Ian Anderson The Spark February 2010
In a characteristically bold move, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez called for the formation of a “Fifth International” in November last year. The Latin American leftist leader made the call at the World Meeting of Left Parties, a conference held in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas.
For those not immersed in socialist lingo, an International is a forum for working-class organisations; a solid base for coordination and debate. The tradition began in 1864 with the International Workingmen’s Association, of which Karl Marx was a founding member. Uniting workers across borders, the International Workingmen’s Association admitted a range of leftists from the anarchist, socialist and trade union movements. This organisation lasted over a decade and provided a strong, diverse base for working-class organisation. However, due to a conflict between Karl Marx and anarchist Mikhael Bakunin, the First International dissolved in 1876.
While not officially forming a Fifth International, guests at the World Meeting of Left Parties signed a document intended to kick the process off – the “Caracas Commitment.” This is available in English, on the PSUV website: www.psuv.org.ve/files/tcdocumentos/commitment.caracas.pdf
The Caracas Commitment has a decidedly anti-imperialist bent, with a 6-point course of action summarised below:
- Mobilisation and condemnation of US military bases.
- Installation and development of a platform of joint action by left wing parties of the world.
- Organisation of a world movement of militants for a culture of peace.
- Artillery of international communication to emancipate revolutionary consciousness. [This refers to left-wing media.]
- Mobilize all popular organisations in unrestricted support for the people of Honduras.
- Solidarity with the peoples of the world. Read the rest of this entry »