A new stage in the epoch of the agony of capitalism
1. The characteristics distinguishing the present historical stage were determined from the time of the dissolution of the Soviet Union and by the restoration of capitalism now in course, in varying degrees, in Russia, in China and in all of the former degenerated worker states. Although they never left the framework of the world capitalist economy, which they could not have done either, their disappearance has widened, geographically and socially, the domination of capital on an unprecedented scale.
The capitalist restoration has reinforced competition within the world working class as hundreds of millions of workers reenter the world market. The expropriation of capital, by limiting that competition through revolutionary means, had signified progress in the struggle of the working class against the capitalist class for the allocation of world income.
2. The restoration of capital in the former worker states put an end to a long series of attempts by the proletariat to overthrow the bureaucratic regimes through revolutionary means. The political revolutions against the governing bureaucracies of all the former worker states, between 1953 and 1989, debuted as a rebellion of the productive forces that had developed in the framework of the planned economy against its deforming and strangulation by the counterrevolutionary bureaucracies. However, following the growing economic, political and diplomatic alliances of the counterrevolutionary bureaucracy with imperialism, those revolutions were transformed, objectively, into a rebellion of the productive forces against world capital. The capitalist restoration signifies, as a whole, that is, independently of the partial and relative results it may have had in this or that country, a historic regression of the productive forces imposed by the socially existing relations.
The entrance of the bureaucratic regimes into the international system of foreign debt; the increasingly frequent accords of their governments with the FMI; the international treaties which committed the bureaucracy to the defense of property and of the capitalist market (Helsinki, 1975, the ceding of Hong Kong, 1982), were further manifestation of the tendency of the bureaucracy towards capitalist restoration.
The disintegration of the state apparatus in China and in Poland, in the framework of the “cultural revolution,” the former, and factory occupation towards the end of the seventies, the latter, marked the turning points that left the “transitional” social regimes without a ‘third option’ between the restoration of capitalism and the proletarian revolution.
This revolutionary crisis not only reflected the exhaustion of ‘socialism in one country’ but also the overall impasse of world capitalism. They took place when the so-called international economic ‘boom’ of the post-war had drawn to a close and a decade after the international crisis of 1971-75 that initiated a relatively prolonged and extended economic decline.
3. The restoration of capitalism, which is in its initial stages, has widened the radius of exploitation for international capital. The opening up of the former worker states has offered capital a new possibility for exploitation, involving hundreds of millions of people (China) or the possibility of appropriating, moreover, a sophisticated technical park (Russia). But this onset of a solution for the saturation of the world market has been accompanied by a greater saturation of that same world market itself.
It occurs that in close connection to this widening, competition has intensified between the international capitalist monopolies who have in their sights the conquest of those new markets and a new division of the world market. The greater geographic mobility gained by capital has accentuated competition within the proletariat on an international level. Competition between workers is made manifest, indirectly, through the exploitation of the productive forces and cheaper workers, and, directly, by the wave of immigrants towards the metropolis. In the backward countries relative overpopulation resulting from the collapse of small production and the agrarian crisis is worsening, while in the metropolis a marked social degradation is made manifest.
Since capital faces the capitalist restoration with methods of its own, its fundamental tendencies have also been reinforced: concentration of wealth at one pole and social misery at the other; accentuation of economic anarchy and, as a result, of financial and commercial crises; liquidation of the intermediate strata and of small production; sharpening of the agrarian crisis and a rise in peasant uprisings; a greater limit placed on the independent development of the backward nations. In the end, driving towards new wars and new revolutions.
With the capitalist restoration, the historical crisis of capitalism has not attenuated but instead has sharpened.
Because the collapse of the degenerated worker states is processed in the framework of the tendencies of the world capitalist crisis. From the former East Germany to Russia a true degradation in the level of civilization is unfolding. In China, the invasion of foreign capital has burst wide open the breach between the world economy and the historic backwardness of China, giving way to development as explosive as unilateral, but which provokes, together with an enormous polarization of wealth, the demolition of the state economy, still the most prevalent, and a gigantic agrarian crisis. The most advanced economies, on their side, suffer a series of financial crises each one wider and more intense than that which preceded it, drawing monopolies and entire nations into bankruptcy and social and political upheaval. For the first time the survival of the European Union as a political entity is threatened. The historical crisis of capital has advanced various rungs up the ladder, which has reinforced the tendency towards the creation of revolutionary situations and of social revolutions. The tendency of capital towards its own dissolution is thereby made clear for all to see.
4. The stage opened by the collapse of the degenerated worker states has dissolved the system of international relations established by the accords of the post-war and, with it, has generated ever deeper international crises. The exhaustion of 'diplomatic architecture' of the so-called 'cold war' is an expression of a new stage in the overall relations between the social classes.
Those parties responding to the international apparatus managed by Moscow have failed in their prolonged attempt to recycle themselves into 'national' reformist parties and in general are in a state of disintegration. In the same way, numerous client states of the Russian bureaucracy have fallen, especially in the Balkans, the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa. The capitalist restoration in the former USSR has not only provoked a generalized economic disorganization, but has also sparked the emergence of all the national antagonisms which lay beneath the surface in its police state. The nations of Central Asia and of the Caucasus have turned into a gigantic field of dispute for world imperialism. On the plane of international political relations the new stage is characterized by generalized state crises and wars on all the continents.
II. The ideology of imperialism in the current stage
5. The characterization of the stage in course, effectuated by official and semi-official academia, as a 'globalization' (referring to capital) adorns the capitalist restoration of the former worker states with a progressive historical character. The globalization of capital, however, is a phenomenon which reached its historic apogee a long time ago with the complete formation of the world market and the emergence of imperialism. It expresses the decline of capitalism, not its ascent. The historical regression that has a point of culmination in the capitalist restoration now in course, had its beginnings in the bureaucratic counterrevolution, which was nothing more than the expression of the pressure of the world capitalist economy upon "socialism" isolated in "one" or various historically backward countries. 'Globalization' as restoration of capital where it had been expropriated does not constitute an advance but rather a historical step backwards, and conveys, on the one hand, the loss of historic and social gains in those countries as well as on an international level. 'Globalization' is the ideological expression of the destruction of socialism as a perspective, which was an historic conquest of the proletariat during two centuries of class struggle.
It adjudicates the transitory victory of capital over the non-capitalist social regimes led by a bureaucracy, to a capacity of capital for indefinitely revolutionizing the productive forces. This hides, on the one hand, the inner contradictory character of capital and, on the other, its historically conditioned character; the fact that the advance of science and technology, driven by capitalism, not as a conscious social aim, but rather due to the necessity of increasing the exploitation of another's labor, strengthens its contradictions and makes them ever more explosive.
The euphemism 'globalizing' makes an attempt to place an equal sign between the liquidation of the pre-capitalist economic forms carried out by world capital in the historic epoch of its ascent (liberalism) and the destruction of the state-owned property and of the planned economy in the stage of monopoly capital in disintegration.
It presents the capitalist unification of the world market as a perspective still to be completed, and not as a reality which has exhausted its historical possibilities and which breeds explosive economic crises, greater social catastrophes and even more destructive wars.
‘Globalization’ denies that capitalist restoration has a transitory character, whose outcome will be determined by the unfolding of the present world crisis.
6. In the same way 'globalization' as an ideological fiction has the aim of covering up the whole set of dislocating tendencies proper to world capital. For example, the incredible extension of fictitious capital (indebtedness both public and private, of investors and consumers, financial and speculative), which far exceeds capital in its material form and which leads state budgets to ruin. The development of fictitious capital under the form of an unprecedented extension of the capital markets constitutes a powerful means of additional economic confiscation of the workers, of the intermediate social strata, and of whole states.
The so-called outsourcing or sub-contracting, another characteristic of the much touted globalization, does not represent a new historical phase of industrialization pushed forward by the drive for the international division of labor, but rather a parasitical development of the big capitalist cartels, which substitute the industrialization of the backward countries with the implanting of maquiladoras (giant sweat shops) and assembly plants, in order to exploit cheap manpower and to loot the resources of the nations involved.
The end result of these tendencies as a whole is the chronic overproduction of goods and capital, the tendency towards economic depression, the generalization (this indeed global) of deflation on an international scale and the highest and most permanent level of workers unemployment in the history of capitalism. The so-called globalization 'globs' together all forms of capital as 'global' capital, but hides, in this way, its specific historical phase, that is the exceptional level reached by its parasitical and rent-income based development.
7. Capitalist development in the last few decades has reinforced the contradiction between the world-wide character of the development of the productive forces and of the market, on the one hand, and the national character of capital, the monopolies and the States. That is, that there has been an accentuation of capitalist anarchy.
The reinforcement of the nationalization of capital unmasks the non-neutral character of such apologetic expressions as 'transnational,' 'multinationals,' or 'globalization.' The nationalization of capital is made manifest in a special way by the supremacy acquired by US capital, above all in investment banking.
The European Union has failed in its attempt to create specifically European capital in opposition to US and Japanese capital and even in reference to the national capital of the respective European states, that is, the French, the Italian, the German and even the Greek. The national atomization of monopoly capital in Europe has not been overcome either by the creation of a Central Bank nor by a sole currency; the latter has exacerbated the contradictions in its national economies, as a consequence of its accentuated inequalities of development. The attempt to establish its own reserve currency, in competition with the dollar, is a distinguishing manifestation of the national rivalries of capital and constitutes a constant source of international clashes, diplomatic confrontations and even wars through interposition (within and without European frontiers). The coalition formed between various economic cartels of different nationalities has, almost unanimously, a transitory character. It is the manifestation of the clash of some national blocs against others, which disintegrate in turn with each manifestation of the general economic crisis. The national states are more than ever tools of the monopolies in struggle for supremacy over the world market. This phenomena has accentuated with the policy of 'free commerce,' which deprives the weakest nations of the possibility of protecting themselves through measures of a political nature and leaves them at the mercy of arbitration among the few more powerful nations, especially the United States.
8. The formation of the European Union has not been a lineal historical process. It has represented, in different stages, the attempts at survival and adaptation of the European imperialist bourgeoisie to the changing conditions of the world crisis. Under similar denominations, it has represented different social and political phenomena.
Whether to contain social revolution in the post-war; whether as a framework permitting the reestablishment of the old national states exhausted by two world wars, as the only concrete forms of the political domination of capital; whether to solve the crisis of overproduction through the partial elimination of commercial barriers; whether as a political method to unify the offensive against the workers after the end of the post-war 'boom' and the start of the present stage of crisis; whether to organize the struggle with US capital in the context of this same world crisis; whether as an attempt, finally, of the most powerful states, especially Germany, to adapt themselves to the collapse of the USSR and of East Europe and to annex the new markets of the East and Russia. European imperialism has mounted a series of "corridors" (transport, roadways, pipelines), with the purpose of connecting western Europe with the Caucasus and even with central Asia, passing through the countries comprising the peninsula of the Balkans.
Under the pressure of the world economic crisis and of the struggles of the workers, however, the centrifugal tendencies tend to predominate more and more over the centripetal. The utilization of national rivalries by US finance capital tends to fracture the European Union. The growth of this inter-imperialist struggle conditions the world political crisis as a whole. From the Balkans, Russia and the Caucasus to the Far East, Iraq and Palestine, the crisis, the national confrontations and the wars express, more and more, the growing opposition between European capital and states, which are also divided amongst themselves, and those of the US. The manifestations of a tendency towards the dislocation of the European Union has been accentuated, sowing confusion among those who consider it irreversible and augur it infinite progress.
9. The centrifugal tendencies and the growing clashes with US imperialism has affected the rhythms of development of the political crises, with a special impact on the old continent. This overall tendency condemns to ridicule those who argue in favor of completing the development of imperialist Europe with a "more democratic construction." The penetration of European monopolies in the Eastern countries has reinforced the imperialist tendency of the EU, sharpens competition among the international cartels, and accentuates the growing social dissolution of the Balkans and the East and strengthens the offensive of capital and its States against the conditions of the proletariat in the West.
The economic crisis that provoked the bursting of the US financial bubble in the early part of 2002 has manifested itself most acutely in the European Union, especially in the tendency towards economic depression affecting Germany, France and Italy. The loss of positions of these countries in the world market, for the benefit of US capital, has given rise to an acute tension between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, because European capital cannot deal with international competition without severely curtailing the social and labor gains of the masses. The attack against social security and health has opened up a stage of violent class conflicts in Europe. The 'space' for a 'democratic construction,' that is, within the imperialist framework, grows smaller all the time. Idealized by its apologists as a way of overcoming the limits imposed by national frontiers on the development of the productive forces, the European Union has rapidly shown itself to be a brake against that development. In a certain sense, explodes the attempt to fit in a single institutional mold the sharp inequalities in capitalist development that characterize the EU. The IV International denounces the imperialist character of the European Union and of its purpose of Eastern expansion; emphasizes that imperialism poses a tendency towards political reaction and not towards democracy; points out that it has failed in its attempt to overcome the historical stumbling block of national frontiers in the development of productive forces, and even more so, that it has created additional stumbling blocks that have to do with its historic artificiality; and clearly underlines the fact that the imperialist tendency and the tendency to accentuate its contradictions lead to an intensification of the class struggle inside Europe. This set of factors reinforces the tendency towards serious political crises in the European countries and even towards the posing of the question of power. The IV International inscribes within this framework the political crisis of April 2001 in France, when a political liquidation of the traditional parties of the right and left wings took place, in combination with huge mass mobilizations, especially of the youth. Laid bare, in this crisis, was the depletion of imperialist democracy. On this basis the IV International denounces the reactionary character of the slogan for a democratic and social European Union, and puts forward the total validity of the union of the European proletariat for the expropriation of capital and the establishment of the United Socialist States of Europe.
10. The world economic phase initiated around the time of the seventies is not only to be distinguished from that which took place in the post-war by an inversion of the tendency of the general curve of development of production. It is characterized, above all, by the cyclic recessions of explosive characteristics which combine with financial crises of unusual amplitude, as a consequence of the bursting of the speculative 'bubbles,' of the extraordinary indebtedness of the States, and that of individual capital and consumers, with which the priming of economic 'recovery' is being attempted. The financial collapses over the period of 1997 to 2001 bring to a close the extraordinary speculative cycle initiated with the 'euphoria' sparked by the dissolution of the USSR.
The world economy, as a whole, is characterized by the tendency towards greater financial crises and deflation. World politics, in turn, is conditioned by these tendencies of the economy.
11. The war of the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq, the Caucasus, Palestine and various African countries has inaugurated a stage of imperialist wars of international scope, which completely refutes the universalist pretensions of 'globalization,' its idyllic character, that is, as purely 'economic' and 'pacific,' or the 'naturalness' of the supremacy of capitalism in the present historical stage. The 'practical' and ideological collapse of 'globalization' is expressed in the resurgence of its formally opposed expressions, such as 'clash of civilizations,' the need for 'national constructions' or the term 'international terrorism' as a world war which does not present itself as a confrontation between states.
This new wave of war is but the preliminary stage of a new period of massacres. That is, apart from anything else, an eminent expression of the quagmire of capital. It does not involve simply a commercial rivalry over oil and the raw material markets of Central Asia. It is an irrefutable manifestation of the fact that capitalist restoration is a process of violence and wars. Its guiding thread is the struggle for economic and political conquest of the space left by the dissolution of the Soviet Union and for control over the capitalist restoration in China. The hegemony over the capitalist restoration by any one of the blocs in dispute would decisively break the equilibrium of the relationship of forces among the various imperialist powers. The struggle for the conquest of the eastern markets of Europe and Asia tends to transform itself, for this reason, into an inter-imperialist struggle without parallel in history. This inter-imperialist struggle, the expression of an enormous crisis in the relations between the classes within each of the states, will come to augment the crisis and the struggles between the classes in all nations, including the semi-colonies.
From an overall historical point of view, the present stage forms part of a whole epoch, that starts with WWI and the revolutions following it, fundamentally the revolution of October of 1917. The mortal contradictions of this epoch, between the imperialist wars and revolution, found no way out in the course of WWII. On the one hand, the victory of the Red Army over Nazism, the Chinese Revolution, the extension of the USSR towards the east of Europe and various revolutions in the colonies placed a limit on the solution based in the restoration of capital in the Soviet Union. On the other hand, the defeat of the revolution in Europe, the re-establishment of capitalism hit hard by war and the prolongation of the domination of the counterrevolutionary bureaucracy in the worker states blocked the historic way out for the socialist revolution on an international scale.
In the last phase, the political revolutions, the fall of the bureaucracy and the world capitalist crisis trashed 'peaceful coexistence' or the 'convergence of systems.' The current historical period poses the alternative between the complete restoration of capitalism through the barbarism of wars and social degradation for the masses, or the definite victory of the socialist revolution, which is likely to be reinforced by the disasters occasioned by the capitalist restoration and which, therefore, could find more than ever fertile ground within the imperialist nations. The reformists and the centrists have been too quick to judge as cancelled the epoch of wars and revolutions and to pontificate the aurora of an "infinite peace."
III. The leadership of the proletariat
12. The crisis of leadership of the proletariat has been the decisive factor of the crisis which humanity has entered. In order to overcome this crisis of leadership, at the present time the question of reconstructing the leadership of the world working class comes to the forefront. A long period of time and the experience of several generations have passed since the vanguard of the working class could still speak in the name of a historical leadership of the revolutionary proletariat. The defeats suffered by the working class, from those which destroyed its organizations, to those political, and no less profound, has made itself manifest in a backward movement in the class consciousness of the masses; finally the defeat of the political revolutions has been brought about and, as a consequence of this, the disintegration of the worker states.
In the popular camp there has been a revival of petite-bourgeois nationalist tendencies in its most backward and even reactionary forms. The so-called traditional political organizations of the working class are found, in most cases, to be overrun by the bourgeoisie, including the imperialist bourgeoisie; the Stalinist parties have been painfully recycled into pro-imperialist democratism. There is no manifestation in the heart of the traditional organization of the irruption of the combative workers movements or of any real tendency that demands from within a "return to the historical origins." The organizations claiming to defend, in one way or another, the IV International, have succumbed to this step backwards in class consciousness and take on the role in most cases corresponding to the democratizing or nationalist petite-bourgeoisie. This occurs even where the defense of bourgeois democracy and of national identity are reactionary, as in the case of the imperialist powers. The long decades that have passed since the bankruptcy of Second International placed on the table the crisis of leadership of the international proletariat and since the founding of the III and IV International, have left a great temporary vacuum, that is, theoretically and organizationally, for the new generation of the proletariat. The reiteration, by some groups, to the effect that they represent revolutionary continuity, is nothing more than a petition of sectarian faith, which has served to hide diverse kinds of ideological degeneration. The subjective conditions for the reconstruction of the Workers International, whose most developed programmatic point is still condensed within the transitional program of the IV International, has suffered a considerable setback, which can only be overcome in the framework of the international class struggle taken as a whole which increasingly characterizes the stage now in course.
13. Since the mass demonstration of Seattle, in 1999, a great international movement of struggle against imperialism has been placed in evidence. This irruption constitutes one of the most noteworthy expressions of struggle in the present world crisis. The anti-globalization movement debuted denouncing "the dictatorship" of the organizations of international finance and commerce, but right away also motorized huge mass mobilizations against the imperialist war in the Balkans and in Iraq. Objectively, it has been a factor of popular intervention in the political crises that have affected the imperialist powers involved in the war.
Although the presence of working class youth predominates in the anti-globalization mobilizations, the proletariat does not intervene in it as a class, with consciousness as such, that is, with its banners, its demands or even with its organizations. When on some occasions the trade union bureaucracy appears, the aim is to drag the movement into the camp of imperialism. There is no doubt, however, that it constitutes a stage in the maturity of the current generation of workers.
The 'pluralism' alleged by the movement is no obstacle for the predominance within it of a perfectly organized political current which puts forward the regulation of finance capital and pacifism understood as a factor of pressure of 'public opinion', even pro-UN. Since within this current there participate, however, diverse tendencies, including the Unified Secretariat, the degree of its incoherencies is enormous. For example, it opposes agricultural free trade, alleging defense of the thinly sparsed French peasant, but supports free trade when it is proposed by the underdeveloped agricultural countries, managed by Cargill or Dreyfus. It denounces international organizations who are in charge of the regulation of capital but itself demands that regulation in order to confront the growing capitalist anarchy and even to put an end to poverty. It rejects 'globalization' in name of the defense of 'national identities,' but confronts nationalism, even of the oppressed nations, invoking the need for "another globalization." It is both "identitory" (tribal) as well as cosmopolitan and liberal (imperialist). It criticizes FTAA but defends Mercosur, which, dominated by the big corporations, has no other aims than those of serving as a bridge towards a trade alliance with the United States or Europe. Its international forums are more and more turning into podiums for the representatives of imperialism, especially European, and as a go-between for "dialog" with the 'forums' also held by the banks and big capital.
14. The pro-imperialist course of the PT of Brazil has been a huge political blow that the current defending the so-called capitalist anti-globalization has preferred to ignore. The prior experience of the African National Congress of Nelson Mandela, which governs on behalf of the big South African monopolies, is, however, defended by the leading tendency of the 'anti-global.' Bertinotti, another of its leading swords, is intent upon reaching an agreement for government with the imperialist Olivo. This current, which has re-baptized itself with the name of "another globalization," is internally incoherent even in its pacifism, since one sector invokes it in Iraq but not in the Balkans and only up to a certain point in Afghanistan. It proposes to combat the violence of war with pacific methods, but above all as a 'pluralistic' movement of opinion incapable of transforming itself at all into a factor of combat and as an alternative to the imperialist governments that drive the war.
The 'alterglobal' characterizes itself as movementist ('movement of movements'), that is, as opposing the building of an international party, especially a class struggle one. That is, it lacks a proposal of power and avoids the means to struggle for power and combats them fiercely. Functionally it benefits established capitalist power. It confesses, in this way, to refusing to play an independent role in the world crisis and that it will not be able to intervene in it except empirically or circumstantially. The "alterglobal" is determined in its denial of the possibility of revolutionary situations born of the decomposition of capital. It denounces the attempts to convert them into revolutions and into the historical path towards the taking of power by the working class. Its "Trotskyist" wing (USec) adds, from its own harvest, that the world revolutionary epoch initiated with the Revolution of October has concluded. This posing of the question comes from Euro-communism, in 1970, and before it from the theory of "socialism in one country." However, even in a period of capitalist restoration, of backward movements in class consciousness and of the loss of historical gains whose achievement marked a long epoch of the world proletariat, the insurmountable contradictions of capital lead to the creation of revolutionary situations, which can only be resolved in a favorable manner for the working class if they are transformed into proletarian revolutions and in the context of the taking of power by the workers and for the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat on the world plane.
15. The experience in government of the PT marks the fatal bankruptcy of all the political currents that continue to defend the Forum of San Pablo. The Forum of San Pablo has become the principal factor of containment of the struggles of the workers and of political demoralization of those in struggle. In Brazil, it has formed the government having the greatest concentration of direct capitalist representatives in the whole history of the country. In the recent Bolivian revolutionary crisis it played a decisive role in order to channel the existing leadership towards accepting a constitutional solution, and has even been transformed into a direct link between Evo Morales and imperialism. It has not even taken a position of unconditional defense of the government of Chávez in Venezuela, on the contrary it has been the vehicle for the 'mediation' of imperialism in the Venezuelan crisis. Going beyond even the Argentine government, that of Brazil is to be found in the front lines of the military occupation of Haiti. What is occurring with the PT repeats what has occurred with the former guerrilla fronts or former Stalinist parties in Central America, especially the FSLN, in Nicaragua, and the FMLN, in El Salvador.
The destiny of the Brazilian PT confirms the pro-imperialist nature of the professional petite-bourgeoisie that has passed over from foquism to democratism, on the one hand, and the potentially counterrevolutionary character of the bureaucracy formed in the trade unions, on the other. From the programmatic point of view, it places in evidence the pro-imperialist character of the democratizing proposals, that is, which postulate the possibility of social progress within the constitutional frameworks of the oppressed countries, that is, those who through an absence of national independence and of internal capitalist development have not conquered the historic premises of democracy.
The PT has transformed itself into a party worthy of the total confidence of the bourgeoisie and imperialism after a prolonged period of integration of its cadres and bureaucracy into the State, which was covered cosmetically by the theory in fashion, as an expression of a "great capacity for political construction." The political participation of the democratizing left in the institutions of the capitalist State has once again been revealed as a powerful factor of political degeneration. The parliamentary and municipal participation of the Partido Obrero , ever since the Constituent [Assembly] of Santa Cruz in 1995 and the 2001 elections in Salta and in Buenos Aires, has served the revolutionary utilization of the institutions of the state and the revolutionary development of consciousness and organization.
The political bankruptcy of the PT has given rise to a process of differentiation within the democratizing left, one up till now of reduced scope. It is not a socialist differentiation, either, because it does not criticize the democratizing programmatic foundations or the opportunistic political conditioning with gave birth to the PT (to displace the workers mass struggle to the electoral arena and to organize the proletariat within the framework of 'institutional normalization' initiated by the dictatorship of that time). Also absent in this differentiation is the comprehension of the potentially revolutionary character of the situation as a whole in Brazil. The leadership of the PT adjudicates as a fundamental aim of its rise to the government the avoidance of a revolutionary situation which might bring about a financial bankruptcy. That is, to combat the 'danger' of an 'argentinazo,' which it later saw confirmed in Bolivia.
In the political crisis provoked in the Latin American left and in the workers movement by the pro-imperialist government of the PT (and which will have a new edition in the government of the Frente Amplio in Uruguay) we promote the construction of revolutionary workers parties, on the one hand through the implacable criticism of democratism or nationalist anti-imperialism of bourgeois content, and on the other by developing agitation in the working class and the masses, especially among the most exploited, such as the unemployed and the landless peasants, on the basis of a program of immediate fundamental and transitional demands. In the face of the experience of the PT and the Chavez bourgeois governments, in Latin America, we demand the expulsion of the capitalist ministers from the governments headed by the left; the breaking of all ties with the IMF and the repudiation of the foreign debt; the nationalization of the bank, of the big monopolies and of the land, under workers control; the confrontation of capitalist sabotage through the occupation of plants and factories and workers administration; the replacement of the armed organizations of the bourgeoisie by the armed organizations of the workers and peasants; and a continental action of struggle for the Socialist United States of Latin America.
IV. A stage of imperialist wars and of international struggle against the war
16. The imperialist war in the Balkans has initiated a new world-wide period of international crises, wars and revolutions.
The IV International places no equal sign, as does pacifism, between the different classes of wars. It denounces that wars are the product of a given social regime and express the explosive character of its contradictions, and not at all a particular tendency of any one government. They are born of the capitalist regime of production and of the rivalries among the different capitalist groups and are an instrument of economic domination and national oppression of imperialism. The IV International combats imperialist war with the method of social revolution.
The IV International points out the obligation of characterizing wars according to the social structure of the nations pitted against each other. It combats wars among imperialist nations through the organization of civil war of the exploited against the dominant bourgeoisie of its own country, on the one hand, and through the revolutionary collaboration with the workers of the 'enemy' countries, on the other.
It also combats wars between oppressed nations as reactionary and calls for fraternization between its workers and for a united front against imperialism. We denounce the narrow appetite of the local bourgeoisies and their manipulation by imperialism in order to reinforce the prevailing semi-colonial domination.
The IV International unconditionally supports wars of the oppressed nation against imperialism and participates in practical fashion on the side of the oppressed nation. In the same way it supports the organized and mass struggle against the military and political efforts of imperialism against the oppressed nations. Among the latter it supports all political and military collaboration with the tendencies combating imperialism with popular methods and effectively collaborates with them without resigning at any time its political independence. The national situations where the oppression of world-wide imperialism is combined with a colonial or internal national oppression, by the local bourgeoisie or even petite-bourgeoisie (such as, for example, in the Balkans, in Syria and in the countries of the Persian Gulf), are only distinguishable by differences of degree from the oppressed nations where bloody dictatorships dominate. In all these cases we support the unity of struggle against imperialism, including collaboration on a practical level with the local oppressors against the international oppressors, without resigning at all, or at any moment, the demand for national liberty and political democracy against the native oppressors. The defeat of international capitalist imperialism is the necessary condition for the conquest of national liberty. We defend the unity of the peoples of the former Yugoslavia against NATO, as well as national liberty for the Kosovo's, Macedonians, Montenegrins in the framework of a socialist Federation of the Balkans (with Albania, Rumania, Greece and Bulgaria).
We promote the unity of all peoples comprising Iraq against the Yankee imperialist coalition, and the national liberty and self-determination, for example, of the Turkoman and Kurdish peoples. We denounce the insurmountable limitations of the Kurdish enclave supported by Yankee imperialism in Iraq and the insurmountable contradictions, from the point of view of the Kurdish nation, assumed by the purpose of integrating it within an Iraqi federation under a US protectorate. The national liberty and unity of the Kurdish people assumes, primarily, the right to free unity with the Kurds of Turkey (as well as those of Syria, Iran and Iraq), a right which is incompatible with the domination of Turkish capitalism, of Yankee imperialism and of NATO. The expulsion of imperialism from Iraq demands the mobilization of all the exploited of the Middle East for national independence and liberation, and brings to the forefront the struggle for a Socialist Federation of the Middle East.
17. The national self-determination, unity and independence of Palestine constitutes the historic center of the question of the Middle East. The war of Iraq is inscribed within the framework of the repeated attempts by imperialism to liquidate national Palestinian rights. Imperialism has grafted onto the Middle East a monstrous client state, the Zionist State, which is located on the antipode of national liberation and development of the peoples of the region. The national independence of the Middle East is incompatible with the Zionist State; the defeat of imperialism in the present war would sweep it from the meso-oriental scene. The struggle of the Palestinian people resumes the historical determination for national emancipation of the Middle East. It has won this right in its live struggle against modern imperialist oppression.
Zionism has no progressive national character; its historic task has been the economic and territorial confiscation of the native peoples, financed by an international agency which is the proprietor of 99 per cent of the soil it occupies. Zionism constitutes a counterrevolutionary obstacle for the free and universal development of the Jewish people. The social situation of the Jewish masses in the Zionist state has worsened enormously, on the one hand as a consequence of the international economic crisis, and on the other as a consequence of economic competition between immigrant workers, Arabs and Jews. The new mortal impasse which confronts the Jewish people can only be resolved by means of the union with the Arab workers in order to destroy politically the Zionist state and forge a single socialist Republic of Palestine on the whole of its historical territory, on both sides of the Jordan. The IV International denounces the position which upholds that the gigantic militarization of Zionism opposes an insurmountable barrier against Palestinian national struggle and condemns the Palestinian masses to a long historical compromise with Zionism. On the contrary, we emphasize the historical artificiality and fragility of Zionism and point out that its destiny is conditioned by the outcome of the world crisis in course. The political struggle against Zionism is not restricted to the region of the Middle East but instead should have an international character, as much among those faithful to Islam as among the Jews, especially the workers and the youth. The struggle against racism and anti-Semitism should serve to unify Islamic and Jewish workers and to advance the cause of the expulsion of world imperialism and of Zionism from the Middle East.
18. The IV International denounces the imperialist and oppressor character of secularism in the States which have left behind them long ago their epoch of national formation and combat against the clergy, and are, at the present time, oppressor states of nations and nationalities. Religious neutrality in the imperialist States, in the same way as that which occurs with democracy, has an oppressor content. It is an arm of combat, not against the clergy and clerical obscurantism, but instead against atheism and science. It is also an instrument of struggle for the confessional faiths of the oppressor nations against the confessional faiths of the oppressed nations. 'Occidental' secularism also acts as a cover up of the ties that are reinforced daily between the states and the official historic church, as is the case with the Vatican. Given the hegemony of finance capital, these ties are historically closer at present than in the epoch during which the separation of church and state had not been sanctioned. A whole spectrum of corporations and foundations, which finance the unstoppable progress of the clergy in the fields of education, culture and social welfare, assure an increasingly close relationship between the clergy and the democratic state.
The offensive of the French imperialist state against the youth and workers who do not share the established religious beliefs, especially those who are obedient muslims, is a tool of capital against the unity of diverse sectors of the proletariat and reinforces the communitarian tendency of those who are not followers of the official religion, such as, for all practical purposes, Catholicism. The secular imperialist states arm themselves with religious neutrality, not as a means of struggle against obscurantism but instead against atheism and communism. The circumstance according to which that neutrality may enter into conflict with extremist confessional tendencies does not attenuate at all the fact that it is a means of cultural and political domination of the imperialist bourgeoisie and also of the official religion, through the support it receives from finance capital. The same aims of dividing the working class finds expression, especially in the imperialist or developed countries, the promotion of "multi-culturalism" by the State, alleging the need to protect ethnic or religious "diversities." The aim is really to confine the immigrant workers and their descendents into a kind of ghetto, controlled by a bureaucracy under the tutelage of the state, and to dissimulate in this way the brutal discrimination of which they are made object both from the point of view of formal rights as that of social conditions. The IV International call on the working class of the imperialist countries to strengthen its ties with the workers faithful to Islam through a common class struggle against capital and to make use of that struggle and of the organization it demands in order to emancipate themselves and their class brothers from all kinds of religious obscurantism, first of all against the dominant church, and from all communal clerical domination. The IV International calls on workers of non-Catholic faiths to not be fooled by the demands for cultural equality and to put into the foreground of their efforts and their struggles for social demands, against capital, equality of access to the gains achieved by the workers of the country in the course of a long historic struggle. The IV International highlights as an example the persistence, the opposition of the masses of Bolivia to Catholic clerical domination, and calls for it to be made a banner for the participation of millions of indigenous peoples in the social revolution and in no way for the defense of ethnic individualism which has no positive future under capitalism.
19. The IV International rejects any form of political subordination of the Arab workers and peasants with respect to their bourgeoisies and feudal classes, propitiated in the name of unity of the Arab Nation, and emphasizes the importance of political struggle against the exploiters taking into account the peculiarities of the different Arab states. It underlines, fundamentally, that the struggle for national emancipation can only triumph through the taking of power by the workers, that is, that we place into the foreground the struggle for the overthrow of the Arab bourgeoisies and feudal classes and their government.
Palestine national liberation is confronted by a colossal crisis of leadership; the totality of its petite-bourgeois leadership has passed over into compromise with imperialism and with Zionism itself. The so-called Palestinian Authority is a political barrier for the struggle against Zionism and for the struggle to unite the workers of the whole region, especially Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, against imperialist oppression and the semi-feudal, bourgeois or petite-bourgeois dictatorships. The IV International places all of its energies into the construction of a revolutionary workers party in Palestine.
20. In the context of the present international wars, we denounce the collaboration between imperialism and the pro-restoration bureaucracy of Russia in the war waged against the Afghan nation, manifest in the leasing or ceding of military bases to NATO in various Central Asian countries. This collaboration was purchased by the Russian bureaucracy in exchange for its 'right' to continue one of the most cruel and heartless wars in course, against the Chechnya nation and people. We also denounce that this war of oppression is carried out in the framework of an unfinished negotiation between the Russian bureaucracy and Yankee imperialism, capable of detonating new regional wars of international scope, for the economic and political carving up of the region around the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus, particularly in relation to the exploitation and transport of oil. The IV International supports the guerrilla struggle of the Chechnya people against the Russian oppressor, supported by the European Union and the United States, for its right to national self-determination and independence. The IV International calls on the peoples of the Caucasus to struggle in common both against Yankee imperialism, NATO, the European Union and the Russian bureaucracy, and for the construction of a Socialist Federation of the Caucasus.
21. The fundamental field of struggle against the war should take place in the imperialist metropolis themselves. The struggle against the war has given place to extraordinary mass mobilizations and to the onset of political crisis of the imperialist governments. This is already happening in Spain and Italy and to a somewhat lesser extent in Great Britain. The war has a confiscatory effect upon the peoples of the nations of Europe, whose states cannot deal with the growing budgetary deficits (Italy has begun to put on sale its cultural patrimony!). The booty imperialist war offers does not compensate the cost it occasions for the hard hit national budgets and the worsening of the bankruptcy of the pension and health care systems, both public and private, especially, even, that of the latter.
The monopolization of the principal business deals of the war by US monopolies and the wastefulness of the United States in financing the war and priming an economic recovery through a rise in the public debt, accentuates the vulnerability of the European states even more. These contradictions are intensified, in their turn, by the sharpening of rivalries between Yankee imperialism and, in particular, the French, German, and, in part, English imperialisms. In this way, there is a mounting accumulation of the action of those factors precipitating even greater political crises and popular movements of struggle of even greater importance.
The IV International underlines the incapacity of pacifism to end wars which are inevitably born of the regime of exploitation of man by man, and denounces, on the one hand, its homeopathic character, as well as its anaesthetizing character, on the other. We revolutionaries fight in favor of converting the crime of the war into more and more intense political crises in the metropolis, especially by highlighting before the masses that those growing political crises are the inevitable consequence of its anti-war and social struggles and that they represent not only the lesser evil in relation to liberty of action aimed at by the bourgeoisie to continue their wars, but also the most favorable framework within which to put an end to war through workers revolutionary action. In the practical struggle against the war, the IV International puts forward the strike and the boycott against the sending of military troops from the imperialist countries, develops agitation against imperialism within the armed forces and demands the immediate nationalization without compensation of all capital promoting war, under workers control, starting with the arms industry, but equally in the oil and pharmaceutical industries, as they have been denounced internationally. To the extent that there is a growth in consciousness and organization of the workers, these political crises should be turned into revolutionary crises. The struggle against the imperialist war puts back into the foreground the class struggle in the advanced capitalist nations.
22. Imperialism has carried out the war up till now under the sponsorship, cover and protection of democracy. It has had no need to recur to fascism. Not only this; it has acted, moreover, to contain and dissipate pro-fascist or national-imperialist outbreaks, as has occurred in Germany, Denmark, France and Austria. It has preferred political rotations from the center-left, to extreme right-wing coup d'etat. The present day pseudo-fascism, on the old continent, has a limited field of action because it represents a tendency of nationalist opposition to the European Union, which continues to be the principal arm of the bourgeoisie in its struggle for a place in the world market and with which to dispute the capitalist restoration in the east. The bourgeoisie is not tending, in Europe, towards a war among its national interests, but rather is oriented towards the creation of a political directorate of its strongest states. Imperialism, in its metropolis within and without Europe, considers itself better served, for now, by democracy. This shows the degree of class collaboration of Social Democracy, the trade union bureaucracy and the left leaning petite-bourgeois. Far from being the price of liberty that the workers bureaucracy might have placed on its imperialist bourgeoisie, it is an extortion of imperialism to keep it hostage of imperialist politics and war. Democracy is not at all a synonym of peace when it comes to bourgeois democracy and even less so in the case of imperialist democracy.
Imperialist war and democracy are reciprocally conditioned, however, by the capacity to keep the "social peace" in its metropolis. To the extent that the capitalist contradictions and those of the war itself undermine that "social peace," the democratic regime is seen as compromised. The possibility of regulating or buffering the objective contradictions of capital is outside the reach of the workers bureaucracy; so, if it still wishes to keep the "social peace" under less favorable conditions, it must have recourse to dividing the masses confronting the capitalist offensive, to the paralysis of the workers organizations and their complete and total capitulation before the bosses and the State. This is what the trade unions and the left in Europe and the AFL-CIO in the United States have done. Since the mid-nineties the leadership of the US trade unions has been in the hands of a reformist and center-left leadership, which even went so far as to flirt with the mass demonstrations "against globalization." A left wing of this leadership attempted to bring to the fore the construction of a Labor Party. This new leadership has been a strong bastion of Yankee imperialism during the whole course of the present world crisis.
The extent to which "social peace" is undermined in the metropolis is given by the growing impoverishment the masses, on the one hand, and in particular, following an ascending curve, mass unemployment of a chronic character, and a strong tendency towards limits placed on democratic liberties, on the other, with characteristics proper to the police State, advanced in name of "the struggle against terrorism." From the US Pentagon, especially, the aim is to turn anti-terrorism into the pretext for the complete subordination of the armed forces of the other countries. Due to all of this, while we denounce the complete dependence of bourgeois democracy upon imperialism, we call to struggle for the defense of formal democratic liberties and the freedom of organization in the imperialist nations, especially including the defense of the unrestricted right to resist wars and ethnic or national oppression by revolutionary means. We denounce the campaign "against terrorism" as one led against the national independence of the historically backward nations. We denounce that the political reaction in the metropolis feeds from national subjugation and we point out that the struggle for the emancipation of these nations is the highest form of combat in favor of formal democracy.
V. The inconclusive character of the capitalist restoration
23. The enormous advance of the restoration of capital in the former worker states in no way signifies that it is a historical process that has been concluded. The theoretical importance of this characterization resides in the fact that it conditions the characterization of the world capitalist crisis as a whole. It is necessary to distinguish between the stages that characterize the development of capital and especially the way the various stages are interwoven. In this consists, precisely, the concrete historical analysis.
The unprecedented transfer of state assets to a handful of private hoarders has not yet taken away from the state bureaucracy born of the old regime (with reference to the bureaucracies of the capitalist countries, even the most nationalized) its place of exceptional arbitration. This is very clear both in China and Russia, but is also valid up to a point for some countries of East Europe. In Cuba that arbitration is the most autonomous. In Cuba the restoration of capital has followed the road of limited foreign investment and there has virtually not been any transfer of state properties, although the public economic assets are found mainly in the hands of one corporation, the armed forces, which forms part of the State, but which is not the State itself. In China, an enormous penetration of foreign capital has taken place and huge private capital has been amassed, but the economic assets of the State still prevail over private capital, especially in the banks.
In the former worker states private capital prospers, but a capitalist class has not yet been formed. The mediation of private capital is predominantly carried out through the bureaucracy and is conditioned by the administrative disposition of this bureaucracy. The parliaments do not constitute, at all, representation, that is, political mediation, of the capitalists as a class. Neither does there really exist a comprador capitalist class having the monopoly over relations between capital and the international markets, on the one hand, and the domestic market, on the other; in China, Russia and Cuba that mediation is operated, at least predominantly, by the State bureaucracy.
The monopolization of state property may be a step in the direction of the forming of a capitalist class, but is not synonymous with it. Capital continues to be formed, in the domestic market, through the looting of the assets and resources of the State. Although with shades of grey that vary considerably, capital is not yet the dominant social force, that is, capable of effectively subordinating all forms of social work towards the accumulation of capital. In China, where this social intensification of capital is greater, this role is played by foreign and not national capital (the most developed manifestation of Chinese national capital takes place in Hong Kong and spreads to the coastal regions to the south).
The own contradictions inside these linked social formations, "sui-generis," of the transitional capitalist regimes, have had an exceptional manifestation in the semi-confiscation of the Russian oil cartels Yukos and Sibneft, by the State. The government of the Russian bureaucracy postulates itself as intermediary between international oil capital and Russian oil resources. It has been forced to proceed in this manner due to the immanency of a property transfer of the Russian oligarchy, without capital with which to compete in the world market, to international oil capital. The international political crisis has intervened decisively in this partial expropriation of the oligarchy, whenever the resources, the transport and the methods of distribution of gas and oil poses international crises in the Far East, regarding the supplying of China and Japan; in the Arctic, regarding transport to the United States; in Central Asia and the Caspian Sea, regarding its deposits; in the Caucasus regarding transport to Europe, which is also determinant with the pipelines that pass through Byelorussia and the Ukraine. As was the case during all its past, Russia is once again incapable of relating to the capitalist west through socially independent capital.
24. The question of property has not been resolved, at least in Cuba, China and Russia, the most important nations in revolutionary political history. In Russia the huge technological industrial complexes, the crown jewels of the former USSR, continue, partially or totally, in the hands of the State. In the former Yugoslavia in limbo still are the state sovereignties and the territories, some of which even appear to be protectorates. Between the process of privatization that characterizes the capitalist restoration and the present privatizations in the bourgeois nations there exists much more than a difference of degree, first of all because of the sheer scale, secondly because of its weight in the world economy and in the redistribution of power among the international capitalist monopolies, thirdly because a social catastrophe is implied for tens and hundreds of millions of people.
In China the capitalist transformation of property has been facilitated by the absence of a large modern industrial state, at least in comparison with that of Russia. But still to be resolved, on the one hand, is the destination of the financial and credit monopoly still in the hands of the State, and, on the other hand, that of the agricultural property of hundreds of millions of peasants that exploit the land in the form of use leases. The state banks are bankrupt, with heaps of unrecoverable loans equal to the Chinese GNP. The privatization of the state banks presupposes a statement of partial financial bankruptcy of the State, but also poses the threat of the collapse of tens of thousands of industrial companies bankrupt, with the inevitable consequences of tens of millions of dismissals. A state rescue of these companies would not only pose the catastrophic perspective of hyperinflation but also an international financial catastrophe which would result from the withdrawal of capital in foreign currency that China has invested in the public debt of various capitalist states. The extraordinary contradictions characterizing the restoration of capitalism will be exposed under the fire of the imminent international financial crises now foreseen, as was already made clear, on a much smaller scale, in 1997-99, when the Asian crisis provoked the Russian crisis and the downfall, in good time, of Yeltsin's government.
The perspective of the agricultural privatization is already giving way to the expulsion of the peasants from the land at the hands of the local bureaucracies who exploited them up till now mainly through the confiscatory means of taxes, rates and the levying of tribute. In China the concentration of land property is already in motion and, parallel to it, the intensification of the rebellions in agriculture. The granting of the constitutional right to private property is aimed at consolidating the legal superstructure for the process of financial, industrial and agrarian privatization, still in the early stages.
The capitalist restoration could never be, fundamentally, an internal organic process. Capitalism has reached a historic level of development which puts fixed limit on that possibility. The capitalist restoration can only unfold as an international process, subject to the hegemony of finance capital. But international capital proceeds in its work according to its own nature. It is obliged to approach and condition the capitalist restoration to the international struggle for the control and hegemony of the world market and for the monopoly of the redistribution of influence that the capitalist restoration provokes in the world market. From here an important contradiction is put into motion; on the one hand, a tendency to rely on penetration into new markets in order to intensify competition for the monopoly of the existing world market and, on the other, a tendency to block the restoration of capital to attenuate that world competition and brake the entrance of new competitors. The foreign capitalist penetration in the former worker states has been driven up till now by the relatively lower price of labor power and of technological and natural resources, sharpening the competition on the world market among established capitalist monopolies. The massive economic re-colonization of the domestic space of the former worker states is in great part conditioned by the outcome of the commercial, financial and political rivalry that has sharpened, among those monopolies and among their respective States. In sum, the capitalist restoration constitutes a concrete historical episode of gigantic crises and revolutions.
25. The workers of the former worker states have before them a spectrum of political tasks: 1. The struggle against the bureaucracy, because the looting of the bureaucracy in order to accumulate privileges has not disappeared but rather has accentuated as a consequence of the tendency towards the restoration of capitalism; 2. The struggle against the restoration of capitalism, because, on the one hand, the privatization of the properties of expropriated capital is still in its infancy and because, on the other hand, the privatizations constitute a long process of struggle against the workers by the capitalist that has taken possession of the state property in order to adapt the exploitation of labor to the new conditions of production and the new conditions of the market; 3. The struggle against capital.
The IV International rejects the positions that:
1. call for the defense and even for the support of the bureaucracy, attributing to it the character of a partial limit against capitalist restoration and a moderator of its tendency towards the intensification of exploitation. We emphasize, on the contrary, the accentuation of the parasitism of the bureaucracy and of its own exploitative tendencies, as well as a tendency towards close relations with international capital. This distorting position concerning the role of the bureaucracy is made manifest mainly in relation to Cuba, to a lesser extent in China and has reappeared in Russia in the aftermath of the friction between Putin and the oligarchy that was created in the period of Yeltsin's government. In conformity with the peculiarities distinguishing the different countries and even taking into account the characteristics of the political situations of the moment, the IV International puts forward the overthrow of the existing bureaucracy and their replacement by workers and peasants governments that put in place once again the dictatorship of the proletariat, confiscate the bureaucracy and expropriate capital and establish a system of government by workers councils.
2. oppose to the integral privatization of state property the establishment of a mixed or cooperative social regime, alleging that the association with private capital is indispensable in order to overcome the historical backwardness that the bureaucracy was incapable of solving or could have worsened. The perspective of a brief or relatively prolonged association with international or even national capital in the economic terrain, at the service of a historic cause of progress is, however, conditioned by various factors: one, that the negotiations be carried out by a workers government and not by the bureaucratic dictatorship; two, not only national but international considerations, first of all the state and the perspective for victory of world revolution. The social character of a transition is determined by the character of the State; when the latter has passed over into the hands of the bureaucracy, the mass privatization becomes a guarantee, not of the old social conquests, but of capitalist acquisitions.
3. attribute the destructive results of capitalist restoration, both real and potential, exclusively to the survival of the bureaucracy and to the fact of there not having been established an effectively representative democracy. Actually, however, no representative democracy has ever been able to do without, historically, a bureaucracy and, moreover, the political history of democracy, that is the domination of civil society, has been nothing more than the persistent control over civil relations by the state. The demand for formal democracy has been, throughout the process leading up to the capitalist restoration, the ideological mechanism that has hidden the expropriation of the state assets by the bureaucracy, the private monopolizers and international capital.
The pretension of evicting from history the great social revolutions of proletarian content of the 20th century, especially the revolution of 1917, by means of a painless process, pacific, or gradual, has already failed. Due to the set of factors conditioning it, the restoration of capital will have to give way to gigantic international social and political commotions. In any case, a victory for capitalism would only have the effect of delaying the march of the timepiece of history. That victory would restate the struggle between capital and labor in new historic conditions; that is, the competition, the concentration of wealth in few hands, the socialization of production, the crises, the unsolvable contradictions of capital, in sum, a new period of socialist revolutions.
VI. The social crisis in the developed capitalist countries
26. The most forceful expression of the world crisis is the incapacity of the bourgeoisie to sustain labor legislation and the regimes of social protection, which have been the main popular gains won by the revolutionary struggles of the pre- and post-war. This incapacity obeys a phenomenal fall in the rate of profit, historic, of capital. This fall is a reflection of the incapacity of capital to reproduce itself on its own basis. The overcoming of the crisis of capitalist accumulation demands a drastic increase in the rate of exploitation of the proletariat. From here spring the tendencies towards labor flexibilization in its diverse forms and mass unemployment. From here also springs the tendency towards the liquidation of social protection (health, pensions), because it forms part of the price of labor power that it is necessary to reduce drastically. The crisis of the state budgets are a reflection of this situation. The state attempts, first of all, to deal with the crisis of capital through the transfer of the tax burden to the consumers, the privatization of the economic assets of the State and through public debt; in extreme cases, through inflation and hyperinflation. Afterwards, the burden of the interests and of the debt and the limits of a greater tax burden pose crises for state finances and public services.
Privatization represents the attempt by the bourgeoisie to associate the financing of social security to the cycle of capitalist profits and liquidate, in this way, its character of legal norm which makes the State responsible for the social protection of the workers. In times of crisis, the 'ideal' of the bourgeoisie is to associate the price of labor power with the movement of capitalist profit (that is, losses). From here arises the most extreme proposal for determining wages as a part of profits. Growing unemployment and the relative fall in wages bring about a considerable reduction in contributions to the various forms of social security. Privatization accentuated, in many countries, the crisis since it left the state with less financing for public security. It constituted a formidable instrument of confiscation of the workers, because the resulting revenue financed big capitalist business deals and unprecedented financial speculation. The stock market crash of 2000 in turn provoked the collapse of the privatized systems of social protection, especially those covering benefits and pensions. The current picture is one of simultaneous bankruptcy in social protection, both state-run and private. Regarding health, costs have gone up enormously due to the super-profits of the pharmaceutical monopolies and the privatization of medical attention, which upon adopting a character of capitalist business signified at the same time an enormous increase in cost. The apologists of capitalism attributed this crisis to the relative aging of the population, from which is derived the need to increase the age of retirement. The fallacy of the thesis is proven in that the simultaneous increase in unemployment and upping of the retirement age simply meant an increase in mass unemployment. The protection denied to the one who should be retiring should be destined to the unemployed; the sums total correctly only by abandoning the unemployed.
The reciprocal dependency between the collapse of social and labor rights, on the one hand, and the capitalist crisis, on the other, is made manifest by the fact that as labor productivity increases, capital demands an increase in the workday and in its intensity and the reduction of wages. As the capacity for the creation of social wealth increases, the demand, by capital, for greater social misery also grows. It becomes clear, however, that the increase in the rate of relative exploitation of the worker (through best technology) and in the absolute (greater labor flexibilization) leads to a greater and greater limit placed upon the possibility of obtaining the higher value produced by capital. The way out of this contradiction, which will always be transitory, resides, on the one hand, in the restoration of capital in the former worker states and, on the other, in the devaluing of capital itself making its productive application more profitable. The first way out implies wars and international catastrophes, the second an unprecedented economic crisis, because the devaluing must be preceded by bankruptcy.
27. The defense of the social gains implied by the very life of the workers demands a struggle on a historical scale, which poses once and for all the overthrow of capitalism. This becomes even clearer after the failure of the failure of the attempts at compromise of the trade union bureaucracy, such as exchanging the continuation of social security in exchange for greater contributions of the workers, decrease in benefits or moving up the retirement age; or allowing collective bargaining agreements to descend to the level of the small and medium company.
The IV International puts forward the defense of all these social gains through a system of transitional demands.
Regarding social security we put forward nationalization without compensation of all the private retirement systems, under control of the workers. Retirement, a part of the wages of the worker throughout his life, should be paid entirely by the capitalists, as occurs with present wages. The possibility of increasing the retirement age could turn into a positive factor for human development in a social regime without unemployment, where the organization of work is under workers control and integrated with personal vocations, that guarantees education, health, and leisure time, that is, in the framework of a society open to a free decision-making process. Regarding public health we propose workers control of the pharmaceutical monopolies, state medical attention under workers administration and financed under the direct responsibility of the bosses. The defense of health and the workers retirement implies the questioning of the monopoly of capital.
Faced with the scourge of unemployment, we defend, against dismissals, the sliding scale of wages (distribution of working hours in the company without affecting wages), but we add in the distribution of all working hours throughout all society, through a bourse nationale de travail or national labor pool, constituted by the unemployed according to their skills, specialization, residence, age and sex. If the sliding scale of hours presents a challenge to capitalist property in the workplace, the distribution of working hours throughout society presents it on the level of the whole State.
In opposition to the tendency of capital to lengthen the workday, intensify its rhythm, interrupt periods of rest and vacations (annualization of the work periods), to establish non-union and unofficial labor contracts, reduce the minimum wage and wage scales, we say: minimum sliding scale of wages equal to the cost of a family's basic needs; the eight hour workday; collective breaks and vacations, the prohibition of dismissals; no time limit on labor contracts; workers control of working conditions through enterprise committees; collective bargaining agreements through worker representatives chosen and recallable in assemblies. The IV International denounces the limitations of the 35 hour work week agreed to in France, in 1995, because it granted as compensation the freezing of nominal wages, restricted the recognition of overtime and allowed its annualized calculation, permitting in this way the violation of the eight hour day and the right to collective vacations and holidays. In France, unemployment and precarious labor have grown and the general situation of the working class has worsened. For the reduction of the work week to be a real instrument of struggle against unemployment, it must be accompanied by the prohibition against dismissals and against the lengthening of the workday, or the intensification of its pace, with the sliding scale of wages and with workers control capable of determining whether the social result of the reduction of the work week has been a source of progress for the workers.
28. In the course of the present world crisis enormous social and national struggles have taken place, but the proletariat in the principal industrial nations have been relatively absent from them, with the partial exception of South Korea. Some important clashes are marking, however, a change in tendency, for example the occupations of Fiat in Italy in 2002, or those in course in the shipyards of Spain. But the social buffers of the class struggle are tending to dissolve, especially in Europe, because a more and more intense contradiction with capital has initiated. The IV International defends the need to occupy a place in the front ranks in all the struggles sparked by social or national oppression and by the side of all the classes, groups or nationalities that suffer oppression or injustice. The struggle against capital involves all the contradictions and antagonisms created or reinforced by world capitalist domination and among which a relationship of reciprocal dependency is established. If England had been defeated in the Malvinas, in 1982, let us say, the Thatcher government would not have defeated the British miners in 1985. The IV International participates together with the landless of Brazil, Paraguay or Argentina, the coca-leaf peasants of Bolivia and Colombia, the women murdered in Mexico or beaten all over the world, the immigrants without papers, the child slaves, the youth demanding the full right to education and the movement of workers, especially peasants, struggling for the defense and improvement of the environment, for the defense of personal rights of all kinds against the police State which is every capitalist state. The IV International intervenes in those struggles, not in defense of any one particular solution (which are not really that), but rather in order to produce a single international movement for the victory of the socialist revolution. Only participating in the struggles against all, absolutely all, forms of oppression may a workers vanguard claim its place in the combative ranks of the international industrial proletariat.
The closing down of plants and factories and the tendency towards industrial crisis has brought to the fore the occupations of plants and factories and will do so increasingly in the future. The occupations of plants and factories have posed, historically, a series of questions, which are linked to the overall conditions of the struggle. When they are connected to economic bankruptcy, they oppose to the closing or massive dismissals the demand for the expropriation of the company and its being operated under the responsibility of the workers themselves. The IV International raises, in these circumstances, the expropriation without compensation of the capitalists, the confiscation of their private assets, the company being operated with state funds and workers administration of production. According to the level of generalization of the struggle, the formation of a front of occupied and administered plants and factories becomes the order of the day in order to demand as, alternatively, interest free bank funds for operating expenses under workers administration, the intervention of the workers in the administration of the banks and the nationalization without compensation of the financial system under workers direction. While it is clear that workers administration of a plant or factory or group of plants and factories has no future under capitalism, the IV International warns against the intervention of the state or even the nationalization of the plants and factories which are occupied or administered, because they imply a step towards the destruction of workers administration and, when the more general conditions are revolutionary or pre-revolutionary, an instrument against proletarian revolution. To the nationalization of administered plants and factories, on the one hand, and the individual way out of workers cooperatives or self-administration, the IV International opposes the alternative of the front of occupied and administered plants and factories; their intervention in the state and private banks, including the financial nationalization, in order to make workers administration feasible; its alliance with the workers movement as a whole around a common set of demands and in the perspective of a political mass strike. The IV International establishes the distinction between national bourgeois nationalizations against foreign capital, that has a relatively progressive character, and those directed towards substituting workers administration, which go against the possibility of the independent action of the proletariat.
One task of exceptional importance in the present crisis is the organization of the unemployed. This organization not only attenuates the rivalry between the workers stimulated by capital but also tends to convert itself into a powerful revolutionary arsenal, given that the unemployed represent the hardest hit and most desperate sector among the masses and that which concentrates the dissolution of capital as such. This revolutionary potential explains the obstinate opposition of the trade union bureaucracy to their organization, which however is irreplaceable in order to accomplish the most prized union task of them all, which is the attenuation of competition among the workers. To the extent that the revolutionary vanguard makes the effort to organize the unemployed, by applying pressure in the trade unions and outside them, and converts this organization of the jobless into a movement of solidarity with the employed workers who struggle against lay-offs and labor flexibilization, that vanguard achieves an unprecedented closeness to the working class as a whole in the most advanced terrain possible. The fundamental demand of the unemployed is the right to life and to work, that is, unemployment insurance, on the one hand, and access to jobs, on the other. In the face of the attempts by the State to adulterate insurance for the unemployed in the form of clientele social welfare the IV International demands workers control, that is of the unemployed, over unemployment insurance and over any form of remuneration for the jobless workers. We denounce the World Bank and the NGO's who defend social welfare in order to control the unemployed workers and turn those social welfare plans into a form of social exploitation which competes with the employed worker. We denounce, fundamentally, the campaign of the international center-left, in particular that of Brazil, Argentina and France, that have made their own the demand of neo-liberalism for a minimum citizen's wage. This subsistence wage aims to turn mass unemployment into the 'status-quo' and to establish as a wage floor for labor power subsistence remuneration granted to the unemployed family. In opposition to these open or perverse attacks against the living conditions of the workers, the IV International struggles for an end to unemployment through the distribution of working hours, the minimum wage equal to the cost of a family's basic needs, unemployment insurance, the occupation of the plants and factories that close their doors, the sliding scale of working hours against dismissals, the adoption of plans of public works under control of the trade unions and the organizations of the unemployed, the progressive tax on capital and the centralization of all the resources necessary to confront the great social crisis in the hands of the organizations controlled or managed by the workers.
The IV International calls attention to the exceptional activity of women and youth in the movements and organizations of the unemployed. This intervention obeys the fact that they are the hardest hit by unemployment. The action of the woman not only modifies the picture of the struggle of the unemployed but also the social atmosphere taken as a whole, that is, which represents a shake-up on a vaster scale, one which frightens above all the clergy and its followers. The presence of the unemployed woman in the class struggle tends to exceed the political limits of the feminist movement, by introducing in them the struggle against capital. The action of the woman has an influence also in the formation of the workers vanguard, on the one hand because it incorporates into its files a protagonist of greater revolutionary potential, and on the other because it corrects the tendency towards demoralization that unemployment, especially when permanent, makes manifest in the masculine proletariat. The IV International includes in its conclusions the enormous significance that the presence of the woman has in the struggle of the exploited, salutes its contribution and calls for the consequences it has for the reconstruction of the proletarian vanguard to be extracted.
The attack against social security, the closing down of plants and factories, the greater labor flexibilization, the reduction of wages, will give rise to a period of important struggles for demands. The IV International calls, especially under these conditions, to participate actively in the trade unions, even the most reactionary; to form within them class struggle fractions; to incorporate the non-unionized into the struggle, demanding for them sovereignty in the making of decisions, by means of the regime of assemblies, the forming of strike committees, the organization of a coordination between the factories of the same region, independently of its union affiliation. On the basis of this method of intervention the expulsion of the bureaucracy from the unions is necessary together with the forming of class struggle and revolutionary trade union leaders. The persistence of the bureaucracy in the leadership of the trade unions in the course of the great workers struggles on the horizon compromises the possibilities of a victory over the bosses and the State.
VII. The question of power, the party and the International
29. Taking the world situation as a whole, it is clear that the bourgeoisie cannot continue to govern as it has been doing, and that the general social conditions have become exceptionally hard to bear for the masses. The question of power arising due to these conditions will vary, even enormously, from one country to another, but a reciprocal relationship has been established between them. Imperialism's quagmire in Iraq has already created an important political crisis within the bourgeoisie of the US State and even within the Bush government. The same has occurred, even in a more accentuated form, in Spain, in combination with the biggest mass demonstrations against the imperialist war. The economic impasse in the European Union has resulted in a fracture of the Italian bourgeoisie and even a tendency towards the rupture of the pro-Berlusconi fraction with its own government, at the same time as the trade union mobilization is growing. The crises of the governments of France and Germany exist beyond all doubts, while important mass struggles are insinuated and at times sink roots. On another continent the imperialist pressure on Bolivia has given rise to, last October, a people's revolution. The disintegration of a brand-new government, that of Lula, is also made manifest. The collapse of Aristide has given rise to the military occupation of Haiti. The oligarchy favoring a coup against the Venezuelan Chávez continues to stir up the crisis and the mobilizations of the poorest masses in the country in defense of the nationalist government. Kirchner's grace period has virtually expired, after ten months characterized by a method of government of permanent crisis. The accumulation of financial tensions in the cauldron of the Far East has provoked the transitory destitution of the president of South Korea by the big national monopolies that feel their existence threatened by the penetration of US finance capital. The Middle East is a powder keg waiting to go off, especially Saudi Arabia, Iran and Syria. The IV International differentiates itself from other revolutionary and workers currents, first of all, in this characterization of the world situation. Taken as a whole, that is, in the perspective it offers and in the reciprocal relationships (among the nations and the classes), the world situation poses, with rhythms, historic characteristics and different peculiarities, as well as an uneven comprehension of the acting classes, the question of power.
30. On the basis of this characterization, the workers or workers and peasants government becomes fully valid as a transitional demand. This slogan signifies, first of all, a policy that consists in developing within the traditional organizations of the masses and in those created by them in the course of their struggles, the comprehension of the question of power being posed and of the fact that the real and integral satisfaction of the popular aspirations demand the taking of power by the workers. When in the course of the struggle itself and as a consequence of the experience of that struggle, those organizations conquer a position of overall political authority, the workers government is the demand we direct to those organizations to prepare the direct struggle for political power. The possibility, however, of the traditional leaderships taking up that struggle for power is remote or exceptional, even under the revolutionary pressure of the masses. The IV International warns against the danger of putting into the same bag what are the masses, their organizations and their leaderships, because as the general norm the relations between them are contradictory. The periods of political or revolutionary crisis accentuates those contradictions, because these periods are characterized, on the one hand, by a fundamental change in the consciousness of the masses and, on the other, by a sharpening of the sense of survival in the leaderships seated upon the old political relationships. In this sense, the demand for a workers government is the method the IV International utilizes, not in order to give a new opportunity for survival to the old leaderships, but rather to conquer the leadership of the masses and the organizations of its combat for the revolutionary vanguard.
Even though parliamentarism has been in historic decomposition for a long time and the real government of the State is to be found in the hands of a handful of bureaucrats firmly interconnected with the principal capitalist trusts, parliamentary participation (and, as a result, election campaigns) is fundamental, including even during periods of a crisis of power or having pre-revolutionary characteristics. That participation should serve not only to amplify everyday political agitation but also as propaganda, that is as political education for the most militant workers. The circumstance of the parliament having turned into a cover for the conspiracy of the State against the masses (not at all into its representation), reinforces the need to participate in it in order to proceed with a methodical job of unmasking it. Without revolutionary work in the bourgeois parliament it is impossible to carry out true mass work. In the conditions in which the revolutionary vanguard, where it exists and acts, is extremely minority and its radius of influence is limited to a trade union audience, it is necessary to exploit all the opportunities to intervene in the election campaigns and in parliament. Trade union activism, even the most consequent, may become a synonym for economicist methodology; participation in the elections and in the parliament may serve, on the other hand, in order to unfold a really socialist policy, that is, related to the problems of capitalism as a whole, of all its social classes and the State. The historic subordination of parliamentarism with respect to direct action of the masses should not be confused with the underestimation of parliamentary action; that subordination simply means that the parliament should be used as a revolutionary tribune of propaganda, agitation and also of organization. Experience shows that the presence of the revolutionaries provokes in the masses an interest for parliamentarism that did not exist theretofore. These expectations constitute a step towards the exhaustion of illusions in parliamentarism, that had been under the surface. The presence of revolutionary legislators incentivates the popular tendency towards putting parliament under "street pressure," contributing in this way to direct action occupying the foreground among the people's methods of struggle.
In numerous countries, the decomposition of parliamentarism, which is nothing more than that of the bourgeois state and capitalist society, is made manifest as "a crisis of political representation" or "a crisis of politics." This means that the exploited do not perceive the class character of parliamentarism, nor do they characterize the political crises in course as the result of the irreconcilable character of class antagonisms. This deforming becomes accentuated when the petite-bourgeoisie plays a political role disproportionate in relation to its weight in the social productive process.
The crisis of power assumes in these cases a formal characteristic, that hides its fundamental social content. The experience of the recent crises and struggles have taught that, in such circumstances, the slogan of the sovereign Constituent Assembly could be capable of playing a great political role, understood, firstly, as the overthrow of parliament and the national and municipal executive institutions questioned by the "representative crisis" and, secondly, as a link to the workers government and the dictatorship of the proletariat, if it is driven by means of an overall program of transitional demands. The political weight of this slogan becomes accentuated in those countries in which parliamentarism and democracy have not grown roots, solid or otherwise, and where its long existence has combined with crises, coups and dictatorships, that is, where feelings in favor of universal suffrage are very much alive. The rapid decomposition of the State has determined that, in many countries, the need for a "political revolution" arises before the consciousness of the need for the social revolution. What is important is that, on the one hand, it serves to mobilize the masses and, on the other, it serves so as to be able to intervene in the crisis of power. What is important above all else is that it serve in order to bring the workers vanguard out of an exclusively propagandistic position when a political crisis is under development which is part of a historical crisis but which follows differentiated stages and rhythms, especially in connection with the comprehension the masses come to acquire from the events.
The dissociation between the political crisis of the State and its concrete historical content of the agony of capitalism has given way to a current which opposes to parliamentarism "direct democracy." This is another episode in the saga that denounces bourgeois democracy for its representative character, that is, that delegates popular sovereignty to independent representation. "Direct democracy" tends to occupy, in public opinion, the place of "participative democracy" or "social" democracy of a recent past. In a regime that is characterized by social despotism (the absolute dependence of labor power, as a commodity, from capital, and the absolute dictatorship of capital in the workplace), direct democracy reproduces the fiction of the autonomous character of the individual which characterizes constitutionalism. However, in the epoch in which specifically bourgeois individuality is in ruins, "direct democracy" has less space than ever and is transmuted into the pretension of skipping over parliamentarism by means of the plebiscite. "Direct democracy," which is in relative fashion these days, has points of contact with anarchism linked to the petite-bourgeoisie, not to anarchism that was linked to the working class, which subordinated direct democracy to the social revolution, establishing a point of contact with the dictatorship of the proletariat.
The workers government that has arrived into power in the struggle for the main demands of the workers and of the political crisis of the bourgeois State, is immediately confronted by the opposition of the whole of that State, which represents the dictatorship of the class of the bourgeoisie. The workers government can only be represented, then, as a brief interregnum towards the dictatorship of the proletariat. Its possibility of survival depends on disarming the bourgeoisie and on arming the working class, and on the expropriation of the principal capitalist cartels. Those, such as the Unified Secretariat, who have spoken of "workers power" but are opposed to the dictatorship of the proletariat, simply do not know what they are talking about. Actually they are telling a conscious lie. A "workers power" that refuses to disarm the bourgeoisie and to the arming of the masses, would never last. Given the circumstances of the crisis that determined its arrival as government, it would not have the opportunity of even being a executive of the bourgeois State, that is, a workers government of the bourgeoisie. A workers government emerging from a mass struggle for transitional demands will be confronted also by the whole of the State apparatus –its administrative, judicial, and municipal bureaucracy, and the corresponding legal apparatus. It must break capitalist power in the workplace, which is the real power base of capital. Obliged to break the state apparatus integrally, it sees itself equally obliged to begin to transform the social relations of exploitation upon which it rests. It structures, in this way, a new state in the form of a collective workers administration, which comprises the leading of the government in the charge of workers councils to workers administration in enterprises, health, administration, culture, and which is made manifest in an overall social plan. The breakdown of the division of labor between governors and the governed means the beginning of the dissolution of the state as such. Of all the tendencies speaking in the name of the working class, the IV International is the only one that struggles for a workers or workers and peasants government in its complete historical sense of the destruction of the bourgeois State and the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat. For the IV International, the workers government is a synonym for the dictatorship of the proletariat, and uses it as such in the agitation it carries out in the heart of the people.
In the history of the IV International the demand for a workers government established in its founding program, became distorted early on. At least since the decade of the fifties it stopped being considered as a synonym for dictatorship of the proletariat and the demand for the government of traditional organizations was converted into the substitute strategy of the IV International. The next step was to raise the workers government on a parliamentary basis, as occurred with the Union of the Left, in France, since the end of the seventies (with the aggravating circumstance of it being a popular front with the radical party). With the euro-communist conversion of the Stalinist parties, the dictatorship of the proletariat was replaced on a theoretical plan by the theory of "socialist democracy," which reconciled the government of the workers with the parliamentarism and with the bourgeois State in general. "Socialist democracy" served to beautify the movement of the Moscovite bureaucracy towards the restoration of capitalism, which it did with the slogans of rule of law, constitutional regime, electoral freedom. In the rainbow of tendencies claiming to be Trotskyist there exist a wide range of positions on the State, but all have abandoned the demand for the dictatorship of the proletariat. The theoretical degradation has reached the extreme of some of those tendencies defending their national imperialist states, alleging that they represent conquest of civilization which must be protected against 'globalization,' on the one hand, and 'regionalization, on the other. The recent retirement, from the statutes of the Revolutionary Communist League of France, of the demand for the dictatorship of the proletariat, is the culmination of a long political evolution, involving not only the Unified Secretariat, but all the tendencies born of the split in the IV International starting in the fifties.
The IV International rejects the identification of the dictatorship of the proletariat with the dictatorship of the bureaucracy. It is not only about a difference of methods between the two, but rather of social content, because the bureaucracy defends the dictatorship of the proletariat within the limits of its own privileges, which is to say, in defense of its privileges it combats the social and political supremacy of the working class. In defense of its privileges, it prepares the restoration of capitalism and is converted, as it has done, into the principal agent of that restoration. We also reject the identification, of the apprentices of human rights, of red or revolutionary terror and State terrorism, which is nothing more than the old vulgarity of putting on the same place revolutionary violence and violence of the reaction and of the capitalist State. Also where the proletariat has triumphed, the state exercising hegemony continues to be the capitalist state, made manifest by the international system of states and commits aggression against the proletarian state employing the organized force of the system of states established long ago. Every civil war obliges the revolution to militarize its institutions and, within these conditions, limits workers democracy, in the same way as in the course of any warlike action authority is concentrated in a single chain of command. The dictatorship of the proletariat suffers, then, the influence of the medium in which it is obliged to act. The dictatorship of the proletariat, as a workers democracy, flourishes when international development of the revolution is most open, the greater the economic and cultural resources inherited by the triumphant proletariat, the greater the political preparation and the school of class struggle wielded in the overthrow of the bourgeoisie. Every besieged city can become Masada. As Lenin said, the proletariat of the most advanced nations will get things done better.
31. Political struggle is a struggle between parties, the struggle for power even more so. Social revolution in general, and even more so the proletarian, is a historical phenomenon, that is which summarizes and concludes a phase of human civilization. It cannot be started without a consciousness of that character, that which becomes program. There may be mutinies and rebellions, and there are with extraordinary frequency when a given social organization enters its phase of decadence. But a revolution capable of putting an end to social domination and exploitation, is impossible without a program and without an organization. Capitalism does not allow the generalized development of general education or the political preparation of the proletariat; on the contrary it stimulates competition and rivalry among the exploited. Only on the basis of a workers vanguard can the task of forming a revolutionary proletariat be undertaken. Due to the unrivalled strategic role of the revolutionary party in the proletarian revolution, the struggle against the idea of constructing a party and against the party itself, is the ultimate resource of capital, which in this struggle manifests itself principally through the democratizing, or at most socializing, petite-bourgeoisie. Just as in the case of class collaboration, in general, and in the popular front, in particular, movementism is a last recourse of capital against the revolutionary proletariat.
It is parties which must be built, not sects; revolutionary organizations, not parliamentary federations; organizations of combat, not simply of propaganda; with deep roots in the working class and in its history, as well as in the history of the masses of the country and of that country itself. National particularities play an exceptional role in the strategy of revolutionary parties. Taking into account these demands, the form of development of the revolutionary party recognizes all kinds of variations. In the current stage, one of enormous dispersion of the revolutionary vanguard, the IV International emphasizes the new revolutionary stage that has opened the present world crisis; underlines the fact that the capitalist restoration accentuates, in the last instance, this world crisis and develops revolutionary confrontations on a greater scale than those known beforehand, even in the developed countries; it underlines the validity of the historic programs of communism, from the Manifesto of 1848, the first four congresses of the Third International and the transitional program of the IV International; and calls on revolutionaries and their organizations to elaborate an international program that realizes the fundamental changes of the last decades.
The reconstruction of the workers and revolutionary International is born of a clear historical affiliation, but it cannot defend organizational continuity. The Unified Secretariat of the IV International has become, at least as a whole, an appendix of the democratizing petite-bourgeoisie, even in the imperialist countries. The next workers International will be designed by historic events of extraordinary magnitude. It is idle to speculate upon its characteristics. However, it is not possible to struggle for that future International without a program and a party. Our call to re-found immediately the IV International signifies that we reject the policy of passive expectations in the great events to come. Hence our proposal to regroup the workers vanguard in an international party that struggles for the next great Revolutionary Workers International. In opposition to the method of the sects, which consists in conditioning the immediate re-founding of the IV International to a prior solution, purely literary at that, of the political differences that may exist, we raise the organization of an international revolutionary party, the IV, on the basis of an exact political delimitation regarding all divergences. To build the international party is the programmatic point that separates revolutionary Marxists from the sect.