SEP (Australia) June 16 online lecture

The founding of the Fourth International

The Socialist Equality Party (Australia) is holding an online lecture this Tuesday, June 16, reviewing the immense contemporary significance of the founding of the Fourth International in 1938.

The establishment of the world party by Leon Trotsky ensured the continuity of Marxism and the fight to build a revolutionary leadership in the international working class. Trotsky, who had led two revolutions and built the Red Army that defeated the imperialist attempts to overthrow the USSR, described its founding as his greatest achievement.

It was carried out amid the betrayals of mass working class struggles by the Stalinist Communist Parties in virtually every corner of the world. Within Russia, the Soviet bureaucracy was conducting mass purges of all those who had played a significant role in the 1917 October Revolution, above all targeting the Trotskyists. Abroad, its secret police murdered Trotsky’s collaborators including Rudolf Klement, who was to serve as the Fourth International’s founding secretary.

Despite the repression, a founding congress was convened in Paris. It adopted a Transitional Program drafted by Trotsky, which began by declaring: “The world political situation as a whole is chiefly characterised by a historical crisis of the leadership of the proletariat.”

These words sum-up the political situation today, no less than in 1938. The working class is again entering into major social and political struggles, as shown by the mass international protests triggered by the US police murder of George Floyd. The decisive question is arming the emerging movement with a revolutionary perspective, based on the lessons of history, and providing it with a leadership. That means building the Fourth International that Trotsky established and that is today led by the International Committee.

The lecture will be delivered by Max Boddy, a national committee member of the SEP (Australia).

The event, which is part of a series of six weekly lectures, is on the Zoom platform at 7 p.m. (Australian Eastern Standard Time), June 16. To participate, download the app or join on a web browser, and click on this link before the lecture begins: