National Sections of the L5I:

Europe

Poland’s transition to capitalism

Jan Bielecki is Poland’s Prime Minister. Ten years ago he was a Solidarnosc member in Gdansk, delivering lumber for his living. Under martial law he was an underground activist, assisting the Gdansk shipyard to keep its printing press going. In January 1991 Bielecki was chosen by President Lech Walesa to oversee the country’s transition to capitalism. Another 13 of Bielecki’s cabinet have Solidarnosc membership going back to 1980 when the ten million strong mass movement pitched itself into a battle against the Stalinist dictatorship.1 Read more...

The USSR at the crossroads

Since mid-November 1990 Mikhail Gorbachev has sponsored a creeping coup against his own policy of glasnost. Fragile and limited democratic rights have been conceded by the bureaucracy since 1985 and extended de facto by the struggles of the new workers’ movement and the revolt of the nationalities. They are all under attack. Read more...

1991 - A new beginning for German workers

Introduction

The political revolutionary upsurge in the German Democratic Republic during 1989-90 destroyed the Socialist Unity Party (SED) which had ruled on behalf of the Stalinist bureaucracy since the foundation of the state in 1949.

Like all ruling Stalinist parties, a major part of its membership consisted of place-seekers, managers and functionaries whose adherence to the party provided access to material privileges and power. With the collapse of the old regime this parasitic layer’s nominal commitment to Stalinised “Marxism” vanished, along with the social advantages of party membership. Read more...

The situation in Lithuania and the tasks of Trotskyists

Adopted by the International Secretariat of the LRCI, 11 April 1990

The Baltic countries—Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia—have become a central arena in the struggles for national self-determination and against Great Russian chauvinism in the USSR. The national question has become a central question of the proletarian political revolution. The Baltic states were violently occupied and annexed by the Soviet Army as a consequence of the reactionary Hitler-Stalin pact. Since then these countries have been nationally oppressed, with a Russian-dominated ruling bureaucracy making all important decisions concerning the Baltics on behalf of the Kremlin. Read more...

How capitalism triumphed in East Germany

Adopted by the International Executive Committee, 30 July 1990

The German Democratic Republic (GDR) was formed as part of the defensive reaction by the USSR to Marshall Aid. The latter was used by imperialism in an attempt to resuscitate capitalist forces in Eastern Europe. Read more...

The Poll Tax struggle: No strategy to win

“We live in exciting times” Socialist Worker told its members in it’s party column in May 1990. True enough. But in exciting times it is the duty of revolutionary Marxists to give a sober assessment of the situation and point the way forward for the working class. The Socialist Workers Party, argues Arthur Merton, has once again proved it can do neither. Read more...

The death agony of Stalinism: The Crisis of the USSR and the Degenerate Workers’ States

Resolution adopted by the International Executive Committee of the LRCI, 4 March 1990

During 1989 a series of mass popular revolutions swept through Eastern Europe. The power of the Stalinist bureaucratic dictatorships was weakened or destroyed. In the first half of the year, the Chinese bureaucracy was momentarily paralysed by a mass student movement which began to draw in sections of the proletariat. The bureaucracy was only able to halt the developing revolutionary crisis by severe repression. Read more...

Revolution in Romania

Resolution adopted by the International Secretariat of the LRCI, 29 December 1989

Eastern Europe’s most repressive regime has fallen. Its most hated Stalinist dictator is dead. But the Romanian revolution is not over, as the bourgeois rulers of the west would like to believe. Only its first phase is at an end. The most important tasks lie ahead. Read more...