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Fourth International/16th World Congress

Role and Tasks of the Fourth International

Wednesday 17 March 2010

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

Young supporters of the Fourth International

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

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

A new historical period is on the horizon. New relationships of forces between imperialist powers in the world economy and politics are taking shape, with the emergence of new capitalist forces like China, Russia, India and Brazil. The combination of the weakening of US hegemony and the sharpening of inter-capitalist competition between Europe, Russia, Asia and the USA also has geo-strategic effects in new political and military configurations, with an increased role for NATO, and new international tensions. In recent years, American imperialism has compensated for its economic weakening by redeploying its military hegemony in the four corners of the world. The social and economic contradictions have led, even in the USA, to the discredit of the Republican team around G.W. Bush. The election of Obama is a response to this discrediting as an alternative solution for US imperialism, even if his election also responds to a desire for change on the part of a section of US society, which will be disappointed but is real.

In conclusion, the crisis makes obvious the failure of neoliberal ideology although the relationship of forces remains favourable to capital. As an ideology, it shows itself incapable of offering a solution, which is why the G20 proposals are a return to the past that blew up with the crisis, wrote an end to the Washington Consensus, but placed the IMF in the decision-making centre with its clearly neoliberal priorities. All the contradictions inherent to this social system are going to come under stress, without social democracy and the centre left being able to offer an adequate response. Even neo-Keynesian measures, which have not been adopted anyway, would not be enough to resolve the crisis. In this way the gap between the discourse, the pretensions of the ruling class and the reality of the suffering and catastrophes which are inflicted on the peoples and workers, the building up of pressure on them, create the conditions for exacerbated social tensions and political crisis.

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

2. Social fightbacks are continuing to rise on a world scale but in a very unequal fashion and remain on the defensive. The global justice movement has lost the dynamism that it had had up to 2004. The Belem WSF shows, nevertheless, the need and the possibility for international convergences, but in a framework where struggles are more fragmented and dispersed. In Europe the success of the mobilizations against the G20 and NATO give an indication of a renewal of the global justice movement. The Istanbul ESF could be another important occasion. The World March of Women proposes a new occasion of common initiatives in 2010, which could become a step in rebuilding and strengthening this international feminist movement.

 In certain European countries – France, Greece, Germany, Poland, Italy – social struggles have a central impact on the political scene, but these struggles are not sufficient to block or turn around the underlying trends in the capitalist offensive and the effects of the crisis. They have not succeeded in overcoming the process of division and fragmentation of workers. These struggles remain defensive. They have not yet found an expression in terms of anti-capitalist consciousness. In this framework, in the absence of an anti-capitalist left, reactionary, even xenophobic and racist, alternatives and trends can get stronger.

 In the Middle East, peoples are continuing to resist Western and Israeli occupation and aggression, in Palestine, in Iraq and in Lebanon. The murderous aggression waged by the Zionist government in Gaza, two years after that in Lebanon, has not been able to defeat the resistance. Although Hamas and Hezbollah are now the main political references in this resistance, outside these organizations there are left currents that act not only with a perspective for national liberation but also for social liberation, which reject human exploitation and which reject categorically the segregation of women. This is the position that we want to strengthen.

 Latin America continues to be the centre of resistance to neoliberalism and the continent with the most explosive situations, even though these are uneven from one country to another. Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador are experiencing the most radical processes, with partial breaks from imperialism that have meant some important advances at the levels of government and/or social movements. There are others where the prognosis is unclear, like Paraguay, and all these find in Cuba a point of reference. Some others maintain versions of neoliberal policies, with neodevelopmentalism in Argentina, or social liberalism in Uruguay and Brazil. The latter, in spite of its sharp contradictions with the US, especially over defence policy, its membership of UNASUR and its agreements with Venezuela, nonetheless collaborates with fundamental policies of Washington and aims to achieve regional leadership. For their part, Colombia, Peru, Chile and Mexico remain clearly neo-liberal.

Nonetheless, a new political situation is emerging, with the renewed imperialist threat in the region, with the presence of the Fourth US Fleet, the coup in Honduras, seven new US military bases in Colombia, the direct intervention of the US embassy in the most important trade union conflict in Argentina for years, the political and military interference in Haiti. All these aim to roll back the political advances and develop an international response.

This means that the class struggle will intensify in Latin America in the coming period. The governments of Venezuela and Ecuador are moving back from their most radical proposals, showing two aspects in particular that cause concern: the orientation towards the extraction of natural resources and the limited democratic participation of social sectors. In Bolivia, there is a radicalization of the processes of change, which rests directly on the social movements.

Although these processes are in dispute, with advances and retreats, they run the risk, in the course of their evolution, of not advancing to anti-capitalist positions, unless there is a strengthening of the self-activity of wage earners, indigenous peoples and other oppressed social sectors, and greater pressure from these sectors on the governments of Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador.

At the same time, the radicalization of social movements, especially the struggle of indigenous and peasant movements, is putting pressure on these governments and at the same time posing a clear anti-capitalist perspective, in defence of natural resources – land, water, biodiversity, etc. – and a change in the development model, as was expressed in the Declaration of the Assembly of Social Movements at the Belem WSF, and the recent assembly of Alba TCP, which in its final statement denounced capitalism and called for its overthrow. The national, regional and international meetings of the social movements demonstrate the radical potential contained in the southern part of Latin America.

One urgent political task for the organizations is to stimulate the self-activity of the masses, generalising workers’ control and the creation of bodies of popular power; otherwise, in Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador, there is a risk of a definitive reverse and a consolidation of capitalism in these countries, where it is currently challenged.

The activity of the sections and groups of the Fourth International in Latin America needs to take into account these tendencies – the national question in the region and the connections between anti-imperialism and anti-capitalism – and define a tactic for intervention in a process characterized by the inter-relation between the states that make up the ALBA and social movements with strong histories of self-organization and self-management. These two forces sometimes converge and sometimes enter into contradiction. This implies promoting demands for unitary struggles in defence of the rights of indigenous peoples, against the criminalization of protest, privatizations, extractivism of natural resources, machismo and the economic and ecological crisis, thereby stimulating the strategic political debate about power and hegemony in our societies.

 In a series of what are usually called emerging capitalist countries or those resulting from capitalist restoration, – China, Russia or the former eastern bloc – the whirlwind of globalization is tending to proletarianize hundreds of millions of human beings. But this new social power, which can play a key role in the coming years, has not yet formed mass independent organizations – trade unions, associations, and political organizations capable of facing the challenge of this global reorganization.

 The pillaging of resources in Africa to the benefit of big capitalist multinationals is increasing with the complicity of the existing governments. The continued growth of GDP in recent years in sub-Saharan Africa does not benefit the population, only social inequality in increasing. Faced with the deterioration in living conditions, there have been major struggles, such as the general strikes in Guinea, the demonstrations in Togo, the general strike in the public sector in South Africa. The food crisis at the end of 2008 sparked many demonstrations. However, the absence of a political alternative is a heavy obstacle to the success of these struggles, such as in Guinea or in the Cameroons. They are either diverted towards bourgeois political formations as in Madagascar or they lose themselves in religious dead-ends as in Nigeria or Congo (DRC), or worse in ethnic or racist ones like in Kenya or South Africa.

The building of democratic peoples’ and workers’ organizations remains an absolute necessity for the success of struggles.

 In Asia, the ongoing fast development of capitalism in China and in India and in most of South-Asian countries raises crucial political questions. Around half of the global working class lives in Asia and the necessity to create or strengthen revolutionary parties in this part of the world is critical. The situation is very different from one country to another:

• China is of the outmost importance. Decades of repression explain why the creation of a revolutionary party in China has to start from scratch. Bringing the experience and tradition of the international labour movement to China will be necessary to stimulate the creation of a revolutionary party as well as international solidarity. The Fourth International will have to pay special attention to the social and political developments that the present international crisis could bring about in the near future.

• In India, whose population will overtake China’s by 2050, and where faster industrialization has increased the number of workers and the rural crisis is deepening, the political situation and our tasks are different. The labour movement is very well developed and organized but dominated by Stalinist or Maoist political parties. The construction of a revolutionary party defending our programme cannot just ignore them.

• In South-East Asia, the situation is very uneven. In some countries like Thailand and Burma, the labour movement is very weak. In these countries there is neither social democracy nor radical left parties. In these countries our task is to establish stronger links with the social movements that are active in the defence of farmers, women and workers when trade unions exist. Indonesia and Malaysia are in an intermediary situation. There are some small revolutionary parties with whom we can engage a constructive political debate and collaboration.

• In the Philippines and Pakistan, the Fourth International has strong organizations that can be a basis of our political activity throughout Asia.

In these countries we are confronted with Islamic fundamentalism. We oppose the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Muslims extremists in the Philippines like the Abou Sayaf because they are reactionary forces. We cannot make any agreement with them in the name of anti-imperialism. In other countries like Indonesia or Malaysia, we could also be confronted with Islamic fundamentalism, and the FI has to strengthen its analysis.

• In Sri Lanka, after several decades of war, the government has defeated the LTTE militarily but the root cause of the Tamil question has not yet been addressed. Besides, the Rajapaksa government uses open and brutal repression to silence its opponents and the media. The FI should be part of the international campaign of solidarity with the Tamil people.

Throughout Asia, the FI defends the rights of ethnic groups and indigenous peoples and supports their struggle for self-determination.

• In Japan, the process of fusion of the two organizations linked to the FI is underway. Since September 2009, they have been jointly publishing a common newspaper.

In South Korea too, where the labour movement is strong, there is also a convergence of different forces toward the creation of a new anti-capitalist party. Because this country has a strong tradition in the working class struggle, the Fourth International has to follow this event closely. Besides, the FI should organize solidarity campaigns to support the militants of revolutionary parties who are now repressed by the State.

3. The dynamic of capitalist globalization and the current crisis have also changed the framework of evolution and development of the traditional left. Reformist bureaucracies have seen their leeway considerably reduced. From reformism without reforms to reformism with counter-reforms, social democracy and equivalent forces in a series of dominated or developing countries are experiencing an evolution towards social-liberalism; that is these forces are directly underwriting neoliberal or neoconservative policies. All the forces politically or institutionally linked to social-liberalism or to the centre left – including the women’s movement, notably in the institutionalized forms of NGOs, women’s aid associations, etc, – are, to varying degrees, being dragged into these qualitative changes in the workers’ movement and are incapable of formulating a plan for getting out of the crisis. What is more, we are seeing policies – such as that of the Lula government in Brazil – which are making the ecological crisis worse. The clash with these parties is more difficult since they maintain their control, particularly electorally, of part of the workers movement, and it is therefore necessary to build a real, credible political alternative.

The traditional communist parties are continuing their long decline. They try to break this decline by grabbing onto the coat tails of the leading forces in the liberal left and the institutional apparatuses or falling back on their nostalgic and self-affirming positions. While there are sectors or currents who wish to build the social movements with anti-capitalist forces, such as Synaspismos in Greece, they are doomed to have contradictions and divisions because of their reformist nature. In effect, the decision to build anti-capitalist parties does not mean we are not aware of the existence of radical, anti-liberal, left reformist currents that play a role and have electoral credibility. Therefore, they continue to be competitors and/or political adversaries. Their position can be reinforced by occasional tactical shifts – generally electoralist – to the left, by social-liberalism, often to re-establish its consensus among the working class and popular sectors. This poses the challenge for us of implementing a united front offensive capable of responding to the needs of men and women wage-earners. At the same time, when on the basis of clear political conditions we decide to intervene inside anti-liberal, reformist left parties (such as in the case of Die Linke), we do so with no illusions about the nature of these parties, and we build anti-capitalist tendencies linked to social movements, that fight electoralism, institutionalism, and any attempt to compromise with capitalism.

4. We want to get involved in this reorganization to create a new left that is capable of meeting the challenge of this century and rebuilding the workers’ movement, its structures, its class consciousness, its independence from the bourgeoisies at the political and cultural level.

• An anti-capitalist, internationalist, ecologist and feminist left;

• a left that is clearly alternative to social democracy and its governments;

• a left which fights for a socialism of the 21st century, self-managed and democratic, and which has a coherent programme for getting there;

• a left that is conscious that for this goal it has to break with capitalism and its logic and thus that is cannot govern with the political representation with which it wants to break;

• a pluralistic left rooted in the social movements and the workplaces which integrates the combativity of the workers, the struggles for women’s and LGBT liberation and emancipation and ecologist struggles;

• a non-institutional left that bases its strategy on the self-organization of the proletariat and the oppressed, on the principle that emancipation of the workers is the task of the workers themselves;

• a left that promotes all forms of self-organization by workers and by the popular classes, that encourages thinking, deciding, and doing things for itself and on the basis of its own decisions;

• a left which integrates new social sectors, new themes such as those expressed by the World Social Forum in Belem, and above all the new generations because you cannot make new things with old material;

• an internationalist and anti-imperialist left which fights against domination and war and the self-determination of the people and which lays out the framework for a mass democratic International;

• a left able to link the precious heritage of critical and revolutionary Marxism with developments of feminism, ecosocialism and the indigenous movements of Latin America;

• an independent and class-struggle left which fights for the broadest united action against the crisis and for the rights, the gains and the aspirations of the workers and all the oppressed.

These are the criteria and the general content of our orientation for building new useful anti-capitalist instruments for fighting the current system.

5. This is the aspiration in which the problems of building the Fourth International and new anti-capitalist parties and new international currents are posed. We expressed it in our own way, from 1992 onwards, so in the last two world congresses, with the triptych “New period, new programme, new party”, developed in documents of the International. We confirm the essential of our choices at the last World Congress in 2003 concerning the building of broad anti-capitalist parties. The Fourth International is confronted, in an overall way, with a new phase. Revolutionary Marxist militants, nuclei, currents and organizations must pose the problem of the construction of anti-capitalist, revolutionary political formations, with the perspective of establishing a new independent political representation of the working class that takes into account the diversity of the working class – in gender, race, residence status, age, sexual orientation - in defending a resolutely class-based programme.

Building broad anti-capitalist parties is the current response we offer to the crisis in the workers’ and left movement and the need for its reconstruction. This project is based on mass struggles, bringing mass movements to the forefront and the emergence of a new generation. Of course, this does not eliminate our revolutionary Marxist, ecologist, feminist internationalist identity and our basic aim of defeating capitalism to create a new ruling order based on democracy and direct participation: that is, a real socialist democracy.

That is true at the level of each country and at an international level. On the basis of the experience of the class struggle, the development of the global justice movement, defensive struggles and anti-war mobilizations over the last ten years, and in particular the lessons drawn from the evolution of the Brazilian PT and of Communist Refoundation in Italy and from the debates of the French anti-liberal left, revolutionary Marxists have engaged in recent years in the building of the PSOL in Brazil, of Sinistra Critica in Italy, of the new anti-capitalist party in France, Respect in England. In this perspective we have continued to build the experiences of the Bloco de Esquerda in Portugal and the Red Green Alliance in Denmark.

The common goal, via different paths, is that of broad anti-capitalist parties. It is not a question of taking up the old formulas of regroupment of revolutionary currents alone. The ambition is to bring together forces beyond simply revolutionary ones. These latter can be a support in the process of bringing forces together as long as they are clearly for building anti-capitalist parties. Although there is no model, since each process of coming together takes account of national specificities and relationships of forces, our goal must thus be to seek to build broad anti-capitalist political forces, independent of social democracy and the centre left, formations which reject any policy of participation or support to class-collaborationist governments, today in government with social-democracy and the centre left, forces which understand that winning victories on women’s rights, like in the abortion referendum in Portugal, strengthen the radical anti-capitalist forces.

It is on the basis of such a perspective that we must be oriented. What we know of the experiences of differentiation and reorganization in Africa and Asia point in the same direction. Nevertheless, in the countries of Latin America, the construction of broad anti-capitalist parties should integrate from its beginnings a clear stand for socialism. It is through this complex and diverse process that we can make new advances.

Where we are working inside such broad political forces, it is important to fight for the right of self-organization within these parties by women and LGBTs, and on this self-organization’s being reflected in the parties’ programmes and practice. This self-organization is a means of resisting pressures towards electoralism and institutionalization. In new radical political formations in several Latin American countries, the right to self-organization is important to fighting for a 21st-century socialism from below that rejects authoritarian tendencies and the temptation to repeat 20th-century errors. In general within such broad forces, we start from an understanding, as an indissoluble part of our socialism, of the necessity for a collective and resolute response to all manifestations of prejudice including sexism, racism, islamophobia, anti-Semitism, homophobia and transphobia. We also fight for specific attention to organizing by youth; for the integration of black, immigrant, women’s and LGBT issues into the party’s public statements and daily interventions; and for representation of specially oppressed comrades in the party leadership and among its spokespeople and candidates for office.

6. This is the framework in which we must approach the question of the relationship between the building of the Fourth International and a policy of anti-capitalist coming together at the national, continental and international levels. We must discuss how to strengthen and transform the Fourth International in order to make it an effective tool in the perspective of a new international grouping. We already have started, with limited results it has to be admitted, conferences of the anti-capitalist left and other international conferences. On the international level, we have initiated, on this political basis, many conferences and initiatives of international convergence and coming together: the constitution of the European Anti-capitalist Left (EACL), with the Portuguese Left Bloc, the Danish Red-Green Alliance and the Scottish Socialist Party. We worked with organizations like the English SWP. Other parties – even left reformists of who had at one time or another a political evolution “to the left”, like Communist Refoundation in Italy, tor Synaspismos – also took part in these conferences. We also held international conferences of revolutionary and anti-capitalist organizations, on the occasion of the World Social Forums at Mumbai in India and Porto Alegre in Brazil. On this level, we created bonds of solidarity with the Brazilian PSOL in its break with Lula’s PT. We have supported the efforts of our Italian comrades to build an anti-capitalist alternative to the policies of Communist Refoundation in Italy. These few elements show the type of orientation that we want to implement. The different conferences this year [2010] such as those in Paris or Belem show the necessity and the possibility of joint action and discussion by a large number of organizations and currents of the anti-capitalist left in Europe. It is now necessary to continue a policy of open meetings and conferences on topics of strategic and programmatic thinking and joint action through campaigns and initiatives of international mobilization.

7. The Fourth International and its sections have played and still play a vital role in defending, promoting and implementing a programme of demands that are both immediate and transitional towards socialism; a united-front policy that aims for mass mobilization of workers and their organizations; a policy of working-class unity and independence against any type of strategic alliance with the national bourgeoisie; opposition to any participation in governments that merely manage the State and the capitalist economy having abandoned all internationalism or fight for an end to inequality and discrimination on gender, racial, ethnic, religious or sexual orientation grounds.

The Fourth International has played and still plays a functional role in keeping alive the history of the revolutionary Marxist current, “to understand the world”, to confront the analyses and the experiences of revolutionary militants, currents and organizations and to bring together organizations, currents and militants who share the same strategic vision and the same choice of broad convergences on revolutionary bases. The existence of an international framework that makes it possible “to think about politics” is an indispensable asset for the intervention of revolutionaries. Consistent internationalism must pose the question of an international framework. But for historical reasons that it has itself analysed, the Fourth International does not have the legitimacy to represent in and of itself the new mass International that we need. So when it is a question of taking a step forward in the bringing together of anti-capitalist forces, these new organizations, in particular in Europe and Latin America, cannot relate to and join this or that current identified with the Fourth International, and this is true whatever the reference point – the various Morenoites, the Lambertists, the SWP or other variants of Trotskyism.

Let us note, nevertheless, that a major difference between the FI and all these tendencies, over and above political positions, which is to the credit of the International, is that it is based on a democratic coordination of sections and militants, whereas the other international tendencies are “international-factions” or coordinations based on “party-factions” which do not respect rules of democratic functioning, in particular the right of tendency. The historical limits of these international “Trotskyist” currents, like other ex-Maoist or ex-Communist currents, prevent us today from advancing in the crystallization of new international convergences. Chavez’s call to found a Fifth International poses other questions about its origins, its framework, that is to say, its viability. The Fourth International declares that it is willing to participate in the debates and preparatory meetings that may be organized. We will contribute our historic gains and our vision about what a new International and its programmatic foundations could be. A genuine new International can only be born if its members share a programme, an ability to intervene in society, a democratic, pluralist form of functioning, as well as clear independence from governments in order to break with capitalism.

In the present relationship of forces, the policy for advancing towards a mass International must rather take the road of open and periodic conferences on central political questions – activity, specific themes or discussions - which make possible the convergence and the emergence of anti-capitalist and revolutionary poles. In this sense, the Fourth International is in favour of the proposals from revolutionary Marxist currents and/or groups who share with us a common understanding of the international situation and our aspirations for building new international frameworks.

In the new anti-capitalist parties which may be formed in the years to come, and which express the current stage of combativeness, experience and consciousness of the sectors that are the most committed to the search for an anti-capitalist alternative, the question of a new International is and will be posed. We act and we will continue to act so that it is not posed in terms of ideological or historical choices, which are likely to lead to divisions and splits. It must be posed on a double level, on the one hand real political convergence on tasks of international intervention, on the other pluralism of the new formations, which must bring together currents of various origins: Trotskyists of different kinds, libertarians, revolutionary syndicalists, revolutionary nationalists, left reformists. So in general, when there have been concrete steps towards new parties, we have proposed that the new broad anti-capitalist party functions with the right of tendency or currents, and that the supporters of the Fourth International in these new parties organize themselves in ways to be decided, according to the specific situation of each party. Our Portuguese comrades in the Left Bloc, our Danish comrades in the Red-Green Alliance, our Brazilian comrades in the PSOL, are organized, in particular forms, as a Fourth International current or in class struggle currents with other political tendencies.

8. In this movement we are confronted with desynchronizations between the building of parties on a national level and the construction of new international groupings. There can be, in the present situation or in the next years, new anti-capitalist parties in a series of countries, but the emergence of a new international force, and all the more so, of a new International, is not, at this stage, foreseeable. A new International will only be the result of a prolonged period of joint action and common understanding of events and tasks for overthrowing capitalism. While we affirm a policy of international convergence, this confirms the particular responsibilities of the FI, and thus the need for its reinforcement. We can and we seek to represent an organizational framework that is attractive and, democratic, for revolutionary organizations that share the same political projects as ours. It is in this dynamic that the Filipino comrades are situated, the Pakistani comrades and the Russian comrades are situated, and that can be the case tomorrow of, for example, the Polish or Malian comrades.

9. We have, in fact, a particular role that is recognised by a series of political currents. We may be the only ones who can make political forces of various origins converge. This is for example, in Latin America, what the Venezuelan comrades of left currents of the Bolivarian process say to us. It is also the case in Europe, in the framework of the relations of the EACL and of other currents. So, the next world congress must be an important step for the meeting of all these forces. This Congress will be a congress of the FI and there will be no organizational growing over at this stage. But we want the FI to play the role of a “facilitator” of convergences in the perspective of new international groupings.

10. As a result, in order to strengthen ourselves and play this role all the bodies of the FI must be reinforced: regular Bureau meetings, International Committees, specific working commissions, travel, exchanges between the sections. It is necessary to reinforce the activity that the International has deployed over the last few years in regularizing and strengthening EPBs meetings and the efforts of coordination between the Latin American sections. The meetings of the International Committee (IC), which are held every year representing about 30 organizations, must ensure the organizational continuity of our international current.

Lack of resources as well as the decline in the presence of women, notably in our leading bodies, in the last period (a result of the decline in activity of a strong autonomous women’s movement which has had an impact on our national organizations and thus the International), have meant that we have not sustained an active women’s commission and a corresponding network of regional meetings and international schools. Three women’s seminars have been held since 2000 as well as meetings of the women comrades present at each IC. These have maintained a limited and fragile but nevertheless real feminist internationalist perspective. In the next period, given the centrality of our understanding of women’s oppression and the strategic nature of the fight against it and the struggle to build the autonomous women’s movement in an anti-capitalist perspective, we must find the necessary resources to ensure that this question is developed as a central element of the anti-capitalist perspective we propose. In this framework we must at the same time strengthen our internal commission and be on the offensive in proposing discussions to our partners, including participation in seminars and schools in our Institute. This process must also find a reflection at national level.

At the same time we must ensure that the women in our organizations – and in the new parties we are building – find their full place and that the simple adoption of parity or quotas for leadership bodies or electoral lists is not considered a sufficient answer to the obstacles to women’s full participation in the political process. The range of measures constituting a positive action plan were presented in the 1991 World Congress resolution on positive action.

The youth camp, which is held every year with around 500 comrades, must have a central place for the youth work of our European sections, in the perspective of forming young internationalist cadres. As more and more of our organizations in Europe are within broader anti-capitalist formations we continue to encourage our comrades to invite youth from the broader organizations to the camp, and to participate in the preparatory seminar held in Amsterdam every Easter. The camp is also an important occasion for young comrades from Europe to meet comrades from other continents and the efforts made by organizations outside Europe to send comrades to participate in the camp is very important. As the only regular public initiative of the FI, the camp also plays a role as a place to which younger people from organizations with which we are building relations can be invited, as was the case with camp in Greece in 2009 with the presence of small delegations from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Poland and Croatia

The Amsterdam educational institute has taken on a fresh impetus. We now have to ensure that the schools and seminars are held and ensure the equilibrium of its management and its organization. The FI must also open up its meetings and its Institute. The Institute occupies a central place, not only to educate the cadres of the section but also to contribute to the exchanges between currents and to various international experiences. The seminar on climate change, open to a series of international experts, is a good example. Like other meetings, it indicates the necessity and the possibility that we are a crucible for programmatic elaboration of essential questions that anti-capitalist and revolutionary currents are tackling.

The existence of an international school in the Philippines is a tool of great importance to form new generations of revolutionary militants coming from all parts of Asia and to share their experiences. In the near future, there will be a new school in Islamabad in Pakistan, which will enlarge our capacity to form militants and organize political debates in South Asia. The FI has to give full support to the IIRE in Manila and in Islamabad.

Our schools have always been an occasion for inviting participation from organizations with which we are building relations. This role must be strengthened and broadened in the coming period throughout the IIRE network.

To sum up, in the coming period, and on an orientation aimed at building a new international force or a new International, the FI as an internal framework, represents an essential asset for revolutionary Marxists.

Motion on the Strategic Debate, Party Building and Socialism in the 21st Century

The IC is mandated to prepare with the IIRE a seminar, with its sections, about the construction of anti-capitalist parties and the sections of the FI: problems encountered, relationships with social movements, in particular the new generation, alliances, and relations with other currents.

The IC and the IIRE are also mandated to organize an international seminar on twenty-first century socialism, open to external guests, to develop a document expressing the FI contribution to this debate.