The Italian Fraction and the French Communist Left

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In the previous issue of this Review, we answered the polemic in Revolutionary Perspectives no.5 (publication of the Communist Workers' Organisation, CWO) entitled "Sects, Lies, and the Lost Perspectives of the ICC". We were unable, for lack of space, to deal with every question opened up by the CWO, and so limited ourselves to answering one of them: the idea that the ICC's perspective for the present historic period has completely collapsed. We pointed out that the CWO's assertions were based essentially on a profound incomprehens ion of our actual positions, and above all on their own utter lack of any analytical framework for the present period. Moreover, this lack of framework is proudly upheld by the CWO and the IBRP (International Bureau for the Revolutionary Party) to which it is affiliated, because they consider it impossible for revolutionary organisations to identify the dominant tendency in the balance of forces between bourgeoisie and proletariat: either a course towards increasing confrontations between the two classes, or towards imperialist war. In fact, the IBRP's refusal to acknowledge both the possibility and the necessity for revolutionaries to identify the nature of the historic course, springs from the conditions in which the other organisation of the IBRP - the Partito Comunista Internazionalista (PCInt, also known as Battaglia Comunista, BC) - was formed at the end of World War II. And in no.15 of the their English-language theoretical review (Internationalist Communist), the IBRP publish a polemic titled "The political roots of the ICC's organisational malaise", where they return to the question of the origins of both ICC and PCInt. This is the main issue we will take up in this response to their polemic.

The IBRP's polemic deals with the same subject as the article in RP no.5: the causes of the organisational difficulties that the ICC has confronted recently. The great weakness of both texts, is that nowhere do they mention the analysis that the ICC itself has made of these difficulties1: for the IBRP, they can spring only from weaknesses either in our programme, or in our understanding of the present world situation. These questions can certainly be a source of problems for a communist organisation. But the whole history of the workers' movement demonstrates that questions to do with the organisation's structure and functioning are political questions in their own right, and that weaknesses in this domain have consequences still more serious - even dramatic - on the life of revolutionary groups. Need we remind the comrades of the IBRP - who after all claim to uphold the positions of Lenin - of the example of the 2nd Congress of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party in 1903, when the split between Bolsheviks and Mensheviks took place precisely on the organisation question (and not at all on programmatic issues, or the analysis of the situation). In fact, when we look more closely, the IBRP's present inability to give an analysis of the nature of the historic course derives in large part from its political mistakes on the organisation question, more particularly on the relationship between class and party. We can see this again in the article published in IC. Lest the comrades of the IBRP accuse us of falsifying their positions, let us quote at length from their article:

"The ICC was formed in 1975 but its history goes back to the Gauche Communiste de France (GCF) a tiny group formed during the Second World War by the same individual ("Marc '') who would found the ICC in the Seventies. The GCF was fundamentally based on the rejection of the formation of the Internationalist Communist Party in Italy by the IBRP's ancestors in the period after 1942.

The GCF argued that the Internationalist Communist Party was not an advance on the old Fraction of the Communist Left which had gone into exile in France during the Mussolini dictatorship. The GCF called on the members of the fraction not to join the new Party that was being formed by revolutionaries like Onorato Damen, released from jail with the collapse of Mussolini's regime. It argued that the counter-revolution which had faced the workers since their defeats in the 1920s still continued, and that therefore there was no possibility of creating a revolutionary party in the 1940s. After Italian fascism collapsed in 1943 and the Italian state became a battleground between the two imperialist fronts, the vast majority of the exiled Italian fraction rallied to join the Internationalist Communist Party (pClnt) with the expectation that workers' unrest would not only be limited to Northern Italy as the war drew to a close. The GCF's opposition was of no significance at the time but it was the first example of the consequences of the abstract reasoning which is one of the methodological hallmarks of the ICC today. Today the 1CC will say that no revolution came out of World War ll, ergo the GCF were right. But this ignores the fact that the PCInt was the most successful creation of the revolutionary working class since the Russian Revolution and that, despite the half a century of further capitalist domination, it continues to exist and is growing today.

The GCF, on the other hand, took their "logical" abstractions a stage further. They argued that since the counter-revolution was still dominant then proletarian revolution was not on the agenda. If this was the case then a further imperialist war must be coming! The result was that the leadership took itself off to South America and the GCF collapsed during the Korean War. The ICC have always been somewhat embarrassed by this revelation of their ancestors' powers of understanding "the course of history ". However, their response has always been to brazen it out. Instead of admitting that the PCInt got both their perspectives and their conception of organisation right all along, when the ex-GCF returned to a remarkably unscathed Europe in the mid-1960s, they sought to denigrate the PCInt as "sclerotic ", "opportunist ", and told the world that they were "Bordigist " (a charge which they could only sustain on the basis of the ignorance of the new young generation of revolutionaries. It was a charge they were subsequently forced publicly to retract). However, even after this admission was forced out of them they had not finished with their policy of denigrating possible "rivals" (to quote the ICC themselves) and now they tried to maintain that the PCInt had "worked in the partisans" (ie supported the bourgeois forces seeking to establish a democratic Italian state). This was a disgusting and cowardly slander. In fact PCInt militants had been murdered directly on the orders of Palmiro Togliatti (General Secretary of the Italian Communist Party) for attempting to undermine that Stalinist control of the working class by winning support away from the partisans".

This passage on the respective histories of the ICC and the IDRP deserves an answer in depth, notably through historical fact. However, to clarify the debate, we have to start by correcting some of these accusations, which indicate either bad faith, or an alarming ignorance on the part of the article's author.

Some corrections and precisions

First, let us take the question of the partisans which provokes such indignation amongst the comrades of the IBRP, to the point where they even accuse us of "slander" and "cowardice". We have indeed said that the PCInt "worked in the partisan movement". But this is hardly a slander - it is simply the truth. Did the PCInt send some of its cadres and militants into the partisans' ranks, yes or no? This is not something that can be hidden. Moreover, the PCInt claims this policy as its own, unless it has changed position since comrade Damen wrote in autumn 1976, in the name of the PCInt's Executive, that "the Party has nothing to be ashamed of”, and recalling "those revolutionary militants who worked to penetrate the ranks of the partisans in order to spread the principles and the tactics of the revolutionary movement, and who paid for this commitment with their lives"2. By contrast, we have never pretended that this policy consisted of "supporting the bourgeois forces seeking to establish a democratic Italian state". We have dealt with this question several times in our press3 and we will return to it in the second part of this article, but although we have been pitiless in our critique of the errors committed by the PCInt at its formation, we have never treated it in the same way as the Trotskyists, still less the Stalinists. The comrades would do better to quote the passages that make them so angry. In the meantime, we think it better that they should keep their indignation to themselves. Their insults likewise.

Another point that we should correct, concerns the GCF's analysis of the historic period at the beginning of the 1950s, which led to the departure of some of its members from Europe. The IBRP is wrong to think that the ICC is embarrassed by the question, and that it replies by "brazening it out". In the obituary article on comrade Marc (International Review no.66), we wrote: "We can find this analysis in the article on "The Evolution of Capitalism and the New Perspective ", published in Internationalisme no.45 (and reprinted in the International Review no.21). The text was drawn up by Marc in 1952, and constituted, in a sense, the GCF's political testament.

In June 1952, Marc left France for Venezuela. This departure followed a political decision by the GCF: the Korean War had convinced them that a Third World War between the Russian and American blocs was both inevitable and imminent (as the text in question says). Such a war would ravage Europe, and was likely to destroy completely the few communist groups which had survived World War II. The GCF's decision to send some of its militants to "safety" outside Europe had nothing to do with their personal security (...) but with a concern for the survival of the organisation itself However, the departure of its most experienced militant was to prove fatal for the GCF; despite their constant correspondence with Marc, the 'elements who had remained in France were unable to keep the organisation alive in a period of profound counter-revolution. For reasons which we have not space to deal with here, World War III did not happen. It is clear that this error of analysis cost the life of the GCF (and of all the mistakes Marc made during his life as a militant, it was probably this one which had the most serious consequences)".

Moreover, when we first republished the text mentioned above (in 1974, in Revolution Internationale's Bulletin d'Etude et de Discussion no.8, the predecessor to the International Review), we clearly stated:

"Internationalisme was right to analyse the period following World War II as a continuation of the period of reaction and reflux in the proletarian class struggle (...) It was right, too, to declare that the end of the war did not mean the end of capitalism's decadence, that all the contradictions that had pushed capitalism to war continued, and would push the world inexorably towards new wars. But Internationalisme did not see, or did not pay enough attention to, the possible phase of "reconstruction" in the cycle of crisis-war-reconstruction-crisis. It was for this reason, and in this context of the Cold War between the USA and the USSR of the time, that Internationalisme thought that the resurgence of the proletariat would be possible only in and following a Third War”.

As we can see, the ICC has never tried to "brazen out" this question, nor has it been too "embarrassed" to talk about the mistakes of the GCF (even when the IBRP was not yet there to remind us). That said, the IBRP demonstrates once again that it has not understood our analysis of the historic course. The GCF's mistake lay not in an incorrect evaluation of the balance of class forces, but in an under-estimation of the respite that reconstruction would give to the capitalist economy, and which would allow it for two decades to escape the open crisis, and so to attenuate somewhat the tensions between the two blocs. These tensions remained contained within the framework of local wars (Korea, Middle East, Vietnam, etc.). If the World War did not break out at the beginning of the 50s, it was not thanks to the proletariat (which was paralysed and controlled by the left wing of capital), but because the war was not yet a necessity for capitalism.

Having made these corrections, we have to return to an "argument" which seems dear to the IBRP (since it has already been used in the polemic in RP no.5): the "tiny" size of the GCF. In reality, the reference to the GCF's "tiny" size is a reference back to "the most successful creation of the revolutionary working class since the Russian Revolution", in other words the PCInt, which at the time had several thousand members. Is this supposed to be the IBRP's proof that the reason for the PCInt's "greater success" was that its own positions were more correct than those of the GCF?

If that is the case, then the argument is thin indeed. However, leaving aside the poverty of the argument, the IBRP's approach brings up some fundamental questions, which are precisely where some of the most profound disagreements between our organisations lie. To deal with them, we need to return to the history of the Italian communist left. For the GCF was not just a "tiny" group, it was also the real political continuity with the same political current where the PCInt and the IBRP have their origins.

Some milestones in the history of the Italian Left

In our book The Italian Communist Left, the ICC has put forward a history of this current. Here, we can only sketch a few important aspects of this history.

The Italian Left emerged around Amadeo Bordiga and the Naples Federation as the "Abstentionist" Fraction within the Italian Socialist Party. The Left was responsible for founding the Italian Communist Party at the Livorno Congress of 1921, and held the leadership of the Party until 1925. At the same time as other left currents within the Communist International (such as the Dutch and German lefts), and well before Trotsky.'s Left Opposition, it fought the opportunist direction that the International was taking. In particular, unlike Trotskyism which claims complete adherence to the Cl's first four Congresses, the Italian Left rejected certain positions adopted by the 3rd and 4th Congress, especially the tactic of the "United Front". On some aspects, notably on the state capitalist nature of the USSR or the definitively bourgeois nature of the trades unions, the positions of the Dutch and German Lefts were at first much more correct than those of the Italians. However the Italian Left's contribution to the workers' movement was to prove much more fruitful thanks to its better understanding on two essential questions:

  • the ebb and defeat of the revolutionary wave;

  • the nature of the tasks of revolutionary organisations in such a situation.

In particular, while they were aware of the need to call into question political positions which had been contradicted by historical experience, the Italian Left moved forward with great caution, which allowed them to avoid "throwing the baby out with the bath water", unlike the Dutch Left which finally concluded that October 1917 had been a bourgeois revolution, and by rejecting the necessity of the revolutionary party. This did not prevent the Italian Left from adopting some of the positions which the German and Dutch Lefts had worked out previously. Increasing repression by the Mussolini regime, especially after the emergency laws of 1926, forced most of the militants of the Italian Communist Left into exile. It was thus abroad, mainly in France and Belgium, that the current continued an organised activity. In February 1928, in the Parisian suburb of Pantin, there was founded the Left Fraction of the Italian Communist Party. It tried to take part in the efforts at discussion and regroupment of various Left currents that had been excluded from a degenerating International, and whose best-known member was Trotsky. The Fraction hoped especially to publish a common discussion review with the different currents. But after being excluded from Trotsky's International Left Opposition, the Fraction determined in 1933 to publish its own review Bilan in French, at the same time as it continued to publish Prometeo in Italian.

This is not the place to look at the whole evolution of the Fraction's positions. We will limit ourselves to one, which lay at its foundations: the relationship between party and fraction.

This position had been worked out little by little during the 1920s and the beginning of the 30s, when the Fraction had to decide what should be its policy towards the degenerating Communist Parties.

We can summarise the main lines of this position as follows. The Left Fraction is formed as the proletarian party is degenerating under the influence of opportunism, in other words its penetration by bourgeois ideology. It is the responsibility of the minority, which upholds the revolutionary programme, to conduct an organised struggle for its victory within the party. Either the Fraction succeeds, its principles triumph, and the party is saved, or the party continues to degenerate and ends up passing arms and baggage into the bourgeois camp. The moment where the proletarian party passes into the bourgeois camp is not easy to determine. However, one of the most important signs of this passage is the fact that no proletarian political life any longer appears within the party. It is the responsibility of the Left Fraction to continue the fight within the party as long as there remains any hope of redressing it: this is why, during the late 1920s and early '30s, the left currents did not leave the parties of the IC, but were excluded, often by means of sordid manoeuvres. That being said, once a proletanan party has passed over to the bourgeois camp, no return is possible. The proletariat must then produce a new party, to return to the road towards revolution, and the role of the Fraction is to be a "bridge" between the old party gone over to the enemy and the future party, for which it must build a programmatic foundation, and whose skeleton it must become. The fact that once the party has passed over into the bourgeois camp, there can no longer exist any proletarian life within it means that it is both useless and dangerous for revolutionaries to undertake "entryism", which has always been one of Trotskyism's "tactics", and which the Fraction always rejected. Attempts to maintain a proletarian life within a bourgeois party, in other words one which is sterile as far as class positions are concerned, has never had any result other than to accelerate the opportunist degeneration of those organisations which have attempted it, without redressing the party in the slightest. As for any "recruitment" gained by such methods, it has always been particularly confused, and gangrened by opportunism, and has never been able to form a vanguard for the working class.

In fact, one of the fundamental differences between the Italian Fraction and Trotskyism was that when it came to regrouping revolutionary forces, the Fraction always put forward the need for the greatest clarity and programmatic rigour, although being open to discussion with all the other currents that had committed themselves to struggle against the degeneration of the Cl. The Trotskyist current, by contrast, tried to form organisations in haste, without any serious discussion or decantation of political positions beforehand, relying essentially on agreements between "personalities" and the authority of Trotsky as one of the most important leaders of the 1917 revolution, and of the early Cl.

Another question where the Fraction and Trotskyism disagreed, was the right moment for the formation of a new party. For Trotsky and his comrades, the question of founding a new party was put on the agenda as soon as the old parties had been lost for the proletariat. For the Fraction, the question was very clear:

"The transformation of the Fraction into a party is conditioned by two elements, that are closely linked4:

1) The elaboration, by the Fraction, of the new political positions which will be able to give a solid framework to the proletariat's struggle for the revolution, in its new and more advanced phase (...).

2) The overthrow of the present system of class relationships (...) with the outbreak of revolutionary movements which will allow the Fraction to regain the leadership of the struggle with a view to insurrection" (“Towards the 2-3/4 International?" in Bilan no. 1, 1933).

For revolutionaries to determine correctly their responsibilities at a given moment, it is vital for them to identify clearly the balance of class forces, and the direction in which it is moving. One of the Fraction's great merits was precisely its ability to identify the nature of the historic course during the 1930s: because the counter-revolution weighed heavily on the whole working class, the general crisis of capitalism could only lead to a new world war.

The full importance of this analysis became clear with the outbreak of the war in Spain. Whereas most of the organisations that belonged to the left of the Communist Parties saw in the Spanish events a revolutionary recovery of the world proletariat, the Fraction understood that despite the combativity and courage of the Spanish proletariat, it had been trapped by the anti-fascist ideology promoted by all the organisations with any influence within it (the anarchist CGT, the socialist UGT, as well as the Communist and Socialist parties, and the POUM, a left socialist party which took part in the bourgeois government of the Barcelona "Generalitat"), and was destined to serve as cannon-fodder in a confrontation between the "democratic' and "fascist" sections of the bourgeoisie which would be a prelude to the inevitable world war. At the time, a minority formed within the Fraction, which considered that the situation in Spain remained "objectively revolutionary". Defying all organisational discipline, and refusing the debate proposed by the majority, this minority joined up in the POUM's anti-fascist brigades5 and even wrote in the POUM's press. The Fraction was obliged to recognise that the minority had split. The latter, on their return from Spain at the end of 19366, joined Union Communiste, a left split from Trotskyism in the early 1930s, which was to rejoin the latter describing the events in Spain as "revolutionary", and calling for "critical anti-fascism".

Along with a number of communists from the Dutch Left, the Italian Fraction was thus the only organisation to maintain an intransigent class position against the imperialist war developing in Spain7. Unfortunately, at the end of 1937 Vercesi. who was the Fraction's leading figure and theoretician, began to develop a new theory that the various military confrontations of the latter half of the 1930s were not preparations for a new generalised imperialist slaughter, but "local wars" aimed at keeping the growing proletarian menace at bay by massacring workers. According to this theory, the world was thus on the eve of a new revolutionary wave, and world war was no longer a possibility, since the war economy was supposed to overcome the capitalist crisis of itself Only a minority of the Fraction - our comrade Marc among them - managed to avoid being dragged down this slippery slope, which turned out to be a sort of posthumous revenge for the minority of 1936. The majority decided to stop publishing Bilan and the replace it with October (whose name matched the "new perspective"), which was to be the organ of the International Bureau of Left Fractions (Belgian and Italian) and published in three languages. In fact, instead of "doing more" as the "new perspective" demanded, the Fraction proved unable to maintain its previous rhythm: unlike Bilan, October appeared irregularly, and in French only; many militants, confused by this calling into question of the Fractions positions, became demoralised or resigned.

The Italian Left during World War II and the formation of the GCF

When World War II broke out, the Fraction was disjointed. Its rout was less the result of repression, first by the democratic police and then by the Gestapo (several militants, including Mitchell, the leading figure of the Belgian Fraction, died in the camps), as of political disorientation and lack of preparation for a world war which had been supposed not to happen. Vercesi proclaimed that with the war, the proletariat had become "socially non-existent", that any Fraction work was therefore a waste of time, and that the Fractions should be dissolved (the decision that was taken by the international Bureau), which helped to paralyse the Fraction still further. Notwithstanding, the Marseille nucleus, made up of militants who had opposed Vercesi's revisionist ideas before the war, went on working patiently to rebuild the Fraction - a task that was made all the more difficult by repression and straitened circumstances. Sections were reestablished in Lyon, Toulon, and Paris. Contact was renewed with Belgium. By 1941, the "reconstituted" Italian Fraction was able to hold annual Conferences, to elect an Executive Commission, and publish an international Discussion Bulletin. In parallel, in 1942 the French nucleus of the Communist Left was formed on the basis of the Italian Fraction's positions, and with a view to building a French Fraction. Marc, now a member of the Italian Fraction's EC, joined the French group8. When in 1942-43 the great workers' strikes began, that were to lead to the fall of Mussolini and his replacement by the pro-Allied Admiral Badoglio (strikes which were to have an echo among Italian workers in Germany, supported by strikes of German workers), the Fraction considered, in line with the position it had always held, that "the course towards the transformation of the Fraction into the Party is open in Italy". The Conference of August 1943 decided to renew contact with Italy, and asked its militants to prepare to return as soon as possible. However, the return proved impossible, partly for material reasons and partly because Vercesi and a part of the Belgian Fraction remained hostile to the move, on the grounds that events in Italy did not call into question "the social non-existence of the proletariat". At its May 1944 Conference, the Fraction condemned Vercesi's theories. Vercesi had further to fall, however. In September 1944, he took part, in the name of the Fraction and in company with Pieri, another of its members, in the Brussels "Coalizione antifascista", alongside the Christian Democrat, "Communist", Republican, Socialist and Liberal parties. This unholy alliance published the newspaper L'Italia di Domani, in whose columns are to be found appeals for financial subscriptions to help the Allied war effort. When the Fraction became aware of these facts, its EC expelled Vercesi on 20th January 1945. This did not prevent the latter from continuing his work both in the Coalizione and as president of the Croce Rossa9.

The Fraction continued to work, in difficult conditions, to propagandise against the anti-fascist hysteria and to denounce the imperialist war. Now, it had at its side the French Nucleus, which held its first congress as the French Fraction of the Communist Left - December 1944. The two Fractions distributed leaflets and flyposted calls for fraternisation between the proletarians in uniform of the two imperialist camps. However, when they learnt at the Conference of May 1945 of the formation in Italy of the Partito Comunista Internazionalista, including prestigious figures as Amadeo Bordiga and Onorato Damen, the majority of the Fraction decided that it should dissolve, and in its members enter the PCInt on an individual basis. This called into question the very basis of the Fraction's whole approach since its formation in 1928. Marc, who was a member of the Fraction's EC and had been the leading figure in its work during the war, opposed the decision. His approach was not formalist, but political: he considered that the Fraction be maintained until they had ascertained the positions of the new party which were not known in detail, and determined whether they conformed to those of the Fraction10. Rather than be an accomplice to the suicide of the Fraction, he resigned from the EC and left the Congress, after making a declaration to explain his attitude. The Fraction (despite no longer being supposed to exist) excluded him as "politically unworthy", and refused to recognise the FFGC, whose leading figure Marc was. A few months later, two members of the FFGC met Vercesi - who had declared for the formation of the PCInt - and split, to form a "FFGC no. 2", with the support of the latter. To avoid any confusion, the FFGC took the name of Gauche Communiste de France (GCF), while still claiming to represent the political continuity of the Fraction. The "FFGC no. 2" found itself "strengthened" by the entry of the members of the minority excluded from the Fraction in 1936, and of Chaze - the leading figure of Union Communiste. This did not stop the PCInt and the Belgian Fraction from recognising it as "the only representative in France of the Communist Left".

In 1946, the "tiny" GCF stopped publication of its agitational press L'Etincelle ("The Spark '), considering that the perspective of a historic recovery in class struggle which had been put forward in 1943 had proven invalid. By contrast, between 1945 and 1952 it published 46 issues of its theoretical review Internationalisme, that dealt with all the questions confronting the workers' movement at the end of World War II, and clarifying the programmatic foundations for e formation of Internacionalismo in 1964 in Venezuela, Revolution Internationale in 1968 in France, and the International Communist Current in 1975.

In the second part of this article, we will return to the formation of the Partito Comunista Internazionalista, the inspiration for the IBRP and according to its own words “the most successful creation of the revolutionary working class since the Russian revolution”.

Fabieane

1 See the article en the ICC's 12th Congress in this issue.

2 Letter published in International Review no.8, with our response: "The ambiguities on the partisans in the formation of the Internationalist Communist Party in Italy".

3 See the article in International Review no.8.

4 In our press, we have often deal with the distinction worked out by the Italian Left between the party and fraction forms (in particular, see our study on "The relation between Fraction and Party in the marxist tradition", in International Review nos. 59, 61, 64). For clarity's sake, we can just recall the main lines of the issue here. The communist minority exists permanently, as an expression of the proletariat's revolutionary destiny. However, its impact on the class' immediate struggles is closely conditioned by their level, and the extent of the consciousness of the working masses. Only in periods of open and increasingly conscious proletarian struggle can the minority hope to have an impact. Only in these conditions can the minority be described as a party. By contrast. in periods where the proletarian struggle is ebbing historically, and the counter-revolution triumphs, it is vain to hope that revolutionary positions can have a significant and determining impact on the class as a whole. In such periods, the only possible - but vital - work is that of the fraction: preparing the political conditions for the formation of the future party when the balance of class forces once again makes it possible for communist positions to have an impact throughout the proletariat.

5 One member of the minority, Candiani, even took command of the POUM "Lenin Column" on the Aragon front.

6 Contrary to the fable kept up by the minority of the Fraction and other groups. the majority did not simply observe the events in Spain from afar. Its representatives remained in Spain until May 1937, not to join the anti-fascist front, but to continue their propaganda in the hope of snatching a few militants from the spiral of imperialist war. They did so clandestinely, pursued by Stalinist assassins who came within an inch of killing them.

7 It is worth noting that the events in Spain caused splits in other organisations (Union Communiste in France, the Ligue des Communistes in Belgium, the Revolutionary Workers' League in the USA, the Liga Comunista in Mexico), which adopted the same positions as the Italian Fraction and either joined its ranks, or, as in Belgium, formed new fractions of the International Communist Left. It was at this time that our comrade Marc left Union Communiste to join the Fraction, with which he had been in contact for several years.

8 During this period, the Fraction published numerous issues of its Discussion Bulletin, which allowed it to develop a whole series of analyses, notably on the nature of the USSR, on the degeneration of the Russian Revolution and the question of the state in the period of transition, on Vercesi' s theory of the war economy, and on the economic causes of the imperialist war.

9 In this capacity, he even stooped to thanking "His Excellency the Papal Nuncio" for his “support to his work of solidarity and humanity”, while declaring that "no Italian would so cover himself With shame as to remain deaf to our pressing appeal” (L'Italia di Domani no. 11, March 1945).

10 Internationalist Communist is thus mistaken in the reason it gives for Marc's opposition to the Fraction's decision in May 1945: it was not "that the counter-revolution which had faced the workers since their defeats in the 1920s still continued and that therefore there was no possibility of creating a revolutionary party in the 1940s". Since at the time, while he emphasised the growing difficulties encountered by the proletariat due to the Allies' systematic policy of diverting its combativity onto a bourgeois terrain, Marc had not explicitly called into question the position adopted in 1943 on the possibility of forming the Party.