Ten years ago, in March 2008, the National Coordination of the Socialist Left Movement (internal tendency of PSOL) published “The actuality of socialism and the tasks of revolutionaries”, a set of theoretical and political theses. Its general lines would provide a theoretical reference and a practical guide for our intervention in the processes that would be opened or deepened in the period after the emergence of the greatest crisis of capitalism since 1929. In 2018 we repeated these theses again with the conviction that there are many notes there whose validity remains, although a good part of the concrete cases studied have been substantially modified. We believe that discussing the scope and limits of their successes can contribute to the formation of the new generations of our militants.
Theoretical and political theses of MES/PSOL
Left Socialist Movement/Socialism and Liberty Party
The Actuality of Socialism and the tasks of the revolutionists in this period
Translated by Lucia Arieira
“History as a whole, and the history of revolutions in particular, is always richer in content, more varied, more multiform, more lively and ingenious than is imagined by even the best parties, the most class-conscious vanguards of the most advanced classes. (…) Two very important practical conclusions follow from this: first, that in order to accomplish its task the revolutionary class must be able to master all forms or aspects of social activity without exception (completing after the capture of political power — sometimes at great risk and with very great danger—what it did not complete before the capture of power); second, that the revolutionary class must be prepared for the most rapid and brusque replacement of one form by another”.
Lenin, “Left-wing communism: an infantile disorder”.
I – The actuality of the socialist revolution
II – A needed update
III – The revolutionary situations and revolutions of the twentieth century
• The European revolutionary situation enabled by the First World War and the Russian Revolution of 1917
• The revolutionary world situation of post war in 1945
• The revolutions of 1968
• The political revolution and the fall of Stalinist dictatorships in 1989
IV – An equivocal simplification of the definition of Lenin’s revolutionary situation
V – The actuality of the revolutionary period
VI – The big changes started in the 80s of the twentieth century
VII – Globalization as a new phase of imperialism defined by Lenin
VIII – China, the role its integration play in globalization in the midst of the decline of the U.S.
IX – The financial crisis in the U.S. and its consequences
X – The central processes of class struggle
XI – Latin America and the new governments; Venezuela – the most advanced and key point
XII – About the policy of socialists in underdeveloped countries
XIII – Sides in the revolutionaries policies
XV – The regroupment of socialists and the issue of building the party
XV – The internationalism and the construction of the International in this new period
I – The actuality of the Socialist Revolution
1 Every day the capitalist system shows that its functioning logic has nothing to do with the attendance of the needs of most men and women. Its determinations make it clear its impossibility of solving the problems of humanity. In the midst of a technological revolution (biotechnology, informatics, communications) this system is leading humanity to the worst crisis of its history. As Marx has indicated, capital accumulates itself by “sapping the original sources of all wealth – soil and and the labourer”. (“The Capital”, book 1)
The United Nations committee made a grave diagnosis, which includes the progressive increase of the sea level due to global warming, and it is the most recent data expressing the contradiction of this system in which economic rationality of the logic of profit is related to the irrationality against collective interests. It is a system that cannot be self regulated in order to avoid the disasters that strikes us with its increasing attacks to earth and man, being the exploited poor those who suffer the most. The African continent is today one of its most evident victim. But this is a global process. Each continent has its pockets of poverty in increasing proportions.
As Chesnais says: “in some regions the superposition of economic processes and climate changes means that things are much more serious. In such regions, exploited and dominated people face a dreadful combination of adverse economic and ecological mechanisms, related in particular to climate changes. The result of this combined action is to prevent millions of children, women and men from accessing the basic condition of life, expropriating little that remains in some parts of the world and furthermore destroying the environment in which its collective social process of reproduction took place.”
This diagnosis is what places the humanity’s historical disjunction “socialism or barbarism” as something concrete and actual. Capitalism cannot present humanity with progressive reforms and it is not able of improving this situation and reverting this destructive dynamics. Either you go towards socialism or you go back to barbarism.
2 At the same time, the global history of class struggle indicates that it is impossible to change the social structure without a mass mobilization transformed into revolutionary force. Ninety years after the Great Russian Revolution, there is no doubt that it was the most important fact of the last century. It buried the idea of an evolutionary change without social revolution. It had shown that the exploited workers and people are able to create forms of organization in order to develop its own potential as a revolutionary social force. Although Russia ended up by restoring capitalism, it taught us that it is only possible to destroy the dominant class by a revolution; that socialism can only be achieved through the revolutionary action of the masses and by workers and people taking power. To fight for political power it is also needed a political subject, a revolutionary organization capable of centralizing the action of the masses and indicating the right moment to fight for power.
Lukács wrote in his book entitled: “Lenin: A Study in the Unity of His Thought” that “Today we know that this was Marx’s greatness. From the structure of the English factory system he identified and explained all the decisive tendencies of modern capitalism. He always pictured capitalist development as a whole. This enabled him to see both its totality in any one of its phenomena, and the dynamic of its structure. However, there are today only few who know that Lenin did for our time what Marx did for the whole of capitalist development. In the problems of the development of modern Russia – from those of the beginnings of capitalism in a semi-feudal absolutist state to those of establishing socialism in a backward peasant country – Lenin always saw the problems of the age as a whole: the onset of the last phase of capitalism and the possibilities of turning the now inevitable final struggle between bourgeoisie and proletariat in favor of the proletariat – of human salvation (…) The actuality of the revolution: this is the core of Lenin’s thought and his decisive link with Marx”.
3 Marxism is more than a theory, an interpretation of the world or even a program that synthesizes the historical experience of class struggle. It is, first of all, a social movement that fights for socialism, which is the transformation of the world through revolution. There is a scientific theory in which it is based upon to build its program and a revolutionary policy to intervene at any stage of the struggle of classes. That is why the theory and program of Marxism are a live process, product of a revolutionary praxis, or unity between theory and practice. It is at the same time a dynamic and open process, since the world, its objective and subjective conditions also change over the time. Reality is always richer than theoretical schemes. “All theory is gray, and the Golden tree of life is green” as Goethe wrote in Fausto.
4 We update a revolutionary policy for our times, based on these theoretical tools of which Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky were the main architects. The Communist Manifesto, by Marx and Engels still is in its essence, the x-ray and the dynamics of the capitalist society, its contradictions and the need for a violent revolution of the proletariat to the seizure of power and the construction of another society in its historical period. Lenin was the strategist and main politician of the Socialist Revolution. Leninism and the Third International (in the resolutions of its first four congresses) condensed much of the political frame of the revolutionists. Later Trotsky had the task of defending this program in the adverse moments of class struggle and constructing the diagnosis of the bureaucratization of proletarian states.
5 We are a new political group under construction, claiming this theoretical background. Our historical origin and our political roots are in the Trotskyist ideology founded by Nahuel Moreno in the 40s in Argentina. His revolutionary practice, his tradition and his analyses were and still are a fundamental point for building and preparing our political action. MES, which cannot yet be considered Morenist – because among other things, Morenism as such does not exist nowadays unless in a fragmented way, – has this tradition as a point of reference. For us this tradition is the richest of the Latin American Trotskyism, characterized by its combative militancy and its fighting parties and its passion to seize the opportunities, as well as the boldness in theoretical and political reasoning of its most important leader: Nahuel Moreno.
II – A needed update
1There is no way of understanding what happens in any country on this planet if we don’t start by the international situation. As Immanuel Wallerstein says “We cannot understand what happens in the class struggle, in the production, in the structures of the states, without taking into account the fact that it occurs within the capitalist global system. This is what we call the unit of analysis. It is not the state or the nation but the global system.” (Interview to Pagina 50 newspaper PSOL number 2, October 2007). This capitalist global system in its imperialist stage has gone through different periods.
We live in a “new phase” or in a “new period” which began in the mid 80’s and it was consolidated during the 90’s. We are talking of a new phase or a new historical period for the magnitude of the processes we lived during these years. Chesnais – which is one of the militant economists and a socialist who has contributed the most to understand this process in terms of changes of the structure of capital – defines it as a new period of “liberalization, deregulation and the jump to the internationalization of capital …” (a quantitative and qualitative jump).
Indeed, it is the period in which capital reaches its greatest expansion as never before achieved, and at the same time, its major contradictions as a consequence of its own intrinsic crisis.
In this new period, it had occurred and have been occurring new processes that that did not happen as our masters predicted – a capitalist restoration in almost all of the workers’ states, from which derived the new role of China in the accumulation of capital, new kinds of war, new nationalisms, a contradictory situation of the class that lives from its own work, a class that grows in number, but at the same time is fragmented; the incorporation of other impoverished sectors and a wide range of forms of resistance and struggle.
Strive to understand this new period is not only an intellectual exercise, it is something necessary to intervene in the class struggle from the real correlation of forces between the classes in the world and also to examine how this worldwide event is expressed in different countries. Intervene in these countries and build a revolutionary organization.
2 Therefore, it is essential that we update our theoretical political tools. It is not an easy process. Face to the magnitude of the changes, two opposite tendencies took place. On the one hand, there is an opportunist adaptation, a neo-revisionism that has led to the abandonment of the socialist program in a large sector of the organizations and leaders emerged from the working class. On the other hand, a sector of the Marxist organizations crystallized dogmatic positions. These are sectors that merely repeat truths and general questions already written by our masters. Unable to examine reality as it presents itself, they force some of their elements to fit in their already defined theoretical and political schemes.
If, in the first case, this deviation led to a fully adapted reformism, in the other case, to a propagandist and sectarian policy which repeats general truths without connection to reality and the correlation of forces between classes.
Therefore, it is necessary to fight against opportunism and sectarianism. These theses intend to be a contribution to this general formulation that is ongoing, with the collaboration of other groups and political personalities.
3 In our case, we have to go back to the reasoning of the masters, particularly to what we have learned from Moreno. Even if to some militants it seems too fundamentalist, it is our obligation, because many of the “usual” tools from which we historically formed ourselves and were our points of departure, came from the thoughts that follow:
The characterization that there is a revolutionary situation in the world in which occurs revolutions even if power is not taken;
The definition that all leaderships that are not revolutionary are part of a global counter-revolutionary front, which explains why the revolutions are repressed and/or betrayed;
The transformation of the dynamic from February to October of the Russian Revolution into a model, whereas all the insurrectionary or semi-insurrectionary movement is a February revolution that can open up to the October process;
The orientation of the International building only around the development of a Party that will succeed in the class struggle;
The construction of the Party from the accumulation originated mainly from the denouncement of the leaderships and confrontation;
A party regimen politically homogeneous.
These categories have been and are still being used by political organizations 21 years after Moreno’s death. They are increasingly unable to serve as tools for the understanding of reality, and had turned themselves into rigid and immutable dogmas by which ones intend to respond to the current reality. It has lead to gross errors, as never seen before. The “NO” or invalid vote in Venezuelan plebiscite, in December 2007, was one of the most recent and serious mistakes.
4 Only the critical review of these categories and some new reasoning enabled us to seek the understanding of today’s class struggle and move forward in our intervention, particularly, in two fundamental aspects. First of all, defining the politics to build the party, based on the unification and confluence of the socialist forces, which allowed, therefore, the foundation and building of PSOL in Brazil, and also allowed us to revalue the importance of democratic and anti-imperialist imperatives for this period. As a result, redeem the front policy and unity of action with the anti-imperialist movements in our continent, as applied by our old political organization in the 50-70’s; thus we gained a better understanding of the situation in Bolivia, Venezuela and Ecuador, adopting a better strategy for action.
III – The Revolutionary situations and revolutions of the twentieth century
The European revolutionary situation enabled by the First World War and the Russian Revolution of 1917
1 It is necessary to locate this new period in the context of the development of capitalism when it begins its imperialist phase at the end of the nineteenth century and beginning of this century. Lenin was not only the great strategist of the most important socialist revolution occurred in history; he was also the one who had the greatest capacity to make two fundamental diagnoses. In the spring of 1916, following the studies of other Marxists as Hilferding, he defined a new stage of capitalism, the imperialism, in his book “Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism”. He described the new economic traits in relation to the original stage of mercantile capitalism and free competition: concentration of production and monopolies, merger of the banking with the industrial capital, export of capital, the division of the world among the great powers, and also described the place of imperialism in history as a “stage of decay, decomposition, the advance of the socialist revolution”.
2 Lenin not only shaped this definition of the structural evolution of capitalism – and we will come back to this subject later – that was essential to explain the First World War unleashed by the conquest of the global markets, but he also predicted a revolutionary situation in Russia and Europe. In 1915, with the beginning of First World War, Lenin wrote his famous definition of revolutionary situation: (1) when it is impossible for the ruling classes to maintain their rule without any change; when there is a crisis, in one form or another, among the “upper classes”, a crisis in the policy of the ruling class, leading to a fissure through which the discontent and indignation of the oppressed classes burst forth. For a revolution to take place, it is usually insufficient for “the lower classes not to want” to live in the old way; it is also necessary that “the upper classes should be unable” to live in the old way; (2) when the suffering and want of the oppressed classes have grown more acute than usual; (3) when, as a consequence of the above causes, there is a considerable increase in the activity of the masses, who uncomplainingly allow themselves to be robbed in “peace time”, but, in turbulent times, are drawn both by all the circumstances of the crisis and by the “upper classes” themselves into independent historical action.
3 This prognosis of Lenin was confirmed by reality. The First World War meant a shift of the imperialist power and opened a gap that allowed the revolutionary outbreak of the masses of workers and peasants of Europe. The Russian revolution of 1917 was not an isolated fact; we cannot explain it except as part of the revolutionary situation which was opened with the first war in the continent that was undoubtedly the economic, political and cultural center of the world. It was like a wave that reached Russia and Germany, the latter already a capitalist power which should divide the global power with England. The revolutionary wave was extended throughout Europe and there were revolutions in Hungary, Poland, Italy, Austria besides Germany, Russia and all countries that subsequently constituted the USSR.
4 In Russia, the existence of the Soviets (Councils of workers, peasants and soldiers) and a revolutionary party of combatants, formed in forty years of struggle, going through many experiences that shaped it, allowed the seizure of power. The German revolution, from the point of view of its objective forces, was even superior to the Russian. Amid the war, Germany was crossed over by soviets of workers and peasants. Even in Rhine, in one of its most important states, the soviet of workers and soldiers was in power. But it could not succeed due to the immaturity of the revolutionary party, which also explains the failure in other countries in Europe.
The party built by Lenin, shaped by the worker’s struggle and by the repression of the czarism, was tested successfully by the overall trial of 1905. It had showed its ability to use the law participating in the czarist Duma (parliament). It knew how to use all forms of struggle and could avoid distortions like the ones used by right wing economists, ultra-leftists, and others. It also went through different stages and organizational forms: the centralization stage around its newspaper, the more open party stage in the period of revolutionary ascent, the unity with the Mensheviks, from whom it separated as a party only in 1912, in the eve of the revolutionary ascent… If anything defines Leninism is its flexibility of tactics, its audacity to use them maintaining the revolutionary strategy.
5 The weariness produced by the long civil war, when Russia was invaded by 21 foreign armies, the isolation of the Russian revolution as a result of the failure of the European revolution started a thermidorian process in Russia that culminated in the bureaucratization of the Workers’ State. The rise of Hitler in Germany in 1933 is a conclusive fact that opened a two decades stage of counterrevolution, the cruelest period of contemporary history. The regimes of Hitler in Germany, Mussolini in Italy and Franco in Spain meant the annihilation of the workers’ organization by civil war techniques. It was also the period in which the Stalinism counterrevolutionary regime was also consolidated in Russia.
The revolutionary world situation of post war in 1945
6 The Second World War started in 1939 shows the irrational logic of the capitalist system that needs to destroy capital in order to accumulate it again. Once more it causes a shift in global order. It has different characteristics from the First War, because it combines a war between imperialist countries with a war against the USSR. Moreover, it is a peculiar inter-imperialist war, with the confrontation of allies against Hitler and Mussolini meaning a confrontation against fascism. If in the First War the revolutionary politics was undoubtedly for the revolutionary defeatist, in other words, the defeat of their own country in the war as a lesser evil, transforming the imperialist war into civil war, for Moreno the situation was more mediated.
He pointed out that Trotsky had not properly armed the Fourth International, by not taking into account this difference, that is, the fact that no one could argue the defeat of his own army, for instance, in England. In fact, the militants of the Forth were not defeatist. They have built along with the exploited masses and the democratic sectors of resistance, an action unit with the allies’ armies, against fascism. Ultimately, the victory against fascism meant a huge democratic triumph, a successful democratic revolution.
7 The defeat of Nazism by the Russian army in Stalingrad opened a new revolutionary situation that had a global character this time. In Central Europe countries which had been occupied by the Red Army (Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Poland) the bourgeoisie ended up being expropriated. The same occurred in Yugoslavia where Tito guerrilla had defeated Nazism. The most important revolution occurred in China, where the peasant army led by Mao Tse Tung Communist Party had an important role in the defeat of the Japanese invasion and the Kuomintang nationalist army (an America’s ally), and ended up taking over power. Following the policy of communist parties in French and Italy, the workers did not take the power. The revolution in Greece was also betrayed. Yet the revolutions of the post war meant a great triumph of the global revolution since capitalism was expropriated from one third of humanity. From this revolutionary situation also occurred the independence of Egypt and India and bourgeois nationalist governments emerged in Latin America with Peronism in Argentina, with Arbenz in Guatemala, among others. In Bolivia, with the peak of the Revolutionary Nationalist Movement (MNR), a powerful strengthening of miner workers with a major Trotskyism influence takes place. In 1952, in response to a coup d’état that prevented the MRN to take power after winning the elections, there was a proletarian revolution. The mining militia defeated the army, the powerful Central Obrera Boliviana (COB) was formed, in which Trotskyism had a great influence. However, the revolutionary movement ended up handing the power to the RNM.
8 The difference of the Russian revolution to those of the post-war period was that the proletariat in the latter was not the main social actor. In China it was the peasantry, in Yugoslavia it was the popular and peasant guerrillas. The defeated Bolivian revolution was an exception. All of them were struggles for national liberation that created governments of class coalition that soon ended up expropriating capital when the bourgeoisie wanted to dissuade the Communist Parties with whom they shared power.
From the Russian revolution the Third International was created, grouping the socialists’ revolutionary organizations with worldwide influence on the masses. When Trotsky founded the Forth International in 1938, following the reasoning of the first revolutionary wave, he prognosticated that the inevitable World War which was neighboring would repeat the situation of the First and the Fourth International and would establish itself as an organization of the masses. But the post-war revolutions strengthened the bureaucratic apparatus that got hold of power in the USSR. In the post-war period, it extended its direct and indirect sphere of influence upon all revolutionary process as it assimilated the leaderships that had a revolutionary role, putting a brake to the coexistence policy with imperialism. The Forth International established itself as a vanguard organization that had the huge merit of defending the revolutionary program.
9 In the post-war, American imperialism became predominant, replacing England definitely. So there was a new division of the world after the pact of Yalta: two-thirds under the U.S. control and one third under the Soviet control. This pact meant the compliance with the zones of influence through the so-called “peaceful coexistence.” The Russian bureaucracy stopped every revolutionary attempt in the U.S. area of influence, which in turn, would comply with the area of influence of the Stalinist apparatus. The U.S. used its political and economic power to control the processes. The bureaucracy played a nefarious role of putting a brake in the revolution in strategic capitalist countries.
The great Cuban Revolution occurred at the margin and against the policy of the Communist Party of Cuba. But then the isolation imposed by imperialist encirclement and even the internal process on the island led to its absorption by the Moscow apparatus.
10 The global economy kept on being controlled by the imperialism but at the same time it had its borders limited as a result of the expropriation of the bourgeoisie in the workers’ states. If it is true that it fulfilled a counterrevolutionary role it was at the same time contradictory, because it was the apparatus of the states whose social fundamental principle was not capitalist. One can not explain that Cuba expropriated the bourgeoisie without taking into account the existence of the so-called Soviet bloc.
The revolutions of 1968
11 In 1968 a new wave of global revolution questioned the status quo of Yalta. It was the year of “French May”, a student uprising which was so radical that it overturned the leadership of the French Communist Party and lead to a general strike that paralyzed France for a month. This rise of the students occurred worldwide. Mexico, for example, had a powerful students’ strike in 1968, and even Brazil was part of this wave, although with much less intensity, with a public demonstration of 100 thousand in Rio de Janeiro. In this period occurs the Tet offensive, which changes the correlation of forces in the Vietnam War and puts the U.S. Army on the defensive. In China the Cultural Revolution is developing, driven by Mao, in the most progressive sector of the bureaucracy. There is also a political revolution in Czechoslovakia, which is overwhelmed by the invasion of the Russian army. It also happened in this period the Cordobazo and Rosariazo in Argentina, and Allende’s triumph in Chile in 1970. As part of this process at the end of their wave in 1974, the Carnation Revolution in Portugal takes place as a result of the struggle for liberation of their colonies.
12In this period it had appear new revolutionary movements to the left of Stalinism, and clearly putting it in question; at that time Castrism and Maoism are strengthened, which were both relatively independent from the Moscow apparatus. But this wave of revolutions is no longer a triumph in all aspects as in the post-war period, because imperialism has the power of reaction. Although the American defeat in Vietnam was a major political and military triumph, there was also the defeat in Chile, led in 1973 by the United States. In this wave and in the following there was no fracture in the bourgeoisie global domination. The U.S. stabilized the situation in East Asia with an agreement with China. Vietnam was the only victory at the time and, at the same time, it was the last expropriation of the bourgeoisie.
Later, more focused waves occurred in 1979-80, with the Nicaraguan revolution that was spread to El Salvador and Guatemala. But they were marginal in terms of correlation of forces. The exception was the Iranian revolution, which explains in part the reason why this region today is one of the countries with prominent class struggle. Both in Nicaragua and in Iran, political revolutions took place against authoritarian regimes that triumphed annihilating the apparatuses and their armies. There were also important political triumphs with the fall of the Brazilian and Argentine dictatorships.
The fall of Stalinism in 1989
13 In 1929, when the left opposition in Russia was finally defeated and bureaucratization was irreversible, Trotsky laid down the argument in his work “The Revolution Betrayed”, that the USSR should make a political revolution, that is, the bureaucracy should be overturned by a mass revolutionary action. This revolution should be political, since it had to overthrow the regime but not the means of production because the bourgeoisie was already expropriated. Trotsky gave an alternative prognosis. Either the bureaucracy would be overturned by political revolution or the USSR would restore capitalism. In the post-war there were several political revolutions as Trotsky defined. In Germany, Hungary and Czechoslovakia there were uprisings by the workers and the people defending socialism and against the bureaucracy and its privileges. However, they were crushed by the Russian army.
In the 80’s, the Solidarity Trade Union was founded (Solidarinösk) in Poland – an organization of Polish workers that was extended nationally and challenged the bureaucracy. It was lead by the church and Trotskyists groups. This movement was defeated. Some years later, in 1989, the revolution of students of Tianamen was also wildly repressed. It was a revolution against the bureaucracy and its privileges, perhaps the last political revolution in which there was still a provision to recover socialism.
Then it initiates the wave of revolutions which began in 1989 in Germany, with the fall of the Berlin Wall (Romania, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Russia). They are democratic revolutions that throw down the totalitarian regimes and the one-party apparatus of Stalinism. They achieve democratic freedoms, while bureaucracy or its sectors are relocated and form new parties to conduct the restoration of capitalism.
14 The year of 1989 undoubtedly starts a new stage. The fall of Stalinism opened a more contradictory situation and not revolutionary any more. In the years of 1989-90 these democratic revolutions against the political rules have been combined with a rise in class struggle in some Latin American countries (the Caracazo in Venezuela, the beginning of the mass movement that led to the electoral victory of Chavez, the elections of 1989 in Brazil, and in Argentina loots and strikes and the growth of the Movimiento al Socialismo – MAS which has become the largest Trotskyist party). There were major struggles and Trotskyism began to play an important role, especially in Argentina. (At this moment many mistakes were committed which we will develop in another document, it is important to recognize the role a party should and can have when it starts to gain influence on the masses.)
These revolutions occurred in the midst of a moment in which imperialist domination by the governments of Reagan and Thatcher, already were in an intense offensive in order to revive the capitalist accumulation. Therefore, the consequence was the capitalist restoration and the defeat of the insurgencies. Thus, it opens a new contradictory stage or period and, by no means, we can say it is the continuity of the earlier revolutionary stage, or even a more revolutionary stage. The facts of the world reality, in this respect, are indisputable: there wasn’t anywhere a revolution in which the working class and other social sectors would conquer power and move towards a worker and peasant government; there hasn’t been any expropriation of the bourgeoisie. Capitalism won new markets and a new expansive wave.
IV – An equivocal simplification of Lenin’s definition of revolutionary situation
1 The idea supported by some tendencies that there is today a revolutionary situation in the world, is based on Moreno analysis drafted in the 80s. At that point, Moreno supported the idea that the conditions that started in 1968 were part of a revolutionary stage started in 1945. Thus, he committed the mistake of extending the revolutionary stage of post-war until the 80s (Moreno died in 1987), and transforming it in a revolutionary worldwide situation in 1979-80. He even went beyond. Relying on mainly in the triumph over imperialism in Vietnam, in the economic crisis of 1968, in the crisis that began in the Stalinist apparatus, and in the economic crisis, he predicted a fourth stage which would open from the fall of this apparatus and that would put back again revolutions as the October – revolutions led by a revolutionary party – on the agenda. Thus, in the 80s Moreno spoke of a revolutionary global dynamic that overcame the situations of 1917 and 1945. We firmly believe that if Moreno had lived a few more years (he was only 64 years old when he died), this characterization would have been corrected. Before his death he already noted that the processes that he had foreseen occurred in a much more mediated way. However, this correction was not made.
Moreno believed that a revolutionary global situation meant “that the conditions for arise revolutionary crises, civil wars and revolutions were given in different countries of the world, even if, ultimately, they would not succeed.”
2 Moreno’s reasoning on the global revolutionary situation was accompanied by the existence of a counterrevolutionary global front, which gathered practically all bureaucratic and small bourgeois leaderships that would put a brake to the revolution. That is, there were objective conditions for revolution, but it did not occur or were not successful because of the counterrevolutionaries’ apparatuses.
3The distorted characterization of the global situation has led to see any process to the light of the existence of a revolutionary worldwide situation. So reality is distorted by considering all acute cases of class struggle, like the collapse of dictatorships in Brazil and Argentina, and to support that ultimately there were unconscious revolutionary processes or “February revolutions” that started a favorable dynamic for the Socialist revolution. He considered them socialists because they invariably opposed capitalism and for that reason its dynamics would be similar to the Russian process “February to October”, that is, an uninterrupted revolutionary process.
4 These characterizations that clearly distorted the objective reality, in which they lived in, were based on a simplification of the definition of Lenin’s revolutionary situation with its three main features as described in Chapter 3.
This characterization was simplified in the 80s. It is said that there is a revolutionary situation “when the top ones cannot continue to govern as before and the ones at the bottom do not want to keep on being ruled as before”. As Roberto Robaina says: “from this general definition one can draw any conclusion like the leftists do. Any political crisis more or less serious in the ruling classes is a sign that they can not keep on governing as before and that any general dissatisfaction with low wages expresses that the ones at the bottom do not want to be governed as before any more “.(Roberto Robaina, notes on Lenin, edited by LSM).
In various writings, both Lenin and Trotsky insist that one of the conditions of a revolutionary situation is “the masses willingness to accomplish a historical independent action”, that is, they insist on the masses revolutionary consciousness. This was minimized by Moreno’s political ideology in all characterizations of the 80’s, which considered all actions of the masses to be like that, and at the same time that it over dimensioned the objective situation.
5To redeem Lenin’s ideas, it must be said that revolutionary situation means the period in which the struggle for political power is started. Lenin correctly predicted the revolutionary situation in 1915, when the inter-imperialist war showed the absolute fracture of dominant classes, and so it opened a huge gap for the masses activity in an “independent historical action.” The same happened at the end of the Second World War.
Then we would have to say that there were only two major revolutionary situations that shifted the imperialist domination, changed the correlation of forces worldwide and limited capital: the first with more emphasis on Europe since the First World War and the second, with a more worldwide extent since the Second World War (the difference between one and another, from the workers’ standpoint, as Moreno correctly noted, was the Bolshevik leadership in the first one). It is not a coincidence that in the two situations there was a substantial advance on capital, specifically expropriating the bourgeoisie, and in the case of the latter, even with the independence of countries like India and Egypt, in addition to the nationalist processes in Latin America.
If we set from the global totality, we will see that the 1968 wave is essentially a pre-revolutionary situation, with more acute revolutionary peaks, with great victories, but it failed to destabilize the imperialist domination as in 1917 and 1945.
6 Regardless of this mistake, Moreno does not deny the merit of being the Trotskyist of the 40s who contributed the most to understand the progressiveness of the post-war revolutions, reviewing with courage Trotsky’s formulations in regard to the Permanent Revolution in order to incorporate new phenomena that happened in this period. At the same time, we believe that Moreno generalized, codified, and theorized excessively the facts of class struggle, losing sight of the need for concrete analysis of the concrete situation that was stressed by Lenin. This was what led to exaggeration and distortion in the analysis of the situation in the 80s.
It is also Moreno’s merit the insistence to examine the circumstance of class struggle in the light of the international situation. Moreno codified the stages that occurred in the twentieth century since 1917 with the Russian Revolution, the two counterrevolutionary decades and a post-war new stage which was started in 1945. However, when Moreno divided into stages, he essentially characterized certain periods of class struggle based on the correlation of forces between the classes. When Chesnais speaks of historical periods, he also takes into account changes in the structure of capitalist accumulation, in its institutions and so on. We can notice these changes easily in the last 25 years.
Hence, using only Moreno’s analyses, it is difficult to characterize the new stage because of the enormity of structural changes in the accumulation of capital, which goes beyond the correlation of forces. Even though all changes are linked to struggles between classes and the correlation of forces that they establish there is a dialectic, not casual, relationship between them.
They are central issues in the debate to understand the new stage started with the fall of Stalinism. Hence, Chesnais says that there are no interruptions but a continuous period of accumulation of capital in 50 years.
V – The Actuality of the Revolutionary Epoch
1 In light of redefining revolutionary situations that occurred throughout history and the evolution of class struggle in the twentieth century until today, it is necessary to specify in which sense we are at a revolutionary epoch. Lenin set the imperialist stage as the agony and final crisis of capitalism. Moreno set his definition directly associated with this characterization. Capitalism – in the imperialism stage since the beginning of the century – ceases to be progressive in any respect, it is regressive or reactionary, and therefore it is the period of socialist revolution, in which all processes vary to some extent, between revolution and counterrevolution. This is correct in the sense that capitalism can not be a system that will bring more progress for the majority of humanity and has endogenous contradictions between capital and labor from the twentieth century on which are even more serious. But we live a long phase of its agony, an extension much further than the expected prediction of its existence, and as a result the socialist revolution has not triumphed and even the expropriation of the bourgeoisie retro ceded.
Hence, capitalism in the last century, and at present, did not cease to have resources and mechanisms to further the accumulation of capital. According to Marx, that means the emergence of new and bigger contradictions. To the extent that the masses do not overcome the bourgeoisie with revolutions, capitalism can rebuild itself, renew itself and resume its levels of accumulation. Although it occurred in a contradictory, uneven and distorted way, capitalism continued to develop productive forces (and destructive at the same time) and to strengthen capitalist accumulation, which strengthens the bourgeoisie.
2 The analysis that “the productive forces stopped to grow”, made by Trotsky in the Transition Program, was an analysis of the concrete situation before the Second World War. When you generalize it, like a sector of the Trotskyism did, it falls into a subjective analysis. After the war they kept on saying that the productive forces ceased to grow, which objectively would create the conditions for revolution, in such a way that the fact that it does not occur is explained by the crisis of leadership. The extension of the post-war stage has caused Moreno to simplify the significance of the economic boom of the 50’s, which lasted until the 70’s. Moreno maintained that even in that period there was no development of the productive forces and explained the boom only by the betrayal of European Communist parties, especially in France, Italy and Greece. Obviously, you cannot explain the development of capitalism after the war, mechanically, only by the betrayal of the Communist Parties.
3 Revolutionary epoch then means that the antinomy of Rosa Luxemburg is present, “Socialism or Barbarism.” Accumulation of capital engenders and recreates such in an increasingly acute way the problems of capitalism, but this does not mean denying the ability of capitalism to maintain the levels of accumulation and get stronger. The struggle for the socialist program is more current, but that does not automatically mean that the historical and practical conditions to the revolutionary struggle are more favorable.
VI – The new phase of globalization and the changes started in the 80’s
1 The wave of democratic revolutions in the Eastern and Russia in 1989-90 was brought about when changes were already occurring in the correlation of forces between the classes (Section 14, Chapter III). A capitalist offensive, which began in the mid 80’s, coinciding with the rise of the Reagan and Thatcher governments. Both governments symbolized the burial of the social welfare state. They were the representation of the policy of the so-called neoliberalism, which produced a series of substantial changes. We have pointed out in a descriptive way, but we need to arrange them, organize them and hierarchize them to make a more definite concrete structure.
• An offensive against workers begins on a global scale and against the third world countries and the so-called socialist bloc, in this case it also includes a combined arms offensive. Reagan and Thatcher are strengthened thanks to significant workers losses – miners’ strike, flight controllers in the U.S., and the defeat of the Solidarity Union in Poland. Now called permanent counterrevolution, we believed that it also facilitated a permanent reaction, although it was not like that.
• In the economic arena, there was a leap in concentration and globalization of capital, thanks to the economic liberalization and deregulation, and institutional policy to open markets and free circulation of capital.
• This leap was accompanied by the restoration of capitalism in the countries of the East, USSR and China (Section 13, Chapter III).
• A leap in the “financialization” of the economy, meaning, the speculative growth outside the productive accumulation sphere (self reproducing). Only thus one can explain why in recent decades there was a period of capitalist accumulation without interruptions.
• These changes were facilitated by a technological revolution in communication and information technology, which allowed the flexibility of labor and increased its productivity.
• The effect of these changes is in a world army reserve with the migration of factories to Central Europe, Asia, (and to a lesser extent, other countries such as Mexico). This allowed an increase in added value of capitalist monopolies and oligopolies (a stagnation of wages in Europe), and a strong competition between workers.
• The transformation of Asia – particularly China and to a lesser extent India – in the “factory of the world” with a consequent increase in the “value of capital” (this is an essential element which we will discuss later).
• Chesnais talks about an “institutional arrangement of globalization”. He refers to new rules and institutions like the WTO and the rules of the game on the investments market, export of capital market, which establishes new relations between labor and capital, very favorable to the last one but yet instable since the economy as a whole is more volatile as a result of “financialization”; and the anarchy in production that can not be overcome by the logic of capital and which is leading to unsustainable competition between the oligopolies that causes environmental changes.
• In short, if we compare this period with the previous (First, Second War and post-war), in a process that began in the early 80’s and is consolidated in 1992-94, the capitalist production “gave up on efforts to get rid of the main obstacles to their freedom to conduct their goals on a planet scale “(Chesnais).
2 This new phase of globalization has been accompanied, since its beginning, by a strong resistance from workers and the oppressed people, since the Palestinian resistance, passing by the Zapatista uprising of January 1994, until the General Strike of the French state in November and December 1995. However, it is an objective fact that the mass movement was on the defensive. With the fall of Stalinism, there was also a turn to the right of the most recognized leaderships in the mass movement and a broad ideological offensive that claimed the end of socialism. At the end of the 90’s it began a point of inflection to the left with the emergence of an anti-globalization movement, where actions played an important role, first in Seattle and then in other parts of the world at multilateral meetings.
With the Asian tigers crisis, the capitalism had new symptoms of weakness, and by the end of the 90 decade the anti-imperialist battle restarted in Latin America and already in 2000, after the occupation of Afghanistan, the resistance to the occupation in Iraq (February 15, 2003), in which the imperialism has sunk into the mud until today.
VII – Globalization as a new phase of imperialism defined by Lenin
1 Lenin identified five key traits in imperialism: 1) the concentration of production and capital in such a degree that it creates monopolies which play a decisive role in economic life, 2) the merger of banking and industrial capital and the creation of a financial oligarchy on the basis of this financial capital, 3) the export of capital, other than the export of goods, acquires a particularly great importance, 4) the formation of international capitalists monopoly associations which divides the world into their interests, and 5) the end of the territorial division between the major capitalist powers.
2 Anibal Ramos, a Spanish Trotskyist leader, our comrade in the decade of 1990, has made an important contribution to the analysis of globalization at the end of this decade, helping to specify this period. He defined as a “new phase” of the imperialist phase, which exacerbates the most reactionary traits defined by Lenin. Ramos used to say that in this new phase, the reactionary characteristics of this stage, defined by Lenin, increased.
3 This analysis that Ramos started developing in 1997 has left unfinished issues that are clearer today. The magnitude of the restoration of capitalism and the internationalization of capital and production was not seen, neither the process of fragmentation of the working class. These processes can define or redefine this phase of globalization in a more complete way and also incorporate the features of this period that appear with great intensity: a) The new phase of accumulation, whose epicenter is Asia, first in China and secondarily in India, which is the result of the restoration of capitalism in countries of the so-called “real socialism”, b) The ecological issue, because it is an imperialist stage where capitalist accumulation produces a depletion not only of man but also of nature, due to its irrational misuse of land. At this stage the destructive forces on man and land also increase. This is manifested in the energy crisis, the depletion of other essential raw materials and global warming, which has turned the threat against life on the planet into something concrete for the next 50 years. The environmental issue has become a social issue.
VIII – The role the integration of China plays before the decline of the U.S.
1 The restoration of capitalism in China has an enormous importance on economy and in the relationships between classes on a global scale. Asia has become the center of extraction of added value and China is its main country. It is a new phase of capitalist accumulation that does not occur through capital destruction due to a war, nor by a semi colonization process of the country. The Chinese bureaucracy controls the country and relies on a powerful army.
2Although this production is in the hands of large global oligopolies, there is a peculiarity. According to Chesnais, a substantial part of the world production in core countries that have become the center of finance capital and investment was transferred to countries where the big capitalists and oligopolies are deployed “in economic and political conditions making their dismantling difficult.” The integration of China to the world economy was made through the capitalist restoration by means of a state in the hands of bureaucracy, which controls the entire army and the administrative apparatus and who even plays the role of an employer of labor force. It is one form of integration very distant from the classic form of conquest of a country in the classic imperialist phase.
3 It raises the need for an overhaul of the hegemony of the imperialist domination, which belonged to the U.S. since the Second World War. This strengthening of China occurred after the Unites States transferred its capital to China to combat the falling profit rate; helping a potential rival to emergence (Chesnais). China has become a lung of the world economy amid the decline of U.S. hegemony. This is aggravated politically and economically with the defeat in Iraq and its consequences.
4 The U.S. global power has as its main element its mega-military power and the dollar global monetary rule. As Gunder Frank noted (Revista Movimento, Number 3), one supports the other and both need each other. The U.S. currency acts, in fact, as the world money: almost 80% of world trade and almost 100% of global oil trade were being made in dollars until recently. Billions of dollars enter America annually, from the profits of oil exporters. With petrodollars they buy American assets – especially the U.S. public debt – and thus finance the U.S. huge deficit on the current account and budget. Therefore, if some oil-exporting switch the use to euro (or yen) instead of dollar it would be enough to cause an enormous destabilization in the system. It is very difficult that this occurs so abruptly, because no government or big oligopoly wants the chaos, but it is a figure that indicates the weakness of the U.S. influence.
The decline of America expresses the crisis of imperialism as a whole, the unfolding of its major contradictions as being the world system.
5 Before his death, Trotsky, foreseeing the future peak of the Yankee economy, prognosticated that the U.S. was the country that incorporated and concentrated in itself the world’s contradictions, which would provoke its crisis. That is really what we are seeing. Bush administration tried to stop this decline with several measures: the unilateralism in foreign policy, the Iraq war, the tax reduction for the vast American bourgeoisie, cutting the health budget and over exploration the working class. And we see growing contradictions. The U.S., for example, engaged in the Iraq war to strengthen itself, and it has weakened it; they have exported capital to China and thus transformed it in its potential competitor in the global dispute. The inter-capitalist competition now also includes China, which aggravates all the contradictions of the system. It is suitable this sentence in “The Capital” when Marx says: “The capitalist production aspires constantly to overcome these limitations inherent to itself, but can only overcome them by using means that once again raise before it the same limits but with more force “. (“The Capital”, Book III, cited by Chesnais). The United States is now facing those limits.
6 Chenais incorporates the Marxist concept of the world economy as a whole. The expansion of capitalism in this new phase meant a control and fortress of large oligopolies. These large multinationals complexes are also a result of greater inter-relationship of capital for investments and purchases between monopolies in different imperialist countries. But that does not mean suppressing the contradictions or the anarchy of production. In this new global environment the escalating competition has unpredictable consequences. Although the world economy is controlled by large oligopolies, in the political architecture of that domination new players are appearing, China in the first place, and to a lesser extent Russia. Also the new independent countries appear, Iran and Venezuela, that, without having the economic power of those, are the third and fifth producer of oil, respectively.
7 The increased vulnerability, instability and unpredictability of the political domination and the economic situation, are inherent elements of this phase of capitalism. The energy crisis and depletion of some raw materials paves the way for new conquest wars. In this context we must see the geo-strategic importance of the Amazon, desired by large multinationals as a source of water, biodiversity and land for the agribusiness production.
IX – The financial crisis in the U.S. and its consequences
1 In this context, we must say that we live today a severe economic crisis in America, whose beginning was the financial bubble burst in real estate in July and August 2007. This financial crisis is spreading to financial markets in the world due to globalization. This does not mean that a crisis was opened as in 1929; there is a large share of oligopolies that have financial capital, acting to avoid such situation. But many economists believe it is the most serious crisis of the last 50 years. We can already identify a slowdown in the American growth; the economic growth from 2003 to 2006 clearly ended and therefore the demand for goods on a global scale retracts, because the U.S. has been the biggest buyer of the world economy (thanks, too, to the loans due to the real estate bubble). This new crisis means the end of the period of relative calm, and once again shows the serious contradictions of the capitalist economy and its extreme vulnerability as a result of its dependence on financial capitals.
2 The question is how far this financial crisis provokes a crisis of overproduction and on the accumulation in the engines of production countries, in Asia and more specifically in China, that is, if the production capacity exceeds the demand of world market (like the crisis of the Asian tigers). If this would happen it would also confirm the prognosis of a live synchronization with worldwide economic recession in most countries. So, if it is confirmed that we are in a more serious situation than the crisis of 1974-75, 1979-80, 1990, or that the U.S. recession of 2001, with the synchronization of global recession, capitalism would be receiving a major coup in its credibility and stability. Currently, it is true that China will be affected, but its economy will not be in recession, as Asia and China diversifies its trade to the European market, and also to the own Asian market, and the Chinese domestic market. So, although serious, the momentum for 2008 is recession in the U.S. but not in China and in most dependent countries like Brazil, which will continue to grow in the wake of rising prices of commodities.
3 Anyway, it will be disturbing years. The financial crisis exists and has implications for all countries. It throws down the idea of capitalism without problems. To the masses of people its contradictions are undressed and thereby the inability of the ruling classes to solve their problems. Everything indicates that in Latin America, the countries that will be immediately mostly affected are those whose economies are more tied up to America (Mexico, Colombia, and Peru). In 2009 onwards, countries like Brazil and Argentina may feel the crisis more heavily.
X – The central processes of class struggle
1 We can say that in a worldwide scale there are two dynamic points of reference that are facing the imperialist policy. The fight with epicenter in the Middle East (Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, and Afghanistan) and Latin America, whose highest points has been Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela. Both struggles are predominantly national-anti-imperialist. In Greater Middle East, the Palestinian battle against imperialism and its military occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan. Also in Latin America, around democratic and anti-imperialist imperatives with a large validity in the fight to defend and/or restore natural resources.
2 We must also add to it the workers’ battles that take place in different parts of the world, particularly in Europe. In this continent there is a permanent resistance to plans for counter reforms against the rights and achievements of workers. Also, as in all Latin American countries, the most dynamic sector of workers is employed in public institutions (education, health, and transport sectors, mainly), who defend their own jobs, constantly attacked by neoliberalism. The fight in the other major industrial centers, U.S. and Asia (Korea, China and Japan), including Russia, have been much smaller. In the U.S. the dominant class achieved a substantial reduction in wages, which have not occurred in Europe, particularly in France.
3If we look at the last two decades, we see that the action of the industrial proletariat was weak as a whole. It is weakened by the transfer of factories to Eastern Europe and Asia and by the advancement of the flexibilization of their rights. At the same time, while the fragility of workers increased – especially the ones who work the manufacturer sectors – the social polarization and impoverishment of social sectors such as the peasants evicted from the fields for new investments in agribusiness, and the rising of unemployment among the urban middle class promotes eruption of these sectors, as we have seen in Latin America.
4This defensive situation from the workers does not mean that there aren’t important and great struggles. They exist and they will keep on existing. The strikes of state workers in Europe continue, which proves the resistance to the neoliberal measures, measures that follow on being the only way imperialist governments can address the increased competition and crisis.
5Though the resistance of the workers is weakened, they have been and will keep on being the most revolutionary class in the fight against capitalism, and the class with more conditions to advance the fight towards the expropriation of the bourgeoisie. Sooner or later the fight for democracy will arise and also the demands of the working class of the new industrial giant, China, where huge contradictions are accumulated. Not only China, but also America, another giant of the world, has demonstrated the wakening of the mass movement with the immigrant’s strikes.
6We are in a period in which crisis and decay, the inter-capitalist disputes, wars, and neoliberalism measures, have amplified the struggles of popular and national character, anti-imperialists battles to defense natural resources, environment, and democracy (in this case against dictatorships such as in Asia). A period in which other social classes such as peasants, indigenous and urban masses without work and shelter are mobilized in a revolutionary way.
XI – The consciousness and socialist organizations
1The fragmentation and the structural weakness of industrial workers are factors that explain the weakness of independent autonomous consciousness of workers that could advance to socialist positions, also the weakness of their own (social and political) organizations. This situation could change with the eruption of the fight of Asian workers. Another key issue was related to the contradictions created by the masses, as a result of the failure of “real socialism”, something is believed to be an effective way of building a system radically different from capitalism.
2It is important to see the current period and analyze what is happening with the mass organizations and the consciousness of class, taking into account what happens at different stages of the class struggle discussed on Chapter III: a) The beginning of the last century was marked by the development and boom of the III International – the Russian Revolution and the Bolshevik Party. There were organizations with influence of masses, with worldwide socialist and revolutionary positions; b) Secondly, the period of bureaucratization and the emergence of Stalinism, which was built as an apparatus, contained the revolutionary processes with the theory of “socialism in one country” and the peaceful coexistence with imperialism. In this period, it appears the IV International, which has always been minority and focused on programmatic defense; c) Then in the post-war, Stalinism was strengthened without the development of the IV International as an alternative, even with sectors that yielded to Stalinist pressure; d) Subsequently, there is the appearance of small-bourgeois revolutionary leaderships in the national liberation processes after the war, first Maoism and then Castrism, which amplified itself in the wave of 1968, but in the end became absorbed by the Stalinist apparatus; e) Finally, the bankruptcy of Stalinism and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, opens a new contradictory situation in which we live nowadays.
3The latter period has been extremely contradictory. There was a turn to the right of social democracy, the Communist Parties and the bureaucratized leaderships of the unions, amid the neoliberal offensive and based on the idea that “socialism is over” with the fall of the Berlin Wall. The Workers Party in Brazil took part on this process. This also meant a general weakening of the worker’s organizations in the hands of reformists and at the same time, a space for the emergence of new leaderships. But this is an uneven process worldwide.
4As a result of the restoration of capitalism there was, in a sense, a decline in the socialist consciousness. The group of workers and broad sectors of the masses, even in a deformed way, and by relying on reformist organizations, believed in an alternative to capitalism. This belief from the masses standpoint, after the fall of the Wall, is substantially weakened. At the same time, a new space for the construction of new alternatives and processes started. The anti-globalization movement arose – Zapatism in Mexico, Chavism or the new Bolivarian nationalism (Latin Americanist) which relies on the impoverished mass and on a Latin Americanist conscience for the recovery of natural resources counting on the credibility crisis in the imperialist capitalism ideologies, and the rise of indigenous nationalities. In the Middle East the outbreak of the Islamic movement that has combative groups like Hezbolah in Lebanon, and Al Sadr in Iraq, all based on Islam which is a reactionary ideology. It is also a consequence of the nature of the struggle in that region, the weakness of the working class, and socialist ideas that we have talked about.
5In this new period, it also remained the Trotskyists and socialist revolutionary organizations. The Trotskyists organizations were those who resisted the most in the period of neoliberal attack, and although they have suffered major divisions and crises, they retained political identity in different countries. A fraction of it consolidated sectarian and propagandists positions, with virtually no return. Furthermore, political ideologies that were part of the socialist left also resisted the neoliberal offensive, for example, PSOL in Brazil, where there are groups that were originally in the Workers’ Party. As we will develop later, a new space was opened by the crisis and disbelief in the old leaderships, as a consequence of not braking these previous barriers to reach the masses, and as the result of the apparatus crisis.
But on the whole, it is a process where there is great unbalance between the disbelief in the old leaderships and development of new processes, among the mass resistance and anti-imperialists mobilizations, and the development of new genuinely socialist leaderships.
6The process of developing awareness, therefore, is contradictory and dynamic at the same time. The fall of Stalinism and the lack of credibility in the ideologies of the imperialist capitalism created the foundations for a genuine socialist consciousness, for internationalist socialism. But, as we will see, you can only build a revolutionary socialist alternative acting within the actual processes in which they occur.
XII – Latin America: Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia governments
A new progressive nationalism
1 Latin America lives a new situation that started between the late 90´s and the beginning of 2000, as a result of the combination of popular insurrectional procedures and elections in these three countries (Venezuela, Ecuador, and Bolivia), although they present different levels of progress, government rupture with the neoliberal model, and a clash with traditional and dominant bourgeois sectors. These governments recovered the natural resources and strengthened the state power in the economy, redistributing public income. In these three countries constitutional reforms consolidated these conquests. Thus countries in rupture with the imperialist domination and a relative political independence emerged, and Venezuela is the more consolidated example. This situation also meant a change in the situation of Cuba coming out of its political isolation.
2We cannot explain these governments without starting with the change occurred in the class struggle in those years. In Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina, and Venezuela between 1998 and 2006, there were uprising demonstrations that withdrew governments committed to neoliberal policies, which were elected by the people. In Venezuela there was the popular uprising against the imperialist coup in April 2002. Demonstrations occurred against the profound transformations made by the neoliberal governments, the dismantling of public services carried out by privatization, and also the changes in political rules (as governments, political parties and parliaments have lost their characteristics of popular representation to transform themselves into agents of capitalism). Politics has become a huge source of corruption, mainly because the politicians have benefited personally with privatization. These countries stressed their semi-colonial role as dependent on the U.S. These mobilizations fought against this situation and promoted important changes on the political, economic and cultural ground.
Therefore, these are democratic and anti-imperialists mobilizations that arose in response to the objective requirements that are placed in Latin America – and throughout the so-called Third World – as a result of the capitalism crisis and the world domination, as well as its policy of prey on the depleted natural resources. In these democratic, anti-imperialists and popular mobilizations, the working class did not acted as class, but played along with the unemployed, farmers, and others.
3 The Latin American process is uneven. It would be a mistake not to see that there are different situations of class struggle. Brazil, the largest country, lives clearly a situation of strong stability of the bourgeoisie, as it maintains its offensive on the mass movement with Lula’s administration. The situation in Colombia is worst with its reactionary state of affairs. The conflict provoked by Uribe in Ecuador contradicts those who see a linear revolutionary situation throughout the continent. There is a polarization created by imperialism and the powerful bourgeoisie, where these types of governments are not accepted. This is a continental polarization where countries face each other and even within the countries, as in the case of Bolivia, where the bourgeoisie from the south of the country is ready (if there is not going to happen a capitulation of Evo) for the division of the country and even for a military confrontation. Ultimately, these governments are not supported by imperialism or the most powerful of the native bourgeoisie.
4 These movements do not mechanically repeat previous stages occurred in our continent, but join a rich history of continental processes that faced the nationalist imperialism. Those are revolutionary processes and counterrevolutionaries of the twentieth century, which began with the Mexican Revolution and which had bourgeois nationalist processes afterwards such as Peronism in Argentina, Aprism in Peru and Arbenz in Guatemala. Afterwards, the point of inflection with the Cuban revolution and the political struggles in Santo Domingo, these processes lead by nationalist military forces like Torrijos, Velazco Alvarado, and Torres. Also Allende administration and Sandinism in Nicaragua. Cuba was the most advanced, because it was the only country that has consolidated its collapse by expropriating the bourgeoisie.
5The current nationalism is of a new small-bourgeois type, which as we pointed out comes after and as a result of strong processes of mobilizations and uprisings, breaking with the traditional and dominant bourgeoisie of those countries which implemented the neoliberalism in the 1990’s. In the case of Bolivia, Evo gets support especially with rural and indigenous peoples; Correa, in Ecuador, gets support in the urban middle class of Quito and in the peasantry. Chavez is supported by a social basis of disqualified and exploited, by the poor areas of the cities, peasants and indigenous that were heavily in his defense when there was a coup d’état in 2002. Chavez, redeeming the Bolivarianism, printed in this nationalist movement a Latin Americanist character. He shows the need for Latin American to be independent from the imperialism, and has ALBA (Bolivarian Alternative for the People of Our America) as a point of support. It is then a progressive nationalist movement that takes anti imperialists and democratic tasks, also pursuing national independence, the recovery of natural resources, and continental integration, which are fundamental to our continent.
6You cannot understand the significance of this nationalism in isolation from the world period that we are analyzing, a world dominated by polarization and attacks of capitalism on workers in a global scale. These processes with its limitations and contradictions that, we will soon see, are an important part of masses resistance to imperialism and, objectively seen on a global scale, are the most advanced processes. If we look at the world objectively, there isn’t anywhere now a struggle that is granting power for workers in a direct way, meaning carrying out the expropriation of the bourgeoisie. On the other hand, these processes appear in the post-Stalinist period, when there isn’t this global apparatus in the control of social movements. If, on the one hand, this makes the task of expropriation of the bourgeoisie more difficult, on the other hand, it allows for more independence in the national politics. In Cuba, progress towards expropriation was made in the form of “counterplot”. That is, it was not an aware measure of the leadership, but a response to the attacks of imperialism. It was facilitated by the fact that there was a Soviet bloc which Fidel could rely on to sustain its economy and the state.
7 The launch of these new processes in our continent has made the situation in Cuba change. On the one hand, the economic isolation that Cuba had with the fall of the Berlin Wall was interrupted. Before that, Cuba had a full economic and political dependency of the Russian bureaucracy. Nowadays, the isolation is broken and it performs a progressive role in the proportion that contributes to the formation of a bloc of countries, while following the Bonapartist apparatus, with which it has a critical association.
8 The evolution of the anti-imperialist fight in the continent depends, on the one hand, on the dynamics that these processes may have, but at the same time and, dialectically, on its extension to other countries of the continent to which the same tasks are placed. Pointing in that direction too, the fights in Peru against the TLC (Treaty for Free Trade) and democratic election struggle in Paraguay. Peru at the moment is the country that is doing regional and national mobilizations against the TLC. And that is where a political and social bloc was formed that includes workers and peasant organizations (CGTP – General Confederation of Peruvian Workers and CCP – Confederation of Peruvian Peasants), regional sectors and the Party of Humala, which is a political expression of that process. It is possible that Peru will be the next place where demonstrations will occur, which have shaken or toppled governments, and which would also be an oxygenation of action of the masses against imperialism. On the other hand, it is possible that in Paraguay the triumph of Lugo means the end of a political system inherited from Strosnerism and the beginning of a new democratic process with strong anti-imperialists elements. At least in this direction we must invest and work.
The Chavez government, its contradictions and limits
9 It is important to make certain clarifications related to the nature of these governments and their political system. The uprisings that occurred in Bolivia, Venezuela and Ecuador, did not mean the destruction of bourgeois state as such and the army in particular, even if fundamental changes have occurred into them. Ecuador and Bolivia were less affected. In Venezuela there was an important transformation as a result of the Chavez’s attempted coup in 1992 and the coup of 2002, because Venezuelan army has a more popular characteristic than the Bolivian one.
There is a big difference of what happened in Cuba and Nicaragua. In Cuba, the guerrilla battle and popular uprising against the dictatorship destroyed the repression apparatus of the bourgeois state of Batista. The Cuban revolution began as a popular democratic process, then had an anti-imperialist content, and because of the American reaction, ended up expropriating the bourgeoisie. With the expropriation it advanced in the destruction of the bourgeois state. In Nicaragua, too, the combination of guerrilla battle and the mass uprising ended with the military apparatus and ultimately fragmenting the whole bourgeois state. The Sandinista government ended up including the bourgeois, creating a mixed economy and reconstructing the bourgeois state. After a military offensive of imperialism by the contras, the government accepted a negotiation that allowed the bourgeoisie to recover the power through elections.
10 It is not easy to define the character of the State, the Rule and the Government in Venezuela. First, we must say that after nine years of Chavez government, Venezuela is today an independent country, according to Lenin’s definition of countries that, without being socialists, leave the sphere of political domination of imperialism, and are independent as a nation. The definition of Bonapartism is useful, we do not use it to mean an authoritarian regime, but according to Trotsky’s definition in relation to Mexico: a government that – due to the intrinsic weakness of the bourgeoisie – make concessions to the workers and the poor masses in order to confront imperialism. We can define the Venezuelan state as bourgeois as it did not expropriate the bourgeoisie. However, only saying this is not enough, in the extent that the bourgeoisie as a class does not control the state. Bonapartism, according to Moreno, is a kind of sui generis bourgeois state.
Bonapartism and Bureaucracy
11The Venezuelan constitution is very progressive comparing it with the rest of Latin America’s because it established institutional forms and democratic achievements that allow greater popular participation. The Bonapartists elements, some of which were in the reform design, have two faces. It establishes greater control of the state apparatus by the president, which also means greater restrictions on the opponent bourgeoisie. This is not bad, we do not criticize Chavez for not extending the concession for RCTV, or because he attacks “freedoms” for the bourgeoisie (because they are reactionary, and are against the changes in process). What we need to criticize is the military bureaucratic Bonapartism of the system that closes the channels, restricts the obtained achievements in municipal level and does not allow the popular organizations’ autonomy.
This is the most critical and contentious aspect of the Bolivarian process nowadays; the control of the state apparatus by the bureaucracy, the use of such apparatus to enrich a class that has made their businesses based on corruption and commissioned by the bourgeoisie.
The most effective way to tackle this process is to fight bureaucracy by popular participation, by intensifying the democratic process, and also advocating the independence of the popular movement and democracy within the PSUV (Socialist Unified Party of Venezuela).
We do not believe that the main goal is the expropriation of the bourgeoisie and the criticism to Chavez for what he has not done. Although this is important because by doing so we can explain, in part, the bureaucratization process. We live in a different world context from when Cuba moved towards the expropriation; when its leadership was not socialist. It is different because, among other things, the Soviet bloc does not exist anymore. Hence, the main requirement to Chavismo is – along with the fight against bureaucracy – to take measures to address the problems of the people and defend the country facing the imperialism with its reactionary policy against Venezuela.
12The new nationalism is a gradual process that does not exhaust itself in a short term, since it relies on a favorable international situation. It will evolve through different periods and contradictions. If the politics of Chavismo do not change, this increasingly will be seized by the bureaucratic apparatus and can lead to a greater wearing and a defeat of the ongoing process in the next period. This however did not yet happen and we do not believe that will happen immediately. Our task is to intervene to prevent it to happen, so it won’t repeat what succeeded with other nationalist movements in Latin America in other periods of our history. The fact that in the PSUV Congress the right faction of Diosdado was expelled from the Executive Committee is a positive sign indicating that the party leadership is the left faction of the government and the militant base.
13The situation in Latin America in the last three months is highlighted by two defeats, stumbling and scams that allowed counter-offensive from imperialism and their government allies. While we think the defeat in the referendum could open a period of positive reflection in a vanguard sector in Venezuela, the rejection of the new constitution with its progressive reforms, and of the abstention of one sector of the population, clearly meant a coup in process. To this we should also add the secession declared by the regions of Southern Bolivia, which means an attempt of the powerful Southern bourgeois towards a separatist policy in Bolivia. This is perhaps the coup attempt we felt the least because Evo still maintains its forces almost intact.
We must add the defeat of the “NO” to TLC in Costa Rica through fraudulent maneuvers of the pro-Yankee government of that country. And the most important fact that indicates the polarization and reactionary policy of imperialism against independent countries was the invasion of the Colombian army in Ecuadorian territory to carry out Uribe’s criminal action against FARC. Uribe is the imperialism’s right arm in the region directly associated with the lumpembourgeoisie of drug trafficking and paramilitarism. This sets a new type of rule, since it is not a dictatorship, because there are elections, but it maintains itself on the basis of a renewed militarism of the paramilitary combined with a strong Yankee presence and also the presence of the Zionist Israel state. The denunciation of Chavez about the threat of intervention in Venezuela was based on real facts. The action was put forward by the U.S. with the possibility of transforming this area into the “Latin American Palestine” using Colombia as a “Latin American Israel.” Even if the Americans can hardly do so in the current election period, it is a strategic policy.
14 We do not believe that there is a substantial reversal of the correlation of forces on the continent, but it indicates a sort of counter-offensive against imperialism. It means a period in which the political and social polarization of Latin America, the bourgeoisie and the U.S. resume their reactionary initiative. The action took by the oil company Exxon against the PDVSA, which successfully has frozen funds of this company in response to its nationalization by Chavez in Orinoco is part of it. But if there isn’t now a substantial change in the correlation of forces, since none of these Latin American processes shows an irreversible point of inflection, this situation will continue unless there is a reaction of the Chavez administration and a new wave of masses mobilization in Latin America, and therefore, new measures from nationalist governments. In that sense, the processes in Peru and Paraguay may be an oxygen tube to reactivate the battle against imperialism.
The international situation favors such actions, as the price of oil and other primary products produced in Latin America are still upwards and the wearing situation of U.S. imperialism continues.
15 The imperialism counter-revolutionary policy in Latin America will keep on acting against those governments. The permanent reactionary offensive does not only mean political coup, but permanent instigation and destabilization to create conditions for the advancement of the counter-revolution. That is what is being done systematically in Venezuela.
16 There are three types of governments in the region, that are positioning themselves differently in this political and economic situation. Peru, Mexico, Chile and Colombia, that respond directly to U.S. policy. Argentina and Brazil, that have disputes among themselves, as Argentina does not accept the absolute supremacy of Brazil. This country, which is the most developed, has a dominant class very integrated to the world bourgeoisie, and also fulfils a role of mediator to stall the process in Latin America. In turn, this is also a tactics to profit face to the Yankee decadence, to try to gain a larger share of the world economy as India is doing.
Being part of the processes, but criticizing with independence
17 Our policy is to be part of that process while maintaining our organizational independence, that is, to stimulate within the process a mass movement against bureaucracy. This means boosting by the left a clear fight against bureaucracy. We need to build a point of reference that can transform itself into an alternative that focuses on the most progressive sectors of the state apparatus and the mass movement. Consequently, the political axis is the fight for a policy that solves people’s problems, but also attacks the saboteur and inept bureaucracy.
For the democratization of the process, for the people and workers’ control of the administration, and even of the production. From these demands we must build an alternative that could be an option. This dispute is started and we must do it within the PSUV, where sectors emerged reacting against the Chavism maneuvers. We must build an alternative from within because there is no other alternative to Chavez in this period of class struggle.
It is a mistake to believe that Chavez has taken his measures as a result of the permanent pressure of mass movement, as if Chavez were a Venezuelan Kerenski. According to this point of view, Chavez takes such measures as a reactionary maneuver for stopping the rise of the masses. Indeed, Chavez is the leadership of the existing real process. Without Chavez the ongoing process wouldn’t exist. Also there is neither a situation of dual power and construction of a revolutionary alternative for the workers.
Deny this alternative is to preach abstract “propagandism” of the socialists views and to be, consciously or unconsciously, in the bourgeoisie side, as it had occurred in the referendum with those who voted “NO” or defended the abstention. Like it occurred in Bolivia’s constitutional referendum, or if there were no support for the measures taken by the governments of Venezuela and Ecuador due to Uribe’s offensive.
To be part of the process is to “regionalize it”, in other words, to coordinate with all these groups with these same political objectives in Latin America and to advance along the same path in other countries, especially Paraguay and Peru.
XIII – About the policy of socialists in underdeveloped countries
The current situation of Latin America refers to the tasks that are placed in these countries and the position the revolutionaries take. Regarding a plan for the actual condition of the world that we pointed out are the democratic and national tasks that the bourgeoisie did not accomplish for the independent development of these countries. The world state of affairs also places national independence as a Latin American task for integration, a new bloc of independent countries.
2 There is a historic controversy with the communist parties and the reformists on the Permanent Revolution or the stepwise Reform. For those socialists should fight for reform by supporting the bourgeoisie. History shows that the bourgeoisie can and have had confrontations with imperialism, but cannot – and still less in this period of globalization – bring them forward in an effective way. There must be a rupture, first political and then economic with the imperialist capitalism. The process begins with these democratic and anti-imperialist tasks that connect with the socialist tasks.
3 We are also distinct from dogmatic socialists or propagandists, who say that under the premise that the bourgeoisie cannot fulfill these tasks what is important is the struggle of workers for socialist’s demands.
4 Contrary to these two positions is the Permanent (or uninterrupted) Revolution. It means that you can only make a revolution starting from these democratic and anti-imperialists tasks and we can then move to an increasingly anti-capitalist and Socialist dynamic; as part of a continental battle against imperialism. Trotsky argued that the revolution was permanent in that dynamic of tasks. He also argued that the workers were the only ones who could make it permanent, and the only ones who could fight towards Socialism. He also said that it was permanent because it began in the national arena and continued on an international scale and it would only develop if it also developed in other countries.
5 Reality has led to the need to update this view of the post-war in two respects: another class can carry out these tasks as the poor peasants in China. And that there were leaderships that lead them although they were not revolutionary socialists, and there was no revolutionary party to lead them (in Cuba, China and the entire post-war happened that way). In these cases the momentum of progress to socialism was a “counterplot” due to the action of imperialist counter-revolution on these governments. This means that not always, nor at any time or place, the anti-capitalist tasks lead to socialism. The revolution is permanent in the sense that if it does not go forward it goes backward. However, this may occur in a lengthy process, sometimes longer than previously thought, depending on the combination of all national and international factors involved in the process.
6The permanent revolution was confirmed in a thousand percent in its world dynamic. The fiasco of “real socialism” has shown that there are no possibilities of socialism in only one country. Socialism is a process of international struggle that cannot be achieved unless you expropriate the bourgeoisie, owner of the means of production, that is, the socialist struggle in imperialist countries.
7 All new stages present in a different way a hierarchy in the combination of tasks in the struggle for socialism. There are different combinations between economic and political tasks. The post-war rise in the class strugle imposed to the small-bourgeois leaderships, the task of expropriation of the bourgeoisie; and at the same time consolidated the power of bureaucracy. It is different now, and as a result of the attacks from capital, the fight for capital expropriation is more difficult, less objective, and therefore more propagandistic. The way to advance the process and the tasks for its success is essentially political, to extend to other countries, to fight against bureaucracy, and to democratize the process. Before the expropriation occurs it is necessary to conquer the control by workers and the people of key economic sectors of production and distribution.
8 In the current period of the Latin American struggle where the Socialists are still minority and there is an ongoing process (Bolivia, Venezuela, and Ecuador) our policy is to be part of this, to fight within it for its deepening. It is a policy similar to the one the III International had in the East Theses. “Aware that in various historical conditions, the most varied elements may be the speakers of the political autonomy, the International Communist supports the entire national revolutionary movement against imperialism.” Only being an active part we can contribute to carry out these tasks and affirm the anti-capitalists and socialists positions. In order to do so,
we maintain our political independence.
XIV – Sides in the revolutionaries’ politics
1 Those who we call “dogmatic socialist or propagandists” believe that there is no solution without socialism and we must always fight for socialism. This is a general truth and we agree that the way out is socialism. It is also true that the final confrontation is between bourgeoisie and proletariat, which are the two points of reference of the class struggle. But the reality of confrontation between these two social groups has an uneven and combined development. In each confrontation between exploiters and exploited we must find the dividing line of confrontation. (For that reason Lenin insisted in the concrete analysis of the concrete situation.) This occurs because, in reality, for different class sectors and fractions, exist different superstructures that are beyond a simplistic analysis. You cannot fall into schemas. There are confrontations between oppressed and oppressive nations and this has been amplified in the new world situation.
2 This is most visible in times of great contradictions, and of an escalating political polarization, where we need to be prepared to benefit from, to develop the socialist positions, and not to be merely a spectator. Examples are categorical: In Iraq and Palestine there is a confrontation between nation and imperialism. In Latin America it is workers and the people in one side, and imperialism on the other. In Venezuela it is the poor people with Chavism on one side and the bourgeoisie and imperialism on the other. The same happens when confrontations occur against dictatorships. The Spanish Civil War had two clear sides. Within the Republican side the revolutionaries fought their positions independently, to defeat the Franco faction and they should overcome and/or defeat the Republican bourgeois. But they had to do so in an orderly way by first defeating Franco. In the Second World War Moreno outlined that there was a progressive democratic movement against Nazism. Our policy is taking a side in these confrontations, without losing sight of the independence of the organization. In that sense the Venezuelan referendum is very clear.
3 This issue is in agreement to the experience of our historical political tendency. Moreno, in the 50´s and 60´s, in his reasoning and his experience with Peronism, defended one side: we were side by side with Peronism against the “gorilla reaction”. Moreno defended the need to know how to outline the dividing line of each confrontation, without schemes. For that reason we aligned with Peronism while he was in power against the danger of a coup and later in the resistance to the triumphant coup. It was not only a matter of military side but of application of an anti-imperialist united front policy. To know how to outline the real and concrete dividing line is what made us make efforts to align with the nationalists movements in Latin America. It is the same situation placed to the comrades of Venezuela now, taking sides of the Bolivarian process against reaction and imperialism. In the same way as we defended a side in the Cuban Revolution against imperialism. To know how to act on one side of the confrontation with political and organizational independence and defending the interests of the working class. This is a general policy in acute situations, and particularly in independent countries which are in the foresights of imperialism.
4 There was an incorrect reformulation of this policy in the 80s. At this time, Moreno formulated a new controversial theory against the sides. In his anxiety to be against an opportunistic Trotskyist ideology (Lambertismo, “The Work”, in Brazil) he denied, for example, the Republican side in Spain. In his polemic efforts, he came to say that the only disagreement in the bourgeoisie was related to their opinion about the best way to defeat the workers. He argued that you should take sides where there is military confrontation in that case under military discipline.
Moreno position of denying sides was related to the position about the counter-revolutionary world front. If there is a revolutionary world situation it would be logical that all exploiters and all leaderships which do not accept the revolution may be in the same side. But it is something that becomes incomprehensible, to put Hezbolah, Hamas, Al Sadr, who are pettyl-bourgeois or bourgeois leaderships, in the same side with the right and Bush in those countries and worldwide.
5 Sides do not only exist in military confrontations, but also in times of conflict, instability, and worsening of the class struggle as we live now and as existed before in China, in Spain, in the Peronist resistance, in the struggle to maintain independence of a country. More specifically in Venezuela where there are clearly two sides, not three as the propagandists say. This has resulted in a front in favor of the constitutional reform. Either we vote “YES” or “NO.” That same decision should be taken in Bolivia.
XV – The regroupment of socialists and the issue of building the party
1 The construction of the revolutionary party occurs on clear principles, while being part of the mass movement and defending it to our positions. These principles allow us to maintain a strategy and to be apart from reformism because we believe in the revolutionary struggle of workers and people in order to gain political power. This can only be done through the confrontation with imperialism and the capitalists that will not give up their power. There is the need of masses mobilization and also military force. At the same time we are apart from the sectarian and dogmatic people that identify themselves as the party and make “propaganda” of socialism and therefore, isolate themselves from the masses. The revolutionaries have their programmatic principles, but at the time, they have a program which is based on the needs of the masses and they build the party in accordance with a specific circumstance of the class struggle.
2In this period of the party construction, there is the need of reagrouping the socialist forces, or grouping the different forces that are in favor of the struggle for socialism, even if we do not have an agreement on all points of how to reach socialism. It is the best response to the new situation that started with the fall of Stalinism and the current development of class struggle. We can, and must, fight for the masses but at the same time it is not placed on the agenda now the seizure of political power.
3 Regroupment is to unite in a single organization, under a socialist program, different positions and a democratic system of unity of action of the tendencies. The policy of building the revolutionary party only with those that are in accordance with a finished program and under a system of centralism without the right of tendency, leads to a self proclamation party.
4 We follow the Leninist model. This means a party that adapts its organizational forms to situations of class struggle. Lenin was a fraction of the social democracy for a long time. Several times he acted in the same party with Mensheviks (with whom he only ultimately split in 1912), even asking for unity with the Mensheviks against the so-called “liquidators” of the party.
5 On this basis we note two important experiences – the construction of PSOL, as a new party which is the overcome of the Workers’ Party and PSTU (Unified Workers Socialist Party). This experience was possible because we left the WP at the right time, after its betrayal was nacionally clear, when mass sectors were disappointed with the direction the party had taken. PSOL was part of that experience and for that reason could win the masses trust and become the party that is the only alternative to the left. It also showed that the policy of regroupment must be done on the basis of a non-finished socialist program and with a democratic regime ( of the party). The new experiences of the “La Lucha Continua” in Peru, “Marea Socialist” in Venezuela as part of the PSUV, and also the policy of the Argentine MST (Socialist Workers Movement ) show that it is possible a different politics from the self-proclamation and on doing so, to interfere on the real processes. It is also the same politics of the French LCR (Revolutionary Communist League) for building a new party.
XVI – The internationalism and the construction of the International in this new period
1A key point for the revolutionaries is that internationalism is more up to date than ever. A national organization does not exist if it is not bonded or part of an international organization. The battle against capitalism is increasingly international.
2 Today, there is no international organization as a reference point. What exist are small fractions of the Fourth International which has always been minority (now fragmented). The experience of PSOL and the new party that the LCR is proposing indicates that if, on the one hand, we need an international reference point, on the other hand, we don’t believe any of these parties will adhere to an existing international fraction. We do not believe that the construction of the International means the reconstruction of the Fourth International: we live in a new period of class struggle. The Fourth International was a defensive response to the Stalinism that has fulfilled the objective of defending the program in difficult times. Now a regroupment, or groupment, of fources is needed, and it must go beyond those who claim to be trotskysts.
3 There is no possibility of building the Fourth International around a Trotskyist party that will eventually turn into a reference point. This party does not exist nor there are any chances that any party will win quickly a position that would allow such a situation.
4 The task is to build a new organization that in its first moment will have federative forms and an unfinished program of common points for the fight for socialism. The new experiences of national regroupment that are happening now, such as PSOL, indicate that national processes still have to develop and produce a new international regroupment.