On Organisation

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mikail firtinaci
Calm down Jamal. I don't

Calm down Jamal. I don't think what I wrote insuniated in anyway that I thought you were a class "deserter". But if you still got that sense, I sincerely apologize. My point was that our organizations like our class are not (and never will be - never were) perfect. We have to struggle for them until success - which will end up in the dissolution of both. So we have the time of our life. And however impatiently we may want the total abolution of this horrible and disgusting system (and at that point I am with you), we can only rely on each other. That is the hardest thing in the world; to rely on a non-immediately-visible temporal horizon. That is why we are comrades right? Because comradeship and solidarity make communism material even if it can still remain "invisible". We believe that we will together become something better, something human eventually, if we stick together and fight against our conditions. That is why we have to defend our organizations however the situation may at first sight look difficult. Afterall it can even take a day to break a revolutionary organization but it most likely takes decades and generations to build one.

So I guess my conclusion is, if you think there are problems explain them to the icc comrades so that they can better understand the problems. If you think they are not listening tell again in a new way. That is actually what revolutionaries like Marx, Pannekoek, Lenin or Luxemburg did most of the time until the political situation called them into actual fighting. They discussed, criticized and criticized without end. Sometimes it can be tiring I admit it. But hey, when it became unbearable, for instance Lenin, took long walks or holidays from politics to recover! If you ask me he really knew the "art of insurrection," which demands immense patience.

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Mikail this is not even your

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Demogorgon
Enough Already

Jamal, whatever validity you think your criticisms may have, mocking people for their age and race ("old white men"?!) is unacceptable.

And Mikhail has every right to weigh in to this discussion. If it's not his fight, given he was in the EKS, then it's much less yours who has never been in any of the organisations concerned. If you feel you can speak out on this topic, so can he (and anyone else who wants to contribute, critical or not - and including old white men, too).

I also take exception to your efforts to try and force people in the ICC to take position on this. One thing (amongst many) I've had quite enough of inside the organisation is people trying to force others to line up behind this or that position before they're ready and then passing judgement on them for failing to do so. I'm don't put up with it from them and I'm not putting up with it from you either.

People will speak when they are ready to speak and not before.

 

 

 

Link
Jamal’s outrage is perhaps an

Jamal’s outrage is perhaps an indication of why bust ups in organisations can become so aggravated. – all sides feel such a strong personal ‘ownership’ (not perhaps the most appropriate of words but so geht es) because of the commitment of ideas and organisation. Here I definitely agree with the Turkish comrades about the need for balanced official responses and the failure of the icc to achieve that.  Perhaps that is where the crisis in the ICC is expressed 

 

Cant agree with Alf that it’s a crisis of the workers movement as a whole – and certainly not based on the level of explanation that hes given.  Any crisis is the workers movement is a product of  an unexpectedly extended period of downturn in struggle. 

 

Its taken the ICC 4 or 5 years to discuss itself now, why don’t you feel a responsibility to the workers movements to explain things properly yet.   Why is it that you see clannishness as a problem within the icc but not a problem when the ICC as a whole behaves clannishly?

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Demogorgon
Derision is one thing,

Derision is one thing, although arguably not very helpful, but that's up to you. I didn't criticise you for that. I criticised your apparent racism and ageism and attempts to bully comrades. They are unacceptable. So, yes, I am telling you that that is enough.

"Demo if you might recall, this is not a debate the ICC ever intended to make public outside of the organization."

You have no evidence for this. In the past, the ICC has always reported on its internal crises. The organisation has already begun to report on the present one (which the departure of the comrades in Turkey is the latest symptom of) even though it is still in the midst of it.

It took over two months for PBJ to produce their report on why they left the organisation and nobody has criticised them for being tardy. The ICC have had less than two weeks to respond.

If you want to criticise the ICC, fine. If you want to express solidarity with what is now PBJ, fine. No-one is stopping you. But petty insults get no-one anywhere.

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I've redacted my comments

I've redacted my comments because they were very polemical. It was a mistake. And frankly I'm just ready to move on. Goodbye everyone, hopefully we'll meet again someday in a different organization. Cheers.

I would also like to request the deletion of my account and all comments therein. There is no option for account deletion in the user menu.

If this is not possible let this be a record of my objection.

lem_
Redacted / jamal, this is

Redacted / jamal, this is totally unnecessary. I am totally sympathetic to pale blue jadal / leo etc., but there's no need to make something of this that it isn't - which I don't think leo etc. have really done.

jk1921
I read the ex-Turkish

I read the ex-Turkish section's piece. It is a little difficult to follow their narrative regarding the ins and outs of what they see as the factional conflicts within the ICC. But there are clearly a few substantive issues they raise:

1.) There is the question of whether or not "neighborhood assemblies" similar to what occurred in the Paris Commune are a more likely form of working class self-organization in the period ahead than workers' councils. I think this might have come from their analysis of the Gezi Park events, and I think I remember noticing something in the article they wrote about it that seemed to suggest they may be going in a direction like this. I think I remember attempting to start a discussion about this at the time as it corresponded to my own questioning about the changing sociological circumstances of the proletariat.

2.) There is the issue of the "transmitting the lessons of the past" being seen as uni-directional. I think this might relate to point #1, but also the these on parasitism.

3.) There is the issue of "absolute truth," "admitting we might be wrong," etc. This raises issues of epistemological skepticism that have a long history in the communist left, but I think it is also a reflection of style and perhaps an entirely different cultural attitude towards politics--perhaps a different mode of politicization altogether. There is a generational component to this probably, even if it is not reducible to it.

4.) There is the question of if the ICC were to disappear tomorow, would that be the end of the workers' movement altogether? This seems to raise issues about the very nature of the organization itself. Is it a reflection of the overall condition of the class ata given moment or does it have a character, a dynamic, a history of its own that is over and above reflecting back where the class is at some historical juncture. This, of course, is a revisiting of old debates about the organization, but the fact that it is revisited means that it remains relevant--probably because nobody has ever proposed a totally convincing answer.

 

LBird
Organisations and relationships

jk1921 wrote:

4.) There is the question of if the ICC were to disappear tomorow, would that be the end of the workers' movement altogether? This seems to raise issues about the very nature of the organization itself.

I think this problem with the Turkish section reflects deeper issues.

'Workers organisations' claim that workers are the source of power. But the w.o. never seems to think that it can learn from workers, and that workers who join are there to learn, rather than to teach.

Of course, there has to be a minimum of agreement about 'Communism', for a worker to join, but beyond that, it is often the w.o. that is failing to learn and change, rather than the workers it has recruited, who soon leave, either individually or as a body, when they realise the w.o. proposes a one-way transmission belt of learning.

IMO, this is the difference between a Leninist and a Marxist organsation. A Marxist organisation recognises that its role is to learn from workers, not simply to teach.

MH
implications

“We do not forget the warmth shown by the members of the ICC towards every one of us through the years. We will continue to see every single ICC member as comrades so long as they defend internationalist principles. Yet after this process, we see little possibility for the ICC to rid itself of the problems it has fallen into and make a positive contribution as an organization.”

There is something both deeply touching and depressing about this closing comment of the ex-Turkish ICC comrades.

In the long history of bile spat out by those who split from the ICC, this text stands out in contrast as serious, mature and fraternal.

True, the text of Devrim contained similar criticisms, but lacked the same credibility because even when he was a member of the ICC he seemed semi-detached. 

The reason for this now becomes a little clearer. The Turkish comrades’ text confirms that an opportunist tendency had emerged in the ICC that saw building the organisation as the highest priority. Indeed, the Turkish comrades themselves seem to accept that some of the ensuing problems they experienced in the organisation stemmed from their premature integration.

But we’re left with the depressing conclusion of the Turkish comrades about the ICC’s inability to make a positive contribution. The ICC is 40 years old - one of the longest-lived revolutionary minorities produced by the proletariat – ever. There is an objective need for a new generation to ‘hand over’ to, which is another reason why the departure of the Turkish comrades is a particular blow. In the short-term we have to hope that the ICC is able to fully learn the lessons of this experience, and we await the organisation’s response to the Turkish comrades.

But with 25 years or so of capitalist decomposition, we have to see that in significant ways, time is not on our (ie. the working class’s) side.  In this sense, I think there is a danger of underestimating the implications of the current situation.  

I can only wish the Turkish comrades well in their stated commitment to continue the work of theoretical deepening. One small irony is that in their search for international contacts to discuss with, it will be difficult not to find themselves in discussion with…the ICC, which they themselves acknowledge as the most serious in encouraging and promoting debate.

 

jk1921
In sickness and in health?

mikail firtinaci wrote:

Jamal,

If ICC is in trouble so is the working class. We don't desert the proletariat just because it is in crisis and showing serious signs of a lethal sickness, does not it? My understandign is you support your class and your comrades with constructive criticism and patience.

Also, as Luxemburg said, usually in stagnant times like these what usually grows is opportunism. After all it is a plant that best takes root in swamps without fresh streams.

 

This metaphor of "sickness" is interesting. In what way is the proletariat "sick" and how is that reflected in the revolutionary organizations? Is it that the proletariat's consciousness is woefully dragging behind its material circumstances? That could be pathological, but if we are Marxists, don't we have to at some level suppose that the material circumstances will eventually cure the pathology? Maybe not, but if consciousness can become so divorced from material reality that the latter no longer conditions the former in any reliable way than what use is Marxism--or specifically left communism--for making sense out of the world? It seems an entirely different methodology is needed and we are right back into the problematic of Leninism vs. Western Marxism, which maybe where we started, but the contradictions of which we do not appear to know how to transcend.

 

Fred
the sickness nightmare

The only way in which the proletariat is sick, is that it is accepting capitalist society and its imposed austerity and not resisting.  

The really psychologically sick class is the bourgeoisie. This class has an active psychological sickness the result of its failing  relations of production that manifests themselves in the general decomposition of society - witness the cancerous growth of religious fanaticism, bourgeois factional wars  that have no solution as in Syria and Ukraine, the impasse of any economic development for the betterment of society, the growth of armaments, the spread of misery and stultification, uncontrollable environmental decay  and an overall ruling nihilism - the poisoned fruit of capitalism's incapability to provide a worthwhile future for mankind. 

All this, specially the nihilism which instills the notion that nothing can be done by anyone about anything,  takes its toll on workers too. Workers are the main victims of the generalised  decay at this present time, and are cowed by it. The "decay" is so omnipresent that it terrifies the class while being taken for granted. It's the elephant in the room. 

The proletariat's active consciousness is woefully dragging behind its material circumstances, as jk hinted. It's unconsciousness however is reeling under the blows administered by the ruling class; which class, in its frantic and  deranged condition finds no economic solution anywhere to its problems, because there is no acceptable solution to be found. But this ineffective and cowardly class cannot admit to its failings and its murderous incapability and only sink further into insanity and despair.

Has such a situation like this ever existed in history before? Surely not. Historically, the newly emerging class, and bearer of the new society, has taken a gradual control over the old and dying society, replacing it slowly and only  seizing political power  when it felt strong and confident enough to do so.  

For the working class however, this is not an option. We can make no preparatory gains within this stinking morass of decaying capitalism. Only when we allow our consciousness of what is happening in society to come to the fore and speak out loud and clear will we have any opportunity of presenting our own magnificent communist solution to the seemingly hopeless world entanglement;  the product of capital's failure and its impotence before the horrors it has unleashed. 

The Second World War was the nightmare of the 20th century.  But we are living through another nightmare now. The nightmare of the early 21st century is that the working glass will not wake up, will not snap out of the nightmarish circumstances of capitalism's decaying demise.  But we are not dead yet, and  all nightmares have an end when we wake up.   Surely we must be waking up soon? 

LBird
Back to 'the material' and Lenin, or forward to Marx?

jk1921 wrote:

... if we are Marxists, don't we have to at some level suppose that the material circumstances will eventually cure the pathology? Maybe not, but if consciousness can become so divorced from material reality that the latter no longer conditions the former in any reliable way than what use is Marxism--or specifically left communism--for making sense out of the world? It seems an entirely different methodology is needed and we are right back into the problematic of Leninism vs. Western Marxism, which maybe where we started, but the contradictions of which we do not appear to know how to transcend.

Whilst 'Marxists' think that Marx said that 'material circumstances' talk to us, we're lost.

Human 'theory and practice' criticises the existing and creates the new.

Whilst we wait for 'the existing' to lead us, we won't advance.

LBird
What consciously leads? Ideas or matter?

Fred wrote:

The proletariat's active consciousness is woefully dragging behind its material circumstances, as jk hinted.

The notion that 'material circumstances' provide a lead, is not Marx's view, but Engels'.

The notion that a special minority can 'read' these 'material circumstances', is Leninism, not Marxism.

jk1921
Responsibility

Link wrote:

Cant agree with Alf that it’s a crisis of the workers movement as a whole – and certainly not based on the level of explanation that hes given.  Any crisis is the workers movement is a product of  an unexpectedly extended period of downturn in struggle. 

How is a crisis that is "a product of an unexpectedly extended period of downturn in struggle" not a "crisis of the workers movement as a whole"? In any event, I think the real question these events bring to light, is whether or not the crisis of the various organizations reflect something going on in the broader working class itself or whether they are products of a dysfunctional milieu that cannot figure out how to express the real needs of the proletariat today. There are obviously important impications depending upon how one answers this. If its the former then either we are just fucked or we are going to have to play the long game and expect a very difficult period ahead--similar to the period of counter-revolution, maybe. If its the latter then well maybe the existing organizations just need to get out of the way, because they are mucking things up and confusing the class or just not doing enough to "lead it." This does seem to be the implications of a certain tendency expressed on here to focus on getting the language right and to oppose debate to action.

Link wrote:

Its taken the ICC 4 or 5 years to discuss itself now, why don’t you feel a responsibility to the workers movements to explain things properly yet.   Why is it that you see clannishness as a problem within the icc but not a problem when the ICC as a whole behaves clannishly?

I am sure they feel the responsibility, but maybe they just don't know how to explain it yet? Maybe they have a responsibility not to attempt premature explanations that would only likely be faulty?

Link
I think the point I was

I think the point I was trying to make where jk1921 has picked me up is to question whether there is a crisis just in the ICC or in the workers movement as a whole. If there is a crisis in the workers movement  as a whole it can only be a reflection of  the global situation.  Yet frankly from the outside that it looks like the ICC  is struggling to find theoretical justifications for its  internal squabbles.  My problem is that the ICC are being so secretive whilst dropping hints about moral crises and so forth.  There is a lack of explanation and an insistence on polemics ie criticising others  which is worrying.  I think theses on morality were promised a while ago and members are frequently using the word but nothing is properly explained or analysed.   I don’t disagree with organisations clarifying positions before public discussion but, if this ‘discussion’ If it is so hard for the ICC to bring to a resolution by itself, then perhaps, after such a long period, its time to open it up to everybody – and especially if they perceive it as a problem of the workers movement and not the ICCs problem alone.  

 

I am concerned that, lacking suitable explanations, the ICC’s problems today are just that though, ie its internal problems, and I am suggesting that might actually be  a product of the organisational route it has gone down, and that this extended period of introspection is exacerbating its problems and affecting its relationship with other left communists.  Today the ICC is no longer a pole of regroupment, and it appears it is accepting this retreat

 

Further I do not accept that the concept of a communist morality.  This is bourgeois society and all behaviour is conditioned by capitalism relations, when that behaviour is supporting or opposing existing relations..  Only in a genuine communist society could we talk of communist morality and only in the actual process of building of that communist society by the working class as a whole can a communist morality be discovered.  By this, I don’t exclude the need for comradeship but I think it must be accepted at this time that it has limitations and doesn’t represent islands of communist relations

 

It is not wrong per se to change tactics, to limit meetings , limit publications, repeat old articles etc.  Just as organisations cannot bring about class struggle neither can they create large coherent organisations or false unity in  unfavourable conditions.   It is what it is and self preservation means accepting the size and fragmentation of the workers movement and just buckling down to what can be done.

mikail firtinaci
ICC must be defended

ICCs crisis is not only ICCs crisis. It develops parallel to  general world capitalist crisis with both objective and subjective ramifications:

1- Our theoretical expectations about the future of capitalism are being materialized day by day with a dizzying pace.

2- With each step of descent into capitalist brutality the so-called left is spreading more confusions with more enthusiasm and insanity. So instead of leading to an inquiry and a collective self-reflection among the politicized workers, this crisis seems to be further strengthening electoral, activist and pessimist fantasies.

ICC is the only internationally organized center (maybe with the exception of some solid anarchists and ICT) that fights against leftist confusions with a clear conviction about the liberating potentials of the proletariat.

What is extremely worrisome is the attitude towards ICC in this time of crisis. Some people show outright hostility and even joy with the sight of crisis in the ICCs. Some are treating the ICC as if it is an old dog that should be put to sleep. Many don't seem to even care. These reactions are just expressions of a pure anti-social petty bourgeois nihilism. It is the same thing that threatens the working class globally. These attitudes express a kind of spiritual ISIS devouring communist movement today. And it is essentialy based on an activist mentality, which evaluates the health of any political activity by solely looking at its readiness for some sort of violent action. Without any consideration about potitical goals, intellectual coherence or human situation, ICC is looked down on by such Nietzschean aesthets of "radical action" because it is "too much concerned with discussion etc". This reflects a sickness of the politicised proles. Proletarian disinterestedness in politics and collective solidarity, a carelessness about our collective future is reflected in the general apathy towards the ICC, which is the healthiest and most important internationally centralized communist organization. 

So, I think defending the ICC is very much a moral responsibility. Working class went through so much pains and defeats to understand itself, its future and its enemies. Now in the weakness of communists the most vile and outrageous replicas of counter-revolutionary horrors are suffusing around. Just look at Syriza or Ukrainian&Russian fascists, ISIS or PKK... all these developments are just symptoms of a general regression.

Communists have to defend the ICC in any capacity they can. Can ICC succeed in its goals? With so few numbers, scattered and demoralized, can the LCs build the future World Communist Party in time? I think these are only secondary questions and perhaps even insignificant ones. We need to be a bit Hegelian on this point, because in some historical struggles only by entering the fight we can develop healthy guesses on the outcome of the struggle.

_mel
communists have no obligation

communists have no obligation to defend organizations which have become stagnant, monolithic and conservative. what is demoralizing is the quixotic, promethean ranting of the ICC. it has become an organization which barely has influence over its own militants much less workers, who are victims of the false consciousness of the bourgeoisie. a centralized organization with the same structure and functioning of a failed communist party simply does not meet the demands of the task of cultivating class consciousness today. especially when it seems to be at such critically low levels. what happens when you overfeed a young seedling plant? it dies. the rigid approach of the ICC and the overbearing approach and influence of certain members is making it impossible for them to “pass the torch”, yet who they blame? the lack of “serious” or “mature” elements among the youth today. the ICC will have nothing to do with a future party if they keep up there ways. except maybe besides the participation of many of its ex members. nowhere is it written that the failure of the ICC is the failure of left communism or even the whole working class. we need a federated network of all left communists and internationalist anarchists in order to reconcile the independence and fragile initiative of all the fledgling individuals, groups and tendencies which are in need of cultivation in this period.

Link
Thank you Mikhail for that

Thank you Mikhail for that solid restatement of the problem.

I was thinking I should not have missed off the paragraph in which I say that I need the ICC and the CWO! In analysising world events and initiating discussion on theoretical issues they take the lead and point the way forward for the working class.  In doing this they stimulate those around them to contribute and they prepare themselves and everyone else to understand what is happening in the heat of revolution.    It is because I need the ICC and the CWO, that I said what I did. 

But here again we come up against the same old conundrum.  One moment it is said that discussion is important, its your responsibility to join the discussion to contribute your viewpoint and contribute to clarification.  The next it’s a major catastrophe that you don’t agree with every word the ICC says and this must therefore mean you don’t defend the ICC against attack from the capitalist system. 

What does defend the ICC mean anyway??  Do you actual mean physically defend ICC members or its resources?  At this point in time I don’t think you do.  Do you need a place to hide, storage for leaflets, someone to write articles, come to meetings, organise meetings, argue against the leftists?  Im running a bit low on cash so im not sure about a decent computer or typewriter but tell me and ill see what I can do.  Just what is the your strategy for me for the present moment then? Oh do nothing but defend the ICC!!!  A constructive, circular argument.

Why do you say that the ICC is ‘the ONLY organised center’ then immediately contradict yourself by referring to some ‘solid anarchists and the ICT.’  Why do you not say defend those anarchists and defend the ICT.  If it’s a crisis of the working class movement then they are equally under attack too. 

There is an ICT meeting in London on the 18th ie next Saturday.  Are you going? Do you send support? How do you defend the ICT then? Do you join in with those who feel the need to settle accounts with the ICT?

For me it is not a problem that you are closer to the ICC than other organisations but discussing with other viewpoints is not an attack on the ICC.

Crisanto
"Death wish" for the ICC?

As part of the left-comunist milieu, how we react on this statement:

"To be honest the sooner the ICC dies off, the better it will be for the communist left."

Crisanto
"Death wish" for the ICC?

As part of the left-comunist milieu, how we react on this statement:

"To be honest the sooner the ICC dies off, the better it will be for the communist left."

Fred
News of our death...

internasyonalista wrote:

As part of the left-comunist milieu, how we react on this statement:

"To be honest the sooner the ICC dies off, the better it will be for the communist left."

Who said this?

Crisanto
My point

IMHO “who” is not important. My point is are there valid reasons/basis that the disappearance (“death”) of the ICC is for the good (even better) for the entire communist-left camp?

KT
Open Secrets

Link wrote:

" Its taken the ICC 4 or 5 years to discuss itself now” (#77) And “My problem is that the ICC are being so secretive whilst dropping hints about moral crises and so forth." (#90)

But what about this?

https://en.internationalism.org/icconline/201503/12359/21st-congress-revolution-internationale-painful-salutary-crisis-future-revolualso 

It's been up on the site front page of this site for over a month and also in the current print and electronic editions of WR. 

Or this, posted last September:

https://en.internationalism.org/internationalreview/201409/10330/news-our-death-greatly-exaggerated

Both long articles talking at length about the development of a crisis in the ICC. How is this being "secretive."?

If you want a bit of organisational obscurantism to compare and contrast with the openness of the ICC (and also, perhaps, one element to answer the question about whether there are difficulties for other proletarian organisations), take a look at the following link from the ICT, published this month - any elucidation would be welcome:

http://www.leftcom.org/it/articles/2015-04-12/a-proposito-di-alcune-infami-calunnie

Also: why the sniping at and dissing of the ICC’s attempts to understand and deepen issues of ethics and morality?  I just question the current fixation on morality and polemic that appears to have come to the fore of the ICCs concerns.(#62) As if humans haven’t grappled with such issues since pre-history (taboos and such like); well before the ancient Greeks who did likewise, or even the workers’ movement through texts from Joseph Dietzgen, August Bebel, Marx and Trotsky – anyone read ‘Their Morals and Ours’ for example?

Stealing from proletarian organisations, threatening or actually exposing them to the repressive arms of the bourgeois state: if one can’t say that such activities – or the failure to expose and condemn them – is the very antithesis of proletarian solidarity and behaviour, then what exactly is it we’re fighting for tomorrow? That’s not at all the same as establishing ‘islands of communism’ in capitalism. There is indeed a proletarian morality. Just see what strikers think of those who cross their picket lines, or steal from their strike funds, for example.

Alf
defence of the ICC

I just wanted to express my support for the uncompromising and lucid posts by mikhail and KT on the necessity to defend the ICC. We are following this discussion closely and will respond in due course. 

LBird
Proletarian Morality, Power, Science and Truth

KT wrote:

There is indeed a proletarian morality.

I couldn't agree more, KT.

The problem is, 'materialists' don't think that it applies to 'matter'.

They believe that 'matter' tells us what 'it is', and so believe that 'scientific knowledge' is outside of morality.

Thus, a vote is not required for non-moral issues, like 'Truth'.

Democratic control by the proletariat of all its activites, including science, is the only 'moral' position to take on power.

MH
deja vu?

From the link in KT’s post to the ICP statement, it appears that ex-militants have been circulating slanderous accusations and gossip about ICP and its ‘prominent members’, including ‘accusations of links with forces of the bourgeois state’.

Sound familiar? With apologies for the rough translation:

 “It now seems that, after exiting our organization, for some former members an attack of denigration against the Internationalist Communist Party (and against the whole ICT) has become their main political raison d’etre, if not their life.

It is, in short, the politics of the clique that we have always despised: instead of verifying their approach in practice they prefer - in the absence of other evidence – to legitimize throwing mud on us and on our militants, giving vent to their never ending rancor and their political and human misery.

In the history of our Party this is so bad that it only finds its counterpart - in due proportion - during the Second World War, when the internationalist militants were targeted by Togliatti’s thugs, who justified their persecutory actions, including political murder, by accusing us of being "in the service of the Gestapo."

Taken at face value this is a serious development. It would confirm that, along with the very similar-sounding attacks of the ‘IGCL’ on the ICC, there is a concerted attempt by some extremely murky political forces out there to destroy the organisations of the Communist Left.

It remains to be seen whether this serious development will impel the ICP to overcome its sectarianism and publicly express its solidarity with the ICC in the name of defending the Communist Left…

baboon
Not secretive Link

I support the very positive position of Mikail above and other such positive posts.

 

KT counters the argument, the position about the ICC being "secretive" in talking about its problems. As far as I can see, the ICC has been open, robust and persistent in discussing organisational problems which has brought only further shit on its head. When it has raised the questions of organisational problems It has faced all sorts of abuse and attacks up to and including attempts to undermine and destroy the organisation, the targetiing of individual members of the ICC for decades by parasitic elements, working in some cases with state agencies and all this being part of the counter-offensive of the bourgeoisie against the working class. There's no secrecy at work here but marxist rigour. Whatever secondary issues exist in the milieu in the communist left and various proletarian elements, in my opinion they have a communist duty to support the organisations of the working class.

 

Link questions the value of "the defence of the organisation" - what does it mean he says. Well it means not attacking it with the same fundamental arguments as its attackers: its secrecy, its "clannishness"; how you have agree with every word of the ICC (monolithic); how discussion with other viewpoints are seen by the ICC as an attack on the ICC. All these positions put forward by Link are untrue and feed into the attack. The secret of the ICC is its openess, its willingness to tackle, serenely I hope, the problems confronting it. As to the ICC's supposed "monolithism", it holds regular congresses where decisions are taken by all, as well as by its delegations. Demo, a member of the ICC, is very clear on this issue of internal divergences elsewhere in a recent post. As too with contact's discussion with other groups or elements of the workers' movement being anathema to the ICC, this is the absolute opposite is the truth - the ICC positively encourages it and any honest element that's been close to the ICC will confirm this..

 

The ICT link from KT is interesting and I agree with MH on this (thanks for the translation). I think that the point it makes about the attacks on the class, and class organistion, during and after world war two is, if not in specifics, very apt for the present time. It feels that sort of period where the potential still exists within the working class but where it is very much on the ropes. The bourgeoisie will take all sorts of advantages from this. And while it's not mechanical, there is a relationship between the problems of the class and the problems of class organisation. I don't think that we have to come up with new forms of class organisation because the lessons we have are still very solid and it's not just a question of form but of content - a content that is very much lacking in the class struggle: self-organisation and extension. In the absence of this oxygen then there's all the more need to be patient and rigourous - and defend the organisations of the working class.

jk1921
Thanks Link,I am not sure I

Thanks Link,

I am not sure I agree with what you say, but that was a very clarifying and lucid post.

jk1921
Crisis

mikail firtinaci wrote:

What is extremely worrisome is the attitude towards ICC in this time of crisis. Some people show outright hostility and even joy with the sight of crisis in the ICCs. Some are treating the ICC as if it is an old dog that should be put to sleep. Many don't seem to even care. These reactions are just expressions of a pure anti-social petty bourgeois nihilism. It is the same thing that threatens the working class globally. These attitudes express a kind of spiritual ISIS devouring communist movement today. And it is essentialy based on an activist mentality, which evaluates the health of any political activity by solely looking at its readiness for some sort of violent action. Without any consideration about potitical goals, intellectual coherence or human situation, ICC is looked down on by such Nietzschean aesthets of "radical action" because it is "too much concerned with discussion etc". This reflects a sickness of the politicised proles. Proletarian disinterestedness in politics and collective solidarity, a carelessness about our collective future is reflected in the general apathy towards the ICC, which is the healthiest and most important internationally centralized communist organization. 

So, I think defending the ICC is very much a moral responsibility. Working class went through so much pains and defeats to understand itself, its future and its enemies. Now in the weakness of communists the most vile and outrageous replicas of counter-revolutionary horrors are suffusing around. Just look at Syriza or Ukrainian&Russian fascists, ISIS or PKK... all these developments are just symptoms of a general regressio

.

Mikhail is right that there is an increasing problem posed by leftists who are spewing more dangerous and aggressive ideas. Did anyone catch Zizek's recent call to send people who disagree with Syriza to a "gulag"? This is a guy who regularly spews his obscurantist cant in the pages of the Manchester Guardian.

But the problem for left communists is we need to explain why the proletariat goes in for these kinds of ideological distractions and can't seem to get past them (and others) when the material conditions suggest that they should. Pannekoek and Gorter had an explanation for why the post World War One revolutionary wave failed in Western Europe--the weight of bourgeois democratic ideology that caused the proletariat to waver in the face of power. Is it still the same problem today? If so, how do we ever get past it? This last economic crisis was the worst one for captialism since the Great Depression, the working class took massive hits--and continues to--and yet its response has been muted (to put it kindly) outside of a few sporadic social protest movments that appear to have been self-limiting. Its this muted reponse which is probaby what is driving the penchant for activism and nihilism among politicized minorities--perhaps even within the ICC itself? The ex-Turkish section seem prepared to suggest that workers' councils themselves may be a thing of the past. But how to explain the muted response?

As far as the crisis of the ICC is concerned, either its a reflection of the crisis of the broader class, its the probem of a bad organizational culture or its some of both. Link has proposed one way of reading it, in which it might be a problem of a particular organizational culture. I am not sure this is right, but this seems like the discussion that needs to happen. I think though that it is possible to think the ICC's organizational culture might be a problem, but still defend it. In fact, working to correct the culture --if it is problematic--might be the best way of defending it.

jk1921
Death Wish II

internasyonalista wrote:

As part of the left-comunist milieu, how we react on this statement:

"To be honest the sooner the ICC dies off, the better it will be for the communist left."

Assess it, attempt to understand where it is coming from, evalute the evidence and then either accept it or reject it. If we reject it, then "defend the ICC." There are clearly some individuals and groups who consider themselves part of the communist left who think the ICC cannot really fulfill any positive function anymore (Perhaps its really the entire Generation of '68 they reject?)--and therefore it would just be better if it got out of the way. The question is are such elements "part of a bourgeois campaign to destroy revolutionary organizatons," disgruntled people with personal grudges against the ICC, well-meaning individuals who just underestimate the role of the organization or is there any element of truth to their claims? It seems if one wanted to be critical about such things a little investigation and contextalization would be necessary before making up one's minds. Of course, from the ICC point of view, its not hard to see why people who want it to disappear are a genuine problem for the entire milieu--regardless of what they are.

 

jk1921
Correction

Leo has pointed out to me that I misread the controversy about the workers' councils vs. neighborhood assemblies issuesin the Turkish comrades text. It may be a little roughly worded in the text, but it was actually the Turkish comrades who defended the worker's councils as the essential organ against ideas raised elsewhere that neighborhood assemblies were emerging as the main organ of the current period. Sorry about that. But even if I got the sides reversed--this seems like a really important substantive issue--even if by itself it might not rise to the level of necessitating a split.

mikail firtinaci
jk, Where did you read that

jk,

Where did you read that the Turkish section  claimed the workers' councils are historical obsolete? If they did not express this on a public space how can ICC respond to that?

On a general note; it is really troubling how people are criticizing and condemning ICC as soccer fans chat about their favorite teams. This is bizarre. ICC is not a performative art group or a chocolate bar brand. It is not one of those parading group sole purpose of which is waving some flags in important occasions.

It is a real communist organization undertaking one of the hardest and painful tasks for revolutionaries. It is trying to unify and centralize the revolutionary debate. It is fighting to maintain and strengthen an internationally centralized organization. And it is trying to do that in a period when both the Italian and German left traditions are almost completely dead becoming intellectual toys for eccentric individualists or academics.

Why those "critics" of ICC do not see this? Why don't they for once try to understand the difficulties and burdens of the tasks that ICC set for itself? In my view this is the case because for them those tasks are "delusional". Taking the organizational question seriously is a joke for some. Especially since the radical left is filled with narcissistic and careerist types. ICC does not promise new age fantasies to its militants. It does not promise youth rebellion against parents either. That is why perhaps some people finding so many icc members whose hairs turned gray strange and unusual. I think this is only a proof of the seriousness, loyalty and commitment of ICC comrades' towards the cause of the world working class.

Fred
the ICC needs no defence!

jk1921 wrote:

internasyonalista wrote:

As part of the left-comunist milieu, how we react on this statement:

"To be honest the sooner the ICC dies off, the better it will be for the communist left."

Assess it, attempt to understand where it is coming from, evalute the evidence and then either accept it or reject it. If we reject it, then "defend the ICC." There are clearly some individuals and groups who consider themselves part of the communist left who think the ICC cannot really fulfill any positive function anymore (Perhaps its really the entire Generation of '68 they reject?)--and therefore it would just be better if it got out of the way. The question is are such elements "part of a bourgeois campaign to destroy revolutionary organizatons," disgruntled people with personal grudges against the ICC, well-meaning individuals who just underestimate the role of the organization or is there any element of truth to their claims? It seems if one wanted to be critical about such things a little investigation and contextalization would be necessary before making up one's minds. Of course, from the ICC point of view, its not hard to see why people who want it to disappear are a genuine problem for the entire milieu--regardless of what they are.

 

r

"The sooner the ICC dies off..." could of course be a joke, somebody quoting somebody else, or could even be internasyonalista being provocative.  That's why I asked where it came from. Without context it doesn't mean much. But we know that lots of people think like that about the communist left, that it should piss off and die,  and have said things like it for instance on that  great centre of communist thought called libcom.  Incidentally I notice that Jamal has  wasted no time in setting himself up on libcom and comes across now as someone who has always had serious doubts about the ICC and who will now fit in well with the very wide communist borders of libcom's "liberated" communism such as is easily able to accommodate bourgeois thought.  It astonishes me the speed with which some comrades who fall out with the ICC quickly transmute into its vicious detractors. Which I wonder is their authentic self? The one they put up while posting on this site or the one they quickly reveal when feeling let down, and rejected by the ICC? Maybe they dont know the answer themselves?  It's like a political schizophrenia 

I share jk's puzzlement about what's happening in the milieu, and Link's too. When Link talks about the lack of clarity in articles  by the ICC describing its death, or the latest underhanded attack on it from some former  insider, contrary to what baboon and KT find in these statements (a satisfying clarity) I find only more and  more confusing mysteries.  My usual conclusion is that the confusion is probably my own, or put there deliberately to bewilder conspiring snoopers. 

Finally, when jk says that people who want the communist left to disappear must be a problem for the whole milieu, surely this is nothing new and must go back to the Communist League.  The bourgeoisie must always have longed for the disappearance of its communist critics  - and even arranged a few such "disappearances" itself - and the milieu must always have been aware of this.  Look at the trouble Marx and Engels took to save the First International from the marauding Bakunin and his anarchist  confusionists. 

I doubt the ICC fears its critics and their threats all that much.  Surely it feels proud and confident?  Of course there's a campaign by the bourgeoisie to harass and undermine the communist left.  If there wasnt it would mean the communist left really was a meaningless nonentity. That it isn't, despite everything, is what the fifty shades of grey and stinking bourgeois trouble makers hate most. 

 

Demogorgon
I note as well that Jamal is

I note as well that Jamal is now effectively accusing the ICC (and myself personally it seems) of deleting posts for political reasons. This from someone who deletes his own posts and then runs off to another forum to spread slander and disinformation.

Pierre
So–now I'm schizophrenic.

Demogorgon, I know for a fact the "spam filter" is filtering political posts and would be happy to expose this fact if you really want to take it there.

I deleted my own posts and requested the deletion of all my posts and my account in protest to it being used by the ICC. Having never actually been in the ICC, I'm in a unique position of not being able to leave it and write a statement called "Why I left the ICC."

And also now I'm schizophrenic. Fred, don't let your mouth write "cheques" your ass can't deposit. Stop with the potshots and address the issues. Obviously, libcom sucks, you know this, I've stated before I hate using it for so many different reasons. But at least they are allowing and not censoring posts from people who disagree with the ICC.

I have always had doubts about the ICC. As if you haven't!

Why do you make it sound like some sinister plot? Ana, Joe, Jerry, Jan, Eduardo, Lars, Colin, Leo, etc, etc. (almost none of whom participate in these discussions) all knew this. When have I ever hidden my disagreements on these forums, in public meetings, during integration discussions, or anywhere else?

What I didn't always have was the strong theorertical foundation. Once I gained this and started voicing my criticisms with real potency, I also started gaining an understanding of how I was manipulated by elements and individuals within the ICC as they tried to bring me into the organization, and the disposed of when the organinzation had a change of course. The statement from the Turkish ex-comrades made this crystal clear. I've been talking to the Turkish comrades since before the document was released. I'm not an ICC, I have no obligation to abide by it's statutes. I never agreeed with them, in fact I disagreed with them. What's the problem with my orientation?

If I had to guess I'd say it was the "expansionists" who financed my trips and brought me in to discussion with the ICC, and it was the "conservatives" who sent me IR 29, 33, and the statutes, and then severed ties when there were serious disagreements with those documents on my part.

The fact my integration with the ICC fell apart after well over a year of discussion (and homework to prepare) should have told you something.

The false dichotomy of whether I'm an "authentic" communist or not is troubling and makes me extremely angry and upset. Jk1921 has made essentially the same implication in his post above. Why is it that every young comrade, or every comrade who disagrees with the ICC on specific issues, is suddenly non-authentic? But Link and Mikail who rush to assert their committment and respect for the ICC in between every fleeting moment of space in the discussion are somehow more "authentic"?

Crisanto
The context

""The sooner the ICC dies off..." could of course be a joke, somebody quoting somebody else, or could even be internasyonalista being provocative.  That's why I asked where it came from. Without context it doesn't mean much." - Fred

As I said before, for me "who said that?" is not important but the essence of what he/she is saying. But since there are comrades here that they think knowing who said could help them understand the context of what they said, I will post here the long discussion in Facebook where the quote came from. I make the comments in bold letters that I think related to my question above how a communist-left militant or symphatizer react to the comment that the disappearance of ICC is good for the communist-left camp.

And I hope reading the whole discussion in Facebook could make the comrades judge critically if Devrim is just joking or serious, or if he has valid reasons to said those words.

Again, let us not look to whose talking but the essence of of the statement. Despite some fundamental differences of principles or oragnizational functioning with the ICC, my question is does a communist militant or symphatizer has valid reasons to say that the sooner the ICC disappear the better for the communist-left milieu?

And I would like to make it clear that my questions are serious questions not a provocation because I did not invented those words. 

The discussion in Facebook came up when one of the Facebook users posted the short reply of the ICC on the resignation of the whole Turkish section. Here is the link in Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/213059232216048/

Below is the discussion (not complete):

Devrim Valerian: It comes across as kind of creepy. The people who have left don't want anything at all to do with their former organisation, yet they are still 'insisting' they remain in discussion with them.

Rafa Rakov: ''The people who have left don't want anything at all to do with their former organisation''

Well I don't think that's the way a group of communists should act, exposing a critique <<after>> leaving the organisation and responding to serious and patient discussion invitation (towards the resolution of that critiques) with a ''we don't want to say or hear nothing more about it''. Should we blindly believe your critiques and assume you did nothing wrong, then?

Don't have time to go on a discussion myself now, but I don't find how ''creepy'' this could be at all.

Devrim Valerian: I don't understand what you don't think communists shouldn't behave like. Do you think people shouldn't be able to leave organisations? Do you think that they shouldn't be able to comment on it afterwards? Do you think that they are somehow morally obliged to continue a discussion with the organisation they have just left?

I've heard some of the comrades talking about their time in the ICC, and it sounds like particularly the last year was terribly psychologically stressful. To be honest when I first heard about what had happened, I couldn't believe how bad it was. 

Are these people somehow obliged to maintain communication with the ICC even when they want nothing to do with them?

Rafa Rakov: ''Do you think people shouldn't be able to leave organisations?''

I never said that.

''Are these people somehow obliged to maintain communication with the ICC even when they want nothing to do with them?''

And never said this either. Because it's not a matter of maintaning communication at all costs. But for communists, I think it's an obligation to establish a serious and patient discussion about those organisational problems, above all and especially when it comes to a split, and try to draw the appropiate lessons from that situation, Releasing your critiques after leaving the organisation, keeping away from any kind of discussion or treatment of those critiques, is the same as wanting everybody to assume those critiques as inevitably true and correct, no matter what the other part has to say.

I think historical revolutionaries as Rosa Luxemburg, Lenin and the same 20's left fractions of the Comintern were clear about this issue and let us that essential lesson: never abstain from fighting inside an organisation, never leaving the ''organisational battlefield'' if there's the slightest possibility of straighten it and fighting something you think must be fought.

Devrim Valerian: But I think that people think there is nothing worth fighting for in the ICC. If that is the conclusion that people come to, it would be absurd for them to continue to fight. 

I'm sure that they had discussion enough while they were still in the organisation. I can completely understand that they don't won't to continue a dialogue with the ICC after leaving. What is wrong with that?

Rafa Rakov: ''I'm sure that they had discussion enough while they were still in the organisation''

Curiously, one of the main critiques I read in the palebluejadal text is that the ICC was ''drowning'' any discussion attempt (what I think it was in fact that there was another issues going on that were impeding a patient treatment of those differences).

I'd understand that turkish comrades didn't want to discuss with the ICC anymore after leaving it if previously to that leaving there'd been, again, a serious and patient discussion about the differences that they had encountered with the organisation. But they wrote the critique <<after>> doing it, and they did not want to fight around those positions inside the organisation.

There's nothing ''wrong'' with leaving an organisation, if those differences are wide enough to do it. But as I said, I think that this situation is not like that (there are the arguments from I base this perception of mine), and that such way of acting is not in line with the communist left tradition.

Devrim Valerian: You think that this situation was not like that. What do you base that on? Have you talked to any of the people involved?

As I understand it, and I have talked to people involved, there were discussions over a period of about a year leading up to them leaving. The statement is a public statement to explain what they did after leaving. I think that they stayed a lot longer than they should have. I left much earlier. I decided that there was nothing worth fighting for in the ICC. These people seem to have now decided the same thing.

Rafa Rakov: I don't think this situation is like that because the differences expressed in the palebluejadal text could have been perfectly treated. I have not talked to any people involved from the turkish section (only with spanish ICC militants that have been involved in the situation), but I read the text, twice. And the main critique I derived from it is that the ICC was ''drowning'' (if I remember correctly, a term that is literally used in the text) the possibilities of discussion because of internal issues (the ''expansionist and conservative fractions'' etc). Maybe my perception is wrong because of my bad English comprehension. Maybe.

''The statement is a public statement to explain what they did after leaving''

Yeah, I know, and don't know what that has to be with the question we debate about. I'm criticizing, actually (amongst other things) that they published their critiques after leaving the organisation and discussing inside it ESPECIFICALLY about them. 

Anyway I think this is going in circles, pretty much. I'll wait for the ICC's long response, that I think probably will be based in if there were enough possibilities and offerings from the organisation to widely discuss about those differences or not, and how the turkish militants reacted to them. And I suppose they'll talk about the section's formation itself, that from what I know, it was a bit precipitate.

Devrim Valerian: Ok, I don't understand your criticism. Why shouldn't they have published after? Should they have remained silent? I know they wrote various texts when they were in that we're not discussed and ignored by the ICC. Are you saying that they should have wrote a public text when they were in?

Rafa Rakov: ''Are you saying that they should have wrote a public text when they were in?''

Exactly, and firmly demand a serious and long discussion about those questions if the organisation did not offer that opportunity (that is not what the spanish ICC militant I talked with told me). And, again, if I remember correctly, Leo Ferec told me here that their texts were in fact published by the organisation, but that the organisation postponed several times the treatment of the political differences (or something like that).

Rafa Rakov: Anyway, I reassert my last statement. It seems we see these things quite differently after all.

Devrim Valerian: Yes, I think this would have been a good idea. The ICC would have gone crazy if they had done it. 

The ICC always says that things should be discussed internally first. The people who were the Turkish section went along with this. 

This goes down to the small details. Opening the discussion out to other revolutionaries is not acceptable for them.

Rafa Rakov: ''Opening the discussion out to other revolutionaries is not acceptable for them.''

Don't know why you say that, when ICC is actually the only leftcom organisation that publish great amounts of material about its internal problems, crises and organisational struggles (that can be checked out in its web and International Reviews). In fact, that way of treating internal problems earned them several ICT critiques, an organisation that if I am correctly informed, do not publish almost any kind of discussion about its internal problems and discussions about organisational questions. I don't see how ''discussing internally first'' and discussing first with people directly involved in the situation is in contradiction with that. I am not an ICC militant, and I have already discussed with ICC militants and with turkish comrades about this.

But however... don't gonna get this ball rolling much more. This could be, as you say, a question of 'small details', or something much more profound, in what it relates to organisational principles and basic political positions (as I actually think it is).

Devrim Valerian: They write great amounts about their internal discussions after the people in question have left. It is a way of attacking people who used to be members of their organisation, which is something they spend a great deal of time doing. It is not a way for minorities within the organisation to voice criticisms.

Devrim Valerian: I don't think this is a question of 'small details'. I think the is one big detail. The ICC has nothing positive to offer.

Rafa Rakov: Ok then. 

And a last thing: does for you makes sense that you say ''Opening the discussion out to other revolutionaries is not acceptable for them [the ICC]'', and when I prove that such a critique is false (something demonstrated in the amount of material the ICC actually publishes about those questions) you then say that ''It is a way of attacking people who used to be members of their organisation'' (something I don't think at all after reading several articles like those I talk about)?

It doesn't make sense for me, and actually seems you look for any reason to say ''the ICC has nothing positive to offer'' whatever it does. If it publishes about those questions, it's because ICC loves to attack ex-militants. If the ICC doesn't publish about those questions when those questions are currently being discussed, it's because the ICC does not want any other communist to talk and discuss about it. Pretty contradictory.

Devrim Valerian: The ICC virtually never opens out discussions within their own organisation. The only time I can remember this happening was a discussion on the period of reconstruction after world war 2. 

They don't open out the discussions within their organisation whilst they are still going on. When these discussions are finished, (and.people have left) they denounce them. 

They virtually never open out discussions though.

Rafa Rakov: That's not the reading I got from the ICC militants behaviour I've met and the contact I've made with the organisation, since I am able to discuss with them about this sort of things whenever I want, while I am nothing more than a sympathiser. 

But well, almost nothing more to say. If some other comrade got the time and want to give his opinion about this, it'd be good.

Devrim Valerian: Ask them I this question then how would they have reacted you the Turkish section had published a text discussing the internal discussions in the ICC and publicly criticised the organisation.

Devrim Valerian: Also ask them if apart from the post war reconstruction but I mentioned if this has ever happened before.

Rafa Rakov: I'll do it. And I'd suggest you to do the same, I'm sure you know how to contact them and that they'd be pleased to discuss about it.

Leo Ferec: A few points of clarification seem to be necessary.

First of all, we did not make criticisms of the ICC only after we left it. As it is made quite clear in our text that we've been criticizing certain the policies of the ICC internally for a long time, and were increasingly critical of the new orientation from the beginning. In fact, our text goes on to detail what these criticisms were. What we didn't do was to criticize the ICC publically when we were still members and no matter what they say about it now, the ICC leadership would have been outraged to a degree which can't be explained by mere words, given how outraged some of them were at some of our texts and their publication in the internal bullettins.

The world does not revolve around the ICC. The ICC is not the party, it is a single, tiny organization and treating it as if it was a party like Lenin's or Luxemburg's is quite misleading. Since several of our positions evolved outside the framework of the ICC's core theory as a result of all these events, we had to say enough is enough and move on: the other end of the stick would be remaining in a tiny organization which in our opinion had little chance of making a positive contribution, engaging in one futile pseudo-debate after another for years if not decades - our entire lives even - without actually attempting to do what we think should be done politically instead.

We have actually explained quite clearly to the ICC that the reason we don't want to engage in a discussion with them is because we have other priorities, namely the theoretical questions we feel the need to examine and discuss. Besides, given the unshakeable faith the current dominant tendency in the ICC has in its correctness in every possible situation and the overwhelming culture of agreement in the organization, we think engaging in such a process under these circumstances would be futile and destructive. The reason we decided against participating in the coming ICC congress was that it would be too soon after having left just recently in addition to the above reasons.

Devrim Valerian: I don't need to ask them, Rafa. I'm an ex-member. I know how it works. I know that our section was once sent a letter reprimanding me because I'd disagreed on the 'party line' on Panekoek's position on Darwinism.

I certainly won't be contacting them. A I said, I think they have nothing to offer at all, and I also think they have a negative influence on the communist left.

Rafa Rakov: Ok, thanks for your intervention Leo. When I mentioned Lenin and Luxemburg it was just a political argument not related to a ''ICC is like the bolshevik party'' or something like that (don't know if you mentioned them for that). I don't know how do other ICC militants see the issue, but comrades here in Spain don't see the ICC as <<the>> party itself (not now) and even talked about the possibility of ICC's disappearance if the practical conditions'd need it.

But apart from that, nothing more to say.

Rafa Rakov: Ok Devrim, I understood you about that the first time. I didn't appointed you to simply ''ask'' them, but to retake contact with 'em and discuss about those things, but ok.

Leo Ferec: Of course the ICC officially doesn't see itself as the party, however saying members shouldn't leave it until the bitter end even if they have differences of principle is in effect treating it as if it was the party.

Devrim Valerian Why would I make contact with them? I think they are a totally negative influence. I don't think they have anything to offer at all. 

To be honest the sooner the ICC dies off, the better it will be for the communist left.

Rafa Rakov: ''To be honest the sooner the ICC dies off, the better it will be for the communist left.''

Lol, this is just... And then you go around talkin about ''the agreement culture'' that makes the ICC ''attack'' ex-militants and shit. This is simply disgusting.

If the ICC gets collapsed and dissolved, I'll tremble for the Communist Left, comrade.

Devrim Valerian: The ICC is in a slow state of falling apart. Basically they hardly recruit any new members, and the people running it, sadly on a personal level, are getting to the age when they will start to be to old and infirm to run the organisation. You can see the effects of this now. It will only increase

In my view, they had a totally negative effect on the communist left, and in the last ten years this has been mostly focused on damaging young comrades attracted to us. 

On a political level, the sooner they die off the better.

Rafa Rakov: Yeah, the effects of a negative political influence are due to the ICC leading memeber ''getting old''. Sweetastic political explanation. Nothing else to talk with you, Devrim.

Devrim Valerian That's not what I said at all. The ICC will die off because they are not recruiting ant young people and their members are all getting old. 

That is not why they have a negative political influence though, and nothing I said implies that. They have a negative political influence because of the way they operate.

Demogorgon
Put Up or Shut Up

Jamal wrote:
Demogorgon, I know for a fact the "spam filter" is filtering political posts and would be happy to expose this fact if you really want to take it there.

I deleted my own posts and requested the deletion of all my posts and my account in protest to it being used by the ICC.

Yes, let's take it there. It's no secret that occasionally political posts gets caught in the spam filter. We do our best to retrieve them when this happens, as I did on the post you link to on libcom. It also happened to Tagore a couple of times - and I personally took it upon myself to make sure the right people were informed and action taken to stop it happening to him. If necessary, I can dig out the correspondence to prove this.

That is far cry from the insinuation that we are deliberately suppressing posts for political reasons. You have absolutely no evidence for this. If you think you do, I challenge you to produce it. And I'll tell you this for nothing: if you can offer credible evidence, in public, that the ICC has willfully engaged in such a practice, I will resign from the organisation. Such a practice is utterly abhorent and I would never be a part of it and wouldn't be a part of an organisation that engaged in it.

So, bring it on, comrade.

And what the hell are you talking about, with your account being used by the ICC? Who's used your account other than you? You use your account to post on our forum. Are you accusing us of using it as some sort of sock-puppet?? What other "use" do you think we're putting it to?

Again, if you have evidence for this, I challenge you to produce it.

Or are you worried about what you've written being used against you? Well, when people post shocking screeds about how the ICC is a bunch of "old white men" and implying a conspiracy to suppress young non-whites in the organisation and beyond, then yes, it's quite possible that people may use your own words to critique your positions.

I thought you at least had the cohones to admit you might have made a mistake in your tone when you said "I've redacted my comments because they were very polemical. It was a mistake. And frankly I'm just ready to move on." (Gosh, there I go again, using your words against you!) I didn't agree with your deletion of yours posts because, believe it or not, within the ranting I thought there were actually some serious political points to be made. But, I said to myself, what's done is done and there's no point pouring fuel on the fire especially when the guy is probably embarrassed (as you should have been) by what he's written.

More fool me. Because after admitting your tone was inappropriate you appear on another forum and just ... carry on! While adding in some more accusations, no, outright slanders, for good measure. You actually think this is an honest method of critical debate? And you wonder why comrades are looking at your behaviour and wondering what has happened to you?

Pierre
Cool. Can you unblock the

Cool. Can you unblock the posts of the user called marcello jarti please? It should have been post #102 of this thread.

Re: Account being used by the ICC.

Searching elements come here looking for answers. I know I did. I don't want my name or likeness associated with the ICCs goals. There is no option to delete my account. This is not unlike a tactic Mark Zuckerberg would employ on Facebook. Again, I think it points to a fundamental misunderstanding of the web and the way data is used in this day and age.

Also why would I take the security risks of having my name and opinions on a public, Google-crawlable website for an organization that hasn't given a shit about me since Jerry died and Ana disappeared

Demogorgon
There's only one post that I

There's only one post that I can see by marcello jarti, and that's post 92 which is visible to all as far as I can see. Post 102 is baboon's. It looks like there is an additional post by marcello in the approval queue (screenshot below). I would imagine it's in there because the spam filter picks up on poor grammar, punctuation etc. Once people have made five published posts, they get autoupgraded to "forumista" which means they no longer get filtered.

So, no great conspiracy. But ... just to be sure, I've unblocked it. And, just to be absolutely sure:

marcello jarti wrote:
communists have no obligation to defend organizations which have become stagnant, monolithic and conservative. what is demoralizing is the quixotic, promethean ranting of the ICC. it has become an organization which barely has influence over its own militants much less workers, who are victims of the false consciousness of the bourgeoisie. a centralized organization with the same structure and functioning of a failed communist party simply does not meet the demands of the task of cultivating class consciousness today. especially when it seems to be at such critically low levels. what happens when you overfeed a young seedling plant? it dies. the rigid approach of the ICC and the overbearing approach and influence of certain members is making it impossible for them to “pass the torch”, yet who they blame? the lack of “serious” or “mature” elements among the youth today. the ICC will have nothing to do with a future party if they keep up there ways. except maybe besides the participation of many of its ex members. nowhere is it written that the failure of the ICC is the failure of left communism or even the whole working class. we need a federated network of all left communists and internationalist anarchists in order to reconcile the independence and fragile initiative of all the fledgling individuals, groups and tendencies which are in need of cultivation in this period.

Of course, marcello, whoever he is could have just asked us to take a look at the approval queue. Or, as you apparently knew about it but didn't tell us or anyone else could have told us, too. But, no, apparently it's easier to throw conspiracy theories around the entire internet.

 

Demogorgon
Looks like the screenshot

Looks like the screenshot didn't appear, I don't know why, but on to your other criticisms.

jamal wrote:
I don't want my name or likeness associated with the ICCs goals. There is no option to delete my account. This is not unlike a tactic Mark Zuckerberg would employ on Facebook. Again, I think it points to a fundamental misunderstanding of the web and the way data is used in this day and age.

Also why would I take the security risks of having my name and opinions on a public, Google-crawlable website for an organization that hasn't given a shit about me since Jerry died and Ana disappeared

So why did you delete the posts where you were most critical of us while leaving intact the material where you support us? I can't imagine something better designed to work against your stated ends. You would have been far better to leave your posts, where you attack us, intact.

And, apparently, you're so so worried about the "security" concerns of using your name (is Jamal your real name?? And you're using it on the internet?? On a political forum?? And we don't understand how the web works??) that you're using the same name to post on libcom after all the problems with their defence of academics advising security services, to the point that people have taken to calling it "libcop"???

Stop playing the victim. My political opinions have changed over time. You can look back on libcom and see me defending positions that I no longer defend now (especially on economics where I got pulverised by Mikus many years ago). No doubt my political positions will change in the future and I'll be downright embarrassed by what I've produced in the past couple of years. So what?

I have the courage to stand by what I wrote and take responsibility for my mistakes.

And if you're worried about the cops, well ... stop being a communist.

Demogorgon
Jamal is back

And, it seems, so worried that you're back to using your name here again, and have started posting revolutionary tunes again?

 

LBird
Political suppression?

Demogorgon wrote:

That is far cry from the insinuation that we are deliberately suppressing posts for political reasons. You have absolutely no evidence for this.

I'd just like to support what Demo has said, from my own experience.

Most of my posts have been completely critical of the entire philosophical and political basis of the ICC, and yet I haven't been banned or suppressed.

Unlike LibCom, which banned me, and the SPGB, which has suspended me twice (the first time was, apparently, a mistake).

Just my ten pence worth, of 'critical' support.

Link
In responding to Mikhail

In responding to Mikhail comments earlier I said I need the ICC and gave some reasons why.  I made the point that I was concerning about the direction the ICC is going in and in particular don’t understand the current phase of introspection.

Baboon has drawn  together some of my criticisms and put them in his own rather unfortunate context.   If he is criticising me for joining the attack on the ICC, then he must also be saying the same of the Turkish comrades as he lists items that I was responding to in their text too. I note MH took a different view in that respect.

“Link questions the value of "the defence of the organisation" - what does it mean he says. Well it means not attacking it with the same fundamental arguments as its attackers: its secrecy, its "clannishness"; how you have agree with every word of the ICC (monolithic); how discussion with other viewpoints are seen by the ICC as an attack on the ICC. All these positions put forward by Link are untrue and feed into the attack”

First time I have heard an explanation of what defence of a wc organization means.  Now I know, but the trouble is you have ended up by making my point because apparently I have said things that shouldn’t be said therefore I must be part of an attack.,  the phrase ‘every word’ is an exaggerated, but im quite amazed you counterposed those particular statements in this context

I have my own criticisms of the ICC which I expressed and whilst I may not count among the group of most ardent supporters,  I do not agree that makes me part of an attack on the ICC.  As I asked Mikhail when he jumped in about ‘defend the ICC’, just how do comrades show their defence of other political organizations of the working class for i am disappointed by the lack of effort on all sides to provide mutual support. 

Various comrades jumped on the use of the word secretive but I had to read back through to find where I used it.  I thought there were other things I said that were more critical and more likely to provoke a response and do not have any major commitment to the word. I am not so sure that the word secretive is wrong in the context I used it but do suggest others if you wish because I did not say the ICC is secretive.  I recognize the emphasis on discussion and clarification, congress and internal bulletins, hosting discussion on the forum but I do not think there is any doubt that the ICC is going through an internal crisis in which it has withdrawn from public interventions to a significant extent and is not commenting in any great depth on internal discussions ( apart that is from perceived attacks upon it).  I wrote that I think that it is being secretive in this period (but would be happy to replace it with ‘puzzling’ as per Fred’s contribution as its less loaded) and am concerned that this is continuing too long for its own good.

On the issue of morality, without checking back I do think I am correct to say that theses were said to be forthcoming and noted at the last day of study how various comrades brought the concept into the discussion, so I continue to wait.  Maybe I am wrong, but am have been left with the impression it is a key part of the internal discussions.  As I said I feel uncomfortable with the concept of a communist morality but KT is right to bring in the issue of class solidarity.  Anybody care to develop the issue?

baboon
Link you said about the ICC's

Link you said about the ICC's "clannishness" and this implication is generally taken to mean some sort of clique or cult even. It's a familiar accusation against the ICC and it's ironic because the ICC, going back to Lenin and 1903, has written much about the questions of clans and cliques in the workers' movement and the general lessons that they hold for organisation. And this from its own experience of a struggle for the defence of the organisation. You also said that one had to agree with everything in the ICC, implying a monolithism (another question that the ICC has applied the marxist method to) or an intolerance of dissenting positions. Again, this is a familiar attack on the ICC from those, amongst others, whose positions have been rejected by the majority of the organisation. The ICC is not perfect of course and we are all blundering along somewhat but, without being complacent, it is not clannic nor monolithic.

Nor does it discourage its contacts from reading other viewpoints, the ICC seeing this, as you say, as an attack on the ICC. This is not true Link.

Pierre
Demo–I'm most of all worried

Demo–I'm most of all worried searching elements will come here and be unable to trace the steps of our debates, and will get the idea I support the ICC.

For example, I didn't know which of the posters here were ICC militants (all, I'd assumed) and which not until not too long ago, I didn't realize Devrim wasn't in the ICC until like two years after he left, etc. etc.

Internasyonalista, if it's ok with you I'd like to respond to your comments here:

An Open Discussion on the ICC and Current Issues

Can you repose the questions there please?

I think I've extended my welcome here. Sorry you guys got so mad I called you old and white. Peace.

Fred
To be honest...!

Thank you internasionalista for posting that long extract above from Facebook. 

Facebook wrote:
 Devrim Valerian Why would I make contact with them? I think they are a totally negative influence. I don't think they have anything to offer at all. 

To be honest the sooner the ICC dies off, the better it will be for the communist left.

Rafa Rakov: ''To be honest the sooner the ICC dies off, the better it will be for the communist left.''

Lol, this is just... And then you go around talkin about ''the agreement culture'' that makes the ICC ''attack'' ex-militants and shit. This is simply disgusting.

If the ICC gets collapsed and dissolved, I'll tremble for the Communist Left, comrade.

 

Let me begin by expressing my solidarity with Rafa Rakov in his unbelief at what Devrim  says, and his trembling for the Communist Left. 

To go off on a tangent now though.  I think that what we are seeing here in Devrim and Jamal and others before them,  is the disappointment and frustration of Romantic Idealism confronted by faults - real or imagined - in "the beloved". The Beloved in this case being the Communist  Left in the form of the ICC. Idealists identify themselves closely with that which they choose to  embrace and commit themselves too,  which can include  politics.  Their self-respect, self-love and self-esteem is closely linked to the beloved object to which  they have committed continuing to behave  in expected ways that support the idealism underpinning the relationship. 

Disappointment, for whatever reason, can result in the rejection, the hatred and even a  longing for the death of the formerly idealised object of love - a love which includes  respect, admiration and devotion -  because it has proven only human, and fallible and  a shattering individualised disappointment.

 There's nothing more tragic than idealism thwarted. It is the basic underpinning for much of the bourgeoisie's artistic outpourings. It is the very subject of endless operas, romantic poetry and novels.

Oscar Wilde said: each man kills the  thing he loves. Perhaps more accurately he should have said:each man wants to kill the thing he used to love,  because in becoming no longer acceptably  lovable the object instead turns into an insult and an ongoing injury to offended pride and self-esteem and transmutes  into something hateful. 

Bourgeois romantic idealism which ruled the 19th century is being tumbled off its  perch in decomposition and austerity.  But the emotional immaturity associated with it is much more difficult to rid ourselves of. For communists, and for the proletariat however,  emotional immaturity - the bourgeois emotionally immature response to life, where money and cheap success are the main motivating factors at play - is not satisfactory and must be thrown off.

For the proletariat the  self, or the ego, has to be understood in a new and more elaborated form.  We will not be so sensitive to the insult (imagined or otherwise) the perceived rejection, the criticism, the flattering remark and so on.  These are limiting bourgeois responses in the dying bourgeois world.  Instead,  we communists have comradeship and  solidarity, consciousness to replace foolish ideology, a  passion for learning from each other and helping each other understand the world,  a belief in a future fully communist world where a maturing society works together for the common good, leaving bourgeois petty individualism behind  as a curious relic. 

In contributing to this point of view and its further  emergence in a new society, left communism and the ICC are far from being a totally negative influence as some would hopefully insist, and the cessation of its existence would benefit no one at all. 

MH
Fred I think your insight is

Fred I think your insight is fascinating in that there is definitely a psychological dimension to the current situation, under the immense pressure exerted by capitalist decomposition, and you’ve helped to put it in a broader framework.

This is not my area so I don’t feel able to add anything, but I definitely sense an atmosphere of hysteria at the moment, apparent in this forum? It’s not so surprising on one level, but still disturbing.

I’m also staggered by the casualness with which Devrim et al wish the ICC’s death, and with it - like a child perhaps, rejecting its parents - reject the struggle of all those who came before, like Luxemburg et al, who fought to the last to save the organisations created by the proletariat. Do these people really believe, in the face of all the evidence of capitalist decomposition, that the death of the ICC is merely a necessary ‘clearing of the decks’ for creating new organisations? Will it be easier or harder, without the ICC? Seriously?

And now those who claim to see the ICT as a more healthy alternative must reflect on the appearance of exactly the same attacks on the PCInt as the ICC has faced with the ‘IGCL’ (see above) … If ever there was a need for solidarity with the organisations of the Communist Left it is now.  

 

KT
Councillism

Agree with MH's observations.The 'casualness' in regard to revolutionary organisations reminds me the ICC once warned that councillism, the under-estimation of the role of revolutionaries - and concessions to it such as localism, federalism and the idea that every group or opinion should be placed on the same level, etc - was a much greater danger to the proletarian milieu than 'substitutionism' or a megolomania regarding the role of revolutionaries.

None of us can be 'casual' when militants walk away from revolutionary organisations for reasons that to many of us appear superficial and, more importantly, without an apparent game plan for the future. It's necessary to react.

However, there is, as the ICC's own texts on its own crisis have noted, an often immeditaist and superficial tendency towards seeking someone or something to blame: to hunt for a scapegoat. The headless chicken approach has been well illustrated by some elements on this thread, IMO.

In many contributions to this discussion (some of them now, self-censored) it's the ICC itself that is to blame. It can't attract or 'hang on to' young militants who, for their part, think they have just as much to teach the organisation as it has to impart to them. Or perhaps, as Link suggests, it's not organised right - maybe the ICT's 'federal model' could be better.

WeIl I'm sure that the ICC's own internal weaknesses (they really are rather well documented in the current report on the Congress of the French section, IMO) have contributed to the exhaustion and departure of comrades: activism; neglect of theoretical work; routinism, etc, as well as the all-pervasive pressure of being 'against the stream', of belonging to and maintaining an alien object in bourgeois society. 

But I also think the Current's recognition of and reaction to these realities - including a determined attempt to strengthen the theoretical, historical, political dimension of its work as well as a reduction for the moment of some of its external activities - is the correct one from a historical perspective. 40 years of the first, the only group of revolutionaries organised at a centralised, international level is not something to casually discard. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alf
There have been so many

There have been so many developments on this thread over the last few days that it is difficult to know where to begin. I welcome LBird’s testimony against accusations that we ‘censor’ contributions and Fred’s insights into the bitterness that often grips those who become ‘disappointed ’with the ICC, as well as the important information supplied by MH on the recent attacks on the ICT. But since we are trying to avoid simply reacting to each post as it comes in, I want to go back to Link’s response (no.93) to Mikhail’s post insisting on the need for communists to defend the ICC. Link wrote:   “What does defend the ICC mean anyway??  Do you actual mean physically defend ICC members or its resources?  At this point in time I don’t think you do.  Do you need a place to hide, storage for leaflets, someone to write articles, come to meetings, organise meetings, argue against the leftists?  Im running a bit low on cash so im not sure about a decent computer or typewriter but tell me and ill see what I can do.  Just what is the your strategy for me for the present moment then? Oh do nothing but defend the ICC!!!  A constructive, circular argument”.  Defending the revolutionary organisation is always a political and moral defence, but it can also be a physical one. In 1981, it meant recognising the ICC’s right and duty to physically recuperate material stolen from it by a ‘tendency’ manipulated by a suspicious element, Chenier. The ICC acted in this manner not only to recover typewriters and other material needed for its work but also to demonstrate in practice its commitment to the principle that there can be no theft in the workers’ movement.   Unfortunately, a number of members of the ICC in Britain – not to mention the majority of the “libertarian” milieu then and since – sided with the thieves and portrayed the ICC as the real thugs. In the case of the members who went on to form the Communist Bulletin Group they even threatened to call the police to “defend” them from the ICC. Others – and this includes yourself Link– fled from political life for many years, shocked perhaps that communist militancy involves a permanent struggle against the penetration of alien ideologies and practices inside the organisation itself.  This is an issue that is no less relevant today than it was in 1981.    

 

 

KT
Acknowledgements and arguments

Preamble: I was writing this as Alf’s post [above] appeared. Curiously, it seems to cover the same ground though we haven’t communicated in weeks ... Of course, Alf’s said in a para what it takes KT to pompously write in 20 or more...

First to L Bird, for acknowledging that, in his experience, the ICC doesn’t suppress or censor political debate on this site, even with comrades who disagree radically with the organisation. Needed to be said when mud’s being slung. Bravo. I’m sure we’ll be back in disagreement over revolutionaries, youth and consciousness very soon....

Secondly, while we don’t yet know the political issues (rather than the personalisation) around the ICT’s troubles, to echo MH’s call for solidarity with the organisation – not to gloat or profit from any troubles it may be experiencing but to understand them, go to the roots, so we can all benefit.

Third: to acknowledge that JK 1920 has raised (as usual!) some pretty substantive issues (posts #82 and #85) which to my knowledge have yet to be addressed and ...

Finally, to Link for sticking his head above the parapet and speaking from the heart. Takes courage and honesty.

However it was while trying to respect his call to examine the spirit of what he has been saying, rather than only the words, that the following thoughts evolved......

Link acknowledges the importance of and his debt to organisations like the ICT and ICC. Amen to that. But he feels the ICC has “taken a wrong turn”. It’s become “introspective”. It’s relying on moral arguments and polemics which are little more than a ‘settling of scores’. I think Link is being disingenuous when he denies calling the ICC secretive – I discern that’s the spirit of what he’s saying in echo, as Baboon points out, with many others – including now Jamal.

When Jamal went off on one, Link says, in essence: ‘see; that’s what happens when passionate people defend their positions’. It was left to an ICC member, Demogorgon, to tell Jamal to stop being such a prat and to cease his racist and ageist rant. Point? There was no ‘equality’, no ‘equivalence’, no ‘equal blame’ here between Jamal and the ICC: no ‘see this is what happens’ but instead a political line drawn and a position taken. Respect, then to Demogorgon, too.

Now this settling of scores stuff. If by that one means drawing the lessons, teasing out the real, underlying dynamics which hold good for large spans of time, then yes: let’s call it a settling of scores. If it means a personal, petty vendetta, a tit-for-tat, then no, that’s not what polemic means.

Link says (and on this issue Fred agrees) that the ICC spent too much time on Dr Bourrinet, the merchant who wanted his pound of flesh in return for the product  produced by grace of the revolutionary collectivity.  Maybe. It’s a matter of opinion. It’s not my opinion. But what’s really at issue here is the role of polemic in general, of standing up for one’s beliefs and those of the organisation one defends, inside it or outside it (while acknowledging the difference).

This disdain for a ‘settling of scores’, of ‘polemic’ goes to the heart of the current crisis. While Alf (post #69) is correct to say that Link perhaps has not understood the present crisis in the ICC, the real issue is that he hasn’t understood the crisis of the early 80s after which he left the ICC.

Here’s the drawing of the political line. Here’s the ‘moral’, ‘ethical’ issue.

It’s not only the ICC and ICT to whom Link says he owes a debt. “ In fact as they have contributed on this thread, I will include ex-CBG in this too because they tried to continue active political organisation after leaving the ICC which is far more than I did.” (Link, #62)

The flaws in this argumentation are both obvious and less so. Obvious ones first. Guilt is no guide to political activity. I don’t support the ICC because I left it, but because, politically, I agree with it. Just because a political organisation continues activity after an individual has ceased to do so is no reason to include it in the proletarian milieu. There’s a myriad of political organisations – from fascist to Stalinist to religious offshoots – that have continued long after this or that individual has dropped away. The question is: what are they defending?

The members of the CBG – then members of the ICC - certainly didn’t defend the organisation when it was rent by dissension in the early 80s; they didn’t defend the ICC when it denounced the theft of its material by ‘dissenters’; they threatened to call the police should the ICC care to recover the material stolen from it. They denounced the ICC for recovering its material when the ICC made the perfectly correct point that you don’t just treat a revolutionary organisation as some petty-bourgeois ‘joint enterprise’.

More importantly, these ex-members of the ICC, now of the CBG, spent the next quarter of a century or so telling everybody and anybody who cared to listen that the ICC had ‘stabbed itself', that ‘this is what happens...’.

Too much information. Point: Does one support the theft of material from a revolutionary organisation? Does one support involving, or threatening to involve, the police in the revolutionary milieu? Does one spend one’s time parasitically denouncing one’s former comrades, while putting forward little schemes to improve the work of revolutionaries (like the CBG)? I won’t even go into the issue of state surveillance and infiltration (Chenier) which perhaps today might be considered a lot clearer than it was then.

Link: there’s no point in asking why issues of clannism, of theft from the organisation, of opening up to the police, keep occurring in the ICC if you yourself can’t take, have never taken, a position on such things. When I read how, in recent times, about the IFFIC (now called International Group of the Communist Left’)  split from the ICC, stealing material, denouncing the ICC, it seemed like an exact replica of the CBG – right down to printing personal details of who was fucking whom, as if that’s any interest to anybody but the police. The CGB set out the blueprint. There’s a moral, ethical and political stain on this organisation’s very being. How the individuals who were part of that organisation extricate themselves – if they have any will to – from this mess, is another matter.  But you, Link, don’t you dare put this parasitic, turncoat organisation on the same level as the ICC and ICT.

To make this polemic is not to ‘settle scores’. It’s to draw a political, ethical and moral line. It’s to say to future generations that ‘we don’t behave like this’. Now it’s your turn, Link. Introspection doesn’t have to end in madness. A life unexamined is no life at all. Anchor yourself to the proletariat, don’t be blown by the breeze.

  • ·          Permit an old man a small precision: in the ICC text on the 21st Congress of Revolution Internationale: A painful but Salutary crisis for the future of the Revolutionary Organisation’ as well as in Alf’s post above, there is reference to the thefts from the section in Britain, WR, of a typewriter. Well theft is theft, whatever is involved. The principle stands. But for clarity, it wasn’t a typewriter, it was a typesetter, one of two that were used to produce the main texts, internal and external; of the ICC in the English language – the most  important language on the planet at that time (and perhaps still today). They were in use 24-7; expensive to source; a bugger to maintain. I’d say they were the equivalent, today, not just to a main-frame computer, but to an organisation’s server, if anyone knows what that means. It really was robbing the organisation of its voice. Just saying.

 

miles
Some comments

I'm not really a poster here, more a reader but I felt compelled to say something in this thread. Sorry if I repeat things others have said and for the length of this post.

First of all I want to state my support for the ICC, the main expression today of a historical tendency which traces its origins, both its way of organising and functioning as well as its political positions and principles, back throughout the history of the workers movement (and even before this..), through all the different incarnations of groups and parties and fractions, throughout history and throughout the world, i.e. some hundreds of years.

There, it's taken me about 10 minutes of tinkering to write that sentence. Originally I just started with 'I support the ICC'.... but then I realised, actually, that's not enough to express what is really at stake here at this time.

The ICC has gone through many crises throughout its history. Peruse the articles on this site and you'll come across plenty of them giving information, some attempts at explanation, warnings to others... In fact, you could be hard pressed to not think that it is some thing which is continually in a crisis or having to deal with problems, and likes nothing better than to air them publicly.

The question is – what is the opposite of this? Serenity? A non-conflictual, continuous upward and outward expansion of the organisation, numerically and theoretically? Going from strength to strength, with proclamations about new sections and re-groupments in places as far apart as Ulan Bator and Kinshasa; a new multi ethnic nucleus in Jerusalem? No, clearly we're not at this stage (and the reasons why not can be for another thread). And so what about the future? Once this crisis has been overcome, is there no longer any other threat to worry about? I think one of the permanent dangers is to imagine there can be a 'smooth development' – in anything really.

As the ICC has constantly stressed, the political organisation of the working class is a foreign body inside capitalism. I don't think there's ever been a more apt description of something. Every form of workers political organisation ever, from the moment of its inception, has been under attack; politically, ideologically, brutally, murderously.... The attacks never stop, from the bourgeois point of view they can't do, and it's much easier to give in than it is to keep fighting against it for your whole life. Organisational problems, and all the associated issues, aren't just questions from the past, they are questions for the present and for the future. There will be future crises in workers organisations.

Every person and group brings with them contributions (in the broadest sense) to the discussion, but, inevitably also, their own fixations, prejudices, personal tensions, anger, jealousies, pet projects, frustrations, desires, dreams..... i.e. their own real history. All these factors can't be discounted nor cast aside simply due to the passage of time, by itself. I'm referring here to the often repeated call for a 'getting together' of the communist left. But at the same time the point about consciousness is, surely, that the past can be overcome, that things don't have to replay themselves in the same way.

There's also a subjective element to all this. Subjectively I know that (virtually all) the comrades of the ICC want their to be an expansion of the organisation, not just want, but know this is necessary for its continued good health. What is the reality facing them? In real terms, barely any kind of growth at all in the last 10, 15 years. Yes, some new contacts here and there, possibly a nucleus or something. These things are rare and thus precious, but in no way do they represent the actual numbers required. The 68 generation, born out of the fires of the resurgence of struggle, thought that revolution was just some years away. Decade after decade has passes and now, nearly 50 years later (47 to be exact) growing old without a younger generation to continue its work is very likely precisely the thing most feared by the 68 generation.

Does any of the above mean there's nothing to criticise in the ICC? No, not at all. There are aspects I would criticise, the seeming inability to convey the richness and diversity of internal discussion externally, for example, though I would point out that comrades of the organisation can be more harsh on themselves than those outside. There are other things also, but none of these count for a hill of beans if the organisation wasn't there in the first place. The first and overriding thing is; we must defend (in whichever way can be done, or is required) a workers organisation which has been through a profound crisis, is still dealing with the fall out from this, and is permanently living under the threat of attack.

 

shug
"it seemed like an exact

"it seemed like an exact replica of the CBG - right down to printing personal details of who was fucking whom". Jings, that's a new addition to our vilification! Once again (FFS) if anyone is interested in this 35 year old saga, the CBG archived version is at http:cbdg.bythost8.com . I'm sorry to disappoint folks looking for details of sexual shenanigans, though. But, really, isn't it time to stop raking up old shit ..

jk1921
I had it reversed.....

mikail firtinaci wrote:

jk,

Where did you read that the Turkish section  claimed the workers' councils are historical obsolete? If they did not express this on a public space how can ICC respond to that?

 

Sorry Mikhail, I misread a line in their text that seemed to suggest this, but Leo has told me that I actually got it backwards. My mistake.

jk1921
Splits?

KT wrote:

 40 years of the first, the only group of revolutionaries organised at a centralised, international level is not something to casually discard. 

KT, you are right about this. But this also assumes that those who want to discard the ICC are doing so "casually." I am sure that many would say they are not. For those who were once in the organization, I imagine they would say that they have seen its problems from the inside and have no choice but to come to the conclusions they have. The Turkish comrades suggest that they worked to correct what they saw as the negative direction with the ICC only to fail, leaving them no choice but to leave. (Granted, I don't think the ex-Turkish section members have said they think the ICC should disappear--Devrim might be a different story).

Has there ever been a split from the ICC which both sides agreed was necessary, warranted and a good idea? From the outside, this can seem like a clash of absolutes that can overwhelm one in trying to decide what is right. It can be paralyzing. What about the substantive differences regarding the workers' councils vs. neighborhood assemblies mentioned in the ex-Turkish section's text? Is this enough of a programmatic difference to warrant a split? (I think I am probably mixing up different things here, as it would be wrong at this point to assimilate the ex-Turkish comrades text with the campaigns of denigration against the ICC).

Still, I think I can see a bit of the approach that troubles many above in Alf's post when he praises a previous post as "uncompromising." One is left wondering if posts that are something less than that are in some way defective or that only uncompromised defense is valued, is all that counts, when in fact critical support may in fact be more helpful in getting to the bottom of what is wrong and strengthening the organization for the future?

jk1921
Psychoanalysis

Fred wrote:

To go off on a tangent now though.  I think that what we are seeing here in Devrim and Jamal and others before them,  is the disappointment and frustration of Romantic Idealism confronted by faults - real or imagined - in "the beloved". The Beloved in this case being the Communist  Left in the form of the ICC. Idealists identify themselves closely with that which they choose to  embrace and commit themselves too,  which can include  politics.  Their self-respect, self-love and self-esteem is closely linked to the beloved object to which  they have committed continuing to behave  in expected ways that support the idealism underpinning the relationship. 

Disappointment, for whatever reason, can result in the rejection, the hatred and even a  longing for the death of the formerly idealised object of love - a love which includes  respect, admiration and devotion -  because it has proven only human, and fallible and  a shattering individualised disappointment.

 There's nothing more tragic than idealism thwarted. It is the basic underpinning for much of the bourgeoisie's artistic outpourings. It is the very subject of endless operas, romantic poetry and novels.

Oscar Wilde said: each man kills the  thing he loves. Perhaps more accurately he should have said:each man wants to kill the thing he used to love,  because in becoming no longer acceptably  lovable the object instead turns into an insult and an ongoing injury to offended pride and self-esteem and transmutes  into something hateful. 

Bourgeois romantic idealism which ruled the 19th century is being tumbled off its  perch in decomposition and austerity.  But the emotional immaturity associated with it is much more difficult to rid ourselves of. For communists, and for the proletariat however,  emotional immaturity - the bourgeois emotionally immature response to life, where money and cheap success are the main motivating factors at play - is not satisfactory and must be thrown off.

Fred, there is real critical insight in your analysis, but I also know how frustrating and angering it can be when psychoanalytic explanations are used directly against you to marginalize what you think are principled political points. That, of course, doesn't make this kind of analysis wrong--but sometimes maybe its prudent to think about how such arguments impact real human individuals. Too often I think there is a tendency to dismiss someone's criticisms as a result of "hurt feelings." Yeah, sometimes thats true, but proving it in any given instance is next to impossible. But beyond that even, sometimes it might not be a bad tactical move in discussions to have a little anticipation about other's "feelings"? We can't always walk around on eggshells worried about upsetting the most sensitive among us, but I think it would also behoove us to try to avoid being provacative (not that you were Fred--just making a general point).

jk1921
Health?

Jamal wrote:

The false dichotomy of whether I'm an "authentic" communist or not is troubling and makes me extremely angry and upset. Jk1921 has made essentially the same implication in his post above. Why is it that every young comrade, or every comrade who disagrees with the ICC on specific issues, is suddenly non-authentic? But Link and Mikail who rush to assert their committment and respect for the ICC in between every fleeting moment of space in the discussion are somehow more "authentic"?

I am not sure where I made any such implication. In fact, one could read my post as questioning the dichotomy Jamal refers to. In fact, I was more afraid my post might be read as too permissive than the way Jamal took it. Jamal appears to be seeing shadows....

Jamal wrote:

(....) for an organization that hasn't given a shit about me since Jerry died and Ana disappeared

Now, this sentiment I can sympathize with. While I wouldn't put it the way Jamal did, I have certainly also felt like I have been abandonded by the ICC at times. But I think we have to ask ourselves if this is a result of objective/material circumstances beyond the control of the ICC or is it--as I think Link seems to sugesst--the result of a mistaken political orientation, which has unecessarily turned inward, for too long a period, to the neglect of the milieu and contacts.

This also relates to the question of whether or not the ICC's crisis is a "crisis of the proletariat as a whole" (suggested by Mikhail) or whether it is the result of a defective political orientation (Link, Marcello, etc)? If its the latter then it is not really clear to me what can be done at this stage. What political orientation--"political combat" if you want--is going to overcome the fact that the ICC's US section has collapsed and the main body of the organization is thousands of miles away on the other side of the ocean? Of course, I suppose there is no reason why it couldn't be some of both or that the material/objective circumstances of the proletariat today are indeed fueling pre-existing internal problems in the ICC. But is there really an organization that is "healthy" today? Do people really believe the ICT, or some other group, is in some healthy positive dynamic right now? It somehow has the right political orientation allowing it to rise above the "sickness" of the broader proletariat?  Are there really people who believe that? What are the real alternatives today? Are there any?

jk1921
Foreign Body?

A number of posts above have referenced the idea that the revolutionary organization is a "foreign body" within capitalism. But, if I am reading Link right,I think he sees this idea as leading to the notion that the organization can exist as some kind of "island of communism" within capitalist society, a community that operates according to different principles of "morality," "ethics" or what have you. Link has also questioned the idea that there is a "proletarian morality."

Personally, I can see both sides here (centrist right?). It very well may be the case that the revolutionary organizations are foreign bodies in capitalism in that they tend to arise as the result of a wave of class struggle that prefigures (albeit imperfectly) a different society. This wave of strugle gives rise to politicized minorities who recognize the need to form an organization and who attempt to develop a mode of functioning compatible with the suggestions of communism visible (in fits and starts) in the proletariat's struggle (solidarity, comradeship, political spirit against circle spirit, etc.). The ICC (and ICT?) were products of the wave of struggles that formed the generation of '68. In many ways, they have attempted to (imperfectly or course) reflect back the lessons of those struggles (and previous ones) in their mode of functioning.

But an organization can only exist as a foreign body within bourgeois society for so long before capitalism's immune system kicks in and attempts to destroy it. Usually, this happens when the aforementioned waves of struggle have died down and the organization is forced to exist in periods of relative social calm. These periods are inherently disorienting and have meant the death or outright recuperation of revolutionary organs into the state in previous periods. To its credit, the ICC has hung on for four decades. But it is not a "super-organization" of "super-militants". It cannot exist forever as a foreign body within capitalism, without being re-energized, recharged by additional rounds of struggle emanating from the broader working class. Without these struggles, in significant numbers, depth and extenstion, the ICC--any organization--is bound to atrophy, bound to struggle, bound to forget lessons of the past, bound to experience crises. They are as inevtiable as the sun rising in the East and setting in the West. Political combat alone can only ever stave off the inevitable so long. Opportunism will arise. People will question lessons that were previously known to be true. (The workers' councils will be replaced with neighborhood assemblies--perhaps?). How long can an organization exist as a foreign body within capitalism before it is destroyed in whatever way? I don't know. I have no idea. But the ICC itself has seemed to pose the passing of the generation of '68 as a kind of outerlimit, making the question of the "generational hand-off" so important. Was it the anxiety about the generational hand-off that led to a certain opportunisitic orientation towards searching elements in the previous years? Maybe, but the point is that asserting political combat, militant commitment and proletarian morality are only ever going to go so far. These things need to be made real, made material and concrete by the broader struggles of the class--otherwise they are just buzzwords, empty slogans that reflect nothing real. But at the same time, is it likely that exisiting organizations will ever be able to recognize their atrophy all the way? Yes, there may be some awareness, some attempt to correct the problems, but when has an organization ever agreed with its critics that its bankrupt? This is not likely to happen. They are more likely to go down in flames--screaming that their critics are the real problem.

There are some real problems with this kind of narrative. I am no convinced its right in all its aspects, but this seems to me the logical conclusion of an argument that suggests the crisis of an organization is a reflection of the crisis of the broader proletariat. In a sense, if one subscribes to this way of thinking, one could easily conclude at the end of the day that, "The proletariat gets the organizations it deserves."

And once again, I have confused myself with a post......

 

mikail firtinaci
jk, I am sorry that you felt

jk,

I am sorry that you felt abandoned by the ICC. However, considering the ICCs commitment to unification and solidarity I think this only reflects the seriousness of the problems that the organization is facing now. And in that sense this is just another further reason to show solidarity with the ICC.

Also in a very general sense, I think Fred touched upon a very important point. In my view his reference to Freudian concepts in the analysis of the general crisis in the millieu was not an attempt at a vulgar "psychologization" of ICCs critics' motives. Actually there is a serious problem in the wider LC millieu's perception of the ICC. That may sound harsh, but I am increasingly convinced that the ICC is generally condemned almost as a parent is condemned by a child seeking recognition. In most cases those who leave the ICC does not show any clear political or theoretical reasons for their departure. They usually express a frusturation with "how they are treated" by the organization - as if the ICC is a single monolithic subjectivity. However, all the crisis and debates in the ICC shows that actually the organization is extremely open to debate and challenging new ideas. Why do people who are close or ex-members express the same frusturations over and over again than?

In my view here we see a general expression of the depth of decomposition. ICCs thesis on decomposition is not only about the post-Soviet post-bipolar imperialist conditions. It is extremely important because it also ties the crisis of capitalism into the general moral collapse, weakening self-confidence and retreat from responsibility on the part of the ruling class. The development of post-structuralist and post-modernist theories reflect a similar tendency as well. In all those post-Althuserian theories about the death of the subject, it is possible to see the same denial about the human capacity to change and to create. I think ICC is right in pointing out that this "feeling" is a very material-spiritual expression of the the existing conditions and it shows that the ruling class is not confident in its ideologies, its laws and the legitimacy of its social position.

The problem is; the crisis is so deep that the same feelings are also spreading in the midst of our own class. We see the same problem in the hesitation and fears that radical occupation movements had recently. While they did not radically challenge the capitalist order in theory by declaring a classless society as their aims, in action they did this. Gezi revolt is a clear example here. Gezi was compared by many to the the Paris commune. It really was similar to 1871 because people who were there actually -in practice- challenged the state authority, cleared the Taksim square from the police (which has never happened in the history of the republic before!). They deliberately experimented with communal and completely equalitarian ways of self-organization. However, they lacked the courage to bring this into consciousness by openly naming what they were doing in practice with its name: communism. In fact, after several days of the initial success, at one point when the occupiers of Gezi park anticipated an attack by the police they started show unease about red flags, and the majority thought if all political symbols were erased from the square the occupation would be safer. This illusion that if theory is sacrificed the practice could be preserved is -in my view- the expression of a lack of self-confidence and nihilism.

In the CL millieu the same illusion is breeding and gaining ground -if not alrady fully devoiring it. Some are assuming that if the ICC dies, if the most solid organizational body of the LC movement is sacrificed, than maybe left communism can be salvaged and a more fruitful practice could be developed. This illusion is an expression of a lack of self-confidence. It shows how we feel fragile and weak to openly say what we want to do. It shows how recognition and acceptance are so powerful irrational emotions that are pushing the milllieu apart. And I think this situation emanates from the petty-bourgeoisie, which is the most fearful and narrow minded of the existing social classes.

One thing is clear: If the ICC dies all that will be left in the name of LC (with the exception of the ICT which would be the next to go after the ICC for sure) will be a bunch of obscurantist intellectualist groups whirling around anarchists and in worst cases around the leftist parties. See this recent shameful and disgusting example: http://dialectical-delinquents.com/the-minister-of-sic/

We have to struggle -as our class is struggling- against the petty-bourgeois obsession about self-impotence and nihilism that deny our strength in collectivity, the tremendous potential force we possess in unity and solidarity. So, I think the problem is not that the ICC are a bunch of old people. Under this "criticism" it is possible to see a typical bourgeois fetishism of youth and currently hegemonic culture of anxiety about age. The real problem is that the LC millieu is not mature, wise and old enough to take its responsibilities. The LC millieu should stop crying in its corner childishly - because there is no more space to retreat from our current position- and stop grumbling about the ICC. If it is for the better ICC should be changed. However the only effective way to do that is through comradely criticism, discussion and solidarity.

 

MH
mikail fertinaci wrote: The

mikail fertinaci wrote:

The LC millieu should stop crying in its corner childishly - because there is no more space to retreat from our current position- and stop grumbling about the ICC. If it is for the better ICC should be changed. However the only effective way to do that is through comradely criticism, discussion and solidarity.

Lots of excellent thoughtful (and powerful) points I agree with in the posts of mikai, jk and KT above. This in particular stood out for me as a call for us all in the CL milieu to – essentially - politically grow up and face our responsibilities. If not us, who?

 


 

Fred
Thank you for your responses

Thank you for your responses jk and Mikail.  It is truly nice to actually get one. I knew when I was writing my post above (the "psychological" one) that it wouldn't necessarily get a good reception and that I was opening myself to accusations of "psychologising" rather than  "marxising" or "historical materialising" which is more acceptable. 

But I wasn't really psychologising at all.  After all there are such things as idealistic people aren't there? There  are "heroes" and folk who want to be "heroic" and achieve something outstanding at a personal level - isn't this the stuff of most bourgeois films and stories? - and "Romantic Idealism" wasn't some small isolated artistic movement that took place in the 19th century, but has been and remains a dominant ideology of the bourgeoisie along with "Liberty"! In that sense, while idealism may be psychologically based, it's real enough, because it helps sustain the bourgeoisie as God does a religious believer. The  radical bourgeois individual, in revolutionary mode, sees himself atop the barricades, guns blazing and red flag held high.  It's romantic, self-flattering, very "active", individually satisfying and  will win  you lots of admirers. But it's old hat, out of date and  got nothing to do with communism. It's bourgeois idealism masquerading in commie  style. 

But,  as Luxemburg snd Pannekoek new well, communist class consciousness was something new and different from Romantic Idealism, being a product of actual  material reality  considered thoughtfully (peace  LBird!) and demanded a non-idealistic and non-ideological mode of thought and thus a complete break with Romanticism.    (This isn't psychologizing is it?)

Marx must have had to go through this process of rethinking everything for himself and breaking with idealism in the form of Hegel. After all he was living in the heyday of a romantic thought.  Isn't this why the Econonmic and  Philosophical manuscripts are so important? Because they show Marx breaking away from the bourgeois way of seeing and thinking and defining something new ie. Historical Materialism . Is this all psychology Jk?  Perhaps if it is we should call  it "political psychology" or just Marxism? 

I know I am not saying any of this very well.  It's really all new ideas for me and this thread has got me excited.  In fact Mikail has actually said what I want to say in his second paragraph above so I will clear off.  

Demogorgon
Psychologising

Very briefly. While I think Fred's points about the psychological movitations that drive comrades to defend certain views or behave in certain ways are valid in a general sense, I also share JKs unease about what they offer to the actual debate. This is a particular problem when this degenerates into an "argument from motivation" fallacy.

Let's assume that X hates the ICC and truly wants to see it destroyed and employs a whole series of critiques in order to do so. While the individual's hatred may be entirely irrational and their aims reprehensible this, in itself, speaks absolutely nothing to the validity of the actual arguments they employ. Just because X "hates the ICC" doesn't automatically mean he's wrong when he says the "the ICC are <insert criticism of choice>". The arguments must be dealt with on their own terrain. The question of why comrades make the arguments they do is, in many ways, a separate question.

Leaving the realms of logic for a second and taking in the human element, we should consider that comrades have expressed some very strong views that need to be taken seriously. Whatever we may think about those views and their method of expression, it is an unacceptable method of debate to imply "they're only saying that because they're angry / disappointed / etc.". It only serves to diminish those views. And, after all, they can simply reply "you're only saying that because you have a demented love for the ICC". That gets us nowhere.

LBird
What produces?

Fred wrote:

But,  as Luxemburg snd Pannekoek new well, communist class consciousness was something new and different from Romantic Idealism, being a product of actual  material reality  considered thoughtfully (peace  LBird!)...

 

Pannekoek wrote:
Hence Historical Materialism looks upon the works of science, the concepts, substances, natural Laws, and forces, although formed out of the stuff of nature, primarily as the creations of the mental Labour of man. Middle-class materialism, on the other hand, from the point of view of the scientific investigator, sees all this as an element of nature itself which has been discovered and brought to light by science. Natural scientists consider the immutable substances, matter, energy, electricity, gravity, the Law of entropy, etc., as the basic elements of the world, as the reality that has to be discovered. From the viewpoint of Historical Materialism they are products which creative mental activity forms out of the substance of natural phenomena.

An alternative to 'product of material reality': 'product of creative mental activity'. Peace, Fred!

Demogorgon
To prevent this thread

To prevent this thread becoming a uncontrollable sprawl, can I ask comrades take up questions of epistemology on another thread, please. Thanks.

webmaster
Economical with the truth....

Jamal wrote:

Demogorgon, I know for a fact the "spam filter" is filtering political posts and would be happy to expose this fact if you really want to take it there.

I deleted my own posts and requested the deletion of all my posts and my account in protest to it being used by the ICC.

Demogorgon has already answered this very robustly, but given that Jamal "knows for a fact" that this is the case, an explanation of how the anti-spam works is in order.

We use the Mollom anti-spam service (we changed from Defensio because it was letting too much garbage through). Mollom checks that new users are human beings not robots when a new account is created (this is moderately effective, we currently have about 300 spam users on our list).

Once a new user is registered, they are free to post content on the forum. Every comment posted on the forum gets automatically delivered to Mollom, which runs an analysis on it (please don't ask us how that works, its far too sophisticated!) and determines whether or not it is spam. Sometimes it's not sure whether it's spam or not and asks the poster to confirm that he/she is not a robot. But if Mollom determines that it is spam, then that is it and the post is rejected: we have no control over this. If you're interested you can see how Mollom works.

Obviously, Mollom sometimes gets over-enthusiastic and rejects as spam a post that is bona fide. To get around this, people we know and who post here regularly get accorded the exalted status of "forumista" which means that they bypass the control completely. This is partly automatic, partly a manual process when the webmaster gets notified of a new user whose posts have been bounced. This is what happened to Tagore (as DG pointed out).

This explanation should give comrades an idea how seriously they can take things that Jamal "knows for a fact".

As for deleting posts, there is a policy statement at the top of this forum which explains when and why we delete posts. We bend over backwards to avoid censorship and will only ban posts or users when they contravene the forum policy (and even then we will generally ask them to back off first). Otherwise, what is posted here is in the public domain and a matter of historical record. Let us remember that the deletion of historical record is Stalinist practice, not ours.

We do not "use" other people's user id's, whatever Jamal means by this.

jk1921
No Worries

mikail firtinaci wrote:

jk,

I am sorry that you felt abandoned by the ICC. However, considering the ICCs commitment to unification and solidarity I think this only reflects the seriousness of the problems that the organization is facing now. And in that sense this is just another further reason to show solidarity with the ICC.

Don't wory about it Mikhail, I'm long over it (maybe). But the way you phrase it reminds me of a customer service representative at the cable company trying to get rid of an annoying customer: "I'm sorry you feel you have been mistreated, BUT........." Whatever my (or anyone elses') feelings about something, it still leaves open the question of what actually happened. Was I really "abandoned" or are my feelings not appropriate to what actually occurred? The underlying question here is could things have gone another way? Could the ICC have chosen a different strategy that would have produced a different result? I have already suggested that probably not--in which case I wasn't really abandoned at all. My isolation is a reflection of a much broader and deeper crisis of the entire proletariat, which cannot be overcome through political agency. Doing so would require some kind of "super agency," which just doesn't exist.

Still, on the human level--people (communist militants included) have real feelings. I can idenitfy with Jamal's sense of abandonment. Its very palpable and perhaps not entirely unwarranted. Although his attempts to express it have clearly crossed the line and must be stood up to.

Mikhail, I think there is a lot of truth in what you say. You're analysis of what is happening in the milieu is very prescient and thorough, but I think we have to be careful not to swing the pendulm too far in the direction of minimizing potentially valid criticisms of the ICC, the broader milieu, the Generation of '68, etc. As much as we shouldn't let the anxiety and fear about the current probems drive us towards obscruantist nihilism, we also shouldn't let it lead us to the "bunker meantility" that reflexively rejects valid criticism.  We need a mix of resolve AND humilty faced with the current state of affairs--even if I don't know what the precise formula is. Confusion, lack of self-confidence and elevating doubt, skepticism and rebellion to ends in themselves isn't the way forward, but neither is self-assured certainty that ends in something like epistemic closure.

jk1921
Delete

webmaster wrote:

As for deleting posts, there is a policy statement at the top of this forum which explains when and why we delete posts. We bend over backwards to avoid censorship and will only ban posts or users when they contravene the forum policy (and even then we will generally ask them to back off first). Otherwise, what is posted here is in the public domain and a matter of historical record. Let us remember that the deletion of historical record is Stalinist practice, not ours.

What about deleting one's own posts?

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