, which can converge in an international regrouping.
7.- The war and the urgent need for a new International
Since the foundation of scientific socialism as a revolutionary current of the working class, Marx and Engels, consistent with their conception, fought for the construction of an international workers’ party.
If already in the reformist era of capitalism, the existence of an international party was a necessity, with the transformation of capitalism into imperialism, the need for a world party of socialist revolution was doubly reinforced because both the economy and the struggle of classes definitely acquired an international character.
The defeats of the working class caused by the betrayals of Stalinism to the international revolution, deepened the isolation and the crisis of the IV International, which emerged to confront imperialism and the Stalinist bureaucracy. The assassination of Trotsky was a heavy blow to an International with such a weak leadership that it still depended on the guidance of the leader of the October Revolution. After a brief period in which the IV maintained the defense of its principles, it began to abandon its revolutionary character, just as Trotsky had predicted in 1940: “If the bourgeois regime comes out of the war with impunity, every revolutionary party will suffer degeneration. If the proletarian revolution conquers, those conditions that produce degeneration will disappear.” (Manifesto of the Fourth International on the imperialist war and the world proletarian revolution)
What was the cause of the collapse of the main currents that claim the IV? Of course, the objective conditions are very important to determine the periods of rise and fall of the Trotskyist positions. But it is one thing to go back and another to fall off a cliff and disintegrate as a result of the capitulation by different means to the bourgeois regime, to imperialism or to the bourgeois-petty-bourgeois leaderships of the mass movement. This situation is due to revisionism. But revisionism, which has social, class roots, is nothing more than a break with Marxist theory, which has programmatic consequences. Sometimes openly directed against the theory, sometimes sneaking up ritually or formally claiming the theory, but affecting the program and the policy in fact, adapting to one or another bourgeois position “so as not to be isolated”, revisionism produced the disaster of the IV. Therefore, the struggle to restore the Marxist theory and program, against revisionism, is of fundamental importance.
Revisionism wreaked havoc and generated a profound confusion that to a greater or lesser degree affects us all. In trying to advance in international regrouping we must base ourselves on the principles that emerge from the theory held by Marx, Lenin and Trotsky.
Due to the combination of the defeats and the action of revisionism, the IV International ceased to exist as a centralized organization, and today there are different international currents and leagues that claim to be part of the IV International. The main currents that claim the IV have already been tested in multiple actions of the class struggle.
Of the currents that made up the reunification of 1963, the SU (Unified Secretariat of the Fourth International), after having betrayed the Bolivian revolution of 1952 through the Bolivian POR, for its capitulation to bourgeois nationalism that would later acquire a definitive body with the slogan of the FRA (Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist Front) in the program of the POR, since the FRA is nothing more than a popular front in the semi-colonial countries, to promote the foquista guerrilla struggle in Latin America in the late 1960s and early 1970s, to support the bourgeois government and The Sandinista leadership in the 1980s has openly degenerated into a reformist current, withdrawing from its program the struggle for socialist revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat. In Brazil, even, they were part of the Lula government, occupying a ministry.
The US SWP has maintained for years that the Castro regime is revolutionary.
Moreno’s LIT exploded in the 1990s for its objectivist revision of the theory of permanent revolution and for its adaptation to bourgeois democracy based on the theory of democratic revolution. The UIT (International Workers Unity) also comes from that explosion with the same original problems. Both one and the other maintain the typical morenista matrix of “fight and vote”, that is, of syndicalist and electoral politics. On both sides it adapts to the bourgeois regime. The theory of the democratic revolution and the objectivist vision of social processes have led them to act in a united front with the pro-imperialist bourgeoisie (Venezuela), or to raise bourgeois-democratic programs in the former bureaucratized workers’ states.
From the other branches of Trotskyism, Lambertism, after capitulating to the Mitterrand government, adapted and joined the FO trade union bureaucracy, and subsequently created the AIT, which “does not pronounce itself” on the strategic tasks of the proletariat with the argument of to recreate a workers’ international with different tendencies, deformedly wielding the I International as an example.
The CIO-CIT (CWI), capitulates to imperialism, by privileging the character of the regime over the economic-social structure of the states. For example, during the Malvinas war they refused to take sides for Argentina with the argument that a dictatorship ruled and the same thing happened recently with Iraq. Nor did he defend Northern Ireland’s right to independence. And it maintains a long-term orientation of entryism in reformist organizations and/or broad parties.
The Militant (International Marxist Tendency – IMT) (promoted by the recently deceased Ted Grant, and now directed by Alan Woods) has as its permanent policy its adaptation to the reformist parties and openly capitulates to bourgeois nationalism, for example, to chavismo in Venezuela. Practice too, against Trotsky’s own warnings of long-term entryisms.
The TSI – International Socialist Tendency (until recently led by the late Tony Cliff, one of whose main leaders is now Alex Callinicos), following the characterization of the states run by the Stalinist bureaucracy as “state capitalism”, opposed its defense against the imperialism with the position of “neither Washington nor Moscow”.
For example, during the Korean War, he equated North Korea with South Korea, saying that both were imperialists and therefore posing a policy of revolutionary defeatism.
Just as the CIO-CWI puts an equal sign between the semi-colonial countries and the imperialist countries, making the analysis of the regimes prevail, and both are adapted to the bourgeois democratic regime.
The FT-CI (Trotskyist Fraction), trying to reconcile Trotsky with Gramsci as a maneuver to preserve Morenista revisionism, has led to a theoretical review arguing the political backwardness of the working class to raise the struggle for a democratic-bourgeois institution of a Constituent Assembly as a slogan of power, thus capitulating to the bourgeois regime.
Other small leagues such as the LCI, the League for the Fourth International, or the LBI (Brazil), confused the defense of the “workers’ states” with the defense of the restorationist Stalinist bureaucracy. Incredibly they still consider China as a Workers’ State.
In short, among the deviations of the currents that claim to be Trotskyist are those that tend towards social democratization, those that capitulate to bourgeois nationalism, those that are opportunists and adapt to the bourgeois democratic regime, those that openly oppose the Leninist characterization of the imperialist era and those that capitulated to Stalinism and Castroism.
It is worth mentioning that there are also national parties without an international current, the largest of these parties is the PO of Argentina, a member of FITU. This party, in addition to sharing the adaptation to the bourgeois regime of its running mates, stands out for its narrow national spirit, embodied in the fact that it never made the slightest effort to build an international. A contradiction, therefore, that is claimed from Trotskyism, nothing less than the doctrine that is based on the program of permanent revolution.
Outside the main currents we remain a series of small groups and small international leagues, who are ruptures of these main currents and who try to find a path towards revolution. To these organizations we address a call to open a discussion in pursuit of an international regrouping of the revolutionaries.
The proximity of the possibility of war places as an urgent task the construction of a new Revolutionary Workers’ International to fight for the Socialist Revolution.
“The struggle against war presupposes a revolutionary instrument of struggle, that is, a party. There is none now either on a national or on an international scale. A revolutionary party must be built on the basis of the entire experience of the past, including the experiences of the Second and Third Internationals. The renunciation of open and direct struggle for the new International means conscious or unconscious support of the two existing Internationals…” (Leon Trotsky – War and the Fourth International)
We believe that an international organization cannot be constituted if it is not based on an agreement on principles, put to the test in the main events of the class struggle. But at the same time contemplating the possibility that in a series of tactical questions there could be disagreement. Nor can it be a condition to have unanimous agreement on balance questions or on theoretical questions that have no current implications. In this we must take into account that we come from decades of defeats and dispersion, in which revisionism has caused great theoretical-programmatic and political confusion.
We set ourselves the task of building a regrouping based on the principles of the IV International, but we also think that the discussion about whether what needs to be done is rebuild-refound the IV or build a V International should not divide the principled groups, as the policy of building a revolutionary international is developed on the basis of also combating the revisionist positions of those who still claim to be Trotskyists, and having a policy towards these organizations and not ignoring them, with the prospect of winning over sectors of them, starting of the correct characterization that as a whole as currents they have already broken with the program, and their leaderships have crystallized in revisionist positions.
Axes for an international principled regrouping
1.- Based on the above concepts, according to our experience, and we believe that as an international historical experience demonstrates, the new International cannot arise from the mechanical unity of international parties and currents that claim Trotskyism and/or Marxism. It must start from a programmatic agreement that does not contain ambiguities. We propose these political-programmatic axes for discussion.
2.- Only the socialist revolution will prevent the war, and if it does not succeed, it is the only one that can give birth to the hope of a new horizon for humanity. It is ruled out that the war can be prevented with pacifist mobilizations, although we maintain an attentive attitude towards any mass movement that may have a progressive character, to fertilize it with our revolutionary program, and make it advance through experience.
3.- We politically combat the tendency to fall into the illusion of the lesser evil, for example, of “progressive and democratic” Europeanism in Europe against reactionary nationalism, in supporting the old reformist parties, the new ones, or the centrists. The same in the US, translated as support for the Democrats against Trump, via support for conciliatory “progressives” like Bernie Sanders.
4.- We reject any political support, however critical, for European social democratic or labor parties that have already been transformed into directly bourgeois parties. We reject proposals for Keynesian plans such as leaving the euro, understood as a monetary rupture to devalue. The only way to solve the European crisis is the constitution of the United States of Europe, that is, the constitution of a unified state (although a certain federalism is maintained). But this task cannot be carried out by the imperialist bourgeoisie, as Lenin and Trotsky proposed, and as the current situation of growing divisions between different bourgeois sectors, grouped along national lines (the so-called nationalist populists), or with economic interests that clearly demonstrate supranational commons. True European unity can only be realized as a unity of Workers’ States, after the socialist revolution is carried out in them, as the United Workers’ and Socialist States of Europe, or transitionally as the Federation of Workers’ and Socialist States of Europe.
5.- We consider that both China and Russia are not imperialist states, although they do have a different status from other semi-colonial countries, given their historical peculiarities. Russia inherited from the USSR a great military potential in general and a nuclear one in particular, the only one capable of approaching the military power of the United States. China achieved great industrial development due to its working class of several hundred million, prepared and disciplined by the Maoist dictatorship. And although we are not unaware of their growing influence on a world level, we consider that they have not reached the rank of imperialist powers in the full sense of the Leninist concept, but rather are intermediate formations with particular characteristics (sui generis).
6.- We reject illusions about the possibility of a BRICS bloc running as a “third world alternative” for the national bourgeoisie of emerging countries, against the recalcitrant imperialism of the US-Trump. Of course, before a military confrontation, the characterization of the State continues to be fundamental to determine the Marxist position in the war. But the next war will clearly be an imperialist war, in which Russia or China and the other emerging countries will take a position as allies in one of the military fronts of the imperialist bourgeoisie.
7.- We maintain with Trotsky that: “The national state created by capitalism in the struggle with the sectionalism of the Middle Ages became the classical arena of capitalism. But no sooner did it take shape than it became a brake upon economic and cultural development. The contradiction between the productive forces and the framework of the national state, in conjunction with the principal contradiction – between the productive forces and the private ownership of the means of production – make the crisis of capitalism that of the world social system.
If state borders could be swept away with one stroke, productive forces, even under capitalism, could continue to rise for a certain length of time – at the price of innumerable sacrifices, it is true – to a higher level. With the abolition of private ownership of the means of production, the productive forces may, as the experience of the USSR shows, reach a higher development even within the framework of one state. But only the abolition of private property as well as of state barriers between nations can create the conditions for a new economic system: the socialist society.
The defence of the national state, first of all in Balkanised Europe – the cradle of the national state – is in the full sense of the word a reactionary task. The national state with its borders, passports, monetary system, customs and the army for the protection of customs has become a frightful impediment to the economic and cultural development of humanity. The task of the proletariat is not the defence of the national state but its complete and final liquidation.
A “socialist” who preaches national defence is a petty-bourgeois reactionary at the service of decaying capitalism. Not to bind itself to the national state in time of war, to follow not the war map but the map of the class struggle, is possible only for that party that has already declared irreconcilable war on the national state in time of peace. Only by realizing fully the objectively reactionary role of the imperialist state can the proletarian vanguard become invulnerable to all types of social patriotism. This means that a real break with the ideology and policy of “national defence” is possible only from the standpoint of the international proletarian revolution.” (Leon Trotsky – War and the Fourth International)
8.- A particular and very important problem is that of the semi-colonial countries (except for Western Sahara, the other currently existing colonies are islands that cannot constitute independent countries), which have raised the struggle for a truly independent national state. Their struggle is doubly progressive, since by making backward peoples break with foreign domination they deal powerful blows to the imperialist states. However, this struggle will take place not only against imperialism, but against the semi-colonial bourgeoisie itself. The unity of action with the national bourgeoisie against imperialism must not under any circumstances fall into political support. “The sole “condition” for every agreement with the bourgeoisie, for each separate, practical, and expedient agreement adapted to each given case, consists in not allowing either the organizations or the banners to become mixed directly or indirectly for a single day or a single hour; it consists in distinguishing between the Red and the Blue, and in not believing for an instant in the capacity or readiness of the bourgeoisie either to lead a genuine struggle against imperialism or not to obstruct the workers and peasants.” (Leon Trotsky – On the Nature of The Colonial Bourgeoisie, The Third International After Lenin)
Any political support for the national bourgeoisie, even when occasionally pitted against imperialism, is a betrayal of the struggle of the proletariat for its real liberation.
In this sense, it is necessary to point out that semi-colonial states cannot have an independent democratic development. “Surrounded by decaying capitalism and enmeshed in the imperialist contradictions, the independence of a backward state inevitably will be semi fictitious, and its political regime, under the influence of internal class contradictions and external pressure, will unavoidably fall into dictatorship against the people… The struggle for the national independence of the colonies is, from the standpoint of the revolutionary proletariat, only a transitional stage on the road toward drawing the backward countries into the international socialist revolution.” (Manifesto of the Fourth International on the imperialist war and the world proletarian revolution)
In Latin America, where capitalism is backward but already in decline, global antagonisms provoke a harsh struggle between the bourgeois cliques linked to one or another sector of imperialism. South and Central America will only be able to liquidate backwardness and submission by uniting their states into a single and powerful federation. But it will not be the backward Latin American bourgeoisie, agent of imperialism, who will fulfill this task, but the proletariat, called to lead the oppressed masses. Therefore, the slogan that should guide the struggle against the domination of world imperialism and its minor partners, the national bourgeoisies, is For the Federation of Workers’ States of Latin America.
“The Fourth International does not draw watertight distinctions between the backward and the advanced countries, the democratic and the socialist revolutions. It combines them and subordinates them to the world struggle of the oppressed against the oppressors. Just as the only genuinely revolutionary force of our era is the international proletariat, so the only real program to liquidate all oppression, social and national, is the program of the permanent revolution.” (Manifesto of the Fourth International on the imperialist war and the world proletarian revolution)
“The national problem merges everywhere with the social. Only the conquest of power by the world proletariat can assure a real and lasting freedom of development for all nations of our planet.” (Leon Trotsky – War and the Fourth International)
July 9, 2019
Our program is based on the principles
1.- Validity of the Leninist characterization of the imperialist era
We maintain that the Leninist characterization of the imperialist era as a revolutionary era, of crisis, wars and revolutions remains fully valid. Of the decline of imperialism and its reactionary character throughout the line. We reject the revisionist positions of various currents that still claim Trotskyism -such as the LCR and Lambertism- which, based on the triumphs of capitalist restoration, appealing to the argument that the defeats suffered by the world proletariat have a historical character, they abandon the revolutionary strategy and the struggle for the dictatorship of the proletariat, replacing it with reformist strategies. The LCR, basing itself on the argument of the retreat in the consciousness of the working masses and their vanguard, abandons not only the revolutionary program, but also the construction of the Leninist party, replacing it with “broad left parties” centered on the electoral struggle, of social democratic type, returning to the conceptions of the II International, and even to the collaboration and integration with bourgeois governments (Millerandism) as what happened in Brazil, where the Mandelist section (DS) integrated the bourgeois government of Lula with a minister. Lambertism, for its part, with the argument of re-editing the I International, promotes “trade union” organizations with reformist programs, capitulates before the “progressive” sectors of the bourgeoisie as in Mexico, where they called for a vote for López Obrador.
The strategic struggle for the dictatorship of the proletariat and the socialist revolution is determined, not by the balance of forces at one stage of the class struggle, but by the worldwide maturity of the objective conditions for the socialist revolution.
Nor is it the consciousness of the proletariat that determines the program of the revolutionary party. The function of politics based on the transitional program is to build the bridge between the immediate consciousness and the understanding of the historical tasks of the proletariat.
2.- We support the world socialist revolution as a strategy. We base ourselves on the theory of the Permanent Revolution and on the Transitional Program
Consistent with this characterization of the imperialist era, we maintain that the revolutionary strategy is proposed in all the countries of the world, both in the developed imperialist countries, as well as in the semi-colonial or backward ones.
The opportunist currents centered in the semi-colonial countries pose in fact as a strategy, the “defeat of imperialism”, separated from the struggle for the socialist revolution. First, the defeat of imperialism in alliance with the nationalist bourgeoisies. Then the fight for socialism. Such was the position of the LIT for Iraq (“Iraq for the Iraqis”) and it is for Palestine, or that of El Militante for Venezuela.
And some centrist currents like the FT-CI or the MAS-SoB, although they do not openly pose it as a strategy, in fact replace the struggle for the dictatorship of the proletariat with the struggle for a “revolutionary” Constituent Assembly. That is to say, although they do not formally abandon the Marxist program, in fact they support the program of the radical petty-bourgeois democrats.
We support the validity and timeliness of the theory of permanent revolution. As their thesis states, the struggle for the socialist revolution takes place in the national arena but can only have its culmination in the world arena.
We reject the theories of the revolution by stages that even some parties claim to be Trotskyists hold, but raise the anti-imperialist front as a strategic position. We reject as revisionists any theoretical elaboration that has replaced the program of the political revolution in the bureaucratic workers’ states with the conception of a revolution that develops in stages, and in whose first “democratic” stage, the revolutionary party raises a bourgeois democratic program. In the same way, we reject any theory that, for capitalist countries (whether advanced-imperialist or backward-semi-colonial) with fascist or Bonapartist regimes, replaces the theory of permanent revolution with another that proposes a revolution in independent stages, and where the first stage considers the struggle for a bourgeois democratic regime as a power strategy.
We defend the essence of the revolutionary positions of the Transitional Program, against the different currents that, claiming to be Trotskyists, claim it in words, but abandon it in fact in their practical politics or even against other organizations that expressly review it by removing its revolutionary content, returning to the reformist position of the separation between the maximum and minimum program.
3.- For the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat
Reviewing the Trotskyist balance of the causes of the bureaucratization of the USSR, centrist currents believe they find their origin in the “errors of Bolshevism” and in the strategy of the dictatorship of the proletariat. This is the case of the SoB current of the new MAS in Argentina. They intend to suspend the struggle for power until the masses reach “socialist consciousness” and to replace the bourgeois state with a state combining soviets and universal suffrage, giving this hybrid regime the name “socialist democracy”.
Against the revisionists who raise the fight for a “socialist democracy” as a strategy, we defend the need to fight to establish the dictatorship of the proletariat based on the councils of workers’ delegates, as a regime of transition from capitalism to socialism and as a lever for the development of the world socialist revolution.
We reject the attempts to dilute the dictatorship of the proletariat in universal suffrage of a bourgeois character, or to “combine” the “soviets” with the Constituent Assembly.
We claim the need for the proletarian dictatorship to crush the internal counterrevolution as well as to defeat its external attacks.
In the struggle of the revolutionary proletariat against the counterrevolution, we claim the use of the “red terror”, if its necessity is imposed for the defense of workers’ power.
The revolutionary workers’ state exercises its dictatorship against the bourgeoisie and all the exploiters, but at the same time it is based on the broadest democracy for the proletariat and all the exploited. The new revolutionary state is the state of the democratic organizations of delegates of the workers and other exploited sectors.
4.- For Leninist parties. For a revolutionary, democratically centralized workers’ International based on the founding principles of the IV International
The IV International does not exist as a single, centralized organization. There are several currents that continue to claim the IV International or even call themselves the IV itself. This dispersion of the forces that claim to be Trotskyists is the result of the defeats suffered by the working class and of the action of Trotskyist revisionism. Although the main currents from the IV International (SU-Lambertism-SWP-TSI-CIO-CMI-LIT-UIT) continue to claim Trotskyism, they have degenerated into revisionist positions crystallized many years ago.
However, the class struggle causes permanent ruptures and realignments, which leaves open the prospects for the international regrouping of the revolutionaries.
We support the need to build a revolutionary, democratically centralized workers’ international based on the founding principles of the IV International.
In the same way, we support the need to build Leninist, proletarian, combative, conspiratorial parties, with a regime of democratic centralism, as sections of an international revolutionary party.
We reject the liquidationist revisions of the Trotskyist currents that oppose the criterion that the party should be a combat organization of the revolutionary vanguard of the proletariat, trying to replace it with the criterion of forming organizationally and politically “broad” parties, federations of parties or permanent fractions or parties to develop an abstract propaganda for socialism.
We also reject the petty-bourgeois method that leads to dividing the revolutionary party due to tactical or circumstantial differences.
5.- Against imperialism and capitulation to bourgeois nationalism
We reaffirm that the strategic task of the revolutionaries for the defeat of all the imperialist powers is the triumph of the world socialist revolution.
The decline of world capitalism has deepened oppression and semi-colonization by imperialism over backward or semi-colonial countries, giving anti-imperialist democratic slogans relevant importance. At the same time, in the last decade, imperialism has militarily attacked several semi-colonial nations, which poses to the revolutionaries the need to take a position in the military field in the camp of the oppressed nation, as has been the case of Afghanistan and Iraq. In backward or semi-colonial countries, the revolutionary party of the proletariat remains politically and organizationally independent from the national bourgeoisie, even when the latter is faced with imperialist military pressure or intervention. The struggle for national liberation from the imperialist yoke, or the agrarian revolution, main democratic tasks, can only have their final victory with the overthrow of the power of the bourgeoisie and the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat. We reject the tactic of the United Anti-Imperialist Front or any proposition based on the constitution of a front of the proletariat with the “national anti-imperialist” bourgeoisie, as well as any updating of the Stalinist proposition of “democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry” as a regime opposed to the dictatorship of the proletariat. Only possible, under certain conditions, is unity of action, that is to say “strictly practical circumstantial agreements”, rigorously limited and serving a clearly defined purpose, with bourgeois or petty-bourgeois sectors when they promote the struggle against imperialist domination.
As Trotsky noted: “The sole “condition” for every agreement with the bourgeoisie, for each separate, practical, and expedient agreement adapted to each given case, consists in not allowing either the organizations or the banners to become mixed directly or indirectly for a single day or a single hour; it consists in distinguishing between the Red and the Blue, and in not believing for an instant in the capacity or readiness of the bourgeoisie either to lead a genuine struggle against imperialism or not to obstruct the workers and peasants.” (Leon Trotsky – The Third International After Lenin)
Where the struggle for national self-determination is raised, we reject the purely democratic program of the Trotskyist currents that do not state that, in this era of imperialist domination, real and effective independence (not formal, only political) is only possible under the dictatorship of the proletariat. We also reject any position that capitulates to the supposed “humanitarian interventions” of imperialism.
But we also reject any position that capitulates to bourgeois nationalism by giving it political support (such as the calls to vote for Chavez or Evo Morales) or refraining from raising an independent class policy with the argument of supporting the “progressive camp” against imperialism, as was the case of the LIT with its slogan “Iraq for the Iraqis”.
At the same time, we maintain that one can only act in unity with bourgeois nationalism as long as it fights against oppression or against direct aggression from imperialism, but never when it fights to oppress another people. We reaffirm that the unity of action with bourgeois nationalism is a tactic subordinated to the strategy of the struggle for the socialist revolution.
6.- Against the “Popular Front” and class conciliation
Our program is that of the political independence of the working class for its permanent revolutionary mobilization. We fight the “popular fronts”, that is, fronts of workers’ parties or organizations with the bosses, or with the “shadow of the bosses” or fronts with programs of conciliation with the bourgeoisie, because that is the way in which the Stalinist leaders, opportunists, centrists or petty bourgeois tie the workers to the bourgeoisie’s car, and give it the possibility of deceiving and defeating the masses.
We reject the “strategic fronts” or with general programs, or for propaganda, however circumstantial, with these petty-bourgeois organizations, because they only contribute to diluting the revolutionary positions, to mixing flags, and therefore, instead of advancing the class and its vanguard, confuse her about who her enemies are.
In situations of revolutionary crisis, it is especially important to use the “workers and peasants government” tactic, to orient towards a workers solution and to break the “popular” fronts and fight the treacherous leaderships. In other words, we demand that the petty-bourgeois leaderships of the working class break with the bourgeoisie and take all power into their hands, and apply a program of transitory demands. But this tactic must not be opposed, but must be framed within the strategy of building Soviet-type organizations, so that the worker-peasant government is a short episode towards the dictatorship of the proletariat.
7.- Against the adaptation to parliamentarism, and to the bourgeois democratic regime
The party of the revolutionary proletariat fights for all the minimum and democratic demands that have vital force to mobilize the working masses and their allies of the poor and oppressed people, not as an end in itself but as part of the struggle for the proletarian revolution.
But as Trotsky says, democratic slogans can also be a “noose” thrown around the neck of the proletariat, by the bourgeoisie.
A clear demonstration of adaptation to the bourgeois regime of some Trotskyist organizations, as is the case of the FT-CI led by the PTS of Argentina, is the almost permanent use of the slogan Constituent Assembly in situations of revolutionary rise and political crisis of the bourgeois-democratic regime. But as Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador demonstrate, the Constituent Assembly is a “way out of the crisis” but not in favor of the working class, but in favor of the reconstitution of the bourgeois regime. Also justified by the “political backwardness of the working class” it has become a strategic slogan for all times and places, which confirms a drift towards petty-bourgeois democratism.
Another manifestation of the adaptation of the opportunists to the bourgeois democratic regime is that they make participation in electoral processes the center of the construction of their parties. If they participate in the organizations and in the struggles of the workers, it is with the main objective of gaining electoral weight. The maintenance of legality and the financing of the party through State contributions for the votes obtained and the salaries of parliamentarians, become the center of their existence and they end up being politically subordinated to it. The centrists, like the PO in Argentina, for example, combine an adaptation to parliamentarism, with a syndicalist orientation for the labor movement.
We maintain that the Bolshevik policy of participation in the elections is just a tactic that we use as a way to propagandize our revolutionary program. The strategy is the impulse to the class struggle for the socialist revolution.
The adaptation to the bourgeois regime also has other manifestations such as hiding the bourgeois character of the judiciary or proposing the “democratization” of the Armed Forces, in open opposition to Marxism. Or “erase” central aspects of the Trotskyist program such as the strike pickets, the self-defense groups and the arming of the proletariat, a trait common to the three centrist parties (PO-PTS-IS) that are members of the FIT in Argentina.
8.- Against petty-bourgeois “nationalism”, Stalinism and other petty-bourgeois currents
Replacing the class analysis with the generality of the “unity of the left”, some currents of Trotskyist origin (such as the MST of Argentina) claim that we revolutionaries dilute our program to go behind the conciliatory petty-bourgeois parties.
We fight against social democracy, Stalinism and the bourgeois, petty-bourgeois, nationalist and bureaucratic leaderships of the labor movement. We denounce the capitulation of the opportunists, who, under the pretext of fighting them, transform the tactic of “demanding” of the union bureaucracies into a strategy, leaving the denunciation of their counterrevolutionary bourgeois character in the background, non-existent, and do not promote a politics to fight for a revolutionary class leadership for the workers organizations.
9.- Against revisionism, opportunism, centrism of Trotskyist origin
Against opportunism and unprincipled revisionism: “The tragic defeats suffered by the world proletariat over a long period of years doomed the official organizations to yet greater conservatism and simultaneously sent disillusioned petty bourgeois “revolutionists” in pursuit of “new ways.” As always during epochs of reaction and decay, quacks and charlatans appear on all sides, desirous of revising the whole course of revolutionary thought. Instead of learning from the past, they “reject” it. Some discover the inconsistency of Marxism, others announce the downfall of Bolshevism. There are those who put responsibility upon revolutionary doctrine for the mistakes and crimes of those who betrayed it…” (The Transitional Program)
We reject the revision of the theory of permanent revolution and the transition program made by the Morenist current (by its deceased leader and founder Nahuel Moreno), and which today continues to be claimed by the LIT and the UIT.
Other organizations recognize Bolshevism and Trotskyism in words, but in their practical politics they permanently capitulate to the reformist parties, to the bourgeois “nationalist” parties or movements of the semi-colonial countries, to the “progressive” bourgeois parties, to the bureaucracy of trade unions and bourgeois democracy.
We Trotskyists “It takes its stand completely on Marxism as the only revolutionary doctrine that enables one to understand reality, unearth the cause behind the defeats and consciously prepare for victory. The Fourth International continues the tradition of Bolshevism which first showed the proletariat how to conquer power. The Fourth International sweeps away the quacks, charlatans and unsolicited teachers of morals.” (The Transitional Program)
10.- For a relationship according to Marxism, of the party with the working class and the mass movement: against ultra-leftism, “left” bureaucratism and sectarianism
Against sectarianism and ultra-leftism. We reject the petty-bourgeois revolutionism that formulates “very revolutionary” but sterile slogans since they do not adjust to the real situation of the class struggle, as the FLTI does for example. We reject the refusal to join the real organizations of the mass movement or to replace them with the fiction of the so-called “red unions”. Bolshevism was not only forged in the struggle against opportunism, but also against petty-bourgeois revolutionism, which rejected the need to take class forces into account with strict objectivity before undertaking any political action.
We also reject sectarianism. “At their base lies a refusal to struggle for partial and transitional demands, i.e., for the elementary interests and needs of the working masses, as they are today. Preparing for the revolution means to the sectarians, convincing themselves of the superiority of socialism.” “The political prostration of sectarianism serves to complement, shadow-like, the prostration of opportunism, revealing no revolutionary vistas. In practical politics, sectarians unite with opportunists, particularly with centrists, every time in the struggle against Marxism.” (The Transitional Program)
On the other hand, we must fight the organizations that privilege their party interests, over the interests of the struggles of the workers’ movement and of the masses, trying to impose their positions with bureaucratic methods, although justifying them with leftist objectives.
Written on July 9, 2019 and with corrections and additions on December 8, 2021 with the incorporation of the Bolivian comrades to the Committee.
Although the issues related to the international situation have undergone changes over time, we believe that the central characterizations remain valid, so we decided to keep the original text as the basis of the declaration of the Committee’s constitution.