Correspondence: Solidarity with the ICC against parasitism
Prior to its September public forum in Paris on anti-globalisation (see the article on page 8 of this issue, based on the presentation given at the meeting), the French section of the ICC called on other sections, as well as sympathisers of the ICC, to attend this meeting to express their solidarity with the section, which is one of the two most directly confronted with the presence of the parasitic group that calls itself the Internal Fraction of the ICC (note 1). As we explain in more detail in our article 'The ICC does not allow snitches into its public meetings', published on our website as a supplement to WR 267, the ICC, having excluded these elements from the organisation at our last international congress, took the decision to bar them from our public meetings as well. In our view, the activities of this group constitute a danger not only to the ICC but to the whole milieu of proletarian political organisations. In particular, its constant use of personal information and innuendo about members of the ICC on its website and in its bulletin puts it on the same level as that of informers and provocateurs. Closing the doors of our meetings to them is thus an elementary act of self-defence. This view is reinforced in the letters we print below. They come from three of our sympathisers in the UK, two of whom were able to attend the meeting in person, where they met members and sympathisers of the ICC from a number of countries.
28.09.03 Comrades of the ICC, I am writing to express my support for the recent decision to exclude the so-called 'Internal Fraction of the ICC' (IFICC) from all public meetings of the organisation. This latest development in the battle for defence of the revolutionary organisation was, as you are aware, explained in the article "The ICC doesn't allow snitches into its public meetings" (web supplement to WR 267) and put into practice at the last public meeting in Paris on the 13th of September, which I was fortunately able to attend.
That said, before moving on to discuss the meeting I feel it is important to repeat again that my support for this decision (and obviously the ICC) does not stem from any 'brainwashing' or blind loyalty to the organisation, which will disappoint those elements whose 'political' lives revolve around the misfortunes of the 'Stalinist' ICC and its crazy sympathisers; rather it comes from time spent working and discussing with the organisation. The openness and honesty with which the ICC has dealt with its latest organisational crisis has shown once again that the organisation is far from being the cult it is often portrayed to be. Compare this approach with the IBRP's response to the behaviour of the LA Workers Voice group and it is clear who in the proletarian political milieu is facing the difficult, but vital, question of the revolutionary organisation head on.
Although there isn't the time or the space here to discuss the IFICC's behaviour in detail it is important to make a few brief comments. The IFICC has acted from the beginning in a way not befitting members of a communist organisation. They have ignored the statutes of the organisation whose platform they claim to defend, they have stolen money from the ICC to fund their own activity and finally through gossip and the publication of sensitive information they have put individual ICC militants and the organisation as a whole at greater risk of police infiltration. Their activities have effectively threatened the very existence of the ICC!
This is why the ICC had to exclude the IFICC. Not to deny them their 'democratic' speaking rights! And this is what formed the opening presentation of the Paris public meeting. The main reasons for this important decision, as outlined above, were given along with an attack on the 'democratic' fantasies of the IFICC. They may claim not have 'disrupted' previous meetings they have attended but the presence of gossips does little to promote open comradely discussion. Nor does the case that they are not in the direct pay of the state lessen the seriousness of their activities. The IFICC's written response to the ICC's decision was also discussed. As appears usual there were no attempts at political discussion but more veiled threats and bullying claims that the exclusion couldn't be enforced as the ICC 'weren't up to it'. The members of the IFICC left sulking outside the meetings in Mexico and Paris may now want to rethink their opinion of the ICC's abilities.
Time was given after the presentation to discuss the exclusion. Comrades and sympathisers of the ICC from Britain, France and Germany all spoke about the importance of the decision and the seriousness of the situation with the Fraction. With the onset of decomposition the stakes for humanity are higher than ever and revolutionary organisations have a responsibility to ensure that the chaotic and nihilistic tendencies prevalent in decaying capitalist society don't find their way into their ranks. The situation in France is not unique and as a German comrade stated "the fight against the (In)fraction is an international one". The meeting in Paris with its international 'audience' showed that the ICC was prepared, and able, to take up its responsibilities to the class and defend the revolutionary organisation.
Unfortunately I do not have time to discuss the presentation and discussion on anti-globalisation, which followed the announcement on the Fraction. Suffice it to say both were rigorous and criticised the idealism and utopianism of those that believe that the world can be 'made good' without the intervention of the working class and the removal of capitalism.
29.9.03. Dear ICC, The following letter is a reflection on the themes at the recent meeting of RI in Paris�I decided to attend the recent meeting of RI in Paris in support of the ICC in its conflict with the parasitic Fraction. At the meeting RI convincingly defended its decision to exclude the Fraction from its public meetings in addition to the previous exclusion from the organisation. I believe the defence of revolutionary organisations is important and should not be underestimated. To counter capitalism the working class must organise to defend its interests. Any activity on the proletarian terrain is subject to attack by the ruling class. The working class must organise to counter this. This includes the vanguard who form revolutionary organisations. If these organisations are not defended they are organisations in name only.
The Fraction is guilty of trying to destroy the organisation. This has included personalised attacks on comrades of the ICC, the publication of the real initials of members, the publication of details of internal meetings, the theft of funds and the theft of contacts' details.
This activity should be condemned by all revolutionaries. I believe it is correct for the ICC to expose the details of the Fraction. Firstly as a warning to other revolutionaries and to show openly the problems that revolutionaries face.
In the meeting the comrade from Germany correctly emphasised the importance of organisational issues. Defending the organisation has been an important part of revolutionary history. She highlighted the problems of the German revolution and the organisational failures that contributed to the defeat of the working class. All those in the meeting defended the ICC's decision on this matter.
The meeting proceeded onto the main presentation. This was on the ideology of anti-globalisation as an attack on the working class. In France there is a large petit-bourgeois movement which uses anti-globalisation theory to support it. They are joined by the left in a broad coalition. The bourgeoisie are happy to support this as it plays easily into the anti-American campaign.
A comrade of the ICC was correct to draw comparisons with Proudhon who was attacked by Marx in The Poverty of Philosophy. Anti-globalisation poses a false opposition between a ruthless big capitalism and a nice small democratic capitalism. In the Communist Manifesto Marx describes capitalism's globalising dynamic. There is not a non-globalising version of capitalism. There is also not a version of capitalism that doesn't exploit the poor or one that is free from war.
Anti-globalisation is also a defence of capitalist democracy. A false view that the state stands above vested interests. In reality the state is the organised arm of the ruling class as a whole whether you can vote or not.
In Britain the ruling class does not give the same level of support to anti-globalisation theories. This is because the UK has closer ties to the US. But this ideology is useful for diverting searching elements away from proletarian politics. This I know unfortunately from personal experience. Whatever the wide ideas that are expressed in this movement they do not include the destruction of the capitalist system or the organisation of the working class.
I was pleased with the level of contributions in the meeting and it was a nice change to be in a large room full of people who support class positions.
Letter of solidarity from a sympathiser unable to support the ICC in person at the Paris meeting.
I want to express my solidarity with this meeting and the proposed exclusion of the members of the 'IFICC'. It's not only a 'logical' consequence that they should have no place in the ICC's meetings but a continuation of the ICC's permanent - and not passive - struggle for the defence of the organisations of revolutionaries. It is also part of the struggle against democratism which so much infects the groups of the proletarian milieu.
This is the application of a necessarily deepening analysis of this whole episode of the fight the ICC has been through and responded to. The contempt for organisational statutes, the theft, duplicity, denigration and back-door informing has to be responded to with revolutionary vigour.
At the same time as playing up the 'divergences' of the milieu, the IFICC's bulletin no. 20 has kept up the pressure on their targeted individual in the ICC by making sure his name is kept to the fore and the attention of the bourgeoisie.
I support your action.
From a subsequent letter from the same comrade
20.9.03 Reading the last issue of RI, I want to reinforce the view I put forward in your proposal to ban the IFICC from public meetings. Their spying activities, something I tended to underestimate, are focussed in this article: who's at what demonstration or intervention: who's not there; who's possibly doing what, as well as other hard information. This has nothing to do with political divergences and can only be of use to the state agencies dedicated to unveiling such things. (The IFICC's) copious taking of notes (who said what) also carries a similar sort of threat that is implied in their sending out of their unsolicited 'bulletins' ('we know where you live - we have your address'). This reinforces my support for your positive action.
1. The other being our Mexican section, which has already taken similar measures against the members of the IFICC there. Back