The 17th Congress of EEK held in Athens, on 11-13 June 2021, voted unanimously on the following decision:
1. The globalization of social life promoted by capital clashes sharply with the limits of capital itself, leading to the “perfect storm” of the unresolved post-2008 global capitalist crisis and pandemic-a life threatening catastrophe
2. Capitalism is now incompatible with the actual process of Life. Global problems require global solutions. Only a universal class at the head of the popular masses can provide these solutions: the proletariat – “old”, young, working and unemployed, “nomadic” – in the Global North and Global South. It is a historical necessity for this proletariat to be reconstituted in a revolutionary International that will embody and transcend the legacy of the international revolutionary workers movement and of all liberation, emancipatory movements.
3. There can be no revolutionary politics and revolutionary party within the limits of a single country, just as “socialism in a single country” is impossible. The Revolutionary Party is built as a part of the building of the revolutionary International, of a World Party of the permanent socialist revolution.
4. The First International brought the working class to the forefront of history. The Second organized it into mass parties and trade unions. The Third was established with the victory of the soviets in October 1917. All three had long ago exhausted their course historically and there is no question of their re-establishment, even on an improved or renewed programmatic basis.
5. The Fourth International was founded by Trotsky and his comrades amid the most colossal defeats of the international revolutionary movement, when “it was midnight in the century”, under the most difficult conditions ever faced by the revolutionary vanguard faithfully pursuing the October Revolution. It was historically necessary, historically justified and historically incomplete. Its purpose was not just to fight against Stalinism but to complete, on a world scale, the work of social transformation begun in October 1917.
6. The collapses of 1989-91 in Eastern Europe and the USSR, the turn to counter-revolutionary capitalist restoration in the former Soviet space and in China, have not closed the historical circle opened by the October Revolution under the leadership of Lenin, Trotsky and the Bolsheviks. The present “perfect storm” is the Nemesis after the hubris of capitalism and its triumphalism following the dissolution of the USSR. The myth of an “end of history and communism” has now been pulverized The historical disorientation, however, remains dominant, especially with the abandonment of the prospect of revolution in the foreseeable future and its explicit or implicit substitution by the search for gradual changes, islands of “emancipation” in an ocean of capitalist barbarism or “structural transformations” without a revolutionary break with the capitalist system, the power structures, the State, without the seizure of power of the working class based on the organs of the self-organized popular masses.
7. The Movement for the Re-foundation of the 4th International (MRFI),since 1997, and the Coordinating Committee for the Re-foundation of the Fourth International (CRFI), since 2004, has been a line of resistance to the liquidationist trend that have nearly destroyed all the other international re-groupments with a reference to the 4th International. It defended the historical legacy of revolutionary Marxism in conditions of historical disorientation and political nihilism dominating the entire space of the international Left. It elaborated perspectives and a program on the nature of the epoch, the Permanent Revolution, the method of the Transitional Program of the 4th International. In particular, it brought to light, in the updated Program, discussed and voted at the International Congress in Buenos Aires in 2004, the destabilizing interaction of restoration in the East and global capitalist crisis, the exacerbation, rather than the “super-session” of the contradictions of world capitalism after 1991, as other political trends were preaching. The CRFI, thus, was able to predict the systemic global collapse of 2007-08.
Despite this achievement, unresolved internal contradictions and tensions within the Coordinating Committee for the Refoundation of the Fourth International, were not resolved but escalated, leading to a growing paralysis and then to implosion. The CRFI aspired to bring together, on a programmatic basis, in its project, forces from different political traditions of the Trotskyist movement and forces beyond it that were coming onto the stage of the global class struggle. As a project it wanted to brake with and go beyond the “traditional” pattern followed by the various international regroupments and sects self-proclaiming to be the Fourth International or a movement for its reconstruction, etc., where satellites or clones were gathered around a larger national Mother-Party or organization in a country. Despite certainly of essential differences with other projects of re-groupment, however, the center of gravity remained in the more massive Partido Obrero of Argentina. Its split in 2019 became the center of the disintegrating crisis of the international organization as such, at the moment precisely when the 2008 global crisis was breaking out confirming the CRFI prognosis. The split in the PO and the disintegrating crisis of the CRFI was not an isolated event. Similar crisis phenomena occurred simultaneously in nearly all other international organizations and parties of the Trotskyist and non Trotskyist Left, especially in Europe and America A most recent but not the last one is the disintegrating crisis and split in the NPA of France. Indeed, the adaptation to bourgeois parliamentarianism, including the first successes in the electoral field eventually brought disastrous results, especially in Argentina (PO and FIT) and France (NPA).
In Argentina, the EEK does not keep “equal distances” to the split in the PO. With the “official” PO there is a mutual rupture of relations since summer 2019 due to its right-wing electoralist course. Despite our critical, independent stand towards PO-Tendencia, we keep our contacts with it. We have accepted its invitations and we participated , presenting our own political views, at important internationalist events, such as the 80th anniversary of Trotsky’s assassination on 20 August 2020 or in May Day 2021 as well as observers at its 2nd National Conference in December 2020.
Today more than ever, the EEK insists for the need of a critical assessment of the whole experience of the Coordinating Committee for the Re-Foundation of the Fourth International This assessment has to be expanded to the entire historical course of the Fourth internationalist movement after Trotsky’s assassination, by using a Marxist methodology, avoiding the dangers of unhistorical nihilism and the dominant skepticism.
8. The struggle for the 4th International, a struggle does not belong to the past but to the present and the immediate future. It remains alive and relevant. Its actuality rests on the material basis of the imperialist epoch off capitalist decline itself. Revolutionary Marxism is “the highest theoretical consciousness of the epoch” and its fusion with the masses furthest removed from theory takes place in the revolution process itself as, the “violent inspiration of History”, as Trotsky wrote in My Life. The Permanent Revolution is not an arbitrary artificial construction but the constantly renewed conscious expression of the unconscious historical process, the reflection of the epoch itself in itself.
Following the assassination of Trotsky and the extermination of the most experienced cadres of the new International before and during the 2nd World War by fascism, democratic imperialism and Stalinism,, confusion prevailed, serious mistakes were committed, revisionist, liquidationist or sectarian tendencies were generated by the long isolation of the vanguard in a minority position. But despite the fragmentation of the forces of the Fourth International, the central core that keeps alive and makes vital the project of the Fourth International is precisely the material-historical basis of the theory and practice of the Permanent Revolution.
9. How do the EEK will proceed in this struggle immediately after our 17th Congress?
We must avoid both the Scylla of national isolation and the Charybdis of international sect self-proclaiming to be the 4th International. At the same time we oppose to regress to forms of International organization that have been historically and irrevocably exhausted.
The EEK already has developed a rich network of international relations all over the world, first of all, with the parties and organizations participating in the International Socialist Center “Christian Rakovsky” – DIP (Turkey), MTL (Finland), ROR (France) ΡΠΚ (Russia), OKP (Russia), Association for the “Soviet Union” – and militants in Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the Middle East and Africa.
We are always open to the dialogue and joint action with all living class struggle and emancipatory forces, “old” and new, who are re-entering the arena of mass struggle against capitalism, imperialism, patriarchy and all forms of oppression, and seeking an alternative international and internationalist perspective.
10. The former Balkan and now International Socialist Center “Christian Rakovsky” is neither a remnant of the past nor a regional substitute of the revolutionary International. It was founded and intervened in the fire of the NATO war against the former Yugoslavia, under the banner of proletarian internationalism and for the struggle for the International. It expanded further into the Middle East during the second intifada as well as into the former Soviet space and Russia. It organized four Euro-Mediterranean Conferences in Athens (2013, 2014, 2015, 2017). It generated many expectations and possibilities. Now it is needed more than ever to move to a proper Conference or Congress, which will equip it with an updated Program, statutes of its members and definition of its connection with the RedMed website.
On this path we continue, expand and deepen the dialogue and joint action with all our contacts in North and Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia, with the firm goal of building the 4th International.
The 17th Congress of the EEK
Athens 11-13 June 2021