A new problem was posed to the movement for socialist democracy in the 1930s. To its fight against capitalism, it now had to add a fight against Stalinist bureaucracy in the USSR. In The Formative Years of the Fourth International, Daniel Bensaïd outlines the arguments that led part of this movement to found an independent international organization.
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The collapse of the USSR highlighted the dead-end of the sort of planning practised under Stalin, Khrushchev and Brezhnev. But is the only alternative to bureaucratically planned 'command economies' the 'free market'. Rejecting this false choice, Catherine Samary explains that the debate is meaningless unless it is linked to the goal of emancipation.
In most Latin American countries, workers have not formed independent political parties and trade unions. During much of the twentieth century large sections of the worker and peasant masses remained attached to populist parties, which at one point governed half the countries of the continent. But populist regimes' vulnerability to military coups, their inability to stop the drain of the foreign debt and the collapse of the 'economic miracles' they had presided over shook their power in one country after another.
In the 1980s, free enterprise ideologues often presented Japan as a model of social harmony and economic dynamism. The essays included in this Notebook describe the real situation of postwar Japanese workers and unravel the mechanisms of the apparent Japanese consensus, in many cases akin to authoritarian suppression of independent thinking. Moto Ichiyo explains how the strategic choices made by the labour movement in the 1950s and '60s laid the basis for the later rightward shift.
Few concepts have such a controversial history as the one of “permanent revolutionˮ. Formulated for the first time by Marx, it was redeveloped by Trotsky during the Russian revolution of 1905 as the foundation of his predicting the proletarian revolution of October 1917. From 1928, Trotsky made it a world-scale theory to explain the dynamics of social revolutions in colonial, semi-colonial and dependent countries of the periphery capitalism.
The Chinese revolution of 1949 was one of the most important experiences in the history of twentieth-century national liberation movements. It triggered wide-ranging debates among, and often inside, revolutionary currents around the world. The Chinese regime's turn towards the market since the death of Mao Zedong make it all the more important to understand the revolution's distinctive origins and strange destiny.