No. 44  
No. 44,
Summer 2016

Table of Contents
Selected articles linked

Click on image to left for pdf version of complete issue.

The Only Solution to Capitalist Austerity: Europe-Wide Socialist Revolution!
The “Brexit” Trap: British Left Caught Between “Leave” and “Remain” in European Union
No to Both Sides in the Chauvinist Circus: Full Citizenship Rights for All Immigrants!

On June 23, British voters cast their ballot on the issue of whether the United Kingdom should leave the European Union (“Brexit”) or remain in it. The result was a clear if not overwhelming decision in favor of Brexit. In this battle over differing formulas for restricting immigration, the only possible course for proletarian revolutionaries was to oppose both sides, abstaining on the vote. What’s called for instead is a class-struggle campaign for asylum for refugees and full citizenship rights for all immigrants. Instead of making common cause with one or the other wing of British bosses, join with French workers fighting against anti-labor laws. Campaigns for Brexit by ostensible Marxists amounted to giving a left cover to the chauvinist circus. Significantly, while Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, a reputed leftist, joined with the Tory government in campaigning to stay in the imperialist EU, the various left groups which had split between calling for Remain or Leave were all united once again in supporting the reformist Corbyn against Labour right-wingers trying to topple him. Rather than a more left-talking social democracy utterly beholden to British capitalism, what is urgently needed is to build a revolutionary workers party on a program of internationalist class struggle leading to Europe-wide socialist revolution. The “Brexit” Trap (August 2016)

British EU Referendum: Who Voted for What, and Why
Various commentators seeking to explain the unexpected victory for Brexit declared it a veritable working-class revolt. The claims that Brexit was a working-class revolt are cheap populism based on a perversion of the statistics. The large majority of those who voted to leave the EU were middle-class Those workers who supported Brexit did not do so on a class basis but largely on a nationalist appeal.British EU Referendum: Who Voted for What, and Why (August 2016)

“Willkommen in der Festung Europa”
A British exit from the EU, should it occur, could achieve what Kaiser Wilhelm, Adolf Hitler and the “democratic” imperialist rulers in Berlin and the bankers in Frankfurt have been unable to: consolidate a German-dominated “Fortress Europe.” How long that would last is another matter. Already German Social Democrats and Christian Democrats are floating plans to beef up EU repressive forces. Rather  than being a blow against imperialism, the net result of a Brexit will be increased inter-imperialist rivalries. “Willkommen in der Festung Europa” (August 2016)

ICL: The Main Enemy Is in Brussels
While the positions on Brexit by the various social-democratic left groups were thoroughly reformist, the International Communist League and its British section claimed to be standing on the revolutionary internationalist principles of Marxism in calling for a “Leave” vote. Instead, they (along with various reformist left groups) played down the impact of the anti-immigrant campaign on the vote. Back when it stood on the program of revolutionary Trotskyism, the Spartacist tendency called not to leave the imperialist alliances of NATO and the Common Market but to bring them down by mobilization of the working masses. ICL: The Main Enemy Is in Brussels (August 2016) 
Better-Late-Than-Never Faction Fuses with Internationalist Group
On August 27, the Better-Late-Than-Never Faction of the International Communist League, expelled by the Spartacist League/U.S. last April, joined with the Internationalist Group, U.S. section of the League for the Fourth International in a common organization. The fusion came after three and a half months of joint work following extensive political discussions in May. A high point of the joint work was participation by the BLTN comrades in the Second National Conference of the Grupo Internacionalista in Mexico, and first-hand experience with the roiling teachers strike in which the GI has been heavily involved. The fusion has not only resulted in the establishment of a Los Angeles local of the IG, but together with the formation of the Nucleo Internazionalista d’Italia by the former leaders of the Italian section of the ICL, it marks a major step forward for the LFI internationally. More than four months after the BLTN Faction submitted its declaration, the SL/ICL has yet to answer it politically. But their silence will not shield these ex-Trotskyists from the expelled faction’s devastating challenge to their tattered credentials. The fusion confirms the validity of the LFI’s orientation looking to revolutionary regroupment on the solid programmatic ground of authentic Leninism and Trotskyism. Better-Late-Than-Never Faction Fuses with Internationalist Group (27 August 2016)
Agreement for Common Work Between the Better-Late-Than-Never Faction and the Internationalist Group/League for the Fourth International (4 May 2016) (see pdf, p. 34)
Declaration of the Better-Late-Than-Never Faction
Return to the Road of Genuine Spartacism!
Regroup with the IG/LFI on the Basis of Their Revolutionary Continuity!

The platform of the BLTN Faction takes the leadership of the International Communist League to task for its revisionism in four key areas: “The Russian Question,” “The Class Line,” “The State” and the struggle to “Reforge a Fourth International That Trotsky Would Call His Own.” It devastates the latter-day ICL’s claim that “the Stalinists led the counterrevolution,” underscoring that this effectively renounced its own intervention in the DDR/USSR in 1989-92, and is counterposed to revolutionary intervention against looming counterrevolution in China, Cuba and the other remaining deformed workers states today. Although many ICLers believe this anti-Trotskyist line was corrected in 2003, the Declaration exposes how it has remained the official policy of the ICL. The BLTN painstakingly examined the ICL’s lies and desertion from the struggle to oust the police from the unions in Brazil and its apologies for state-controlled corporatist pseudo-unions in Mexico, demonstrating the correctness of the LFI positions and struggle. It also raised the question of “walking bosses” in the West Coast ILWU dock union, foremen who although members of the union directly represent the shipping bosses, an issue the IG had not previously considered. In calling for regroupment with the IG/LFI on the basis of its revolutionary continuity, the Better-Late-Than-Never Faction noted that this continued the historic program of the Spartacist tendency that the SL/ICL has been abandoning step by step in every major crisis. Declaration of the Better-Late-Than-Never Faction (16 April 2016)
Attachments: Letter of Los Angeles SL “Resigning” the Better-Late-Than-Never Faction (17 April 2016)
BLTN Faction Letter to All Members of the ICL (18 April 2016)
Letter of Los Angeles SL Expelling the BLTN (23 April 2016)
No More Ayotzinapas! No More Nochixtláns!
Workers to Power from Brazil to Mexico and the U.S.!
Tri-National Day of Solidarity Action with Mexican and Brazilian Teachers
On August 17, demonstrations were held in three countries and four cities in solidarity with the Mexican teachers who have been waging a courageous strike for more than three months. They are fighting against the bogus “education reform” that is a capitalist attack on public education and teachers unions, in Mexico and around the world. In Rio de Janeiro, Oaxaca, Mexico City and New York City, protesters demanded “Stop Repression of Mexican Teachers.” During the strike of the CNTE (National Coordinating Committee of Education Workers), teachers in the states of Chiapas, Oaxaca, Guerrero and Michoacán have braved murderous police attacks, including the June 19 massacre in Nochixtlán, Oaxaca. The tri-national action was initiated by the Rio de Janeiro, Brazil teachers union, the SEPE-RJ, which had just come off a determined strike lasting more than five months, the largest and longest in its history, which won important gains. In Rio, in the middle of the Olympic games, over 100 teachers, students and activists marched to the Mexican Consulate where they faced a line of Shock Battalion Military Police. In Oaxaca the solidarity demonstration was at the gate of the state education department, which was shut down by some 200 CNTE strikers, and in Mexico City it was held at the teachers tent city where 60 teachers participated. In New York, several dozen protesters picketed the Mexican consulate, including members of the newly formed Trabajadores Internacionales Clasistas (Class Struggle International Workers). The August 17 action underscored the importance of international struggle on a revolutionary class program. Tri-National Day of Solidarity Action with Mexican and Brazilian Teachers (18 August 2016)

Down with Racist Fortress Europe!
Full Citizenship Rights for all Immigrants!
For a Socialist United States of Europe!

Italy: The Refugee Crisis and Capitalist Barbarism

The graphic images of lifeless bodies stretched out along shorelines and in the sea, of traumatized survivors weeping for the loss of their loved ones, have put the European refugee crisis in the spotlight. The massive flow of desperate refugees and immigrants toward Europe is a result of the imperialist devastation of the Near East, Africa and parts of Asia. The reaction of the European Union (EU) countries to the flow of refugees has been to build fences to keep them out, holding thousands in concentration camps The bourgeoisies of the EU want to control immigration so that only those can enter that are potentially useful for them to churn out profits. The Nucleo Internazionalista d’Italia and the League for the Fourth International put forward a transitional program for workers action including calling for asylum for Syrian and other refugees fleeing war and persecution and full citizenship rights for all immigrants. We call to close the detention centers, oppose the racist immigration laws and mobilize workers actions to stop deportations. To go to the source of the mass migration means fighting to drive out the imperialists,
the biggest mass murderers of all. However, such a class struggle goes against the class-collaborationist programs of various groups falsely claiming to be Trotskyist, who supported the popular-front governments that set up the detention camps and have backed pro-imperialist "rebels" from Libya to Syria. The struggle for immigrants’ rights is inseparable from the fight for socialist revolution, on both sides of the Mediterranean. Italy: The Refugee Crisis and Capitalist Barbarism (August 2016)
“Communists” Who Oppose Calls for Asylum for Syrian Refugees
Strange Encounters with the ICL
At the Lutte Ouvrière Fête in May we had heated exchanges with spokesmen of the  International Communist League who accused the League for the Fourth International of being “bleeding-heart liberals” and supporters of “humanitarian imperialism” for calling for asylum for refugees, Syrian and otherwise. The frenzy of their denunciations of the LFI reflected an extended internal dispute inside the ICL over immigration. In the face of the refugee crisis that exploded last year, these former Trotskyists insistently limit their calls for citizenship for immigrants to “those who have made it here,” and now oppose calls for full and unrestricted right of asylum, the right of immigrants and refugees to health and social services, and the right to travel inside the EU. It pulled an article about to be published with these demands, saying that they sowed illusions in a social Europe” and reflected “a reactionary utopian ‘open the borders’ line.” In rejecting such demands, the latter-day ICL once again turns its back on its own history and the heritage of revolutionary Trotskyism. Rather than acting as champions of the oppressed, by focusing exclusively on opposition to the liberal bourgeois illusion of “open borders” under capitalism, in practice it has allied itself with the most retrograde xenophobic elements of the bourgeoisie. Strange Encounters with the ICL (August 2016)
ICL on Brazil Impeachment:
Stumbling in the Dark With “Blown-Out Lanterns”

The Spartacist League and its International Communist League (SL/ICL) have lately been on a tear against the Internationalist Group, the Liga Quarta-Internacionalista do Brasil and our League for the Fourth International. over our opposing the impeachment of Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff. They claim that this ipso facto meant support to the government led by the Workers Party (PT), dishonestly disappearing the LQB’s call for “No Political Support to the Bourgeois Popular Front Government.” With its policy of passive neutrality, the ICL calls on Brazilian workers to do nothing against the hard-line capitalist offensive behind the impeachment drive. In contrast, the LQB and LFI put forward a program for class struggle against the assault on the working class, and the bonapartist push by the police/judicial repressive apparatus, with backing from the military and imperialism. The ICL’s line on Brazil impeachment is directly counterposed to Trotsky’s policy on Germany during 1931-32, and echoes Stalinist attacks on the co-leader of the Bolshevik Revolution. The methodology of  ignoring the fundamental class forces in conflict is an expression of the desertion from the class struggle by these ex-Trotskyists, reflected in their positions on a host of issues. ICL on Brazil Impeachment: Stumbling in the Dark With “Blown-Out Lanterns” (June 2016)

Brazil’s Opportunist Left Tailing After the Bourgeois Blocs
For the last year, Brazil has been shaken by an acute political crisis pitting the bourgeois popular-front government of Dilma Rousseff of the Workers Party (PT) against the traditional right-wing opposition which wants to throw her out of the the presidential palace. However, the government and opposition share the same fundamental program, of resolving the capitalist economic crisis by attacking the working people, while they may differ (at times) only over the rhythm and degree of the attacks. In this context of a dispute between two bourgeois forces, the Brazilian left is divided into two major camps: the pro-PT camp, which chants “não vai ter golpe” (no to a coup d’état), and the anti-PT camp which chants “throw them all out.” In reality, both pro- and anti-PT camps are appendages of the conflicting capitalist forces. Now with the addition of escalating arbitrary judicial and police actions, what’s needed is not an illusory “third camp” on the terrain of bourgeois democracy but a working-class opposition with a program of revolutionary struggle against the entire ruling class and against the danger of an authoritarian outcome. Brazil’s Opportunist Left Tailing After the Bourgeois Blocs (April 2016)

The Role of Imperialism and the Military in the Brazilian Political Crisis
For 13 years, the popular-front government in Brazil has acted as firemen for the IMF in Latin America and as the sheriff of Yankee imperialism in the Caribbean, providing mercenary troops for the occupaiton of Haiti. In general, Washington doesn’t want big upheavals in the largest country in Latin America, but there is no reason to presume that the would-be masters of the planet always act with consistency. Judge Sérgio Moro is working in close collaboration with U.S. authorities, and the whole so-called Lava Jato (Car Wash) investigation is being carried out in accord with capitalist sectors seeking to further open the Brazilian oil market to imperialist penetration. What is taking place is a employer-media-judiciary-police movement with at least some support from imperialism. Even if it does not result in a classic military coup, it points to an authoritarian outcome, a strong state whose job is to impose, with an iron fist, the budget cuts, reforms and privatizations demanded by capital, which the popular-front governments have only partially implemented. Now they want to go all the way. The Role of Imperialism and the Military in the Brazilian Political Crisis (April 2016)

Mexico: Grupo Espartaquista Boycotts the Class Struggle
The Grupo Espartaquista de México (GEM), part of the International Communist League (ICL), published a front-page article in its magazine “rectifying” its timid support of the boycott of the June 2015 elections and polemicizing against the Grupo Internacionalista on the issue. In its corrective, the GEM/ICL write that they “should have argued and frankly warned against the use of this tactic under present conditions.” One of the many innovations introduced by the ICL in its zigzag course in the post-Soviet period has been to convert the program into a recipe for inaction. To shore up its position that an electoral boycott is impossible short of a revolutionary crisis and imminent insurrection, they put forward a series of fraudulent assertions … and a distorted quotation from Lenin. On top of this, in the face of the attempt by the murderous government to shut down the rebellion which has wracked the southern states ever since the September 2014 massacre and disappearance of teachers college students, the GEM blames the rebel teachers, students and parents of the Ayotzinapa 43 for bringing down repression with their call for a boycott. The Grupo Internacionalista, in contrast, actively participated in the struggle against the electoral farce, at the same time as it warned that to put a stop to the bloodbath and assault on the teachers would require a national strike involving key sectors of the Mexican proletariat. Mexico: Grupo Espartaquista Boycotts the Class Struggle (March 2016)
The Battle of the Electoral Boycott in Guerrero (March 2016)
June 5 Elections: NO to All the Bourgeois Parties!
Forge a Revolutionary Workers Party!

Mexican Teachers Strike at a Crossroads:
Deepen, Radicalize, Broaden It to Win!

The national strike of the independent teachers movement, now into its third month, has come to a decisive moment. As the National Coordination of Education Workers (CNTE) appeals repeatedly for dialogue, the government slams the door shut and responds with repression. The strikers have responded with massive marches of tens of thousands, a blockade of the Oaxaca airport and occupying highways, gas stations and town halls in Chiapas. It is expected that the repression will intensify in the wake of the June 5 elections. Then the rulers who are seeking to impose an education “reform” in the service of capital will go all in. In this context, where it is necessary to deepen, radicalize and extend the teachers strike to powerful sectors of the Mexican proletariat, the leadership of CNTE’s militant Section 22 in Oaxaca instead called to cast a  “punishment vote” against the government parties and in favor of the bourgeois populist Movement for National Regeneration (MORENA) led by Andrés Manuel López Obrador. The popular-front policy of a  “punishment vote” for the bourgeois opposition has been used before, in 2006 and 2010, to derail outbreaks of sharp class struggle. The Grupo Internacionalista calls for proletarian opposition to all capitalist parties and politicians, for turning the teachers walkout into a real national strike, and for a revolutionary workers party fighting for a workers and peasants government. Mexican Teachers Strike at a Crossroads (2 June 2016)

To contact the League for the Fourth International or its sections, send an e-mail to: internationalistgroup@msn.com