History of the Fourth International

Socialism and the centenary of the Russian Revolution: 1917-2017

By David North and Joseph Kishore, 3 January 2017

A specter is haunting world capitalism: the specter of the Russian Revolution. This year marks the centenary of the world-historical events of 1917, which began with the February Revolution in Russia and culminated in October with the conquest of political power by the Bolshevik Party, under the leadership of Lenin and Trotsky.

Security and the Fourth International

The Smith Act trial and government infiltration of the Trotskyist movement—Part two

Why wasn’t Joseph Hansen a defendant in the Smith Act trial?

By Eric London, 9 December 2016

A new book, Trotskyists on Trial: Free Speech and Political Persecution Since the Age of FDR, by Donna T. Haverty-Stacke, reveals a previously unknown level of FBI surveillance of the Trotskyist movement in the US.

Security and the Fourth International

The Smith Act trial and government infiltration of the Trotskyist movement—Part one

By Eric London, 8 December 2016

A new book, Trotskyists on Trial: Free Speech and Political Persecution Since the Age of FDR, by Donna T. Haverty-Stacke, reveals a previously unknown level of FBI surveillance of the Trotskyist movement in the US.

Build the Socialist Equality Party (France)!

15 November 2016

This statement was adopted as the historical and political basis for the founding of the Parti de l’égalité socialiste, the French section of the ICFI.

The International Committee of the Fourth International founds its French section

By our reporter, 15 November 2016

The International Committee of the Fourth International has recognized the Parti de l'égalité socialiste as its French section.

Hundreds attend lecture by David North in Frankfurt, Germany

By our correspondents, 25 October 2016

In a lecture titled “Philosophy and Politics in Times of War and Revolution,” David North presented his book The Frankfurt School, Postmodernism and the Politics of the Pseudo-Left.

Trotsky in New York, 1917: A Radical on the Eve of Revolution, by Kenneth D. Ackerman

By Linda Tenenbaum, 8 October 2016

Trotsky in New York, 1917 focuses on a remarkable period in the life of one of the greatest political figures in modern history.

The Life and Times of Bill Brust

By David North, 15 September 2016

This speech, originally delivered by David North at a memorial meeting in Minneapolis in 1991, reviews the life and political legacy of Bill Brust.

A remembrance of veteran Trotskyist Bill Brust, twenty-five years after his death

By Fred Mazelis, 15 September 2016

Today marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the death of veteran Trotskyist Bill Brust, whose political struggle as a revolutionary socialist spanned 53 years.

Eighty years since the first Moscow Trial

By Fred Williams, 1 September 2016

In carrying out these trials, Joseph Stalin was launching an assault on the legacy and the leaders of the first successful socialist revolution.

Socialist Equality Party (US) 2016 Congress Resolutions

Perspectives and Tasks of the Socialist Equality Party

24 August 2016

The Socialist Equality Party in the US held its Fourth National Congress from July 31 to August 5 in Detroit, Michigan.

A further comment on the death of David King, socialist and artist

By David Walsh, 19 May 2016

King was a brilliant graphic designer, photographer, illustrator, archivist, researcher, editor, historian and art collector.

David King 1943-2016: Revolutionary socialist, artist and defender of historical truth

By David North, 14 May 2016

David King, who devoted his extraordinary gifts as an artist to salvaging the historical truth of the Russian Revolution of 1917 and its aftermath from beneath the vast edifice of Stalinist crimes and lies, died suddenly in London on May 11.

May Day 2016: Introductory report by David North

By David North, 2 May 2016

We are publishing here the introductory remarks to the International Online May Day Rally by David North, chairman of the WSWS International Editorial Board and national chairman of the Socialist Equality Party (US).

Hundreds attend meetings in Leipzig, Germany on the danger of war and the politics of the pseudo-left

By our correspondents, 22 March 2016

Nearly 500 participants attended two meetings held by Mehring Verlag at the Leipzig Book Fair on The Frankfurt School, Postmodernism and the Politics of the Pseudo-Left: A Marxist Critique and Scholarship or War Propaganda?.

SEP (Sri Lanka) holds public meeting on 75th anniversary of Leon Trotsky’s assassination

By our correspondents, 30 December 2015

Well aware that World War II would produce revolutionary upheavals, neither Stalinism nor imperialism could tolerate Trotsky’s continued existence.

Public meetings in Australia mark 75th anniversary of Leon Trotsky’s murder

By our correspondents, 23 December 2015

There was intense interest as speakers explained the significance of Trotsky’s life and work, and why and how he was assassinated by Stalin’s secret police, the GPU.

Workers and youth speak on Trotsky’s life and death

By our correspondents, 23 December 2015

WSWS correspondents interviewed some of those who attended the meetings last week in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne on “How and Why the GPU Murdered Trotsky” [link]. Members of the audience were asked about why they had come to the meetings and what they thought were the most significant aspects of the reports delivered on Trotsky’s life, his assassination and the Security and the Fourth International investigation, conducted by the International Committee of the Fourth International, into the circumstances surrounding Trotsky’s murder.

An open letter

Socialist Equality Party (UK) demands the Undercover Police Inquiry release the names of all police agents and spies

By Socialist Equality Party, 10 December 2015

Even the small amount of information in the public domain makes clear that undercover officers were involved in and directed criminal activity.

The Heritage We Defend is now available in e-pub format

8 December 2015

The Heritage We Defend, which reviews the political and theoretical disputes inside the Fourth International, is now available in e-pub form. It is essential reading for a new generation coming into struggle against capitalism.

The Political Lessons of Syriza’s Betrayal in Greece

Statement of the International Committee of the Fourth International

13 November 2015

The warnings of the ICFI and WSWS that Syriza was a pro-capitalist party, hostile to the working class, have been completely vindicated.

World Socialist Web Site online interview commemorates 75 years since the assassination of Leon Trotsky

5 October 2015

The second part of the interview series will take place Saturday, October 10, at 1:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time.

Seventy-five years since the assassination of Leon Trotsky

By David North, 30 September 2015

The assassination of the greatest leader of the 1917 October Revolution marked the climax of the Stalinist regime’s eradication of the socialist workers and intellectuals who had secured the victory of the Bolshevik revolution.

David North to speak at public meetings in US: Why and How the GPU Murdered Leon Trotsky

16 September 2015

At meetings marking 75 years since Trotsky’s assassination, North will speak on the significance of Trotsky’s murder at the hands of the Stalinist GPU and the origins and findings of the Security and the Fourth International investigation.

75 years since the assassination of Trotsky: 1940-2015

Leon Trotsky’s place in history

By David North, 21 August 2015

Published here is a section of a lecture delivered on the 60th anniversary of the assassination of Leon Trotsky. The full lecture is included in David North’s book, In Defense of Leon Trotsky.

Seventy-five years since the assassination of Leon Trotsky

By Joseph Kishore, 20 August 2015

Seventy-five years after his death, Trotsky emerges ever more clearly as a world historical figure who not only influenced the course of the 20th century, but whose writings and ideas remain an essential guide for orienting the working class today.

The curious career of Cheryl Gwyn, New Zealand’s inspector-general of intelligence and security

By Tom Peters and John Braddock, 15 August 2015

Gwyn, who oversees New Zealand’s state spy apparatus, was once a member of the Pabloite Socialist Action League.

Trotskyism and the Minneapolis Teamsters Strike of 1934

Revolutionary Teamsters: The Minneapolis Truckers’ Strike of 1934, by Bryan Palmer

By Tom Mackaman and Jerry White, 24 June 2015

A recent book by historian Bryan Palmer chronicles the role of American Trotskyists in leading one of the most important strikes in US history.

Sri Lankan pseudo-left dresses up US regime-change as a “democratic revolution”

By K. Ratnayake, 6 March 2015

The grubbier the political whitewash, the bigger the lies and historical falsifications—and it so proves to be the case with NSSP leader Karunaratne.

US-Cuban rapprochement: The lessons of history

By Bill Van Auken and David North, 19 December 2014

Hailed by governments and corporations as a historic turning point, the move to “normalize” US-Cuban ties raises profound historical questions for the working class and the socialist movement.

The LSSP’s Great Betrayal: Part 2

LSSP rejects the ICFI’s defence of Trotskyism

By Saman Gunadasa, 10 October 2014

The second of four articles on the political lessons of the entry of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party into the Sri Lankan government of Madame Sirima Bandaranaike in June 1964.

Sri Lankan SEP/IYSSE public lecture series: Fifty years since the LSSP’s betrayal

4 October 2014

The lectures will discuss the vital political lessons of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party’s entry into a bourgeois coalition government in 1964.

Bala Tampoe (1922–2014): Socialist revolutionary turned class traitor

By Nanda Wickremasinghe and Wije Dias, 13 September 2014

Tampoe’s political degeneration was bound up with the Lanka Sama Samaja Party’s backsliding, which culminated in its 1964 entry into a bourgeois government.

Interview with Tatiana Isaeva

By our reporter, 28 February 2014

Tatiana Isaeva is the granddaughter of the Marxist literary critic Aleksandr Konstantinovich Voronsky, a Bolshevik from 1904 and participant in the revolutions of 1905 and 1917 who later became an important figure in the Left Opposition.

Interview with Zorya Serebryakova

By our reporter, 27 February 2014

Zorya Leonidovna Serebryakova’s father, Leonid Petrovich Serebryakov, was a leading Bolshevik and Left Oppositionist. One of the main defendants in the Second Moscow Trial, he was found guilty and shot on February 1, 1937.

WSWS publishes interviews with children of the Left Opposition

By Fred Williams and Clara Weiss, 25 February 2014

The World Socialist Web Site is publishing interviews with three children of Soviet Left Oppositionists—Tatiana Smilga, Zorya Serebryakova and Yuri Primakov—and with Tatiana Isaeva, granddaughter of the outstanding Marxist literary critic, Alexander Voronsky.

Interview with Tatiana Smilga-Poluyan

By our reporter, 25 February 2014

Ivar Tenisovich Smilga, the father of Tatiana Smilga-Poluyan, was one of the leading members of the Bolshevik Party during the October Revolution and one of Lenin’s closest confidants.

Berlin rally commemorates 75th anniversary of the Fourth International

By our correspondents, 5 December 2013

Leading representatives of the Partei für Soziale Gleichheit of Germany and the Socialist Equality Party of Britain spoke at a November 30 meeting to mark the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Fourth International.

Socialist Equality Party (Australia) Statement of Principles

12 March 2010

The World Socialist Web Site is publishing the Socialist Equality Party (Australia) Statement of Principles. The document was adopted unanimously at the party’s founding congress in Sydney on January 21–25.

The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia)—Part 11

11 March 2010

The World Socialist Web Site continues publication of The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia). The document was adopted unanimously at the party’s founding congress in Sydney on January 21–25.

The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia)—Part 10

10 March 2010

The World Socialist Web Site continues publication of The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia). The document was adopted unanimously at the party’s founding congress in Sydney on January 21–25.

The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia)—Part 9

9 March 2010

The World Socialist Web Site continues publication of The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia). The document was adopted unanimously at the party’s founding congress in Sydney on January 21–25.

The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia)—Part 8

8 March 2010

The World Socialist Web Site continues publication of The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia). The document was adopted unanimously at the party’s founding congress in Sydney on January 21–25.

The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia)—Part 7

6 March 2010

The World Socialist Web Site continues publication of The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia). The document was adopted unanimously at the party’s founding congress in Sydney on January 21–25.

The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia)—Part 6

5 March 2010

The World Socialist Web Site continues publication of The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia). The document was adopted unanimously at the party’s founding congress in Sydney on January 21–25.

The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia)—Part 5

4 March 2010

The World Socialist Web Site continues publication of The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia). The document was adopted unanimously at the party’s founding congress in Sydney on January 21–25.

The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia)—Part 4

3 March 2010

The World Socialist Web Site continues publication of The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia). The document was adopted unanimously at the party’s founding congress in Sydney on January 21–25.

The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia)—Part 3

2 March 2010

The World Socialist Web Site continues publication of The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia). The document was adopted unanimously at the party’s founding congress in Sydney on January 21–25.

The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia)—Part 2

1 March 2010

The World Socialist Web Site continues publication of The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia). The document was adopted unanimously at the party’s founding congress in Sydney on January 21–25.

The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia)—Part 1

27 February 2010

The World Socialist Web Site today begins the publication of The Historical and International Foundations of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia). The document was adopted unanimously at the party’s founding congress in Sydney on January 21–25.

Opening report to the SEP (Australia) Founding Congress

By Nick Beams, 27 February 2010

The following is the opening report delivered by Nick Beams, national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), to the SEP’s founding congress held in Sydney on January 21–25.

Australian Pabloites prepare NPA-style dissolution

By Laura Tiernan, 12 November 2009

The Democratic Socialist Perspective will dissolve itself into the ailing Socialist Alliance electoral front in January 2010. Modelled closely on France’s New Anti-capitalist Party, the DSP is making a pitch for allies in official bourgeois politics, above all the Greens.

Japan’s elections: the Communist Party’s role

By Peter Symonds, 28 August 2009

At a critical turning point in Japanese politics, the Communist Party is positioning itself as a safety valve for the political establishment.

The struggle against centrism and the founding of the Fourth International

Part three

By Bill Van Auken, 17 April 2009

There is perhaps no part of the political and theoretical heritage left by Trotsky that has been the object of more sustained and diverse attacks and revisions on the part of the centrists than the conception of transitional demands.

The struggle against centrism and the founding of the Fourth International

Part two

By Bill Van Auken, 16 April 2009

The tragic consequences of the attempt to steer a middle course between revolutionary Marxism on the one hand and Stalinism and Social Democracy on the other found full expression in the equivocal policy of Andres Nin and the POUM in Spain, which contributed decisively to the strangling of the Spanish revolution.

The struggle against centrism and the founding of the Fourth International

Part one

By Bill Van Auken, 15 April 2009

The five years between Trotsky’s call for the Fourth International in 1933 and the holding of a founding conference in 1938 were marked by a continuous struggle against a wide range of centrist political organizations active during this period, particularly in Europe , many of which professed sympathy with Trotsky’s perspective and some of which declared themselves for the Fourth International.

Stalin, Trotsky and the 1926 British general strike

Part Three

By Chris Marsden, 30 December 2008

Trotsky had argued that the very survival of British imperialism now rested not on the right-wing social democrats, but on the supposed lefts, without whom the right wing could not maintain its position in the labour movement.

Stalin, Trotsky and the 1926 British general strike

Part Two

By Chris Marsden, 29 December 2008

Bereft of any revolutionary guidance from the Communist Party of Great Britain, the working class had no possibility of arming itself against the role of the lefts who were being continually boosted under the Comintern’s orders.

Stalin, Trotsky and the 1926 British general strike

By Chris Marsden, 27 December 2008

More than 80 years on, the May 1926 British General Strike remains a defining moment in the history of the workers’ movement. Its lessons are essential for the development of a revolutionary strategy, not just in Britain but the world over.

From Pabloism to the Greens

Peter Camejo dead at 68

By Fred Mazelis, 16 September 2008

This past weekend brought news of the death of Peter Camejo, a leading figure in the US Green Party, three times its candidate for governor of California, and Ralph Nader’s vice presidential running mate in his independent third party campaign for president in 2004.

The Spanish Civil War by Andy Durgan

Britain’s SWP lends credence to Stalinist line on Spanish Civil War—Part 1

By Ann Talbot, 16 September 2008

Andy Durgan, The Spanish Civil War (New York, New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2007). The Spanish Civil War generates a massive body of historical work every year. This book stands out and merits attention because Andy Durgan is associated with the British Socialist Workers Party.

Public meetings in Sydney and Melbourne to commemorate...

The 70th anniversary of the founding of the Fourth International

9 September 2008

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Fourth International, the world party of socialist revolution established by Leon Trotsky in September 1938. The founding of the FI and the adoption of its program was a historical milestone for the socialist movement and the international working class. It ensured the historical continuity of the struggle for socialist internationalism against the counter-revolutionary betrayals carried out, in the name of “socialism” and “Marxism,” by Josef Stalin and the bureaucratic caste he headed within the Soviet Union.

Letter from the children of Jean Brust, veteran Trotskyist

30 November 2007

November 24 marked 10 years since the death of Jean Brust, a founding member of the Workers League, predecessor of the Socialist Equality Party. The following letter was sent to the World Socialist Web Site by Cynthia and Steven Brust, the surviving children of Jean Brust, a veteran of the Trotskyist movement.

A life as a revolutionary

By Fred Mazelis, 26 November 2007

The tenth anniversary of the death of Comrade Jean Brust is a time for serious reflection on the meaning of Jean’s life as a revolutionary, which spanned approximately the last six decades of the twentieth century.

Ten years since the death of Jean Brust, veteran Trotskyist

26 November 2007

November 24 marks ten years since the death of Jean Brust, a founding member of the Socialist Equality Party and its predecessor, the Workers League. Brust, a veteran of 60 years fighting for socialism in the United States and internationally, suffered a massive stroke on November 21, 1997 and died three days later, at age 76.

An example to the new generation

By Helen Halyard, 26 November 2007

It is hard to believe that a third of a century has passed since I first met Jean Brust at a meeting of the Workers League, forerunner of the Socialist Equality Party, in 1972. It was shortly after I joined the party. I was convinced of the need for a socialist perspective and the correctness of Trotsky’s struggle against the Stalinist bureaucracy, but I still had a lot to learn.

Livio Maitan, 1923-2004: a critical assessment

Part 3: A “Trotskyist” in Rifondazione Comunista

By Peter Schwarz, 6 November 2004

This is the third and final part of a series on the political career of Livio Maitan, who died in Rome in September at the age of 81. With Ernest Mandel, Maitan was one of the best-known representatives of the United Secretariat of the Fourth International, an international revisionist tendency. The first part of this series was posted November 4 and the second part on November 5.

Livio Maitan, 1923-2004: a critical assessment

Part 2: Castro, Che Guevara and the armed struggle

By Peter Schwarz, 5 November 2004

This is the second part of a three-part series on the political career of Livio Maitan, who died in Rome in September at the age of 81. With Ernest Mandel, Maitan was one of the best-known representatives of the United Secretariat of the Fourth International, an international revisionist tendency. The first part of this series was posted November 4. The final part will be posted later this week.

Livio Maitan, 1923-2004: a critical assessment

Part 1: A “Trotskyist” in the Communist Party

By Peter Schwarz, 4 November 2004

We are publishing here the first part of a three-part series on the political career of Livio Maitan, who died in Rome in September. We will post the second and third parts in the course of this week.

Meetings on 50 years of the International Committee of the Fourth International

Nick Beams: “The program of the ICFI has stood the test of time”

23 December 2003

The Socialist Equality Party in Australia held a public meeting in Sydney on December 21 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the founding the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI). The meeting was part of a series held internationally over the last two months to review the significance of the ICFI’s protracted struggle against the opportunist tendency led by Michel Pablo and Ernest Mandel that definitively broke with the fundamental principles of the Trotskyist movement in 1953. A broad cross-section of party supporters, WSWS readers, students, workers and pensioners attended the Sydney meeting.

Meetings on 50 years of the International Committee of the Fourth International

Chris Marsden: The split with the WRP and the ascendancy of Trotskyism

8 December 2003

On November 16, 1953, the US Socialist Workers Party (SWP) published an Open Letter that called upon orthodox Trotskyists all over the world to unite in a struggle against a revisionist tendency under the leadership of Michel Pablo, at that time the secretary of the Fourth International. The Open Letter, drawn up by James P. Cannon, led to the foundation of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI).

Meetings on 50 years of the International Committee of the Fourth International

Peter Schwarz: “The founding principles have been confirmed”

By Peter Schwarz, 6 December 2003

On November 16, 1953, the US Socialist Workers Party (SWP) published an Open Letter that called upon orthodox Trotskyists all over the world to unite in a struggle against a revisionist tendency under the leadership of Michel Pablo, at that time the secretary of the Fourth International. The Open Letter, drawn up by James P. Cannon, led to the foundation of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI).

David North addresses Sri Lankan Trotskyists on the 50th anniversary of the ICFI

By a correspondent, 21 November 2003

To mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI), David North, Chairman of the WSWS International Editorial Board, addressed a meeting of the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) in Sri Lanka on November 16 in the capital Colombo. The gathering took place in the midst of a political crisis on the island provoked one week earlier by the president’s threat to invoke a state of emergency.

The Heritage We Defend: A Contribution to the History of the Fourth International

Chapter 17: The Split in the Fourth International

15 November 2003

It is hardly surprising that the renegade Michael Banda centers his denunciation of the International Committee on the document which summoned Trotskyists all over the world to fight a revisionist cancer which threatened to destroy the world party of socialist revolution.

The Heritage We Defend: A Contribution to the History of the Fourth International

Chapter 18: James P. Cannon’s “Open Letter”

15 November 2003

For all the vehemence of Banda’s denunciation of the “Open Letter,” the readers of his “27 Reasons” will search in vain for any analysis of this document. He vilifies it as the “epistle from the philistines of ‘orthodox Trotskyism,’” an “arrogant ultimatum,” an “opportunist response” and an “equivocal and undignified maneuver.” But he says nothing about the political content of the “Open Letter.” He does not say whether he agrees or disagrees with its summation of the principles of Trotskyism, its characterization of Pablo’s line as revisionist, or even its assertion that irreconcilable differences exist between Trotskyism and Pabloism. Nor does Banda explain why he personally supported the “Open Letter” in 1953.

WSWS republishes extracts from The Heritage We Defend by David North, chairman of the WSWS International Editorial Board

15 November 2003

On the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI), the World Socialist Web Site is proud to republish two key chapters from The Heritage We Defend: A Contribution to the History of the Fourth International, by David North, chairman of the WSWS International Editorial Board and national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party in the United States.

Toward a reconsideration of Trotsky’s legacy and his place in the history of the 20th century

29 June 2001

The following is the text of a lecture given January 21, 2001 by David North, the chairman of the International Editorial Board of the WSWS and national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party of the US, to an international school held in Sydney by the Socialist Equality Party of Australia.

Trotsky's Europe and America: new edition of seminal essays from the 1920s published in Germany

By Peter Schwarz, 10 October 2000

Arbeiterpresse Verlag, the Marxist publishing house in Germany, has published a new edition of Europe and America , a collection of speeches and essays written by Leon Trotsky in the 1920s. We are publishing below the new foreword to this important work.

A veteran of the struggle against fascism and Stalinism

Nathan Steinberger celebrates his 90th birthday in Berlin

By Verena Nees, 9 August 2000

On July 16 Nathan Steinberger celebrated his ninetieth birthday in Berlin. He is one of the few former members of the German Communist Party (KPD) who survived the Stalinist prison camps of the Soviet Union and retained their fundamental socialist convictions despite this horrific experience.