Trotsky’s struggle to found the Fourth International (1933-1938)

Introduction to the Turkish language edition of In Defense of Leon Trotsky

Leon Trotsky’s four fateful years in Prinkipo: 1929-1933

By David North, 23 September 2019

The following is the introduction to the recently translated Turkish edition of In Defense of Leon Trotsky, written by the book’s author, David North, chairman of the international editorial board of the World Socialist Web Site. The book was originally published in 2013.

Eighty Years of the Fourth International: The Lessons of History and the Struggle for Socialism Today

By David North, 9 October 2018

On October 7, David North, International Editorial Board chairman of the World Socialist Web Site, delivered the following lecture to a well-attended public meeting in Colombo, organised by the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka).

On the 80th anniversary of the founding of the Fourth International

By David North, 3 September 2018

The founding of the Fourth International on September 3, 1938, was an event of great historical significance and contemporary relevance.

For Committees of Action―Not the People’s Front

November 26, 1935

By Leon Trotsky, 14 October 2010

In this article, written from exile in Norway in 1935, Leon Trotsky exposed the politics of the “People's Front” in France, a coalition comprising the bourgeois Radical Party, the Socialist Party and the Stalinist Communist Party.

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.

The Revolution Betrayed and the fate of the Soviet Union

By Peter Daniels, 26 February 2009

An understanding the Russian Revolution and the Soviet state—their rise and subsequent degeneration—is critical in politically arming the working class by learning the lessons of the twentieth century in order to prepare for the struggles of the twenty-first.

The Revolution Betrayed and the fate of the Soviet Union

Part one

By Peter Daniels, 25 February 2009

An understanding of the Russian Revolution and the Soviet state—their rise and subsequent degeneration—is critical in politically arming the working class by learning the lessons of the 20th century in order to prepare for the struggles of the 21st.

The Spanish Civil War and the Popular Front

Part two

By Ann Talbot, 27 January 2009

In Spain, Trotsky wrote, two irreconcilable programmes confronted one another. There was the programme that consisted of “saving at any cost private property from the proletariat, and saving as far as possible, democracy from Franco; and on the other hand, the programme of abolishing private property through the conquest of power by the proletariat.

The Spanish Civil War and the Popular Front

Part one

By Ann Talbot, 26 January 2009

The Soviet intervention in Spain can best be understood as an attempt to strangle a developing revolution, to physically liquidate its leading representatives, terrorize wider layers of workers and peasants and prevent their spontaneous revolutionary strivings from acquiring a more politically conscious form.

Leon Trotsky - The Transitional Program - 1938

21 October 2008

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.

Stalinism and Bolshevism - 1937

By Leon Trotsky, 20 October 2008

One of the clearest rebuttals to those who claim that Stalinism is the natural outcome of Marxism and Bolshevism. In responding to anarchists, Mensheviks and other critics who were using Stalin's Moscow Trials as a pretense to attack Bolshevism, Trotsky presents the theoretical heritage which only the Fourth International was able to defend: “an analysis of the imperialist epoch as an epoch of wars and revolutions; of bourgeois democracy in the era of decaying capitalism; of the correlation between the general strike and the insurrection; of the role of party, soviets and trade unions in the period of proletarian revolution; in its theory of the soviet state, of the economy of transition, of fascism and Bonapartism in the epoch of imperialist decline, and finally in its analysis of the degeneration of the Bolshevik party itself and of the soviet state.”

SEP public meetings in Australia

The enduring significance of the founding of the Fourth International

By James Cogan, 3 October 2008

 The following speech was delivered by James Cogan to a meeting in Sydney held by the Socialist Equality Party (Australia) on September 28 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Fourth International.