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Fourth International, November-December 1951 1951


Manager’s Column


From Fourth International, Vol.12 No.6, November-December 1951, p.130.
Transcription & mark-up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


We take special pride in presenting this issue of Fourth International to the American labor and radical public. Taken together, the speeches and documents of the Third World Congress of the Fourth International which have been translated from its press service, provide the most comprehensive analysis of the rapidly changing world situation yet to appear. They are an indispensable guide for a real understanding of the “cold war,” the “two camps,” of the nature and consequences of World War III if and when it occurs.

At the same time we are not unaware of the difficulties many readers find in following the style used in resolutions which strive more for scientific precision than for popular presentation. The reader will discover, as we have, that the subject, matter is so informative, so penetrating into the reality of our time as to make the additional effort required well worth the time. However, we are fortunate in this case in being able to publish the repoits to the Congress. These speeches are an elaboration and explanation of the various documents and should provide an excellent introduction to them.

The key resolution is the one called Theses on Orientation and Perspectives. It seeks to unravel the main trends operating in the world today and thus to determine the nature and direction of the tempestuous developments which are in the making. The resolution on The International Situation is a rounded political and economic analysis of present events. Both documents are introduced by the report of Michel Pablo.

The importance of the other thre resolutions – on Eastern Europe, Yugoslavia and Latin America – should be self-evident. They probe into the process by which one-third of Europe shook itself loose from capitalism but still remained under the Kremlin’s domination and on the other hand how Yugooslavia became a workers’ state, why it broke from Stalin’s yoke, and its evolution since the famous split. The two resolutions are introduced by separate reports. The Latin American resolution, which stands by itself, should be of special interest in our country. It represents the most substantial Marxist contribution to a study of the problems of a vast, awakening continent which will soon follow Asia and the Middle East into the worldwide social crisis.

A word about the Fourth International. We do not have the space here to describe the history of the three Internationals which preceded the Fourth, or to discuss the causes for their rise and decline. Those interested in the subject should consult the catalogue of books and pamphlets on the back cover for reading material.

The Fourth International is an organization of working-class parties and groups in some 30 countries on all continents. It was founded in 1938, under the leadership of Leon Trotsky, to champion the program betrayed by the Stalinist-dominated Third International. The struggle against the perversion of the Comintern – scuttled in 1943 as part of a deal between Stalin and his “democratic” capitalist allies – into a tool of the Soviet bureaucracy is one of the most significant chapters in the struggle for Marxism and internationalism in the workers’ movement. Despite reaction, war, isolation and persecution, the Fourth International has never wavered from this program.

The material contained herein is reprinted for the information of our readers and does not necessarily reflect the views of this magazine. Although we share in common the same general ideology, the magazine Fourth International has no binding or official connection to the organization of the same name. The name was adopted in 1940 when the Trotskyist movement in the US was formally affiliated with the Fourth International. These connections were dissolved when the Voorhis Act virtually outlawed international ties for anyone except the State Department and the Roman Catholic Church.

The act was another measure of the reactionary decadence of our ruling circles. It was, we are confident, a futile attempt to stop the progress of ideas, which unlike persons and organizations, cannot be stopped at the frontier.

With these words we turn the magazine over to you, its readers.

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Last updated on: 24 March 2009