Fifth International
The phrase Fifth International refers to the efforts made by sections of the far-left to create a new Workers' International.

Previous Internationals

There have been many previous international workers' organisations, and the call for a Fifth International presupposes the recognition of four in particular, all of which regarded themselves as the successor to the previous ones:
  1. The "First International", known as the "International Workingmen's Association
    International Workingmen's Association
    The International Workingmen's Association , sometimes called the First International, was an international organization which aimed at uniting a variety of different left-wing socialist, communist and anarchist political groups and trade union organizations that were based on the working class...

    ", founded in London in 1864.
  2. The "Second International
    Second International
    The Second International , the original Socialist International, was an organization of socialist and labour parties formed in Paris on July 14, 1889. At the Paris meeting delegations from 20 countries participated...

    ", was founded in 1889 after the expulsion of Anarchists from the First International and its subsequent dissolution in 1916.
  3. The "Third International", known as the Communist International or "Comintern
    The Communist International, abbreviated as Comintern, also known as the Third International, was an international communist organization initiated in Moscow during March 1919...

    ", was founded by Vladimir Lenin
    Vladimir Lenin
    Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and communist politician who led the October Revolution of 1917. As leader of the Bolsheviks, he headed the Soviet state during its initial years , as it fought to establish control of Russia in the Russian Civil War and worked to create a...

     in 1919, after the failure of the Second International at the start of World War I, and was dissolved in 1943.
  4. The "Fourth International
    Fourth International
    The Fourth International is the communist international organisation consisting of followers of Leon Trotsky , with the declared dedicated goal of helping the working class bring about socialism...

    " was founded in 1938 by Leon Trotsky
    Leon Trotsky
    Leon Trotsky , born Lev Davidovich Bronshtein, was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and theorist, Soviet politician, and the founder and first leader of the Red Army....

    , in opposition to Stalinism
    Stalinism refers to the ideology that Joseph Stalin conceived and implemented in the Soviet Union, and is generally considered a branch of Marxist–Leninist ideology but considered by some historians to be a significant deviation from this philosophy...

    . Trotsky considered Comintern to be irreformable and to have crossed over to counter-revolution under the control of a bureaucratic elite in the Soviet Union. Although it still exists, the fragmentation of Trotskyism
    Trotskyism is the theory of Marxism as advocated by Leon Trotsky. Trotsky considered himself an orthodox Marxist and Bolshevik-Leninist, arguing for the establishment of a vanguard party of the working-class...

     has similarly resulted in the subject of this article.

Calls for a Fifth International

In November 1938, just two months after the founding congress of the Fourth International, seven members of the Workers' Party of Marxist Unification (POUM
Poum is a commune in the North Province of New Caledonia, an overseas territory of France in the Pacific Ocean. The town of Poum is located in the far northwest, located on the southern part of Banare Bay, with Mouac Island just offshore....

) on trial in Barcelona
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the capital of Catalonia, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of...

 declared their support for a "fighting Fifth International". The Argentine Trotskyist Liborio Justo, better known as "Quebracho", called for a Fifth International when he broke from Trotsykism in 1941. Another call for a Fifth International was made by Lyndon LaRouche
Lyndon LaRouche
Lyndon Hermyle LaRouche, Jr. is an American political activist and founder of a network of political committees, parties, and publications known collectively as the LaRouche movement...

 after leaving the Spartacist League
International Communist League (Fourth Internationalist)
The International Communist League , earlier known as the international Spartacist tendency is a Trotskyist international. Its largest constituent party is the Spartacist League...

 in 1965. Later, a 'Fifth International of Communists' was founded in 1994 by several very small former Trotskyist groups around the Movement for a Socialist Future.

League for the Fifth International

In 2003, the League for a Revolutionary Communist International called for the formation of the Fifth International "as soon as possible - not in the distant future but in the months and years ahead". The LRCI changed its name at this time to League for the Fifth International. They became the League for the Fifth International
League for the Fifth International
The League for the Fifth International is an international grouping of revolutionary Trotskyist organisations around a common programme and perspectives. The group has sections in Europe, South Asia, and North America as well as supporters in the Middle East.-Early years:L5I was founded as the...

 (L5I), which has since grown significantly and as of 2010 has sections in Austria, Britain, Czech Republic, Germany, Pakistan, Sweden, Sri Lanka (the Socialist Party of Sri Lanka
Socialist Party of Sri Lanka
The Socialist Party of Sri Lanka, which has declared fraternal relations with the League for the Fifth International in May 2007, is an Autumn 2006 split from the United Socialist Party in Sri Lanka which is part of the Committee for a Workers International. The party has members in several unions,...

) and the United States. The League for the Fifth International campaigns in the European Social Forum
European Social Forum
The European Social Forum is a recurring conference held by members of the alter-globalization movement . In the first few years after it started in 2002 the conference was held every year, but later it became biannual due to difficulties with finding host countries...

 and the international labour movement
Labour movement
The term labour movement or labor movement is a broad term for the development of a collective organization of working people, to campaign in their own interest for better treatment from their employers and governments, in particular through the implementation of specific laws governing labour...

 for the formation of a new International. A split from them before they were known as the L5I, the Communist Workers' Group
Communist Workers' Group (New Zealand)
The Communist Workers' Group is a Trotskyist political group in New Zealand. Its origins are to be found in a split in the NZ Spartacist League in 1972 which led to the formation of the Communist Left of Australia in 1974. The Communist Left of NZ was formed in 1981...

 in New Zealand, also argues for a Fifth International.


Hugo Chávez
Hugo Chávez
Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías is the 56th and current President of Venezuela, having held that position since 1999. He was formerly the leader of the Fifth Republic Movement political party from its foundation in 1997 until 2007, when he became the leader of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela...

 announced in 2007 that he would seek to create a new international, which because of the size of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela
United Socialist Party of Venezuela
The United Socialist Party of Venezuela is the name of a democratic socialist political party in Venezuela which resulted from the fusion of some of the political and social forces that support the Bolivarian Revolution led by incumbent President Hugo Chávez...

 could become an actual fifth international: "2008 could be a good time to convoke a meeting of left parties in Latin America to organise a new international, an organisation of parties and movements of the left in Latin America and the Caribbean". On November 21, 2009, in Caracas, Venezuela, during the First International Encounter of Left-wing Parties, Chavez called for the convoking of the Fifth Socialist International in April 2010 in Venezuela.

It was reported that the Bolivian Movement for Socialism
Movement for Socialism (Bolivia)
The Movement for Socialism-Political Instrument for the Sovereignty of the Peoples , alternately referred to as "Movement Toward Socialism" or "Movement to Socialism", is a left-wing, socialist, Bolivian political organization led by Evo Morales, founded in 1995...

, International Marxist Tendency
International Marxist Tendency
The International Marxist Tendency is an international socialist organisation based on the ideas of Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Trotsky. The late Ted Grant was its chief theoretician and the person who built the organisation since its beginning. Currently, Alan Woods and Lal Khan are its best known...

, the Salvadoran FMLN, the Nicaraguan FSLN, the Ecuadorian PAIS Alliance, the Chilean Proposal for an Alternative Society, the Guatemalan New Nation Alliance
New Nation Alliance
The New Nation Alternative was a leftist political party in Guatemala.In the legislative elections of 9 November 2003, the party won 4.9% of the popular vote and 6 out of 158 seats...

, and the Australian Socialist Alliance
Socialist Alliance (Australia)
The Socialist Alliance was founded in 2001 as an alliance of socialist organisations and individuals in Australia, initiated by the Democratic Socialist Perspective and the International Socialist Organisation along with 6 other founding socialist organisations, to create greater left unity in the...

 are likely to join the new International. Representatives of the Portuguese Left Bloc, the German Left Party
Left Party (Germany)
The Party of Democratic Socialism was a democratic socialist political party active in Germany from 1989 to 2007. It was the legal successor to the Socialist Unity Party , which ruled the German Democratic Republic until 1990. From 1990 through to 2005, the PDS had been seen as the left-wing...

, and the French Left Party
Left Party (France)
The Left Party is a French democratic socialist political party. It seeks to emulate the German political party Die Linke led by Gesine Lötzsch and Klaus Ernst.- History :...

 expressed interest but said they would need to consult. The Communist Party of Cuba
Communist Party of Cuba
The Communist Party of Cuba is the governing political party in Cuba. It is a communist party of the Marxist-Leninist model. The Cuban constitution ascribes the role of the Party to be the "leading force of society and of the state"...

 seemed to favour the proposal, but many other Communist Parties were strongly opposed. The League for the Fifth International critically supports the proposal. As of April 2010, the declaration awaits Chávez's signature.

In fiction

The plot of The Fifth Internationale, a thriller by author Jack King
Jack King (author)
Jack King is a pseudonym for an author of spy thrillers. The author claims to have been a former top-secret government courier, who was privy to all the ins and outs of covert maneuvering on a global scale.-Bibliography:...

, is built around the premise that after the collapse of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 and its allies, and the subsequent re-organization or dismantling of the various countries' intelligence and security agencies, their agents formed a pan-international organization called The Fifth Internationale.

Science fiction
Science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

 writer Robert A. Heinlein
Robert A. Heinlein
Robert Anson Heinlein was an American science fiction writer. Often called the "dean of science fiction writers", he was one of the most influential and controversial authors of the genre. He set a standard for science and engineering plausibility and helped to raise the genre's standards of...

 mentioned a Fifth International in several of his depictions of the future. In Heinlein's 1940 short story "Solution Unsatisfactory
Solution Unsatisfactory
"Solution Unsatisfactory" is a 1940 science fiction short story by Robert A. Heinlein. It describes the US effort to build a nuclear weapon in order to end the ongoing World War II, and its dystopian consequences to the nation and the world....

" a group called "The Fifth Internationalists" takes over the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 after the death of Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

 (who was still alive at the time of writing) and leads the country to an all-out war with the US. More sympathetic Fifth Internationalists appear in Henlein's later The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress is a 1966 science fiction novel by American writer Robert A. Heinlein, about a lunar colony's revolt against rule from Earth....

, where they are one of the assorted groups involved in the war of independence
War of Independence
A war of independence is a conflict occurring over a territory that has declared independence. Once the state that previously held the territory sends in military forces to assert its sovereignty or the native population clashes with the former occupier, a separatist rebellion has begun...

waged by the human-colonised Moon.
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