Communiqué to our readers: The ICC under attack from a new agency of the bourgeois state

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baboon
Communiqué to our readers: The ICC under attack from a new agency of the bourgeois state
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The discussion that follows was prompted by the article: Communiqué to our readers: The ICC under attack from a new agency of the bourgeois state. The discussion was initiated by baboon.
Below is the discussion so far. Feel free to add your own comments!

baboon
Solidarity with the ICC

These characters from what they called the "Internal Fraction of the ICC" have an abiding hatred of the ICC and some individual members. I saw these characters develop some of their hatreds on the basis, as the text suggests, of them not being accorded the greatness that they felt was due to them by the majority of the membership  and of a wounded pride resulting from putting their individuality above the collective. That they have teamed up with PH, whose hatred of the ICC from his personal feelings being hurt, has festered for over 30 years, is and example of personal feelings of slight and pride coming together in one poisonous but no means homogenous faction. There are no real political diffferences here and to say there are is to give these wretches a credibility that they don't have. Such elements are easy prey for the bourgeoisie, easily manipulated and manoeuvred by a state that is well aware of the dangers of real revolutionary elements. Or/and, it could be that this could be a case of hacking which, we know, is easy enough for the bourgeois stateas the text suggests. Such elements and their new "group" are easy pickings for the bourgeoisie even if one just assumes that they are useful idiots. They are certainly poster boys for the new left wing apparatus of the Frech ruling class, constructed by the latter to confront the class struggle.

The involvement of these characters in the business of the Latin American "nucleo" tells you all you want to know. And the fact that the ICT was suckered into supported them on the basis of abject lies shouldn't be forgotten. Maybe the ICT made some clarification on this but I haven't seen it.

Alf
welcome

We will have much more to say on this whole question, but we welcome and encourage expressions of solidarity like Baboon's

radicalchains
I think workers would be more

I think workers would be more interested in what the ICC have to say about Ukraine, Syria or the coming internationally co-ordinated fast food workers strike as highlighted here:

http://libcom.org/forums/news/fast-food-workers-33-country-coordinated-strike-09052014

The ICC already has many articles on previous 'affairs' and so on which can all be read. Is it really necessary to get bogged down in yet more similar articles on the same subject?

baboon
Silence revolutionary voices

The aim of the attack on the ICC is to silence a revolutionary voice which means that it won't be saying anything about Ukraine, Syria or upcoming fast food workers' strikes or anyone else's. The stakes are the existence of a clear revolutionary voice rather than the rag-bag of conflicting or outright bourgeois opinions that exist on libcom for example. Defending a revolutionary organisation may be difficult but is absolutely essential. This is not a one-off accomplishment but a constant battle that started with the beginning of the ICC and will go on to its end. It's one of the most important battles it will undertake. It is an enormous underestimation of the democratic state radical if you don't think that it won't constantly try to silence revolutionaries and an underestimation of revolutionary forces if you think that they shouldn't fight back implacably. Not an "affair" to be dismissed but a matter of life and death for the group.

Link
Not sure you will welcome me

Not sure you will welcome me replying to Alf's request but here goes.  I willingly give support to the ICC and the CWO/IBRP as the 2 strongest and most organised of the left communist groups.  As an ex-member of the ICC, I do hope you can believe me when I say that both organisations are important  and that the ICC needs to remain a strong and constructive influence in the political milieu and in workers' struggles.  From experience,  I also feel great sympathy with members who find that internal conflict is replacing comradeship and supposed comrades start saying and doing things that are surprising and antagonistic.  That is a threat in itself and deeply disturbing.  My sympathies go out to all experiencing this.

I have just been reading a thread on libcom where 2 Russian groups, KRAS and MPST,  have fallen out and insult each other up hill and down dale.  All very acrimonious and not informative.   I have no idea who they are and gain little from the dispute other than a very definite query over both their heads.  In the end Libcom has banned the MPST but is that enough of a recommendation in either direction?   Anyway the point in this tale is that vicious diatribes explain nothing and tend not to get one politics across, rather to antagonise and distract from real issues.   I have to admit that there is probably a place for such things – I have certainly felt inclined to pursue such a strategy on the ICC’s discussion forum but thought you would criticise me so I held back and commented when calmer.

So I am afraid I cannot give unconditional support to the ICC as present as the ICC’s statement does not explain very much.  It suggests to me that there is a lot more going to require such a strong, overstated (?) condemnation of the actions of a few people who left the ICC over a decade ago.  I am more concerned that the ICC is going through a period of introspection and has been withdrawing from intervention and discussion for almost a couple or years now.  If this is because of internal problems then I do sympathise but I would also suggest that is going on too long.

May I again quote the last paragraph from the resolution at the last ICC Congress.

“The process of politicisation and radicalisation needs debate in order to make a critique of the present order, giving a historical explanation of problems. At this level it remains valid to say that “the responsibility of revolutionary organisations and the ICC in particular is to participate fully in the reflection going on in the working class, not only intervening actively in the struggles which are already developing but also by stimulating the positions of the groups and elements who aim to join the struggle” (ICC's 17th Congress: Resolution on the international situation). We must be firmly convinced that the responsibility of revolutionaries in the phase now opening up is to contribute to and catalyse the nascent development of consciousness expressing itself in the doubts and criticisms already arising in the proletariat. Developing and deepening theory has to be at the heart of our contribution, not only against the effects of decomposition but also as a way of patiently sowing the social field, as an antidote to immediatism in our activities, because without the radicalisation and deepening of theory by revolutionary minorities, theory will never seize hold of the masses.

This is a strong statement showing the way forward for us all. 

(NB Don’t forget the MDF are holding a discussion in Sheffield tomorrow (10th May) so comrades should would be welcome to come and discuss the situation)

Fred
a matter of life and death

Its easy for baboon to express solidarity with the ICC because he doubtless knows a lot more about what's really going on.  For me, who can only read what I'm given by WR I am a little bewildered.  I've read the statement above several times now, but it doesn't really explain anything.  It seems that people who have been part of the ICC and then left it are capable of developing the most passionate loathing and hatred of the organization they once loved  so overwhelmingly.  Perhaps it's the original  "passion" and the being  "overwhelmed" that contributes to the psychological derangement that (apparently?) sets in after the break.  I don't know.  I only know what the ICC tells me. 

 

These comrades  who break from the ICC, do they go on being comrades or turn into petty bourgeois leftists? Or do they become petty bourgeois communists with communist programs the same as those of the ICC and the ICT only they're police informers too? So it isn't their programmes that give them away - as with 'genuine' leftists with  their conditional support for socialist bourgeois democracy for example -  but the fact that they're police informers and bent on destroying the real communist left, which they once understood  and embraced   to perfection but have come to pathologically detest even more than they detest the bourgeoisie?  Because they see the real communist left (assuming that to be the ICC and ICT) as having rejected their allegiance.   Not that the ICT has necessarily rejected their allegiance, or denounced them as parasites. But the ICT appears naive when it comes to evaluating the authenticity of newly formed communist organizations  some of which claimants it is eager to cosy up to at first, only  to find later it was all a mistake.  

So I can express solidarity with the ICC but it doesn't mean much does it, as the ICC is the only left communist organization I know and given the claims of the EFICC and others I begin to wonder whether anyone can be trusted in this arch-machivavellian world where even genuine communists can turn out to be secretly defending the bourgeois state.  Isn't this the sort of criticism some comrades level at Lenin and the Bolsheviks?  That really they were secret bourgeois agents all the time?  Though for myself I think they weren't. But what do I know?  When it comes to communism I only know what the  ICC  tells me, and what I think about what the ICC  tells me, and have been accused of being a mere clone with regard to this, by someone else who claims to be a communist,  but who knows whether he really is or not.  And so we could go on. If it wasn't such a deadly serious matter it is the material for an outrageous farce. 

So I feel sympathy for what radical says, and go along with link's remarks and specially the ICC quote he ends with, and hope that baboon is right, and that the ICC is to be trusted.  But what we really need is for the proletariat to rise up all over the world. Then things'll be clarified, and the communists  may be firmly distinguishable at last from the howling wolves.  

 

MH
the ICC is under attack

There is no doubt that the ICC is under a sustained attack from certain individuals who for their own personal reasons are out to destroy it. As the ICC communique mentions, this attack has been going on for the last ten years, and has already involved the publication of material from internal bulletins and even information that is directly helpful to the police and state organs, not to mention accusations that an ICC comrade was a “cop” and threats of physical violence.   

The extent to which these individuals are working with, or are being used by, forces of the bourgeois state, is not clear. To me the evidence presented in the Communique remains circumstantial. But the whole affair is extremely murky to say the least: the obtaining and leaking of internal documents; links to organisations of the extreme left, not to mention the whole history of previous behaviour.

What is clear is that this ‘group’ has no other function than to undermine and ultimately destroy the ICC for the most sordid reasons of personal revenge for perceived slights and humiliations – reasons which, not surprisingly, most comrades will find almost impossible to fully comprehend let alone explain adequately.

The ICC’s Communique – perhaps of necessity - leaves many questions unanswered, at least for the moment, and some of the responses so far have understandably expressed some bewilderment about what exactly is going on today. I share in that bewilderment.

But in the wake of all the revelations about undercover policing; state surveillance of political groups on a routine basis; the use of hacking by security services, etc., it would be naïve to believe that such individuals could not be manipulated and used by agencies of the state apparatus, with the aims of sowing suspicion and mistrust in the ICC, the politics of the Communist Left, and the whole idea of revolutionary organisation.

In the context of all the current difficulties of the proletariat in developing its struggles, and of all the weaknesses of current revolutionary groups, we should be under no illusion about the seriousness of what is at stake here.

baboon
Proletarian solidarity

Fred, I will return to this question but for now I have exactly the same information at my disposal as you do and not a whit more. The references given by the text can be accessed by you just as easily as anyone else. I don't believe in trust or faith but proletarian solidarity.

Fred
proletarian solidarity

baboon says "I don't believe in trust or faith but proletarian solidarity."  On this website we all believe in proletarian solidarity I would guess.  But how do we know what is genuine authentic proletarian solidarity  and what is phony?  Who can you trust these days?  How do you distinguish the authentic communist  group from the one that says all the same things and has the same platform but is secretly a police informer?  

In this age of advanced decomposition and an intensifying mass alienation  it is hardly surprising that something as obnoxious  as the EFICC has crawled  out of the slime.  In this age when the battle of each against all, and the struggle to go on living,  has reached new heights of misery and paranoia,  almost all citizens are required to lead lying and deceitful lives. The bourgeoisie has always done it.  But now, even at the meanest level, you have to hide yourself from the inquisitive eyes of the spying state. For the bourgeois state is after your pension, your health care, the benefits you desperately need, even your council flat.  Your wages are eroded, the kids education threatened, the mortgage is impossible, unemployment a persistent nightmare; life has become frightening with unknown threats all round.  And with all the policing of society that goes on, with all the spying and snooping that the computer age so happily facilitates,  we are all reduced to hiding our true feelings and our authentic selves as a protection and shield against  the encroaching  investigative tentacles of decomposing capital and the effects of austerity.   

Clearly the proletariat's revolutionary organizations are not able to escape freely from all this miasmic stench, try as hard as they may.  The ICC makes a valiant effort and has done so  for forty years.  But at this stage in humanity's history establishing and maintaining an authentic proletarian ethic and revolutionary organization is more difficult than it has ever been before, and clearly the ICC is showing the strain.  I sympathize and hope for a strengthing recovery soon. We need you. 

lem_
what rediculous nihilists,

what rediculous nihilists, that is sad.

 

 

lem_
it's difficult to comment

it's difficult to comment really, aside from offering my sympathy / solidatity, because i don't know the ICC's vetting procedure.

but the whole abject, bizarre ordeal strikes me as so stupid as to be the work of several profoundly disturbed, mentally unstable individuals, with too much time and fragility on their hands. i HAVE encountered people like this before, individuals who go to alarming lengths for personal vendettas [i can think of one particular musician], and are intent on sewing confusion as an  absurd nihilstic and perhaps even bloodthirsty way [i can think of one particular professed "anti fascist"].

 

if i can help in any way, then don't hesitate to ask. i doubt that these people started life as informants, but with THAT much of a chip on their shoulder, i can't see why they would hesitate to dabble in it. i guess i have little else to add...

Esty
stick to the facts

Really what is the basis of this slander? Aside from seeming like a hysterical rant there is not much verifiable content to these accusations. I assume most people posting here (including myself) don't know the first thing about the internal history of the ICC. I gather that the people who were chased out of the ICC were part of the "old guard". Hence, it is not surprising that they still have sympathetic contacts within the organization who would pass along internal documents to them. Maybe some that don't like the direction the ICC is heading in. It doesn't make it a conspiracy of the state to destroy the ICC.

I'm reminded of this open letter from the anrchist federation to the ICC.

baboon
general points

I'll wait for more info from the ICC before going into any specifics - but some general points: MH makes a pretty good post above considering his "bewilderment". I agree that these sort of situations do generate a feeling of "what's going on?", "I don't understand this", "who can you trust?" and so on. These would be part of the response that the bourgeoisie, or whatever state agencies are involved, hope would develop. We can't be naive about this: a revolutionary organisation is under attack and Esty's response above for example is to attack the revolutionary organisation..

We can't know about infiltration except that we know that it's happened to all proletarian organisations on a scale that's almost unbelievable. There's no answer to this apart from making sure everyone carries out their revolutionary work so that, in the scheme of things, the organisation comes out in front over time. There's no need, or shouldn't be, to insist that the bourgeoisie is reading everything we write everywhere give the extent and refinement of its spying activities. From what I've read so far these characters in the above text don't look like infiltrators but elements that could easily be idenfied by the state as very handy for causing trouble. And "causing trouble" in revolutionary organisations has a long history from the forces of capital well before the developments of technology made this so much easier.

Fred asks what genuine proletarian solidarity is and as Fred well knows that can only come from the proletariat - there's no "outside" agency that's going to validate it. Fred answers his own question in that the 40-year history of the ICC has, with many problems and some difficulties, has been consistent in putting forward and defending positions of the workers' movement.

For the likes of Esty the defence of organisation by the ICC is nothing but a rant. This may be a bit of a diversion but Esty, out of the blue, a couple of days ago on a Ukraine thread on libcom, attacked me for some sort of accomodation with anarchism. I hadn't seen Esty on that thread before and asked for an explanation for that completely unprovoked attack to me. But there's been no response.

 

radicalchains
Esty's comment on Libcom was

Esty's comment on Libcom was a bit bizarre in that it came out of the blue on the thread about Ukraine. However, it was no "attack". Esty simply said:

"I don't understand the ICC's opening up to anarcho-syndicalists." (post #188 http://libcom.org/forums/news/protests-ukraine-02122013?page=6

If anything the comment in full read as an 'attack' on anarchism but I wouldn't use that word, it's too dramatic.

 

 

 

 

Esty
run for the hills

Enemies are everywhere.

Parasites. Provocateurs. Police snitches. Everything is an "attack".

How could one not see this kind of language as being paranoid, hysterical ranting? All of the accusations of the ICC against the IGCL boil down to three things: they published the real initials of a militant, they published an internal letter which included the time and date of an ICC meeting in Mexico, and militant(s) within the ICC passed on internal documents to members of the IGCL. I don't defend these acts but I don't think that from this you can deduce that these people are police agents or that the ICC is under attack. The ICC has a history of using hysterical language against other groups on the communist left and against its former militants. To point this out is not an attack on the ICC.

http://www.af-north.org/other%20pamphlets/open_letter_to_the_internation...

 

Fred
enemies are everywhere

Hello Esty.  Some of what the ICC says may come across or be interpreted as "paranoid hysterical ranting" but, as you say, enemies are everywhere and it happens to be true.  It isn't paranoia. I have the feeling that while the working class itself, specially in Europe, may be unaware as yet for the absolute  need to wake up and save itself and the planet, or even unaware of itself as a class, that the bourgeoisie is only too well aware of the danger it finds itself in from its failing system and the threat the seemingly sleeping working class actually represents to bourgeois rule  internationally.

 The bourgeoisie keep trying to work up and get everyone excited about their nasty little wars, and the various  terrorist activities they have on the boil all over the world.  But somehow even this doesn't appear to be working all that well.  Because while the feuding petty  bourgeois gangs from  Ukraine to Venezuela, from Syria to almost anywhere in equatorial Africa are all hard  at it in their vile and lunatic fashion, dealing death, destruction, kidnappings, lies,  hypocrisy  and general misery out to everyone unfortunate to come near them,   the working class is no more being woken up and motivated by all the bourgeois mayhem than it is, on the surface, by the sting of austerity.  Its as if all the feverish bourgeois gangsterism and warring that we see all round us is nothing more than a theatrical display of bourgeois despair, and a series of provocative displays that are not as yet producing anywhere near the desired effect: which is a working class commitment  to calls for war so necessary if the bourgeoisie and its appalling capitalist system is to be saved.  

So there are enemies everywhere Esty even if the class itself remains blissfully unaware as yet.  And the biggest enemy of all, from the bourgeoisie's point of view, is the working class itself.  So it isn't surprising if the ICC's necessary vigilance and need to protect itself, may at times come across as forced and melodramatic, because the ICC and ICT too may be more aware  than most of us at the stakes at risk.  Revolution or the destruction of humanity! 

baboon
The IGCL and its work for the state

It's a ptiy that we haven't had a chance to discuss before Esty because I've only seen 3 posts from you: one in the last couple of days following me with a surprising and obscure  reference on libcom and two on here in the last couple of days. But when the ICC is under attack there are always individuals that suddenly appear saying how hysterical it is and how wrong it is to defend itself.

Let's have a look, and please join us Esty, at some solid facts from the text above, facts Esty that are easily verifiable: The French section of the ICC has done a great job, over a period, of exposing the New Anti-Capitalist Party of Olivier Besancourt for the left-wing capitalist organisation that it is. The New Anti-Capitalist Party has been well aware of the ICC's analysis and denunciation of it as a vehicle of the state. As usual, the ICC has provided a profound analysis about the bourgeois basis of this group, the need that it represents for the French bourgeoisie and the dangers that it poses for the working class using both the NAP's "theory" and practice. On the New Anti-Capitalist Party's website at least two articles of the IGCL/IFICC have appeared (centre spread, page I) denounding the ICC surrounded by "proletarian" verbiage of the type used by the NAP.

Now what is this - a strange coincidence? Is ithe appearance of these texts and their publicity on a website of the left wing of capitalism mysterious, unfathomable, a factor of bewilderment? Or, on the contrary, is it an obvious element of clarification that is there in front of our eyes?

There's no agency "out there" that is going to clarify this whole issue - "out there" is the bourgeoisie. For better or worse the proletarian milieu is what we are all part of and we have a responsibility to it and the defence of its organisation.

radicalchains
I searched for Esty on this

I searched for Esty on this site because I didn't recognise the username, Esty has posted before in the forum. I searched the NAP website and google for anything in relation to the ICC but couldn't find anything. If anything is on-line could someone please provide a link.

 

Esty
response to baboon

Hi baboon,

Just to clear up any nagging suspicions you might have that I specifically created accounts on libcom and this site to slander the ICC (this is what you are insinuating, let's call a spade a spade) I'll provide you with some links to my previous posts on libcom. 

https://libcom.org/forums/general/things-lib-communists-say-you-hate-hea... (last comment)

https://libcom.org/blog/occupy-city-council-minneapolis-sewer-socialism-...

https://libcom.org/news/global-uprisings-documentary-bosnia-herzegovina-...

https://libcom.org/news/internationalists-issue-declaration-against-war-... (number 25)

https://libcom.org/blog/logistics-workers-struggle-described-worrying-ma...

https://libcom.org/library/violence-what-use-it-anselm-jappe

https://libcom.org/forums/theory/what-exactly-does-it-mean-smash-state-1... (number 18)

I also made a comment on an article you submitted to the ICC on the situation in Ukraine, criticising the analysis that the current crisis can be understood based on the theory of decomposition and positing an alternative analysis based on how I understand imperialism and the tendency for bloc formation (informed by ICT articles).

You can judge the sincerity of my communist convictions based on the content of these comments. As for my comment on the libcom forum about the protests in Ukraine, it was not that out of the blue. I later retracted not because I didn't agree with it but because it was worded in such a way as to be insulting to anarchists. I regret this. The thread had gone in the direction of discussing the apparent alignment of the two anarcho-syndicalist groups in Ukraine with the different sides in this imperialist proxy war. The point I was trying to make was that anarchism is historically bankrupt. This is primarily due to their idealist method of analysis, which is not based on dialectical materialism. Hence it is not surprising that in times of imperialist war some anarchists would go along with one bourgeois faction or another given the bourgeoisie's appeals to freedom and denunciation of tyranny, despotism, similar rhetoric to that used by many anarchists. On a related point, isn't the identity politics popular amongst some anarchists eerily reminiscent of nationalism? As a matter of fact, my conviction about the incompatability of Marxism and Anarchism comes from this ICC article: https://en.internationalism.org/ir/102_gcl_icc_reply.htm. This is why I'm surprised and dismayed by the ICCs opening up to anarchism. 

As for the comment about the link to the IGCL article on the New Anti-Capitalist Party website, allow me to posit an alternative explanation:

The NAP is exploiting the organizational malaise within the ICC (exemplified by the numerous splits over the past 20 years) to position itself as the political point of reference for a potential radicalized French proletariat.

Warmest regards,

Esty

baboon
Reply to Este

I didn't think that you went to the trouble of creating an account for that purpose Este and I have seen your posts before and recognised them as defending revolutionary positions. But your post there and then on the Ukraine thread was a bit unusual (I don't think it mentioned Ukraine - without looking). But I see the points you are making and fully support your position on Marxism v Anarchism, particularly the tendency of anarchism's support for nationalism, which we've seen expressed in small anarchist sects recently which have a wider impact on the anarchist/libertarian milieu.

There's no opening up of the ICC to anarchism as far as I'm aware. Can you substantiate that?

On the ICGL, what you put forward is a possibility, a factor even, but I think that the weight of this affair is more immediate and more potentially dangerous. We know a great deal, probably only a very small amount, of the bourgeoisie's attempts to destroy revolutionary organisations.

Please make a reference to the comments you refer to above. You don't think that Ukraine isn't a prime example of the decomposition of capitalism? This is a false discussion that obviously about more than words. I've read articles from the ICT that describe capitalist decomposition to a T. Hopefully continue this discussion on libcom

Alf
open to anarchism?

esty, I haven't been able to follow all the ins and outs of the libcom thread, but I did notice your comment on the ICC 'opening up' to anarchism. This is an important question. We have published a number of articles in the past few years which have, in our view, made it clear that we do recognise that there is an internationalist current within anarchism. If we are to discuss whether there has been any compromise on our principles in these texts or other relations we have had with the anarchists, we should start by discussing the political content of these articles, probably on another thread.

https://en.internationalism.org/wr/336/anarchism

and subsequent issues of WR, as well as the ones about internationalist anarchism in the UK

 

We will respond later regarding the attacks from the IGCL.  

MH
complacency

Esty wrote:

Enemies are everywhere.

Parasites. Provocateurs. Police snitches. Everything is an "attack".

How could one not see this kind of language as being paranoid, hysterical ranting? All of the accusations of the ICC against the IGCL boil down to three things: they published the real initials of a militant, they published an internal letter which included the time and date of an ICC meeting in Mexico, and militant(s) within the ICC passed on internal documents to members of the IGCL. I don't defend these acts but I don't think that from this you can deduce that these people are police agents or that the ICC is under attack. The ICC has a history of using hysterical language against other groups on the communist left and against its former militants. To point this out is not an attack on the ICC.

http://www.af-north.org/other%20pamphlets/open_letter_to_the_internation...

Well, as they say, just because you’re paranoid it doesn’t mean… etc..

While there is a danger of paranoia in the current situation, faced with an attack on an organisation of the revolutionary milieu this certainly is a secondary one compared to the greater danger of complacency, which is often characterised by its ‘calm’, ‘reasonable’ language and its tone of  ‘common sense’, whichat worst reveals deep illusions in bourgeois democracy.

Esty’s comments above reveal, to say the least, a rather complacent view of what does and doesn’t constitute an attack on a revolutionary organisation: the publishing of the real initials of a militant, details of the time and date of an ICC meeting in a politically dangerous and violent capitalist country, along with information from internal documents; are we to accept such behaviour as just the normal mode of behaviour of people supposedly dedicated to the cause of proletarian revolution? Whether the individuals involved are directly or indirectly acting as police agents is not clear, at least to me; but what does it take to constitute an attack on a revolutionary organisation? Physical violence? That too, has been at least threatened, according to ICC texts.

And then we have the link, which is not, as Esty claims, to an open letter from the anarchist federation to the ICC, but an open letter from ‘Ingram’ to the ICC dating from 1997 – a letter arguing at great length (and with leaden attempts at comedic writing - reading it all the way through is akin to being hit repeatedly over the head with a blunt instrument) that the ICC is paranoid, insane, etc., etc.,etc. Why link to this, at this particular moment? Suffice to quote one of its slightly less hysterical, ranting statements:

“I think it likely that the state, apart from in some trivial corners, is completely unaware of the existence of the ICC. If it is then the influence of the ICC is so minuscule that it hardly constitutes any threat whatsoever to the bourgeoisie, in any country.”

In the light of the revelations about undercover policing in the UK in the ‘90s and ‘00s, which included infiltration of such aparently non-threatening organisations as London Greenpeace and the Cardiff Anarchist Network (CAN), perhaps Ingram would now like to revise his lofty assertion?

The description of CAN’s infiltration by undercover cop Marc Jacobs is particularly sobering:

“According to CAN, Jacobs’ key objectives were “to gather intelligence and disrupt the activities of CAN; to use the reputation and trust CAN had built up to infiltrate other groups, including a European network of activists; and to stop CAN functioning as a coherent group.” (‘They come at us because we are strong’, fitwatch.org). [...] it is the third that stands out, and was probably used by the police because the CAN was more politicised. The tactics used to achieve this aim are reminiscent of the Stalinist GPU within the Trotskyist movement during the 1930s: “He changed the culture of the organisation, encouraging a lot of drinking, gossip and back-stabbing, and trivialised and ran down any attempt made by anyone in the group to achieve objectives. He clearly aimed to separate and isolate certain people from the group and from each other, and subtly exaggerated political and personal differences, telling lies to both ‘sides’ to create distrust and ill-feeling. In the four years he was in Cardiff a strong, cohesive and active group had all but disintegrated. Marco left after anarchist meetings in the city stopped being held.” (ibid).

(https://en.internationalism.org/worldrevolution/201102/4201/methods-infi...)

So let’s not kid ourselves, and let’s not hide our complacency behind the language of ‘common sense’ and ‘reasonableness’.

baboon
Worse than complacency

I agree with MH above. Given the wholesale verifiable evidence over the last couple of years of insights into the infiltration of the state into small political groups in Britain (entirely unsuprising in my opinion and I would think the same for the ICC) and the general plethora of information about the spying activities of the state world wide, I think that the idea of the ICC going into another "hysterical rant" is something worse than complacency - though that is undoubtedly a factor of it. Behind this complacency is an idea that real revolutionary groups are of no interest to the bourgeoisie, that they don't see them as any sort of threat. This is an expression of illusions in democracy and the democratic state. It's also related to the rejection of the machiavellian nature of the bourgeoisie, another analysis of the ICC that's been more than confirmed by events over the last couple of years (if it needed to be).

Radical, I don't know if you read French but here's a link to the ICC' section in France article on the class nature of the NAP when it was set up about 5 years ago: https://fr.internationalism.org/icconline/2009/naissance_du_npa_nouveau_.... You can google more info on with "nouveau parti anticapitaliste".

Esty
"Certainly you are now at the

"Certainly you are now at the position where, according to you, there has never been a principled departure from the ICC on the basis of a political difference throughout your entire existence. Every single one has been the departure (or expulsion) of alien elements, motivated by personal spite, esoteric practices or most heinously active conscious agents of the bourgeois state"

You could also have quoted this from the same letter. Has there ever been a split in the ICC that was not caused by parasitism, clannish spite, etc?

Have people even read the IGCL document in question? [http://fractioncommuniste.org/eng/tracts/eng_crisis_ICC2013.html]

I ask because this thread exclusively consists of a discussion of whether or not the ICC is under attack and to what extent police agents are a danger to revolutionary organizations. They are. That was never in question. What is in question is if this particular group is an "Agency of the Bourgeois State". Strong words. Makes it acceptable to dismiss something outright without responding to the content. 

 

 

MH
oh yes

Esty wrote:

Have people even read the IGCL document in question? [http://fractioncommuniste.org/eng/tracts/eng_crisis_ICC2013.html]

Are you serious? I’ve spent hours trawling its website to try to understand more about its arguments. Apart from coming away feeling the strong need for a shower I was left with an overpowering sense of an unhealthy obsession and fixation on certain individuals, and although one would require a qualification in clinical psychology to begin to fully fathom this, it is precisely this which, at the very least, opens these individuals up to manipulation. And although it is on one level hard to accept this, it’s not that we lack historical precedents; the quotes in the ICC communique by Victor Serge are very clear. What really worries me is that he was writing about the depths of the counter-revolution…

 

Marin Jensen
This is not paranoia

All the questions from Esty or radicalchains of "what is going on?" and "what does it matter what these people who left the ICC 10 years ago do?", or "what they did wasn't so serious after all" completely misses the point.

Our communiqué makes one thing perfectly clear: internal documents of our organisation have been deliberately leaked - anonymously - to a group which already has "form" (as baboon would say) of grassing up our organisation (and incidentally, we should add to their grassing, the careful reporting on their web site of which ICC militants turned up to which demonstrations in France...): you don't have to take the ICC's word for it, it is in the original statement by the so-called "GIGC", or on their web site.

Two points here.

First, there are only three ways that the GIGC could have got hold of these documents:

1) We have been hacked by the state services who passed them on to the GIGC knowing what use they would make of them.

2) The documents were passed - for the same reason - by a police infiltrator.

3) The documents were passed anonymously by a member of the organisation whose cowardice and lack of principle has plumbed such depths that he is in league -  anonymously - with a group whose sole aim in life is the destruction of the ICC as an organisation and of certain militants who are specifically targeted.

The third case, as far as we are concerned, is strictly equivalent to the second.

Second point, why is the GIGC doing this? In our view, whether this group is now paid by the police or is merely free-lancing is irrelevant: the effect is the same. The only purpose of this kind of secret, anonymous, underhand and cowardly behaviour is to spread distrust within the organisation. It should be blindingly obvous even to the most obtuse that the effect sought by these "revelations" is to have militants looking over their shoulders for the culprit, and this brings to mind immediately Serge's words again: "Provocation is much more dangerous in terms of the distrust it sows among revolutionaries. As soon as a few traitors are unmasked, trust disappears from within the organisations. It is a terrible thing, because confidence in the party is the cement of all revolutionary forces. Accusations are murmured about, then said out loud, and usually they cannot be checked out. This causes enormous damage, worse in some ways than that caused by provocation itself". That is precisely the effect that provocation aims to create.

These were the methods of the Okhrana, the GPU, the STASI - and all the shilly-shallying about "what proof is there blah blah blah" merely tries to obscure this fact: if it looks like shit, and it smells like shit, and when you put your foot in it, it slips like shit - then the chances are, it is shit.

Crisanto
Problem of sense of solidarity

Many posters here seems hesitant to "take side" or declare solidarity either to ICC or IGCL for a 'common sense' reason that "we don't know the whole story" or both organisations "exaggerate" the issue or "relive" the old grudges. This line of argument seems "right". Instead of focusing to what is the central message of the statement of the ICC, some posters seems to "see the trees but not the forest".

However, I would like to share my small cents of thought as a communist militant:

1) No communist organisation that has no internal problems or debate.

2) Any communist communist can publish their internal debate/problems to the public upon the APPROVAL of its central organs or majority of its members, with the aim to stimulate further discussions and clarification. In short, publishing an internal documents to the 'outside world' IS the prerogative of the concern organisation.

3) Any publication of internal documents to the 'outside world' of a certain organisation by another organization WITHOUT THE APPROVAL or PERMISSION from the former, no matter how "good" the intention is, is not an action of any genuine communist organisation.

Publication of internal documents without the approval and permission of the concern organisation is commonly known an activity of the enemies of the communist revolution: the state and the police.

4) What is worst, if the organisation who got the internal documents from another organisation, got them secretly. Whether through hacking or given by the "insiders", this kind of getting internal information and then publishing them to the public is like stealing and selling them to the market.

Any communist militant, whether you are from ICC or from other communist organisation, must condemn these actions and show solidarity to the concern communist organisation. Otherwise, revolutionary morality (ie, solidarity) that binds the whole internationalist milieu against the destruction of the enemies of the revolution is certainly lost.

baboon
An advance of sorts

There's been a small advance in Esty's position that, liitle though it is, is worth noting - not least for the contradictions it raises in his posts. Esty's last post says 'that there was a never a question' of the police not being interested in small revolutionary elements. Well there was Esty and you put it forward.  For example, you make a link above central to your position, from Ingram, that says this infiltration and role of the state is entirely in question to the point of dismissing it outright and blaming the ICC for the actions of the bourgeoisie. Have you changed your mind? Are you holding two contradictory positions just to be on the "safe side"?

The danger of the state to revolutionaries was'nt the first, second, third or even twelth thing that you said Esty. What you said was that the ICC's position was a "slander" , a "hysterical rant", was baseless, "paranoid"  and so on, all along the lines of Ingrams text which is both  supported and not supported by you at the same time.

KT
Solidarity with the ICC

To read (or perhaps re-read) the history of the IFICC/IGCL is a trial. The thefts of money (can you imagine what workers would do to scabs who stole from a strike fund?), lists of subscribers and internal records of an organisation’s debates, activities and  interventions (this hasn’t been denied – in fact it’s proudly publicised) were a dozen years ago an ignominious start  to any organisation with ‘proletarian’ pretensions.  When they were members of the ICC, what was to become the IFICC gang denounced such practices. Now and for some time they confirm they’ve adopted them as a modus Vivendi. Anyone unaware of the fiasco around the Nucleo affair in Argentina a decade ago really should inform themselves of the IFFIC’s muck-spreading associations with it. And today, the fact that the very capitalist ‘New Anti-Capitalist Party’ (NPA) in France uses IGCL bile to attack a proletarian organisation is there for all to see. For Esty (#20, above) to suggest that this is simply the French state seeking to aggravate the ICC’s alleged or real difficulties is simply a mischievous apology for the IFICC/ICGL’s actions. How did this ammunition fall into the hands of the French state? Who compiled it and with what purpose? The same organisation that regularly reports on the movements of ICC comrades, that’s who. There’s no secret here and, as far as I am aware, the IFICC/IGCL has not apologised for providing the state with such material nor distanced themselves from the specific state appendage, the NPA, that promotes the ICGL on its front and centre pages. 

Perhaps Esty should be thanked for reminding us via the link he provided that still, in 2007, at least one element from the Communist Bulletin Group defends the threats to call in the police against the ICC. It’s also true that early proclamations of this CBG organisation reported on the private lives of individual militants much as the IFICC/IGCL does today. There are certainly further parallels, including the obsession of these ‘organisations’ with the ICC.  In English at least, the current ICGL front page carries two ‘lead’ statements about the ICC!! But truth be told, the IFICC/IGCL are in a different league  -  more destructive, more dangerous, going for the jugular and, in its own way, in relation to the ‘amateurs’ of the CBG, a real verification of capitalism’s decomposition over the intervening years.

It’s a sad but undeniable testament to the break between revolutionaries today and the traditions of the past workers movement that elements in the proletarian milieu can hear about people leaving communist organisations, taking with them (and very soon publishing) internal documents, lists of contacts, material and money, and not bat an eyelid when such information is offered up to anyone and everyone. It’s just par for the course. Business as usual!!  People ask: what’s so special about internal bulletins? What have they got to hide? If the party or communist organisation is created by the class, don’t these documents belong to all workers anyway? But such attitudes, even leaving aside very real concerns over the security of the organisation, its militants and sympathisers, when pushed to their logical conclusion, eradicate the specificity of the proletariat’s political expressions: they are a real ‘liquidationist’ tendency as far as the party is concerned. Lenin pushed for a split in Russian Social Democracy in 1903 rather than see the party liquidated into the immediate mass of the class. It’s really strange that the ‘uber-partyist’ IBRP for one doesn’t see this.

Perhaps this ‘everything belongs to everyone’ attitude is an aspect of the penetration of democratic ideology like that that which insists the state really isn’t interested in ‘tiny’ revolutionary organisations. The police in GB may embed themselves in ‘anti-capitalist’ organisations, even lead their ‘raids’ on targets while fostering ‘conjugal relations’ and fathering children while under cover. But, apparently, they are not interested in the revolutionary milieu!! It’s apparently fine for an Aufheben member to draw on his experience of protests to participate in crowd control studies that find their way to the cops, or unremarkable for members of the French security services to take the lead in smashing shop windows in the 2010 struggles against pension reductions in order to entrap militants. But to denounce as “dubious” an element (Chenier) who passed through and stirred up shit within the ICC in the Eighties as “acting no different than a state agent might” was an ‘ungentlemanly act’ which justified theft from the ICC and the threat of calling the cops if militants should seek to recoup their material. It’s as if agent provocateurs were something out of a 19th century Conrad novel...  Where’s the proof? the jurists demand. How about in what people and organisations actually do, their ‘comportment’ and trajectory, not the fine words they parrot... Now apply that to the ICGL and its sponsors in the capitalist NPA ...

Or maybe it’s a twisted reaction to Stalinism that the defence of proletarian political organisations really isn’t that important – bring on the councils and who cares about specific political groups?  Another ‘regroupment’, another website. Another group proclaiming it’s the “real ICC” (except it soon abandons the ICC’s practice and politics). Where’s the harm? What does it matter if ICC militants are held and interrogated at the borders for a few hours, a few days, or obliged to move country, as a result of the public revelation of this or that internal activity? Who cares that the name of this or that organisation is dragged through the mud (or associated with Stalinist or nationalist elements as the IBRP was when, on the IFICC’s recommendation, it went to bed with Stalinist pretender that was the Nucleo in Argentina, or perhaps, even earlier, the nationalist SUCM of Iran, this time without the IFFIC’s prompting). This again is a real councilist liquidation of political elements.

Make no mistake: it’s not ‘just’ the militants of the ICC who have been left looking over their shoulder as a result of the IFICC/IGCL actions. The IGCL communiqué, to which the ICC has reacted, is an invitation to aid in the wrecking of the most important international proletarian group of the past 40 years. It should be actively resisted and roundly condemned. 

Alf
I agree totally with the

I agree totally with the above. One precision: the 'EFICC' was the 'External Fraction of the ICC' which left the ICC in the 80s. It has dropped this name and now just calls itself by its publication, Internationalist Perspective. The 'IFICC' was the 'Internal Fraction of the ICC', which was made up of elements  expelled in the early 2000s for precisely the kind of behaviour which KT reminds us of in his post, and which now calls itself the IGCL. 

KT
My Bad

Thanks Alf. Now corrected (edited) in post. While I would argue that the original EFICC group of the late 80s was a parasitic element, time has passed, the group has changed its platform and its name and, for myself, I don't today put Internationalist Perspectives in the same basket as the IFICC/ICGL. But that's another discussion ... 

shug
Oh dear, 35 years on and KT

Oh dear, 35 years on and KT cant resist the same old slanders about the CBG. Anyone actually sad enough to care about all this can read the CBG archive at http://cbdg.byethost8.com . Meanwhile this parasite/gangster/amateur  lives in hope that one day the ICC will give it a fecking rest.

 

Cue pompous, self-righteous, patronising response .....................................

KT
Cue pompous, self-righteous, patronising response

Hello Shug. The ICC has written nothing about the CBG here. Esty (who ever he/she is) linked to it in an earlier post. I haven't been in the ICC for a couple of decades. Obliging the ICC to 'give it a fecking rest', permanently, is the stated aim of the IGCL, too.

Marin Jensen
Basket cases

To all those who bemoan the fact that the ICC appears to be undergoing "crisis" or "introspection", perhaps it's worth remembering that before 1914 the Russian Social-Democracy was the basket case of the Second International. All that squabbling over apparently trivial details (try looking at the difference between Lenin and Martov's definitions of who could be a member of the party at the 1903 congress) - nobody could make out what it was about. And those Bolsheviks - absolutely impossible, with that control freak Lenin in charge always going on about opportunism - and anyway, we don't really know Lenin (said the SPD), while you have really serious well-known theoreticians like Plekhanov in the Menshevik camp. All this is not like the united, responsible, powerful German SPD at all. What on earth could one do with them?

Then, come 1914... strangely enough, it is the SPD that votes for war credits and the Bolsheviks that call for "turning the imperialist war into civil war".

Coincidence? I think not.

lem_
i have no idea who is who

i have no idea who is who anymore... while i've had a questionable "militant" past the icc have never seemed anything but sincere and reasonable [oh how bourgeois lol] to me. they have won my respect - and fwiw, my support. to hell with the amoral / nihilist efforts of the rest - if there's anything you need me for, you have it...

 

i guess this highly suspect group are upset at the lack of solidarity from the icc? the lack of..?

A.Simpleton
Highly suspect

And although an outsider, inside the milieu, I would say guilty as plainly shown by such actions.

KT wrote:

Perhaps this ‘everything belongs to everyone’ attitude is an aspect of the penetration of democratic ideology like that that which insists the state really isn’t interested in ‘tiny’ revolutionary organisations.

I think I finally found some of the material in question at 'fraction communiste' where - with bizarre 'News International' like style, a note at the bottom of some of these hacked/stolen/infitrator-passed internal communiqués was a smug note saying something like :'we can make all these documents available to Communist organisations' 

I did not pay too much attention to the cherry picked insults/misrepresentations whatever in documents that neither I nor they have any business reading anyway :'Lady so and so ' 'the all bourgeois totalitarian clannish clique methods' 'Big chief of the ICC' blather ' we have pages and pages of this stuff Sickening! the detractors write: really? (...so that's not hysterical ranting/paranoia etc. oh no no .... it's the ICC who do that.)

Like _lem the ICC have my respect and support.

I thank Baboon for directions to the ICC France article re NPA - my French is quite good and with characteristic thoroughness and comprehensiveness it is quite clear that Besancourt et al are on Bourgeois terrain the other side of the class line. 

SO imho:

No revolutionary force has any earthly reason to pass anything over to a counter-revolutionary force.

Furthermore the hypocricy of doing this and they openly state it 'in the name of solidarity' of avoiding demoralisation is just that: an obscene hypocricy  - the detractors write 'we appeal to true militants etc.' and a phrase which particularly brought me up sharp : 'We can help' (if you have been the victim of these blah blah)

I could not get the picture of those Insurance Claim Chancer adverts out of my head : 'Have you been mis-sold communism by a ranting paranoid clan? We can help!

I think not: the exact opposite in fact.

AS

 

baboon
Suspicion

I want to make a small point here about the text "Revolutionary organisation struggle against provocateurs and slander" elsewhere on the site in order to keep the discussion in one place. The text is well worth a read for its historical perspective on the question of agent-provocateurs and the whole question of how "suspicion" is a poison in the workers' movement, the opposite of solidarity, and how this suspicion is part of capitalism's permanent ambience which is destructive on its own and how it can be, and has been, manipulated by elements who want to make trouble and assist the ruling class under some "proletarian" verbiage. The text is good on the almost certain infiltration of individuals into revolutionary organisation (see the example of Bilan) and how, if they have the work of the organisation to propagate they can be useful.

There's more than a "democratic" aspect to the idea that the ICC's internal bulletins, internal information and discussions, vital for the life-blood of the organisation, are fair game to be robbed and distributed to whomever. It's a form of blackmail: "We know about you and we can deliver this information to the state", which the ICGL did through the NPA. Stealing, blackmail and threats, supported above by some of the usual suspects and others who seem to have disappeared as quickly as they appeared, have to be fought against by any proletarian organisation worth its salt.

This question of the internal bulletins and organisational discussion came up at the orgins of the parastic attack on the ICC when I was a member years ago. These elements (like many since) couldn't break the solidarity and political conviction of the great majority of the ICC (whom they really held in contempt for implicitly and explicitly rejecting the positions of these "special" individuals who wanted to "save" the ICC) and then targeted the internal bulletins. A letter was inadvertently found from one of their kind saying that the work of this clique should be to flood the ICC with long and dense texts (which they were very accomplished at writing) and bring it down with the weight of work. We had no computors then. Everything had to be done on typewriters and roneoed. All the texts had to be translated into several languages and we were producing internal bulletins one after the other in several languages and distributing them by post. It was an enormous work and we were a bit naive in not seeing that these "texts" from these unrequited elements were a weapon of attack but we kept churning them out in the interests of giving them a plaform within the discussion. The stealing of internal bulletins and information have always been a part of the parasitic/provocateur attack on the ICC.

I echo KT's point above the example of the Argentinain "Nucleo" and, amongst others, the disgraceful response of the ICT, being informative for this discussion.

ICC
In response to our critics

Responding to our “Communiqué to our readers: The ICC under attack from a new agency of the bourgeois state" some critics have claimed that the ICC has exaggerated in calling the activities of the IGCL a weapon of the bourgeois state. One example:

All of the accusations of the ICC against the IGCL boil down to three things: they published the real initials of a militant, they published an internal letter which included the time and date of an ICC meeting in Mexico, and militant(s) within the ICC passed on internal documents to members of the IGCL. I don't defend these acts but I don't think that from this you can deduce that these people are police agents or that the ICC is under attack. The ICC has a history of using hysterical language against other groups on the communist left and against its former militants...” (Esty on the forum of the ICC, 12th May)

It’s good not to “defend these acts”. But the ICC has not succumbed to any “hysteria”. The attack of the IGCL is a revival and continuation of the police-like attacks against the ICC that began over 10 years ago. In 2003 the EFICC (the precursor of the IGCL) published a text of over a 100 pages called ‘The History of the IS’ that contains internal information about the ICC and its militants. (The existence of this extensive text seems to have evaporated in the ‘boiling down’ of our accusations against the IGCL by Esty). The copious information in this ‘History of the IS’ has little relevance to political questions but would be of great relevance and interest to the bourgeois state. Replying at the time to the IFICC attack in 2003 that identified a militant of the ICC via the internet to the police, we said, matter-of-factly:

The IFICC members know quite well: because the ICC had judged that to publish the real initials of a militant only makes the work of the police easier. If the IFICC had decided that it was politically crucial to say how the militant Peter signed his articles, they could have used some more recent signatures and not the oldest ones. But this wasn’t its aim. What mattered was to give a little warning to CG so that other ICC militants would get the point and understand the price of combating the IFICC (…) Some people will say to us perhaps that none of this information is any use to the police. This is to understand nothing about police methods, which will make use of the smallest detail in order to compile a complete diagram of the organisations of the working class. (…) One of the great weaknesses of today’s revolutionary organisations, and of their militants, is that they tend to forget all the elementary measures of security which enabled the revolutionary organisations of the past to maintain their activity faced with the repression of the bourgeois state whether democratic or ‘totalitarian’.”

(Where is the ‘hysterical language’ here?)

Today we see not only a continuation but an aggravation of a decade of police-like activity by the IFICC/IGCL.

The recent attack by the IGCL “A new (final?) Internal crisis in the ICC! An Appeal to the proletarian camp and to ICC militants” is clearly an escalation of the use of police-like methods: the deliberate attempt to sow suspicion within our ranks!

To stimulate distrust in the ranks of a revolutionary organisation is one of the “classical” methods of the police historically because suspicion destroys confidence, the “cement of all revolutionary forces”, as Victor Serge meticulously described in his book What every revolutionary should know about state repression, published in 1926. Presenting the possession of internal documents of the ICC (already in the first sentence of its text) like a trophy, is intended to send the following message to the members of the ICC: “You have a traitor in your ranks; you can no longer have confidence in each other and the ICC”. This message is not said openly but is subtly transmitted. The covert suggestion of suspicion by the GPU destroyed the milieu around Trotsky in the 1930s; the fear that a neighbour or a family member could be an informer was carefully created by the Stasi to control East German society. The IGCL is making use, once again, of this time-honoured police tactic of sowing distrust.

The objective of this stimulation of distrust is revealed later in the text by an apparently magnanimous appeal by the IGCL to only some of the ICC militants but not to those particular militants that it once again identified and deluged with slanders:

”... to the ICC comrades still sincerely wishing to enrol in the struggle for communism who are either repulsed by what is happening, or still can't come to understand any of it … We can help. Our group is ready to hold discussions with you, to correspond and to meet with you, so that you can lead the internal battle.”

How kind of the IGCL! After trying to foment suspicion within the ICC they then offer to covertly fan the flames of the resulting divisions that they are hoping for! The IGCL offer to help in an ‘internal battle’ – against what and whom? Clearly against the particular comrades they have targeted and left out of their appeal. Their offer has nothing to do with revolutionary politics and debate, and everything to do with reaping the rewards of their own police-like provocation of suspicion.

The purpose of the IGCL text is further confirmed by its timing. It was published only days before the Extraordinary Conference of the ICC at the beginning of May 2014, that is, at a time when the sowing of suspicion could have the maximum impact, create confusion and perhaps disrupt the planned agenda and objectives of the Conference. The ICC did not fall into this trap because we know the history of the methods of the police and saw immediately through the game.

Since its origins, the workers’ movement has had to face up to repression from the bourgeoisie. However, it would be a serious error, a real expression of naivety, to think that such repression only takes the form of physical repression directed against workers’ strikes or uprisings.” What we wrote in March 2002 is confirmed in a disgusting manner today. “This is why, when faced with destructive behaviour of this kind, which can only play the game of the bourgeois state, the ICC has always alerted the whole proletarian political milieu: “When such behaviour comes to light, it is the duty of the organisation to take measures not only in defence of its own security, but also in defence of the security of other communist organisations

ICC

To understanding of the genesis IFICC/IGCL since the years of 2001/2002 and our detailed response on its destructive and anti-proletarian character and methods, please read the following articles:

https://en.internationalism.org/worldrevolution/200412/678/revolutionary-organisations-struggle-against-provocation-and-slander

https://en.internationalism.org/262_infraction.htm

https://en.internationalism.org/ir/110_conference.html

radicalchains
Still attending the MDF?

I'm not sure if this has been answered somewhere but one of the points made was that the ICC are not attending public meetings anymore or to a very limited extent. I raise this point because I listen to the Midlands Discussion Forum audio when they are made availble and it seems no one from the ICC has been attending the last two or three but I could be wrong. I got the feeling that the ICC saw discussion forums as a very positive development and was encouraging more of them and wider participation with some anarchists for example. So it would be strange if you are now not attending them.

MH
On the ICC's response

This latest response from the ICC is very welcome, although there are still many unanswered questions.

We have to note, with some disappointment though hardly any great surprise, the failure of sections of the revolutionary milieu so far at least to publically express solidarity, or to respond adequately to the issues raised.

Diplomatically, I think it’s fair to say that there is a recognition, at least among some groups of the Communist Left, that the publication of material from the internal bulletins of a revolutionary organisation is wrong and is to be condemned.

But, as the ‘Reply’ points out, there is also a rejection of the idea that such behaviour in itself constitutes an ‘attack’, or could potentially aid the capitalist state in any way. This is, to say the very least, short-sighted and complacent and appears to be motivated at least in part by antipathy towards the ICC.

Similarly, there is some recognition of the fact that the ex-ICC members of the ‘IGCL’ are ‘obsessed’ by the ICC, and may indeed be motivated by reasons of personal revenge; but also a refusal to accept that such a ‘disturbance of the mind’ could possibly lead them to play a destructive role towards the ICC, or to their manipulation or use, however consciously, by agencies of the capitalist state. To say the least, there is an apparent inability to draw the political implications from the ‘IGCL’s’ behaviour.   

This reveals, in my view:

  • a complacency about the extreme pressures facing the entire revolutionary milieu in the current phase of decomposition in capitalist society;

  • illusions in the reality of bourgeois democracy, especially, it seems, in Britain; specifically an underestimation of the activities of the capitalist state (eg. regarding undercover policing and routine surveillance of political groups), and;

  • an underestimation of the threat, despite their numerical weakness or lack of influence in the wider class, that revolutionary organisations by their very nature constitute for bourgeois society in the current period.

At root these weaknesses reveal the shallowness of the understanding of Marxism in parts of the revolutionary milieu, in particular on organisational questions, and an insufficient assimilation of the historical lessons of the experience of the revolutionary movement with state repression.

There are of course questions unanswered in this latest reply from the ICC. Specifically, were internal bulletins obtained through the hacking of computers by state agencies or not (as far as proof can ever exist of course)? If they were, this would undoubtedly represent a significant escalation of state interest in the organisations of the Communist Left. But I realise it may not be possible or apropriate to comment on this and other issues publically  at this time.

Alf
discussion forums

Radical - we have not changed our view that discussion circles/forums are a positive element for the movement and our non-participation in the MDF meetings of late has been based on a need to be extremely careful with our energies given our internal diffculties and tight resources in the recent period. There are times when an organisation has to consolidate itself in order to prepare a more effective intervention in the future.  

radicalchains
More questions

Alf wrote:

Radical - we have not changed our view that discussion circles/forums are a positive element for the movement and our non-participation in the MDF meetings of late has been based on a need to be extremely careful with our energies given our internal diffculties and tight resources in the recent period. There are times when an organisation has to consolidate itself in order to prepare a more effective intervention in the future.  

 

This begs several questions:

What are your difficulties? 

Why is there a need to consolidate?

What has been lacking in your intervention?

Alf
As mentioned on a different

As mentioned on a different thread, we began to write about the difficulties in an article on our 20th congress, https://en.internationalism.org/internationalreview/201311/9278/presenta....

This article tries to give a general framework for understanding the problems . We will be returning to this question in a more direct way in a forthcoming article.

These difficulties have been serious enough to warrant a period of 'self-reflection' and are linked with problems at the level of our 'militant resources'. This has meant taking a conscious decision to draw back from some more regular tasks of intervention, but the process of reflection also involves examining the form and content of our intervention over the past decade or so. Again, we will publish the results of these discussions in due course.