Building social movements, broad parties and the Fourth International, Penny

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12.0 Outline

12.1 Excerpts from Daniel Bensaïd, The Formative Years of the Fourth International (1933-1938), Amsterdam: IIRE

12.2 Excerpt from Ernest Mandel, The Leninist Theory of Organization, London, 1972

12.3 Excerpt from Jo Freeman, 'The tyranny of structurelessness' (Ms. Magazine, 1973)

12.4 Excerpt from the ICS (FI Indian section) 'Code of Conduct'

12.5 Excerpt from FI 12th World Congress, 'Dictatorship of the proletariat and socialist democracy' (IVP, 1985)

12.6 Excerpt from FI 15th World Congress, 'Role and tasks of the Fourth International' (IVP no. 351/2, summer 2003):

12.7 Section 1 of Statutes of the Fourth International (1974) and Preamble to Statutes of the Fourth International (2003)

12.8 Excerpt from FI IEC, 'Building revolutionary youth organisations in the imperialist countries' (May 1982)

12.9 Excerpts from Gabriel, 'Report on the balance sheet and problems of building our youth organisations in Europe' (March 1988)

First part : Who makes the revolution?

The “working class” and “class consciousness”

- movements and parties are an expression of consciousness - formation of the working class, through the process of industrialisation, formation first of a social category. = development of elementary consciousness through proletarian struggles = systematisation through more experience, reflection = vanguard (natural leadership of struggles) - uneven and differentiated consciousness = different factors which influence consciousness, Ernest Mandel cites some : big work places, urban, literate CAN ADD being - women - immigrant - youth = different readiness to struggle - same factor not always the same effect

2. Social movements

- new and not so new social movements: trades unions, women, student, ecology, peace, lesbian and gay, - autonomy: social composition, party political links, - vanguard on certain questions

Social and political subjects

- social, political and revolutionary subjects - distinction made between practical-political and theoretical-political - question of "social weight" - only class(es) which are majority of population can install "dictatorship of proletariat" in DEMOCRATIC sense - which classes (peasantry) and what is the working class in developing countries and modifications in w/class in advanced capitalism - class question in relationship to social movements - but question: for what IDEAS

Second part : What political organisations do we need?

Why do we need political organisation “acting together on the main political questions while discussing freely and respecting the rules of democracy”

  • need for political organisation

• bringing politics into the economic struggle, • active intervention to have an effect

  • need for centralisation and democracy in action of such an organisation

• shared programme to be effective and democratic - systematisation - integration of experiences - ability to analyse and update • collective action to make a balance sheet

  • need for an international

• even as small as ours • not a “mother house” with offshoots -

The feminist challenge to traditional conceptions

- general dynamic of women’s exclusion from political process, disrespect for women and their political activity - changing relationship of forces, not a natural process - positive action - women’s caucuses - no islands of socialism but prefigurative relations - bourgeois society cannot be a school for the proletariat

The importance of a youth orientation

Three reasons : • youth are the new generation who will take the struggle forward on the basis of what has already been learnt • they are a source of continuing radicalisation by their status as young people –victims of a specific but transitory oppression - and not weighed down by the experience of defeats and bureaucratism • in a period of big changes they are the ones whose daily experience is really impregnated with these changes and react on the basis of this new experience - Trotsky in TP “Quand s’use un programme ou une organisation s’use aussi la génération qui les a portés sur ses épaules. La rénovation du mouvement se fait par la jeunesse libre de toute responsabilité pour le passé.” - Che Guevara “The youth must also create. Youth that does not create is really an anomaly…”

Third part Building our International in tune with today’s needs

- changing world - needs today

From the “world party of socialist revolution”

  • Where we’ve come from (see Chapter 9 of Role and Tasks 2003, statutes 1974 10th World Congress)
  • World vision/ project

• continuity of Russian revolution

  • struggle against Stalinism

• programmatic foundations • right to tendency and faction (from the start)

  • post 1968 -

• new generation, new confidence

To “an international organization struggling for socialist revolution”

Some programmatic milestones on the way

  • 1979 (11th World Congress) Socialist revolution and the struggle for women’s liberation (previous reading)

• autonomy of women’s movement because • understanding of women’s oppression something other than a simple socio-economic question • separate organisation of women is neither petty bourgeois nor splitting the working class

  • Socialist democracy and the dictatorship of the proletariat (1970s ->1985 (12th World Congress))

• possibility of plurality of authentically revolutionary organisations • rejection of idea of one revolutionary party which can synthesise all needs and interests and represent the whole class,

  • Positive action 1991 (13th World Congress)

• full recognition reality of unequal power in our own organisations and legitimacy of women organising

Learning from social movements, programme develops also outside party, “black period” for politics and ourselves

  • 1991 first attempt at ecology document, Appeal for new internationalism
  • 1992 Adoption of manifesto
  • 1995 Building the Fourth International (14th World Congress)
  • 2003 LGBT and ecology documents (15th World Congress)

• apply Marxist methods of programme and analysis to these question

  • 2003 new statutes (see reading)

• concretisation of rejecting pretensions

• striving towards “a new revolutionary pluralistic international” in new political situation

  • after fall of Berlin wall ->

• programmatic questions -> relations other groups

  • Zapatistas->

• strategic questions, power, taking power, the state

  • global justice movement->

• new form of internationalism – not direct solidarity with political movements • new forms of organization - old debates - new technologies - NGOs

  • new interest from political currents to meet and discuss

- EACL - Paris Conference

• Building broad pluralist parties is already difficult at national level but it will be even more so at international level. But goal of Trotsky from the beginning (Trotskyists minority in mass revolutionary International) and new possibilities today.