WR 400: Fifty years of intervention in the working class

Printer-friendly version

With this issue, the ICC has now published four hundred editions of World Revolution. The first issue came out in May 1974, so the publication has been going for fifty years.

Today, in the era of the internet, “fake news” and constant noise from “social media”, a printed paper may seem obsolete. On the contrary; the printed press is still, together with our articles published on our website, the backbone of the ICC’s intervention and will continue to be. The sales of the paper press are still a vital part of our activities, important in the sense that it gives an opportunity for face-to-face discussion, at meetings, demonstrations, picket lines and other places where we intervene. Today, when social media and flashy sites are the norm, and anyone can proclaim to be an organisation, our paper press, together with constantly updated articles on our website, represents not only continuity with traditions and our own past practice but also the existence of a real organisation and not merely a personal blog.

Already in 2006, when WR published its 300th issue, we wrote: “Right from the start we tried to put the publication on a historical basis, drawing on the contributions of the Italian, German and Dutch Left. We were also part of an international tendency that formed the ICC in 1975. We warned of the danger of expecting immediate results from intervention and falling into activism. The disappearance internationally of so many printed papers and journals shows how far our warnings were ignored”.

As the backbone of the organisation’s intervention the press tries to answer the questions being posed by the class struggle. As we said in 1978, in the series ‘The Present Tasks of Revolutionaries’ (WR 17-19):

“Intervention is first and foremost a question of elaborating and disseminating ideas”. In practice this means “the stimulation of reflection in the class, especially amongst those elements who are moving towards communist ideas, is the central aim of the organisation’s publications. These publications must be composed both of basic programmatic texts and of analyses which apply these basic class positions to the various issues which arise out of the general situation, so that the organisation can assist these elements to understand what’s happening on the world. As an instrument for understanding social reality, the publications must bring theoretical clarification to the general problems confronting the class; as an instrument of combat, they must also contain polemical texts directed against confused or counter-revolutionary positions and the groups which defend them”.

Today, with the continuing acceleration of decomposition since the beginning of the 2020s, with bloody wars and conflicts ravaging Europe and the Middle East, at the same time as the working class is taking up its struggle on an international scale, this understanding of the role of our press remains entirely valid. Through our press, whether it is our paper press or our publication on the internet, we can maintain our role as a reference pole in the working class and in the milieu of politicised elements.

As we wrote in 2006: “In all this we want to show the debates taking place in the internationalist milieu. We want to make a contribution as a living organisation to a process of clarification that is already underway. Sometimes this will mean producing articles on general questions such as the perspective of communism, the nature of the working class, what imperialism is or how to understand the decadence and decomposition of capitalism. We want to show how capitalism’s economic crisis is unfolding, what’s going on in imperialist conflicts, how the bourgeoisie arranges its forces, and how the class struggle is developing.

We are also committed to defending the basic principles of behaviour within the working class movement against all their detractors. Fundamentally we want WR, as one of the publications of the ICC, to act as a reference point for all those who are challenging the ideas of the ruling class, or want to participate in the struggle of the working class, or see communism as a necessity for humanity, or are searching for a coherent understanding of what’s going on in the world.”

World Revolution, May 2024


Revolutionary press