- Fifth International
The phrase Fifth International refers to the efforts made by some sections of the
Far leftto create a new Workers' International.
There have been many previous international workers' organisations, and the call for a Fifth International presupposes the recognition of four in particular, all of which regarded themselves as the successor to the previous ones:
International Workingmen's Association, created by Karl Marxand Friedrich Engelsin 1864.
# The Second International, also known as the
Socialist International, was founded in 1889. It is the only one that still exists undisputed (see The Fourth International below) today, but most of its member parties are social democraticrather than revolutionary socialists.
# The Communist International (Comintern). It was founded by
Vladimir Leninin 1919, in the wake of the Russian Revolution. The Comintern eventually came under the full control of Stalinafter his rise to power, and was dissolved in 1943 by Stalin as a concession to the Western Allies who were supporting his government during World War II. It was followed by the Cominformfrom 1947 to 1956.
Fourth Internationalwas founded in 1938 by Leon Trotsky, the leader of the communist opposition against Stalinism. It was meant to replace the Comintern, which Trotsky believed to be irreformable and to have crossed over to counter-revolutionunder the control of a bureaucratic elite in the Soviet Union; however, some Trotskyists argue that the Fourth International broke down politically in the decade following World War II.
For some, the call for a fifth international implies a
Trotskyistbackground, and a belief that the Fourth Internationaland its splits have degenerated to such an extent that a new International is necessary.
In November 1938, just two months after the founding congress of the Fourth International, seven members of the
POUMon trial in Barcelonadeclared their support for a "fighting Fifth International". ["During the trial Poum defendants stressed that, while they 'admired Trotsky,' they regarded his Fourth International as too academic and favored a fighting Fifth International." Time Magazine, November 7, 1938, http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,788849,00.html] . The Argentine Trotskyist Liborio Justo, better know as "Quebracho", called for a fifth international when he broke from Trotsykism in 1941. [ [http://www.marxists.org/history/etol/document/argentina/arg03.htm#f78 Argentine Trotskyism, Part III - RH ] ] Another call for a fifth International was made by Lyndon LaRoucheafter leaving the Spartacist League in 1965 [ [http://www.publiceye.org/larouche/Wohlforth.html PublicEye.org - A '60's Socialist Takes a Hard Right ] ] . Later, a 'Fifth International of Communists' was founded in 1994 by several very small former Trotskyist groups around the Movement for a Socialist Future.
In 2003, the League for a Revolutionary Communist International called for the formation of the Fifth International "as soon as possible - not in the distant future but in the months and years ahead". [ [http://www.arbetarmakt.com/english.php Arbetarmakt - LFI: Forward to the Fifth International ] ] The LRCI changed its name at this time to League for the Fifth International.
Currently, the forces calling for a Fifth International are limited to the
League for the Fifth International(LFI), which has sections in Austria, Britain, Czech Republic, Germany and Sweden and sympathising groups in Pakistan (the Revolutionary Socialist Movement) and Sri Lanka (the Socialist Party of Sri Lanka). The League for the Fifth International campaigns in the European Social Forumand the international labour movementfor the formation of a new International. Hugo Chavezhas announced that he will seek to create a new international, which because of the size of the party he has made in Venezuela, could become an actual fifth international: "2008 could be a good time to convoke a meeting of left parties in Latin America to organise a new international, an organisation of parties and movements of the left in Latin America and the Caribbean". [http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?ItemID=13687] , [http://www.monthlyreview.org/mrzine/chavez270807.html]
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