IFICC serving the bourgeoisie admirably
We have already dealt in our press with the so-called "Internal Fraction of the ICC" (IFICC). This is a parasitic group which constituted itself within our organization; under the cover of fine phrases about its desire for "correcting and saving the ICC", its real function has been sabotaging its work and trying to destroy it. The International Extraordinary Conference of the ICC which was held at the end of March 2002 noted that the Parisian elements constituting this supposed "fraction" (which also has an offshoot in Mexico) were deliberately placing themselves outside our organization on a number of counts: their repeated violations of our statutes (in particular the refusal to pay their contributions fully) and their refusal to make a commitment to respect them in the future; their refusal to present their defence before the extraordinary conference; the theft of money and of material of the ICC (internal files of addresses and documents).
As of January 2002, while its members formally belonged to our organisation, the IFICC started systematically pouring out towards the outside calumnies that it had previously only peddled on the inside. Today, through an Internet site (http://membres.lycos.fr/bulletincommuniste) and the documents that it sends to the subscribers of our press whose addresses were stolen by one of the members of the IFICC, it continues its slanders against the ICC and its attempted destruction of the proletarian political milieu.
We shall not return in this short article to the totality of the lies and calumnies which the IFICC has been spreading against our organisation and its militants. We have already expressed ourselves at some length about this and will return to it later if necessary. We want simply to discuss a "communique", which IFICC seeks to get published "in all the press organs of the proletarian political milieu, including in the publications and on the site of the ICC as a right of reply"(Footnote 1). The communique affirms: "Following the articles published in the press of the ICC, we deny all the charges made by the ICC against our fraction and its members". In fact, this "denial" is itself only a web of lies. Some examples:
1) Concerning Jonas, excluded from ICC at the beginning of 2002 for "conduct absolutely unworthy of a communist militant": "All the charges which the current leadership of the ICC makes today against his honesty and loyalty to the communist cause are nothing but infamies".
In our official statement published in WR..252, we wrote that one example of behaviour justifying the exclusion of Jonas consisted of "circulating, including outside of the ICC, a whole series of extremely serious accusations against a certain number of its militants, while at the same time he always refused to meet (and to even recognise) the commission (�) charged with examining this type of accusation". And the communique specified: "One of the most intolerable and repugnant aspects of his behaviour is the veritable campaign that he promoted and carried out against a member of the organisation (�) accusing them in the corridors and even in front of people external to the ICC of manipulating his followers and the central organs on behalf of the police force".
It is necessary to note that not one member of the IFICC ever contradicted the facts which are reported here. In the public meetings of the ICC where we had invited the members of the IFICC to come to present their position (in Paris on 4 May 2002 and in Mexico City on 3 August 2002), the latter carefully refused to come to a conclusion about the truthfulness of facts such as these, as requested by the presidium and the participants, or else tried to get out of trouble by lying. In Paris, they courageously left the room en bloc (justifying this "by family obligations"!) after a sympathiser insisted that they pronounce on the question; and in Mexico City a member of the IFICC affirmed that Jonas had actually made this type of accusation but in front of "the appropriate organ".
But perhaps the IFICC considers that for a communist militant to accuse another militant of the organisation of being a cop (according to the expression of Jonas) - and that in the corridors and not in front of the bodies responsible for this type of question - constitutes completely correct conduct? The IFICC should take a position on this and in particular say what it thinks today of the following assertions: "since the beginning of the workers' movement, its political organisations have always acted with the greatest severity (often leading to exclusion) against even well-meaning authors of slanderous accusations against their militants.� any suspicion, even well founded, towards a member of the organisation must be communicated exclusively to a proper body responsible for dealing with this kind of problem (a central organ or a specialised commission) and should certainly not become the object of discussions or speculations within the organisation as a whole. Anybody who acts outside of the formal structures of the organisation to conduct 'his own' investigation into a particular individual or a particular 'collective' on an issue of this kind is making an organisational transgression of the most serious kind, similar to an act of police provocation (even if it is inspired by the best intentions). Therefore it will be dealt with as such".
These passages are extracted from a resolution adopted in January 2002 by a full session of the central organ of the ICC with the full support of the two members of the IFICC who took part in it. Let us note that the passage of our communique on Jonas affirming that he "has behaved in a manner worthy of an agent provocateur" was itself directly inspired by this resolution.
2) Concerning the payment of the dues and the theft of material of the organization: "We have never refused to pay our dues nor, even less, have ever stolen money from the ICC, as it implies constantly. Thus, during the last months of our presence within the ICC, we placed at the disposal of the organisation part of our militant dues and preserved the remainder for the operation of our fraction as is the tradition in the revolutionary movement."
We have never written that the members of the IFICC had "refused to pay their dues"; we simply announced what they recognise in this official statement: they refused to pay the entirety of their dues. It is an old dishonest method this: fraudulently attributing lies to others, in order to better be able to "denounce" them. In addition, under the pen of the members of the IFICC, "tradition in the revolutionary movement" has the flip side of justifying no matter what breach of the organisation's rules of operation (Footnote 2). This is why the statutes of the ICC specify that: "The fact that members of the organisation defend minority positions does not release them from any of their responsibilities as militants". This is also true for the payment of the entirety of dues, which constitute one of the major responsibilities for each militant. It is necessary to note that the statutes of the ICC were adopted by the totality of the Parisian members of the IFICC and that the Mexican members of the latter affirmed the desire to respect them while part of our organisation, as does any militant who integrates into our ranks. As for the affirmation that the members of the IFICC have never stolen the money of the ICC, this is an enormous lie. Yes or no, have they refused to refund the cost of the air tickets which made it possible for two Mexican members of the IFICC to come to France, not to take part in the extraordinary conference of the ICC of March 2002, as they had received the mandate of their section to do and as they were committed to do, but to take part in a meeting of the IFICC? As we have already written, it would seem that the IFICC endorses this assertion of Goebbels, the person responsible for Nazi propaganda: "An enormous lie carries with it a force which removes doubt".
Before concluding, we would like to comment on the support that the IFICC is receiving today.
The "communique" was published with "its support and its understanding" by a small free sheet entitled Le prol�tariat universal (PU). Pierre Hempel, the person in charge of publication and sole writer of this sheet adds: "� the ICC functioned for20 years with full freedom of internal criticism � it was a time, it is true, when a representative of the old revolutionary tradition - neither sectarian nor intolerant (Marc Chiric) - was still living. This spirit � has fled the ICC. This is why I myself fled this sect in 1996". In July 1984, our comrade MC had written an article (RI No. 123) in connection with the publication by a former member of the ICC, RC, of a small review entitled Jalons, comparable to PU with the difference that it was not free and did not fill its columns with attacks against the ICC nor with gossip worthy of a concierge. On this subject, MC wrote: "This question is of interest largely exceeding the person of this comrade. It touches the essence of what separates marxism from anarchism. Marxism is the theory of a class with associated work, the working class, which tends towards unity, towards a collective activity, the re-establishment of the human community. Anarchism, in all its forms, is the ideology of the lower middle class, the handicraft maker, of individual work, and which aspires to unbridled individualism, to the Ego of Stirner. Comrade RC would like himself to be marxist in theory, but does not manage to remove the mud of individualistic anarchism in practice, which sticks to his skin, like another anarchist who claimed to be carrying out the general strike all by himself".
This appreciation also corresponds rather well to Hempel. Furthermore, MC had severely criticised the individualism of RC as well as that of Hempel in contributions to our internal bulletins. It was also no accident that RC and Hempel followed the same path for a while after the "flight" of the latter from the ICC. This was before, very logically, as incorrigible individualists, they separated. Unable to put up with the discipline of a proletarian organisation, frustrated that we do not recognise his literary talents to the same extent that he does, dissatisfied that we criticised his conduct (criticisms that MC had made or had supported, but which he was no longer prepared to accept after MC's death), Hempel has found nothing better to do than plant his cabbages all alone, justifying his "flight" with the old charge of the parasitic milieu that the IFICC endorses today: our organisation is a sect. That is to say, the classic accusation of bourgeois propaganda against the organisations which fight for the communist revolution, a propaganda to which parasitism contributes its share. As opposed to what Hempel says, and to what the IFICC is now arguing, there has not been any change in the ICC as far as "freedom of internal criticism" is concerned. Hempel was quite able to express his point of view and his disagreements, as were the members who now form the IFICC. On the other hand Hempel - like the IFICC, and whatever their disagreements - still had to respect the statutes of the ICC.
In itself, the type of support which the IFICC gathers in its campaigns says a lot about the role that it now plays, not in the service of the proletariat, but in playing the game of the ruling class.
ICC, September 2002.
(1) We want to make a point of affirming that we do not regard ourselves as being obliged to publish a document of the IFICC as part of a "right of reply". Our press, while it is open to the expression of the disagreements or critiques formulated by readers or by other groups of the proletarian political milieu, does not have the task of conveying the slanders of a parasitic group, aimed not at a "correction", as it claims, but at the destruction of our organisation. It is thus not a question at all of "censorship" on our part against the positions of a group of the communist left, as the IFICC likes to pretend. Still less do we feel any obligation here, given that thanks to the material which its members stole from the ICC, it has the wherewithal to spread its assertions far and wide. Back
(2) See on this subject our article: 'The left fractions and the question of organisational discipline' in International Review No. 110. Back