The first part of our reply to Link’s ICC forum posts was on the ICC’s 40 year balance sheet of its existence. This second part concentrates on the problem of the Fraction and the article in the International Review ‘The ICC as a Fraction’.
The alternative to capitalism is published by Theory and Practice whose website contains a broad range of texts from political currents such as the SPGB, left communism and situationism. The book contains essays by Adam Buick and John Crump which were first published in 1986 and 1987. It’s not presented as an official publication of the SPGB, although the book was sent to us for review by comrades who are members of the organisation.
We are publishing an article originally written as part of the ICC's own discussions on the relationship between marxism and science. It aims to bring together some of Marx and Engels thoughts on the subject, with modern scientific and historical analysis of science, and concludes with a brief critical examination of the ideas of Karl Popper.
The platform of the ICC contains the essential acquisitions of the workers’ movement concerning the conditions and content of the communist revolution. These acquisitions can be summarized as follows:
a) All hitherto existing societies have been based on an insufficient development of the productive forces in relation to the needs of men. Because of this, with the exception of primitive communism, they have all been divided into social classes with antagonistic interests. This division has led to the appearance of an organ, the state, whose specific function has been to prevent these antagonisms from pulling society apart.
b) Because of the progress in the develop ment of the productive forces stimulated by capitalism, it has become both possible and necessary to transcend capitalism with a society based on the full development of the productive forces, on the abundant satisfac tion of human needs: communism. Such a society will no longer be divided into social classes and because of this will have no need of a state.
c) As in the past, between the two stable societies of capitalism and communism there will be a period of transition during which the old social relations will disappear and new ones put in their place. During this period, social classes and conflicts between them will continue to exist, and so therefore will an organ whose function is to prevent these conflicts endangering the existence of society: the state.
d) The experience of the working class has shown that there can be no organic continuity between this state and the state in capitalist society. For the period of transition from capitalism to communism to get underway, the capitalist state has to be complete ly destroyed on a world scale.
e) The world-wide destruction of the political power of the bourgeoisie is accompanied by the global seizure of power by the proletariat, the only class capable of creating communism. The dictatorship of the proletariat over society will be based on the general organizations of the class: the workers’ councils. Only the working class in its entirety can exert power and undertake the communist transformation of society: in contrast to previous revolution ary classes it cannot delegate power to any particular institution or to any political party, including the workers’ parties themselves.
Before the experience of the revolution in Russia, marxists had a relatively simple conception of the relationship between the proletariat and the state in the period of transition from capitalism to communism.
The Italian Fraction, founded in the Paris suburb of Pantin in 1928 by a group of militants in exile, saw itself explicitly as taking on the task of educating militants in preparation for the time when the rebirth of class struggle after the defeat of the 1917 Russian Revolution would reach a point when the creation of a new Party - a new International - would be both possible and necessary.