12th Congress of the ICC: The Political Reinforcement of the ICC

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12th Congress of the ICC: The Political Reinforcement of the ICC
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The discussion that follows was prompted by the article: 12th Congress of the ICC: The Political Reinforcement of the ICC. The discussion was initiated by Jamal.
Below is the discussion so far. Feel free to add your own comments!

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Quote:In this context, it is

Quote:
In this context, it is also necessary to mark the very sharp difference between the ideological campaigns being used today, and those used against the working class in the 1930s. There is a point shared by these two kinds of campaigns: they are all based around the theme of the 'defence of democracy'. However, the campaigns of the 30s:
  • were situated in a context of a historic defeat for the proletariat, of an undisputed victory for the counter-revolution;

  • had as their main object the mobilisation of the proletariat for the coming world war;

  • had a real trump card at their disposal, the fascist regimes of Italy and Germany, and were thus very real, massive and clearly aimed.

By contrast, today's campaigns:

  • are situated in a context in which the proletariat has overcome the counter-revolution, has not been through a massive defeat which has put into question the historic course towards class confrontations;

  • have as their main aim that of sabotaging a rising tide of consciousness and combativity within the working class;

  • do not have a single target but are obliged to call on disparate and sometimes circumstantial themes (terrorism, the 'fascist danger', paedophile networks, corruption of the legal system, etc), which tends to limit their impact both in time and place.

It is for these reasons that while the campaigns at the end of the 30s succeeded in mobilising the working masses behind them in a permanent way, those of today:

  • either succeed in mobilising workers on a massive scale (the case of the 'White March' in Bruxelles on 20 October), but only for a limited period (this is why the Belgian bourgeoisie resorted to other manoeuvres afterwards);

  • or, if they are deployed in a permanent way (the case of the anti-Front National campaigns in France), they don't manage to mobilise the workers and serve mainly as a diversion.

 

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Jamal wrote: That was an

Jamal wrote:

That was an interesting read. It seems the ICC has entered another period "of debate on the question of the way the organisation functions...[a] struggle to recover its unity and cohesion." Alf and other militants have stated this more than a few times over the past couple of years. The "preiod of internal reflection", etc. Hopefully this one doesn't last for four years.

My question after reading the link is this; has the proletariat overcome the counter-revolution? The text states today's working class has not been through "massive defeat". Does the proletariat need to experience a "massive" defeat to be massively defeated?

A proletariat with no historical perpective or sense of self - how is this different from defeat?

 

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Demogorgon wrote: "My

Demogorgon wrote:

"My question after reading the link is this; has the proletariat overcome the counter-revolution? The text states today's working class has not been through "massive defeat". Does the proletariat need to experience a "massive" defeat to be massively defeated?"

A very important question.

I think the answer is situated in the framework of decomposition. Historically, the bourgeoisie has been able to maintain the upper hand in the sense that it has prevented the proletariat from rediscovering its own revolutionary perspective. At the same time, it has not managed to defeat the class in the sense of enrolling it in a decisive way behind its own political objectives.

Because the bourgeoisie cannot, in these circumstances, offer any cohesive ideological project around which to orientate society other than implementing the crisis, pervasive but piecemeal militarism, etc. and the proletariat can't either everything tends to fall apart, we end up with a slow disintegration of both classes along with the rest of society. That disintegration can absolutely destroy the proletariat - we can already see the disastrous impact of the various catastrophes in the Middle East which have both physically and ideologically decimated the local proletariat for decades to come.

I'd also point, as another example, how the "modernising" wing of the bourgeoisie in the Middle East (Nasserism, Ba'athism) which looked to national development, education, etc. as a mobilising force in bourgeois politics has retreated in the face of the growing Islamic death cults of ISIS/ISIL, etc. Even people like Hamas look almost progressive (in bourgeois terms of course) these days! We see the same deterioration in bourgeois ideology in the West. The mainstream parties are more and more looking like what they really are: different wings of an unofficial (but real) One Party State that all share more-or-less the same ideology (faux neo-liberalism, unofficial despotism, etc.) while conspiracy theorists, Christian and Islamic fundamentalists, racists, die-hard Stalinists and eco-warriors foam at the mouth at the periphery.

Fragmentation seems to sum up the social order at both the material and ideological level and in my opinion, it's no accident that in that environment the development of rational, useful discussion within and between the main internationalist currents in the working class (such as they are) seems more and more difficult.

So no, in today's environment, the class doesn't need to be "massively defeated" in order to be effectively erased as an historic force, a process which is already well underway. The question is whether the counter-tendencies that stimulate the authentic response of the class can become powerful enough to overcome the general trajectory of this society.

I think what I was wondering when I opened the thread is what can the implementation and impact of the bourgeoisie's ideological campaigns tell us about where we are in that development.

 

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The above was taken from

The above was taken from Demo's thread about ideological campaigns. Didn't want to derail that thread. So in response to Demo's post above...

I'm confused about the degree to which the working class is enrolled in a decisive way behind the bourgeoisie. At face value it appears almost totally enrolled...democracy, individualism, etc.

Also what are the possiblities of the bourgeoisie discovering a cohesive ideological project? Like if the climate crisis continues, a "green industrial revolution", etc?

Demogorgon
"At face value it appears

"At face value it appears almost totally enrolled...democracy, individualism, etc."

For the most part, it's a passive"enrollment" though. The question is are workers willing to go out and fight and die for it? Obviously a minority are enrolled in the bourgeoisie's professional armies and in its terrorist death-cults, but imagine trying to reintroduce mass conscription in the main countries of Europe or even the US.

This is the difference that the resolution points to: in the 30s, the workers were mobilised in a permanent, massive way. Today, those who actually believe in aspects of bourgeois ideology and actively support it on a permanent basis are in a minority. The only one in recent years that came even remotely close to that level of political control was the 9/11 mobilisations in the US, following the attacks there and the long-term impact of that was muted however massive it was at the time.

JeSuis Charlie seems likely to have a big impact in terms of mobilisation for a short period, but its longevity will be limited I would say, although obviously it will last longer in France.

But although the class isn't actively engaged in bourgeois ideology, it nonetheless succumbs to its pacifying effect which blunts its capacity to resist the bourgeoisie and develop its own perspective. Instead of being hit by a knock-out punch, the class is subjected to long-term ideological attrition which has the potential to ultimately end up in the same place as a massive defeat. The fact that the bourgeoisie is also looking a bit ragged and wheezy as it tries to hold its decrepit system together is rather cold comfort ...