For the rebirth of the Fourth International! - Pelo renascimento da Quarta Internacional!

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Bureaucrats, Bureaucratism & Hacks


"The more honest or open-eyed of the “friends”, at least when speaking tete-a-tete, concede that there is a spot on the Soviet sun. But substituting a fatalistic for a dialectic analysis, they console themselves with the thought that “a certain” bureaucratic degeneration in the given conditions was historically inevitable. Even so! The resistance to this degeneration also has not fallen from the sky. A necessity has two ends: the reactionary and the progressive. History teaches that persons and parties which drag at the opposite ends of a necessity turn out in the long run on opposite sides of the barricade."

Leon Trotsky (1936)


"There is nothing revolutionary about the bureaucrats. They fear the masses and distrust them and are always swept aside during periods of upsurge. Only when the masses quiet down do the bureaucrats have their day—the gray people of the ebb tide. You see this manifested in all workers’ organizations in all mutations of the class struggle, from strikes to revolutions, and from trade unions to the organs of state power.

James P. Cannon (1951)


"Pablo's duplicity in presenting one face to the leadership of the SWP while secretly collaborating with the revisionist Cochranite tendency is a method that is alien to the tradition of Trotskyism. But there is a tradition to which It does belong—Stalinism. Such devices, used by the Kremlin, were instrumental in corrupting the Communist International Many of us had personal experience with all this in the 1923-28 period..."


"This procedure is out of the foul tradition of the Comintern as it underwent degeneration under the influence of Stalinism. If there were no other issue than this, it would be necessary to fight Pabloism to a finish to save the Fourth International from internal corruption."

A Letter to Trotskyists Throughout the World (1953)



Added 4/1/13; A Stupendous Bureaucracy by Max Shachtman. First printed in New International, Vol.1 No.3, September 1934.


Added 6/16/12; The Soviet Thermidor by Leon Trotsky. Chapter 5 of "The Revolution Betrayed: What is the Soviet Union and Where is it Going?" (1936)


Added 11/23/15; Four Days that Shook the Waterfront by James P. Cannon, January 2, 1937


Added 9/24/09; The Champion from Far Away  by James P. Cannon. First printed in Labor Action, January 16, 1937.


Added 9/24/09; An Open Letter to Members of the Socialist Labour League and Other Marxists by Peter Fryer, November 11 1959.


Added 6/16/12; Healy Reconstructs the Fourth International Originaly published in June 1966 by the Socialist Workers Party in the US with a preface by Joseph Hansen as "Healy 'Reconstructs' the Fouth International: Documents by Participants in a Fiasco." A selection of correspondence from the participants in the 1966 International Committee conference


Added 4/1/13; Revolution and Truth First printed in Spartacist #8, November - December 1966


Added 8/12/10; The Wohlforthite Ultimatum Exchange between the Communist Working Collective and the Workers League's Tim Wohlforth in 1971. Reprinted in Marxist Bulletin #10 "From Maoism to Trotskyism: Documents on the development of the Communist Working Collective of Los Angeles".


Added 9/24/09; SWP Uses Watergate Methods Against Trotskyists First printed in Workers Vanguard #29, 28 September 1973.


Added 4/1/13; Portrait of a Healyite Scab/Spy First printed in Workers Vanguard #231, 11 May 1979.


Added 6/16/12: Resignation Letter from the Spartacist League US by Howard Keylor. September 5, 1981.


Added 11/23/15; FROM NEW YORK TO SRI LANKA: IT IS DESPERATELY NECESSARY TO FIGHT!   A Call to Struggle Against the Degeneration of the iSt. First public statement of the External Tendency of the international Spartacist tendency. October 1982.


Added 8/12/10; ‘I Liked Gerry Healy...: ’The Robertson School of Party Building First printed in 1917 No.1 Winter 1986. 


Added 9/24/09 On the Spartacist Tendency Excerpt from a 6/16/88 letter from Bill Logan on behalf of the Permanent Revolution Group (New Zealand) to the Communist Left (New Zealand).


Added 4/1/13; Truth or Consequences First printed in 1917 #8, Summer 1989.




Added 8/12/10; Rank & File Insurrection (Selected Quotes)

Added 8/12/10; On Choosing to Not to be a Hack First printed in Solidarity, Vol. 6, No. 2, 13 November 1969.