Ernest Germain

A Right-Wing Tendency

(October 1964)

From Socialist Workers Party International Information Bulletin, February 1965, pp. 55–77.
Documents on the Dispute in the World Movement, Part II – Published as a fraternal courtesy to the United Secretariat.
Transcribed by Joe Auciello.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

Since the plenum of the International Executive Committee in May 1964, Comrade Pablo has continued his course of ignoring the decisions of the leading bodies of the Fourth International in sovereign style. Openly violating the resolutions of the plenum of the IEC, he has continued to maintain a parallel center, to publish Sous le Drapeau du Socialisme in accordance with his own line and not that of the International, to fraudulently present this public faction organ as the Monthly Review of the African Commission of the Fourth International, hiding from its readers the fact that the ideas he presents are those of a small minority, not those of the majority and hence the leadership of the Fourth International.

This course of increasing divergence from the Fourth International, its organization, tradition, program and line, cannot be explained fundamentally except by the deepening political differences which Comrade Pablo, with his characteristic lack of self-discipline, feels compelled to impart to the entire world. Consequently it is the nature of these differences that must be analyzed in order to understand their dynamics and to alert the movement to the causes that have brought Comrade Pablo to call in question the political and organizational acquisitions of the Fourth International.

Questions of Method

In the same issue of the faction’s Internal Bulletin devoted to the May 1964 plenum of the IEC, Comrade Pablo waxes ironic over Germain, a “specialist in dialectics.” He would have done better to hold his tongue – you do not speak of the rope in the house of the hanged. In fact, the very numerous political errors which he has committed in recent years are all due to his giving up the dialectic method more and more systematically in favor of the common, ordinary evolutionist method. He sees “irreversible” tendencies everywhere, pays less and less attention to the contradictory nature of reality, made up of opposing tendencies coexisting with each other, marked by abrupt leaps and changes in the direction of the processes.

Thus Comrade Pablo thought that the victory of Gaullism gave birth to a bonapartist regime “evolving toward fascism.” He attached insufficient importance to the manifest contrary tendencies, linked to objective conditions, which were unpropitious for fascism, as well as the capacity of the French working class, even after a severe defeat, to react to an attempt to destroy their trade unions.

Comrade Pablo was mistaken on the relation of military forces between the USSR and the USA, since he thought that the temporary advance registered by the USSR toward the end of the fifties in the field of long-range rocketry had become irreversible. He forgot the logic of uneven development, operative in the military field as well as in economics, above all in the case of a power of such economic potentiality as American imperialism.

Comrade Pablo was mistaken on the possibility of the Soviet economy catching up with American production on a per capita basis by 1970–72, because he mechanically projected into the future the enormous momentary gap between the Soviet and American rates of growth toward the end of the fifties. He did not understand – despite our efforts to convince him otherwise – that it was inconceivable that the American bourgeoisie would not seek to increase the American rate of growth (this has already been largely confirmed). He did not understand likewise that the rate of growth of the Soviet economy could drop again, beginning with the time when the first series of Khrushchevist reforms had exhausted their stimulating effect.

Comrade Pablo was mistaken on the dynamics of the colonial revolution – unfortunately inspiring errors here a thousand times worse than his own; those of Posadas. Believing in an irreversibly victorious dynamics, he gravely underestimated the decisive role of the subjective factor (the leadership of the revolution) and underestimated the possibility of imperialism blocking the revolution for a time at a neo-colonialist level, a possibility already witnessed in Latin America and Africa after being seen earlier in Asia.

Comrade Pablo was mistaken in believing in the long postponement of revolutionary possibilities in Western Europe after the victory of de Gaulle. He mechanically put the “reformist atmosphere created by the high economic juncture” in opposition to the “revolutionary atmosphere,” without understanding that in accordance with the internal logic of the contradictions arising in neo-capitalism itself, abrupt leaps are possible, and pre-revolutionary situations like the one in Belgium in 1960-61 can appear in a whole series of countries where the working class has retained its potential for struggle, without mentioning the revolutionary dynamics in the Spanish and Portuguese situations.

All these errors, in the final analysis, can be traced to a single error in method, to thinking that is increasingly mechanical, less and less dialectical. In the same issue of the International Bulletin put out by the faction, Comrade Pablo seeks to reply to a criticism made by me concerning his conception of de-Stalinization:

“For them there are concessions and resistance on the part of the bureaucracy, for us there are only concessions. I replied to him that for a specialist in ‘dialectics,’ what counts is the average result in time of the two terms (concessions, resistance) and not their undifferentiated juxtaposition on the same plane

“We do not neglect the aspect of the bureaucracy’s resistance (since we repeat that it cedes to the pressure of the masses … and finds itself obliged to cede) but we place the accent on the fact that the average result in time, gives an ascending line of concessions. Otherwise there is no conclusion, there is no perspective, but simply indetermination between two alternatives equally possible, and of the same dynamics. This, among other things, has not been the case with the evolution in the USSR for the past ten years.” (p. 23, emphasis in original)

Without noticing it, Comrade Pablo provided us with a typical example of common, ordinary evolutionary thought in opposition to the dialectical thinking of Marxism.

“What is properly dialectical movement, is precisely the juxtaposed coexistence [Nebeneinanderbestehen] of the two opposed sides, their conflict and their disappearance in a new category” [our emphasis], Marx writes in The Poverty of Philosophy (p. 94, German edition of Dietz. Stuttgart. [Note: See, also, p. 112 of English-language edition, International Publishers, 1963]). The characteristic proper to the category of “de-Stalinization” is precisely that the two tendencies, concessions of the bureaucracy to the masses, and self-defense of its privileges and power, exist side by side, that there is a conflict, a growing contradiction, between these two tendencies, and that this conflict can be resolved only by de-Stalinization being replaced by a new category – the political revolution. It is then that the process really becomes irreversible. Naturally, this dialectical view of things becomes difficult when you put an equals sign between “de-Stalinization” and “political revolution.”

Let’s turn to experience. Comrade Pablo states that the “undifferentiated juxtaposition,” on the same plane, of the tendency to grant concessions and the tendency of resistance “has not been the case with the evolution in the USSR for the past ten years.” Really? There have been some important concessions to the masses (without overlooking those of primary interest to the bulk of the bureaucracy itself) on the juridical plane and on the plane of consumption. There have been concessions to the intellectuals on the plane of freedom of research and expression. There have been important concessions to the peasants concerning the administration of agriculture and exchange relations with the state and the city. But parallel to this list of concessions let us now draw up a list where “resistance” has manifestly prevailed; that is, where there have been practically no concessions. There is no genuine participation of the workers in the management of industry; no form, even embryonic, of workers self-management in the factories; no form, even embryonic, of participation by the workers in elaborating the big economic and political decisions of the state; no form, even embryonic, of a return to the regime of genuine soviets; no form, even embryonic, of freedom of tendencies or of parties that respect the Soviet constitution; no form, even embryonic, of freedom of tendencies within the CPSU; no form, even embryonic, of freedom of political discussion within the CPSU prior to decisions by the Central Committee.

Does Comrade Pablo dare affirm that in the past eleven years, the fierce and still victorious resistance displayed by the Soviet bureaucracy in these fields – that is, still victorious defense of its power and privileges – is definitely “less important,” “secondary,” “minor,” in relation to the scope of the concessions made in the other fields?

To do so would in reality mean affirming that the structural problems are less important than the conjunctural, that the content is less important than the form. In fact, this is the difference underlying most of the debates between common ordinary evolutionists and Marxist revolutionists.

Does Comrade Pablo dare affirm that at a certain moment, conjunctural, formal concessions imperceptibly slip into structural changes, that workers control over the economy and over the state will be re-established step by step, that freedom of tendencies and political parties will be reborn little by little through successive concessions made by the bureaucracy? If so, he would offer us once again a typical instance of the difference between a common ordinary evolutionist concept and the Marxist concept.

Or will Comrade Pablo affirm that these structural changes in fact require a leap, a violent rupture, a transformation of quantity into quality? In this case we will reply that he has contradicted himself and that this leap, this violent rupture shows precisely the necessity for the birth of a new category (the political revolution), different from the old one (de-Stalinization), so that the “juxtaposition” of the tendency of the bureaucracy to make “concessions” and to display “resistance” can be broken…

Does this signify that in our conception this juxtaposition is “undifferentiated”? Not at all. We stand for making it clear that for the past eleven years and up to the very day the masses enter into revolutionary action, resistance will remain predominant in structural problems (defense of the political power and economic privileges of the bureaucracy). Does this signify that there is no perspective but simply “indetermination between two alternatives”? Not at all. The perspective on which we stand, the variant that appears to us to be the most likely, is that in the struggle between the “concessions” and the “resistance,” at a certain point in the process, the “resistance” will give way under the action of the masses. What we stress is that the situation in which this occurs will be qualitatively different from the present situation; it will mark the passage of “de-Stalinization” into political revolution.

But doesn’t “de-Stalinization” prepare the political revolution? Without any doubt. Evolution always prepares revolution; without the former, the latter could not occur, because it cannot fall from the sky. Despite this, for revolutionary Marxists, evolution does not at all equate to revolution; and they even understand that the slight nuance separating the one from the other fundamentally distinguishes revolutionary Marxists from reformists.

This is the heart of the matter. An analogy will permit us to see it more vividly. What is the essential argument that common ordinary evolutionists (from the liberal bourgeoisie to the right and even left Social Democrats) offer against the revolutionary Marxists in the imperialist countries of Europe and North America? “Compare the situation of the working class in 1960 with what it was in 1860. Hasn’t a tremendous revolution occurred? Hasn’t wretched poverty been succeeded by well-being, the 72-hour week by the 40-hour week? Total insecurity by social security, illiteracy and the degradation of alcoholism by paid vacations and the right to culture? All this, together with growing political rights, hasn’t this been conquered step by step, by pressure (which implies many ‘actions, strikes and slow downs’ to use Comrade Pablo’s words)? Hasn’t the ‘resistance’ of the bourgeoisie been reduced, historically, in the long run, in the face of this pressure of the masses? What use is it then to chatter or to dream about revolution in the face of this ‘irreversible’ evolution that has already been going on for a century? Let’s join, instead, in increasing the pressure; let’s struggle for more and more radical reforms, and little by little the social revolution will be achieved under our noses…

In the USSR, the question is not of social revolution but of political revolution. It is a matter not of the bourgeoisie but of the Soviet bureaucracy. But in the passage cited above, replace “social revolution” with “political revolution,” and “bourgeoisie” by “bureaucracy,” and you will find Pablo following the classic reasoning which the evolutionists, reformists or liberals, have offered us for decades in the West!

How do we reply to this reasoning? We prefer not to follow Thorez and other extinguished [distinguished?] luminaries who deny the striking progress which the mass of the workers have actually realized in their standard of living “along the road of reform” in the past century. We add, however, that those reforms, involving the standard of living or even political rights, do not transform the capitalist nature of the economy or the bourgeois nature of the state; that these reforms have even been accepted historically by the ruling class in order to defend and preserve (in a situation of “weakness” before the masses, to again cite Comrade Pablo) their power as a class; that these reforms can prepare the revolution, on condition that the subjective factor reaches the necessary level, but that this revolution will not come about either automatically, irreversibly, or without a “qualitative leap.” Insofar as the Soviet bureaucracy is a caste; that is, a more or less structured social formation that defends its power and its privileges, this line of reasoning applies to the political revolution in the way it applies to the social revolution.

What is De-Stalinization?

To this question, which he himself places at the center of the international discussion, and to which he accords the central importance in understanding the Sino-Soviet conflict and the entire evolution in recent years of the international situation (“de-Stalinization has again become, as in 1953, the touchstone … demarcating two currents in the traditional Trotskyist movement” – issue of the Internal Bulletin of Comrade Pablo’s tendency devoted to the IEC plenum of May 1964, p. 14), Comrade Pablo now gives the full reply: de-Stalinization is the political revolution! It was the Australian comrades of the minority tendency who were the first to frankly express this formula (see their article, De-Stalinization is the Nascent Political Revolution, reproduced in the faction’s Internal Bulletin No. 4, April 1964), but Comrade Pablo later expressed agreement with it.

To this we replied by defending the classical definition of “de-Stalinization” which the Fourth International has not ceased to maintain since 1953; namely, “de-Stalinization” is the “liberal” course of the Soviet bureaucracy, through which the bureaucracy seeks to defend and maintain its essential power and privileges in face of the mounting pressure of the masses in the USSR itself and in the “peoples’ democracies.” [1]

That this was most certainly the line of the Fourth and Fifth World Congresses and particularly the line of the theses of the Rise and Decline and Decline and Fall of Stalinism there is not the slightest doubt. The minority tendency claims, it is true, that in these theses it is affirmed that “de-Stalinization” is the “rising political revolution” (p. 12 of the minority tendency’s Internal Bulletin No. 4). But it is sufficient to cite the following passage from the theses Decline and Fall of Stalinism adopted by the Fifth World Congress of the International to determine the facts:

“We thus considered the ‘new course’ of the Kremlin not as a movement of self-reform by the bureaucracy, but as a movement of self-defense by it. While promoting and even hastening the awakening of the movement of the masses by its objective consequences, especially by the divisions that it created from the top to the bottom of the bureaucratic ladder, the ‘new course’ was not, we considered, a substitute for, but rather a preparatory phase of, the political revolution of the masses against the bureaucracy.” (Fourth International, Winter 1958, p. 56)

In other words, the theses Decline and Fall of Stalinism said: de-Stalinization is not the self-reform of the bureaucracy but its self-defense in face of the pressure of the masses. De-Stalinization is not the political revolution but only a preparatory phase. Today, the minority affirms the opposite: de-Stalinization is not a movement of self-defense of the bureaucracy, nor the preparation of a future political revolution; it is the beginning of this revolution, hence the beginning of the re-establishment of Soviet democracy, hence (whether one wishes it or not) the beginning of the self-reform of the bureaucracy (under pressure from the masses). Comrade Pablo has the cheek to declare that he said the same thing in 1954 and in 1957, whereas the documents adopted at the time said just the opposite!

The 1957 theses are still clearer, dotting the i’s even more carefully. They state that “continuance of the ‘new course’ is inexorably preparing the big show-down between the proletariat and the more privileged layers of the bureaucracy, a show-down which will have as its main stake the administration of the plants and which will inevitably raise all the questions of the structure and control of the economy and of the workers’ state”. (p. 58) They specify (p. 59) that “Both [the neo-Stalinist tendency and the “liberal” tendency of the bureaucracy favorable to de-Stalinization], however, are trying only to preserve and defend the privileges of the bureaucracy as a whole.” They stress that a “growing tension between the masses and the bureaucracy … are drawing near a violent explosion” (p. 60); that an “open collision” is being prepared “between the forces that want to keep the basic institutions of the dictatorship” (and the text specifies that this applies to both the neo-Stalinists and the Khrushchevists) and “the masses who want to undertake a democratic administration of the state and the economy…” (p. 60) And they conclude: “The transformation of the pressure of the masses into direct action of the masses will in this way signalize the beginning of the political revolution in the USSR.” (p. 60)

Beating a retreat and seeking to cover up the traces of his change in political position on this question, Comrade Pablo now states that “de-Stalinization is synonymous with a continuous revolutionary upsurge in the USSR.” (p. 14 of the faction’s Internal Bulletin devoted to the plenum of the May 1964 IEC) This is already different from saying that de-Stalinization is synonymous with political revolution; to confound a revolutionary upsurge with revolution is a grave error for a revolutionist who wants to lead the process. We have spoken of a revolutionary upsurge in Brazil in recent years, which unfortunately has not culminated up to now in the beginning of the revolution but rather in a temporary victory of the counterrevolution. A revolutionary upsurge among the masses prepares a revolution; it is not identical with it.

This remark having been made, is it correct to identify “de-Stalinization” with a “revolutionary upsurge,” if not a “political revolution”? “De-Stalinization” is a calculated policy of the ruling caste in the USSR, the Soviet bureaucracy, or at least its ruling faction (and its overwhelming majority). The revolutionary upsurge is the deep wave among the toiling masses opposed to this bureaucracy. That the bureaucracy was obliged to undertake the turn of “de-Stalinization” under the pressure of the masses; that the consequence of this turn in the long run favor the outbreak of revolution – this provides no justification whatsoever for disregarding the social distinction between the rulers and the ruled, between those who are maneuvering in order to maintain their dictatorship and those who are pressing to overthrow it. In mixing up all these factors; in wiping out these distinctions; in speaking of a “combined effect of the progress of the productive and cultural forces, and the multiple and multiform pressure that likewise never ceases to increase in an international revolutionary context”; in stating that “de-Stalinization is the result of an interaction between the concessions of the bureaucracy and the mounting pressure of the masses, the bureaucracy differentiating itself constantly in the process,” Comrade Pablo is beginning in fact to suppress the fundamental distinction between self-defense and self-reform of the bureaucracy which was one of the pillars of the theses Decline and Fall of Stalinism. This is clearly to be seen when he writes:

“Far from being a handicap, the fact that the Soviet bureaucracy is at present at the head of an economically and culturally advanced state, constitutes in reality the essential condition for the political decline and fall of the bureaucracy, engaged in a process of both more and more important concessions to the masses, and its own differentiation.

“This enables us to foresee the possibility of a diminished, weakened resistance by the core of the bureaucracy that might possibly resist the total and actual liberalization of the regime.” (p. 15 of the faction’s Internal Bulletin on the May 1964 plenum of the IEC, our emphasis)

It is sufficient to compare this passage with the extracts cited above from the Decline and Fall of Stalinism to see how far the position of Comrade Pablo has departed from the line which the International has not ceased to follow in this regard for ten years! If he states that today he has always been of the same opinion, he should at least undertake a severe self-criticism for having voted at the Fifth World Congress for the opposite of what he says now. He voted then for the position that a collision is inevitable between the masses and the leaders (both the “neo-Stalinists” as well as the “de-Stalinizers”) of the bureaucracy; that these leaders neither can nor want to “totally and actually liberalize” the regime, because “de-Stalinization” for them is a means of defending their power and their privileges, not to “progressively” re-establish Soviet democracy.

Comrade Pablo’s schema signifies at bottom that in the USSR and the “peoples’ democracies” there is only one political battle: the one between the “enlightened,” “liberal,” “de-Stalinizing,” in short, Khrushchevist wing of the bureaucracy, fusing more and more with the masses, and the neo-Stalinist “core” of the bureaucracy, supported by the Chinese. This schema has no relation whatsoever with reality.

This reality, which we know, not only through studying the facts a posteriori but fortunately also through increasing contact with revolutionary Marxist elements fighting for a return to Lenin in the workers states themselves, shows that the fundamental conflict remains the one between the masses and the bureaucracy taken as a whole, which the masses hate and despise more than ever, as was the case June 16–17, 1953, in East Berlin, as was the case in Poznan, as was the case in the initial phase of the Hungarian revolution.

Of course, with a very sure instinct, the masses know how to take advantage of the divisions in the bureaucracy; they “prefer” Khrushchev to Stalin or to Molotov, and Kadar to Rakosi. But more than Kadar-Rakosi and Company they prefer the workers councils, not forgetting for one moment that Kadar bears just as much responsibility for their being crushed as Rakosi. This was clearest in Poland when the brief period of illusions in Gomulka as a genuine Leninist initiator of Soviet democracy completely vanished among the workers, students and intellectuals, the masses grasping that the difference between Gomulka and the Natolinists was infinitely less than the difference between Gomulka and the regime of socialist democracy to which the revolutionary vanguard aspired. The mass support which the “de-Stalinizer” Gomulka enjoys today is above all that of the private peasants who owe to him the restoration of private property, and even this social layer supports him more and more the way a rope supports the hanged.

Moreover, it is this phenomenon of the progressive isolation of the summits of the bureaucracy, who played the cards of terror and “liberalization” successively without gaining genuine support among the masses, which the theses on the Decline and Fall of Stalinism correctly forecast, even if they were mistaken as to the rate of the process.

Just as Comrade Pablo does not understand the real nature of the conflict between the masses and the bureaucrats in the workers states today, so he completely distorts the nature of the struggle within the bureaucracy and among the intellectuals, the only layers up to now that have been able to express themselves under the regime of “de-Stalinization.” According to his schema, the struggle there is essentially between the de-Stalinizing “Khrushchevists” and the more or less pro-Chinese neo-Stalinists. In reality the struggle involves at least four “tendencies”: the neo-Stalinists (who are becoming increasingly isolated and insignificant); the direct representatives of the “economic” bureaucracy who demand the strengthening of the rights of the directors and who are not at all opposed to “de-Stalinization”: the bonapartist summits of the bureaucracy, who play the role of balancing the forces; and the “left” wing of the bureaucracy (above all the ranks linked to the workers) and the intellectuals, who demand a much more radical de-Stalinization than that introduced by Khrushchev. The illegal, sometimes even semi-legal, spokesmen of this “bureaucratic left” use a language infinitely more critical, more aggressive and more direct with regard to Khrushchev and Khrushchevism than does Comrade Pablo. (See in connection with this especially the notable article that appeared in Les Lettres Nouvelles, March-April 1964, directly from the USSR.)

To embarrass us, Comrade Pablo raises the question: but the comrades of the majority, do they call today for the “immediate violent overthrow of Khrushchev, Tito, Gomulka, Kadar, etc.” (p. 18); do they seek to mobilize the masses “who are taking into account the process of de-Stalinization which has begun and who think of pushing it as far as possible”? In reality, it is with his own schema of the situation in the USSR that the reply fitting this question fails to correspond. We were the first to declare that today, above all after the experience of the Hungarian revolution and in the climate of increasing improvement in the standard of living of the masses, that the atmosphere is rather “reformist” in the USSR and in several of the “peoples’ democracies.” In such an atmosphere, it is clearly necessary to work out a program of immediate demands to start the mass movement going. Is it necessary to remind Comrade Pablo that we have never called for the “immediate overthrow” (not to speak of the violent overthrow) of de Gaulle in France or President Johnson in the United States, because the relation of forces is clearly not propitious for an immediate revolution?

But how can Comrade Pablo square his analysis of a situation marked by a colossal “continued revolutionary upsurge,” by the beginning of a genuine revolution… with the elaboration of a modest program of action around immediate demands? Strange “revolution,” to tell the truth, and strange “revolutionists” who, confronted with this “revolution,” do not speak of either the conquest of power, or the overthrow of the government, or even of dual power, do not think of advancing revolutionary slogans or even transitional slogans, but content themselves with modest immediate demands!

Comrade Pablo and the Sino-Soviet Conflict

It is in the Sino-Soviet conflict that the almost organically right-wing orientation which Comrade Pablo has now adopted is displayed in the most striking and dangerous way.

At first it could have been believed that the differences in this field were not serious, that Comrade Pablo was even rendering a service to the International in certain respects, facilitating an adjustment of any excessive, uncritical support of the Chinese which some comrades might have been tempted to accord. It is clear that the Sino-Soviet conflict subjected the entire international revolutionary movement to enormous pressure, which our own movement could not escape. It was more or less inevitable that within the Fourth International pro-Khrushchevist and pro-Maoist tendencies would develop. The essential at present is to make sure that they do not gain undue amplitude, that they do not undermine the autonomy and objectivity with which we work out our policies, and that they do not prevent us from taking advantage of the opportunities to construct revolutionary parties in the ever more favorable conditions opening up on a big part of the globe.

It is necessary to take a look at the evidence, above all since the appearance of Sous le Drapeau du Socialisme. While the majority, without modifying its fundamental course, which has been confirmed by the passage of events, has criticized and attacked the Chinese each time they adopt a position contrary to the interests of the world revolution [2], Comrade Pablo has practically abstained from all public criticism of Khrushchev and Khrushchevism, masking this position of adaptation to a wing of the bureaucracy with an aberrant theory of which he is the only advocate in the entire world, since it is not shared by the bourgeoisie, by the proletariat, by the Social Democracy, or by the cadres of the international Communist movement themselves (including or even especially those who support Khrushchev with enthusiasm); namely, that the Khrushchevist course in questions of international politics is a “left” course, and that Khrushchev is increasingly becoming a “defender of the world revolution”!

To “demonstrate” this concept, which is in contradiction to the reality, Comrade Pablo finds himself obliged to distort and even systematically falsify the facts, cutting out of Chou En-lai’s speeches the passages where he speaks about Algeria moving toward socialism; in Khrushchev’s messages the parts where he states that an “immediate” move towards socialism is not possible in Africa; in an article devoted to the temporary victory of the Brazilian counterrevolution, maintaining a shameful silence on the overwhelming responsibility falling on the one hundred per cent Khrushchevist Brazilian Communist party for what happened (Sous le Drapeau du Socialisme, No. 6); polemicizing (in No. 7–8) against the Chinese on their theory of the role of the national bourgeoisie while passing by in complete silence Khrushchev’s much more rightist theory on this (contained in the program of the CPSU adopted at the Twenty-second Congress); going so far as to publish (in the same No. 7–8) an article on Chile which begins with this highly prophetic sentence:

“Latin America has not ended her surprises for us. After having established her first socialist regime in Cuba by the most unexpected and heterodox of roads – guerrilla warfare – she now seems ready to establish the second in Chile by another road which, although unusual, is not less surprising: elections.”

The same article contains in addition this gem of the purest Khrushchevist water:

“But if Allende gains a majority, will he be permitted to assume the office of president? The FRAP has already exposed the existence of a conspiracy aiming at a military coup d’état. However, it is very difficult for the high command of the army to risk such an adventure, given the legalistic tradition (unique in Latin America) of the Chilean officer corps and the leftist tendency of a part of the young officers.” [Emphasis added]

To disseminate such illusions after the Brazilian defeat – which was caused in great part by similar illusions sown by the Khrushchevist CP – some years after the Second Declaration of Havana proclaimed that in all the countries of Latin America the greater part of the army is and will continue to be the scaffolding of the counterrevolution, is genuinely criminal. Trotskyism is thereby discredited in the eyes of the numerous revolutionary militants in Latin America of the Fidelista tendency, with whom we have to build the revolutionary party, who have nothing but contempt and indignation for these Khrushchevist illusions.

A new and revolting example of this systematic adaptation to Khrushchevism, of this abandonment of a minimum of objectivity in analyzing the Sino-Soviet conflict, is offered in the article which Sous le Drapeau du Socialisme (No. 9) devoted to the Chinese document The Phony Communism of Khrushchev and Its Lessons for the World. The Chinese document contains two fundamentally contradictory aspects: it points to the phenomenon of social inequality as at the bottom of the degeneration of the USSR; and it affirms that the degeneration takes the form of the re-establishment of capitalism. For a Trotskyist, the first statement constitutes an important step forward – because it is true that the privileges of the bureaucracy lie at the basis of its power, and the struggle against social inequality was considered by Trotsky to be the most important struggle conducted by the Left Opposition, the one that would unleash the political revolution in the USSR; the second constitutes a dangerous error to be fought, the origin of which evidently lies in the difficulty of grasping the real nature of the bureaucracy, a difficulty which was witnessed among the Yugoslavs (who talked for years about state capitalism in the USSR) and which has appeared in the history of our movement on various occasions.

But when Comrade Pablo deals with this Chinese article in Sous le Drapeau du Socialisme, he does not devote a single word to the whole part that criticizes social inequality (a criticism that applies even to Stalin, since it is not the smallest contradiction in the article that it recognizes that high salaries existed in the time of Stalin while it denies that the “degenerated elements” were in power in the USSR at the time); Comrade Pablo speaks only of the erroneous theses concerning the re-establishment of capitalism in the USSR.

This whole partial, subjective, truncated manner of conceiving the Sino-Soviet conflict, denying the evidence; namely, that in all the countries where the “Chinese” and “Khrushchevists” oppose each other, the former occupy positions to the left of the latter, ends up in an untenable thesis which Comrade Pablo has the habit of repeating without the least proof. He claims that the Chinese do not defend Stalin personally, but Stalinism, that is, Stalin’s domestic and foreign policy (“the six-sevenths of Stalinism,” it is claimed in the latest internal bulletin of the Pablo tendency).

The struggle against the theory of socialism in one country (even when this theory is absurdly attributed to Trotsky), is this a “defense of Stalinist domestic policy”?

Defense of the theory of “uninterrupted revolution,” not only within the frame of the colonial revolution, but even after the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat, is this a “defense of Stalinist domestic policy”?

The struggle against excessive inequality in wages and for greater equality, is this a “defense of Stalinist domestic policy”?

Opposition to the theory of peaceful (and parliamentary) roads to socialism, first defended by Stalin in his famous letter to the British Communist party, is this “defense of Stalinist foreign policy”?

The Chinese thesis, according to which the countries where the dictatorship of the proletariat has been established must serve as “bases for world revolution,” is this “defense of Stalinist foreign policy”?

The Chinese thesis, according to which the colonial and semi-colonial peoples cannot free themselves from the imperialist yoke except through armed struggle under the leadership of the proletariat, is this “defense of Stalinism”?

We could continue the list; but to what purpose? We have never denied that the Chinese retain Stalinist positions in a number of areas. But, despite all the progress of “de-Stalinization,” the Soviet bureaucracy headed by Khrushchev also retains Stalinist positions in some fundamental areas: maintenance and justification of bureaucratic privileges in the USSR; a “world strategy of Communism” centered on economic construction in the USSR (“communism in one country”); subordination of the interests of the international proletariat and of the international revolution to the interests of the Soviet bureaucracy. To speak of “de-Stalinization” while deliberately ignoring the rightist, opportunist course adopted by most of the faithful followers of Khrushchev or presenting it as “secondary,” means in fact abandoning the interests of the world revolution as the fundamental criterion in judging the Sino-Soviet conflict.

The position adopted by Comrade Pablo with regard to this conflict necessarily goes counter to his claims about having fused with the vanguard forces of the colonial revolution. Because there is not the shadow of a doubt that from South Vietnam to Guatemala, from India to Columbia, from Zanzibar to Venezuela, the forces already battling, or who are ready to struggle in the front ranks of the colonial revolution, feel infinitely more sympathy for the Chinese positions than for the Khrushchevist. Contrary to Comrade Pablo’s repeated declarations, in Algeria itself, outside of the narrow circles of the apparatus, his positions, dogmatically, unjustly and systematically anti-Chinese, together with his systematic apologies for Khrushchevism bar the road to many revolutionary militants, Algerians as well as those from other African countries. The fact that we foresaw this special consequence of the Sino-Soviet conflict among the forces engaged in the colonial revolution, was one of the main reasons why we adopted the position we did in reference to the Sino-Soviet conflict: without making the least concession in principle, without hiding a single one of our criticisms with respect to the Chinese or the pro-Chinese, we sought above all to link ourselves with the left Communist forces, who in the great majority throughout the world sympathize with the Chinese theses, rather than try to play the role of carrying water for the Khrushchevist bureaucracy among the Communist parties.

Comrade Pablo’s Positions on Problems of the Revolution in the Imperialist Countries

The deeply rightist tendency of Comrade Pablo’s position is likewise shown in an increasingly clear way in the problems posed by the revolutionary workers movement in the imperialist countries.

The first manifestation of his turn to the right on these problems was provided by a sudden and astonishing position taken by Sous le Drapeau du Socialisme on the Spanish and Portuguese revolutions. Without consulting the International, without taking into consideration the fact that an “African Commission of the Fourth International” is not at all entitled to determine strategy in two imperialist European countries, Comrade Pablo came out publicly against the correct, Trotskyist political criticisms made of the popular-front type program of the Portuguese “Patriotic Front of National Liberation” (FPLN) and publicly expressed solidarity with the ridiculous “Movement for the Third Spanish Republic,” which represents nothing in Spain, an action that could only discredit Trotskyism, making it appear to be a movement that is ignorant of the facts in the Spanish revolutionary movement. The Portuguese “Front,” centered around the Portuguese CP, is an enterprise that seeks to substitute bourgeois democracy for the Salazar dictatorship; that is, in a sense ardently desired by a part of the Portuguese bourgeoisie – to liquidate Salazarism without losing economic power. What must be said of a former secretary of the Fourth International who publishes news and communiqués of this “Front,” without a single word of criticism of its ultra-opportunist program?

Exposed by the criticism which we made of the opportunist positions which he had adopted on the Iberian revolution, Comrade Pablo defended himself as the last IEC plenum by declaring that there were clearly not a few things to criticize in the program of the FPLN, but it would be “sectarian” to begin with this criticism; first comes the support, then the criticism. This position, which could be justified in the attitude of a section of our movement in an imperialist country in relation to an insurrectional movement in a colonial country oppressed by “its” imperialism, is absolutely unjustifiable on the part of the Fourth International in relation to an oppositionist movement against a fascist dictatorship in an imperialist country.

The history of the European revolution is too charged with defeats and victims caused by “national fronts” and “popular fronts” in the countries where the bourgeoisie holds real economic, social and political power, and has solid traditions and a certain political shrewdness, for Marxist revolutionaries to let the least illusion about the possibility of such fronts achieving a socialist revolution go by without speaking up.

To refuse to participate in an armed struggle (which however has not yet broken out!) against Portuguese fascism would be sectarian. But to participate in the struggle by mixing our banner with the popular-front banner of the CP, by providing left cover for an operation that seeks to repeat in Portugal what happened in France and Italy in 1944, with the results we know about, is opportunism. It was not so long ago that Comrade Pablo would have been the first to point this out and to rise up against such a policy. That it is he who advocates it today clearly indicates what a distance he has traveled in recent months and in what direction he is headed.

In 1962 and 1963, Comrade Pablo criticized most of the European sections from the left, so to speak. We will not return to the debate. But today with regard to Western Europe, Comrade Pablo likewise is beginning to signal a turn to the right of a kind to take your breath away. In the issue of his faction’s Internal Bulletin devoted to the last plenum of the IEC, he writes:

“For how much longer, for how many years longer will it be possible to get out of the new situation created in Europe for some years already with phrases as empty as ‘the economic euphoria is tending to subside’ and to avoid getting to the bottom of this euphoria, explaining it, taking it into account and working out a policy for our movement that corresponds to this situation?

“By letting it be imagined for some years now that each time we have been coming to the end of this ‘euphoria’ and that a ‘crisis’ is close, by magnifying the movements for economic demands each time they break out here or there, or the victories of the social-democracy or other phenomena which despite everything occur in the frame of the world, our forces are disoriented and prepared for ever more serious disillusionment.

“In addition, by proving incapable of working out a line for the European workers’ movement and for our own forces that corresponds to the new situation, aiming at maintaining the class mobilization and education of the proletariat on the basis of the new economic possibilities and the new contradictions of capitalism, and the new social and political aspirations of the masses, the difficulties of the objective situation are aggravated and we are isolated from the masses.” (p. 9, emphasis added.)

This text call for comment, especially Comrade Pablo’s audacity in reproaching us with “incapacity” to work out a line for the European workers’ movement, whereas the fact is that whatever is worthwhile in the workers’ movement of Western Europe has been inspired precisely by the line which we have promulgated for years. What is most striking is Comrade Pablo’s extraordinary capacity to forget in sovereign style everything that does not conform to his latest turn. He forgets that for years we have fought the idea that there would be another “grave economic crisis” in Western Europe; we have simply forecast the inevitability of recessions. He forgets that to give up the perspective of recessions would signify admitting that capitalism has overcome for a whole historic epoch its main economic contradiction – with all the revisionist consequences that flow from that. And he forgets above all what he himself wrote only a little more than a year ago:

“At the present time, the rate of economic expansion is everywhere slowed down in the advanced capitalist countries, although in an uneven way; recessions follow one another at an accelerated [sic] rate; the menace itself of a real economic crisis is more clearly revealed [sic again], beginning with the more industrialized countries, the United States and England. The economies of these two countries when they do not decline openly during the recessions maintain themselves on a level of quasi stagnation.” (Fourth International, No. 17, on the Reunification Congress, p. 65)

(In the United States, the index of industrial output rose 23 per cent from January 1961 to August 1964, which is truly “quasi stagnation.”)

Such a method of carrying out a 180-degree turn without a word of explanation or self-criticism is typical of Comrade Pablo’s methods. With such methods, you cannot educate a revolutionary movement; you cannot form organizations or even tendencies.

But what kind of “new policy” should be worked out for our movement in Europe? Comrade Pablo gives us his revelation in Sous le Drapeau du Socialisme (No. 7–8) in connection with a dithyrambic criticism of André Gorz’s book Néocapitalisme et Stratégie Ouvrière. [Strategy for Labor: A Radical Proposal, translated by Martin Nicolaus and Victoria Ortiz, (Beacon Press: Boston 1967)].

This book is not without positive aspects. It seeks to find a “new road” for the European trade-union movement imprisoned in the traditional reformist ways of the organizations led by the Socialist and Communist parties. In this sense it is largely inspired by the Belgian and Italian experiences, which have been partially inspired by the revolutionary Marxist forces of these countries. Everything that is worthwhile in this book, particularly on the necessity of formulating bold demands in the fields of leisure, culture, health, education, taking into account the new habits acquired by the proletariat during the period of full employment and the possibilities resulting from the expansion of the productive forces, has been said and re-said for years, not only in the Trotskyist press but in the official documents of our sections and the International.

But, contrary to Gorz, the revolutionary Marxists – and even the centrists of the Belgian SP and the Italian CP – know that the line of demarcation between “structural reforms,” desired and sought by neo-capitalism itself, and genuine transitional demands (“anti-capitalist structural reforms,” as they are called by the left of the mass movement in Italy, Belgium, Great Britain) is marked by workers’ control and dual power on the factory and state level. To abstain from raising the question of dual power; to present things as if economic power could be torn piece by piece from big capital within the frame of the bourgeois state, is not working out a “new workers strategy”; it is simply working out a neo-reformist line which is to neo-capitalism what classical reformism is to traditional capitalism.

It is lamentable that Comrade Pablo, remaining below the level of consciousness already attained by these left currents in the mass movement, which includes thousands and thousands of workers, is satisfied with completing Gorz by the “perspective of forming a workers government beginning radical structural reforms,” without raising the question of workers control, nationalizations, the character of the state, even dual power, thus bringing his modest stone to the neo-reformist building which the Khrushchevists are trying to erect in the European workers movement, therein to lock up the proletariat once again!

Thus, we see that the rightist position of Comrade Pablo is not limited to the problems of the workers states and the Sino-Soviet conflict; it now extends to developments in the capitalist states. And, as we have pointed out, it stands in the way of working with the left currents in the colonial countries, since these currents are generally pro-Chinese.

The Question of the International

This rightist political line has its organizational extension, in fact, signifying the liquidation of the Fourth International, as we shall see.

Thus, from the premise that Khrushchev is essentially following a line of supporting the world revolution, which only a few stupid leaders of poorly “de-Stalinized” CP’s resist, he proposes that Khruschev should put pressure on them. Here is what Comrade Pablo actually wrote to the Australian comrades:

“But we can and should likewise demand [!] that the USSR persuade (and not order, certainly) the different Communist parties that are on fully opportunist courses to change their politics to conform [sic] with that of the acts of the USSR.” (The faction’s Internal Bulletin No. 3, March 1964, p. 19, emphasis added)

In the final analysis, if in the USSR and in the “people’s democracies” the “liberal” (Khrushchevist) wing goes along with the political revolution, if this wing can through pressure (and not through orders!) lead the Communist parties in the capitalist countries to align their politics with the “revolutionary” course of this wing, what becomes of the role of the Fourth International? What would be its historical justification if you add that in the sector of the colonial countries, which he claims to monopolize, Comrade Pablo’s activities are characterized by the practical abandonment of any construction of an indigenous Trotskyist organization, beginning with Algeria? Merely reading Sous le Drapeau du Socialisme is enough to show that outside the fraudulent use of the label “African Commission of the Fourth International,” the magazine never makes the least effort to spread even the idea of an organization.

Still more, the indications noted above have been developed in the discussion article, It Is Time to See Clearly; namely, the idea of a mass International, not on the basis of a program, but on the basis of grouping together all tendencies in quite a different way than on the organizational principles of democratic centralism. It is worth reproducing here some lengthy extracts so that Comrade Pablo’s new ideas on the question of the International will stand out clearly:

“The rebuilding of ideological unity in the ranks of the international workers’ movement will take place from now on through the reconstruction of a type of new democratic International, whose programme must correspond to the new realities of our extraordinary century, and within which the right of free discussion and the right to ideological tendencies will be acknowledged.

“Only a very high level of ideological education and of socialist democracy can achieve recovery of the organic unity of the international workers’ movement, at present shattered under the harsh blows of the revolutionary reality of our time.

“It may be that the present crisis will be revealed historically as the one which finally prepared the coexistence of all currents of the international communist movement inside a single Communist Party in each country, with a democratic regime, and recognizing the rights of tendencies.”

“For in fact, the progress of the world revolution characteristic of our time, in which must be included the new revolutionary development now prevailing in the USSR, which expresses itself globally in ‘destalinisation’, tends towards a reconciliation of viewpoints on some essential problems, while posing at the same time the need for a free discussion, conducted on a very high level, in order to find efficacious answers for some questions new to the whole international communist movement, which are posed by the new realities of the revolutionary world in which we live. (It Is Time to See Clearly, September 27, 1963)

“A communist movement in which this possibility existed of democratically working out the political line through discussion could regroup all the communist tendencies. Those who excluded themselves would demonstrate at the outset their sectarianism or their Stalinism. Given the events which the communist movement must face, it could not avoid following this road. Togliatti’s text will remain as the one that first openly expressed this. There remains the form of this new communist international. Togliatti came out against a centralized organization. At the stage where the communist movement is, this is perhaps the only form. A centralized world party cannot really be Leninist unless its revolutionary politics, its profoundly democratic regime accompanies centralism. Otherwise it’s a matter of bureaucratic, authoritarian Stalinist centralism. In addition, it will surely not be useless to re-think the structure of the communist movement. The presence in the same international of parties in power a long time, of parties in the capitalist countries, of parties in power in the underdeveloped countries, etc., must probably find new forms of organization.” (The Testament of Togliatti, Sous le Drapeau du Socialisme, No. 10, October 1964)

Comrade Pablo has left far behind the following conclusion in his article In Praise of Trotskyism, an article which appears the light of his backsliding to have been an expression of an internal conflict between his past and his present departure from Trotskyism.

“We have succeeded in working out a tactic which takes into account the double necessity: to openly defend the complete line of revolutionary Marxism, to struggle practically in the ranks where the class is essentially active… Such a concept, flexible, bold, also difficult, of our practical action, implies an international organization of our tendency that is both highly political and disciplined. We know that our International is not that of the masses, nor can it be, as it now is, that of the masses of tomorrow. But it is absolutely indispensable for the cohesion, the survival, the future of the revolutionary Marxist tendency. It is thanks, in addition, to the firm voluntary discipline, resulting from a very high political education and consciousness, that the spearhead of the revolutionary Marxist tendency is felt in the combat and gives its militants physiognomy to our movement.” (Eloge du Trotskyisme [In Praise of Trotskyism], Quatrième Internationale, Nov. 16, July 1962)

Today Comrade Pablo is a long way from the Fourth International of “firm voluntary discipline.” In his current documents there is no more talk about the program of the Fourth International which must be defended and enriched in order to serve the mass Fourth International of tomorrow.

The point of departure now is “the new realities of our extraordinary century,” the new problems faced by the workers’ movement. Without any doubt, the current situation presents gigantic problems; but it is not possible to solve them solely through … free discussion and the right of tendencies. Togliatti likewise talks about new problems in order to call for new forms in the Communist movement; but he does not limit himself to that, he also proposes, in a quiet but insidious way, a political reply to at least some of the new problems, a reply which is not even “rightist Communist,” but revisionist. (It is impossible to imagine Bukharin or Brandler proposing to transform the bourgeois state from within into a workers state.) What Togliatti does is in accordance, moreover, with what can be called the classic pattern of the revisionists in introducing their merchandise – new problems have arisen and it is necessary to rethink our policies.

We have seen that Comrade Pablo, too, proceeds to revise the Trotskyist political positions on many problems, forgetting what our movement has defended and coming quite close on many points to the Khrushchevist or Titoist positions. In It Is Time to See Clearly he claims that “the progress of the world revolution… tends towards a reconciliation of viewpoints on some essential problems …” This is manifestly false. The rise of the revolution has on the contrary broken the monolithism and fostered a clash of diametrically opposed points of view. But the fact is that there was a reconciliation of the viewpoints of Comrade Pablo with those of Khrushchev, the Titoists, Togliatti, not only against the positions of the Chinese, but above all against the majority of the Fourth International.

The Organizational Difference

Trotskyists have never conducted an organizational struggle separated from defense of their political program. They have always given priority to the political issues. That is why Trotskyists have never combined with rightists against the Stalinists.

But a struggle over organizational principles is also a political struggle. And in this field, too, Comrade Pablo is revising (Sous le Drapeau du Socialisme prefers to say “re-thinking”) the organizational concepts of Trotskyism. It has become a habit with him to characterize the discipline which we appeal for within the frame of democratic centralism as “formal.” There is nothing “formal” about our organizational concepts. They are grounded in principles and theory just as much as the rest of our program. They are an integral part of our fundamental principles. They constitute the chapter entitled, Leninist Theory of Organization. A difference over this theory is just as “fundamental,” has as little to do with merely “formal” questions, as a difference over the Leninist theory of the state or the Marxist theory of value. That this difference shows up in a pattern of action rather than in verbal positions does not alter its gravity – an entire tendency of the LSSP recently approved a coalition with a bourgeois government in practice while still voicing the Leninist theory of the state.

The school of Lenin and Trotsky does not play around with party loyalty, with the International; it recognizes that only betrayals of historic sweep with regard to principles justifies splitting from the party or the International. As long as such a betrayal has not occurred, any break, any split, is irresponsible and ineffectual, even if one’s position is one hundred per cent correct. Because the objective is not only to be right but to incorporate this rightness in an organization capable of triumphing. And it is impossible to build an organization against a party to which the majority of the revolutionary cadres remain attached precisely because it has not betrayed the revolution (even if it may have committed some tactical errors).

In defending the integrity of the organization, we are acting not only in the interests of the Fourth International but also in the interests of the whole communist movement. One of the main struggles that most certainly must be conducted against the Stalinist concept of the party in this movement is the struggle for the right of tendencies. In this struggle the bureaucracy raises the well-known argument: freedom to form tendencies leads inevitably to splits. To grant freedom to form tendencies means installing a regime of permanent splits.

We must provide the practical proof that it is possible to combine complete freedom of discussion within the movement, rights of the most ample kind for tendencies, with the necessary discipline in action. We must provide the practical proof that the right of tendencies has nothing to do with the systematic organization of disintegrating factions, because it presupposes in the final analysis that party discipline takes precedence over any “tendency discipline”: it presupposes a common effort in clarifying and building the party.

It is by our practical behavior that we must provide the demonstration of the correctness of our theses. The Fourth International, by demonstrating that it is possible to combine the right of tendencies with discipline in external activities, will provide a thousand times more arguments in favor of freedom of tendencies within the world Communist movement than a hundred articles written in favor of de-Stalinization.

Here is our principle or organization: the minority, enjoying all the democratic rights of a tendency during the period of discussion and at Congresses adhere to the discipline of majority rule, even when it is convinced that it is one hundred per cent right, as long as it agrees that the International has not betrayed its principles, that the majority of the Trotskyist cadres are to be found within the International, without which it is impossible to forge the necessary instrument for the world revolution.

Comrade Pablo knows this principle as well as we do. He applied it for years, with much greater strictness than we have displayed today with regard to him. If he refuses to apply it from the moment he finds himself in a minority, there are only two possible explanations: either he is a cynical manipulator of people, believing in no principles, or he has in fact ceased to consider the cadres assembled in the Fourth International as essentially the forces necessary to assure the triumph of revolutionary Marxism in the world workers’ movement, without which the triumph of the world revolution is more than doubtful.

It is evidently the second hypothesis that gives us the key to the mystery. Comrade Pablo has begun to seriously doubt not only the value but even the utility of the Fourth International (the way in which he repeatedly writes that “the Fourth International will not be able to survive” except under such and such conditions, is quite significant in this respect!). It is the logical and ultimate conclusion of his views on de-Stalinization and on Khrushchev. His whole course is on this road. The extreme importance which he attaches to being able to address the public outside the International, even at the price of violating all its organizational principles, even at the price of closing the possibility of speaking to the members within the International, is the objective expression of this course.

In “re-thinking” the forms of organization, Comrade Pablo offers a strange argument: In his hypothetical International there would be parties at different levels of development. But wasn’t this the case in the past? Especially in the first years of the Third International? Is it possible to imagine the Marxist movement remaining at the same level of development in all countries for very long? Comrade Pablo’s argument fuses with the arguments of the rightists of the Italian Communist party and with that of the London Bureau. This argument only rounds out the rightist direction of his political course.

It is true that among his arguments on this subject, he adds that on the one hand a flexible application of democratic centralism is required, and that on the other, at a time when we call for a general discussion among all the tendencies of revolutionary Marxism, we must not try to muzzle a tendency that exists in our ranks.

We have long known that it is necessary to be flexible in organizational questions; but if the movement can reproach the leadership elected at the Reunification Congress with anything in this respect it is to have sinned by being too flexible toward Comrade Pablo who now recognizes no other organization but himself personally.

As for Comrade Pablo’s argument calling for the same rule inside the Fourth International as in the world Communist movement, it means quite simply putting the Fourth International on the same level as all the other organizations now existing; that is dissolving the Fourth International as such in both thought and action. This is what Comrade Pablo wishes to do.

This is the logical and inescapable end of his rightist course, of a course somewhere between Titoism and Khrushchevism. It is not the leadership of the International that makes life impossible for Comrade Pablo in the International; it is his policy, alien to Trotskyism, that compels him to conduct himself more and more as if he were outside of it and against it.

Only a few months ago, the leadership of the International tried to indicate the danger to him in articles that raised the question: “Where is Comrade Pablo Headed?” It is now clear that with the development of the international crisis of Stalinism, he turned in a direction farther and farther away from Trotskyism. He does not listen to the International any more. The new hypothetical International that he talks about, the one that permits all tendencies to live in complete fraternity, is a mirage which he is following away from our movement into the desert.

October 1, 1964


1. Besides this it is necessary to add a series of Khrushchev’s reforms which were not only (or not so much) concessions to the masses as measures of indispensable rationalization to bring the economic system out of the blind alley in which Stalin had plunged it. This is especially the case with many economic reforms such as the installation of Sovnarkhozes, the extension of the work and jurisdiction of the COMECON, the utilization of electronic calculating machines, the employment of techniques of operational research. These measures are no more “concessions to the masses” than the similar reforms introduced by neo-capitalism.

2. On the accusation of Comrade Pablo that I displayed the “height of cowardice” in “beating a retreat” on our position on the Sino-Soviet conflict, I simply cite the May 1964 issue of Quatrième Internationale. I declared at the plenum, and I still maintain, that the majority always distinguished the Chinese bureaucracy from the Chinese revolution and the Chinese tendency in the international Communist movement. One only need re-read the political resolution of the Reunification Congress to see this. Comrade Pablo, who denies this, and who claims that we uncritically supported the “Stalinist line of the Chinese bureaucracy,” is simply displaying bad faith.

Last updated on 11.6.2011