On heeding the lessons of the past and adapting them to the present : a strategy for an effective Fifth International

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1092-1101
Journal / PublicationGlobalizations
Issue number7
Online published21 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019


The establishment of a Fifth International that would coordinate and provide support to progressive forces from around the world as proposed by the late Samir Amin is long overdue, but its effectiveness will hinge on its ability to heed the lessons of the past and adapt them to the present. This essay argues that an effective Fifth International should move beyond the simplistic and exaggerated interpretations of the capitalist ruling classes wielding absolute power over the world system that leave the revolutionary shortcut as the only viable path forward, and should instead embrace the path of incremental progress and focus on providing support in educating, organizing, and agitating with the specific aim of securing electoral gains. These activities should be oriented globally, but priority should be given to the core, as it is in the core that the key disciplinary structures of capitalist power reside, and without progress against them, progress anywhere else can only be limited. Finally, an effective Fifth International should be organized around a long-term agenda which is at once inspiring and ambitious, broad and flexible, but also safe and familiar, as well as a short and medium term agenda made up of specific policy objectives that not only noticeably improve the lot of the masses, but also undermine the ideological and material bases of power of the capitalist ruling classes.

Research Area(s)

  • capitalist power structures, Class struggle, crisis, entryism, incremental progress, manifesto