Local/International Organization

Waistline2 at aol.com Waistline2 at aol.com
Sat Nov 1 11:41:01 MST 2003

In a message dated 10/30/03 9:59:21 PM Pacific Standard Time,
typefoundry at opensentence.org writes:

>Well, in terms of "independent concepts" of left radicalism I feel your
pain, I really do: and furthermore I feel that the (later) SP splinter parties
have been much worse for the American left than the CPUSA ever was ... there is
genuine interest building in a Fifth International.  What exactly it is people
want is unclear right now, but I'm writing an essay which argues that the
organization should an explicitly Marxist one of a new kind, that is one which
does not provide "direct aid" to national political parties but rather links
Marxist NGOs in general, including parties (that is, defines the link as
international-party rather than international-socialist nation to handle factional
questions smoothly). <


In my way of thinking the question of organization is posed incorrectly or
rather outside real material factors that make an international framework -
federation or alliance or league form of organized international relations,
possible.  The Third International was not formed on the basis of ideology or
Marxist theory for that matter. The Third International - the organizations that
would seek affiliation, began taking shape as the result of the First Imperial
World War. The practical basis of unity and activity was opposition to ones own
bourgeois in this mutual slaughter of the world's workers. A small tendency
exists today against imperial intrusion, but the reality of the Third
International was made manifest - real, with Soviet power.

The prestige of Lenin and the Bolsheviks winning of state authority in Russia
was the perfect meeting place. An ideological battle ensued to imbue these
various ideological grouping with Bolshevism. The international basis for
affiliation was opposition to the imperial war and defense of the Russian

The Fourth International was formed on the basis of an ideological
declaration. It does not matter who was "right" or "wrong" but rather, the basis of the
unity that called itself the Fourth International. The unity was not on the
basis of opposition to the imperialist war, but opposition to a body of ideology
and politics, not basis on direct engagement with capital in the imperial.

What would provide the programmatic basis of a Fifth International? Thought
process and ideology? It is not really a question of "direct" aid to "national
detachments" versus settling factional disputes, but the basis of collective
action of engagement. A fighting organization cannot be consolidated on the
basis of ideological agreement or theory. Yet, we are charged with the task of
providing - imbuing, the most forward moving section of our working class with a
political consciousness of what it is facing, fighting and the historical
curve of our fight against bourgeois property.

The curve of history that produced the First, Second and Third International
has to be looked at from the standpoint of the changes in the means of
production and the outbreak of imperial war and proletarian revolutions and attempts
at revolution. I believe the Fourth International was a bad idea altogether,
but if it had been a good idea, it would have had to base itself in a real
social movement. This means that the Fourth International would have become a
formidable force in the colonial world because that was the curve of the direction
of the fight.

Today or rather during the past twenty years this "International" would face
dissolution because the framework of the world struggle is shifting. The
communist and revolutionary socialist or Marxists generally do not shift but get
destroyed as political forces and new forces are constructed as monuments to
their passing. In this sense the bourgeoisie is more "progressive" than most
comrades. The bourgeoisie has to win in the market or get destroyed - driven into
the ranks of the proletariat.

An enormous fight to form a new International would break out amongst people
who desire such because one section - that I belong to, would call the new
International "the Fourth Communist Class International."  The Third
International was the "Lenin" International and the Second International was that of the
General - Frederick Engels, as mass working parties were formed in the advance
imperial centers. The Fist International was formed to wage the theory and
political battle against so-called Utopian theories of socialism and the politics
of "evolutionary transition to socialism."

The Fourth International - which had no scars on its banner, was an
ideological group, formed on the basis of a fight to the death with a particular leader
of the Soviet Republics. I personally am against fighting leaders as such and
find it contemptible to attach oneself to anything other than ones working
class and its forward moving section in combat with the state. When the forward
moving section of our workers were the Slavic workers that is the organization
you would have found me in at the time - the steel sector of the economy.

When the struggle shifted I would have shifted to the best of my ability and
been defeated by history because we are working men and women and have to make
a living. We get trapped into the framework of wherever we labor. In this
sense we are in historical error, because we can only do what is in front of us.
When forms in the reproduction cycle of capital changes we all get sent to
hell and our replacements step forward. Those who escape "hell" abandon the
ideology of the previous era and adopt the purity of Marx theory grid. This is more
than a notion.

I am the wrong person to dialogue with about a Fifth international, because I
do not accept the validity of the Fourth International. It was "all hat and
no cattle." Anyone can bluff at poker until you are confronted with a real
winning hand. No one has to have a "history in Detroit" but everyone is obligated
to grasp the class conclusions of Detroit as industrial logic and a curve of
the history of capital.

Melvin P.

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