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Fourth International's response to Chavez’s call to found a Fifth Socialist International

[The following is an excerpt from the "Role and tasks of the Fourth International", a report adopted by the Fourth International at its 16th World Congress held in Belgium in February 2010. Click here for the full report.]

Chavez’s call to found a Fifth International poses other questions about its origins, its framework, that is to say, its viability. The Fourth International declares that it is willing to participate in the debates and preparatory meetings that may be organised. We will contribute our historic gains and our vision about what a new international and its programatic foundations could be. A genuine new international can only be born if its members share a program, an ability to intervene in society, a democratic, pluralist form of functioning, as well as clear independence from governments in order to break with capitalism.

In the present relationship of forces, the policy for advancing towards a mass international must rather take the road of open and periodic conferences on central political questions -- activity, specific themes or discussions -- which make possible the convergence and the emergence of anti-capitalist and revolutionary poles. In this sense, the Fourth International is in favour of the proposals from revolutionary Marxist currents and/or groups who share with us a common understanding of the international situation and our aspirations for building new international frameworks.

In the new anti-capitalist parties which may be formed in the years to come, and which express the current stage of combativeness, experience and consciousness of the sectors that are the most committed to the search for an anti-capitalist alternative, the question of a new international is and will be posed. We act and we will continue to act so that it is not posed in terms of ideological or historical choices, which are likely to lead to divisions and splits. It must be posed on a double level, on the one hand real political convergence on tasks of international intervention, on the other pluralism of the new formations, which must bring together currents of various origins: Trotskyists of different kinds, libertarians, revolutionary syndicalists, revolutionary nationalists, left reformists.

So in general, when there have been concrete steps towards new parties, we have proposed that the new broad anti-capitalist party functions with the right of tendency or currents, and that the supporters of the Fourth International in these new parties organise themselves in ways to be decided, according to the specific situation of each party. Our Portuguese comrades in the Left Bloc, our Danish comrades in the Red-Green Alliance, our Brazilian comrades in the PSOL are organised, in particular forms, as a Fourth International current or in class-struggle currents with other political tendencies.

In this movement we are confronted with desynchronisations between the building of parties on a national level and the construction of new international groupings. There can be, in the present situation or in the next years, new anti-capitalist parties in a series of countries, but the emergence of a new international force, and all the more so, of a new international, is not, at this stage, foreseeable. A new international will only be the result of a prolonged period of joint action and common understanding of events and tasks for overthrowing capitalism. While we affirm a policy of international convergence, this confirms the particular responsibilities of the FI, and thus the need for its reinforcement. We can and we seek to represent an organisational framework that is attractive and, democratic, for revolutionary organisations which share the same political projects as ours. It is in this dynamic that the Filipino comrades are situated, the Pakistani comrades and the Russian comrades are situated, and that can be the case tomorrow of, for example, the Polish or Malian comrades.

We have, in fact, a particular role that is recognised by a series of political currents. We may be the only ones who can make political forces of various origins converge. This is, for example, what in Latin America the Venezuelan comrades of left currents of the Bolivarian process say to us. It is also the case in Europe, in the framework of the relations of the European Anti-Capitalist Left and of other currents. So, the next world congress must be an important step for the meeting of all these forces. This congress will be a congress of the FI and there will be no organisational growing over at this stage. But we want the FI to play the role of a “facilitator” of convergences in the perspective of new international groupings.

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