Critique of the so-called “Communisers” Part 3.1: Jacques Camatte - from Bordigism to the negation of the proletariat

Printer-friendly version

Jacques Camatte is undoubtedly one of the founding fathers of the so-called “communisation” current. In developing a marxist critique of the profound errors of this current, we think that it will be useful to provide an account of Camatte’s political wandering from orthodox Bordigism to the total rejection of the “theory of the proletariat” and a theorisation of escape from the class struggle. In our view, while few of the “communisers” have followed Camatte to his ultimate conclusions, in many ways the path he took reveals the real dynamic of the whole tendency.

Our aim here is not to write Camatte’s biography, but to examine his trajectory in the light of a number of his most significant theoretical products.

According to Wikipedia, Camatte, at the age of 18, was already a member of the French Fraction of the Communist Left in 1953[1] – in other words, shortly after the split in the Partito Comunista Internazionalista (PCInt) in Italy between the tendency around Damen and the tendency around Bordiga. The French Fraction was later transformed into the French section of the Bordigist International Communist Party (PCI) that published Programme Communiste and Le Proletaire. Camatte was to play an increasing role in the theoretical work of that organisation, while developing a close collaboration with Bordiga. However, by the early 60s he had become dissatisfied with the direction the organisation was following – an activist, trade unionist practice focused around the production of “workers’ papers”. Camatte considered that, since the period remained essentially dominated by the counter-revolution, the tasks of the ICP were above all theoretical – the denunciation of all forms of revisionism and the restoration of the communist programme. In 1966 Camatte broke from the PCI and began the review Invariance, whose “statement of principles” on the inside page of the first series shows a clear continuity with the Bordigist tradition[2]:

“Invariance of the theory of the proletariat:

  • Defended in the Communist League (Communist Manifesto 1848) in the IWA (the work of the General Council in London led by Marx); at the time of the Commune; in the IInd International; against the degeneration and failure of the latter (The socialist left in Germany, Bolsheviks, socialist left in Italy – the abstentionist fraction)
  • Which triumphed in Russia 1917 and internationally: Moscow 1919, foundation of the IIIrd International; Livorno 1921: the break with democracy
  • Defended by the Communist Left against the degeneration of Moscow; against the Sacred Union in the resistance to fascism
  • Which must be restored, as well as the Communist Party – organ of the proletarian class – outside of any democratism, careerism, individualism, against immediatism and any revisionist doubt about the doctrine
  • The aim of Invariance is the reformation of the Communist Party”

Working Theses: theoretical advances….

Invariance no. 6, published in April 1969 with the title “La Revolution Communiste, Theses de Travail”, is a substantial piece of work, running to over 150 foolscap pages, and it offers us an overview of the main political conclusions and orientations of the review at that moment – which are interesting above all in that they tend to reject some of the holy truths of Bordigism.

It is divided into a number of chapters, dealing with the history of the proletarian movement from its earliest days to the post-WW2 period, including the nature of Stalinist Russia, the colonial question, the economic crisis and the evolution of capitalism

The first chapter, “Brief history of the movement of the proletarian class in the Euro-American area from its origins to our days” confirms that the starting point of Invariance was still the marxist tradition and the theory of the proletariat, which, it argues, was confirmed by the revolutionary wave that followed the First World War; and, at this point at least, seems to be committed to the idea that the future communist revolution is the task of the proletariat alone. It also develops a rather coherent analysis of the succession of the various phases of upsurge and counter-revolution in the history of the proletariat, and in particular of the defeat of the revolutionary wave and the struggle of the communist left against the degeneration of the Communist International. But in contrast to the more “traditional” Bordigists, it does not exclude from the communist left currents like the KAPD, whose theses on the party were to be published along with the Manifesto of the Miasnikov group in Russia in later editions of Invariance:A fundamental element for the reacquisition of the doctrinal totality is supplied by the contribution of the communist left of Italy. However, many parallel elements may also be necessary: Tribunists, KAPD, various movements referring to the councils, Lukacs…the work of unification implies the rejection of anathemas” (Thesis 1.5.20, p 37).

At the same time, the text lays out its criticisms of the activist and opportunist slide of the official Bordigists.

In 1962, the PCI believed it possible – following the agitation begun in 1960 and reinforced during the course of that year – to produce a trade union organ: Spartaco …. but when you begin to no longer have a materialist, non-voluntarist approach, error is inevitable. The appearance of this sheet was the first theoretical defeat because it meant abandoning the demand to link in an indissoluble unity immediate action (trade union or other according to the organisations: factory committees, enterprise councils, etc) and the mediate, ‘political’ struggle. All that because with this sheet there was the hope of being more permeable to the class … In 1963, the movement left behind its original positions and placed itself on a level with the Trotskyist movement with which it entered into competition”. Furthermore, “All this also showed the insufficiency of the left’s thesis on the unions from the point when it no longer precisely defined their evolution, their integration into the state and the behaviour of workers towards them: desertion” ( 1.5.10, p33).

We can also note that Invariance’s view of the conditions for the formation of the party began to edge back towards the position of Bilan in the 1930s and the GCF in the 40s, and thus towards the recognition that the “formal” Bordigist party was not really a party at all: “The party can only be reformed through the coming together of two movements: the return of the totality of the theory of the proletariat and the movement towards the unification of the class … its formal existence today is an embarrassment, if only because, at the end of a certain period, and as a result of the prevailing political fog, it tends to take itself for a deus ex-machina and to believe that everything has to go through it, that it must lead everything at the very time when it is least recognised by the real movement” (Invariance 6, 1-5-18-19, p36-37).

This is no doubt a reference to the ridiculous intervention of the PCI in the May 1968 movement, where the Bordigists, despite tending to reject the entire movement as petty bourgeois, could offer nothing more than a call for the masses to rally behind the banner of the Party. By contrast, several passages in the Theses show that the early Invariance saw May 68 as a real rupture with the counter-revolution.

Another positive element of the Theses is the recognition (which it clearly shared with Bordiga[3]) of capital’s growing tendency towards the destruction of nature:

“Marx’s predictions (about the exhaustion of the soil by capitalist agriculture) are being daily verified today. The development of capital presents itself as an immense natural catastrophe: exhaustion of the soil, destruction of flora and fauna. Capital is the reification of man and the mineralisation of nature”, 4.3.3, p 111)

… and retreats

At the same time, the Theses fail to advance beyond some of the most important theoretical weaknesses of the Bordigist tradition:

  • In the very notion of marxism as an invariant theory, as a “doctrine” which needs only to be restored[4]. It is certainly true that certain principles of the workers’ movement - such as the necessity for internationalism and political independence of the working class from the bourgeoisie – do not change throughout the history of the movement, but they still have to be applied according to specific historical conditions, which means, for example, that in the period of the formation of capital as a world system, marxists could support certain national struggles, whereas this became impossible when the system entered its epoch of decline. The notion of an unchanging programme, unrelated to the historical experience of the working class, derives from an idealist, even religious starting point.
  • In the distinction between the formal and the historical party, an idea which emerged as a means of justifying the error of the formation of the PCInt in 1943-5, and of rejecting the concept of the fraction as developed by the Italian Left between the wars. It’s true, as we have noted, that there had been a certain movement in Invariance 6 towards a materialist understanding that the party cannot be formed at any moment in the life of the class; but it fails to engage with Bilan’s contribution on the relationship between fraction and party, so that the partial critique of Bordigist idealism on this question remains stuck in mid-air.
  • In the rejection of the theory of capitalism since 1914 as a globally decadent system, and with it, the defence of the notion of the October revolution as a dual revolution: in the view of the Theses, since the proletarian insurrection of October was unable to extend itself internationally, Bolshevik Russia mutated into a kind of bourgeois revolution. This view was fundamentally at odds with the position of the Italian Fraction, which insisted that proletarian revolution becomes possible because the capitalist system enters into its decadent phase as a whole and not region by region[5], excluding all possibility of progressive bourgeois revolutions.
  • By the same token, since the Theses argue that there were still areas of the globe where capitalism was still in its youth, we have the idea that not only were “colonial revolutions” still possible, but that they were actually taking place in countries such as Vietnam and Cuba … The Theses talk about the “undeniable merit” of the theories of Castro, Fanon, Césaire (“at the beginning” at least …) and conclude that “the influence, in the west, of ideologies born out of colonial revolutions, as well as the return to outmoded positions of the workers’ movement (a certain messianism in Africa, Latin America and the USA, for example) still express a social renewal. This derives from the disappearance of the proletarian revolution of 1917-23. The proletariat, in the end, on a world scale, accomplished or supported a bourgeois revolution” (, 4.6.12, p132). Similarly, “Maoist ideology has a revolutionary character in China in so far as it presents itself as substitute for the ancient Chinese civilisation (it is this destroying the old superstructures built around the cult of ancestors)” ( 3.4.11, p87). These false and dangerous positions, which entirely underestimated the inter-imperialist character of the violent battles over the ex-colonial regions, were to have their disastrous outcome in the overt support for the Arab states in the imperialist wars in the Middle East by the Algerian group of the PCI and the resulting explosion of the organisation.

On the other hand, perhaps the most significant element, towards the end of the Theses, lies less in the inability to criticise Bordigist dogma, than in a tendency to open the door to certain modernist ideas which were to develop very rapidly in the ensuing period. Thus, in Thesis 4.6.1 we see the beginning of a new “periodisation” of capital, in which the war of 1914 marks not the definitive onset of the decadent epoch of capital, as the Communist International proclaimed, but the passage from the “formal” to the “real domination” of capital, and from there it was but a short step for Camatte to assert that capital had become entirely autonomous and had achieved a total domination over humanity, so that the whole of humanity, rather than the working class, would have to become the subject of the revolution. The step had not yet been taken: “The whole of humanity has a tendency to oppose capital, to revolt against it. But what is the class which can have the maximum of revolutionary coherence, which can have a radical programme for the destruction of capital and at the same time see, describe the future society, communism? It is the proletariat… The working class, by constituting itself as a class, and thus as a party, becomes the historic subject… Man is the negation of capital, but its active, positive negation is the proletariat” (Thesis 4.7.20, p 139).

The transition to modernism

Invariance number 8, covering the period July to December 1969, is entitled “Transition”. The previous issue had continued the “Theses de Travail” and was made up of a whole series of “supporting texts” from the Communist Parties of Italy and the USA, the KAPD, contributions by Pannekoek, Gorter, Lukacs, Pankhurst. In number 8 we find the theses on the party by the KAPD and the interventions of the KAPD during the debate on trade unions at the Third Congress of the Communist International; a 1937 text on the war in Spain by Jehan, defending the position of the Italian Fraction; and two reprints from Programma Comunista – “Relativity and determinism, on the death of Albert Einstein”, no. 9 1955; and “Programme du communisme Integral et theorie marxist de la connaissance”, from the Milan meeting of the PCI in June 1962.  

At one level, therefore, Invariance 8 continued the more open attitude to the different currents of the communist left which we already saw in number 6. But the real significance of the issue is to be found in two short articles at the beginning of the issue: an editorial entitled “Transition” and a second piece entitled “Capitalism and the development of the gang-racket”.

The first begins as follows

“The starting point for the critique of the existing society of capital has to be the restatement of the concepts of ‘formal’ and ‘real domination’ as the historical phases of capitalist development. All other periodisations of the process of the autonomisation of value, such as competitive, monopoly, state monopoly, bureaucratic etc. capitalism, leave the field of the theory of the proletariat, that is, the critique of political economy, to begin with the vocabulary of the practice of social-democracy or ‘Leninist’ ideology, codified by Stalinism.

All this phraseology with which one pretends to explain ‘new’ phenomena really only mystifies the passage of value to its complete autonomy, that is, the objectification of the abstract quantity in process in the concrete community.

Capital, as a social mode of production, accomplishes its real domination when it succeeds in replacing all the pre-existing social and natural presuppositions with its own particular ‘forms of organisation’ which mediate the submission of the whole of physical and social life to its real needs of valorisation. The essence of the ‘Gemeinschaft’ of capital is organisation.

Politics, as an instrument for mediating the despotism and capital, disappears in the phase of the real domination of capital. After having been fully used in the period of formal domination, it can be disposed of when capital, as total being, comes to organise rigidly the life and experience of its subordinates. The state, as the rigid and authoritarian manager of the expansion of the equivalent forms in social relation (‘Urtext’), becomes an elastic instrument in the business sphere. Consequently, the state, or directly, ‘politics’, are less than ever the subject of the economy and the ‘bosses’ of capital. Today, more than ever, capital finds its own real strength in the inertia of the process which produces and reproduces its specific needs of valorisation as human needs in general”.

We have already noted that issue 6 contained some of the premises of the modernist outlook, linked to the theorisation of the transition from formal domination to real domination. But here the “transition” becomes definitive.

As we have noted elsewhere[6], Marx’s concept of the transition from formal to real domination has been widely misinterpreted, notably in modernist circles. In a chapter of Capital that remained unpublished until the 1930s and was not more widely translated and published until the late 1960s “Results of the immediate process of production”, Marx used it to describe the evolution of capital from a phase where its domination over labour remained formal in the sense that it was still marked by precapitalist methods of production, in particular artisanal ones; capital had deprived the individual producer of his or her independence by reducing them to wage labourers, but the actual method of producing remained semi-individual and still included many of the stages of creating the whole product, even when producers were grouped together in centres of “manufacture”. The fully fledged factory system, based on developed machinery, reduced the workers’ activity to a series of fragmented gestures, in other words to subordination to the production line, more and more dispensing with all these artisanal vestiges; this evolution also corresponded from the move from the extraction of absolute surplus value (where the rate of exploitation depended to a large extent to the lengthening of the working day) to the extraction of relative surplus value, which made possible a shorter working day but also a more efficient squeezing of productive labour: “The real subsumption of labour under capital is developed in all the forms evolved by relative, as opposed to absolute surplus value[7]

For a number of groups, some emerging from Bordigism or heading towards fully fledged modernism, such as Internationalist Perspective, this transition was more or less equivalent to the “old” move from ascendant to decadent capitalism and provided an alternative way of looking at the principal phenomena of the decadent period, such as state capitalism, with some – like Camatte in the Theses de Travail - even seeing the key moment coming in 1914. But as we argued, Marx was clearly talking about a process which was well underway by the mid-19th century and – since as Rosa Luxemburg pointed out in 1913, large areas of the globe were still essentially part of the pre-capitalist world, even if imperialism was more and more destroying the old forms and imposing its political rule on the colonies -  the transition to the modern forms of capitalist exploitation was a process that  continued throughout the 20th century and has still not been completed. So as a means of understanding that capitalism has entered its “epoch of social revolution”, the concept was not adequate, except in so far as a certain level of global capitalist development was evidently necessary for the world revolution to become possible and necessary. But while Marx’s use of the concept had an important, but more restricted implication, for Camatte the concept became the “starting point” for a complete overturning of marxism, for announcing the advent of a world in which capital has become autonomous, has become the “material community”, achieving total domination over humanity and the proletariat, signifying the end of the “myth of the proletariat” as the revolutionary subject.

We will return to some of these ideas in a second part of the article, but no less significant is the short piece on the development of the “gang-racket”, which provides the theoretical basis for the abandonment of any form of proletarian political organisation, and thus for Camatte’s individual flight away from political engagement within the working class:

“With the constitution of capital as a material being and thus as a social community we have the disappearance of capitalism in its traditional personal form, the relative and sometimes absolute diminution of the proletarians and the growth of the new middle classes. Any human community no matter how small is conditioned by the mode of being of the material community. This mode of being flows from the fact that capital can only valorise itself, and thus exist, develop its being, if a particle of itself, while autonomising itself, confronts the social whole, defines itself in relation to the socialised total equivalent, capital. It needs this confrontation (competition, emulation) because it only exists through differentiation. On the basis is formed a social tissue based on the competition between rival ‘organisations’ (rackets).

The various groupuscules are so many gangs which confront each other while having the divinisation of the proletariat as their general equivalent”

The implication, drawn in the editorial headed “Transition”, is obvious: the task of the review Invarianceis thus not to be the organ of a formal or informal group but to fight against all the false ‘theories’ produced in by-gone epochs while simultaneously pointing towards the communist future”.

A review which is not the product of a formal or even an informal group can only be the property of a brilliant individual who has somehow escaped the fate which capital remorselessly imposes on all efforts to come together to fight against capitalist domination. Camatte continued this line of argument with a letter dated 4.9.69 which further developed the “theoretical” foundations of the notion of organisation as a racket, which has subsequently been published as a pamphlet “On organisation” in several languages. The 1972 introduction to this text claims that this position should not be interpreted as a “return to a more or less Stirnerite individualism” and appears to hold out the possibility of some future “union” of revolutionary forces. In our view, however, everything in the text, as well as the whole of Camatte’s subsequent political trajectory, can only confirm precisely this return to the logic of Saint Max’s “egoism” which Marx attacked so acutely in The German Ideology.

The theoretical justification for this relapse is, once again, found in Camatte’s use of the notion of the real domination of capital, which tends to depersonalise the capitalist social relation and replace the reign of the individual capitalist with the anonymous, collective organisation of capital, either through vast “private” corporations or the biggest corporation of all, the state. And indeed, Marx had already noted that in the second half of the 19th century, the capitalist tends to become a mere functionary of capital. Camatte also cites Bordiga’s study of “The economic and social structure in Russia today”, which argues that “The organisation is not only the modern depersonalised capitalist, but also the capitalist without capital because it doesn’t need any”. All this is true and flows from the fundamental marxist precept that capital is inherently an impersonal social relation – and from the recognition, developed most lucidly by the communist left, that the organisation of capitalism through the state has increasingly become part of the mode of survival of the system in its epoch of historical crisis (which, as we have seen, Camatte tends to equate with the period of “real dominaton”). But from here Camatte makes a theoretical leap which neither Marx nor Bordiga would ever have sanctioned.

Thus: “With the passage to real domination, capital created its own general equivalent, which couldn’t be as rigid as it had been in the period of simple circulation. The state itself had to lose its rigidity and become a gang mediating between different gangs and between the total capital and particular capitals”.

From this description – acceptable in certain aspects - of the development of state capitalism we jump to the “political sphere”. And not only the political sphere of the ruling class, but to the political organisations of the proletariat:

“We can see the same sort of transformation in the political sphere. The central committee of a party or the centre of any sort of regroupment plays the same role as the state. Democratic centralism only manages to mimic the parliamentary form characteristic of formal domination. And organic centralism, affirmed merely in a negative fashion, as refusal of democracy and its form (subjugation of the minority to the majority, votes, congresses, etc) actually just gets trapped again in the more modern forms. This results in the mystique of organisation (as with fascism). This was how the International Communist Party evolved into a gang”.

The trick here is to remove the class struggle from the equation. No distinction whatever is made between the political sphere of the bourgeoisie and that of the proletariat, which ceases to offer any counter-force to the prevailing features of the existing order.

It is certainly true, as both Marx and Rosa Luxemburg pointed out, that capital has an inbuilt need to penetrate every corner of the planet and every sphere of human activity, that its ideological and moral world-views tend to poison everything, not least the efforts of the working class to associate, to organise, to resist, to develop its own theoretical understanding of social reality. And this is why every form of proletarian organisation is subject to the danger of accommodation to capitalist order, to the tendency towards opportunism and degeneration. But if a different form of society remains possible, if communism is still the only human future, then this is because the proletariat, the working class, indeed provides an antidote to the poison of capital, and its organisations are not a mere passive reflection of the dominant ideology but an arena of combat between the proletarian world view and the encroachments of capitalist habits and ideology.

For Camatte, this may once have been true but it is no longer the case. “The proletariat, having been destroyed, this tendency of capital encounters no real opposition and so can produce itself all the more efficiently. The proletariat’s real essence has been denied and it exists only as an object of capital. Similarly the theory of the proletariat, Marxism, has been destroyed, Kautsky first revising it and then Bernstein liquidating it”.

And with one stroke of the pen, the battle of the lefts in the Second and Third International against these attempts to revise and liquidate marxism cease to exist. By the same token, all subsequent efforts by the groups of the communist left to fight for proletarian principles against the penetration of capitalist ideology are doomed to failure and recuperation.

It’s true that the ICP, born out of a current that originated in the resistance to the degeneration of the CI, itself exhibited all the signs of a degenerating organisation; and Camatte has little difficulty showing that the political confusions of the ICP opened the door to bourgeois practises: the theory of organic centralism as a justification for hierarchical, bureaucratic methods, the sectarian vision of itself as the one and only proletarian political organisation to an attitude of competition and denigration of other proletarian currents. In this sense, it’s true that the ubiquity of gang-like behaviour (including its most vulgar forms, such as theft and violence against other proletarians) has become - notably in the phase of capitalist decomposition – a real danger to the existing proletarian political camp. But for Camatte there simply cannot be a proletarian camp any more: “all forms of working class political organisations have disappeared. In their place, gangs confront each other in an obscene competition, veritable rackets rivalling each other in what they peddle but identical in their essence”.

In sum: the very attempt to organise politically against capital is fatally doomed to reproduce capital. So there is no point is fighting it in association with other comrades. Best to retreat into the purity of one’s own individual thought. The ego and his own indeed.

The worst of all this is that Camatte cites the militants of the proletarian movement to justify this course towards political suicide. As with all subsequent communisers, Marx’s reference to the proletariat as embodiment of the real movement towards communism is called upon: rightly, in relation to the organisation of a class movement that could overcome its early, sectarian phase, but with radically false conclusions for the epoch of “real domination”: “In Marx’s time the supersession of the sects was to be found in the unity of the workers’ movement. Today, the parties, these groupuscules, manifest not merely a lack of unity but the absence of class struggle. They argue over the remains of the proletariat. They theorise about the proletariat in its immediate reality and oppose themselves to its movement. In this sense they realise the stabilisation requirements of capital. The proletariat, therefore, instead of having to supersede them, needs to destroy them”.

This would be true, perhaps, if by the groupuscules, Camatte was referring to the organisations of the left of capital, which the proletariat will indeed have to destroy. But by denying the capacity of communist proletarians to come together and fight the influence of bourgeois ideology in its most radical forms, he removes the possibility of the proletariat really confronting and destroying its myriad false representatives, from the trade unions to the Trotskyist or Maoist organisations.

Perhaps, with this idea of the proletariat destroying the obstacles on the path towards communism, Camatte displays a faint nostalgia for the class struggle, to the original impulse which led him towards proletarian militancy. But now that he has gone over to the idea that the proletariat and marxism have been destroyed, his references to Marx, to Luxemburg, and to previous proletarian upsurges (1905, 1917, 1968) ring hollow. These upsurges, he tells us, left the “stupefied, dumbfounded” groupuscules trailing behind the movement; and he goes on to remind us that Luxemburg, basing herself on the experience of the 1905 mass strike, offers us a coherent theory of the creativity of the masses which radically refutes the “Leninist” theory of class consciousness being introduced into the class from the outside (a position which Lenin himself came to reject). But these partial truths are referenced as part of what has become an effort to conceal the essential: that Marx, even when he lived through moments when he was ready to be isolated and limit his organisational life to cooperation with a few other comrades, or Luxemburg in 1914 when she saw that the Second International had become a “stinking corpse”, never ceased fighting for the restoration and revival of the proletarian political organisation, based on their profound conviction in the revolutionary nature of the working class, the class of association, solidarity and consciousness.

It would be one thing if Camatte’s desertion of this fight was no more than an individual flight, an admission that he preferred to cultivate his garden. But the theorisation of this desertion, which has continued for decades and has been continued by Camatte’s progeny in the communisation current, is an active encouragement to others to join the flight, and thus has done incalculable damage to the difficult struggle to construct a proletarian political organisation.

In the second part of this article, we will look further into some of the key texts which aimed to justify Camatte’s desertion of the class struggle, in particular The Wanderings of Humanity.



[1] But we should take some care with this account, because the actual wording is “Camatte became involved with radical politics from an early age, first joining the Fraction Française de la Gauche Communiste Internationale (FFGCI), a left communist organization linked to Marc Chirik and Onorato Damen, in 1953”. In fact, the French Fraction had split in two in 1945, with one part supporting the PCInt in Italy (In which Damen played a leading role) and the other forming the Gauche Communiste de France around Marc Chirik. For an account of this prior split, see the Italian Communist Left, p156f

[2] A problem of proletarian morality was posed by the circumstances of the split: again, from the Wikipedia entry: “In 1966, after further controversial writings within the party, Camatte and Dangeville split from the party along with eleven other members. This split was particularly painful, because as Camatte recalls, ‘whoever leaves the party is dead to the party.’ Since Camatte was the librarian of the ICP's periodicals and literary collection, he had to barricade himself inside of his apartment to keep them. Eventually, he was forced to burn the entirety of the collection that was not written by Bordiga, to prove that he was not an ‘academic’. Bordiga later referred to this as ‘an act of gangsterism’." Jacques_Camatte - citenote-Biography-2 Quotes are from the 2019 Cercle Marx interview: the interview has been partly transcribed in English on libcom, here, with the following disclaimer, which we will come back to in a second article.Note: The group that conducted this interview, Cercle Marx, is a racist pseudo-Debordist/Bordigist group that focuses on the red-brown alliance 'Marxism' of writers like Francis Cousin. We certainly do not intend to host these viewpoints, but we believe that the majority of the interview still holds merit in that it helps to trace the progression of Camatte's thought, which has been more or less ignored by English-speaking audiences for quite a while. With this out of the way, we hope that Libcom's readers will enjoy the text and get something useful out of it”.

[4] For a more developed critique of the concept of invariance, see International Review 14, A caricature of the Party: the Bordigist Party and IR 158 The 1950s and 60s: Damen, Bordiga, and the passion for communism

[7] “Results of the immediate process of production”, section headed “The real subsumption of labour under capital”, 1976 Penguin edition, p 1035). The French edition had been translated by Roger Dangeville, who had been close to Camatte while they were in the PCI, but then evolved in a very different direction, with Dangeville publishing Le Fil du Temps, an attempt to restore a pure – and extremely sectarian – form of Bordigism. It is worth noting however that Dangeville’s interpretation of the transition from formal to real subsumption reproduces some of the same errors as Camatte’s. Camatte also accused Dangeville of plagiarising his original translation….



The communist left or 'communisation'?