20 years since May 68: Evolution of the political milieu (1st part: 1968-77)

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May 68: 10 million workers on strike in France announced the return of the proletariat onto the scene of history, opening up a wave of international struggles which up until the mid-70s was to make its, presence felt in virtually every country on the planet.

Not for decades, not since the failure of the revolutionary wave which began in 1917 and which was exhausted by the end of the 1920s, had the proletariat struggled with such strength and breadth. After 40 long years of counter-revolution, in which the triumph of the bourgeoisie was expressed by a degree of ideological domination unprecedented in history; in which the theorisation of the integration of the proletariat, its embourgeoisiment, its disappearance as a revolutionary class animated the thinking of intellectuals in search of novelties; in which socialism was identified with the sombre Stalinist dictatorship and their 'third worldist' caricatures; in which the jungles of South America and Indochina were presented as the centre of
the world revolution the reawakening of the proletariat had moved the pendulum of humanity. A bolt had been shifted the bolt of the counter-revolution. A new historical period had begun.

The renaissant workers' struggle was to polarise the discontent which had been accumulating in many strata of society over a number of years. The Vietnam war seemed to be going on forever and was intensifying; the first attacks of the crisis, which had returned in the mid-sixties after the euphoria of the post-war reconstruction, were to provoke a deep malaise among a younger generation brought up on the illusion of a triumphant capitalism, free of crises and assured of a bright future. The students' revolt in ,campuses all over the world was to provide the propaganda of the bourgeoisie with a means of masking the resurgence of class struggle, but it was also to give a distorted echo of the renewal of political reflection taking place in, the proletariat. This was concretised in a rebirth of interest in the class, its histories, and its theories, and thus in marxism. 'Revolution' became a fashionable term.

Brutally, as though astonished by its own force, a new generation of workers was asserting itself on the world historic arena. As a product of this dynamic, with a youthful ebullience but  also in the greatest confusion, lacking experience and links with the revolutionary traditions of the past, with no real knowledge of the history of its class, strongly influenced by petty-bourgeois contestationism a new proletarian political milieu was forming. A new generation of revolutionaries was coming into existence in enthusiasm … and inexperience.

Of course, when we talk about the proletarian milieu, we don’ t, include those organisations who claim to represent and defend the proletariat but which are in fact expressions of the ‘left’ of the capitalist state’s political apparatus, whose task is to control the working class, mystify it and sabotage its struggles. This is so no matter what illusions the working class may have in these organisations. We are referring not only to the ‘Socialist’ and ‘Communist’ Parties which have for a long time been integrated into the state machine at all levels, but also to their Maoist emulators, who are just a late expression of Stalinism, and to the Trotskyists whose abandonment of class positions in the second imperialist world war, their support for one imperialist bloc against the other, definitively put them outside the proletarian camp. Even though in ‘68 and afterwards these ‘leftist’ groups had a determining influence and occupied the centre of the stage, their past history situates them radically outside the proletariat and its political milieu. Furthermore it was the reaction to the political attitude of these groups of the bourgeois ‘left’ that, in an initial period, laid the basis for the revival of the proletarian milieu, even if, in the confusion and disorder of the period, leftist ideas were to weigh heavily on the birth of this new, proletarian milieu.

Twenty years have passed since the events of 1968; twenty years in which the economic crisis has enforced its ravages on the world market, dug over the field of social life, swept away illusions about reconstruction. Twenty years during which the class struggle has been through dramatic advances and retreats. Twenty years in which the proletarian milieu has had to rediscover its roots and seek the clarification it needs to make an effective intervention.

During these 20 years, what has been the evolution of the political milieu? What balance sheet can be drawn up today? What political fruits have been left by the generation of 1968? What perspectives can we trace in order to fertilise the future?

The proletarian political milieu before 1968

The political groups which, prior to the break-through of the late 60s, were able to resist being smothered by the counter-revolution and, come rain or storm, maintain their existence on revolutionary positions, were a mere handful of individuals. These groups defined themselves in relation to their political ancestry. There were essentially two main currents, deriving from the fractions which in the 1920s had fought against the political degeneration of the 3rd International:

- the tradition of the ‘Dutch’ and 'German’ lefts (*) which was maintained by the political groups like Spartacusbond[1] in Holland or by more or less formal circles like the one grouped around Paul Mattick in the USA. ICO (Informations et Correspondences Ouvrieres) in France and Daad en Dedachte in Holland, which appeared at the beginning of the 60s, were the degenerated products of this tradition of ‘council communism’ which in the 1930s had been incarnated mainly by the GIK. This current, in political continuity with the theorisations of Otto Ruhle in the 1920s, and Anton Pannekoek and Canne Meier in the 30s, was characterised by a profound incomprehension of the failure of the Russian revolution and the degeneration of the Communist International, which led them to deny their proletarian character and to reject the necessity for the political organisation of the proletariat;

- the tradition of the ‘Italian’ left whose organisational continuity had been expressed by the Partito Comunista Internazionalista[2] founded in 1945 around Onorato Darnen and Amadeo Bordiga, and which had published Battaglia Comunista. A number of splits, the main one being around Bordiga in 1952 and giving rise to the group which was to published Programma Comunista[3], led to their being several avatars of the ‘PCI’, among whom we can mention the group that puts out Il Partito Comunista. However, these organisations, while they were able to maintain an organisational continuity with the communist fractions of the past, did not, paradoxically enough, lay claim to the work of the group which in the 1930s represented the highest level of political clarity attained by this tradition. This rejection of the political contribution made by Bilan[4] expressed a weakening in political continuity. This was to manifest itself in a dogmatic rigidity which denied the necessity for the clarifications imposed by decades of capitalist decadence. Thus, typifying this attitude, Bordiga and the PCI(Programma) insisted on the invariance of Marxism since … 1848. For these organizations, an insufficient critique of the erroneous positions of the 3rd International would express itself in the adoption of extremely wooly and often wrong political positions on such central points as the national or union questions. The perfectly correct determination to defend the necessity of the party unfortunately assumed the form of a characature among these groups, notably for Bordiga, who tended to conceive of and present the party as the answer to all the problems confronting the proletariat, as a universal panacea which the proletariat only had to accept. Of these groups, only Programma had an international existence, notably in France and Italy, while the others only existed in France and Italy.

In this tradition of the Italian Left we should include Internationalismo in Venezuela, founded in 1964 on the initiative of former members of Bilan (1928-39) and Internationalisme (1945- 1953)[5]. While not expressing a real organisational continuity, this group was the clearest expression of political continuity with the acquisitions of Bilan, and then of Internationalisme, which has carried on its work of theoretical elaboration. However, while Internationalismo explicitly referred to the contribution of Bilan and the Italian Left, it was also able to enrich itself, in a critical way, with the contributions of other fractions of the international communist left; this was concretised in the clarity of its positions on the question of the decadence of capitalism, or the national question, the union question, and the role of the party. It was certainly no accident that Internationalismo was the only group to foresee the historic resurgence of class struggle.

This portrait of the political milieu before 1968 wouldn’t be complete if it didn’t also include the groups which were formed just after the second world war in reaction to the treason of the Trotskyist 4th International and which emerged from this current. In particular we should mention the FOR[6], formed around Jorge Munis and Benjamin Peret, and Socialisme ou Barbarie around Cardin/Chalieu. These groups, coming out of a political tradition, Trotskyism, which had participated in the degeneration of the 3rd International and which had abandoned the class terrain by supporting the second world imperialist butchery, had an originality linked to this background: their incomprehension of the degeneration of the Revolution in Russia and of the economic foundations of state capitalism in the period of the decadence of capitalism; which led them to theorise about the end of the economic crises of capitalism, and thus to cut themselves off from the foundations of a Marxist, materialist understanding of the evolution of society. Socialisme ou Barbarie was explicitly to give up on the proletariat and marxism, developing a hazy theory in which the basic contradiction in society was no longer between capital and labour, bourgeoisie and proletariat, but in the ideological relationship between leaders and led. Denying the revolutionary nature of the proletariat, Socialisme ou Barbarie lost its reason for existence as a political organisation and disappeared at the beginning of the 60s. However, the pernicious influence of its theories was to weigh heavily not only among the intellectuals but also in the political milieu, notably the ICO, and, on its fringes, the Situationist International. As for the FOR, it never fell into such extremes, but its refusal to recognise the reality of the economic crisis weakened its political positions as a whole by depriving them of an indispensable coherence.

The fragility of the political milieu which reappeared after 1968

The events of the class struggle, particularly the strikes in May 68 in France, the 'rampant May' in Italy '69, the riots in Poland in 1970, because of their international echo, gave rise to a process of reflection within the proletariat and in society as a whole, and thus provided a new audience for the revolutionary theory of marxism. Carried along by this international wave of class struggle, a multitude of small groups, circles or committees was born in the greatest confusion but still looking for a revolutionary coherence. Out of this informal movement the new political milieu was to emerge.

The concrete confrontation with the sabotaging manoeuvres of those who claimed to be the most ardent defenders of the interests of the working class was to be a decisive factor in a brutal awakening about the anti-working class nature of the unions and 'left' parties. This putting into question of the proletarian nature of the union organisations, of the Socialist Parties which had been part of the defunct 2nd International, of the Stalinist CPs and their leftist emulators whether Maoist or Trotskyist, was the immediate product of the class struggle, which had a revelatory effect. However this intuition about the basic political positions of the proletariat could not hide the profound political fragility of this new generation that was taking up revolutionary positions without a real knowledge of the past history of the class, without any links to the previous organisations of the proletariat, without any militant experience and strongly influenced by the petty bourgeois illusions put about by the student movement. The weight of decades of counter-revolution was considerable. "Run, Comrade, The Old World Is Behind You" claimed the rebels of '68. But if the rejection of the 'old world' made it possible to approach certain class positions like the capitalist nature of the unions, the left parties, the so-called 'socialist fatherlands', in the same breath it also often lead to a rejection of the indispensable acquisitions of the proletariat: in the first place, the revolutionary nature of the proletariat, but also marxism, the past organisations of the proletariat, the necessity for a political organisation, etc. Straight away, the ideas which were to find the widest echo in an ambiance characterised by the immaturity and inexperience of youth were those of 'radical' currents like the Situationist International which had updated the theories of Socialisme ou Barbarie and which appeared as the most radical expression of the students' movement. Diluting the workers' struggle into the revolt of petty-bourgeois strata, identifying with a radical reformism of daily life, trying to make a clever synthesis between Bakunin and Marx, the Situationist International veered away from the terrain of marxism to return, a century late, to the illusions of utopianism.

And so it was with modernism[7], which, in its dedicated search for the New and its rejection of the Old, ended up re-discovering theories that were historically obsolete. But while the 'Modernist' current is fundamentally alien to the working class, councilism[8] is historically part of the proletarian political milieu. ICO in France was especially representative of this tendency: laying claim to the contributions of the German and Dutch lefts, it took up the errors of the Dutch Left in the 30s by rejecting the necessity for the proletariat to form political organisations. This position was to be very popular, because after decades of triumphant counter-revolution, of betrayal by proletarian organisations which had succumbed to bourgeois pressure and been integrated into the capitalist state, after years of anti-working class manoeuvres by organisations which claimed to speak in the name of the class, the proletariat had developed a strong feeling of distrust for any kind of organisation. This tended to culminate in a fear of organisation in itself. The very word scared people.

In an initial period ICO was to polarise the re-emerging political milieu in France and even internationally, given the planet-wide echo of the events of May 68. It contributed to the dissemination and reappropriation of the experience of past revolutionaries (notably of the KAPD in Germany) though in a partial and deformed manner. A number of groups participated in the conferences by ICO in France, Cahiers du Communisme de Conseil from Marseille; the Groupe Conseilliste from Clermont-Ferrand; Revolution Internationale from Toulouse, the GLAT, Vielle Taupe, Noir et Rouge, Archinoir; in the Bruxelles conference of 1969 there were Belgian' and Italian groups as well as ‘celebrities' like Daniel Cohn-Bendit and Paul Mattick. But this dynamic impetus within the milieu took place more under the pressure of the class struggle than thanks to the political coherence of ICO; with the downturn of the workers' struggle in France at the beginning of the 70s, the anti-party, anti-organisation conceptions of ICO were to weigh more and more heavily on an immature political milieu. While in the beginning ICO had attracted towards proletarian positions groups and elements breaking from anarchism and academicism, with the reflux in the strikes the reverse happened: ICO was infected by the anarchist and modernist gangrene. Finally, ICO disappeared in 1971.

ICO's itinerary was quite typical of the dynamic of councilism within the international political milieu, even if in countries other than France this phenomenon may have been more drawn out in time. The theorisations of councilism, in rejecting the necessity for organisation, in denying the proletarian nature of the Russian revolution, the Bolshevik party and the 3rd International, represented a source of disorientation and decomposition within the emerging proletarian milieu, cutting it off from its real historical roots and depriving it of the organisational and political means to carry out a long term work. Councilism diluted the revolutionary energies of the class.

All the proletarian groups which emerged out of the youthful enthusiasm of the late 60s were more or less marked by the pernicious influence of modernism and councilism. How many speeches did we hear about state capitalism bringing crisis to an end, about the wicked Bolsheviks and the inevitable destiny of every party to betray the proletariat, about revolutionary militancy as the highest stage of alienation? Speeches that were 'a la mode' and which disappeared when the 'mode’ changed.

The inevitable decantation which came with the reflux in the class struggle, as well as sweeping away illusions and underlining the necessity for clarification was to result in the disappearance of the politically weakest groups. In the first half of the 70s it was a real cull: exit the SI which had only 'shone' for a brief spring; exit ICO, dead on the desolate fields of the critique of daily life; exit Pouvoir, Noir et Rouge and Vielle Taupe in France; exi t Lotta Continua and Potere Operaio, which had but partly broken away from the Maoist variety of leftism; exit, to all intents and purposes, Solidarity in Britain and this list is far from complete. With the reflux in the class struggle, history was inevitably bearing witness and handing out its judgements.

The various PCls descended from the Italian Left, unable to understand that the resurgence of class struggle at the end of the 60s signified the end of the period of counter-revolution, completely underestimating the importance of the strikes going on in front of their eyes, were to be incapable of carrying out the function for which they existed: intervening in the class and in the process of the formation of its political milieu. Those who claimed to represent the only organic and political continuity with the revolutionary organisations from the earlier part of the century, who should have been able to strengthen the re-emerging political milieu by accelerating the process of reappropriating the proletarian acquisitions of the past; who already claimed to be the Class Party - these groups were almost totally absent until the mid-70s. They slept on, believing that the long night of the counter-revolution was still continuing, clutching the 'holy tablets' of the communist programme. The PCI (Programma), the only organisation to have a truly international existence, treated with lofty disdain the elements who were stumbling along in search of a revolutionary coherence, and the PClnt  (Battaglia Comunista), which was more inclined towards political discussion, remained timidly tucked away in Italy. Even if the position these groups had on the party, which distinguished them fundamentally from councilism, could not in the initial period have polarised the re-emerging political milieu in the same way as those of currents like ICO, their relative absence could only serve to reinforce the destructive weight of councilism on young and immature revolutionary energies.

In the end, only the group which, superficially, appeared to be the 'weakest' of the currents descended from the Italian left, because it was isolated in Venezuela, but which was certainly not the weakest politically, which is what interests us the most only this group was able to bear fruit. On the initiative of members of Internacialismo who had moved to France, the group Revolution Internationale was formed in Toulouse, right in the middle of the ferment of May '68. This small group, almost unnoticed in the multitude of those which appeared at this time, was to be the one which - because within it there were former militants of the Italian left, of Bilan and Internationalisme, who brought with them an irreplaceable political experience was able to play a positive role in the face of the tendency towards decomposition at work in a new political milieu which was suffering from the dangerous influence of councilism. This was to be concretised in particular in the dynamic towards regroupment which Revolution Internationale was able to embody.

The dynamic towards regroupment and weight of sectarianism

And so within this new political milieu dominated by all kinds of confusion, a tendency had appeared which was to fight against the process of decomposition which expressed the weight of councilist ideas. The desire for political clarification, the concern to reappropriate the political acquisitions of marxism, was to be made concrete through a defence of the necessity of the political organisation of the proletariat, and a critique of the errors of councilism. Since its foundation, RI had devoted itself to this task: defending revolutionary principles on the question of organisation, but also proposing a coherent framework for understanding class positions and the evolution of capitalism in the 20th century: the theory of the decadence of capitalism as put forward by Rosa Luxemburg and Bilan, and the elaborations about state capitalism inherited from Internationalisme. This enabled it to be much clearer on questions like the proletarian nature of the Russian revolution, the Bolshevik party and the 3rd International, questions which had been posed most sharply in the post-68 milieu. Furthermore, RI's more solid political foundations were also expressed in its understanding of the events of May 68: while defending the historic significance of the workers' struggles developing on an international scale, RI firmly opposed the delirious overestimations of those in the councilist-modernist current, who saw the communist revolution as an immediate possibility and thus laid the ground for their future demoralisation. RI, even if in an initial period its audience was very restricted and soaked in councilist ideas, represented a pole of clarity in the political milieu of the time. In France, RI's participation in the meetings organised by ICO enabled it to confront the councilist confusions and polarise the evolution of other groups. The process of clarification which then took place gave rise to a dynamic towards regroupment which in 1972 resulted in the fusion of the Groupe Conseilliste of Clermont-Ferrand and Cahiers du Communisme de Conseil within RI.

The dynamic of regroupment and the formation of the ICC[9]

On the international level the dynamic was the same. With the reflux in struggles debates gathered pace in the proletarian political milieu, and here RI and Internationalismo were to play a decisive role of clarification. The struggle against councilist conceptions intensified, pushing numerous groups to break with their libertarian councilist first loves. Internationalism was formed in the USA, in close contact with Internationalismo; discussions with RI were directly at the origin of the formation of World Revolution in Britain and were to have a strong influence on groups like Workers' Voice and Revolutionary Perspectives;' it was directly under
aegis of RI (and then of the ICC) that three groups fused to form Internationalisme in Belgium; similarly in Spain and Italy, Accion Proletaria and Rivoluzione Internationale were formed on the basis of the coherence of RI.

The appeal by Internationalism (USA) for the formation of an international network of contacts between existing proletarian groups helped speed up theoretical clarification and political decantation. An international conference  was held in 1974, and this presaged and prepared the formation of the ICC in 1975, regrouping Internacialismo (Venezuela), Revolution Internatianale (France), Internationalism (USA), World Revolution (GB), Accion Proletaria (Spain), and Rivoluzione Internazionale (Italy) on the basis of a common platform. Internationalisme formed the Belgian section of the ICC soon afterwards. Existing in seven countries, rejecting the anarcho-councilist conceptions which are a thin cover for the influence of localism, the ICC was to function on an internationally centralised basis, in the image of the working class, which has no particular interests depending on the country in which it finds itself.

The decomposition of Leftism and the development of the PCI (Programma)

The wave of class struggle which began in an explosive manner in 1968 began to lose its impetus at the beginning of the 70s: the ruling class, which had initially been surprised by the developments, reorganised its apparatus of political mystification in order to confront the working class more effectively. This turn-around in the situation, which led to the disarray of a
councilist milieu marked by immediatism, and to the downfall of the conceptions which characterised this milieu, also caused a certain decomposition in the Maoist and Trotskyist groups. The latter were shaken by various splits, some of which attempted to move towards revolutionary positions. However these groups, heavily scarred by their past, were unable to really integrate themselves into the proletarian milieu. Thus it was with two splits from Lutte Ouvriere in France, Union Ouvriere and Combat Communiste; the first, which had at the beginning been influenced by the FOR, made a meteoric voyage through the proletarian milieu to finally vanish into modernism, while the second proved itself congenitally incapable of breaking with 'radical’ Trotskyism.

This dynamic in which a number of elements, more demoralised than clarified, came out of the groups of the extreme left was to intensify with the reflux in class struggle in the mid-70s. It was on this basis that the PCI (Programma) was to go through a certain development. After almost completely missing the class struggle at the end of the 60s, the Bordigist PCI began to shake off its torpor at the beginning of the 70s, but it treated the proletarian milieu in formation with a haughty disdain, while at the same time embarking on an opportunist campaign of recruitment of elements who had hardly broken from leftism. On the basis of erroneous positions on such crucial issues as the national or union questions, the PCI's opportunist course was to intensify and accelerate throughout the 70s. It supported national liberation in Angola, the Khmer Rouge terror, and the Palestinian 'revolution'. The Bordigist PCI was puffed up at the rate that it was being infected by the leftist gangrene.

At the end of the 70s the PCI (Programma) was the most important group in the international proletarian milieu. But if the PCI was the main pole in the political milieu during this period, this wasn't only due to its numerical importance and its real international existence. The reflux in the class struggle sowed doubts in the revolutionary capacities of the proletariat and created a new attraction for substitutionist conceptions of the party, which developed also in reaction to the obvious routing of the anti-organisational conceptions of councili sm. Bordigism which theorises about the party being the remedy to all the difficulties in a class that is presented as fundamentally trade unionist and which had to be led and organised like a general staff organises its army - enjoyed a revival of interest from which the PCI was to benefi t. But apart from the PCI, the whole political milieu was to be polarised around the absolutely necessary debate about the role and tasks of the communist party.

The weight of sectarianism

However, while the PCI (Programma) was the main organisation in the proletarian milieu in the second half of the 70s, it was not at all the product of a dynamic towards clarification and regroupment. On the contrary, its development took place on the basis of a growing opportunism and a sectarianism that was being constantly theorised. The PCI saw itself as the only proletarian organisation in existence and refused to discuss with other groups. The development of the Bordigist PCI was not the expression of the strength of the class but of its momentary weakening as a result of the reflux. Unfortunately sectarianism was not the sole attribute of the PCI even if it theorised it to the most absurd level. It weighed on the whole proletarian milieu as an expression of its immaturity. This was expressed in particular in:

- the tendency for certain groups to believe that they were alone in the world and to deny the existence of a proletarian political milieu. Like the PCI, numerous sects in the Bordigist tradition were to develop such an attitude;

- a tendency to be more concerned about distinguishing oneself around secondary issues in order to justify one's separate existence than about confronting the political milieu in order to advance the process of clarification. This attitude in general went together with a profound underestimation of the importance of the proletarian milieu and the debates which animated it. An example of this was the way Revolutionary Perspectives pulled out of the dynamic towards regroupment with World Revolution in Britain in 1973. It argued that there was a 'fundamental' divergence: according to RP, after 1921 the Bolshevik party was no longer proletarian. RP's 'fixation' on this question was simply a pretext. This was to be shown a few years later when (now in the form of the CWO) it abandoned this position. But it never drew out the consequences of the previous failure of regroupment in Britain;

- a tendency towards immature and premature splits, like that of the PCI which left RI in 1973 on an activist and immediatist basis which soon took on a councilist direction. However, not all the splits were unfounded; the GCI's split from the ICC in 1978 was justified to the extent that the comrades who were to form the GCI[10] were breaking with the coherence of the ICC on such fundamental questions as the role of the party and the nature of class violence, taking up essentially Bordigist positions. Nevertheless, this split still expressed the weight of sectarianism since the GCI took up a whole number of the PCI's sectarian conceptions;

- paradoxically the tendency towards sectarianism was also to find expression in attempts at regroupment which aped the efforts of the ICC. Thus the PlC initiated a series of utterly confused conferences which attempted to gather together groups more marked by anarchism than by revolutionary positions. The fusion of Workers' Voice and Revolutionary Perspectives to form the CWO[11], although it did express a positive move towards regroupment, was also unfortunately marked by the sectarian attitude the CWO had towards the ICC, even though its positions were very similar.

This weight of sectarianism on the political milieu was the result of the break brought on by 50 years of counter-revolution, of the forgetting of the experience of past revolutionaries on the question of regroupment and the formation of the communist party - a situation further accentuated in the second half of the 70s by the reflux in the class struggle. However, because the political milieu is not the mechanical reflection of the class struggle but the expression of a conscious will to fight against the weakness in the class, the determination in the different groups of the milieu to embark on a process of clarification with a view towards the regroupment of revolutionary forces is a concrete measure of their political clarity about the immense responsibility facing revolutionaries in the present historical period.

In these conditions, Battaglia Comunista's call for conferences of the groups of the communist left, after a long period in which this group had been 'extremely discreet on the international scene, marked a positive step for the whole milieu which, with the momentary reflux in the class struggle, was suffering heavily from the effects of sectarianism and dispersion.

In the second part of this article we, will look at the way the political milieu evolved in the late 70s and the 80s. This was a period marked by the holding of conferences and their eventual failure, the crisis that this situation opened up in the milieu, and the brutal decantation resulting from this, the most notable expression of which was the break-up of the PCI. We will then examine how the milieu reacted to the development of a new wave of struggles from 1983 and to the responsibilities this imposed on revolutionaries.

JJ. 7/3/88

Notes

* A preliminary remark: it's obvious that in the framework of these notes it's not possible to outline the itinerary and positions of all the groups mentioned in this article, many of which have since vanished into history's dustbin. We will thus limit ourselves to referring to the groups of the left communist tradition and which still exist.



[1] Spartakusbund: see IR 38 and 39. On              the Dutch Left, see IRs 30,45,46,47,49,50,52.

[2] Partito Comunista Internazionalista, founded in 1945, publishes Battaglia Comunista and Prometeo. See for example IRs 36,40 and 41. Address: Prometeo, Casella Postale 1753 20100 Milan, Italy.

[3] Parti Communiste International, result of a split from the preceding group in 1952. In France publishes Le Proletaire and Programme Communiste. See IRs 32,33,34,36. Bilan, publication of the Italian left Fraction, formed in 1925. Published from 1933-1938. See the ICC pamphlet Le Gauche Coomuniste d'Italie; IR 47.

[5] Internationalisme, publication of the Gauche Communiste de France, 1945-52. See articles in the IR, Italian Left pamphlet.

[6] Forment Ouvriere Revolutionaire; publishes Alarme. BP 329, 75624, Paris, Cedex 13. See IR 52.

[7] ‘On 'modernism', see IR 34.

[8] On 'councilism', see IRs 37,40,41.

[9] See IR 40 'Ten years of the ICC'. See the different territorial publications listed in this review.

[10] GCI, BP 54, BXL 31, Bruxelles, Belgium. See IR 48,49,50, on the decadence of capitalism.

[11] CWO, PO Box 145, Head Post Office, Glasgow, UK … See IRs 39, 40, 41.