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 ICConline
May 17 2015 - 06:55
migrants_at_sea.jpg

On 12 and 19 April, two overloaded boats carrying migrants fleeing from the most extreme misery sank in the Mediterranean, taking with them up to 1200 lives. These tragedies have been repeating themselves for decades: in the 1990s, the well-guarded fortress of Gibraltar was already a tomb for many migrants. Since 2000, 22,000 people have disappeared while trying to get to Europe by sea. And since the Lampedusa drama in 2013, in which 500 perished, the migrations and their fatal consequences have been growing at an unprecedented rate. With nearly 22,000 crossings and 3500 deaths, the year 2014 broke all records. Since January 2015, the sea has already claimed 1800 migrants’ lives.

Published by ICConline
Apr 24 2015 - 18:22

“In Syria, every day brings new massacres. The country has joined the other theatres of imperialist war in the Middle East. After Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, now it’s Syria’s turn. Unfortunately this situation immediately poses a very disquieting question: what’s going to happen in the period ahead? The Middle East seems to be on the verge of a conflagration whose limits are difficult to foresee. Behind the war in Syria, it’s Iran which is the focus of imperialist fears and appetites, but all the main imperialist brigands are ready to defend their interests in the region. This is a part of the world that is on a war footing - a war that could have irrational and destructive consequences for the whole capitalist system”. Thus began the article “The threat of an imperialist cataclysm in the Middle East” in International Review number 149, written nearly three years ago to the day.  The situation, the militarisation and decomposition of the Middle East, has since worsened and the threat of a generalised conflagration has become even greater.

Communist Left

Published by: ICConline
Apr 18 2015 - 14:41

Having read on the website of the Internationalist Communist Tendency the communiqué of 12 April 2015 entitled A proposito di alcune infami calunnie (‘Response to a vile slander’), the ICC expresses its total solidarity with the ICT and with those of its militants who have been particularly targeted in these attacks by former members of the ICT’s section in Italy, the Partito Comunista Internazionalista.

Greek elections

Published by: ICConline
Mar 2 2015 - 13:29
Greek flag at elections

According to the media, the triumph of the Syriza coalition has made the big capitalist powers very nervous. But Syriza is on the same side as these powers, because it shares with them the defence of capitalist national interests.

SYRIZA

Published by: ICConline
Mar 12 2015 - 18:40

In Greece the triumph in the January elections for the left-wing Syriza party produced a pleasing symmetry in the response of the right and left of the political spectrum. In the UK, from the right, the Times declared “Far-left firebrand races to victory”, joined by the Daily Mail’s “Shock waves across Europe as the far left sweeps to power in Greece”.

Eastern Europe

Published by: ICConline
Mar 10 2015 - 19:55
russia-ukraine.jpg

Today, in a world fraught with imperialist wars - Iraq, Syria, Libya, East and West Africa, Sudan and Yemen, tensions in the Far East and terror attacks in Europe - Ukraine has become a serious focus of confrontation between Russia and its western rivals. Even if the current war is taking place on the periphery of Europe it nevertheless indicates a striding militarism and a growing threat of war coming to the capitalist heartlands.

Killings in Paris

Published by: ICConline
Mar 10 2015 - 19:44
growing_militarism.jpg

The bloody and barbaric attacks in Paris last month gave rise to a massive indignation and disgust. All this was shown in the gigantic gatherings in all the major towns of France and in numerous cities of the world. Millions of people and hundreds of thousands of workers all wanted to express their total rejection of these barbaric terrorist acts. Solidarity spontaneously took hold in the streets and in the squares. But this healthy and necessary reaction was immediately confronted with calls for patriotism, “national unity” and the “sacred union” from almost all wings of the French bourgeoisie.

Editorial

Published by: InternationalReview
Feb 11 2015 - 00:27

One hundred years ago, the war enters a new year of slaughter. It was supposed to have been "over by Christmas", but Christmas has been and gone and the war continues. The fraternisations of Christmas Eve pose the question: what would have happened if there had been a workers’ Party, and International, capable of giving them a broader vision, allowing them to bear fruit and become a conscious opposition not only to the war but to its causes? 

Conference in Marseille on the Communist Left

Published by: ICConline
Feb 5 2015 - 23:20

Philippe Bourrinet has the misfortune of being peculiarly misunderstood. Among those who are interested in or claim to belong to the Communist Left, he passes for a serious and honest historian. Among historians, he passes for a defender of the Communist Left’s ideas (...) we desire to protest against this double error.

UK Economy

Published by: ICConline
Dec 10 2014 - 19:55

Changes to stamp duty, making it cheaper to buy an ordinary house but more expensive to buy one costing in excess of £2 million, provides a little cover for the cuts announced in George Osborne’s autumn statement. We should have no doubt that the proposed spending cuts are an attack first and foremost on working class living standards, and continue the policies carried out by governments of left or right since the credit crunch, and before.

Winston Churchill

Published by: WorldRevolution
May 3 2005 - 21:03

As the bourgeoisie marks the sixtieth anniversary of the end of the second world war as the "victory of freedom", the second part of this article focuses on Churchill's wartime role and what it reveals about Britain's real motives and interests in a war supposedly fought for democracy against the evils of Nazism.

Islamism

Published by: InternationalReview
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'.

World War I

Published by: InternationalReview
May 17 2015 - 09:55
Jean Jaurès

The ruling class has all but transformed him into a national monument, and yet today Jean Jaurès is almost unknown outside France. His assassination on 31st July 1914 remains mysterious to this day: it removed one of the biggest barriers to France's entry into World War I

Published by: InternationalReview
Feb 27 2015 - 22:58

La Mitrailleuse by CRW NevinsonA visit to the "Truth and Memory" exhibition of British war artists, currently showing at London’s Imperial War Museum, prompts some thought about the complex relationship between art, politics and propaganda.

Published by: InternationalReview
Feb 5 2015 - 23:40
August 1914 cover of Vorwärts

Over and over, the 2nd International and its member parties had warned the workers of the coming war and threatened the ruling classes with their own overthrow should they dare launch Armageddon. And yet in August 1914, the International disintegrated, blown away like insubstantial dust, as one after the other its leaders and parliamentary deputies betrayed their most solemn promises, voted war credits and called the workers to the slaughter.

How could such a disaster happen?

Published by: ICConline
Jan 4 2015 - 21:42

The press is turning the 1914 Christmas Truce into a harmless display of "humanity in the midst of barbarity", to the point where Sainsbury's can turn it into an advert for chocolate. But behind the Christmas Truce lay a real revolutionary potential...

Published by: ICConline
Dec 14 2014 - 18:19

This recording, of the presentation to the first session of the ICC day of discussion on World War I held in September 2014, looks at how the majority of the parties of the Second International came to betray the fundamental principles of internationalism and integrate themselves into the bourgeois state.

UK Election Campaigns Begin

Published by: ICConline
Mar 10 2015 - 19:49
pankhurst_against_the_war.jpg

In Britain, the electoral season is upon us once again. And the ruling class is a bit worried that a growing number of people aren’t that interested. That’s why, along with the usual arguments about the personalities of this or that political leader, followed (usually in order of importance) by arguments about the policies of the different parties, we are hearing a great deal about voter apathy and even the threat to democracy that it poses. The scandal caused by Russell Brand in his interview with Jeremy Paxman in October 2013 summed it up quite well: after Brand’s shocking admission that he has never voted and never will, because he is sick of the lies and dishonesty of the entire ‘political class’, Paxman came back with the classic response: if you don’t vote, you have no right to say anything about the political system. And he was backed up in particular by various celebrities and commentators on the left, who sometimes threw in further arguments about the vote being something that workers and oppressed women fought for to make sure they would have a voice in society. So either you vote and take part in electoral politics, or you are shamefully advocating political indifference and apathy, and even betraying the memory of the fighters of the past.

Congress of the ICC's section in France

Published by: ICConline
Mar 10 2015 - 20:09

We are publishing here the resolution on the social situation in France adopted at the 21st Congress of RI. This document goes back over our analysis of the balance of forces between the classes, with the aim of arriving at a better understanding of the underlying reasons for the relative social calm which has existed since the movement against pension reforms.

Published by: ICConline
Mar 10 2015 - 20:04

The ICC’s section in France recently held its 21st Congress which took place over two sessions. The first, devoted to debates about the organisational problems of the oldest section of the ICC, took place during our Extraordinary International Conference last May[1]. The second session of the Congress was devoted to two questions:

  1. The analysis of the balance of forces in the social situation in France, on the basis of a critical examination of our difficulties in analysing the movement against pension reforms in the autumn of 2010. The debates on this question led to the Congress adopting a ‘Resolution on the social situation in France’ which we publish in this issue of WR.
     
  2. The defence of the organisation faced with pogromist and police-type attacks (fuelled by certain social networks, blogs and websites) which targets us as the main internationally organised current of the communist left.

Anarchism and War

Published by: InternationalReview
Dec 23 2014 - 00:24
Leaflet from the Friends of Durrutti group

The capitulation of anarcho-syndicalism, integrated into the Republican state in Spain 1936-37 did not go unopposed by proletarian currents inside and outside the CNT. To a greater or lesser extent all these groups were made up of working class militants who fought in the heroic struggles of July ‘36 and May ‘37.

Published by: ICConline
Dec 10 2014 - 19:47
cnt_rojava_demo.jpg

Today the question of war is once again facing the world proletariat. Not a world war around already constituted blocs, but a more general, more chaotic descent into military barbarism across the planet, as exemplified by the wars in Africa, the Middle East and the Ukraine. These wars are again imperialist wars, in which the bigger capitalist states vie against their rivals through various local or national factions, and they are all expressions of capitalism’s increasing descent into self-destruction. And once again, a part of the anarchist movement is openly participating in these imperialist conflicts.