[Marxism] What the world doesn't need now (refounding the Fourth International)

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Sun Feb 8 01:10:51 MST 2004

Louis wrote in answer to David Walters:
I am making a prediction. You can count on it. Any group that puts
like this on their website will not take power. As a rule of thumb,
political person or group who is devoted to re-founding the Fourth
International is not in touch with reality.

Actually, I'm not sure at all that this counts as a prediction.  I
tend to think it is a flat out statement of present-day facts.

I suspect that there are revolutionary fighters in some of the various
Argentine groups, including PO, who will be won over as a real
revolutionary leadership like the Cubans or Chavez or the Sandinistas
in their best days or Maurice Bishop or Thomas Sankara arises out of
the present struggles and begins to prove itself.

But people who today still are completely absorbed with constructing
the Fourth International as the solution to the crisis of humanity --
people so far out of touch with reality TODAY, people on a course so
completely independent of and counterposed to the real class struggle,
can only be won to a real revolutionary movement through an internal
revolution at least as profound as what Trotsky said would be needed
to win professional middle-class intellectuals. Nothing whatsoever
will be achieved by looking to these groups or orienting to them in
any way.  The solution to the leadership crisis is elsewhere, and it
will be arrived at on a road that is completely counterposed to

To the extent that these organized currents have influence in the mass
movement today, it tends to be poisonous and dangerous.

A week ago I submitted an article by a representative of one of these
currents, Jorge Martin, describing apparently some alleged gains the
views of his current were making in the Bolivian labor movement. (I am
beginning to suspect and certainly hope that my concerns were

I submitted it because it was being published on a number of other
lists by people I respect as announcing a new wave of the upsurge in
Bolivia.  The line that it claimed was being adopted by the Bolivian
labor movement (as I say, I suspect this claim was exaggerated at
least) struck me -- although I admittedly was not in a position to be
sure -- as a classic sectarian  "Trotskyist" "permanent-revolutionary"
formula for disaster.

The mentality is one that assumes that the defeat of a revolutionary
upsurge is a small price to pay for discrediting "false leaders" like
Evo Morales, Chavez, Torres, not to mention poor Allende.

Lately I have had an opportunity to review some of the circumstances
surrounding Castro's denunciation of Trotskyism at a 1966 conference.
Its not one of his better speeches, extremely sloppy about facts and
very trustful about Stalinist sources on the record of Trotskyism.  I
am not surprised that it has no prominent place in anthologies of
Fidel.  But it became clear to me that a central concern of Fidel's
was the influence a particular "Trotskyist" "Fourth Internationalist"
group-- the followers of Juan Posadas including the well know
journalist Adolfo Gilly -- were having on a promising guerrilla
movement in Guatemala.  And that effect was totally ruinous. No blocs
with the Communist Party! Socialist revolution now (in the Guatemalan
countryside)! Mao, not Fidel! Who killed Che?  (This was before Che
announced he was in Bolivia.)

The Posadas people were famous for ideas like nuclear war as the
solution to the world crisis of leadership and that spacemen from
socialist planets were htrying to help our struggle.  But the
straight-up psychotic stuff was relatively harmless.  It was their
real politics that were poison.

One last point: I may be a little behind the curve but is there such a
thing yet as the Argentinian revolution, let alone a leadership of
same.  I lean toward caution about proclaiming such things.  It seems
to me that Kirchner's actions indicate some forward motion by the
masses, but I need to know a lot more to say that the Argentinian
revolution is now underway.
Fred Feldman


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