The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) and International Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) will hold a public lecture in the northern city of Jaffna on November 23 as part of the international commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the founding of the Fourth International and the 50th anniversary of founding of the SEP in Sri Lanka.
The lecture, which is entitled “Lessons of History and the Fight for Socialism Today” will be delivered by SEP General Secretary Wije Dias. It follows successful meetings on the same subject by David North, the chairman of the international editorial board of the World Socialist Web Site, in Colombo and Kandy.
The Jaffna event will focus on the critical political issues of the 20th century, which have burning relevance today amid a worsening global economic crisis, increasing tensions between the US and China and the resurgence of international class struggles. A sharp expression of these processes is manifested in the bitter factional infighting within Sri Lanka’s ruling elite and the rising wave of struggles of the working class.
The Fourth International was founded by Leon Trotsky in 1938 as the culmination of his political struggle against the Stalinist bureaucracy in the Soviet Union. The Revolutionary Communist League (RCL), the SEP’s predecessor, was established as a section of the International Committee of the Fourth International in 1968 in the fight against the betrayal of Lanka Sama Samaja Party, which openly abandoned Trotskyism in 1964 and entered the bourgeois government led by Sri Lanka Freedom Party.
In 1938, Trotsky declared that capitalism was in its “death agony.” Today this “death agony” is propelling the world towards nuclear war which can only be prevented by the working class on the basis of a revolutionary socialist and internationalist program.
As humanity searches for a way out of this abyss, there is growing interest in socialism. The struggle for socialism, however, must be grounded on an understanding of the lessons of history. That is why workers, youth and students should attend the Jaffna lecture and participate in this vital discussion on the history of the Fourth International and the SEP.
Date and Time: Friday November 23, 3.30 p.m.
Venue: Canteen hall of the Jaffna Public Library