Buenos Aires: Accion Obrera, 1941. Stapled, illustrated wrappers (5 ½” x 7 ¾”), 48 pp. Rubbing and small edge tears to wrappers with a ¾” x 1 ¾” chunk missing from the fore-edge; cheap paper browning, but an about VG copy of a fragile item. No record for this edition in OCLC.
The scarce first Argentinian edition of “The Death Agony of Capitalism and the Tasks of the Fourth International (The Transitional Program),” the influential political program adopted at the Fourth International’s founding congress in 1938. It was first published, unsigned, in the May-June issue of Leon Trotsky’s journal, “Bulletin of the Opposition” as a discussion document leading up to the congress. In it, Trotsky argued for a “prerevolutionary period of agitation, propaganda, and organisation,” in which the FI would be tasked with “help[ing] the masses in the process of daily struggle to find the bridge between the present demands and the socialist program of the revolution.” Trotsky would die at the hands of a GPU assassin in Mexico two years later and the Fourth International has suffered through a variety of schisms, although various tendencies still exist today.
The establishment of Trotskyism in Argentina was due in large part to the organizational and publishing efforts of Liborio Justo, the son of former Argentine president, Augustin Justo, who led two Trotskyist groups, Grupo Obrero Revolucionario and its successor Liga Obrero Revolucionaria. Alongside the group’s newspaper, “La (New) Internacionale,” Justo published ten pamphlets between 1938-41 under the Accion Obrera imprint, seven of which were authored by him and sought to situation Trotskyist thought within the context of Argentina and Latin America. The other three were reprints of official Fourth International publications, including “La Agonía Mortal...,” which appears to be the tenth and final publication. According to Argentinian historian, Constanza Daniela Bosch Alessio, in her article, “Los primeros folletos de ediciones "Acción Obrera": Una experiencia editorial en los orígenes del trotskismo argentino(1938-1941)” , the pamphlets were prohibited from circulating through the mail leading us to surmise that the printing runs were likely to be small. Item #06817