Published by ICConline
Jul 13 2016 - 20:22

Blame the elites, they scream: the greedy bankers, the corrupt politicians, the shadowy bureaucrats who run the EU and tie us all up in red tape and regulations. And all these figures are indeed part of the ruling class and play their part in ramping up exploitation and destroying jobs and futures. But “blaming the elites” is a distortion of class consciousness, not the real thing, and the trick can be exposed by asking the question: who is peddling this new anti-elitism? And you only have to look at Donald Trump or the leaders of the Brexit campaign, or the mass media who support them, to see that this kind of anti-elitism is being sold by another part of the elite.

Published by ICConline
Jul 13 2016 - 20:32

When 52% of those who voted in the UK Referendum on membership of the European Union chose the Brexit option it was not an isolated incident but another example of the growing international problem of populism. You can see it in the support for Donald Trump in the battle for the US Presidency; in Germany with the appearance of political forces to the right of the Christian Democrats (Pegida and Alternative für Deutschland); in the recent presidential elections in Austria where the Social Democrats and Christian Democrats were eclipsed, and the contest was between the Greens and the populist right; in France there is the continuing rise of the Front National; in Italy there is the Five Star movement; and there’s also the governments of Poland and Hungary.

Public Inquiries

Published by: ICConline
Jul 17 2016 - 09:08

Over the last few years in Britain, and especially recently, there’s been a number of  ‘independent’ inquiries, parliamentary investigations (often televised live), police, parliamentary and ‘independent’ reports into all sorts of scandals and injustices, some of which go back decades. With several major inquiries in progress or just starting up, those that have been pronounced upon or, like the report on the 2003 Iraq War just out, it appears that the state is ‘cleaning up its act’ and, at last, holding those responsible for unacceptable, immoral or criminal behaviour to account. Senior politicians and top police officers are bought to book and the media, from its right to left wing, as in the Hillsborough case for example, celebrate the ‘justice for victims’. But under capitalism there can be no justice for victims and the primary aim of all these inquiries, reports and investigations is to strengthen the ideology of democracy and its ‘rule of law’ behind which lies the strengthening of the totalitarian state. The bourgeoisie may make scapegoats out of one, two or even more individuals from within its ranks but this itself only serves to reinforce its overall democratic campaign against a presently disorientated and weakened working class. It is only at such times that the ruling class is able to unleash such campaigns because if the working class was struggling in any significant way even the bourgeoisie’s ‘rule of law’ would be lifted and, as with the miners’ strike of 84, the state would be confronting it with all the forces and methods available to it however heinous and brutal.

Capitalism's contempt for life

Published by: ICConline
Jun 5 2016 - 08:01

This article was written by our section in France as a response to cases of cruelty against animals exposed in French slaughter-houses. But the same horrors have also come to light in British abattoirs, for example in 2015 following the secret filming of what goes on behind closed doors at a slaughter-house in Butterton, Staffs. As the article explains, cruelty to animals is inseparable from cruelty to human beings, and both are inseparable from the capitalist mode of production, where everything is subordinated to the drive for profit.

Imperialism and Social Decomposition

Published by: ICConline
Jun 11 2016 - 13:36

The whole range of imperialist war and conflict in the Middle East, despite various truces, talks and cease-fires, continues to deepen and spread. In these circumstances it is useful to look into the root of these developments within the framework of the decadence of capitalism – the context of imperialist domination and its connection to the formation the nation state in the area of the Middle East; in particular, we want to concentrate on the “Islamic Republic” of Iran and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, whose rivalries are becoming increasingly significant within the overall pattern of conflicts.

Antisemitism

Published by: ICConline
May 6 2016 - 19:42

The co-chairman of the Oxford University Labour club resigns after claiming “a large proportion of both OULC and the student left in Oxford more generally have some kind of problem with Jews."; two Labour councillors suspended for antisemitic posts on social media: one of them, Salim Mulla, the mayor of Blackburn, tweeted that Israel was behind recent Islamic State atrocities in Europe; further up in the party hierarchy,  Labour MP Naz Shah has to apologise in the House of Commons for suggesting on Facebook that the solution to the Israel-Palestine problem is to transport the entire population of Israel to the USA; and to top it all, Ken Livingstone, the former mayor of London, denies that Naz Shah has said anything antisemitic and refuses to apologise for claiming that “Hitler supported Zionism in 1932 before going mad and killing six million Jews”. Under pressure from the press and parts of his own party, Jeremy Corbyn announces the formation of a commission of inquiry into antisemitism in the party, headed by civil liberties campaigner Shami Chakrabarti.

So, do Labour and the left have a “Jewish problem”?

Leaving aside the way Labour’s scandals have been used to the hilt by the Tories, the right wing press, and parts of the Labour party itself, to discredit the Corbyn leadership; leaving aside the habitual refrain of the right wing Zionists that any criticism of the Israeli state is by definition antisemitic – the answer is still yes.

100 years after the Easter Rising

Published by: ICConline
Mar 25 2016 - 22:34

Much has changed in the nearly forty years since 1978 when this article was first published. But one thing has not changed: nationalism in all its forms remains the working class’ mortal enemy. The positions set forward in this article thus remain essentially valid: and, one hundred years after the Dublin Easter Rising, it still stands as an answer to all those who would hijack the memory of James Connolly, an Irish revolutionary socialist shot down by the British army, for the cause of Irish nationalism.

Junior doctors

Published by: ICConline
Apr 11 2016 - 08:47

On hearing of a strike by nurses demanding better staffing levels at Europe’s largest hospital, Charité, in Berlin last July a junior doctor in London said “They should do that here”. Now the junior doctors are striking here in England in a dispute over a contract that involves both a pay cut and problems of staffing levels. The government claim that they have offered a pay rise, but it’s one which will leave doctors thousands of pounds worse off due to a cut in out of hours pay. The claim that this is about 7 day working is equally outrageous, when the junior doctors have always covered nights and weekends, and rightly fear that increasing the weekend workload without increasing the number of staff would put patients at risk. In February secretary of state for Health, Jeremy Hunt, announced that the new contract would be imposed from August as negotiations had broken down.

Migrant Crisis

Published by: ICConline
Mar 23 2016 - 21:19

The following article is a contribution on the question of refugees as it is posed today in Germany. Certain aspects are not easily transferable to other countries of Europe. For example the demographic problem treated in the article doesn’t exist in countries such as France, Spain or Italy, given that a high youth unemployment rate exists in these countries despite a low birth rate. However, because of the economic and political weight of Germany in the EU and in the world this article has an importance that goes beyond its national borders.

Published by: ICConline
Jan 20 2016 - 19:33

The longer capitalism continues, the more it undermines the possibility of replacing it with a human society – a society based on solidarity and cooperation. But at the same time, every aspect of its descent into barbarism adds further proof that such a society is both necessary and possible. If the capitalist economy is in crisis because it can’t sell all the commodities it produces, if it can’t generate enough profit from its production, then we need a society where people produce not for the market and not for profit, but for need. If national economies are driven to plunder nature in order to outdo their rivals, or if the same nation states can only advance their interests through war and destruction, we need to replace competing national states with a unified world community. In short, we need communism.

21st ICC Congress

Published by: International Review
Jan 26 2016 - 21:13

Marxism is a revolutionary world outlook which must always strive for new discoveries, which completely despises rigidity in once-valid theses, and whose living force is best preserved in the intellectual clash of self-criticism and the rough and tumble of history.” (Rosa Luxemburg, An Anti-Critique)

Published by: International Review
Jan 26 2016 - 21:48

The ICC’s 21st Congress adopted a report on the ICC’s role as a “Fraction”. We publish here the first part, giving the historical context and a reminder of the Fraction as a concept.

France: Movement against the El Khomri law

Published by: ICConline
Jul 17 2016 - 09:30

“A trial of strength”! A “War of attrition”! “Rising tensions”!

These are the kind of terms the media has been using in the last few weeks to describe the apparent confrontation between the governments and the unions over the “El Khomri” labour law. The conflict has been presented in a spectacular way by the media. It even reached the point where, for a few hours, the government banned a union demo prior to allowing it after all – something that hasn’t been seen for 50 years.

Published by: ICConline
Jul 17 2016 - 09:26

A scene filmed on 24 March on a mobile phone did the rounds of social media: three police holding a schoolboy on the ground and when the young boy got up a policeman punched him violently in the face. And this is only one example among others. Police repression has in fact been ferocious throughout the movement against the El Khomri law. And with the approval of a government that pretends to be ‘Socialist’ but which has for several months been establishing a climate of extra security. Each demonstration, each blockade of school, university or refinery, was the theatre for brutality by the forces of order. The young generation has above all paid the price for these muscular interventions, beatings and provocations of all kinds. It’s as if it has become necessary to impress the children of workers with the force of bourgeois order from a very young age.

National Situation: The Phillipines

Published by: ICConline
Jul 17 2016 - 08:19

Duterte declared that he is a “socialist” and a “leftist”. He boasted that he will be the first leftist Philippine President. Almost all the left factions in the Philippines agree with Duterte and offer their support for his regime. And the front runner in this support is the Maoist Communist Party of the Philippines and its legal organisations.

Whatever the “socialism” of Duterte, it is certainly not scientific socialism or marxism. For sure it is another brand of bourgeois “socialism” to deceive the masses and revive the lies of the bourgeoisie against socialism/communism. The “socialism” of Duterte is state capitalism.

EU Referendum

Published by: ICConline
Apr 11 2016 - 09:30

The arguments by both sides in the UK’s Referendum on membership of the European Unions are limited. They make outlandish claims on the benefits of Leaving or Remaining while warning of the dangers of their opponent’s policy in a perpetual pantomime of “Oh no it isn’t! Oh, yes it is!”

Class struggle in France

Published by: ICConline
May 26 2016 - 18:19

Gatherings every evening of several thousand people, especially at the Place de la République in Paris: the Nuit Debout movement has been in the headlines since 31 March. These are meetings of people from different horizons – high school pupils and university students, workers and the precariously employed, unemployed and pensioners, all sharing a desire to get together, to discuss, to close ranks against the adversities of this system. The sincerity of many of the participants is undeniable; they are indignant about all kinds of injustice and at root they aspire to a different world, a more human world founded on solidarity. However, Nuit Debout is not developing their fight or their consciousness. On the contrary, this movement is leading them into a dead end and strengthening the most conformist outlooks. Worse than that, Nuit Debout is a vehicle for the most nauseating ideas, like the personalisation of the evils of society, blaming them on a few representatives like bankers and oligarchs. In this way Nuit Debout is not only misleading all those who are taking part for honest reasons, but is already a blow by the bourgeoisie against the consciousness of the whole working class.

Refugees and the National Question

Published by: ICConline
Jun 11 2016 - 13:03

In the first article in this series, we gave a brief overview of the origins and function of migration in the capitalist system and how this has changed as that same system began its remorseless historical decline in the early 20th century. In part two, we examined the culmination of those trends in the horror of the Holocaust. But the defeat of the Nazi terror did not mean an end to the suffering and trauma of displaced people around the globe. As Nazi terror was replaced by the terror unleashed by the Stalinist and democratic powers, millions of displaced Jews, fresh from the horror of the concentration camps, became pawns in the imperialist struggle in the Middle East around the formation of the Israeli state. As the Cold War confrontation widened, millions more around the globe fled wars and massacres, victims of murderous rivalry between the global super-powers and their equally murderous local client states.

Conference report 2016

Published by: International Review
May 13 2016 - 21:03

The current situation in Germany is in a sense, a concentrate of a whole series of issues of major importance in the present situation: Germany is at the heart of the refugee crisis, the rise in populism and the threat this poses to political stability, the imperialist confrontations with Russia, to name but a few. This report, adopted by the February 2016 joint conference of the ICC sections in Germany, Sweden, and Switzerland, does not claim to be complete but rather to open up a reflection on these difficult questions.

Terrorism

Published by: ICConline
Apr 11 2016 - 08:23

It may be that the recent terrorist attacks in France and Belgium are an expression of the difficulties facing “Islamic State” in the ground war in Iraq and Syria, but sudden murderous attacks on the population of the central countries of capitalism are fast becoming a fact of life, just as they have been for many years in Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkey, Libya, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan and numerous other countries caught up in today’s expanding war zone.

History of the class struggle

Published by: ICConline
Apr 11 2016 - 09:14

It is 40 years since the events that took place in the city of Vitoria, where, in 1976, in the context of falling wages due to the economic crisis there were important workers’ movements throughout the country, and in Vitoria there were increasingly massive General Assemblies which elected a committee of revocable delegates. It was when a General Assembly was taking place in the Church of San Francisco that police unleashed repression against the workers gathered there. The then government minister, Señor Fraga Iribarne, founder and president of the Partido Popular (the People’s Party) until his death, and honoured ‘democrat’, ordered the police to fire upon the workers, causing five deaths with many injured.

Populism

Published by: ICConline
Apr 11 2016 - 09:00

If we are to believe the media bombardment that has been assaulting us in recent months, we are on the eve of an earthquake that will shake to the core the traditional scenario of the last thirty years, in which the People’s Party of the right (PP) and the Socialist Party (PSOE) have succeeded each other alternately in power without anyone finding anything to complain about. This political chessboard is disturbed today by the eruption of ‘emergent forces’, and in particular by the most recent: Podemos. But Podemos represents nothing new.