|Written by Alejandro Iturbe|
|Wednesday, 28 December 2011 00:14|
|Between Oct. 30th and Nov 5th 2011 it was held in São Paulo, Brazil, the X Congress of the IWL-FI (International Worker’s League – Fourth International).It was an intense and very productive Congress that showed, on one hand, an alive and growing IWL-FI and, on the other, its concern in orienting itself to intervene actively in the class struggle living processes that have been taking place in the world. The Congress also focused on the great challenges involved when the target is to build an international revolutionary leadership. In this sense, it also marked the profound weakness of IWL-FI in facing these challenges and the need to work hard to overcome them.
As far as growth is concerned the X Congress succeeded, once representatives of four new sections and organizations attended it. These four new sections and organizations, namely the PST of Honduras, Workers Voice of U.S., Socialist Workers’ Group of Mexico and the League of Workers for Socialism (LTS) of Panama did not attend the Ninth Congress but made a point on attending the current one. In countries where there were already IWL sections, there were mergers with other organizations which gave rise to new parties such as the PSTU of Argentina and UST of El Salvador. Concomitantly, the intervention processes of most national organizations showed the Congress was progressing firmly and actively.
This new reality expression was the wider participation of our parties in relation to the previous Congresses, due to the fact that the changes in the election criteria and in the number of representatives and guests of the sections have been broadened, making it possible to gathering many cadres, many of them young people from the different sections and sympathizing organizations. Furthermore, the Haitian organization Batay Ouvriye (BO) was invited to attend the political points of the Congress.
A historical turning point?
The first thing we find worthwhile highlighting is that the X Congress of the IWL marked Europe as a priority for our International’s intervention and construction. Marking this priority may be a historical turning point for the long background of our political current. For many reasons, Morenism and the IWL-FI (LIT-CI) have always concentrated in Latin America. Moreno himself recognized it as a weakness of our International League, i.e. not having influence in the continent that was the cradle of the proletariat, the one with the strongest tradition of struggle and currently one of the centers of world class struggles.
The IWL-FI counts on some work accumulated in Europe, with small but active organizations that are intervening on the struggles in Spain, Portugal, Italy and smaller groups in other countries. Marking this priority. in case of being victorious, it may be a qualitative leap in our construction and in IWL’s profile.
The main debates
Our top organism reflected the new situation of the world class struggle and this was expressed throughout the debates. Expressing the different national and regional experiences, there were several ways of understanding the new events, including theoretical, tactical and factual aspects. That is why vivid, strong and brotherly debates constituted the outstanding feature of the Congress as is to be expected from an International run by democratic centralism where different opinions are given as part of collective reasoning.
We shall now try to present – all in a nutshell – the main debates and resolutions in each of the points tackled by the X Congress.
The point on the world situation was one of the richest at this Congress. One of the main discussions hinged round the sign (revolutionary or reactionary) of the fourth stage that began after the fall of the former workers’ states and the destruction of the central apparatus of Stalinism, where we revisited very important political discussions held in the late 90s and early 2000. Finally, the Congress decided to keep on to the appraisal that the fourth stage was revolutionary, just the way the pre-congress report described it. And that, within this stage, we are now in a revolutionary situation due to the combination of the political crisis of imperialism for its political and military defeat in Iraq and, almost certain, in Afghanistan with the deep economic crisis opened in 2007 and the class struggle processes, especially in North of Africa, Middle East and Europe.
Another discussion was all about the correct approach to the situation of class struggle on the European continent. This debate was held against the background of a general agreement as to the fact Europe is at present one of the high peaks of world class struggle with a clear trend towards the worsening of the overall situation. But there were different views on the pace of the process, the ability of the bourgeoisie and regimes to face the struggles and how the role of bureaucracies and the absence of a revolutionary leadership alternative will affect the situation.
North of Africa and the Middle East
At this point, there was general agreement that a revolutionary situation may be established for the whole region and that the overthrow of Gaddafi in Libya and the fight against Assad regime in Syria are part of this process and not “military interventions” or “imperialist aggression” as characterized by much of the world Left. After the discussion several adjustments were made and additional notes were introduced to the original report.
The first one was regarding these processes’ denomination that so far we also used to refer to as “revolutions in the Arab World”. At present it has been defined as “revolution in the north of Africa and in the Middle East” due to the fact that there are many non-Arab nationalities (as Berbers and Kurds) that suffer national or other oppression under Arab administration and they are also fighting against the dictatorships.
The second one was relative to our assessment of the political weight of the Islamic bourgeoisies in these processes; the report led us to regard them as highly eroded in the eyes of the vanguard and the masses. This happens to be true for some of them, due to their opposition – at times even repressive – to the revolutionary processes of which the masses are protagonists opposing pro-imperialist dictatorships that have been in power for decades in that region. However, there are other trends that started taking part from inside and dispute the leadership of some processes (Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Morocco); some of them have even gained weight during the revolutions as in Tunisia, where the Islamic organization has won presidential election.
Spanish State and Portugal
The Congress focused on the political discussion and referred to IWL’s construction in two countries, Spanish State and Portugal, taking into consideration that it is there that the IWL has an opportunity of leaping forward taking advantage of the objective and subjective changes.
As for Portugal, the discussion hinged round the character of the political situation and, stemming out of that definition, the order of the demands within the Party’s program. There was another discussion here as to the centrality, the position (in the agitation or in the propaganda) of the power demand such as For a workers’ and popular government. Here the definition was that the situation is pre-revolutionary and that power demands were still within the scope of propaganda, although very important to dialogue with advanced workers.
As for the Spanish State, from the considerations on political and economic analysis and the class struggle assessment, the Congress approached the characterization and policies toward new sectors such as the Indignant or Real Democracy Now, fundamental to dispute the process of reorganization and to go forward in the construction of a revolutionary leadership.
In both cases, the Congress tackled the challenges connected to the opportunities of building the parties in the objective situation of class struggle. This goes within the framework of the special campaign of support to our European work that was voted even before the Congress.
A feature of this point was the important agreement regarding the report presented and discussed during the pre-congress; that the revolutionary situation experienced by the sub-continent in the first half of the last decade had been closed by the combined action of the populist and popular front governments and the “economic relief” that, amidst global crisis, had been widespread in the region. So, the situation was defined as “not revolutionary.”
The report was approved with several aggregates and updates supplied by several interventions especially in the sense that a worsening global economic crisis and its impact on Latin American countries, the governments’ undermining and the influence of the fighting in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, especially of the youth, could reopen a revolutionary processes in the near future. During the debate, it was clear the serious militant efforts made to insert our sections in the working class and intervene in class struggle.
Revolutionary United Front and the struggle against women oppression
Other discussions were about the tactics of Revolutionary United Front (FUR, in Spanish) and the fight against women’s oppression. On this last point there was a discussion about how to intervene more effectively to develop the work among women in the context of the available opportunities within the global situation.
1) Within the political scope, we resolved to carry out a campaign against the public debts payment, a burning issue in the entire Europe and deeply present on the entire planet, especially in Latin America.
2) An emergency campaign was voted for Haiti and the fight against military occupation by UN troops, as from a report of a comrade of BO, on the serious fact, i.e. the building of a new Macoute Army and the US support for the repression plans of Martely’s administration who has recently taken over.
3) In the context of a propaganda and construction offensive the Congress approved to hold an international campaign celebrating the 30th year of IWL-FI engulfing all the parties, the site, the magazines International Courier and Marxism Alive and the Leon Trotsky Archive. The campaign will last the whole 2012 and the central event is scheduled to happen in Buenos Aires in October next year.