Letter to the ICC: What method to use to understand the true nature of a group claiming to be from the Communist Left?

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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. 

By drawing lessons from the history of the struggle of the workers’ movement, the ICC has been able to systematise how to distinguish between the real Communist Left and the fake 'communist left', which is basically composed of parasitic groups and adventurist elements.

Unlike other questions, this is not something that can be solved by intuition, common sense or as a private affair, or from innocently inhaling the ambient bourgeois ideology. The Communist Left must recover, maintain and develop the historical continuity and experience of coherent communist behaviour, of communist coherence in relations between militants and with the organisation as a whole. This is so that it can arm itself to combat the dangers of duplicity, and of the more indirect and less apparent dangers to the organisation of the political vanguard of the working class. Dangers which, with the advance of the decomposition of capitalism, become more and more acute.

A principle of the method of thinking at the core of the marxist method is that, to quote Marx: one does not judge an individual by what he thinks about himself."[1] While in everyday life every shopkeeper can distinguish very well between what someone claims to be and what he really is, our historiography has not yet achieved this trivial insight. It accepts without question what each epoch says and imagines about itself.”[2] That is, we cannot trust someone, or a group, simply because of what they claim to be (i.e., part of the Communist Left). Marxists cannot rely on this method, typical of the bourgeoisie, which expects the working class to believe word for word the promises and appearances which it is presented with, hijacking it with the games of idealism.

For marxists, on the contrary, this consciousness must be explained from the contradictions of material life, from the conflict existing between the social forces of production and the relations of production.[3] In other words, only a method of historical and materialist thinking can confront this game of appearances.

We must therefore ask the following questions: where does the practice of a group or individual come from? What is the origin and development of this behaviour in history? Under the influence of which social tendency and from which class has it historically originated? We must discuss the lessons and past experiences of the workers’ movement in such situations, when we see behaviour such as, accusations of power struggles, denigrations, ambiguities, seeking alliances, cries for help, claiming to be the victim of abuse, etc. If we stay on the surface of a situation where the International Group of the Communist Left accuses the ICC of employing Stalinist methods, and the ICC denounces a destructive tendency towards the Communist Left on the part of the IGCL (and the IGCL also denounces something similar!) ... if we look at it on the face of it, the question looks like a puzzle worthy of a bourgeois court. This only benefits the parasites, the adventurers and the whole milieu of the false 'communist left' which reproduces the bourgeois ideology of appearances!

To prevent the devious imagination from dominating reality we must proceed:

  • By appropriating the experience of the working class in similar historical situations. For example, in the fight of the First International against the so-called “International Alliance of Socialist Democracy” (Bakunin's Alliance), or in the fight against the figures of Lassalle or Schweitzer, to understand the behaviour of these groups and elements and what they correspond to.
  • To proceed with a profound investigation to unravel the facts of the past and to establish the truth of the facts in the Communist Left, on the basis of the lessons that each revolutionary organisation in the milieu can draw from them. That the whole Communist Left fights for this is the strength that keeps the truth of the facts from being lost like Trotsky disappearing from the proletarian revolution in Stalinist historiography.
  • To analyse the historical practice of those who claim to be part of the Communist Left, its reputation and its origins, not looking at every little dispute in an immediatist way, where the texts that are produced are analysed in the abstract, as testimonies where the important thing is that a culprit is finally found for every little battle.

The greatest difficulty in unmasking parasitism is that some of its most powerful actions are:

  • To attack and accuse in the spirit of its own logic. For example, when Bakunin’s Alliance failed in its struggle for power in the First International, it projected its own logic onto a supposedly authoritarian and dictatorial International. Thus, the IGCL parasites also say, despite rejecting the theory of parasitism as a supposed “poison for the communist left” that the ICC is now launching a genuine parasitic attack – to use its own words – on these forces, particularly the Gulf Coast Communist Fraction, trying to convince them to discuss parasitism as a priority”. Moreover, the ICC would have a so-called “satellite in parasitism, Internationalist Voice”. And, to cap it all if the notion of parasitism had any political value, then the ICC of the 21st Century, and particularly of today, would be its most dangerous expression and incarnation.[4] In short, for the IGCL the notion of parasitism has no political value and is only poison for the Communist Left, but at the same time the ICC is presented as the most dangerous parasite.
  • The camouflage in ambiguity, confusion, where all the actors seem to be shooting the same movie.
  • Awakening the ghosts of the past: miserably exploiting the traumas of the Stalinist counter-revolution in a sentimentalist way.

The history of the IGCL, and the same goes for Nuevo Curso and the adventurer Gaizka, is tucked away in a place that “nobody needs to know” and “is not overly important”, it does not need to be clarified or debated. We should blindly trust what they say they are. The case of the Nuevo Curso blog, which takes the form of a bourgeois newspaper, is particularly illustrative: it has had so many changes of image that were it not for the ICC following its development its real murky history would seem inaccessible (we are not talking here about the history that was created after the event). What to say about the adventurer Gaizka, who returned to a public ICC meeting in Madrid as if his adventurist relations and behaviour had not been discovered in the past by the ICC. Gaizka really knows his past, he has not forgotten it, and he has no interest in airing it: he cannot clean it up, because the same methods serve him in the present.

The IGCL is fleeing at all costs from the “fundamental divergences” that made them set up as a false fraction (we are not talking here either about the “divergences” that they realised they had after the event).

Consistent with what was said above about the historical method, we must arm ourselves with the need for proletarian ethical principles and organisational principles, which go beyond abstract political principles that can easily become mere appearances. We need to find these ethics in the history of our class and appropriate them in order to fight against ambiguity and duplicity. We must fight against the obvious situation, the obvious and undeniable fact that new elements approaching the Communist Left do not distinguish between different groups very well and may perceive the same rotten smell of bourgeois politics (which happened in the demoralisation of the Nucleo Comunista Internacional members in 2005, for example). The function for capitalism of the fake 'communist left' is that here too there is no clear distinction between the good, the bad and the ugly.

In relation to the proletarian ethic, we also have a series of facts which, in the whole of its history, characterise the IGCL as a group totally alien to the working class. Some of these behaviours, which are facts:

  • When they were an “organisation within the organisation”:
  • The refusal to pay dues
  • Refusal to defend their behaviour when it was criticised
  • The holding of secret meetings

Before and after their exclusion they behaved like snitches:

  • Inside, they circulated rumours that a comrade was a police agent
  • After their exclusion, they indirectly implied that there was a mole in the ICC, as internal ICC information magically reached them (they have never said how), which they made public, including family relations between militants and the real initials of some militants.
  • Making the date of an ICC conference in Mexico public
  • Spreading irrelevant information such as “the ICC is renting a luxury room” which can only have the purpose of attacking the ICC by saying “look, the ICC is rich and wasteful”.
  • Theft of material
  • Talking about Marc Chirik as if he had been a guru, or a king with heirs
  • Announcing that a particular individual is running the ICC
  • Saying that the Communist Left's tradition of seeking the truth of the facts is “spreading mistrust”.
  • Attitude of the seller and intimidation: To insist on sending your bulletin despite protests, both to ICC militants and to the contacts whose addresses you stole. What would it be for? Among other things, to make the contacts flee from this intimidating atmosphere.
  • Ridiculous lies, for example, that the ICC “hides its internal problems”. When it is clear that it is the only organisation currently openly drawing lessons from such problems.

The solution to the serious problems facing the Communist Left, aggravated by the lack of clarity in the face of parasitism and adventurism, cannot be to hide the dirty laundry under the bed, to dig a grave for the past, but to understand why it was dirty and to air it with debate on proletarian ethical principles, to clean up the truth. Not by forgetting, but by developing clear lessons for the struggle. The falsifications and ambiguity about history begin with a first step of hiding the dirty laundry as if it were something to be ashamed of (the other side of the logic of shame would be to present the mistakes as if they were an embarrassment...and thus enter the circle of shame, envy and revenge).

This opportunist attitude has been shown by the ICT[5], an organisation of the real Communist Left, which is in danger of gradually leading the Communist Left onto a terrain where it is difficult to distinguish real confusion and errors from deliberate acts of confusionism in which elements and groups with interests alien to the working class proliferate. For example, if the ICT does not fight clearly for the truth of the facts, elements outside the class can disguise themselves in an unclear terrain where there is no need to clarify such things.

With this letter I want to express my solidarity with the struggle of the ICC, and its struggle for the truth of the facts, the clarity of the tradition of the communist left, and proletarian ethics. I do so in response to the last two texts that you have sent me for discussion.


Teivos, 10-4-2021


The fight against parasitism and adventurism