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Fourth International

Call to support publishing Livio Maitan’s ’Towards a history of the Fourth International’

Wednesday 26 April 2017

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The IIRE is raising funds for the English translation of Livio Maitan’s Per una storia della IV internazionale: la testimonianza di un comunista controcorrente. In this book, Livio Maitan relates his experience of being a revolutionary communist during the second half of the 20th Century. [1] Written by a leading member of the Fourth International and lifelong Marxist, the book is both testimony and an analysis of a 50-year period of great turmoil in Italian and international politics.

From his early commitment to communism in 1942 under fascism in Italy, Livio chose to be “against the current” by rejecting both Stalinism and social democracy. Instead, he charted a course of democratic and revolutionary Marxism, which brought him to be a protagonist in the Trotskyist movement, including participating in its international leadership.

The tumultuous period described in this book covers events such as the break of Tito with Stalin, the Chinese revolution, the Soviet invasion of Hungary, the war of liberation in Algeria and Vietnam, and the Cuban revolution. The book also covers the period opened by May 1968, which saw massive mobilisations of students and workers in Europe and elsewhere, as well as the following years of neoliberal reaction and the fight to defend the gains of the workers movement.

Livio Maintan’s analysis covers not only the events, but also details the strategic and programmatic discussions that the “new left” had to engage with as it was seeking to build an alternative.

The book is not just a political history, as Maitan looks for answers to the strategic and programmatic problems his generation faced as it sought to work towards a socialist alternative. A translation will be of interest to activists today seeking alternatives to a world of economic crisis and political turmoil.

The IIRE is publishing the book together with Resistance Books. Part of the work needed to publish the book is done voluntarily, but we need to pay for translation. We are raising money together with Resistance Books. To help pay for part for the translation cost, we want to raise 2000 euros.

We ask you to help us publish the testimony of a ’communist against the current’.