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Home page > 5. Documents of the FI > 1. World Congresses > 16. 16th World Congress Discussion - 2010 > Three minority amendments to the resolution on role and tasks of the Fourth (...)
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Three minority amendments to the resolution on role and tasks of the Fourth International

Sunday 11 October 2009, by Alain Mathieu, Patrick Tamerlan

Presented by comrades Mathieu and Patrick (France), these amendments were not integrated into the draft resolution during the plenary session of the International Committee of the Fourth International of February 2009.

First amendment

Presented by comrades Mathieu and Patrick (France), this amendment was not integrated into the draft resolution during the plenary session of the International Committee of the Fourth International of February 2009 (the votes concerning its integration were: 8.825% for, 76.47% against, 8.825% abstentions and 5.88 % NV).

1] At the end of paragraph 3, add:

That situation not only “frees new spaces for the radical left ", but it also entails contradictions within the labour movement and trade unions, as well as in and around the traditional parties of the left, the social democrats or the CPs. A new phenomenon of fractures or divisions which, without immediately producing clearly anti-capitalist parties, create groupings or political forces which occupy a part of the space to the left of social democracy. Whatever our analyses of these processes, we should not deny that what took place in Germany with Die Linke indicates a state of crisis of the traditional parties which we find in other forms in Greece, France, Italy and elsewhere, which has changed the political scene on the left in recent years.

These regroupments in Europe reflect a first stage of partial break with social liberalism, without immediately creating "anti-capitalist parties “around "revolutionary Marxist" currents; they produce forms of intermediate party-type formations forces in which militants of the anti-capitalist left can sometimes participate by exploiting the initial dynamics of a break. The political contradictions are live in these groupings, notably around the two key questions which provide a line of clarification within them

- governmental participation or support for coalitions based on social-liberal management
- involvement in the social movements to politically reflect their aspirations.

The Italian experience was decisive, and concerns not only the Italian left, but also all the European left. Rifondazione’s participation in a government of the centre left is a question which is debated in Die Linke, Syrisa, the S.P. in Netherlands, the left of the left of the PS in France, and others. Such emergent forces are the sign of a period of regroupment and reconstruction within the labour movement, which is going to become more marked with the effects of the economic crisis of autumn 2008, also accelerating the crisis of social liberalism. This period will, for a while, leave open several possibilities of regroupments of a party form to the left of social democracy, without necessarily immediately strengthening an “anti-capitalist regroupment " based essentially on far- left organizations.

Second amendment

Presented by comrades Mathieu and Patrick (France), this amendment was not integrated into the draft resolution during the plenary session of the International Committee of the Fourth International of February 2009. (The votes concerning its integration were: 5.88% for, 76.47% against, 14.71% abstentions and 2.94% NV).

2] after the two first sentences in point 5, replace by

EACL, a perspective to be maintained

For several years, we have engaged, with several European sections in the process of the EACL. Its history and its development have not been linear, it has experienced progress and setbacks.

In several countries, the perspective of wide groupings moved backwards. The failures in the Scotland and in Great Britain, notably, weakened it. In this last case, the choice of the SWP to turn in on its own organization by leaving Respect, which could have begun a wider anti-capitalist regroupment, had a negative effect.

A debate is imperative with the SWP, as with the other forces of the far-left in Europe, a critical debate which is absent in the document proposed for the world congress.

We must persevere in the strengthening of an EACL which would group true pluralistic anti-capitalist parties, beyond the “revolutionary" currents alone, to weigh in the political "reconstruction" of the labour movement.

By trying to strengthen the dynamics of a regroupment of the European anti-capitalist forces, starting from a coordination willed and organised by the pluralist parties existing in the EACL, our objective is not at first to “split ", or separate the “revolutionaries "from the “semi reformist” or “hesitant". In Europe, the working class really needs true mass anti-capitalist parties to defend itself in the current situation. It is ever more urgent, given the speed of the effects of the economic crisis and the incapacity of social democracy to answer it; in the absence of political solutions and of political organisation on the left, the ground could be occupied by xenophobic and protectionist forces.

We have to count on a dynamic of radicalisation in the struggles in the face of the crisis, and faced with the neoliberal policies of the European Union. It is on this basis that the revolutionary Marxist current may be in a position to influence the evolution of these forces or these unitary anti-capitalist parties, which have not settled everything but which can evolve towards the left.

Broad unitary grouping, in the social struggles or in electoral coalitions, based on the defence of urgent measures in favour of the working class faced with the capitalist crisis, are means to engage processes of action and political clarification.

Die Linke in Germany was an example of the beginning of a break and gathering to the left of social democracy. Syriza in Greece is another one, where groups of the radical left become allied with a significant organization stemming from the crisis of the Greek CP, confirming on the electoral terrain as in recent social movements that a wide anti-capitalist party can form, without looking for a governmental alliance with social democracy, and can weigh on the political situation. These are not the only examples, and moreover no example is to be literally followed. In every country, according to the situation, the configurations will be specific.

But what is common, it is that everywhere, on the basis of the double crisis of the social democracy and the CPs, a space arises for possible groupings, ground for debate and action, in which the "revolutionary Marxists" have to act to build broad anti-capitalist parties, disputing the hegemony of social democracy over the left.

We continue what we have begun to build with the EACL, to regroup and clarify the debate among the forces existing to the left of social democracy, on the basis of two key points: that the parties which make it up are open to and active in the development of the social movements, and remain independent of social liberalism and the governments it leads.

Third amendment

Presented by comrades Mathieu and Patrick (France), this amendment was not integrated into the draft resolution during the plenary session of the International Committee of the Fourth International of February 2009. (The votes concerning its integration were: 5.88% for, 73.53% against, 17.65% abstentions and 2.94% NV).

3) Add at end of point 8 We should invite as observers the forces with whom we work. But we must be clear on the fact that the Congress of the FI is not in itself a congress of broad anti-capitalist parties, nor a "stage" towards this purpose. We have to reaffirm the perspective already acquired by the Fourth International: a new mass anti-capitalist international, and not simply an “enlarged” Fourth International. We have to discuss the way to succeed in building mass pluralistic anti-capitalist parties in every country.

The Fourth International is a political current which defends this prospect, but this prospect is not that of gathering “around “the Fourth International, where the acceptable pluralism would be reduced to various variants of Trotskyism and the far left groups.

A new international will be the result of a much wider political convergence, after a series of working experiences and common debates, of true broad parties which decide to form a new international grouping. The Fourth International will be one current of this new international, doubtless without dominating it, given the relatively weak forces which we have on an international scale.

But its political, ideological role, its existence in this stage as the only actually existing international framework lead us to believe that in new broad anti-capitalist parties with rights of tendency or current, the partisans of the Fourth International in these new parties will organize under forms to be determined, according to the specific situations in every party .