Pabloist Revisionism and the Destruction of the Fourth International

Genesis of Pabloism

This very important essay on the history of the Trotskyist movement after Trotsky appeared in Spartacist No. 21 (Fall 1972). We have appended an article from 1917 No. 8 (Summer 1990) entitled “Revolutionary Continuity & the Split in the Fourth International” which contains a few criticisms and some supplementary comments. The question of the 1951-53 split in the Fourth International is one of the issues dealt with in Trotskyist Bulletin No. 3 which reproduces a polemic between the Bolshevik Tendency and Workers Power.

Where Are We Going?

This document written by Michel Pablo appeared in the SWP’s International Information Bulletin, March 1951, as part of the discussion leading up to the Third World Congress of the Fourth International. “Where Are We Going?” is a clear exposition of the particular form of Trotskyist revisionism that came to be known as “Pabloism.

What Should Be Modified and What Should Be Maintained in the Theses of the Second World Congress of the Fourth International on the Question of Stalinism? (Ten Theses)

This document by Ernest Germain (Mandel), appeared in the SWP’s International Information Bulletin, April 1951. The significance of this document, and Mandel/Germain’s role in the factional struggle in the Fourth International, is discussed in Genesis of Pabloism.

Declaration of the Delegates of the French Majority and Resolution on the Austrian Question

These documents appeared in the SWP’s International Information Bulletin, December 1951. The French majority (led by Bleibtreau-Lambert) outlined its criticisms of Pablo’s “Where Are We Going?” and endorsed Mandel/Germain’s Ten Theses. “The Resolution on the Austrian Question” adopted by the Austrian Commission at the 1951 World Congress of the Fourth International represented an early elaboration of the meaning of Pablo’s policy of “entrism sui generis.”

Internationalism and the SWP

Speech by James R. Cannon to a meeting of the majority caucus of the New York Local, May 18, 1953.

Report to the May Plenum

Speech delivered by Cannon at the May 28–31, 1953, plenum of the SWP National Committee in New York.

Trade Unionists and Revolutionists

Speech delivered by Cannon at a meeting of the majority caucus of the New York Local on May 11, 1953.

A Letter to Trotskyists Throughout the World

This letter, from the 25th Anniversary Plenum of the National Committee of the Socialist Workers Party, is often referred to as the “Open Letter.” It announced the SWP’s break with Pablo. It was published in the 16 November 1953 issue of the Militant after the departure of the SWP’s pro-Pablo minority (led by Bert Cochran and George Clarke).

Our Orientation

An article that was first published in the May 1954 issue of The Educator, an internal organ of the Socialist Union of America, headed by Bert Cochran. This spells out the liquidationist logic of Pabloism. The Cochranite publication, American Socialist appeared throughout the 1950s before disappearing.

Cannon Versus Pablo:

A review of James P. Cannon’s Speeches to the Party, Pathfinder Press, New York, 1973, published in Workers Vanguard, No. 28, 14 September 1973

Ernest Mandel: A Centrist For All Seasons

SL Confronts USec Leader on U.S. Tour, Spartacist, No. 25, Summer 1978