Today I met and talked with two comrades from World Revolution. Meeting and discussing with militants of the Communist Left was a new experience for me, and I think the discussion was overwhelmingly positive.
While we were discussing, I was asked what I thought of the ICC, and if I had any particular criticisms. At the time I mentioned that some of the language and concepts the ICC uses in it's texts were not particularly helpful in terms of getting the message across.
After thinking it over, I think my main issue with the ICC is the concept of decadence.
To begin with, I'm not sure to what degree I would even say that capitalism is 'decadent', it is certainly a destructive social system, but it's always been that way. To me, the specific way in which the ICC uses this concept seems weak, and a hangover from the early days of the Communist International. But I'm still not familiar enough on the detail to make any definitive criticism.
The biggest issue is that the ICC uses this as a justification for all of it's theoretical positions, which I think is unnecessary. I think our positions can be explained better with reference to things like the continual failure of national liberation movements, the obvious empirical trend towards union integration into the state and such without using this concept.
Another point is that the Trotskyists also except that World War One saw the innauguration of the 'epoch of Imperialist decay', yet for them this doesn't lead to the positions of the Communist Left, but to their 'transitional programme' approach, where the struggle for various reformist demands is supposed to evolve into the struggle for political power. The ICC claims that the concept of decadence is essential to defending the positions it regards as class positions, but the Trotskyist groups obviously contradict this at some level.
I don't think this criticism is original, I saw the user 'maldoror' on Revleft bringing up the same point. But I think it is an important one.