National Sections of the L5I:

Analysis by Country

The French LCR and Pierre Juquin

“In the heart of the French Communist Party, voices are being raised in the name of pluralism and living Marxism, in the name of a radical break with capitalism and with reformism . . . faced with such a situation, all that is necessary is to keep our communist identity, our desire to unify, our role of making things move, in order to meet up with a partner prepared to build the revolutionary party”.1

Thus spake the “Trotskyists” of the French Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire (LCR) in March 1987, with regard to the “Rénovateur” current inside the French Communist Party (PCF). A year later, the LCR are busy putting up posters for Pierre Juquin, presidential candidate for the Rénovateurs. The LCR’s orientation to the “revolutionaries” of the Rénovateurs is in full swing, with all eyes on the post-election period in the hopes of building a common organisation. The LCR’s position is not simply based upon the particular circumstances in France: it draws its political inspiration from the perspectives of their international organisation, the United Secretariat of the Fourth International (USFI). However, this current “turn” of the French section has not gone smoothly. Once again, the LCR is in turmoil as rival tendencies grapple with the implications of the Ligue’s analysis of Juquin’s candidacy and of the Rénovateurs. Read more...

MRCI Theses on Gorbachev

Adopted by the MRCI conference, July 1987

1. From the mid-1970s the Soviet economy has shown mounting signs of slowdown and stagnation. Initially, this effect was partially offset by the high world market price of Soviet raw material exports. That cushioning no longer exists. The Stalinist model of a centrally bureaucratically planned economy has increasingly become a drag on the development of the productive forces. Its initial achievements in the sphere of industrialisation cannot disguise its inherent historical limits. The reactionary doctrine of socialism in one country isolated the Soviet economy from the world division of labour and forced industrialisation to be based on the material and cultural backwardness of Russia. Read more...

The Soviet intervention in Afghanistan

Adopted by the MRCI conference, April 1988

1. In 1978 the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) seized power. It was a party based on the urban intelligentsia and the upper ranks of the armed forces. The party was based on the Stalinist monolithic model but was riven by factional conflicts. The PDPA’s programme consisted of a series of democratic reforms, based on continuing the policy of co-operation with the USSR which had been pursued by the king until 1973, and which Daoud, in conjunction with the CIA and the Shah of Iran, was attempting to stop. The seizure of power had popular support in the towns. It was, however, not a Soviet organised putsch. The Soviet Union had hitherto been content with Afghanistan as a neutral buffer state. In return the Soviet Union pumped in large amounts of aid being concerned only that the Afghan regime was “friendly”. But the effects of Soviet aid (army training, education etc) were to pro-Sovietise the majority of the army officer corps and state bureaucracy. Read more...

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...