This is the founding document of the Fourth International, published in September of 1938. It was previously drafted by Trotsky and discussed widely by sections of the Trotskyist movement.
Assessing the historical lessons of the betrayal of the working class by both the Second and Third Internationals, Trotsky outlines the principles upon which to build a new proletarian leadership for the struggles against world imperialism and Stalinism. The strategic task of the upcoming period—“the overcoming of the contradiction between the maturity of the objective revolutionary conditions and the immaturity of the proletariat and its vanguard”—is linked to the program of transitional demands that embodied the experience of the revolutionary movement to this point.
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- The Objective Prerequisites for a Socialist Revolution
- The Proletariat and its Leadership
- The Minimum Program and the Transitional Program
- Sliding Scale of Wages and Sliding Scale of Hours
- Trade Unions in the Transitional Epoch
- Factory Committees
- “Business Secrets” and Workers’ Control of Industry
- Expropriation of Separate Groups of Capitalists
- Expropriation of the Private Banks and State-ization of the Credit System
- The Picket Line, Defense Guards/Workers’ Militia and The Arming of the Proletariat
- The Alliance of the Workers and Farmers
- The Struggle Against Imperialism and War
- Workers’ and Farmers’ Government
- Backward Countries and the Program of Transitional Demands
- The Program of Transitional Demands in Fascist Countries
- The USSR and Problems of the Transitional Epoch
- Against Opportunism and Unprincipled Revisionism
- Against Sectarianism
- Open the Road to the Woman Worker! Open the Road to the Youth!
- Under the Banner of the Fourth International!