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Statement on Capitalist Restoration

Sunday 10 August 2003

The World Congress of the Fourth International reaffirms a common approach by the Fourth International, whatever differences in analysis exist over the processes of capitalist restoration in the bureaucratically-led regimes that usurped the name of socialism.

We have always in the past supported workers’ and peoples’ revolts against Stalinist dictatorships; in particular in Hungary, in the GDR, in Czechoslovakia, in Poland, in the former Soviet Union and in China.

Moreover, we support resistance movements by peoples, workers and peasants in these countries against the effects of the ongoing capitalist restoration.

We have always combated the bureaucratic regimes that claimed to be socialist while maintaining the repressive nature of their regimes against peoples and workers, in the name of rights to self-organisation, workers’ self-management and democracy.

It is in the name of these same demands and principles that we continue to raise the call for resistance against the ruling policies and orientation that have accompanied the expansion of capitalist globalisation in Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and China. We reject and speak out against the policies of the so-called socialist bureaucratic regimes whose logic is the deterioration in social benefits, commodification and generalised privatisation of the means of production and a sharp increase in workers’ exploitation. In just the same way, we reject the nostalgic recollection of single-party dictatorship and the pseudo-defence of social benefits under the control of powers putting forth a line hostile to globalisation; but using this to hide their own privileges and oppressive relations.

Everywhere, we fight encroachments on social benefits and rights while giving our unconditional support to all forms of resistance against such social regression, whatever the label of the regimes and States that implement these policies, in particular in China.

We also reject the other form that this policy can take, in particular in China, behind a pseudo-modernising and opening up of the rules set out by the WTO, in the name of a so-called "market socialism" - which really means super-exploitation of workers in order to achieve production "at the lowest possible cost" for the world market and the enrichment of a new Chinese bourgeoisie.

The Fourth International considers it essential to continue and go into greater depth, in liaison with all ongoing forms of resistance to capitalist globalisation, in particular in the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and China:

- the radical critical analysis of the regimes that have held power until now in the name of the workers; but actually on their backs, while claiming to be socialist;

- the refoundation of a socialist project worthy of that name; on the basis of individual and collective democracy which has never actually been put into practice and in liaison with all struggles resisting oppressive orders. Experience shows to what an extent, on all continents, neo-liberal policies have failed to bring forth a new world order of progress and democracy. Instead, they have led to unbridled capitalism with its cortege of social regression which menaces the planet with its wars.

The Fourth International will encourage all organisations of the social movement to build links of solidarity with the peoples and workers of these countries:

- to the youth and women’s associations but also to the trade unionists we call for help in the organisation and the demands of new trade unions as they face privatisation, attacks on working conditions, redundancies imposed by the multinationals and the bureaucrats and new bourgeoisie;

- to the movement for another globalisation we call for assistance in achieving common awareness, international solidarity in action, against globalised capitalism.

Furthermore, the World Congress mandates the upcoming IEC to organise the continuation of this debate (internally and externally, in the International’s press and in its sections), on the theoretical and programmatic questions relating to revolutions in this century, Stalinism and capitalist restoration.

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