A Conference of the Bloc of Four

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At the end of December, a preparatory conference was held of the four organizations (International Communist League, the Socialist Workers Party of Germany, the Revolutionary Socialist Party of Holland and the Independent Socialist Party of Holland) that had signed in August of last year a declaration in support of a Fourth International

The representatives of the International Communist League (Bolshevik-Leninists) submitted the following proposal, which was accepted in substance:

"At the August conference in Paris, the Bloc of Four organizations (three national and one international) was formed with the aim of preparing the unification of the international proletarian vanguard in a new International. The common declaration of the four organizations said: 'The undersigned obligate themselves to direct all their forces to the formation of this International in the shortest possible time on the firm foundation of the theoretical and strategic principles laid down by Marx and Lenin.

"In the same declaration, the four organizations declared they would set up a permanent commission and get down to working out the programmatic documents of the new International.

"Soon after the Paris conference, attempts were made — not limiting ourselves to the declaration — to follow the strategy of fusing corresponding organizations: the SAP and the section of the International Communist League in Germany, the OSP and the RSP in Holland. Both these attempts, at this stage, did not achieve the desired goal. In itself that fact is no cause for discouragement If it turned out to be impossible to realize unification immediately, then it is necessary to prepare it conscientiously by way of principled discussion, on the one hand, and practical agreements, on the other. Of course, it would be completely unforgivable, not to say criminal, to remain on the path of estrangement and hostility because a complete unification has turned out to be unattainable at the present moment.

"The setting up of the permanent commission proved hitherto unrealizable to a significant degree for the reasons stated above: attention had been concentrated mainly on the problem of complete unification. However, we consider that now when the prospect of complete unification has taken on a practical character, the setting up of the permanent commission cannot be further delayed. At this stage of our joint work, the commission could still not claim the role of the leading political center but could and must ensure the continuous exchange of information, articles, etc., prepare conferences like the present one, facilitate practical joint work in every case where this is possible and, finally, see that discussion is held in loyal, comradely fashion.

"In the sphere of working out programmatic documents, essential preparatory work has been done. Apart from the Declaration of Four, which we consider to be a document of the highest political importance, we have in our portfolio at the present time:

"a. a draft devoted to the problem of the economic and social reasons for the collapse of reformism (presented by a member of the SAP);

"b. a survey of the evolution of American capitalism (from the governing body of the Communist League of America);

"c. 'The Fourth International and the USSR' (from the Russian section of the Bolshevik-Leninists);

d. 'War and the Fourth International' (a survey by the International Secretariat of the International Communist League);

"e. a series of works devoted to different problems of revolution ('Fascism and Democracy,' by the Italian section of the International Communist League; 'The Situation in Belgium,' by the Belgian section of the International Communist League; etc.),

"f. the draft of the unification platform of the OSP and RSP. Although this document has not directly achieved its practical goal, it nevertheless retains its main significance, pointing out the future path.

"If the working out of the programmatic documents of the future International is going more slowly than we at first suggested and wanted, nevertheless it is going forward without interruption. In any event, we can with full confidence tell ourselves that the work we are doing of a programmatic-tactical kind is the only main work preparing the new international unification of the proletariat Everything that the Second and Third Internationals put out in this period represents documents of bureaucratic self-justification, lacking in any theoretical or revolutionary value whatsoever.

"We consider that future work on programmatic documents must be organized more correctly. For this it is necessary to start a bulletin of the four organizations devoted to information and discussion. This bulletin must pave the way for a future theoretical organ.

"We attach very great significance to the initiative shown by the OSP in the person of its youth organization in the matter of calling an international conference of youth. The facts testify that working youth in different countries are much more sympathetic to the idea of a Fourth International than those official parties to which their youth are attached. It is not necessary to elucidate that this circumstance in itself contains an important promise of our future successes. One of the most important tasks of the Bloc of Four, and in particular of the present conference, is to help our youth organizations to call as many broad-based international conferences as possible, which must become an important stage in the setting up of a new youth International.

"Such are the tasks we, for our part, put before the present conference.

"Representatives of the International Communist League (Bolshevik-Leninist)”