By Tony Cliff
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Additional resources for A world to win: life of a revolutionary
The war is not over, and the rev olution which we said would issue from the war in Europe is not taken off the agenda. 3 T he position of the Fourth International leadership looked com pletely mistaken to me, although at the time I did not have an ex planation of the developments in Russia and Eastern Europe. T he 1946 International Pre-Conference also took an absurd posi tion when it used Trotsky’s pre-war analysis to describe the current state of world capitalism. Trotsky thought that capitalism was in ter minal crisis.
Incidents can play a general role when they throw light on the general issue, when one can ‘see a world in a grain of sand’. W h en Chanie and I met J Stuart (Sam Gordon), the American SW P member of the International Secretariat, he suggested to me that I stay in Paris so as to be able to help the subsequent congresses as they needed simultane ous translations. The fact that my linguistic prowess was not up to it was not the issue for me. W h at made me laugh was the clear picture I had of the last conference a few months earlier.
Thus, in 1944 the total number of Palestinian wage earners was estimated at 160,000. As against this, the number of Egyptian wage earners, excluding agricultural workers who were very numerous, was more than two million. T he largest number of Palestinian workers working in one unit— 32 PALES TI NE the railways— in 1944 was 4,000. 20 Comparing Palestine to Egypt I became more and more convinced that the former working class was far too weak to be a lever to move events in the Middle East. The Egyptian working class was the key factor in the Middle East.