Tue Jul 23, 2024
July 23, 2024

Political Manifesto of the XIV Congress of the IWL-FI

The XIV Congress of the International Workers League, which met in August, approved the following declaration on the world political situation, which we make available for militant and the workers’ and social vanguards of all countries.

Since our last Congress, the world situation has changed dramatically. The pandemic took more lives than World War I. Now, we witness the Ukrainian war provoked by Russia’s genocidal aggression and occupation, with the central protagonist of the tenacious and heroic resistance of the Ukrainian people (with the Territorial Defenses, formed mainly by workers and women workers, fighting on the front line). This is the epicenter of the international class struggle. This war, a product and expression of the crisis of the imperialist world order, in turn, sharpens the world contradictions and class struggle.

The invasion has unleashed a dreadful general arms race and the militarization of international relations, including the threat of local wars, in an increasingly aggressive global dynamic. It accelerates U.S. confrontations with Russia and China, pushing an alliance between the latter. The U.S. is also trying to impose its conditions on Germany and France and to reorder its relations with the European Union (E.U.) and other imperialist powers for its benefit.

The economic crisis deepens worldwide, driven by the energy and cereal crisis (which will be aggravated by the absence of the next harvest in Ukraine), and galloping inflation. This is all happening while the debt crisis, which is hitting semi-colonial countries particularly hard, is combined with food crises, i.e., famine, in the most vulnerable countries.

The climate emergency is intensifying, worsening the environmental catastrophe and causing dramatic effects for millions of people as a consequence of global warming and its aftermath of droughts, floods, and climate migrations, leading the world to increasingly irreversible situations and increasing, in turn, the risk of new pandemics.

The conflict in Taiwan, fueled by Nancy Pelosi’s visit, reflects the accentuation of the clash between the U.S. and China. Just as China’s hopes for national unification with Taiwan, a remnant of its colonial past, is essential to assert its hegemony in Asia and, consequently for its own global aspirations, it is equally paramount for the U.S. to prevent such unification to reassert its decadent world hegemony. Thus, U.S. imperialism is abandoning the so-called “strategic ambiguity” of Nixon’s “one China” politics. The Taiwan conflict has now become a sensitive point in the confrontation between the U.S. and China and could qualitatively worsen if China decides to militarily occupy the island in the coming years.

Amid the crisis of the world division of labor on which so-called globalization supports itself, the Financial Times, one of the organs of finance capital, talks of two major scenarios for the world economy: stagflation, i.e., stagnation with inflation, or if stagnation becomes more pronounced, the fall into a general economic depression of worldwide scope. This, combined with the external debt and public indebtedness crisis in a whole series of semi-colonial countries that may even reach the periphery of the E.U., added to the corporate debt crisis -the so-called zombie companies- may trigger a financial crisis. All this confirms the crisis of capitalism, its crisis of profitability, and the impossibility of reversing the fall in the rate of profit in the present circumstances.

Along with the development of new technologies, the tendency towards the configuration of regional economic blocs, and recolonization we are witnessing a sharp decline of entire countries in the hierarchy of the imperialist order. As a result, in the large industrialized semi-colonies, such as Brazil or Turkey, we see deindustrialization, unemployment, precariousness, and widespread informal labor. In the same vein, we find the fall into the abyss of several countries in Africa and other continents. This causes massive migrations, which rapidly drives tens of thousands of migrant workers into the proletariat of host countries, altering its composition and facilitating for the bourgeoisie an aggravation of precariousness and division among workers.

The consequences of all this for the workers and for the popular masses in different regions of the world are devastating: new waves of attacks on wages, generalized precariousness, destruction of public services, a strong general worsening of living conditions, and a scandalous increase in inequality. Hunger affects the most impoverished sectors of the semi-colonial and imperialist countries and dramatically affects the most fragile countries. At the same time, we are experiencing a process of generalized impoverishment of sectors of the petty bourgeoisie, who are partly radicalizing to the left while others feed into ultra-right movements.

The other side of the coin is increased repression, attacks on democratic freedoms, and a substantial increase in oppression. This is the case of national oppression, the racist and xenophobic laws and attacks concentrated against migrant workers, sexist laws and aggressions against women (as an example to highlight the recent decision of the U.S. Supreme Court), and hate crimes against the LGTBQ+ population.

As a response to the need for capital to impose its plans of overexploitation and deepening oppression, and to confront the massive mobilizations against such plans, the regimes harden. The extreme right is strengthened. We see all over the world how this has become a popular option for bourgeoisies. This accelerates the Bonapartization and, simultaneously, the destabilization of the bourgeois regimes that have guaranteed bourgeois stability for decades, as we see in the case of the E.U. 

The brutality of the attacks provokes the response of the masses, with large mobilizations as we have seen in recent years in places like Myanmar, Sudan, Chile, and Colombia, as has happened now in the significant semi-insurrectional popular uprisings in Sri Lanka and Ecuador or in the prolonged national strikes in Panama or as we are seeing in the current powerful strike movement in Great Britain against inflation. These movements point to similar processes in other countries in the near future.

Until now, the protagonism in the response has corresponded first and foremost to the precarious youth and oppressed sectors, with massive participation of the working class diluted in the movement. The mass response in Sri Lanka or Panama or earlier in Myanmar, however, has shown the power of working-class strike movements. We have yet to see the working class show its might by playing a leading role in the popular uprising and taking significant steps towards democratic self-organization.

The British strike movement, for its part, is marked by a strong radicalism. Conflicts have gone beyond the control of the trade union bureaucracy and growing pressure from the working class base pushes the demand for a general strike. This movement, however, has not yet extended to the European continent, and we do not yet know when the U.S. labor movement will resume its recent battle for wages and rights.

All these processes are limited by phenomena such as relocations, deindustrialization, and workers’ fragmentation in the productive processes (deals consented to and agreed upon by the trade union bureaucracy), which hinder the organization of the class as we have traditionally known it. This is a significant challenge for us.

We revolutionaries must prepare ourselves for a substantial jump in social and political imbalances in the distant regions of the world, which will provoke outbursts and, in some countries, pre-revolutionary and revolutionary situations. However, they will also have reactionary and even counter-revolutionary responses. In this situation, the reformist parties, such as Boric’s and the Chilean PC, Petro in Colombia, or Lula’s P.T., are the instrument to divert and defeat the mobilization and to impose the plans of their bourgeoisies, junior partners of imperialism, from the class-collaborationist governments they preside over. As a reaction to the policies of the governments of Boric, Petro, and probably Lula, we can expect that sectors of workers and popular fighters, particularly the youth, will enter into a process of rupture with these class-collaborationist governments. Winning them for the revolution and for the workers’ and revolutionary party will be a hard battle in which we will have to fight against reformism and the extreme right.

The battle for the development and strengthening of trade unionism independent of the bosses and the governments, for the democratic self-organization of the movement, self-defense, and the organization of the oppressed sectors of the working class plays an essential role in the struggle for the most deeply felt demands of the masses.

We must fight for employment and basic labor rights, for the sliding scale of wages, a decent minimum wage, and job stability; for non-payment of debt; against the dismantling of public services; for democratic freedoms and freedom for those imprisoned for fighting; against violence against women and the LGTBQ+ population, for the right to abortion and measures for the socialization of domestic work for the rights of oppressed nationalities and native peoples; the rights of migrants; urgent measures in the face of the environmental emergency and in particular to stop global warming now, including the expropriation of the big energy and mining corporations under workers’ and community control; destruction of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction and drastic reduction of military expenditures; for a workers’ government based on workers and people’s councils.

The battle to recover internationalist solidarity through working-class struggle is an essential task. From the IWL-FI, we commit ourselves to give continuity with a renewed impulse to the campaign of solidarity with the Ukrainian armed and partisan working class that today resists Putin’s genocidal invasion and occupation and fights for its national sovereignty.

The struggle to win the consciousness of the militant vanguard of the working class and oppressed sectors of the proletariat towards the program of the socialist revolution becomes the key element to advance in the construction of the world revolutionary leadership. That is to say, the construction of the IWL-FI, as the embryo of the reconstruction of the Fourth International, is our task.

Let’s get to work.

International Workers League – Fourth International 

August 2022

Check out our other content

Check out other tags:

Most Popular Articles