"Excerpts of the resolution Role and Tasks of the Fourth International"

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Fourth International/16th World Congress

Role and Tasks of the Fourth International


1. We are in a context marked by an unprecedented combination of a global economic crisis and a worldwide ecological crisis, a multidimensional crisis without precedent, that puts capitalist and patriarchal civilization into crisis. This is a major turning point. This dual crisis shows the failure of the capitalist system and puts on the agenda the reorganization and reconstruction of an anti-capitalist workers’ movement.

The social and economic attacks and neoliberal counter reforms against the popular classes are going to increase. These attacks will particularly affect women, given that their situation is worse to start with (much higher rates of poverty, unemployment and casualization than men) and they will have to compensate for the cuts in public services and social allowances increasing their unpaid work within the family. There will be more wars and conflicts.

Religious fundamentalism will be increasingly used as the ideological underpinning both for attacks on the popular classes, targeting notably women’s control of their own bodies, and wars and conflicts between nations and ethnic groups. A non-Eurocentric approach to sexual oppression and emancipation is important to opposing both Islamic fundamentalism in particular and the Islamophobic ideology of “clash of civilizations” that helps fuel it. Ecological catastrophes will hit millions of people particularly in the poorer regions, making the situation of women who are heads of family disproportionately worse.

A new historical period is on the horizon.

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The crisis has a particularly harsh impact on women and on sexual minorities that are excluded from the family (or choose not to live in it) and are thus cut off from its resources. The crisis is driving many of the most marginalized people, such as transgenders, into even deeper poverty. This is true especially in dependent countries where a welfare state is weak or non-existent.