International Socialist Solidarity Organization (1980)
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International Socialist Solidarity Organization
Motto: Workers of the Urth, Unite!
|Membership (at dissolution)||10 |
• First General Secretary
|Väinämö Nyman (1980-1986)|
• Final General Secretary
|Sanna Soro (2016-2022)|
|Establishment||10 October 1980|
The first International Socialist Solidarity Organization, sometimes also called the First International, was established in Vällilä, Vesienväl in 1980 in an effort to unite the world's Communist, Socialist, and Social Democratic political parties into a single alliance. The organization was dissolved and replaced by an organization of the same name in the Treaty of Lanozza, signed on 25 April 2022.
The International Socialist Solidarity Organization was initially a project of the United Workers' Party in Vesienväl, who developed the proposal unilaterally (without the buy-in of any other socialist state or party) during an era of relative political upheaval in Vesienväl. In the late 1970s, the Vesienvällic economy entered an extended period of decline. The country's insistence on reaching autarky meant that the availability of food and other basic goods could vary drastically seasonally. At the same time, labor unions were beginning to express concern over the government's increasingly strong, direct control of the economy (rather than a worker-managed, worker-owned model that was the goal of the Vesienvällic Revolution) and had engaged in a series of national work stoppages in 1979. The idea of a Vesienväl-led organization of international communism was the Party's initial response to quell the unrest, hoping to demonstrate with it a "rededication to the values of the Revolution." When the Vällilä Compact was signed on 10 October 1980, it had been written entirely by the Vesienvällic delegation and presented to other states to other sign or decline without any amendments.
Initial signatories to the Vällilä Compact, in addition to the United Workers' Party, were the Ekvatori Petrovist Socialist League, the Phoenixian Labor Movement, the Marblec Socialist Union (of Sorentavia), and Kietul Njartikt - Civic Renewal (of Aduraszna). With the relative exception of Vesienväl and Ekvatora, these initial signatories were very disparate around the world, limited in their options of expressing solidarity by the cost of moving across such distances. Membership in the organization expanded slowly: NUSCCE of Kurandia joined in 1984, the Syrtæn'at Elerist Party of Syrtænzna in 1986, the Socialist Party for Federalism of Ayaupia in 1987, and the Royalist Workers Party of the Federation of the Southern Coast in 1989. The Tavari Communist Party joined in 1990 but voluntarily and unilaterally withdrew in 2015 with, somewhat infamously, a letter that gave no reason for the departure and was signed only by a temporary intern in the Ministry of External Affairs. With the exceptions of the Salusz Network replacing NUSCCE and the Arcturian Socialist Party replacing Phoenixian Labor Movement in 2007, no new members would join the organization until 2020 when both Durakia and South Ni-Rao (recognized by the organization as "Ni-Rao") joined.
The organization is generally regarded as having accomplished very little of substance. The only formal legislative body of the ISSO was a general session of delegates elected by each member party held once every three years, called a International General Congress of Workers. In between General Congresses, a Presidium overlooked day-to-day administrative affairs. The Vesienvällic organizers portrayed these General Congresses as massive, grand expressions of global comradeship and international agreement in advancing the socialist cause. However, when the first Grand Congress was called in 1983, it soon became apparent that aside from very broad and general statements on supporting socialism, the various delegations were all reticent to agree on any messaging that was not written by their own delegation. Each had such particular instructions from party headquarters that little compromise or consensus was possible. The principal achievement of the first International General Congress of Workers was the Evakjevo Declaration, a document that "rededicated" signatories to "the cause of global communism in our time," hailed by the United Workers' Party at the time as a "crucial moment of change" but regarded with very little attention from media, even in the state media of countries whose parties were in attendance, because the Declaration proposed no new program and contained no actual action items to address. This would become typical for the organization.
Another early complaint about the organization was the perceived paranoia and oppressive behavior on the part of Vesienvällic authorities many felt were "spies spying on Communist Party delegations for anti-Communist Party behavior." Factionalism—the idea that there should be any organization or identity other than the single global proletariat advancing the cause of socialism—was expressly illegal in Vesienväl, perhaps shy only of monarchism in degree of severity of punishment. Therefore, "factionalism" in the ISSO was strictly forbidden by the Vällilä Compact, and Vesienvällic Security Directorate officials at the headquarters very rigidly inspected and monitored delegates and even foreign state officials for "factionalism," making attending the General Congresses incredibly unpopular. Vesienväl's habit of making allegations of revisionism and anti-revolutionary behavior toward supposedly comrade countries may have even reduced global sentiments for Vesienväl, making the organization a net loss for the country that had founded it. By the Third General Congress in 1989, Vesienväl had largely dropped its surveillance and enforcement efforts against other delegations—primarily because the organization had refused to permit the event to be held in Vesienväl. Vesienväl itself went through a series of changes over the 1980s, known as Rakennemuutos, that saw the central government lose power to the individual states in a new federalist approach. The country shifted away from autarky and began accepting more imported foreign goods, even from capitalist countries, that eased shortages—and lowered pressure on the United Workers' Party. By the end of the 80s, Vesienväl itself had begun to neglect the organization.
The 1992 General Congress—to be the organization's fourth—was pushed back to 1993, then 1994, and then cancelled entirely. The 1996 General Congress was held in 1997 in a Good Morning Inn hotel and conference center in Ekvatora, because the state would not make available any government-owned accommodations for the event. Vesienväl did not send a delegation to the "1996" General Congress, nor did three other members. The ISSO General Secretariat had a relatively small staff that continued to be paid but that largely operated with little actual oversight from member officials. In 1998, the Secretariat issued an "International Bulletin" that declared itself "the supreme authority of the global revolution," an act that went literally unnoticed by any government or media organization because no reporter or state official appears to have read it at the time. It was not noticed and rescinded until a record digitization project uploaded the bulletin from old archives to the ISSO website in 2020. Despite this lack of attention, the member parties continued to at least support the continued existence of the body because to formally admit the organization's collapse would make the Communist states look weak. By 2002, all members had at least sent a delegation to the General Congress, a trend which was able to be continued until the organization's dissolution, though no member ever sent the maximum allowable number of delegates to which it was entitled under organizational bylaws.