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Fifth International: Keeping the Momentum Going!?


Most readers will know that on November 20th 2009 Venezuela‘s President Hugo Chávez called for the formation of a Fifth International.  This announcement was made at the ‘International Meeting of Parties of the Left’ in Caracas which was attended by delegates from 39 countries.

As I understand it, the idea was to have a follow-up meeting in April 2010 to further discuss this announcement.  This generated some interest within the Z community to formulate a collective proposal for what we think a Fifth International might entail.  This effort resulted in our Proposal for a Participatory Socialist International which to date has mustered support from over 1400 endorsers. 

 

However since the initial call by Chavez back in November 09 there has, as far as I can tell, been little public discussion in response to Chavez’s call and to my knowledge no statement from the Venezuelans about progress or cancelation of the April gathering in Caracas. 

 

How should the Z community respond to this situation? 

 

One response is to sit back and wait to see what the Venezuelans do next.  Another is to keep momentum going, to continue to seek endorsers for our proposal, to further develop our proposal, to initiate a more in-depth debate with other groups interested in the formation of a Fifth International. 

 

The latter approach is motivated by a desire to work towards a popularly supported proposal, a proposal that carries real weight – both in its quality of content and quantity of support. 

 

If we are to take the latter approach (which I think we should) then how do we best proceed?  Here I have three suggestions –

 

  1. That we draw-up a list of contact details of the organisations / delegates that attended the ‘International Meeting of Parties of the Left’.  Then we ask Z staff to contact these organisations and ask them to respond to our Proposal.

 

  1. To draw-up a list (or find one that already exists) of major left organisations from around the world.  We then ask Z staff to write to these organisations and ask them for a formal response to our Proposal. 

 

  1. To identify a list a progressive magazines and run an international ads campaign asking readers to endorse our proposal.  This will of course require some funding.  So I thought as a way to raise these funds Z staff could propose this idea to existing endorsers and also ask them all to pledge X amount of dollars as a one-off contribution to fund this campaign.  As there are quite a lot of existing endorsers the requested amount would not have to be that big for us to raise quite a sum of money. 

 

What do people think of these proposals?  Do people have better ideas?  Any thoughts? 

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