Statement on the 4th International (August 2005)

The prolonged long repression wave of the capitalist system, which we are dealing with in our times, the domination of the neo-liberal way of management in almost all bourgeois governments, the reinforcement of world and regional instruments of bourgeoisie (World Bank, IMF, WTO, NATO, EU, NAFTA, ALCA, etc) along with the “war capitalism” of the USA, the remilitarization of Europe, the extreme shrinkage of Stalinist and social-democratic influence on labour movement (especially after the fall of the Stalinist regimes in Eastern Europe and the surrender of social-democracy to the neo-liberal ideology) form a very different world from that of the 1980s, when the discussion about our adjustment to the new, at the time, reality was started by the 4th International leadership, under the pressure which was created by the retreat of the revolutionary movement of ’68.

Just a few years after the fall of Berlin Wall, the Zapatists, the French December of ’95, Euromarches, the glorious strikes in Europe and Latin America, the World Social Forum, the anti-global and anti-war movements crushed the depressing ideological superiority of neo-liberalism. Today, internationalism is qualitively superior in the movement compared to any other period. By the last decade, mass movement internationalism went as far as anti-imperialism. Only the revolutionary Marxists extended it to the need for an international expansion of the socialist revolutions and the building up of the global party of the 4th International, as it is impossible for socialism to be built up in only one country.

Nowadays, internationalism can be the result of every struggle objective, for every small or big national movement. Every demand against national governments leads to a conflict with the demands of some world organization or the interests of a multinational company.

In the current phase of recomposition and reconstruction of labour movement, the forces of the 4th International current have played the decisive and the most essential role in many countries around the world. Trotskists’ “persistence” in analysing reality with the tools of revolutionary Marxism not only saved our current, when other currents of labour movement shrank or even disappeared (Maoists, Castrists, Gevarians etc), but it also gave our current an unprecedented glamour (which ideologically may approach even the time when Trotsky was still alive and organizationally it certainly is incomparable- also expressed through the electoral results in a number of countries).

The need for a world revolutionary labour party of the 4th International is almost self-evident in the current conjuncture. Since the 13th Congress, there has been presented the idea of the 4th International being an International of its members. This means the transformation of the International into an actual global party which will be: a) capable of organizing in its ranks every pioneer militant who agrees with our statutes principles. b) capable of gathering and spreading the political experience from the struggles throughout planet. c) a useful tool for every social struggle. d) an effective guiding tool within every complicated national case. Although this concept presupposed a long adjusting process (mainly due to having flagged our bonds during the last years and having weakened our leadership bodies) and was undoubtedly excessive as it underestimated the necessity of building up “national” leaderships and parties, it indicated, however, the importance that building up the global party of the 4th International has.

Unfortunately, the United Secretariat leadership has imposed the exactly opposite direction. In the 15th Congress of the 4th International there have been two breakthroughs/ breaks with the policies that the 4th International has had since its establishment.

The changes done in its statutes are flagging our bonds even more, abolishing democratic centralization and turning the 4th International from a “world party of the socialist revolution” into a federation of independent organizations which do not even have to call themselves sections nor to accept even the most fundamental ideological and political principles of 4th internationalism.

For the first time, there is a deliberate ambiguity whether the objective is to build up 4th International sections or anti-capitalist parties. In fact, many sections (or however they can be called) are slipping into very dangerous alliances, which end up in centrist parties or even alliances with social-liberal advocates of neo-liberalism.

It is a fact that these two major changes have been incubated within the 4th International for the last 20 years. The self-dissolution of sections (through their merging with other organizations) in order to create anti-capitalist sections had disastrous effects in a number of countries (Germany, Spain, Mexico and so on) while a situation of laxity prevailed in the International. Nevertheless, there had never been any attempt to change the statutes or pose the building up of anti-capitalist parties as our exclusive objective.
A typical example of these two decisive changes is the fact that a member of the Brazilian section has become minister of the Cabinet in a government that the International itself considers neoliberal. Despite the political conviction during the Congress, there has not been taken, yet, any organizational measure (Could there have been any, after the recent changes in the statutes?). Moreover, the recent dissolution/ transformation of the Portuguese section into a union/current inside the Left Block will lead, in our opinion, to the destruction of another historic base of 4th internationalism in Europe. The disappearance of any report on the Portuguese section from the site of the 4th International is indicative of that fact. More than that, the platform of RESPECT, which our comrades energetically participate in, is on the borderline of a petit bourgeois platform, quite far even from that of the Socialist Alliance.We, also, have to add that we have reservations concerning the manipulation of major issues by the 4th International leadership, which we attribute to lack of democratic coherence, organizational weaknesses, and the keen euro-centralism of the bodies which however, have to be discussed and resolved.

1. There seems to be a growing tendency of tolerance, or discussion about showing it, towards participating in “petit bourgeois” governments (Italy, Portugal, Spain, Brazil).
2. For a number of issues, our leadership has appeared apologetic to Imperialism (Yugoslavia) or adopting a dangerous Democratism (Palestine, Cyprus).

For these reasons, during this last period, the Organization of Communists Internationalists of Greece (OΚDE) is trying to warm up the contact of Greek Trotkists with comrades and sections of other countries in an attempt to have an honest discussion between comrades about the problems that our current faces today so as to prevent a self-destructive course of the hope for a victorious course towards socialism, which comrade Trotsky gave to labour movement in 1938, when he established the 4th International.

The Central Commitee of OKDE
(Organization of Communists Internationalists – Greece)