"Official" anarchism

13. THE COUNTER-REVOLUTIONARY CHARACTER OF THE 'WORKERS' PARTIES'

All those parties or organisations which today defend, even ‘conditionally’ or ‘critically’, certain states or fractions of the bourgeoisie whether in the name of ‘socialism’, ‘democracy’, ‘anti-fascism’, ‘national independence’, the ‘united front’ or the ‘lesser evil’, which base their politics on the bourgeois electoral game, within the anti-working class activity of trade unionism or in the mystifications of self-management, are agents of capital. In particular, this is true of the Socialist and Communist parties.

Spain 1936: Dissident voices within the anarchist movement

The capitulation of anarcho-syndicalism, integrated into the Republican state in Spain 1936-37 did not go unopposed by proletarian currents inside and outside the CNT. To a greater or lesser extent all these groups were made up of working class militants who fought in the heroic struggles of July ‘36 and May ‘37.

The war in Spain exposes anarchism’s fatal flaws

We are not among those who see these events as providing us with a model of proletarian revolution which goes far deeper than anything achieved in Russia in 1917-21. But there is no question that the war in Spain has taught us a great deal, even if most of its lessons are negative ones. In particular, it offers us a very sharp insight into the inadequacies of the anarchist vision of the revolution and a striking reaffirmation of the vision that has been preserved and developed by the authentic traditions of marxism.

Anarchism and imperialist war (part 3): From the end of the Second World War to the end of the counter-revolution

Since the collapse of the Stalinist regimes and the eastern bloc, the organisations of official anarchism have prided themselves on keeping their hands clean in the confrontation of the east and western blocs from 1945 to 1989 and fostered the legend of an unshakeable opposition to the military blocs: "The anarchists vary on the problems of the blocs. The majority decided to oppose both east and west..."

Anarchism and imperialist war (part 1): Anarchists faced with the First World War

In this series of articles, we will try to understand why, at each major imperialist moment - such as the two world wars - the majority of the anarchist milieu, on the one hand, was unable to defend the interests of our class and allowed itself to be gripped by bourgeois nationalism, whereas, on the other hand, a small minority succeeded in defending proletarian internationalism.

Anarcho-nationalism of the WSM

Calling for a no-vote alongside the defenders of ‘Irish independence' is not the only example of the WSM's nationalist tendencies. They also support so-called ‘anti-imperialist' struggles (which in Ireland means tailending Republicanism) and even for the nationalisation of Ireland's natural resources.

Anarchism, Bolshevism and 'workers' control'

A recent discussion on the Libcom website has raised the question of the role of the Bolshevik party in the Russian Revolution. All the fractions of the Communist Left that broke with the Communist International examined the experience of the revolution from a marxist perspective to see what lessons could be learnt for the future struggles of the working class, and for the revolutionary party. The ICC has tried to draw on the clearest contributions from the Italian, Dutch and German Left (see for example, our pamphlet on The Period of Transition from Capitalism to Socialism.) The article that we are publishing here comes from a close sympathiser of the ICC.

Understanding October 1917 and the factory committees

The defence of the October revolution has always been a central duty for revolutionaries. The task takes on renewed importance con­fronted with the international campaign about the ‘death of Communism’, since the collapse of the Eastern Bloc. This defence is not confined to combating the official lies of the bourgeoisie. Since 1917 Communists have also had to defend the revolution and the Bolsheviks against the attacks of anarchists and modernists, who, while claiming to support the revolution re­gurgitate the capitalist lies about Bolshevism leading to Stalinism.

Anarcho-syndicalism faces a change in epoch: the CGT up to 1914

"In Western Europe revolutionary syndicalism in many countries was a direct and inevitable result of opportunism, reformism, and parliamentary cretinism. In our country, too, the first steps of "Duma activity" increased opportunism to a tremendous extent and reduced the Mensheviks to servility before the Cadets (...) Syndicalism cannot help developing on Russian soil as a reaction against this shameful conduct of 'distinguished' Social-Democrats". These words of Lenin's, which we quoted in the previous article in this series, are wholly applicable to the situation in France at the beginning of the 20th century. For many militants, disgusted by "opportunism, reformism, and parliamentary cretinism", the French Confédération générale du Travail (General Confederation of Labour - CGT) served as a beacon for the new "self-sufficient" (to use the words of Pierre Monatte) and "revolutionary" syndicalism.

Historical lessons of the Kronstadt revolt, Part II

Introduction

This is the second installment in our two-part series on the historical lessons of the Kronstadt revolt, presented in response to a pamphlet published by the Chicago Revolutionary Network (CHIREVNET) that takes an anarchist perspective on Kronstadt and at the same time seriously misrepresents the ICC's analysis of the events. As we wrote in the introduction to the first part of this article, we have never claimed-contrary to the assertions of CHIREVNET's pamphlet-that the Bolshevik repression at Kronstadt was in any way a "tragic necessity." In sharp contrast, the ICC has always maintained that the repression was a "tragic mistake" that hastened the worldwide counter-revolution against the global revolutionary wave of 1917-1927, and was a major step into the abyss for the Bolshevik Party, a process which led to its eventual betrayal of the working-class and its integration into the state apparatus as the manager of the Russian national capital.

Anarchist Bookfair: Direct action caught in the traps of pacifism and imperialism

At this year's Anarchist Bookfair there was a meeting devoted to 'direct action' against the war in Iraq. The ICC intervened at it because the question of war is a vital issue which has stirred up a lot of people, some searching for an anti-war struggle based on the working class and wanting to go beyond the 'official' protests and demonstrations. In the meeting much of the discussion focused on the tactics of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) within the Stop the War Campaign (STWC). From a 'direct action' point of view the SWP were energetic but tended to dominate meetings. Some thought that the SWP were boring, others didn't like the way that the SWP tended to criticise advocates of direct action as 'elitist' - a criticism that was taken to heart.

Correspondence: anarchism, marxism, and the 'death of communism'.

We are publishing here a contribution from a comrade who describes it as "an attempt to clarify to myself why I broke with anarchism (or more specifically libertarian communism, having been a member of the Anarchist Federation)". We think that the text speaks for itself and will be very useful for many others who are currently seeking a way towards the clarity of communist positions.

The 1937 "May Days" in Barcelona

The article by Josep Rebull on “The May Days of 1937”, which we are publishing here, is a contribution to reflection about the war in Spain. In particular, it contains important elements of clarification about the political attitude of the anarchists and the POUM during these tragic events.

The 1937 May Days were a new and dramatic experience for the working class. They provided the opportunity for the Stalinists and “official” anarchists to carry out an anti-working class policy and showed that they had become ardent defenders of the interests of capitalism.

Anarchism or communism?

In the last article in this series we looked at the combat waged by the marxist tendency in the International Workingmen's Association against the reformist and "state socialist" ideologies in the workers' movement, particularly in the German party. And yet according to the anarchist or "anti-authoritarian" current led by Mikhail Bakunin, Marx and Engels typified and even inspired the state socialist tendency, were the foremost proponents of that "German socialism" which wanted to replace capitalism not with a free stateless society but with a terrible bureaucratic tyranny of which they themselves would be the guardians. To this day, Bakunin's criticisms of Marx are presented by anarchists and liberals alike as a profound insight into the real nature of marxism, a prophetic explanation of why the theories of Marx led inevitably to the practises of Stalin.

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