National Sections of the L5I:

Analysis by Country

Force Waldheim to resign!

“Every country gets the politicians it deserves” goes the old saying. Certainly, in the figure of Kurt Waldheim, the Second Republic has found the personification of its own vital ideological lies and the living symbol of the political hypocrisy of its ruling class. The mastermind and the accomplice in the general staff of the German Wehrmacht as the Federal President, the man who was an ex-Nazi before 1945 and an obliging democrat after, the man who tries to sell his notorious silences over his own wartime past as a genuine lapse of memory—Waldheim is certainly no “historical accident” for Austrian democracy. On the contrary, as the head of state he has given this system exactly the image it deserves—the face of the fellow traveller and supporter of the fascist dictators whose “doing his duty” in the world war was accepted by the domestic bourgeoisie as an excellent credential for his later career as a representative of democratic class rule. Read more...

Britain 1988 - The state of the unions

The year 1988 opened with an eloquent rebuttal of the arguments from all those who have bid farewell to the working class. The strikes in Ford, on the ferry services, in the mines, in the NHS and in the civil service all demonstrate not merely the physical existence of the working class, but also its continuing capacity for class struggle. Read more...

Theses on Zionism and Palestine: 1947

We reprint here an English translation of ‘Draft theses on the Jewish Question today’, first published in Fourth International in the January/February 1948 issue. They are dated January 1947 and the available evidence suggests that they were drafted by Ernest Mandel (‘Walter’) and first discussed by the International Secretariat in Paris at its 16 December 1946 meeting. Read more...

Nicaragua under the Sandinistas

The insurrection of 19 July 1979 which finally overthrew the Somoza regime in Nicaragua was an event of enormous importance for revolutionaries world wide. It was the most thorough going democratic revolution in Latin America since the July 26th Movement led by Fidel Castro destroyed the Batista regime in Cuba in 1959. Read more...

SWP: wrong positions on Iran and Iraq

‘The war is no longer just a conflict between two ruling classes fighting for domination of the region . . . The war now is one in which Iran faces the world’s mightiest imperial power (the USA—WP) and its European and Arab allies. Under these circumstances socialists are not neutral... We are with the Iranians—for the defeat of the whole coalition of forces, including Iraq, that is ranged against them.’
(Socialist Worker Review December 1987). Read more...

Sri Lanka and the Tamil question

1. The India Sri Lanka Accord of July 1987 represents the latest attempt at imposing a reactionary settlement on the national struggle of the Tamil people. The accord proposed autonomy which demanded the disarming of the only force enjoying the support of the Tamil people and reliance on Indian troops responsible for the repression of national groups inside India. It proposed a referendum in the Eastern Province in late 1988 to decide whether to continue links with the Northern Province. Read more...

Gorbachev and the Soviet working class

Mikhail Gorbachev, and those politically close to him, face a most daunting political prospect. He has staked his political future on reversing the tendency to stagnation and decline in the growth of the Soviet economy. But he has gone further than this. The means to that end promise a major attack on the economic privileges and political authority of a significant section of the state bureauracy. In order to deliver that blow Gorbachev is courting limited mobilisations of rank and file workers and party members against those who resist pressure for change. Read more...

From words to deeds by Leon Trotsky

Below appears the first published English translation of Trotsky’s article ‘From words to deeds’(1). Seventy years after its appearance in the paper Vpered (Forward) on 28 June 1917 (2) it remains a key document in the history of Trotsky’s convergence with Lenin’s party.

Vpered was the paper of the Inter-District Organisation of United Social Democrats, the so-called Mehraiontsi. This had been founded in 1913 by Yurenev and other members of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP) who rejected the discipline of both Bolshevik and Menshevik wings of the party. As Yurenev wrote later: ‘In particular we refused to recognise the Bolshevik conference of 1912 as a conference of the entire RSDLP.’(3) Their initial project was to unify the Bolsheviks and the Left Mensheviks in a party of ‘United Internationalists’. Read more...