The developing world economic crisis illustrates how the international market dominates the globe. This basic idea of socialism is the reason why all genuine socialist organizations and parties have seen themselves as integral parts of an international movement. While a start to creating a new society can be made in an individual country once its working people have overthrown capitalism, building a fully socialist society is only possible once the world economy has been freed from capitalism’s grip.
This is why from the 1840s onwards there have been different attempts to create an international workers’ movement. Solidarity is an important part of internationalism, but not the only reason that socialists strive to build an international organization. A workers’ international should also be a political weapon in the fight against imperialism and for a socialist world.
At different times strong international workers’ organizations were created but, for different reasons, collapsed. The Labour Party is part of the Socialist International, but this really ceased to be socialist when the majority of its leaders each supported their “own” ruling classes in the First World War. The Communist International, created in the wave of enthusiasm after the 1917 Russian revolution, decayed and then disappeared as Stalin’s clique crushed democratic rights and the idea of an international struggle.
The Socialist Party is the British section of the Committee for a Workers International. The CWI, founded in 1974, defends the tradition of Trotsky’s struggle against Stalinism and to create a “World Party of Socialist Revolution”, a Fourth International.
Today the CWI has members and supporters working in over 35 countries on every continent.
The CWI’s program and policies are democratically decided at a World Congress, made up of delegates from its national sections. This Congress elects an International Executive Committee (IEC) which decides policies in between the Congresses. The day-to-day work of the CWI is run by the International Secretariat (IS), elected by the IEC and based at the CWI’s Center, which currently is in London.