National Sections of the L5I:

Issues

The rise of the right across Europe

Over the last year far right and fascist parties, like the Vlaams Blok in Belgium, the Front National (FN) in France, the Republikaner Party in Germany and the Lombardy League in Northern Italy, have either grown considerably or achieved significant votes in local and national elections. Dave Beech looks at the factors underpinning these developments and explains what the workers’ movement’s response needs to be. Read more...

Lessons of the Gulf War

On 2 August 1990 Iraq launched a lightning attack on Kuwait. In a few hours the Emir’s vastly outnumbered armed forces had surrendered. Less than four weeks later, Saddam Hussein re-baptised Kuwait “Saddamiyat” and annexed it as the 19th Iraqi province.

On 15 January 1991, after months of diplomacy and war preparations, the USA led a coalition of forces to remove Hussein in a bloody and reactionary war. In the first 100 hours the Allies captured or destroyed 42 Iraqi divisions (12,000 troops each) and took 175,000 prisoners. 3,009 Iraqi tanks and 2,140 pieces of artillery—55% and 61% respectively of Saddam’s arsenal—were captured or destroyed. Read more...

Centrism in its dotage: USFI 1980-1991

Of all the international tendencies claiming to be “the” Fourth International (FI), the United Secretariat of the Fourth International (USFI) has the best claim on at least one score. All the other tendencies (the Lambertists, the Morenoites and the Healyites) are rooted in a national leadership that either left or was expelled from the FI during the period between 1951 and 1963. The USFI can claim an international leadership with a substantial continuity”at the level of personnel” with the young militants grouped around Michel Pablo who carried out the post-war reconstruction of the Inter-national. 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...

LRCI resolutions on the Gulf Crisis

Passed by the LRCI International Secretariat, August/September 1990

On the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait

The Iraqi attack on Kuwait was motivated by economic aggrandisement necessitated by the Iran/Iraq war and the expenses of maintaining the reactionary military Bonapartist regime of Saddam Hussein. Though this seizure of Kuwait has outraged the imperialist powers it is not a genuine blow against imperialism. Iraq seeks to become the dominant regional Arab power, a power that imperialism must work through and deal with. Its claim to be a liberator of the Kuwaiti people from their reactionary rulers is a fraud. As such we condemn the Iraqi invasion and call for the withdrawal of Iraqi troops. Read more...

Principles and tactics in war - Rudolf Klement

We reprint here an article written by Rudolf Klement, one of Trotsky’s secretaries, who was at the time a member of the International Secretariat (IS) of the Movement for the Fourth International. Klement, born in Germany in 1908.1 He was a student of philosophy2 and an accomplished linguist (he spoke six languages) and his devotion to the movement was without equal. Read more...