MIA: History: ETOL: Documents: International Communist League/Spartacists—PRS 4

Yugoslavia, East Europe and the Fourth International:
The Evolution of Pabloist Liquidationism

Editorial Note

Written: 1993
Source: Prometheus Research Library, Prometheus Research Series No. 4, New York, 1993
Transcription/Markup/Proofing: John Heckman.
Public Domain: Encyclopedia of Trotskyism On-Line 2007/Prometheus Research Library. You can freely copy, display and otherwise distribute this work. Please credit the Marxists Internet Archive & Prometheus Research Library as your source, include the url to this work, and note the transcribers & editors above.

“Yugoslavia, East Europe and the Fourth International: The Evolution of Pabloist Liquidationism” was originally prepared as a contribution to discussions between the International Communist League (Fourth Internationalist) and the Partido Bolchevique por la Cuarta Internacional (PBCI) of Argentina. It was published in the ICL’s International Discussion Bulletin No. 30 (October 1992) as part of the discussion for the Second International Conference of the ICL, which was held in the late autumn of 1992.

At the ICL conference, a panel discussion on “The Fourth International and the Fight for the Continuity of Trotskyism” examined the rise of the revisionist current led by Michel Pablo which destroyed the Fourth International in the early 1950s. Comrade Jan Norden, a member of the Central Committee of the Spartacist League/U.S. and of the International Executive Committee of the ICL, traced the evolution of Pabloism in the flawed response of the Fourth International to the Yugoslav Revolution and the 1948 Tito-Stalin split, while other panelists examined the influence of the Algerian independence struggle on the development of Pabloism in France, and the history of liquidation of the German Pabloists into the Social Democracy in the 1950s. The conference mandated the early publication of Norden’s document, which represents a significant extension of our 1972 Spartacist article “Genesis of Pabloism.” “Yugoslavia, East Europe and the Fourth International: The Evolution of Pabloist Liquidationism” assumes a knowledge of “Genesis of Pabloism,” which is included in this bulletin.

Based on the discussion at the ICL conference and in preparation for its publication as Prometheus Research Series No. 4, “Yugoslavia, East Europe and the Fourth International: The Evolution of Pabloist Liquidationism” has been revised and portions of an 8 August 1992 letter to the PBCI incorporated into it. The notes have been expanded to reflect the extensive documentation assembled from French- and English-language publications of the Fourth International, as well as from archival sources. We are not able to reprint in this bulletin a representative selection of the documentary record cited. We have included a few items from the early period immediately following the June 1948 announcement of the Tito-Stalin split, because most of these are not readily available in existing document collections.

We publish the International Secretariat’s initial circular to all sections of the Fourth International on the “Tito affair,” as well as the two “Open Letters” which the International Secretariat addressed to the Yugoslav Communist Party in July 1948. The leaderships of both the French and British sections of the Fourth International opposed the accommodation to Tito reflected in these Open Letters. We publish one document from each of these oppositional currents: a resolution adopted by the Fifth Congress of the French Parti Communiste Internationaliste, held in July 1948, and a letter by British Revolutionary Communist Party leader Jock Haston to the International Executive Committee, undated but written some time in the late summer of 1948.

Those who wish to pursue further study of the documentary record are directed to the many sources cited in the text. In the 1970s the American Socialist Workers Party reproduced many of the most important documents from the history of the Fourth International in its Education for Socialists pamphlet series, which is still in print; many documents reprinted in the Education for Socialists series are cited in the notes. Much documentation is available in French in the four-volume series edited by Rodolphe Prager, Les congrès de la IVe Internationale (manifestes, thèses, résolutions), published in the 1980s by La Brèche-PEC. Where a French-language source is cited in this bulletin, the English translation was provided by the library staff.

Prometheus Research Library
March 1993