AMENDMENTS TO THE DRAFT "MANIFESTO OF THE FOURTH INTERNATIONAL"
Presented by the
Comrades Who Signed the "Appeal for the Establishment
of a Left Tendency in the Fourth International for the XIII World Congress"
Section 11 ("No socialism without revolution..."). Replace paragraphs 11.5 and 11.6 with the following:
11.5 The whole history of the class struggle and of revolutionary processes during the last decades has confirmed in a clear manner that the crisis of humanity is reduced to the crisis of proletarian leadership. The absence of the subjective, conscious ! factor, of a revolutionary Marxist leadership rooted in the masses, has prevented the mass uprisings and social mobilizations from advancing towards the revolutionary overthrow of the existing regimes and the realization of workers' power, in the perspectiv! e of the international socialist revolution.
In Eastern Europe, the action of the masses has had a central role in the destruction of Stalinist rule, from the big popular mobilizations to the insurrection of the Rumanian workers and youth against the Ceausescu regime. However, the absence of a vangua! rd leadership and the weakness of the revolutionary Marxist forces internationally -- combined with the weight of the defeats suffered in previous antibureaucratic revolutionary mobilizations -- has led to a profound disorientation in the working class, wit! h confusion and disarray, even in the vanguard, around programmatic elements and consciousness developed during previous revolutions.
In the imperialist states, the movements of the working class have suffered important defeats since the mid-1970s, not so much because of the intrinsic strength of the bourgeoisie, but rather because of the policies of the social-democratic and Stalinist l! eaderships. It is, therefore, on the basis of the analysis of these defeats and the lessons drawn from them that we will have to bring about the necessary unification between the old workers' movement and the new generations of the working world, among whom! immigrant workers will have a prominent central role.
In the colonial and semicolonial world -- the weak link of the imperialist chain -- mass revolutionary processes have developed which, in some instances, have overthrown the old regimes, in spite of the support accorded them by imperialism. However, these ! revolutions have been taken over by nationalist, populist or openly reactionary (Iran) leaderships, which have led them into an impasse or to new defeats. Even in the most radical revolutions, as in Cuba and, in different forms, in Nicaragua, Angola and Moz! ambique, the defeats of the revolution -- whether by imperialism retaking control or by bureaucratic degeneration -- demonstrate concretely the consequences for the masses of the absence of revolutionary leadership.
All the events of these decades contradict the prevailing demagogy about the "impossibility of revolution." In the most diverse situations, the masses have shown their readiness to fight and take risks in order to change the existing state of affairs. The m! ass revolutionary experiences have developed important demands, programmatic directions, and methods of struggle which revolutionary vanguard militants must consider and incorporate into their own program. New mass sectors are mobilizing: from an unpreceden! ted extension of the struggle of women for their liberation, to the struggle of ethnic minorities against racism, to the new struggle of gay men and lesbians against sexualphobic moralism.
The defeat of the struggle of the proletariat and the oppressed certainly has been due in some cases to the strength of the class enemy, but more often the main problem has been the deceptions and diversions of the traditional leaderships. History confirms ! the absolute necessity of building in every country Leninist parties made up of revolutionary cadres, rooted in the mass movements and in their vanguard, parties which must have at their center a conception of the hegemony of the proletariat in the revoluti! onary process -- starting from the central role of the industrial working class in the class struggle -- and base themselves on the perspective of the "revolutionary break," of mass insurrection, of the power of the workers' councils.
11.6 The objective situation of the class struggle and the relationship of forces in the world today is certainly difficult. Yet, at the same time, many new possibilities are opening up, exactly in this period, for building an alterative leadership o! f the oppressed masses and, hence, for the historical perspective of socialist revolution. There is developing, in fact, a profound crisis of confidence in the traditional organizations of the workers' and anti-imperialist movement.
Even bourgeois nationalism -- which still remains quite strong in some central countries, particularly of Latin America -- is in a difficult situation, in the face of the search for class independence by significant sectors of the workers' movement that it ! previously controlled.
International social-democracy -- which in some sectors is still taking advantage of the crisis of Stalinism -- has seen the failure of its own hopes of major advancement and -- especially in capitalist Europe -- is now increasingly seen by broad sectors of! its social and electoral base as a party of the existing order, profoundly integrated into it.
As for Stalinism, it is going through the most explosive crisis in its history. The collapse of the regimes of the East has had a shattering effect on the whole of international Stalinism, causing profound crises inside the old Communist Parties, which brin! g about processes of social-democratic integration or spark reactions of bureaucratic closing off, neither of which represents a real way out. In this framework, broad, radical, rank-and-file sectors of these parties are and feel themselves to be deprived o! f reference points in ideas, politics, and action.
The intermediate forces of various types between the traditional leaderships and revolutionary Marxism ("centrist") are generally going through a process of political crisis and organizational dissolution.
On an international scale, hundreds of thousands of vanguard militants are asking themselves about the reasons for the defeats and failures and about an alternative road to follow. To respond to the demand of these militants for identity and orientation and! to work for their regroupment in revolutionary parties is today at the same time a necessity and a major new opportunity.
Section 12 ("For new revolutionary parties..."). Replace the whole section with the following:
12. For a mass Fourth International
12.1 Text as in the original draft.
12.2 Our movement was born in the 1920s in defense of the perspective of the international revolution against the theory and bureaucratic practice of "socialism in one country." Internationalism is certainly built on active solidarity in struggle wit! h the workers and the oppressed of the whole world, but its material foundation is the international character of the socialist perspective, in accordance with the basic stance of Marxism since its origin. One of the worst crimes of Stalinism is having conf! used this perspective in the consciousness of the broad vanguard of the workers' movement, breaking with the previous tradition.
As Marx and Engels affirmed, the class struggle is national in form and international in content. If that was true 140 years ago, it is even more evidently true today, in the conditions of the contemporary world. The impasse and failure of the national revo! lutions demonstrate, moreover, that there is no real historical progress towards socialism without revolutionary leaderships which understand this truth.
All this underlies the urgent need for a common international program and a common, democratic-centralist international organization, which, starting from a common perspective, can unify the workers.
12.3 The struggle against bourgeois ideology inside the workers' movement is a central task of revolutionaries. One of the most evident expressions of the influence of this ideology is the assumption of an essentially national viewpoint and orientati! on, even among radical sectors of the workers' movement. The assumption of a national viewpoint inevitably is linked to the renunciation of a coherent revolutionary program.
This rejection of an international perspective is expressed at different levels. It is expressed in the political nature and orientation of the intermediate (centrist) organizations, whose national political outlook is not an insufficiently revolutionary st! ance, but an organic aspect of an inconsistent general perspective. It is also expressed in the political orientation and psychology of broad sectors of the masses.
To raise the consciousness of the masses and the broad vanguard to an international view of the class struggle and its perspectives and to win to revolutionary Marxism and its international program the best sectors of the centrist organizations are essentia! l ways to build a real alterative political leadership.
That is why the struggle against centrism has represented a central aspect of the orientation of the Fourth International since its formation.
12.4 Today, the Fourth International constitutes, in fact, the only international organization that bases itself on the perspective of the world socialist revolution. This uniqueness is not accidental, but is the direct product of its program, which ! makes it the only consistently revolutionary current in the workers' movement.
Certainly, our program can and must be continually enriched, developed and articulated in reference to the evolution of historical experience. But its essential bases remain firm: the international socialist ("permanent") revolution as the solution to the w! orld social crisis; the struggle for the dictatorship of the proletariat in the form of the democracy of workers' councils; the development of a democratically planned economy on an international scale; the perspective of the insurrectional revolutionary br! eak and the destruction of the old bourgeois or bureaucratic state; the building of vanguard parties rooted in the working class as the irreplaceable political leadership of the revolutionary processes; the adoption of transitional demands as the method of ! approaching the class struggle.
The development and building of the Fourth International as a mass International is, therefore, the only real perspective for resolving the crisis of leadership of the workers' and anti-imperialist movement.
Obviously, the process of building the Fourth International will be a complex process, which on the national level will have to be confronted with the necessary flexibility, and will involve the most open political confrontation with the other more radical ! tendencies in the workers' and anti-imperialist movement. In particular national situations, it will have to pass through the forms of regroupment or entry into other, broader organizations of the workers' movement, to win them to revolutionary Marxism. All! this without ever abandoning the indispensable condition of maintaining the political and, in the given forms (tendencies, currents, associations, etc.), also the organizational independence of those who already recognize the program of the Fourth Internat! ional.
We do not hide that, in the long struggle against the current to defend and develop the revolutionary Marxist perspective, our International has committed errors. We are conscious of our present organizational weakness. History has provoked painful splits, ! with the result that many Fourth Internationalist militants are today outside our organization. That is why we set as a goal, as one of our central and priority tasks, the regroupment once again inside a single international organization of the essential bo! dy of Trotskyist militants.
But, despite the difficulty and the limits of our past experience, we know that the only solution for the proletariat and the oppressed is the building of an International based on our program, that is, the building of a mass Fourth International.
We offer this program and this banner to the hundreds of thousands of militants who, in the centrist organizations, in the Stalinist parties in crisis, in the radical nationalist organizations, in the mass movements, are searching for the way to overturn th! e old society.
12.5 The barbarism of imperialist war, famine and the oppression of whole continents, the ever more serious environmental devastation, the decline in social conditions and the quality of life, even in the imperialist countries, the intensification of! racism, the continuing oppression of women, in addition to the thousand other forms of oppression and marginalization, depict the reality of a rotten system incapable of securing to humanity a perspective of real progress.
The socialist revolution is, therefore, on the agenda.
The Fourth International declares its intention to organize in its ranks all those who want to struggle for this perspective of liberation for the men and women of all the world.