In the face of the looming ecological catastrophe, disquiet and indignation are immense, as shown by the “marches for the climate” in 2019, which mobilised millions of young people from many countries. New protests are now taking place in many countries. At the time, we showed that these marches were situated on a totally bourgeois terrain. This is why we invite our readers to read or re-read the international leaflet we distributed at the first marches of 2019, which remains fully valid.
Class struggle in Mexico
The strike at the UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico) clearly shows that the proletariat has kept intact its capacity to fight for the defence of its living and working conditions, despite the many difficulties and obstacles in the current situation.
20 Years since the attack on the Twin Towers
To mark the 20th ‘anniversary’ of the September 11 attacks in New York, we draw our readers’ attention to our lead article from International Review 107, “New York and the world over: Capitalism sows death”. The article denounces the massacre of thousands of civilians, the majority of them proletarians, as an act of imperialist war, but at the same time exposes the hypocritical tears shed by the ruling class. As the article says, “The attack on New York was not an ‘attack on civilisation’, it was itself the expression of bourgeois ‘civilisation’”.
Demonstrations against the health pass and mandatory vaccination
The “defence of democracy” is not a vaccine against capitalism; it is a deadly virus for the proletariat
The exasperation expressed in “anti-compulsory vaccine” demonstrations around the world rails against being subjected to the diktats of arrogant government which has piled up inconsistencies in the face of the pandemic, imposing repeated lock-down confinements after continually opening up too soon or boasting of a scientific approach while what is in fact foremost is bourgeois negligence. But protests of this kind can in no way lead to a development of consciousness in the proletariat of the irremediable impasse of the capitalist system.
The hasty retreat of US and other western forces from Afghanistan is a stark manifestation of capitalism’s inability to offer anything but increasing barbarism. But as marxists we can’t just comment on events, we have to analyse their historic roots, which we aim to do in the following article.
Heatwaves and floods
Flood damage, Germany
The conclusions of the draft report of the International Panel on Climate Change which was “leaked” to the press are chilling: “Life on Earth could recover from major climate change by evolving towards new species and creating new ecosystems. Humanity cannot”. For decades, scientists have been warning of the dangers of climate disturbances. We are right there now! It’s not just a matter of some species disappearing or of localised disasters. Cataclysm has now become permanent, and there is worse to come.
We are publishing an article written by our comrades in Spain about the surge in lay-offs following in the wake of the pandemic. But as the article insists, “Lay-offs are not limited to Spain, they are happening all over the world”. Workers everywhere will not emerge from lockdowns to enjoy a “better world” but will be faced with increasing attacks on their living standards at all levels, demanding, as the article also insists, a unified response from the working class.
Protests in Cuba
US and Cuban flags symbolise the weight of nationalism in the recent demonstrations
Despite the real misery that sparked them off, the protests in Cuba were marked by an absence of working class autonomy
Mass killings and ethnic cleansing in Ethiopia, stirred up by the bigger imperialist powers, show up the false promises of a new economic prosperity in the Horn of Africa. A contribution from a close sympathiser.
The UK’s Northern Ireland problem
US and UK leaders at odds over Northern Ireland at the G7 summit
One thing that undermined the pretend unity at the recent G7 summit in Cornwall was the UK government's continuation of the war with the EU over sausages, nuggets and other chilled meats crossing the Irish Sea to Northern Ireland. This seemingly trivial row in fact exemplifies the weakening position of the British bourgeoise and indicates the various pressures confronting the very union of the United Kingdom.
The fight against parasitism and adventurism
Letter to the ICC: What method to use to understand the true nature of a group claiming to be from the Communist Left?
We publish here a letter from a close sympathiser expressing solidarity with the ICC’s struggle against parasitism and adventurism and for the defence of the Communist Left. The most important thing about this letter is that it points to the historical materialist method for approaching questions of behaviour, of slanders and maneuvres, which do such damage to the proletarian political milieu.
Polemic on the war in Israel/Palestine
Why confusions about the “Palestinian resistance” are an obstacle to taking up an internationalist position against the war in Israel/Palestine.
War in Israel/Palestine
"Free Palestine" - a bourgeois nationalist slogan
The recent demonstrations "in solidarity with Palestine" have given vent to real indignation about the barbarism being unleashed in Gaza. But they are manipulated in the most shameless way by the bourgeoisie. These are demonstrations which call for a false solidarity on a terrain which is not internationalist and proletarian. On the contrary, this is the terrain of bourgeois nationalism which feeds all imperialist confrontations.
Covid-19 in the UK
The resignation of Health Secretary Matt Hancock after breaking rules that he had himself formulated, the revelations of connections to board members at the Department of Health, and the use of private mail accounts and WhatsApp communication all show the hypocritical disregard for the code of conduct in the political apparatus in the UK. And the range of attacks instigated by Boris Johnson’s former advisor Dominic Cummings are further signs of the decomposing political life of the bourgeoisie.
History of the workers’ movement
We are publishing here an article by the Italian Fraction of the Communist Left, celebrating the 65th anniversary of the Paris Commune. The interest of this article, written in the midst of the counter-revolution and the march towards the Second World War, is that it highlights the historical continuity between the Commune of 1871 and the October Revolution of 1917. The article illustrates both the proletarian character of these two revolutionary experiences, their international scope and the tragedy of their defeat.
Unlike the current Black Lives Matter protests, which channel anger against racism into the mire of bourgeois politics, the strike of February 1941 in occupied Holland shows that the working class can fight on its own ground against the persecution of minorities.
Labour Party election losses
Labour’s election losses help us understand what’s going on in the ruling class, but they are not a defeat for the working class, because the Labour Party has long been a party of capital.
“Kill the Bill” protests in the UK
Bristol "Kill the Bill" protests: the left spreads democratic illusions
The UK government is without doubt sharpening its tools of repression. But workers need to fight against state violence and repression as part of their own class struggle, not as part of a popular front for “democratic rights”.
History of the workers' movement
The Communards destroy a symbol of France's "colonial glory"
The 150th anniversary of the Paris Commune - above all in France - has seen a concerted campaign by the bourgeoisie to distort the real meaning of this seminal event in working class history.
Suppression of the Kronstadt revolt by the Red Army: a tragic error
After the Russian revolution in 1917, the revolution in Germany in 1918, the creation of the Communist International in 1919, we mark the hundredth anniversary of the tragic crushing of the revolt by the workers, soldiers and sailors of Kronstadt in March 1921 with a document “The lessons of Kronstadt” from International Review, in order to indeed draw the key lessons of this event for the struggles of the future.
Gangs, brawls, mob killings...
The article below was recently published by the ICC's French section. If the details of violence among young people relate to that country, they are not a French specificity, as is clear from many recent examples in the UK.
Defence of the proletarian political milieu
The present article follows on from the ones we have already published which denounce an attempt to falsify the real origins of the communist left, emanating from a blog called Nuevo Curso (recently rebaptised Communia). This attempt is orchestrated by an adventurer, Gaizka whose aim is in no way to contribute to the defence and clarification of the positions of this current but to “make a name for himself” in the proletarian political milieu. Following our exposure, Gaizka remained totally silent. Furthermore, he received very little support; virtually the only one, and the most explicit, coming from the International Group of the Communist Left (IGCL), which before changing its name in 2014, called itself the Internal Fraction of the International Communist Current (IFICC). This is a group whose prime vocation, for the last 20 years, is to slander the ICC...
Every major country has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, but the crisis has not had a uniform impact. The UK, with more than 100,000 deaths, has one of the highest coronavirus death rates in the world and, throughout 2020, the shadow of Brexit hung over the economy, with negotiations continuing for months until the British bourgeoisie finally broke the “shackles” of the EU at the start of 2021. The combination of pandemic and Brexit is hitting an economy that already had one of the weakest recoveries from the 2008 financial crisis.
ICC online public meeting
Introduction to the ICC’s online public meeting - Covid-19, political chaos in the US: expression of capitalism’s accelerating decay
In the last year, the world has been shaken by two unprecedented events of extreme importance in the life of capitalism: the Covid-19 pandemic and, most recently, the assault on the Capitol in Washington after the American elections that sanctioned the defeat of Donald Trump. These two events are neither insignificant nor separate from each other. They can only be understood in a historical framework that we present in this text, originally penned as an introduction to two 'virtual' public meetings held in February 2021.
We are publishing this article written by a close sympathiser, of the ICC in the US, which defends our general analysis of the significance of the events of January 6 in Washington, and points out the role of those ardent apologists of bourgeois democracy – the Trotskyists, “Democratic Socialists” etc - in helping to strengthen the repressive apparatus of the state.
Unlike the recent citizen mobilisation in Lima, this strike of the workers of the agro-industrial enterprises in Peru had a clear class basis. The proletariat shows its strength and capabilities when it struggles directly against exploitation.
Political chaos in the USA
Assault on the Capitol in Washington: the USA at the heart of the world-wide decomposition of capitalism
“This is how election results are disputed in a banana republic”. This declaration by ex-president George W Bush followed the January 6 invasion of the Capitol by several hundred Donald Trump partisans, who had come to interrupt the certification of Joe Biden’s victory. It tells us a lot about the gravity of what happened in Washington that day.
Washington under military occupation
The narrow Biden election in the US will not heal the divisions in US society or overcome the increasingly fragmented state of the "world order".
We are publishing a letter from a sympathiser who took part in a recent online discussion meeting and raises some questions about our approach towards ant-racism and “identity politics”. Our response follows.
This report was written for a recent congress of our section in France and will be followed by other reports on the world situation.
Decline of US imperialism
The first of two articles analysing the fact that USA’s rise to world dominance also coincides with the course of a world system in decline. In particular, it became a global superpower through imperialist war becoming the “way of life” of decadent capitalism.
Work of the 24th International Congress of the ICC
The focus of this report is on the general perspective: where is the world economy heading after the great cataclysm that erupted with the Covid pandemic?
We continue publishing the main reports on the world situation from the 24th ICC Congress. This report examines some of the main issues facing the international class struggle in the phase of capitalist decomposition: the problem of the politicisation of the class movement, the dangers posed by interclassism, the subterranean maturation of consciousness, and the meaning of defeats in this period.
In a way, "the communist left finds itself in a similar situation today to that of Bilan in the 1930s, in the sense that it is obliged to understand a new and unprecedented historical situation" (Resolution on the international situation of the 13th ICC Congress, 1999)
Science and Class Consciousness
We've commemorated this year as the 150th anniversary of the Paris Commune. We must also celebrate the book of Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex. The first edition of this book appeared in London on February 23, 1871, a few days before the working population of Paris transported to the heights of Montmartre, Buttes-Chartre and Belleville the cannons that Adolphe Thiers wanted to confiscate from them.
Response to readers’ letters
This article is a response to two letters published recently on the phenomenon of "uberisation” Are “uberised” employees part of the working class? It endeavours to place the issues in a historical framework by drawing on the foundations of marxism and the experience of the workers' movement.
Correspondence on the decadence of capitalism
We reply to a reader’s question: “How can the ICC maintain that capitalism is a decadent system since 1914 when there has been such enormous growth in the capitalist system since then?”
This dossier contains many of the ICC's articles on the present COVID19 health crisis.
Explosion of Covid-19 in Brazil and India
Mass cremations of Covid victims in India
Uber Eats workers on strike
We are publishing below two letters from ICC sympathisers aimed at continuing the reflection that arose in a meeting in France on 15 May 2020 on the subject of the nature and composition of the working class. During this discussion some participants questioned what affect “uberisation” of work had on the composition of the working class. In other words, do the “uberised” employees belong to the working class? We welcome the comrades’ efforts of reflection and their willingness to express their concerns. The letters from the comrades make two contributions to this debate which will be continued at other ICC meetings.
Sport under capitalism
There is an immortal line from the 1965 film Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines, whose scenario is an international flying tournament in the year 1910. Robert Morley, playing the pompous newspaper magnate Lord Rawnsley, tells us that “the problem with these international affairs is that they attract foreigners”. As communists, who reject any idea of loyalty to the nation, we would express it differently: the problem with international competitions is that they promote patriotism.
Aftermath of ethnic clashes in Lod
This is the first time that military conflict between Israel and Hamas has been accompanied by ethnic clashes and pogroms inside Israel, marking the acceleration of capitalism's decomposition.
Covid-19 and state measures
Poster of May 68 against state repression
In recent months there have been criticisms and misinterpretations of our positions regarding the state measures in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Some have even concluded that the ICC in fact supports these measures. The ICC supports any proletarian struggle against the attacks by the state, but it doesn’t support demands to put an end to the anti-Covid state measures. Such demands have no other perspective than reinforcing illusions in bourgeois rule, whether democratic or openly despotic and only raise obstructions against the development of the class consciousness and the combativity.
Covid-19 in the UK
Soup kitchen queue, Glasgow, winter 2020/21
From health to housing, education to income, the working class has been hardest hit over the past 12 plague months. The economic crisis and social deprivations, accelerated by Covid-19, have roots deep in the decadence and decomposition of capitalism. However sections of the proletariat in GB, under the most difficult conditions, have nonetheless attempted a defence of basic class interests.
Imperialism and decomposition
Turkish military incursion into northern Syria, October 2019
Turkey’s ambitions to assert itself as a regional power in the Middle East is a clear illustration of the growing tendency towards every man for himself at the imperialist level; and it is above all the working class of Turkey and beyond which is paying the price in increased exploitation and bloody wars.
Readers' letter on the threat of war
In the first part of the reply to this reader's letter, we responded to the criticisms made by comrade D. to the "Report on the Question of the Historical Course", adopted at the 23rd ICC Congress and published in International Review 164. In this second part, we would like to deal with another question raised by the comrade in his letter: that of the possible prospect of a generalised nuclear war.
The truth is revolutionary - For a factual history of the Communist Left (Correspondence with the ICT)
In December last year the ICC wrote to the Internationalist Communist Tendency, asking them to publish a letter of correction of serious falsifications made about our organisation that appeared on the ICT website in an article entitled ‘On the forty-fifth anniversary of the Founding of the CWO’. The ICC does not request such rectifications from the bourgeois camp. We expect lies coming from this direction and simply denounce any such defamations as the trademark of the enemy class.
We republish here a letter we addressed to the IBRP in December 2004 following the appearance on its website of a declaration emanating from a mysterious “Circle of Internationalist Communists”, containing extremely grave accusations against the ICC. Despite the protests of our organisation, which it did not take into account, the IBRP did not make any attempt to verify the reality of this group or the content of the accusations in question.
Slavery and Racism
Colored National Labor Union Convention, 1869
The campaign around “Black Lives Matter” (BLM) has led many people to look for references in the history of the struggle against the oppression of and violence against black people. Among the most well-known black activist are Marcus Garvey, Malcom X, and Martin Luther King. But communists do not base their political orientation on activists fighting for equal rights within capitalism.
Social democracy and black workers
In the first part of this series we sketched out the first steps of the workers’ movement in dealing with the aftermath of a 350 years history of the enslavement. In this part we will examine how the socialist parties at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century took up the political defence of black workers. Although African Americans were only one of the many “nationalities”, they were subjected to a special regime, where the culture of slavery persisted. Therefore the struggle for the abolition of the system of two classes of workers, the division between white and black workers, was an important point.
International class struggle
Recent protests by students in France and the UK show that the struggle of proletarians around basic class interests has not been entirely buried by a whole series of marches and protests around the themes of "democracy" and "the rights of the individual" faced with the lockdown.
Indian famers’ movement
Lessons of the Indian famers’ movement: the interests of the rich farmers are not those of the rural wage labourers
The massive protests by farmers in India against the laws of the Modi government of the past winter were the largest protests in the history of India since its independence in 1947 and gained wide support from all over the world. But unlike many bourgeois organisations want us to believe, the farmers and the agrarian wage labourers were not united behind the demands of the farmers’ unions. The movement was spearheaded by the class of richer farmers-cum-commission agents, and its objectives were above all shaped by the interests of this group.
History of the revolutionary movement
Marc Chirik passed away 30 years ago, in December 1990. In tribute to the precious contributions of our comrade, of this great revolutionary in the line of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Rosa Luxemburg, we are republishing the two articles from International Review 65 and 66 that were written just after his death. These two articles go over the broad lines of his life and summarise what he brought to the proletarian cause and the defence of marxism.
Marxism and education
We are publishing here a three-part series on the question of education that first appeared in the pages of World Revolution in 2001 (numbers 243-245). While it starts with references to the UK general election of 2001, what the series says is still relevant today.