crisis of imperialism and the people's rebellions are growing
Workers and the oppressed, we are confronted with new challenges
Declaration of the Movementfor the Refoundation of the Fourth International
The Coordinating Committee of the Movement for the Refoundation of the Fourth International meeting in Rome, Italy on November 23-25, 2003 calls all revolutionary organizations and fighters of the international working class and of the oppressed popular masses to join our common struggle at the International Congress for the Refoundation of the Fourth International, which will take place in Buenos Aires, Argentina on April 20-22, 2004.
All the developments in the world situation over the last six months following our initial Call demonstrate the objective necessity of such a Congress for the regroupment of the international revolutionary vanguard forces. U.S. imperialism and its coalition of willing accomplices have been sucked into the quagmire of occupied and resisting Iraq. The same fate faces the U.S. strategy of an "indefinite war on terror" whose goal was, by invading and occupying Iraq, to reshape the political map of the Middle East and reorganize international relations between States and classes in the post Cold War world according to U.S. capitalist interests and the needs of the capitalist system’s crisis.
The continuous and escalating popular resistance of the Iraqi people against the Occupation forces transforms Iraq into a base for the imperialist reorganization of the Middle East into a major factor of disorganization and destabilization in the region and internationally, from Indonesia and the Philippines to Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
In occupied Palestine, Bush’s "Road Map" to end the Intifada and impose imperialist Zionist rule over the Palestinian masses, directly connected from the first moment with the war against Iraq, has failed together with the collaborationist government of Abu Mazen. The infamous Wall of shame that the Sharon Zionist apartheid regime is building and the huge economic crisis with its devastating effects on the living conditions of the Israeli Jews themselves are manifestations of the putrefaction of the Zionist scheme. The so called "Geneva Peace Plan" drafted by a section of the Labor Zionists and of the Palestinian bourgeois leaders is a reactionary attempt not only to revive the Oslo agreement in the terms most unfavorable for Palestinian national aspirations, but above all to help the U.S. imperialists and their Zionist allies in the deadly impasse they face in Iraq and the Middle East as a whole.
The destabilization produced by the war fuelled the unresolved crisis in post Soviet Russia and in the entire former space of the ex-USSR. The offensive of the Putin regime against a sector of the oligarchs, the fall of the Center Left in Croatia and the collapse of the Shevardnadze regime in Georgia manifest new convulsions in the process of capitalist restoration that have become, in their turn, a factor of the world crisis.
The threat of a "new Vietnam" for the United States deepens the political crisis inside the American Metropolis and its acolyte, the Blair government in the UK, divides the ruling classes, sharpens the conflict between Europe and the United States and gives impetus to the mass anti-war movement, which is still on the march after the historic world-wide mobilization of the 15th of February 2003, as shown by the massive 200.000 strong demonstration in London against the visit of Bush.
Imperialism's "indefinite war on terror" failed to open a way out for the crisis of the system, and neither did it terrorize the vast majority of the oppressed, but instead made the crisis even more intractable and accelerated the tendency towards revolutionary rebellions internationally.
Following a non stop series of rebellions, in Latin America --the backyard of U.S. imperialism-- against the IMF, the super-exploitation of global finance and the globalization of misery, in Ecuador in 2000, in Peru, in Venezuela against the coup orchestrated by U.S. imperialism and the local oligarchy, in Bolivia in 2000 and afterwards, above all in Argentina in December 2001, the revolutionary events that swept Bolivia in October 2003 represent a qualitative leap: the necessity and the possibility for the taking of power by a proletarian revolution supported by the poor peasantry and the indigenous population were posed in the most direct manner.
But the Bolivian revolution has exposed, also in the most direct manner, the counterrevolutionary role played in today’s conditions by the Center Left governments and their leftist ‘movementist’ allies to secure the continuity of the bourgeois democratic constitutional order of capitalism. Abstractions such as, for example, bourgeois democracy, ‘self-management’ and even indigenous rights are counter-posed to the ‘authoritarianism’ of Revolution and the necessity to break the State machine, above all the armed bodies of the ruling class, by means of the dictatorship of the proletariat.
The Lula government in Brazil, supported by the Kirchner government in Argentina, mediated with Evo Morales, the leader of MAS in Bolivia, the "constitutional way out" which established Mesa as President and prevented the workers and peasants in insurrection from taking power.
It is the same Lula government, so praised by the ‘alterglobalist’ gurus of the World Social Forum, which leads inside Brazil itself the most vicious neo-liberal attacks against pension rights, public education and the Movement of the Landless who are demanding agrarian reform. In the first 9 months of the Lula government 44 peasants were killed and leaders of the Brazilian MST like Jose Rainha were imprisoned and put on trial. In that government, the position of the Minister dealing precisely with the Agrarian Question is held by Miguel Rosseto, one of the leaders of ‘Democracia Socialista’, the Brazilian section of the so called ‘United Secretariat of the Fourth International’.
The United Secretariat, which still usurps the name of the revolutionary International founded by Leon Trotsky and his comrades in 1938, does not expel the class collaborationists and covers up for them, without opposing their presence inside the pro IMF neoliberal capitalist government and finding ‘positive aspects’ in the policies of the Lula government, particularly in its …international policies and its attitude to the …agrarian problem!
The ‘Brazilian’ policy of the United Secretariat is a continuation of its "home policies" in Europe and particularly in France, where its section, the Ligue Communiste Revolutionnaire, in its recent National Congress, has changed its Statutes abandoning even formally the reference to the strategic aim of the dictatorship of the proletariat...
...in a strategic surrender to the ruling class (formulation supported by Jorge Altamira and Michael Savas Matsas)
...in the name of a utopian and de facto classless "revolutionary democracy" - (formulation supported by Peter Johnson and Franco Grisolía) (1)
This change is absolutely consistent with the policies both in France, where in the name of defense of democracy they called for a vote for Chirac in the second round of the 2000 Presidential Elections, as well as internationally.
In the last World Congress of the USFI (as well as in the Congress of the LCR), it was declared that "the historical cycle opened by the October Revolution has drawn to a close" and that a new International will emerge through regroupments in the framework of the ‘non global’ or ‘alter-globalist’ ‘ movement of movements’ as its ‘political expression’ without being in continuity with the historical tradition in the working class through the First, Second, Third and Fourth Internationals and without having the form of a World Party of Socialist Revolution. The method and a program of transitional demands is rejected and replaced by a reformist program, by no program at all, or finally by the WSF ‘Charter of Porto Alegre’ (the "Call to the Social Movements").
The reality of "another world is possible" put forward by the movementist leaderships of the World Social Forum and the European Social Forum has clearly showed itself as illusory and in fact subordinate to the domination of international capital. This is true also, in particular, of the so-called "alternative" or "anti-capitalist" left, presented by the Italian Party of Communist Refoundation led by Fausto Bertinotti as the center of a new regroupment of left political forces at least in the European scenario. The rapid turn of Bertinotti in recent months toward unity with the Italian liberal center-left (the Olive coalition) with a perspective of a change in the bourgeois government shows that the perspective of the "European Anti-Capitalist Left" -- tailended by both the USec (LCR) and the IST (Socialist Workers Party of Great Britain) -- represents nothing but left flank cover for the policy of attacks on the working class put forward by the totality of social democracy and center-lefts variants.
The question is not simply to give political expression to the social movements nor to resolve the "crisis of representation" of the working class with the far left occupying the vacuum left by the bankruptcy of the traditional bureaucracies of the left, social democracy and Stalinism. The international working class itself under the impact of the current world crisis of capitalism has to become a class for itself fighting for its revolutionary dictatorship to open the road to a classless society. The struggle for the socialist revolution, for the dictatorship of the proletariat and the transition to world communism, and the building of the revolutionary International are indissolubly interconnected tasks of the working class, of its vanguard, and of all the oppressed.
The historic divergences with our struggle to re-found the Fourth International on the basis of the four principles of our Genoa Declaration of 1997 could not be sharper:
• We stress the actuality of the socialist revolution and of the dictatorship of the proletariat.
• We denounce all forms of class collaboration and of the ‘popular front’.
We stress the need for the Program of transitional demands, based on the method
of the founding program of the Fourth International, which links the immediate
struggles with the systematic mobilization of the masses for the socialist
• We stress that the world socialist revolution that opened its circle in October 1917 in Russia has not ended; our epoch is the epoch of the imperialist decline of capitalism and of transition to world communism, an epoch of wars and revolutions, as Iraq and Bolivia remind us. A revolutionary International of the proletariat and the oppressed is needed now more than ever before; and this International cannot but be based on a revolutionary program and upon all the experience in the struggle for emancipation, not upon historical amnesia nor upon the lack of a program, which always facilitates class collaboration and leads inescapably to treason and to defeat. For these reasons, we propose to all vanguard revolutionary forces, coming from both Trotskyist and non Trotskyist traditions, that the new International should be a re-founded Fourth International.
The speed of world developments makes it necessary for us to accelerate our struggle. The World Congress next April in Buenos Aires should be at the center of the conscious preparations of all revolutionaries, both inside and outside the framework of the MRFI. The program and the next steps towards the International are the more urgent tasks of this historical moment in every country and on every continent.
Coordinating Committee of the Movement for the Refoundation of the Fourth International (MRFI)
Rome, November 25, 2003
(1) These are two distinct political formulations for the end of the paragraph they follow