Welcome to the ICC’s new sections in Turkey and the Philippines

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During the ICC's last congresses, we pointed out an international trend towards the emergence of new groups and individuals moving towards the positions of the Communist Left, and we highlighted both the importance of this process and the responsibility that this imposes on our organisation:

"The work of the 16th Congress [had as its] main preoccupation (...) to examine the revival of class struggle and the responsibilities this imposes on our organisation, particularly as we are confronted with the development of a new generation of elements looking for a revolutionary political perspective".[1]

"It is the responsibility of revolutionary organisations, and of the ICC in particular, to be an active part in the process of reflection that is already going on within the class, not only by intervening actively in the struggles when they start to develop but also in stimulating the development of the groups and elements who are seeking to join the struggle."[2]

"The congress (...) drew a very positive balance sheet of our policy towards groups and elements working towards the defence of the positions of the communist left (...) the most positive aspect of this policy has without doubt been our capacity to establish or strengthen links with other groups based on revolutionary positions, as illustrated by the participation of four of these groups in our congress".[3]

It was thus that our last international congress, for the first time in a quarter century, was able to welcome the delegations of different groups that stood clearly on internationalist class positions (OPOP from Brazil, the SPA from Korea, EKS from Turkey, and the Internasyonalismo group from the Philippines,[4] although the latter was unable to be present physically). Contacts and discussions have continued since with other groups and elements from other parts of the world, especially in Latin America where we have been able to hold public meetings in Peru, Ecuador, and Santo Domingo.[5] The discussions with the comrades of EKS and Internasyonalismo led them to pose their candidature to join the ICC, given their growing agreement with our positions. For some time, these discussions have been continuing within the framework of an integration process whose general lines are described in the text published on our web site: "How do you join the ICC?".[6]

During this period, the comrades have thus undertaken in-depth discussions on our Platform, and kept us informed with accounts of their discussions. Several delegations from the ICC have visited them on the spot to discuss with them and were able to see for themselves the comrades' profound militant commitment and the clarity of their agreement with our organisational principles. At the conclusion of these discussions, the latest plenary session of the ICC's central organ was therefore able to take the decision to integrate both groups as new sections of our organisation.

Most of the ICC's sections are based in Europe[7] or in the Americas,[8] and until now the only section outside these two continents was the one in India. The integration of these two new sections into our organisation thus considerably broadens the ICC's geographical extension.

The Philippines is a vast country in a region of the world that has recently undergone a rapid industrial growth, and a resulting growth in the number of workers - not to mention the diaspora of 8 million Filipino migrant workers around the world. In recent years, this growth has fed many illusions about capitalism getting its "second wind"; today on the contrary it is clear that the "emerging" countries have no more chance of escaping the ravages of the developing crisis than the "old" capitalist countries. Capitalism's contradictions will thus be violently sharpened in the coming period throughout this region, and this will inevitably provoke social movements, which will not be limited to the hunger riots that we witnessed in the spring of 2007 but will also involve the struggles of the working class.

The formation of a section in Turkey strengthens the ICC's presence on the Asian continent, more especially in a region close to one of the most critical flashpoints in today's imperialist tensions: the Middle East. Indeed, the comrades of EKS were already intervening by leaflet last year to denounce the military manoeuvres of the Turkish bourgeoisie in northern Iraq (see "EKS leaflet: against the Turkish army's latest ‘Operation'" on our web site).

The ICC has been accused on more than one occasion of having a "Euro-centrist" view of the development of workers' struggles and the revolutionary perspective because it has insisted on the decisive role of the proletariat in the countries of Western Europe:

"It's not until the proletarian struggle hits the economic heart of capital,

-- when it's no longer possible to set up an economic cordon sanitaire, since it will be the richest economies that will be effected;

-- when the setting up of a political cor­don sanitaire will have no more effect because it will be the most developed proletariat con­fronting the most powerful bourgeoisie; only then will the struggle give the signal for the world revolutionary conflagration (...)

Only by attacking its heart and head will the proletariat be able to defeat the capitalist beast.

For centuries, history has placed the heart and head of the capitalist world in Western Europe. The world revolution will take its first steps where capitalism took its first steps. It's here that the conditions for the revolut­ion, enumerated above, can be found in the most developed form (...)

It is thus only in Western Europe, where the proletariat has the longest experience of struggle, where it has already been confronted for decades with all the ‘working class' mystifications of the most elaborate kind, that there can be a full development of the political consciousness which is indispensable in its struggle for revolution".[9]

Our organisation has already answered this accusation of "Euro-centrism":

"This is in no way a ‘Euro-centrist' view. It is the bourgeois world itself which began in Europe, which developed the oldest proletariat with the greatest amount of experience." (ibid.).

Above all, we have always considered that revolutionaries have a vital part to play in the countries of capitalism's periphery:

"This does not mean that the class struggle or the activity of revolutionaries has no sense in the other parts of the world. The working class is one class. The class strug­gle exists everywhere that labour and capital face each other. The lessons of the different manifestations of this struggle are valid for the whole class no matter where they are drawn from: in particular, the experience of the struggle in the peripheral countries will influ­ence the struggle in the central ones. The revolution will be worldwide and will involve all countries. The revolutionary currents of the class are precious wherever the proletariat takes on the bourgeoisie, ie, all over the world" (ibid).

This obviously applies for countries like Turkey or the Philippines.

In these countries, the struggle to defend communist ideas is difficult indeed. It has to confront the classic mystifications that the ruling class uses to block the development of the struggle and consciousness of the working class (democratic and electoral illusions, the sabotage of workers' struggles by the union apparatus, and the poison of nationalism). But more than that, the struggle of the working class and of revolutionaries comes up directly and immediately not only against the government's official forces of repression but also against armed forces opposed to the government, such as the PKK in Turkey or the different guerrilla movements in the Philippines, whose brutality and lack of scruples is fully the equal of the government's, for the simple reason that they too defend capitalism, even though under a different guise. This situation makes the activity of the ICC's two new sections more dangerous than it is in the countries of Europe and North America.

Before its integration into the ICC, the section in the Philippines was already publishing its own web site in Tagalog (the country's official language) as well as in English (widely used in the Philippines). Present conditions make it impossible for the comrades to publish a regular printed press (other than occasional leaflets) and our web site will thus become the main means for the spread of our positions in there.

The section in Turkey will continue to publish the review Dunya Devrimi, which now becomes the ICC's publication in that country.

As we wrote in International Review n°122: "We salute these comrades who are moving towards communist positions and towards our organisation. We say to them: "You have made a good choice, the only one possible if you aim to integrate yourselves into the struggle for the proletarian revolution. But this is not the easiest of choices: you will not have a lot of immediate success, you need patience and tenacity and to learn not to be put off when the results you obtain don't quite live up to your hopes. But you will not be alone: the militants of the ICC are at your side and they are conscious of the responsibility that your approach confers on them. Their will, expressed at the 16th Congress, is to live up to these responsibilities"." (ICC 16th Congress, op.cit.). These words were addressed to all the elements and groups who had made the choice to take up the defence of the positions of the Communist Left. They obviously apply first and foremost to the two new sections that have just joined our organisation.

To the two new sections, and to the comrades who have formed them, the whole ICC addresses a heartfelt and fraternal welcome.

 

ICC



[1] International Review n°122

[2] International Review n°130, "Resolution on the international situation".

[3] International Review n°130, "The proletarian camp reinforced worldwide"

[4] OPOP: Oposição Operária (Workers' Opposition); SPA: Socialist Political Alliance; EKS: Enternasyonalist Komünist Sol (Internationalist Communist Left); Internasyonalismo (Internationalism).

[5] See on our web site "Internationalist debate in the Dominican Republic", "Reunión Pública de la CCI en Perú: Hacia la construcción de un medio de debate y clarificación" and "Reunion pública de la CCI en Ecuador: un momento del debate internacionalista".

[6] "The ICC has always enthusiastically welcomed the new elements who want to join us (...) However, this enthusiasm does not at all imply that we have a policy of recruitment for its own sake, like the Trotskyist organisations (...) Our policy is not one of premature integrations on an unclear, opportunist basis (...)The ICC is not a bed and breakfast stopover and it's not interested in fishing for members.

Neither do we peddle illusions. This is why those readers who pose the question 'how do you go about joining the ICC?' have to understand that becoming part of the ICC takes time. Every comrade who poses his candidature must therefore be prepared to be patient. The process of integration is a means whereby the candidate finds out for himself the depth of his conviction, so that the decision to become a militant is not taken lightly or on the spur of the moment. This is also the best guarantee we can offer that his will towards militant engagement does not end up in failure and demoralisation".

[7] Germany, Belgium, Spain, France, Britain, Italy, Holland, Sweden, Switzerland.

[8] USA, Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela.

[9] International Review n°31, "The proletariat of Western Europe at the centre of the generalization of the class struggle"