For the Immediate Refounding of the Fourth International


The extensive nature and the depth of the world crisis of capitalism proves that it is a question of a social regime which is only just surviving, the objective conditions of its revolutionary substitution by socialism having already matured a long time ago. As the programme of the Fourth International affirms, those conditions, in fact, have already begun to rot: the failure of the proletariat to put an end to capitalism when its historical exhaustion was evident, determined that it would suffer and that it would continue top suffer its rotteness on an unheard of scale.


In the crisis of capitalism the destiny of humanity is gambled, which depends, ultimately, on the capacity of the proletariat to organize itself politically in order to put a stop to wage slavery, destroying the bourgeois state. The efforts of the working class to put in place the revolutionary party, however, are questioned constantly by competition between these same workers for daily survival. The bureaucratisation of the labour organizations is an expression of this process, basing itself  on the privileges which one layer of the working class conquered, transforming itself into an agent of capital in the ranks of the labour movement.


The political organization of the workers' vanguard, on an international scale, is thus the condition of the continuity of the struggle of the proletariat against capital, and of its final victory. The political bases of that organization have been launched 150 years ago, when the Communist Manifesto gave form to the conscious programme of the working class, and it is projected in our century with Bolshevism, the leading tendency of the October Revolution, whose continuity against the Stalinist degeneration was guaranteed by the Fourth International and the Transitional Programme, founded 60 years ago by Leon Trotsky.


Beginning, in 1997, a call was made by a group of Trotskyist organizations and parties for the refounding of the Fourth International, echoing not only this historical continuity, but also the urgency of the political tasks posed by the workers' vanguard on a  world scale. On the basis of the solid foundations of the Transitional Program, an analysis of the world crisis was carried out and the political premises of this task in the current period were posed: the fight for the dictatorship of the proletariat, the world character of the revolution, the necessity of the political and social revolution in the old workers' bureaucratised states, the validity of the Workers' International, the independence of  the class in the face of the centre-left manoeuvres and popular fronts of the bourgeoisie and the bureaucracy, the construction of the party based on the method and the program of  transitional demands.


For an International Conference


The world crisis advances with extraordinary speed, determining the step from  financial crisis to the economic and political crisis, and from this to the very revolution, in the points of the planet in which it takes a more decisive character (Asia). In the workers and the traditional left organizations, including in the currents that call themselves Trotskyist, new developments and divisions take place, in which, in a more or less clear way, more or less consciously, the central questions of the program and the revolutionary organization are put at stake, at the national and international level.

The growth of left fractions in the communist parties, especially in Europe, is part of this process. In Eastern Europe, the former USSR and the Balkans, the social decomposition, the war and the workers' reaction makes the debate worse in the bosom of the workers and left organizations. In Asia, the imminence of the revolution poses unavoidable questions to all the political leaderships. In the USA, the recent strikes (UPS, graficos?) poses a turn in the workers' struggle, which rebounds in the unions and in the embryonic Labour Party. In Latin America, the rupture with the bourgeoisie spreads becoming a question of survival for the workers' and left organizations. In Brazil, a part of the left of the PT declared that it is not going to vote for Lula and another part does not accept a  vote imposed by Brizola for a [estadual?] candidate, opening a wide crisis.

In Trotskyist currents, like the LIT, splits are produced in relation to the validity of the Fourth International. Lutte Ouvrière has changed its position in front of the liquidationism of the LCR, representative of the "Unified Secretariat of the Fourth International," characterizing it as "morally and politically, no longer an organization that calls itself a a party of communism." These crisiss enlarge the political base of the debate on the Fourth International.

In front of the whole world vanguard in struggle, the question is posed of how the international working class will face the world crisis. We call for the organization of an International Conference of Workers and the Class Struggle Left, in order to discuss the program and the political organization of the workers in the face of the challenges that are posed by this crisis. We begin from the need of the labour movement for a programme that expounds the tendency to revolutionary crises and the necessity of uniting politically the vanguard in order to give an impulse to workers' parties all over the world, to give an orientation to the struggles and overcome the centre-left and the popular fronts, in order to build a Workers' International to fight for workers' governments. We call for the organization of an international  workers' assembly in order to open a new course to those whose experience leads to the posing of the question of the independent revolutionary organization. After 150 years of the Communist Manifesto, its historical watchword: "Proletarians of the world, unite" is posed with more force than ever!


(Text approved  30/ 5/ 98)


Political resolution approved in the international meeting realised in Buenos Aires between the 27th and 30th May 1998.


International Trotskyist Opposition, Workers Revolutionary Party (Greece), Partido Obrero (Argentina), Revolutionary Marxist Association/'Proposta' (Italy), Partido da Causa Operaria (Brazil), Oposicion Trotskista del POR (Bolivia), Partido de los Trabajadores (Uruguay),  Trotskyist League (United States) and Colectivo En Defensa del Marxismo (Spain)