The "united front"

The "united front" was the term used between the two world wars to describe the opportunist alliance between the Third International and those socialist parties which had betrayed the proletariat in 1914. Used today particularly by the Trotskyists and anti-fascists of all kinds as an excuse for allying with their good friends of the bourgeois parliamentary left

9. FRONTISM: A STRATEGY FOR DERAILING THE PROLETARIAT

Under decadent capitalism when only the proletarian revolution is historically progressive, there cannot even momentarily be any tasks held in common between the revolutionary class and any faction of the ruling class, however ‘progressive’, ‘democratic’, or ‘popular’ it claims to be. In contrast to the ascendant phase of capitalism, the decadence of the system makes it impossible for any bourgeois faction to play a progressive role. In particular, bourgeois democracy, which in the nineteenth century was a progressive political form in relation to the vestiges of feudalism, has lost any real political content in the period of decadence. Bourgeois democracy only serves as a deceptive screen hiding the strengthening of the totalitarian power of the state, and the bourgeois factions who advocate it are just as reactionary as the rest of their class.

The revolutionary movement and the Second World War

We are publishing an interview with Marc Chirik in which he talks in some detail about the revolutionary movement during the Second World War. Marc, a founding member of the ICC, had also been one of that small handful of revolutionaries who stood up to the enormous ideological and physical pressures of the “war against fascism” and who throughout the conflict remained loyal to the fundamental principles of internationalism, defended by Lenin, Luxemburg and others during the “war to end wars” of 1914-18.

The Kornilov Coup, August 1917: Military blocs or autonomous class struggle?

Continuing our series of articles commemorating the 90th anniversary of the Russian revolution, we are re-publishing an article that first appeared in World Revolution number 13, in August 1977.

1940: Assassination of Trotsky

Sixty years ago on 20th August 1940, Trotsky died, assassinated by Stalin’s underlings; the second imperialist war had just begun. In this article, we want not only to remember a great figure of the proletariat, sacrificing a little to the fashion for anniversaries, but also to use the event to examine some of his mistakes, and the political positions that he adopted at the beginning of the war. After a life of ardent militant activity, entirely devoted to the cause of the working class, Trotsky died as a revolutionary and a fighter. History is full of examples of revolutionaries who have deserted, and even betrayed the working class; few are those who remained faithful all their lives and died fighting, as did Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht. Trotsky was one of them.

Revolts in Argentina

Argentina: Only the proletariat fighting on its own class terrain can push back the bourgeoisie

The events of December 2001 to February 2002 in Argentina have awoken a great interest amongst politically aware elements all over the world. They have provoked discussion and reflection in workplaces among combative workers. Some Trotskyist groups have even spoken of "the beginning of the revolution".

Spain 1936 and the Friends of Durruti

Presentation

Anarchism today has the wind in its sails. Anarchist ideas, in the form both of the emergence and strengthening of anarcho-syndicalism, and of the appearance of numerous small libertarian groups, are getting off the ground in several countries (and are getting more and more attention from the capitalist media). This is perfectly explicable inperfectly explicable in the present historic period.

Nazism and democracy share the guilt for the massacre of the Jews

It is sixty years since the revolt of the Warsaw ghetto; and by a strange irony of history, exactly one hundred years before, in 1843, Karl Marx had published his On the Jewish Question, a text which marked a significant step by Marx from radical democracy towards communism. We will come back to this text in another article; here it suffices to say that, while Marx supported the abolition of all feudal constraints on the participation of Jews in civil society, he also pointed out the inherent limitations of any merely ‘political’ emancipation which was founded on the atomised citizen, and showed that real freedom could only take place on the social level, with the creation of a unified community which had overcome commodity relations, the underlying source of man’s fragmentation into competing units.

Anti-fascism: A formula for confusion

ICC Introduction

Anti-fascism is a tough nut. With the campaign for the extradition of Pinochet in full swing, the "democratic" sections of the ruling class (in other words almost all of them) unleashed a new campaign on the anti-fascist theme, this time against the arrival in the Austrian government of Georg Haider’s FPÖ. During the European Union summit in Lisbon on 23rd March, the heads of state and government of fourteen countries agreed on the sanctions to be applied to Austria, as long as the representatives of Haider’s party remained in the government. Everybody was out to win the prize for most vigorous denouncer of the "xenophobic, anti-democratic, fascist danger". We had the French President Chirac, the leader of the French right, vigorously condemning what was going on in Austria, at the same time as the publication of an opinion poll showing that half the population of France is xenophobic. Not to be left out, all the organisations of the left, starting with the Trotskyists, warned loudly about the "fascist menace" which is supposed to be a serious threat to the working class, and organised endless demonstrations against the "Haider scandal".

Bilan 36: The order of the day: Don't betray!

Our position can be utterly destroyed by a single sentence. Which? That when the Spanish workers are struggling resolutely against the fascist attack, fighting like lions against an enemy which gets its arms and ammunition from Hitler and Mussolini with the complicity of Blum and Eden; when they are making barricades out of their own bodies to stop the advance of the fascist hordes; when, in every country, there are hundreds and thousands of workers who are ready to join the battle front - your posi­tion serves only to demoralize the ranks of the fighters, facilitates the advance of the fascist enemy, and fragments the fronts where the workers are contesting every inch of the ground with Franco, behind whom stands the coalition of international fascism.

However, this sentence doesn’t constitute an argument...

Bilan 35: A slaughter-house for the proletariat in Spain

The fascists launch their attack in Spain. The traitors to the working class everywhere rush to their posts and demand that their governments send arms and muni­tions to the ‘legal government of the Republic’. This is very different from calling on the working class of each country to mobilize itself for a bitter struggle against ‘its own’ capitalists. That is the class struggle; that is the only way of expressing solidarity with the Spanish workers.

Bilan 34: Against the imperialist front and massacre of the Spanish workers

The simple general assertion that in Spain today there is a bloody struggle in progress between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, far from helping to take up a political position favourable to the defence and ultimate victory of the proletariat, could actually lead to the most terrible disaster and massacre of the workers. In order to arrive at a positive assessment it is first of all necessary to see whether the masses have been fighting on their own class terrain, and thus whether they are in a position to move forward, to develop the capacity to drive back the attacks of their class enemies.

Spain – Yesterday and Today

 

Bilan 37 The reality of a facade government

How

‘Bilan’ – Lessons of Spain 1936

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