Internationalist Perspective wins new Oscar for political stupidity

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In no.28 of its review, dated May 1995, Internationalist Perspective (IP) offered us a panegyric on capitalism's strengths since the beginning of the century, and more particularly throughout the East Asian region. Not even the most ideological of World Bank reports has yet dared utter such paeans of praise: "capitalism has continued to develop the productive forces throughout the period of decadence - and moreover at an extremely rapid pace (...) the most prodigious rates of growth (sic!) in world industrial production have occurred since the end of the 1960s (...) the ICC also speaks of a geographically uneven development: according to its conception of decadence, no country newly arrived on the world market can industrialise and rival the old powers (...) And yet, since World War II Japan has become the world's second economic power; China is rapidly becoming a major economic power in its own right; South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, etc have recently joined the ranks of the industrialised countries (...) In 1962, the Western Pacific only accounted for 9% of world GNP; in 1982 the figure was 15 %; and by the end of the century it will probably be 25 % - greater than Europe or North America. This capitalisation of the Far East, the entry into the ranks of the industrialised world of a region which before World War II was totally marginal from the industrial viewpoint, simply cannot be explained by the ICC's concept of decadence". While IP was lauding the radiant future of capitalism, our diagnostic forecast increasingly frequent and serious financial tremors, as a result of the growing recourse to debt as a means of putting off the effects of the crisis[1]. At the same time, we analysed historically and in depth the supposed prosperity of South-East Asia, and while we were at it put paid to all the bourgeoisie's tired old refrains on the subject[2], refrains which have been adopted, broadcast, and amplified by IP.

We have not had to wait more than two years for the facts to pronounce their verdict: South-East Asia is in intensive care, the IMF has had to act with utmost energy in order to impose the most drastic measures ever taken to try to "recover" a terrible economic situation. To accompany these measures, which are likely to lead to a major economic collapse, it has had to make available the biggest loan in its history. As for the other end of the planet, damage has been limited in the Western economies only by high level manipulation by governments and the major financial institutions.

IP is clearly more concerned to oppose the ICC than the bourgeoisie... This is where the worst kind of parasitism leads: objectively to play the game of the class enemy, to spread about the most inept drivel produced by the bourgeoisie's propaganda machine.

Regular as clockwork, this group delivers up this kind of "analysis", fit to compete in the world championships of political stupidity. Whence springs this lamentable political pretentiousness? We should here remind our readers that the members of IP left the ICC, completely irresponsibly, in 1985, deserting the militant struggle under the sway of personal rancour and recrimination[3]. Since then, they have accused our organisation of "betraying its own platform", of "Stalinist degeneration", and of having "a profound contempt for marxist theory". Their credo was to set themselves up as the real defenders and developers of our political platform, and to engage in the serious elaboration of communist theory which we, supposedly, had definitively abandoned. What is the result today? IP has completely rejected the platform which it was supposed to be defending tooth and nail, and is trying to work out a new one ... a task which has been going on for several years but which seems beyond it. As for its "fundamental theoretical deepening", it has gone to get that from the tortuous arguments about the "recomposition of the proletariat" produced by Alain Bihr, doctor in sociology, a writer for Le Monde Diplomatique and a driving force behind the anti-negationist campaign aimed at discrediting the communist left. In the same way IP has borrowed from Marx a schema that applied to the previous century before capitalism reached its apogee, to "discover" that Gorbachev's Perestroika is to be explained by the Russian economy's passage from the "formal domination" to the "real domination" of capital. This analysis - "absolutely crucial for understanding the evolution of the world today" so they said - did not prevent them taking two years after 1990 to understand what was already blindingly obvious to everybody, viz that the Eastern bloc had ceased to exist. Clearly concerned to polish up its image as the "crucible of theory", and "international pole of discussion permitting the development of a living marxism", IP has undertaken to redefine the marxist concept of the decadence of capitalism. But rather than a redefinition, IP is proceeding with a veritable liquidation of the theoretical heritage of the groups of the communist left, and of marxism: today, capitalism is supposed to be in its most dynamic and prosperous phase, in the midst of a "third technological revolution" (whose effects the ICC supposedly completely underestimates), which according to IP offers capitalism the possibility of a real national bourgeois development on the periphery[4]. IP emphasises "the ability of peripheral local bourgeoisies to emerge, able to industrialise and rival the old industrial countries".

IP is going the same way on many other political questions, and it would be tedious to go through them all. Nonetheless, it is worthwhile nailing one more of its "theoretical exploits" of the last decade.

Just as the bourgeois campaigns after the collapse of the Stalinist regimes were at their most deafening to identify Lenin with Stalin, the Russian Revolution with the Gulag and Nazism, IP brought its own contribution to the edifice. In the editorial of IP no.20 (summer 1991), illustrated with a head of Lenin from which emerged little heads of Stalin, we could read the following: "Revolutionaries (...) must destroy their own icons, the statues of "glorious leaders" (...) [they] must get rid of the tendency to consider the Bolshevik revolution as a model". Here is IP's fundamental theoretical contribution to help spring the traps of a bourgeois ideological campaign whose prime objective is to eradicate from the consciousness of the working class its entire history and historic perspective (see the article in this issue). IP's persistence in adopting ludicrous positions, damaging to the development of proletarian consciousness, its constant desire to elaborate "theories", as absurd as they are incoherent and pedantic, is to be explained entirely by the group's origins and nature: as one of the most concentrated expressions of political parasitism.

C.Mcl

 


[1] Article on the financial situation in International Review no. 81, "Resolution on the International Situation" in International Review no. 82, "A casino economy" in International Review no. 87, "Resolution on the International Situation" in International Review no. 90.

[2] "The Asian dragons run out of steam" in International Review no.89.

[3] The reader may find our position on IP (or "External Fraction of the ICC" as it used to be called) in International Review nos.45, 64, and 70.

[4] Logically, IP should have abandoned the position of the communist left, which it still officially holds, on the impossibility of real national liberation struggles in decadence.