National Sections of the L5I:

History

Poland’s transition to capitalism

Jan Bielecki is Poland’s Prime Minister. Ten years ago he was a Solidarnosc member in Gdansk, delivering lumber for his living. Under martial law he was an underground activist, assisting the Gdansk shipyard to keep its printing press going. In January 1991 Bielecki was chosen by President Lech Walesa to oversee the country’s transition to capitalism. Another 13 of Bielecki’s cabinet have Solidarnosc membership going back to 1980 when the ten million strong mass movement pitched itself into a battle against the Stalinist dictatorship.1 Read more...

How capitalism triumphed in East Germany

Adopted by the International Executive Committee, 30 July 1990

The German Democratic Republic (GDR) was formed as part of the defensive reaction by the USSR to Marshall Aid. The latter was used by imperialism in an attempt to resuscitate capitalist forces in Eastern Europe. Read more...

Leon Trotsky - Revolutionary fighter

August 20th 1940 is the day that Ramón Mercader, a Stalinist agent, struck the death blow that killed Leon Trotsky, the Russian revolutionary and founder of the Fourth International. This article, originally to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of his death, is written by Dave Stockton Read more...

The death agony of Stalinism: The Crisis of the USSR and the Degenerate Workers’ States

Resolution adopted by the International Executive Committee of the LRCI, 4 March 1990

During 1989 a series of mass popular revolutions swept through Eastern Europe. The power of the Stalinist bureaucratic dictatorships was weakened or destroyed. In the first half of the year, the Chinese bureaucracy was momentarily paralysed by a mass student movement which began to draw in sections of the proletariat. The bureaucracy was only able to halt the developing revolutionary crisis by severe repression. Read more...

How the French Communist Party betrayed the 1948 miners’ strike

We reprint here a 1949 article from Quatrième Internationale, the French language journal of the Fourth International (FI) on the 1948 French miners’ strike. During the strike the miners were subjected to murderous repression organised by Jules Moch, the Socialist Party Minister of the Interior. But responsibility for the strike’s defeat lay with the French Communist Party (PCF) led trade union, the Confédération Générale du Travail (CGT), which consistently refused to spread the action throughout the French working class. Read more...

Twenty-five years of centrism; The USFI 1963-88

Amidst the meetings and celebrations surrounding the 50th anniversary of the founding of Trotsky’s Fourth International (FI), little has been heard of another anniversary, that of the formation of the United Secretariat of the Fourth International (USFI) in 1963. The USFI itself has been particularly reticent about this anniversary. Perhaps this has to do with the fact that it has very little to celebrate. Of the two major forces which “united” with the International Secretariat (IS) in 1963, one—the Moreno current—has already split, and the other—the Socialist Workers Party of the United States (SWP)—has organised a de facto split. It effectively runs its own separate “International”, with its own organisation and press. A quarter century after the “reunification of the world Trotskyist movement”, its component parts are largely back where they started. Read more...

Marxism and the Second World War

Fifty million people died in World War Two. Now anniversary events are taking place across the world to mark the beginning of the slaughter. This article, originally published in the British socialist paper Workers Power in 1989 explores some of the myths that we are taught about the war. Read more...

World War 2 - When "communists" were strike breakers

The Second World War was supposedly the "finest hour" of the British Communist Party (CP). It grew to 56,000 members, controlled many workplace organisations and had great influence in the unions. But throughout the war the CP acted as the puppet of Kremlin foreign policy. Read more...

1939-1945 War and counter revolution

What were the real causes of the destruction of 1939-1945? The Second World War explained from a Marxist analysis Read more...

Defending the French Revolution, 1789-93

There is no shortage of academics and journalists trying to make the two hundredth anniversary of the Great French Revolution an orgy of so-called refutations of the Marxist interpretation of the French Revolution. The London Economist launched its new year issue with a hymn of praise to “revisionist” historians who had, at last, laid the ghost of Marx to rest. The European edition of Newsweek treated its readers to an eight page survey of the revisionist school’s critique of Marxism under the title “The Decline of the Left—rethinking the Revolution”. Read more...