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Paul G. Stevens

In the World of Labor

(20 April 1940)

From Socialist Appeal, Vol IV No. 16, 20 April 194o, p. 4.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Three Organizations Decide to Unite as 4th International Party

Fermin Olea, fraternal delegate of the Revolutionary Socialist Party of Chile to the Third National Convention of the Socialist Workers Party, provided us with the following summary on the Chilean situation and the formation of the R.S.P.:

  1. The Socialist Party entered the Popular Front combination in 1937 with a fifty-point platform; but the real point of the Popular Front was to elect a presidential candidate opposed to Gustavo Ross. The Popular Front candidate was the bourgeois radical, Pedro Aguirre Cerda, and the Socialist Party sacrificed its own candidate, its leader Grove.
  2. After the victory in the October 25, 1938, election, the Socialist Party convoked a General Congress in December to decide on its participation in the new government. At that congress were to be observed the first symptoms of open opposition to the reformist politics of the S.P.
  3. This opposition grew in the course of the first year of the Popular Front government. The first serious incidents came in September 1939, when the Central Executive Committee of the Socialist Party attempted to effect a rapprochement with the Vanguardia Popular Socialista (a movement previously openly pro-Nazi but which, with the support of the Stalinists, had entered the Popular Front). With a combination with this organization, the S.P. leadership thought to counter-balance the Stalinist-Radical bourgeois alliance which was outweighing the S.P. in government decisions.

    The Socialist Youth Federation (Federacion Juvenil Socialista) did not accept the S.P. policy and its general secretary, Krug, together with other leaders and active youth, were violently expelled from the S.P. These elements formed the Revolutionary Socialist Left (Izquierda Revolucionaria Socialista) in November, 1939.
  4. New incidents came just before the VI General Congress of the S.P. which took place at the end of December 1939. Numerous militants were expelled and various sections reorganized by the S.P. Leadership.

    Two tendencies constituted the opposition: one which was organized around Cesar Godoy, an S.P. deputy in parliament, and another, Trotskyist, which was organized under the name Ala Izquierda Socialista (Left Socialist). The two tendencies agreed in their condemnation of the dishonest practices of the government, of the S.P. leadership and of the leadership of the trade unions, whose principal body, the Confederacion de Trabajadores (Workers Confederation) is controlled by the S.P. and the Communist Party, with a slight majority in the hands of the S.P.

    The Left Socialists and the Godoy group made an agreement on the following platform: (1) Democratic centralism and liberty of discussion; (2) reinstatement into the party of those expelled for political reasons; (3) the candidacy of Godoy for General Secretary of the party.
  5. Grove was elected General Secretary over Godoy by an insignificant majority. The result was that many militants left the party. These, together with those expelled, constituted in January 1940 the Revolutionary Socialist Party (Partido Socialista Revolucionario) and immediately established contact with the previously-organized Revolutionary Socialist Left and with ex-members of the Communist Party who had become disgusted with the Stalinist regime and its international politics.
  6. At the Congress of the Revolutionary Socialist Left in February, there were fraternal delegations from the Revolutionary Socialist Party and the Internationalist Workers Group (Grupo Internacionalista Obrero), (the latter has been affiliated to the Fourth International for some time). At this Congress it was agreed to form a Committee for Unification of the three organizations.
  7. In March the Revolutionary Socialist Party published its first pamphlet, which consists of a Manifesto, a Declaration of Principles, a program of action, and the statutes of the party. A second publication, a new translation of Marx’s Criticism of the Gotha Program, in the press.

    In its Declaration of Principles, the Revolutionary Socialist Party declares that the World Party of Socialist Revolution (the Fourth International), “represents with fidelity and purity the interests of the working class,” and in its statutes states that the party’s International is the Fourth International.
  8. The new party that will result from the fusion of these organizations has great perspectives: (1) Because its militants and its theories are imbued with the Trotskyist ideas of proletarian internationalism. (2) Because those discontented with the Socialist Party do not find in any other group a firm ideological base. (3) Because those discontented with the Communist Party have not succeeded in creating any other independent group. (4) Because the new party has a genuine and effective proletarian base and many of its militants are those who developed the active trade union work of the C.P. and S.P.

March 1940

Fermin Olea

* * *

After attending the S.W.P. convention, comrade Olea added the following appendix to his report:

“Concerning the international question raised by the war, the German-Soviet pact and the war in Finland, the P.S.R. had not taken, at the time of my departure from Chile, any official position; but in the Central Committee there prevailed the position supported by the national convention of the American party. The same thing happened in the Revolutionary Socialist Left and the Internationalist Workers Group.

“I believe that in no case will a minority in the P.S.R. take a stand against the unity of the party, and this position will also be maintained in the course of the process of unification between the P.S.R. and the other groups.”

It is clear that our movement in Chile is leaving the stage of propaganda groups. A unified party of the forces at our disposal in Chile means, from its inception, a party of action in the mass movement.

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