We reprint here an important article from Workers Democracy N8 January 22 on the role of the World Social Forum at Porto Alegre held in the first week of February. We do not necessarily agree with all of the analysis, for example Workers Democracy’s decision to boycott the alternative forums held by the LBI and PO. We do agree with the call an international conference to found a new Zimmerwald. A front to prevent the advance of the Latin American and world-wide revolution, in the service of the imperialistic powers and their lackeys, the Latin American bosses´ regimes.
Yankee imperialism has begun, with the support of the European imperialistic powers and its gendarme the state of Israel, a counter-revolutionary war to try to smash the great revolution of the working class and the Palestinian people. The Israeli genocidal army has entered with blood and fire the Palestinian city of Tulkarem, occupying it, and totally unmasking the farce of a "Palestinian state" co-existing next to Israeli state.
While it threatens to intervene militarily in Colombia, and after bomb-blasting Afghanistan, Bush has jailed in Guantanamo -with the support of Fidel Castro- the heroic internationalist militias that went to fight in Afghanistan.
With these counterrevolutionary blows and offensives, the imperialistic butchers try to give a lesson to the workers and the oppressed peoples of the world, and thus, also to discipline still more their own working classes. It is the counterrevolutionary answer to the great Palestinian Revolution, and to the revolution that has begun in Argentina and whose example and expansive waves represent a threat with the reopening of working class and farmers' struggles in the whole of Latin America.
If some time ago Yankee imperialism needed to extract from the exploitation and plundering of the semi colonial countries US$ 1000 million daily to maintain its cycle of growth, now under thee blows of the world-wide economic and financial crisis that has hit the US economy, it needs to go bombing and smashing his way like in Afghanistan, attacking its own working class with millions of layoffs, and take on a re-colonizing offensive against the oppressed peoples of the world, so as to maintain its dominant power against the competition of the European powers and Japan.
It needs to eliminate the old borders of the post Second War period, imposing new protectorates like in Kosovo or Afghanistan, with massacres like in East Timor (Indonesia) and sending whole countries into bankruptcy to make them again into colonies, with their economies under the direct control of a board of the big bankers and the imperialistic organizations such as IMF, WB, WTO, etc., as it intends to do in Argentina.
But its counter-revolutionary policy is incomplete if simultaneously the imperialist butchers do not use counterrevolutionaries of all colors in their paid service, so that they strangle from inside the revolutions in their course and restrain the fight of the workers and the exploited. For that reason, (at the same time that the imperialistic strategists reunite in NY for another stage of the Davos round. ) these paid agents and their aides reunite again in February, in the forum of Porto Alegre, Brazil, to form the counterrevolutionary "international".
There, under the auspices of the governments of the European imperialistic regimes, meet the representatives of Fidel Castro and the Cuban restorationist bureaucracy, who support Bush in its "war against terrorism" and are co-responsible for the imprisonment of the internationalist militia fighters for Afghanistan, in the Yankee Military Headquarters in Guantanamo Bay; thus Fidel and his restorationist clique are completing their tasks to buy their right to recycle themselves as bourgeoisie and accomplish the total restoration of capitalism in Cuba.
Going also re the representatives of the FARC and Latin American Stalinism in all its variants, and even the French imperialistic multimedia Le Monde, and also the Church, which while it speaks of "peace", blesses the bombs and the weapons of the imperialistic butchers and the defeats of the oppressed peoples, like in Malvinas (so-called Falklands by its long robbers, the British imperialists. NT).
There also will be the European Social Democracy that, with Tony Blair, Jospin, Schroeder, administer the imperialistic European businesses, and the social Democratic and Stalinist union bureaucracy of France, Spain, Italy, etc., who bind the working class of those countries in social pacts to subordinate them each one to their "own" imperialistic bourgeoisie, preventing these workers from supporting the workers and the oppressed peoples, like in the wars in the Balkans and also in Afghanistan.
There also will be the union bureaucracy of the North American AFL-CIO that supports Bush in his war against Afghanistan and his reactionary National Front (that is, the use of great power chauvinism to poison workers’ consciousness and subordinate them to their bosses’ counterrevolutionary and imperialistic plans.), allowing the ferocious attack on its own North American working class, with millions of layoffs, wage cuts and "flexibilization".
Next to these will be the union bureaucracies of all the American Continent: the CGT and the CTA of Argentina, the CUT of Brazil, the PIT-CNT of Uruguay, the Chilean CUT, etc., elbow to elbow with the employer’s association of the PyMes (Little and Medium-sized Enterprises.) of Argentina, and bosses’ representatives of other countries in all the continent. There will be the leaders of the farmers’ movement of Ecuador, of Bolivia, of the MST (Landless farmers) of Brazil, alongside, for example, the "unions" of the Brazilian police, the same ones the constitute the "death squads" who have assassinated the leader of the Brazilian PT, Celso Daniel, or who protect and arm the white guards of the landowners who have just shot in the back the leader of the MST, Jose Rainha.
"Not love, but fear holds them together"
What is it that explains the meeting of such like-minded counterrevolutionary leaderships, originating from all points of the planet? How do we understand the uniting in the same Forum of the union bureaucracy of the North American AFL-CIO, agent of Bush and the Yankee monopolies, with the European Social Democracy and union bureaucracies, agents each one of the imperialistic monopolies of France, Germany, Italy, etc? How is it explained that they all meet together, when their respective heads, Yankee imperialism and the European powers are joined in a ferocious commercial war for markets, raw materials and zones of influence, in Latin America, in Asia, in Africa, in the ex-workers states in liquidation like China and Russia?
The explanation is that there is no longer, like before, the great world-wide counter revolutionary apparatus directed and centralized by the Stalinist bureaucracy of the USSR whose role was to contain the world-wide revolution. That Stalinist bureaucracy was recycled as a bourgeoisie, and gave the old worker states of Russia, China and the Eastern European countries over to capitalist restoration. For that reason, there must be a Sacred Union of the Social Democracy in the imperialist countries and the recycled Stalinists who are now the agents for each one of their own bourgeoisies, along with all the treacherous union bureaucracies, as well as the Church, so that they facilitate their role of containment of the world wide revolution.
While today they all attend this forum out of their common interests, that will not prevent them tomorrow to take sides with their respective imperialistic bourgeoisies in the defense of the latter’s separate interests to strengthen each one its master in the coming inter-imperialistic disputes. Moreover, in this same meeting, each imperialistic power is already instructing its own agents to defend its particular interests and businesses.
This "counter-revolutionary International" exists for the sake of strangling the fight of the masses with Popular Front policies of class collaboration.
All these counter revolutionary agents meet in Porto Alegre to discuss how to strangle and to restrain the revolutions and the struggles of the workers and the exploited. Speaking of "humanized Capitalism", "peace", "participatory democracy", "anti-neoliberalism", they prepare sleep-inducing popular front policies, of class collaboration, to deceive the masses with sweet talk, to thus give time to the imperialistic powers, and to the bourgeois regimes and governments, so that they can prepare their schemes, counter revolutionary attacks and blood baths.
They speak of "peace" to disarm the working class and the exploited farmers wherever they have begun to arm themselves or where they have joined militia, Like in Palestine, and also in order to prevent workers and poor farmers from arming where they are just beginning to think of doing so or even where there is the slightest shadow of a possibility of workers and people arming themselves.
They are definite foes of the self-organization and direct democracy of the masses, they hate the idea of the exploited and oppressed taking into their own hands the resolution of their problems. For that purpose they make social pacts, they divide the working class from the farmers and the ruined middle-class, make them subservient to the different fractions of the bourgeoisie, destroy at each stage what the masses win in the fight. They force them to fight country by country, separate the working class of the semi-colonial countries from their class allies in the imperialistic powers they support, and subordinate these working classes to the interests of their "own" imperialistic bourgeoisies.
Arafat and the national bourgeoisie of Palestine speak of "peace", say that they want a "Palestinian State" next to the Israeli Zionist state, while they request the UN to intervene with "peace keeping troops", try to disarm the working class and the people, and keep them separated from their brothers and sisters, the exploited in the whole Middle East. They have given imperialism and the State of Israel and its genocidal army a precious time allowing them to commence the counterrevolutionary war that attempts to smash the Great, Heroic Palestine Revolution.
In Ecuador the Stalinist leadership of the peasants movement and the working class, aborted the revolution. Along with the bourgeoisie, they set a trap for the exploited ones emboldened after throwing out two presidents in less than three years, the peasant masses –separated from the working class, which the Stalinist leaders of the unions had tied up hands-to-feet- were left to carry put revolutionary actions in mid 2000. They had been misguided by their leaders to think the task would be very easy, and sincerely believed their leadership was equally committed to overturn president Noboa as they were. But the bourgeoisie was prepared: it used the army to remove the peasants from the streets and defeated the masses, negotiated with the peasants’ leaders and passed the dollarization of Ecuadorian economy.
In Colombia, the Stalinist leadership of the FARC governs in the territories it occupies with a popular front in collaboration with the national bourgeoisie that controls the cocaine business. It also blocs with the landowners, whose private property is respected in exchange for a "revolutionary tax", and keeps the peasants separated from the working class in the cities. While, the Stalinist leadership of the unions controls the working class movement, so preventing it from uniting its struggles with the peasants’ and leaves both workers and peasants at the mercy of Pastrana’s government and the paramilitary gangs that assassinate at close range their political leaders and union activists.
In Brazil, Lula and the PT, and the leaders of the CUT –hosts to the Forum of Porto Alegre- speak of "peace" and "participative democracy", while they tie the hands of the working class with social pacts, divide it from the landless peasants, support the repressive government of Cardoso, while the white guards massacre in the fields and the police death squads reappear to attack the workers’ organizations and the left.
In Chile, the Communist Party that controls the unions and the student federations, supports the "conciliationist" government of Lagos and the cosmetic reforms made to the Constitution of the 80’s, so that the Pinochetist regime can remain unchanged under the mask of an allegedly "democratic" one. In El Salvador and Nicaragua, the FLMN and the Sandinists, respectively, after having bargained the revolution to its enemies in those countries in the 80’s with the Fidelista counterrevolutionary pacts in Esquipulas and Contadora, have transformed themselves into political parties that, in the municipalities and national governments alike, are the administrators of the plans of the IMF.
All together they prepare now to also strangle the Argentine revolution: they are getting ready a popular front of class collaboration with bourgeois politicians like Elisa Carrio and the priest Farinello, with union bureaucrats, Stalinism in its different variants, a deceitful front with which, despite the weakness of the government of Duhalde they will try to induce sleep in the masses to give time to imperialism and the national bourgeoisie to enlist a caste of (military) officials and the paramilitary gangs and killers so that a blood bath is being prepared.
The "International" to fight against the proletarian internationalism.
Against all the affirmations of the secretary of the Yankee Treasury O’Neill, who said that Argentina’s crisis is "isolated", the tidal wave of the Argentine revolutions has begun to strike in Latin America and the world.
In the first place, in Spain; the imperialistic monopolies of that country lost US$ 2000 million in a day in the Madrid stock-market, the collapse of the shares of Telefonica, Repsol, and the Spanish banks is self-demonstrative. It is clear now that the supposed "Spanish miracle" was nothing but a "false midwinter summer" of "sweet money" based on the enormous windfall profits made by these bloodsuckers at the expense of the super exploitation of the workers and people of Argentina and all Latin America, where they are left with most of the privatized companies!
The imperialistic butchers fear that the tidal wave of the Argentine revolution will revive the worker and popular uprising that began in Latin America in the heat of the Ecuadorian revolution, and that that struggle which was strangled by the action of the union bureaucracies and the Stalinists, now resurrects and regains momentum and in much better conditions, because the worldwide economic and financial crisis already goes to the heart of the United States.
And that wick has begun to ignite: the Bolivian workers and farmers have risen up again in Cochabamba, entering a true civil war with the army and the police, arming themselves and responding to the murder of their companion farmers with the execution of the military that fall into their hands. The university and high school students of Ecuador won the streets confronting the police assassins sent by president Noboa against them, as harbingers of the return to combat of the heroic workers and farmers. The workers and people of Peru persist with a great working class and popular offensive. Yesterday they threw out Fujimori and today they resist the weak government of Toledo.
The imperialists shake their knees in fear to think that, like in the decade of the 70’s, the working class of the Southern Cone, retains the enormous combat efficiency and revolutionary fist that terrorized the bourgeoisie and imperialism in that decade!
The Argentina workers and people need to unite to fight across the borders with our class brothers and sisters in the whole of Latin America, in concerted combat to defeat imperialism and the lackey governments and regimes. We must unite our most powerful class battalions, our brothers and sisters of the North American and European working class, in the first place –with its most exploited sectors, Latino, Blacks, Arabs, Africans, etc.- who are treated as pariahs in those countries, because they can strike at the same heart of these butchers and bloodsuckers.
It is a matter of life or death for the workers and the people that initiated the revolution in Argentina, because there, in the forum of Porto Alegre, are those who are preparing to strangle it. What is more, if we advance and we manage to make our revolution triumph, the imperialistic powers will no doubt try to smash us dropping their bombs, as they did in Afghanistan, and in the Falklands. Can we hope that the AFL-CIO that supports Bush in his re-colonization war against Afghanistan and in the attacks against its own working class, will call upon that class to rise in our support? Can we hope that Fidel Castro, who supports the imprisonment of the internationalist militias in Guantanamo, will call upon the whole continent to rise against imperialism?
Can we hope that the reformist union bureaucracies of the European countries will call on the working class to stop the imperialistic military machine, with a boycott, a general strike and confronting its own bourgeoisie and the imperialistic regimes, when they have allowed them to bomb and massacre in Iraq, in the Balkans, and in Afghanistan?
In order to win the unity of the working class and the exploited people of Latin America, it is necessary to defeat the union bureaucracies and Stalinism. We cannot be united with our class brothers and sisters in the United States, France, or Spain, without the defeat of the labor aristocracy and the union bureaucracy of the AFL-CIO and the European unions.
Down with the "counter revolutionary International" of the Porto Alegre Forum!
It is necessary to rebuild the IV International, the one revolutionary International, today usurped and besmirched by the centrists, opportunists and Pabloites! The usurpers of Trotskyism kneel down before this "counter revolutionary International of the Porto Alegre Forum"! Long live the IV International! For an International Conference of principled Trotskyism to rebuild the IV International regenerated and re-founded!
The Porto Alegre forum is the International to that we could call "Fifth and a Quarter": because it is not only the Second International –the Social Democracy-, the remains of the third International –the Stalinists-, but also has "a quarter" in it, contributed by the centrists, opportunists and Pabloites that usurp the banners of Trotskyism and the Fourth International.
The French LCR will be there, and its leader Alain Krivine, deputy to the den of thieves that is the European "Parliament" –already a defender of the interests of their own imperialistic bourgeoisie; alongside will be the fraternal parties, Bandiera Rossa of Italy, the Spanish LCR that is in the United Left with the Stalinists, and the Democratic Socialists of Brazil, that are in government in Porto Alegre with the PT of Lula.
There will also be Self-determination and Freedom, party of the renegade "Trotskyist" deputy Luis Zamora –today a left-democrat-, the "The Militant" current, the British SWP, the UIT-CI which is supporting the MST of Argentina (long ago a partner of Stalinism in Izquierda Unida, United Left, NTO, the LIT-CI with its PST-U of Brazil and the FOS of Argentina. Also the Workers Party (Partido Obrero) of Argentina, that repeats its shameful tradition as a founder of the Forum of San Pablo, that predecessor of the treacherous Forum of Porto Alegre.
Other currents of self-proclaimed Trotskyists will participate in the "alternative forums" meeting in the outskirts of the official Forum, that are no more that the "left" cover of the counter-revolutionary "international", that were held at last year’s Forum by the PTS of Argentina and the LBI of Brazil.
The centrists, opportunists and Pabloites run to put themselves on the feet of the Forum of Porto Alegre, showing that their international policy is but the expression of their national policy. Each one of them, in its own country, has adapted to the bourgeois regimes, the union bureaucracy and the Stalinists. The Porto Alegre Forum, that International " Fifth and a quarter", is "their" International!
In 1989, the centrist and opportunist currents of the Trotskyist movement -who bowed before Stalinism while the soviet bureaucracy was going into the restorationist camp –exploded in a thousand pieces. Under the weight of great world-historic defeats suffered by the working class with the loss of the workers states at the hands of the capitalist restoration, those currents made a brutal right turn to revisionism and bureaucratic centrism.
But today the revolution in Palestine, Argentine, and the confrontation between revolution and counterrevolution that has become the center of the world stage, under the conditions of stock market crash, economic depression and wars, these currents unmask themselves quickly, and will further explode, have ruptures, crisis and divisions. It is as if they are gasping like fish out of water: nothing of what they write, say and do, has to do with the aspirations, the necessities nor with the combat of the workers and the exploited people. They are exposed by the force of reality: It is not possible to speak in the name of the IVth international, and at the same time to run to put oneself at the feet of the counterrevolutionary International of Porto Alegre!
Today, like yesterday, the principled Trotskyists of the COTP-CI say: Long Live the explosion!, because we know that out of those ruptures and crisis, the lively struggle of tendencies and fractions inside the Trotskyist movement, will come the healthy forces to rebuild the Fourth International. From the Organizing Committee of Principled Trotskyism (Fourth International) and from Workers Democracy, we make an urgent call to oppose this "Fifth and a quarter International" of the treason an to come to gather in an International Conference of Principled Trotskyists. It is necessary to rebuild the Fourth International!
A New Zimmerwald
An International Conference on the lessons and the strategy opposed to the colonial war in Afghanistan, an international campaign for the immediate liberation of the internationalist, anti-imperialist militias imprisoned in Guantanamo, on the lessons and the revolutionary program for the Palestine Revolution, and the revolution that has begun in Argentina. A Conference that raises the fight so that the working class of the United States, the European imperialistic powers and Japan can defeat the AFL-CIO and the reformist union bureaucracies and confront their own imperialistic bourgeoisies, and in this way, unite with the ranks of workers and the oppressed people of the semi-colonies and colonies that today are at the vanguard of the anti-imperialist fight and the world-wide revolution.
In 1914-15, the Second International –Social Democracy- voted for war credits, making the German, French, English and Russian workers kill each other in that slaughter, subordinating them to the interests of their respective imperialistic bourgeoisies. In those black hours for the world-wide working class, a small group of internationalist revolutionaries –Lenin, Rosa Luxembourg, Trotsky, Karl Liebknecht, among other, met in Kienthal and Zimmerwald, confronting the treason of Social Democracy and calling on the workers of the nations at war to turn their guns against their own bourgeoisie and to transform the war into the beginning of the revolution.
It was that handful of internationalists that then applied to the Russian revolution of 1917 the internationalist program of Kienthal and Zimmerwald: to turn the guns against one’s own imperialistic bourgeoisie and to transform the war into socialist revolution, meant in Russia the fight for "All the power to soviets", the insurrection and the seizure of power by the Bolshevik party supported by the armed soviets of workers, peasants and soldiers.
There, in Kienthal and Zimmerwald, was formed the basis of the revolutionary 3rd International that was to soon bring about the triumph of October!
Today, the time has come for the working class of the world to directly oppose revolution to counterrevolution. From COTP-CI and Workers Democracy, we call urgently to make this International Conference the new Kienthal-Zimmerwald where the principled Trotskyists can recognize themselves and regroup, and put up together an international centralized leadership that unifies the combat against the usurpers of Trotskyism, as the way to regenerate and re-found the Fourth International on a principled basis.A Kienthal and Zimmerwald which makes the Soviet strategy to fight by, so that the working class and the exploited peoples create their organs of direct democracy and dual power, and that in the heat of that fight can form in the different countries, and in Argentina, revolutionary and internationalist workers parties that are able to prepare the insurrection as an art and to take the working class on to victory. Only with such a fight, only with an international leadership of principled Trotskyists, can we advance on that road!