1914-2014 : The Great War

Throughout 2014 we will be publishing a series of articles on the Great War to counter the propaganda of the ruling classes. Follow the series on a special page dedicated to the events of World War I.


 

Published by InternationalReview
Sep 11 2014 - 21:26
icc_logo.jpg

At the beginning of May the ICC convoked an Extraordinary International Conference. For some time a crisis had been developing within the ICC. It was judged necessary to call this Conference in addition to the regular International Congresses of the ICC, in view of the urgency of fully understanding the crisis, and developing the means to overcome it.

All the international sections of the ICC sent delegations to this third extraordinary Conference and participated very actively in the debates. The sections which were not able to come physically (because of the Schengen fortress around Europe) sent statements to the conference on the different reports and resolutions submitted for discussion.

Published by ICConline
Jul 17 2014 - 07:58
Front cover of the newspaper of the German Social Democratic Party on August 4 1914, announcing that it was prepared to defend t

September 20, 2014, 11 am to 6 pm

Lucas Arms, 245A Grays Inn Rd, Kings Cross, London WC1X 8QY

In all the noisy commemorations about the First World War, some things are more or less left in silence. First, that a crucial responsibility for the war lay with the ‘Labour’ and ‘Socialist’ parties who in 1914 voted for war credits and set about mobilising the workers for the war effort; and second, that the war was ended by the revolutionary struggles of the working class.

Published by ICConline
Aug 16 2014 - 16:26
Israeli airforce bombing Gaza

In Israel, there are Jews talking about applying a new "Final Solution" to the "Arab problem". In Gaza, there are Arabs cheering the Hamas rockets with cries of "death to the Jews". A wave of irrational hatred is spreading over the Middle East, in Israel, Palestine, Syria, Iraq. Capitalism has conjured up the forces of the netherworld, and only the world proletariat can stand in their way.

US Imperialism

Published by: ICConline
Sep 6 2014 - 08:27

An axis of military chaos is engulfing a swathe of the planet, stretching from Nigeria, through Mali, Sudan, Libya to Iraq, Syria, and reaching up to Ukraine. Ancient cities such as Aleppo left in ruins, increasing military tensions on the borders of Europe as Ukrainian and Russian nationalists slaughter each other, millions uprooted by wars in Syria and Iraqi, hundreds of men, women and children killed in Gaza as Israeli and Palestinian imperialist gangsters fight it out, hundreds of schoolgirls kidnapped in Nigeria by Boko Haram. Humanity is naturally profoundly fearful for the future faced with this descent into hell.

"Communist University" talk

Published by: ICConline
Sep 6 2014 - 11:29

The Communist Party of Great Britain, which each summer hosts the “Communist University” in London, is different from the Socialist Workers Party. It’s extremely difficult for revolutionaries to speak at SWP meetings because they pack the floor with their own members who are pre-arranged to monopolise the brief period of debate that usually follows a lengthy introduction (or three). At the Communist University meeting titled ‘Left wing communism, an infantile disorder?’ the period of discussion was long enough and open enough for an ICC member to develop his argument.

Correspondence

Published by: ICConline
Sep 6 2014 - 11:39

We are publishing some recent correspondence between the ICC and a member of the CPGB on the subjects of religion and the class distinction between what we call "leftism" (essentially, the expression of capitalist ideology with a working class veneer) and the communist left.

Ferguson Unrest

Published by: ICConline
Sep 7 2014 - 07:47
ferguson_cops.jpg
ferguson.jpg

The contribution that we are publishing below was posted on our online discussion forum by an ICC sympathiser in response to the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri in early August, and the subsequent protests and unrest.

Life of the organisation

Published by: ICConline
May 7 2014 - 23:06

For several days, a so-called ‘International Group of the Communist Left’ has been carrying out a frenzied activity, addressing letter after letter to the whole ‘proletarian milieu’, as well as to our militants and some of our sympathisers (those whose addresses they have got hold of) in order to save them from the claws of a so-called ‘liquidationist faction’.

This is clearly police work which has no other aim than to sow generalised suspicion, trouble and ill-feeling in our organisation. These are the same methods that were used by the GPU, Stalin’s political police, to destroy the Trotskyist movement from the inside during the 1930s. This is a real enterprise of destruction which is no less perverse than the methods of Stalin’s political police or of the Stasi.

Imperialism

Published by: ICConline
Jun 14 2014 - 07:47
The crisis in Ukraine is the most dangerous in Europe since the break-up of Yugoslavia a quarter of a century ago, as Russia attempts to defend its interests in the region against the tendency for western European powers to gain more influence, threatening civil war internally and destabilisation in the region.
 

War Without End

Published by: ICConline
Jun 14 2014 - 07:27

Our rulers just can’t get enough of war.

A whole year of ‘commemorations’ of World War One, with opinion divided among them about whether this was a Good War or a Bad War. The right wing tends to argue that this was a Good War. The Kaiser was Bad, and had to be stopped. And Britain’s empire was, on the whole, a Good Thing, which had to be defended. The left wing can then pose as very radical, and say, this was a Bad, Imperialist War.

70th Anniversary of D-Day

Published by: InternationalReview
Dec 12 2004 - 18:58

The capitalist class spares no expense when it comes to putting on a show to make the oppressed and exploited accept their fate. In ancient Rome, the Emperors knew that bread and circuses (“panem et circenses”) were necessary to reconcile the plebs to their situation. And when bread ran short, they added to the circus. In the Christian epoch, the ceremonial of the mass played essentially the same role. And, as with the Roman circus, the purpose was not only to divert the oppressed to make them forget the misery of their daily lives, but also to praise the strength and generosity of the ruling power of the day.

Printed Press

Published by: ICConline
Jun 14 2014 - 07:49

Readers will be aware that we have reduced the frequency of the publication of World Revolution.

On the positive side, our website is now our main publication, which we can update as necessary between publication dates giving a proletarian view on significant events in the world. It is also able to reach readers in parts on the world that our papers cannot.

At the same time, the rise in postal charges means that producing and selling papers is increasingly expensive.

From this issue we will be producing World Revolution quarterly, 4 issues a year. Our new subscription prices will appear in the next issue. All existing subscribers will get the full number of issues they have paid for.

World War One

Published by: ICConline
Aug 6 2014 - 08:05
1914_patriot_demos.jpg

We can hardly get away this year from a whole variety of historical experts telling us how the First World War actually got started and what it was really about. But very few of them – not least the left wing ideologues who are full of criticism about the sordid ambitions of the contending royal dynasties and ruling classes of the day –tell us that the war could not be unleashed until the ruling classes were confident that plunging Europe into a bloodbath would not in turn unleash the revolution.  The rulers could only go to war when it was clear that the ‘representative’ of the working class, the Socialist parties grouped in the Second International, and the trade unions, far from opposing war, would become its most crucial recruiting sergeants. This article begins the task of reminding us how this monstrous betrayal could take place.

Scottish referendum

Published by: WorldRevolution
Mar 16 2014 - 22:39

Workers of the world unite! This fundamental principle of the proletariat is an anathema to the ruling class - whether it be British, English, or Scottish.

Russian Imperialism

Published by: ICConline
Sep 6 2014 - 11:26
ukraine_protests_against_war_mobilisation.jpeg
ukraine_bombardments.jpg

When Poroshenko was elected president of Ukraine he promised to defeat the “separatist terrorists” in the Donbass region, and in the last month the combination of Kiev’s regular army and irregular militias has gained a lot of ground particularly around Luhansk, with increasing cost to life as the fighting moved into more populated cities with more civilians caught in the crossfire. Estimates of the dead are all above 2,000. To this can be added the 298 killed when flight MH17 was shot down when Russia put powerful antiaircraft guns in the hands of separatists without the ability, or even the concern, to recognise civilian transponder signals, compounded by capitalism’s way of balancing the risk of flying over a war zone against the cost of extra fuel to go round it.

The Class Struggle in Spain

Published by: ICConline
Sep 7 2014 - 08:30
gamonal.jpg

We originally published this article in Acción Proletaria, our publication in Spain. The struggles of the Indignados in Spain were one of the most developed expressions of the period of struggle that emerged during and after the economic crisis in 2007-8. The movement in Gamonal, described below, shows how the legacy of the Indignados movement has been adopted and adapted by present movements in Spain: particularly, the use of "assemblies" to organise struggles.

British Imperialism

Published by: ICConline
Sep 6 2014 - 08:20

In Iraq and Syria Britain condemns the advance of the Islamic State while insisting it will not take part in any military intervention; in Gaza it supports Israel’s right to self-defence while freezing export licences for military equipment in protest at the growing slaughter; while in the Ukraine it supports sanctions against Russia so long as the impact on its financial sector is not too great. Such apparent contradictions are often seen in the opaque and convoluted manoeuvres of participants in the ‘international community’. However, for the British state today they express not just the usual twists and turns of imperialist tactics but a growing incoherence at the level of imperialist strategy. This has its roots in the growing fragmentation and barbarism that has come to dominate the international situation since 1989 and in the long term decline of British power.

Review

Published by: ICConline
Sep 7 2014 - 08:46
john_ball_at_the_head_of_the_peasants_revolt.jpg

John Ball, as Melvin Bragg points out in his two-part documentary Radical Lives, was consciously written out of history for 300 years after the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381. Unfortunately the real message and meaning of the movement which John Ball gave voice to is also kept hidden in the present, and also in Melvin Bragg’s own programme.

Imperialism, Islam and Decomposition

Published by: ICConline
Sep 6 2014 - 08:41

At the beginning of 2014, the ICC wrote: “Today, the phased withdrawal of American and NATO troops from Iraq and Afghanistan is leaving those countries in an unprecedented state of instability, threatening to aggravate the instability of the whole region” (ICC 20th Congress International Situation Resolution, point 5). That is clearly the present situation and the present situation itself presages a further downward spiral of war and instability throughout the region and beyond. Our leaders have promised us years, a generation of war.

World War I

Published by: InternationalReview
Jul 31 2014 - 22:54

In 1914, the German Social-Democratic Party was the most powerful party of the Second International. With more than one million members, it was the largest single political party in Europe and the largest party in any European parliament. Socialists throughout the world, faced with the threat of war in the last days before that fateful 4th August, waited for the SPD to live up to its solemn commitments made at the International's congresses at Stuttgart and Basel, and oppose the war. Yet on 4th August, the SPD parliamentary fraction voted for the Imperial government's war credits, and the way to war was open.

How the German Party degenerated in the years leading up to 1914 to the point where it betrayed its most fundamental principles, and the struggle of the left in the party against this degeneration, is the subject of the article that follows.

World War 1

Published by: WorldRevolution
Sep 27 2003 - 21:12
John Maclean and comrades
John Maclean
"Red Clydeside" - A mass meeting in 1919

In World Revolution 365 we republished an article that showed how, when the imperialist war of 1914 broke out, the Labour party and the trade unions offered their services to the ruling class by mobilising the workers for war. But there were numerous voices within the workers’ movement in Britain who, like their counterparts in other countries (like the Bolsheviks in Russia and the Spartacists in Germany) remained loyal to their internationalist principles and raised their voices against the ideological orgy of patriotism and the hideous carnage in the trenches. This article, written by a close sympathiser of the ICC, was originally published in two parts (in World Revolution 267 and 268 in September and October of 2003) which we have now consolidated into one article.

An additional article, on the minority in the UK who maintained internationalist positions in the face of the Second World War, was published in WR 270 and is available here.

 

Police provocation

Published by: WorldRevolution
Dec 30 2004 - 18:57

Since its origins, the workers’ movement has had to face up to repression from the bourgeoisie. However, it would be a serious error, a real expression of naivety, to think that such repression only takes the form of physical repression directed against workers’ strikes or uprisings.

It’s no accident if the figure of the agent provocateur has always been abhorred in the workers’ movement. From their beginnings the political organisations of the working class have tried to protect themselves against the activities of rogues and criminals who have hired themselves out to the ruling classes.