Samir Amin: ‘He was a militant till his last breath’

Samir Amin’s works are not the only things he left behind… His legacy was a guide to those who want to change the world.

‘Building a strong international’

Samir Amin, shortly before his death, prepared a document with Firoze Manji that calls for a transnational alliance of workers and oppressed peoples. Manji explains the process of forming the call: “Samir had a long preoccupation with the need for building a strong international. He had previously published calls for the formation of the fifth International. He and I had long discussions about the value of calling for a fifth International. I argued that in this period with the weakness of the left as it is internationally, what is required is not a vanguardist approach, but rather to develop an alliance of organisations of working people, farmers, peasants, women and the oppressed. We agreed that It is important to recognise that people think and they can theorise and contribute to our understanding of the way in which capital exploited and oppressed so as to serve its own interests. Therefore our task as militants should be to encourage and provide a framework in which such discussions by organised peasants, organised workers, organised farmers, organised oppressed groups can take place in an environment that would give articulation to an emancipatory agenda and a programme for confronting capital. Such an approach is not a top down, but rather one that enables us to learn from discussions and debates in a broad alliance, rather than, at this stage at least, the formation of a self-appointed political party or international based on a failure to even make an assessment of the lessons of the failures of the last four internationals. To do otherwise is to end up talking to ourselves, and we fail to connect with, lean from and engage with existing movements.

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