Communist Left influenced

Communist Left influenced

With the gradual emergence of a new generation in search of a coherent revolutionary critique of decomposing capitalist society, discussion on the widest possible basis is a vital tool to develop clarity. The Internet can provide an important tool in the development of debate, and the ICC will do it's utmost, within the limits of our capacities, to support such initiatives on the basis of proletarian internationalism.

The weaknesses of the PCI on the question of populism (part I)

In number 523 of its paper, Le Proletaire, dated February/March/ April 2017, the International Communist Party (PCI) published an article: Populism, populism you say?, in which it confronts this phenomenon and its current growth and, on the basis of this analysis, also undertakes a criticism of the analysis of the ICC on this question. The first part of our response to this polemic will be centred on the elements of analyses used by the PCI itself in order to evaluate its capacity to explain the phenomenon of populism.

ICC Public Meeting in the Dominican Republic: On the Crisis of Capitalism

On June 25, a public meeting took place in the city of Santiago-the second most important city in the Dominican Republic-organized by the Internationalist Discussion Nucleus of the Dominican Republic (Núcleo de Discusión Internacionalista de la República Dominicana, NDIRD). This is NDIRD's second public meeting, to which the ICC was invited to give a presentation on the theme of "The Crisis and Decadence of Capitalism."

International debate: Crisis and decadence of capitalism

We have already, in IR 50, briefly presented the Grupo Proletario Internacionalista of Mexico, on the publication of the first issue of its review, Revolucion Mundial. We are reprinting here a text from Revolucion Mundial no 2: a critique of the "Theses of the Alptraum Communist Collective" (CCA), also from Mexico[1], which were published in IR no 40 in January 1985.

We will let the GPI present themselves to our readers:

"We came together as a political group, only a few months ago under the name GPI, and united around principles set out[2] in the first issue of our publication Revolucion Mundial. Just beforehand, we were essentially a "discussion group": a largely informal grouping from the organizational standpoint, (without a name, or rules of functioning etc.), and polit­ically concentrated and orientated in an effort of political discussion and clarification, mainly towards giving more precision to the "class frontiers", ie the principles we should defend.

Leaflet from the EKS: The agenda of the Turkish bourgeoisie is war, terror, chaos and barbarism

On 17 October, the Turkish parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of the right of the Turkish army to pursue Kurdish guerrillas of the PKK back to their bases in northern Iraq. Four days later, 13 Turkish soldiers were killed in a PKK ambush, fanning the flames of a war campaign that had already begun.

Public meeting in Prague

In February 2007 the Prague infocafe "Mole's Column" organised a public meeting on the class struggle and the question of national liberation in the Middle East, with the participation of the internationalist group "Kolektivně proti kapitálu" - Collectively against Capital). An ICC delegation took part the meeting. The discussion took place in a fraternal atmosphere among revolutionaries with the same goal: to struggle for a really human society, without classes, nations, wage labour, and the alienation that is its result.

An internationalist voice in Turkey

We are publishing below the statement of basic principles by a new proletarian group in Turkey, Enternasyonalist Komünist Sol, Internationalist Communist Left. In the last issue of WR we published their leaflet on Mayday, which we helped to distribute. In a forthcoming issue, we will publish our comments on the statement.

May Day is the day of the international working class

This leaflet has been produced by Enternasyonalist Kömunist Sol (Internationalist Communist Left) a new proletarian group in Turkey. It is being distributed in Turkey, Britain and Germany. In Britain and Germany it is being distributed by the International Communist Current, which associates itself with the internationalist views it defends.

ICC Public Meetings in Brazil: A strengthening of revolutionary positions in Latin America

The ICC recently held a number of public interventions in Brazil... Such an intervention in Brazil constitutes a first for the ICC; it was only possible thanks to the sterling initiatives of sympathisers there and to the collaboration with the Brazilian proletarian group by the name of “Workers Opposition” who were the organisers of the public meetings.

Class Consciousness and the Role of the Revolutionary Organization: Comment by Red and Black Notes

The exchange of views below continues a discussion with Red and Black Notes on the vitally important question of class consciousness and the role of the revolutionary organization. As readers will recall, in Internationalism 134 we published a letter to R&BN commenting on a joint public forum they held with the Internationalist Workers Group, the Canadian affiliate of the IBRP, last winter. We publish below R&BN’s response to our letter, followed by some further comments that we offer in an effort to deepen the discussion on consciousness and revolutionary organization.

On Class Consciousness: A Reponse to Red and Black Notes

As readers of Red and Black Notes and Internationalism may have noticed, a discussion has developed on the role of the revolutionary organization and its relationship to the class.  This is a central and difficult, controversial issue that has been hotly and long debated within the workers’ movement.   It is vital that the discussion continues for the benefit of clarification.  This is why we would like to carry the discussion further and approach some points on councilism that Fischer, the editor of Red and Black Notes, raised, as well as other points.

Correspondence from Red and Black Notes on the Causes of the War in Iraq

Dear comrades,

Thank you for your letter of July 22, 2003 containing a critique of two leaflets I produced for anti-war rallies in Toronto in the spring of last year. I regret that until now I have been unable to reply to the comments and criticisms raised in your letter.

Solidarity contributions for the comrades of the NCI

Since we published the article ‘The NCI has not broken with the ICC’ (see our website), a number of sympathisers of the ICC have sent messages of support and financial contributions for the comrades of the Nucleo Comunista Internacionalista in Argentina, who, despite the terrible living conditions they face, are determined to continue political activity alongside the ICC. We want to give very warm thanks to all the comrades who have expressed their solidarity in this way. This can only encourage the comrades in Argentina to maintain their militant commitment; and it shows that, despite their geographical isolation, they are not alone. Such gestures are an illustration of the international nature of the solidarity of the proletariat, the class that bears within itself the communist future.

Nucleo Comunista Internacional: an episode in the proletariat's striving for consciousness

The development within the class of a deepened reflection, even if this mainly below the surface today, which can be seen in the appearance of a series of elements and groups, often young, who are turning towards the positions of the Communist Left, is obviously of vital importance, since it is one of the preconditions for the formation of the future world wide revolutionary party.

Debate with Red and Black Notes: The irrationality of imperialist war

Over the past year Internationalism has been involved in a correspondence with the Toronto based group Red and Black Notes that publishes a journal of the same name. We have already published previous installments of this correspondence. The following letter is a reply to the Red and Black letter published in our last issue (#129).

Discussion Bulletin: 1983-2003, A Balance Sheet

Frank Girard, publisher and editor of the Discussion Bulletin, the independent but decidedly De Leonist-leaning journal devoted to political debate and discussion among "non-market socialists," libertarians, and anarchists, has announced his intention to cease publication with the July-August issue. It is appropriate at this moment to reflect back on the contributions of Discussion Bulletin over the past two decades, assessing its strengths and weaknesses.

Correspondence With Red and Black Notes: Opposition to War Must Avoid the Many Traps of Bourgeois Politics

Earlier this year, Internationalism received copies of two leaflets distributed by the Toronto based Red and Black Notes at the anti-war demonstrations of last winter. In an effort to develop a constructive process of debate and criticism among the various tendencies in the “proletarian political milieu” (PPM) in North America, we have responded to these two leaflets with the letter that we reproduce below. 

Obituary for Frank Girard

We have just received a report that Frank Girard, who edited and published - virtually single-handedly - the Discussion Bulletin for twenty years from 1983 to 2003 died last month at the age of 77. Frank had been a member of the Socialist Labor Party (the De Leonist organization in the U.S.) from the 1940s until his expulsion in the early 1980s, even running for political office on the SLP ticket. He began the Discussion Bulletin as an open forum for the exchange of political views by De Leonists, anarchists, libertarians, left communists, etc. - what he called "non-market socialists." Not only were the pages of Discussion Bulletin open to a wide range of political views, but the publication appeared like clockwork on a bimonthly basis, something of a rarity in this political milieu.

Internationalist Notes underestimates the danger of LAWV

The November 2002 issue of Internationalist Notes (publication of the newly constituted Internationalist Workers Group regrouping the remaining sympathizers of the International Bureau for the Revolutionary Party (IBRP) in the US and Canada) rejects the ICC's expression of solidarity in the face of the Los Angeles Workers Voice's (LAWV) parasitic attacks against the IBRP(see Internationalism 122). Readers will recall that in that article we not only defend the IBRP against the ludicrous LAWV accusation that it was no longer a working class organization, but also supported the IBRP's criticism of LAWV's reprehensible behavior on the organizational level and its headlong retreat from the political legacy of the communist left. Calling our article an "unfortunate intervention," IN criticizes specifically our criticism of the LAWV for violating revolutionary principles of fraternalism and organizational functioning because "they held secret and private political and organizational discussions in Los Angeles." Dismissing our expression of solidarity, IN writes:

ICC public meeting in Moscow: Decadence of capitalism means all national struggles are reactionary

In October the ICC held a public meeting in Moscow to present our pamphlet on the decadence of capitalism, recently published in the Russian language.

This meeting and the publication of the pamphlet in Russian are an expression of the emerging revolutionary milieu in Russia, which the ICC has written about extensively (see for example International Review 111).

In defence of discussion groups

In the last two issues of World Revolution we have published articles concerning discussion groups: in WR 257 we reproduced a text on the Paris Commune of 1871 that introduced a discussion in the Midlands Discussion Group; in our previous issue, WR 258, we published a brief history of the MDG. In the following article we want to look at some more general aspects of what a discussion group is, what function it fulfils and what in our view a discussion group is not, and what objectives it shouldn't try to serve.

A contribution to the history of the Midlands Discussion Group

The Midlands Discussion Group (MDG) has existed for more than two years now, involving people from Leicester and Birmingham from various political backgrounds - left communist, councilist, anarchist, environmentalist, leftist. The aim of the group is to discuss the proletarian alternative to capitalism, like other discussion groups that exist or have existed in Mexico, India, France, Spain, Switzerland and Australia. Discussion circles: important moments in the development of class consciousness

Correspondence with International Communist Union: There are no more national liberation wars

ICC Introduction

We are publishing the platform of one of the new groups in Russia, which is moving towards the positions of the communist left. The ICU originated as the Kirov Marxist group in 1997 following a strike by teachers in that city. Initially the group attempted to work with the official Communist Party, later with various leftist groups, but more and more found that such activity was a “useless waste of time”. The current title of their paper in Russia is World Revolution.

Russian internationalists against the war in Chechnya

In WR 231 and IR 100 we published a sticker distributed in Moscow by a group of internationalists opposing the war in Chechnya. In this issue we are publishing an article written by other proletarian elements elsewhere in Russia. Although we don’t agree with all its formulations, we warmly welcome this text as further proof that, despite the Russian bourgeoisie’s efforts to flatten all criticism of its bloody imperialist adventure in the Caucasus under a steamroller of nationalist hysteria, the voices of working class internationalism continue to make themselves heard. The comrades in Russia have asked us to ‘re-translate’ their own hand-written English translation and we apologise in advance for any misreadings and mistakes, especially where Russian names are concerned.

In Russia: an internationalist forum

The initiative has been taken by three organisations (International Communist Current, the Moscow organisation of the Confederation of revolutionary Anarcho-Syndicalists, Russia, and the Group of the revolutionary proletarian collectivists, Russia) to set up an internationalist discussion forum. The first subject submitted for debate is that of the lessons to be learned from the defeat of the October Revolution.

1996-2004: from the Moscow conference to the internationalist forum

The international wave of workers’ struggles of 1968-72 put an end to the long period of counter-revolution which descended on the proletariat following the defeat of the revolutionary attempts of 1917-23. One of the clearest expressions of this was the re-appearance of a whole number of proletarian groups and circles who, despite enormous inexperience and confusion, tried to repair the broken links with the communist movement of the past. During the 1970s, when the immediate (and indeed immediatist) optimism generated by the revival of the class struggle was still very much alive, proletarian political currents like the ICC or the Bordigist ICP went through a phase of accelerated and even spectacular growth. However, the construction of a communist organisation – as with the progress of the class struggle as a whole - proved to be a much more difficult and painful process than many of the ‘generation of 68’ first believed; and not a few of that generation of militants or ex-militants have gone from facile optimism to an equally superficial pessimism, concluding that the period of counter-revolution never came to an end, or expressing their disappointment in the working class by abandoning revolutionary politics altogether.

Reply to the KRAS

Essentially, the purpose of the KRAS' text, is to highlight the reasons for the defeat of the Russian revolution: “For most of the 'lefts', the Russian revolution of 1917-21 remains an 'unknown revolution', as it was described by the exiled anarchist Voline, 60 years ago. The main reason for this situation is not a lack of information, but the great number of myths that have been built around it. Most of these myths are a result of the confusion between the Russian revolution and the activities of the Bolshevik party. It is not possible to free oneself from these confusions without understanding the real role of the Bolsheviks in the events of this period (...) A widespread myth holds that the Bolshevik party was not just a party like any other, but the vanguard of the working class (...) All the illusions on the 'proletarian' nature of the Bolsheviks are disproved by their systematic opposition to the workers' strikes as early as 1918, and the crushing of the Kronstadt workers in 1921 by the guns of the Red Army. This was not a 'tragic misunderstanding', but the crushing by armed power of the 'ignorant' rank and file. The Bolshevik leaders pursued concrete interests and carried out a concrete policy (...) Their vision of the state as such, of the domination over the masses, is significant of individuals without any feeling for equality, for whom egoism dominates, for whom the masses are merely a raw material without any will of their own, without initiative and without consciousness, incapable of creating social self-management. This is the basic trait of Bolshevik psychology. It is typical of the dominating character. Arshinov spoke of this new stratum as a 'new caste', the 'fourth caste'. Willy-nilly, with such a viewpoint the Bolsheviks could not carry out anything other than a bourgeois revolution (...) Let us try first of all to see what revolution was on the agenda in Russia in 1917 (...) the Social-Democracy (including of the Bolshevik variety) always overestimated the degree of development of capitalism and the extent of Russia's 'Europeanisation' (...) In reality, Russia was more a 'third-world' country, to use a present-day term (...) The Bolsheviks became the protagonists of a bourgeois revolution without the bourgeoisie, of capitalist industrialisation without private capitalists (...) Once in power, the Bolsheviks played the part of a 'party of order' which did not try to develop the social character of the revolution. The programme of the Bolshevik government had no socialist content...

Argentina: the mystification of the 'piquetero' movement

Presentation

We are publishing below extracts from a long article by the comrades of the Nucleo Comunista Internacional in Argentina which makes an in-depth analysis of the so-called “piquetero” movement, denouncing its anti-working class nature and the self-interested lies with which leftist groups of every hue “have dedicated themselves to deceiving the workers with false hopes to make them believe that the aims and means of the piquetero movement contribute to advancing their struggle”.

Iraq: debate on the real motives behind the war

This article was written for our German publication Weltrevolution, no 118 ('Internationalist voices against the war'). It was written in response to a growing number of groups and elements who are searching for an internationalist response to the capitalist war-drive. As such its arguments are not merely of local significance but can be applied to many similar efforts throughout the world, including Britain. We will come back to some of the latter in another issue of WR.

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