Chavez’s call to form the Fifth Socialist International

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1springgarden
Chavez’s call to form the Fifth Socialist International

I want to post this topic for discussion on Babble as I think it's interesting... it would be great to hear any opinions on this and, as it seems to be a primarily a Latin American conception, opinions on what relevance or interest might there be within the Canadian left?

Also, please forgive the formatting of this post, I am not familiar with how to format or quote for this board (first post on new board).

http://links.org.au/node/1375

Special decision on a Fifth Socialist International

The international encounter of Left-wing Political parties held in Caracas on November 19, 20 and 21, 2009, received the proposal made by Commander Hugo Chavez Frias to convoke the Fifth Socialist International as a space for socialist-oriented parties, movements and currents in which we can harmonize a common strategy for the struggle against imperialism, the overthrow of capitalism by socialism and solidarity based economic integration of a new type. We assessed that proposition in terms of its historical dimension which calls for a new spirit of internationalism and agreed, for the purpose of achieving it in the short term, to create a WORKING GROUP comprised of those socialist parties, currents and social movements who endorse the initiative, to prepare an agenda which defines the objectives, contents and mechanisms of this global revolutionary body. We call for an initial constitutive event for April 2010 in the City of Caracas. Furthermore, those parties, socialist currents and social movements who have not expressed themselves on this matter can subject this proposal to the examination of their legitimate directive bodies.

Caracas, November 21, 2009

 

Further article on this topic... http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/5065

Party of Socialism and Liberty, Brazil: Chavez's call to form the Fifth International and the world situation

January 13th 2010, by Pedro Fuentes - Links, International Journal of Socialist Renewal

January 11, 2010 -- At the meeting of left-wing political parties and socialists held in Caracas on the eve of the congress of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez called for the formation the Fifth Socialist International. In a strong speech in which he summarised the history of international socialist organisations, Chavez said, Confronting the capitalist crisis and the threat of war that threatens the future of humanity, it is time to convene the Fifth International, towards the unity of the left parties and revolutionaries willing to fight for socialism ... of the parties and socialist currents and social movements in the world to create a common strategy for the fight against imperialism, the overthrow of capitalism by socialism.

Merowe

first I've heard of this. bloody brilliant; studying now; thanks for this

peterjcassidy peterjcassidy's picture
genstrike

peterjcassidy wrote:

For more info:

 

http://www.fifthinternational.org/

 

That's actually a different group, a Trotskyist group known as the League for the 5th International (apparently one-upping all the other Trots with their Fourth International(s)), which I believe is headquartered in the UK and has branches in a bunch of European countries, the US, and Sri Lanka.

The L5I is something completely different from what Chavez is talking about, and is just another run of the mill marginal Trot group.

1springgarden

Okay, this is all news to me, too. So let's talk about the Canadian left and what's out there in terms of solidarity/engagement with the countries with elected governments comprising the Bolivarian Revolution. Anyone know of any solidarity initiatives within Canada, union-based, co-operative federations, church-based, campus solidarity groups? What about formal protestation of the Honduras coup? Or perhaps, the events going on in Latin America are simply too hot to handle for the Canadian institutional left to engage with?

It seems a shame that with nominally socialist and anti-imperialist governments being elected in our hemisphere, that the left in Canada is unable to meaningfully engage, particularly when a call for international engagement goes out (ie 'call for Fifth Socialist International'). Something like a Candian labour-sponsored Latin America solidarity network in attendance at this "initial constitutive event for April 2010 in the City of Caracas" would fit the bill well for Canadian left engagement.

To me, it seems like the Canadian institutional left is basically shit-scared of the 'S' word ('Canadians aren't ready'), and therefore has no idea how to engage with the historic movements going on right now in the hemisphere. I think it's time more of us step up within our own organizations and demand meaningful solidarity with developments in Latin America (we have so much to learn).

So, Canadian engagement with the hemispheric Bolivarian Revolution, anybody got any leads, clues, comments?

RosaL

1springgarden wrote:

Okay, this is all news to me, too. 

 

I think that sums it up Wink In fact, there's a lot of what you're looking for going on, though the groups are all small and don't get any press to speak of. But they're there. This is a work day for me but I'll try to get some links together for you. 

Jacob Richter

Did I forget to post a thread on this subject?

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

genstrike wrote:

peterjcassidy wrote:

For more info:

 

http://www.fifthinternational.org/

 

That's actually a different group, a Trotskyist group known as the League for the 5th International (apparently one-upping all the other Trots with their Fourth International(s)), which I believe is headquartered in the UK and has branches in a bunch of European countries, the US, and Sri Lanka.

The L5I is something completely different from what Chavez is talking about, and is just another run of the mill marginal Trot group.

So....should Hugo actually be calling for a SIXTH International?

Jacob Richter

Probably seventh, not counting that sect.

I think I did submit my "Participatory Socialist International" article here (PM me if I did not), but two internationals were omitted:

International Working Union of Socialist Parties

International Revolutionary Marxist Centre

http://louisproyect.wordpress.com/2010/03/13/history-of-the-marxist-inte...

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

This is just going to turn into the "People's Front of Judea-Judean People's Front" bit from THE LIFE OF BRIAN, isn't it?

Jacob Richter

The International Workingmen's Association had mass.

The original Socialist International ("Second International") had mass.

The Communist International had mass.

The International Working Union of Socialist Parties had mass.

 

The International Revolutionary Marxist Centre didn't.

Neither did the "World Party of Socialist Revolution" (the official name of Trotsky's pet project).

genstrike

Well, I think Hugo Chavez' project might actually turn out to be interesting, in that it is being led by a governing party and not just a small Trotskyist organization based probably in the UK or US with whatever sections it can muster internationally.

Honestly, I think it's going to be a bit of a leftist trainspotter's delight to see who's in and who isn't, and if there will be competing small groups jockeying for position as the official section in Canada, the US, the UK, etc.

Jacob, aren't those two the "half" internationals?  Like IWUSP was the 2 1/2th international, so in terms of numbering they don't really count as fifth or sixth.

Jacob Richter

I don't think there will be an official section in countries where class struggle is weaker.  The pareconists in the US are aggressive in wanting in, but I'm still trying to persuade the SP-USA to be in also.

The Second International had in some cases two sections in a particular country. The Impossibilists and the sectarian SDKPiL come to mind. So did the Communist International for a brief time.

Besides, nobody wants the sectarian-opportunist IMT to be the official section of the Fifth Socialist International in each country. Tongue out

Also, re. the "halfs": I think the informal names for those are sectarian insults, with the result that nobody has bothered to learn about their strengths and weaknesses, and why one of them is in fact, out of all those internationals, "an outstanding role model for left politics today." Wink

RockyRacoon

What is wrong with re-forging the 4th international?  That was what Trotsky wanted to create in response to what has become known as Stalinism.  If people are serious about revolution and squaring off with capitalism head on we cannot afford to forget the lessons garnered from the past.  Like Engel's and Marx before him, Trotsky derived his theory from experience-practice, the practice of revolution.  What they accomplished and what they contributed is just to important to ignore and could cost many many lives.  It is like my mother always told me, when all else fails follow directions.  I will go back and read what Chavez wants to do but I write this in response to the posts regarding Trotskyist groups. 

Yours,

RR

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

There is not, as far as I can tell, any meeting of the Fifth International scheduled for April.

What is happening this April is the [url=http://pwccc.wordpress.com/]World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth[/url], which is being hosted by the Bolivian government and being held April 19-22, 2010, in Cochabamba, Bolivia.

here is the [url=http://pwccc.wordpress.com/2010/01/15/call/#more-12]Call[/url] for the conference, issued back in January.

Quote:
The Government of the Plurinational State of Bolivia calls on the peoples of the world, social movements and Mother Earth's defenders, and invites scientists, academics, lawyers and governments that want to work with their citizens to the World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth to be held from 20th to 22nd April 2010 in Cochabamba, Bolivia.

The World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth has as objectives:

1) To analyze the structural and systemic causes that drive climate change and to propose radical measures to ensure the well-being of all humanity in harmony with nature

2) To discuss and agree on the project of a Universal Declaration of Mother Earth Rights

3) To agree on proposals for new commitments to the Kyoto Protocol and projects for a COP Decision under the United Nations Framework for Climate Change that will guide future actions in those countries that are engaged with life during climate change negotiations and in all United Nations scenarios, related to:

- Climate debt
- Climate change migrants-refugees
- Emission reductions
- Adaptation
- Technology transfer
- Finance
- Forest and Climate Change
- Shared Vision
- Indigenous Peoples, and
- Others

4) To work on the organization of the World People's Referendum on Climate Change

5) To analyze and develop an action plan to advance the establishment of a Climate Justice Tribunal

6) To define strategies for action and mobilization to defend life from Climate Change and to defend the Rights of Mother Earth.

 

I understand that a handful of activists from Toronto are planning to attend, and that Naomi Klein will be attending. The Canada-Bolivia Solidarity committee (based in Vancouver) is holding a meeting tomorrow, Saturday, March 27th, at Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House (800 East Broadway Street, Vancouver), to determine who might be going from Vancouver. There's the possibility of a free charter flight to the Cochabamba Conference from either Seattle or San Fransisco that some activists from Vancouver may use to attend.

The main Venezuela solidarity group in Canada is the [url=http://venezuelawearewithyou.blogspot.com/]Venezuela We Are With You Coalition[/url], based in Toronto. There is also [url=http://www.handsoffvenezuela.org/]Hands off Venezuela[/url] (HOV), which is affiliated with [url=http://www.marxist.ca/]Fightback[/url], the Canadian section of the International Marxist Tendency (IMT). HOV has sections in Toronto and Vancouver. There is a Bolivarian Circle in Toronto made up of members of Toronto's Venezuelan community. The [url=http://www.socialistproject.ca/]Socialist Project[/url] in Toronto runs articles on Venezuela on their website and in their RELAY magazine, and the [url=http://www.socialistvoice.com/]Socialist Voice[/url] website also runs articles on Venezuela.

Jacob Richter

That's only three days in April.  The Fifth International meeting could occur before April 19 or after April 22.

Doug

Jacob Richter wrote:

The International Workingmen's Association had mass.

The original Socialist International ("Second International") had mass.

The Communist International had mass.

The International Working Union of Socialist Parties had mass.

 

Of course they had mass. They all interact with the Higgs field. Tongue out

aka Mycroft

Actually, the IMT is imploding. They've lost their Venezuelan, Spanish and most of the Latin American sections along with their Swedish and Iranian section. They lost a good portion of their Pakistani section a year or so ago.

The good news is that this makes their Canadian section, Fightback, which has around 50 members one of the largest IMT sections in the world.

Jacob Richter

I was in Internet discussions elsewhere about this particular sect.  The question facing what's left of the IMT is, assuming the formation of the new International as scheduled: Can they continue their fetish for "entryism" into the likes of Labour and the New Democrats, parties affiliated with the rival and neoliberal "Socialist International"? Or will they be forced into "entryism" strictly into parties affiliated with the new International?

Jacob Richter

Doug wrote:

Jacob Richter wrote:

The International Workingmen's Association had mass.

The original Socialist International ("Second International") had mass.

The Communist International had mass.

The International Working Union of Socialist Parties had mass.

 

Of course they had mass. They all interact with the Higgs field. Tongue out

Even after reading that science stuff, I still don't get the joke.

genstrike

aka Mycroft wrote:
Actually, the IMT is imploding. They've lost their Venezuelan, Spanish and most of the Latin American sections along with their Swedish and Iranian section. They lost a good portion of their Pakistani section a year or so ago. The good news is that this makes their Canadian section, Fightback, which has around 50 members one of the largest IMT sections in the world.

...someone subscribes to the Leftist Trainspotters mailing list

aka Mycroft

genstrike wrote:

aka Mycroft wrote:
Actually, the IMT is imploding. They've lost their Venezuelan, Spanish and most of the Latin American sections along with their Swedish and Iranian section. They lost a good portion of their Pakistani section a year or so ago. The good news is that this makes their Canadian section, Fightback, which has around 50 members one of the largest IMT sections in the world.

...someone subscribes to the Leftist Trainspotters mailing list

So do a lot of IMT people:) Are you saying the trainspotter list is wrong?

genstrike

aka Mycroft wrote:

genstrike wrote:

aka Mycroft wrote:
Actually, the IMT is imploding. They've lost their Venezuelan, Spanish and most of the Latin American sections along with their Swedish and Iranian section. They lost a good portion of their Pakistani section a year or so ago. The good news is that this makes their Canadian section, Fightback, which has around 50 members one of the largest IMT sections in the world.

...someone subscribes to the Leftist Trainspotters mailing list

So do a lot of IMT people:) Are you saying the trainspotter list is wrong?

No, I just find it funny when I run into someone who can only be another 'spotter

Jacob Richter

Even a right-wing newspaper wrote this:

http://www.laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=354532&CategoryId=10717

Quote:
CARACAS - Retired Gen. Alberto Müller Rojas, considered one of the ideologues of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's Bolivarian Revolution, said in an interview published Monday said he is retiring from politics because "the revolutionary process" has gone wrong.

"We are trading internationalism, which is the characteristic of revolutions, for a petty-bourgeois nationalism that does not live up to the expectations of society," he told the regional daily Panorama.

Müller, 75, announced during the interview his retirement from the political arena because he is tired of "seeing more of the same."

I wonder how this resignation will affect the development of the new International.

Noah_Scape

The American and other capitalist propaganda has managed to sully the word "socialism" , and so maybe we need a new term for it.

Equality, or egalitarian, something about fairness or ending the cut-throat mean spirited ways of capitalism to better serve everyone is the slant I am hoping for.

A political movement that involves everyone will be more acceptable. When people percieve that all the ideas are coming from a central body it just sounds like more of the same old corrupt system. People want to know their ideas are being heard.

Sorry I don't have something concrete to offer, but maybe we can come up with something if we banter this about.

Noah_Scape

And there it is!! I wished I was as smart as ya'll are going to think I am Embarassed when you read this article I just found -

Why are we afraid of saying "Socialism" ?
http://www.alternet.org/vision/146143/why_are_we_afraid_of_saying_%22soc...

quote -
And now to socialism. What is it? Maybe it's harder to define. Hitler used the term "national socialism" for his brand of fascism in Germany, which explains a lot about its bad name today.

But "democratic socialism" or "social democracy" is commonly used to describe the Scandinavian countries, France, or the Germany of today in which government plays an essential role in making sure that all citizens have the essentials to thrive: Unemployment benefits in Germany, to take but one example, offer about two-thirds of previous pay, compared to less than half in the U.S.; and they last much longer.

Americans see anything labeled socialism as restricting citizens' freedoms.

So, let's add "freedom" to our list of terms that need our immediate attention.

For, if freedom means in part enjoying power over one's destiny, workers in Germany arguably have much more freedom than U.S. workers.

How's that? "German workers are at the table when the big decisions are made, and elect people who still watch and sometimes check the businessmen, they have been able to hang on to their manufacturing sector," unlike in the U.S.

 

RosaL

Noah_Scape wrote:

And there it is!! I wished I was as smart as ya'll are going to think I am Embarassed when you read this article I just found -

Why are we afraid of saying "Socialism" ?
http://www.alternet.org/vision/146143/why_are_we_afraid_of_saying_%22soc...

quote -
And now to socialism. What is it? Maybe it's harder to define. Hitler used the term "national socialism" for his brand of fascism in Germany, which explains a lot about its bad name today.

But "democratic socialism" or "social democracy" is commonly used to describe the Scandinavian countries, France, or the Germany of today .... 

I don't think socialism has a bad name because of the 'national socialists'. And I don't think when Chavez talks about 'socialism', what he has in mind is French or Scandinavian social democracy.

Jacob Richter

Tomorrow it is!

AliShaikh AliShaikh's picture

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Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Dude, this is an obituary thread.  Spam is SO inappropriate here.

Maysie Maysie's picture

The dude is gone.

NDPP

Hugo Chavez in Hospital 'for Kidney Failure

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/southamerica/venezuela/8796505...

"Hugo Chavez, who has been fighting cancer, was rushed to a military hospital for emergency care following kidney failure, according to reports. A meeting between Chavez and his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad set for this weekend in Caracas was postponed indefinitely.."

Fidel

RosaL wrote:

Noah_Scape wrote:

And there it is!! I wished I was as smart as ya'll are going to think I am Embarassed when you read this article I just found -

Why are we afraid of saying "Socialism" ?
http://www.alternet.org/vision/146143/why_are_we_afraid_of_saying_%22soc...

quote -
And now to socialism. What is it? Maybe it's harder to define. Hitler used the term "national socialism" for his brand of fascism in Germany, which explains a lot about its bad name today.

But "democratic socialism" or "social democracy" is commonly used to describe the Scandinavian countries, France, or the Germany of today .... 

I don't think socialism has a bad name because of the 'national socialists'. And I don't think when Chavez talks about 'socialism', what he has in mind is French or Scandinavian social democracy.

I don't know about anyone else, but I always refer to Hitler's setup as fascism. Fascism was born of the French Revolution and arose as an ideological counter to socialism. I think the larger question is, why are the lapdog newz media and our elites so afraid of the word 'fascism'? We should be using it a lot more often than we do and putting the elites and their corporate-sponsored lapdog newz media on the defensive. James Madison said something to the effect that people should not trust certain other people who possess real power. I think that it's a requirement of democracy. Or at least, this is what people are stressing in the anti-NDP forums where they accuse the ONDP of conspiring against certain left wing members of the party. Fascism. None of Obama, Blair, crazy George Dubya etc are socialists today anymore than Hitler was a socialist. Adolf Hitler was not a socialist. Hitler and the NAZIS were the biggest liars of the last century. It requires effort, but we should never be taken in by the fascists' lies.

Capitalism is fascism with the mask on. And in case no one has noticed, the mask has slipped off since 1991 or so, and their fangs are bared for all the world to see. The beasts are spending on military and gorging on the blood of innocents at a frenzied pace all around the world now. It's high time we  to referred to it as exactly what it is by proper name.

NDPP

Chavez Questions If US Gave Leaders Cancer

http://www.torontosun.com/2011/12/29/chavez-questions-if-us-gave-leaders...

"Venezuelan president and four other leaders recently diagnosed..."