Published by International Review
Aug 31 2016 - 18:28

This article aims to give a broad general framework for understanding the whole problem of the rise in populist parties and movements. It is still under discussion in the ICC.

Published by International Review
Aug 31 2016 - 18:46

The political instability created in Britain by the "Leave" vote in the Brexit referendum, and in the USA by the Donald Trump presidential candidacy, provide graphic illustrations of the ruling class' loss of control of its own political apparatus.

Published by ICConline
Sep 18 2016 - 08:34

At a time when the French government has just extended the state of emergency to 2017, when an atmosphere of suspicion and fear is pressing hard on a population still feeling the shock of a series of terrorist attacks, a new  and highly demagogic ‘debate’ is reinforcing the current anti-Islam campaign. It’s been in the national headlines and has had considerable international coverage. We’re referring to the ‘burkini ban’ on a number of beaches. This retrograde controversy has engaged the whole political class, from local mayors in coastal towns to the highest state authorities, all of them, right and left, plunging their hands into the whole ideological mess.

Not just a nice idea...

Published by: International Review
Sep 1 2016 - 22:22

In this article, we return to the work of the Italian communist left, which before the war, in the shape of the Fraction in exile, had made such an irreplaceable contribution to our understanding of the problems of the transition from capitalism to communism, and to the inter-action, and often the opposition, of two leading militants of this current – Onorato Damen and Amadeo Bordiga.

ICC Discussion Day

Published by: ICConline
Aug 28 2016 - 08:34

In July 2016, the ICC held an open discussion day on the topic of immigration, refugees and populism. We are publishing the following account, written by one of our close sympathisers who attended the meeting.

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.

Islamism

Published by: International Review
Nov 28 2004 - 22:52

Not for the first time, capitalism is justifying its march towards war by invoking the idea of a 'clash between civilisations'. In 1914 workers were marched off to war to defend modern 'civilisation' against the Russian knout or German kaiserism; in 1939 it was to defend democracy against the new dark age represented by Nazism; from 1945 to 1989 it was to fight for democracy against Communism, or for the socialist countries against the imperialist ones. Today the refrain is 'the Western way of life' against 'Islamic fanaticism', or 'Islam' against the 'crusaders and Jews'.

Turkish situation

Published by: ICConline
Sep 3 2016 - 08:31

The internal response to the July 15/16 attempted coup was, according to Turkish President Erdogan, a “Gift from God”. He insisted that the “cleansing” would continue and the “virus would be eradicated” along with terrorists wherever they were. Sure enough, a Stalinist-like purge, with lists of names already drawn-up, was implemented with force and the war against the Kurds in south-east Turkey immediately stepped up.

 

Dublin 1916

Published by: International Review
Sep 1 2016 - 21:28

How the failure to understand that changing conditions invalidated the Second International's stand on democracy and the national question led the internationalist James Connolly into support for the Irish nationalist uprising in Dublin, 1916.

Irish nationalism

Published by: World Revolution
Sep 1 2016 - 21:48

The article that we are republishing here first appeared in World Revolution 21 in 1978. In the first paragraph it establishes the framework in which ‘national liberation’ struggles should be seen. “The 'small nations' like Ireland, which wanted to grab something for themselves, would have to try and exploit for their own interests the conflict between the big imperialist powers.”

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.

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.