Workers Power is an Trotskyist group which is the British section of the League for the Fifth International. The group in the UK publish a magazine, also named Workers Power and distribute the L5I's quarterly English language journal, Fifth International.
In 1980 Workers Power abandoned the position that the "Stalinist states" were state capitalist, seeing this position as a logical error on the part of Tony Cliff who looked at the oppression involved in production in capitalist countries and the USSR, and as a result of the need for oppression in both drew the conclusion that these countries were state capitalist. In that year it co-published The Degenerated Revolution which adopted a unique term, that countries other than the USSR (such as those in Eastern Europe and countries such as Cuba) were "degenerate workers states" and "degenerate from birth", representing a nuance to the Fourth International's 1948 analysis that the USSR was a degenerated workers state while the other countries were deformed workers' states. For more details over this theory, please see the section on League for the Fifth International which deals with the theory of Workers Power and the other sections of the League in more detail.
Always linked with the Irish Workers Group, it has placed a great deal of emphasis on building an international organisation. It founded the Movement for a Revolutionary Communist International with the IWG, the Gruppe Arbeitermacht in Germany and Pouvoir Ouvrier in France. The MRCI added supporters in Austria, Peru and Bolivia and became the League for a Revolutionary Communist International. It then added a group in New Zealand. After this growth the LRCI split with most of their supporters in New Zealand, all those in Peru and Bolivia and a few in Europe who formed the LCMRCI. At its international congress in 2003 it adopted a new programme and became the League for the Fifth International.
It campaigns to build a rank and file movement in the trade unions, and for a new mass workers' party in Britain. The group has grown in recent years through work in the student and anti-war movements. Workers Power members in the RMT trade union successfully pushed through a resolution calling for a conference to discuss the formation of a new workers party, which led to the RMT sponsored conference in London in January on the crisis of working class representation, which was attended by over 350 people. Workers Power has subsequently joined the Socialist Party-initiated Campaign for a New Workers' Party, even though they were critical of some of its formulations in the original statement (arguing the need for the party to be revolutionary from the start).
The League for the Fifth International has founded a youth organisation, known as Revolution, which is politically independent though closely linked to Workers Power. It has played an active role in the anti-capitalist movement over the last six years and has been a steady source of recruits to the "League for the Fifth International".
In the previous two years, the International Faction (first as a tendency), had struggled against the perspectives and orientation of the League. In particular, they rejected the view that since the turn of the century there had been an intensification in class struggle, that the world economy demonstrated a "tendency towards stagnation" in the imperialist heartlands, which the League had summarised in 2003 as marking a "pre-revolutionary period". Instead, they argued that capitalism had entered on a "long upward wave" following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the defeats of the working class movement in the 1970s/80s and the League had exaggerated the extents to which breaks had occurred in social democracy. This was related to further conflict over important tactical questions; the extent of the breaks in social democracy; whether it was still necessary to call for a critical vote fopr the Labour party in British elections; the significance (or not) of the anti-capitalist movement; and whether it was necessary to agitate within the world and European social forums for the formation of a new revolutionary international.
Alongside this split in the League there had also been a period of dispute in the youth group Revolution over the role of L5I members in the organisation, who made up 100% of all leadership structures. All non-LFI-members present at the group's international conference, formed a tendency called iRevo in the Summer of 2006, releasing a statement explaining they supported the manifesto but rejected the domination by the L5I iRevo included the entire German, Swiss and Australian Revolution sections as well as half the Czech section. There was a period of debate and discussion following the formation of this tendency but in October 2006 iRevo was expelled from Revolution after refusing to recognise the international leadership structures and conference decisions which were controlled by the L5I. PR has since developed links with iRevo.
Workers Power publishes the journal of the League for the Fifth International, called Fifth International, quarterly. This has come out in two volumes, the first with three issues, the second currently with three issues. Originally this was in the form of a book, now it is, like the magazine, in the form of an A4 magazine.
Workers Power has also published quite a number of Pamphlets and Books, the two most famous being Death Agony of the Fourth International and The Degenerated Revolution. In addition to this, they have published pamphlets on Marxism and the Trade Unions, Women's Oppression, Black Liberation, LGBT Liberation, Cuba, The British SWP and Solidarity in Poland.
In 2007 they republished The Road to Red October, a pamphlet originally released in 1987, to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Russian Revolution.