National Sections of the L5I:

Who are the Fifth Internationalists?

Printer-friendly versionPDF version

What do the Fifth Internationalists fight for?

The League for the Fifth International is a revolutionary organisation. Our goal is to build a world party of socialist revolution, fighting across the world for an end to capitalism and for socialism. We base our programme – From Protest to Power – and our day to day policies on the works of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky, on the revolutionary documents of the first four congresses of the Third International and the Transitional Programme of the Fourth International published in 1938.

The working class has had four previous working class international parties. We are not the Fifth International – we are an international revolutionary tendency of groups fighting for it. The struggle against capitalism is an international struggle, as Marx wrote in 1848, the working class has no country. The fight against capitalism must be an international one, uniting socialists across the world in resistance to the system.

Twenty years ago with the downfall of "communism" the rulers of the world proclaimed that capitalism was victorious, that no alternative was possible, that a new world order had arrived.

They believed that a tiny handful of billionaires could act as they wished:

• Put entire continents on rations
• Amass vast fortunes while millions still starve
• Turn the fruits of humanity's labour into their private property
• Bomb, blast and blockade any country whose rulers defy their will
• Pump poisons into the atmosphere while the globe burns, the deserts spread and the oceans rise
• Pollute our food, debase our culture and divide our species against itself with racist and religious hatreds
• Make us worship their dollar or their euro, covet their branded banalities, dream their consumer nightmares
• Slander us, tear gas us, beat us, imprison us, shoot us and bomb us if we dare to resist

But the masters of the world celebrated too quickly. As banks collapsed and profit margins shrunk across the world, it seemed that the excitement about globalisation, about every expanding capitalism, was misplaced. For the bankers dream turned into a nightmare - but it is worse for the working class, youth, the poor. Now they want us to pay for their crisis.

The anti capitalist movement showed that there was a new generation of workers and youth willing to fight capitalism. Now the world recession and the subsequent rise in unemployment, poverty and exploitation will show even more people the need to struggle for a different system. It is not the job of the working class to put capitalism back on track - we must overthrow it and end this system once and for all.

We say:
• The capitalists property must be expropriated, with not a penny paid to the owners
• Capitalism must be abolished across the globe and a world without class division, state repression, the oppression of women, subject races and nations created. What Marx, Engels, Lenin, Rosa Luxemburg and Trotsky called communism.
• All power must pass from the capitalist cliques into the hands of democratic councils of delegates from the working class, the peasantry and the poor: directly elected by the masses and subject to instant recall. These councils must be supported by the armed working class and its allies.
• The resistance of the exploiters must be broken by the force of millions acting together in a social revolution. Armed workers must forcibly break up the police and army that exist to support the rule of private property.
• All production and distribution must be organised democratically and sustainably, without private ownership and the blind and brutal dictatorship of market forces.
• Social inequality and the underdevelopment of whole continents must be overcome through the planned allocation of humanity's resources: raw materials, means of transportation, communication, technology and labour.
• The 21st century must become the century of human freedom!

There is only one road to this freedom. It is the road of class struggle, the fight against all forms of exploitation: of the workers, the peasants, the urban poor. It is the fight against racism, national oppression, the oppression of women, youth, gays and lesbians. We must give maximum support to all their struggles: to every strike, occupation, picket line and march.

We will aim to bring together in unions the vast numbers of unorganised workers, young workers, those in new industries, and those slaving away in sweatshops without the right to organise.

We fight against imperialism: the great global capitalist powers and corporations that use their vast military machines to pulverise peoples who resist them. We support all resistance to them. We oppose every penny spent and every person sacrificed to its invasions and occupations. We demand an end to the US, the UK and its allies' bloody bombing and enslavement of the Iraqi people. We support the Palestinians in their heroic struggle against national oppression and the racist Israeli state.

We fight the global financial institutions that starve the world: the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and World Trade Organisation. We will resist their plans: austerity programmes, privatisation, and free trade treaties, which enforce submission to multinational corporations. We will chase their congresses and summits across the globe, until they have been abolished once and for all.

We fight against racism, which divides us and acts as an excuse for deep-seated global inequality. We demand equal rights for minorities, an end to all discrimination and an end to the lies of the racists in the mass media and press, which whip up violence against black people, Asians, Latinos, Roma, Jews, and other oppressed nations, religions and ethnic groups.

We fight for full rights of asylum and for the right of all to travel where they want. The capitalists send their money to chase around the world in search of the best return, causing havoc and leaving devastation behind it when it pulls out without a moment's notice. Yet the victims of capital are denied the right of free movement. We fight to break down all borders, to defend refugees and asylum seekers from the capitalists' sinister lies. When fascist and reactionary gangs engage in physical attacks on refugees and minorities, we will not flinch from physical confrontation to drive them back.

We fight to free women from systematic inequality, discrimination, whether open or hidden, consignment to domestic labour, sexual exploitation, low pay, daily abuse and the denial of reproductive rights. We struggle to eliminate the root cause of women's oppression by creating a society in which the work of childrearing, cleaning and cooking are carried out in a rational, planned way, not divided up among billions of families in which the woman is left to do all the unpaid labour.

We fight the catastrophe of climate change and global warming, resisting corporations which pollute the earth, governments that refuse to take action against the emission of greenhouse gases, and policies which put the profits of big oil and the auto industry before the very survival of our species.

We organise young people to fight for their democratic rights: the right to vote at 16, for an end to child labour, for fully funded, free, universal education, under the control of the youth themselves, not in the service of big business. We fight for an end to conscription and militarisation, which prepare the youth for slaughter in our masters' wars.

We oppose reformism and the policy of the labour, socialist, social-democratic and mis-named Communist parties. Capitalism cannot be reformed through peaceful parliamentary means, by elections: it must be overthrown by the masses through force.

We oppose the control of the trade unions by bureaucrats, the privileged officials of the trade unions. These overpaid officials must not control mass organisations; the members should have full democratic control. All officials must be elected, recallable and removable at short notice; they must earn the average pay of the members they claim to represent.

We oppose Stalinism, which was not communism but a dictatorship over the working class by a privileged bureaucratic elite. Though their socialised economies did represent a gain of the working class, without a political revolution to establish democratic planning and workers' control over this ,it was doomed to collapse, eventually.

We reject the failed policies of the official communist parties: the nationalist policy of socialism in one country; the self-defeating policy that the revolution must limit itself to a non-socialist "democratic stage"; the policy that the working class must tie itself to capitalist forces in "patriotic blocs", or "peoples' fronts".

We declare our goals openly and reject all deceitful attempts to mimic reformism in the belief that history or the objective process will do the job that open and honest revolutionaries alone can perform. We oppose the strategy of centrist parties, that zigzag between revolutionary words and reformist practice.

Sharing power with reformist capitalist governments, relying on parties that blur the distinction between reform and revolution is a recipe for confusing the workers at the crucial stage. We fight for the establishment of revolutionary parties in every country.

We reject the passive propaganda of sects that oppose active involvement in the social movements and the daily struggles of the working class. We will forge unity in action and a united front with all working class forces against our common enemy, without renouncing our views or our revolutionary methods.

With our communist goal firmly in our sights, along the road of the class struggle, we propose the unity of all revolutionary forces in a new Fifth International, a party organised across national boundaries to fight for world revolution and a global communist republic: a World Commune.

The capitalists, for all their arrogance, are watching apprehensively as the forces assemble for the great battle of the 21st century: the battle to free humanity from their grip. Certainly those forces have not yet attained the necessary degree of organisation, discipline and clarity to achieve this. But they can and they will - if the new generation of working class fighters can unite to build a new world party of social revolution. For this to happen revolutionaries must dare to proclaim this goal and openly rally the forces to achieve it.

That is what we Fifth Internationalists are doing. If you agree with our goal and our methods, then join us.