18th RI Congress

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18th RI Congress
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In the article about the 18th RI Congress, the topics for discussion were listed as follows:

  • the evolution of the world economic crisis
  • its perspectives for the development of class struggle
  • the present dynamic of the ICC’s contacts
  • the link between Marxism and science.

However, the treatment the article gave to especially the third question was abbreviated and vague, and I was wondering if someone could expand on it.

On contacts in Europe and the Americas

Sorry we took so long to answer this one - basically the question raised at the Congress springs from an impression we have had that there were more people emerging and contacting us in the Americas, especially in Latin America, than we have seen in the various European countries where the ICC already has sections (you may have seen some of the articles on meetings and groups in Brazil, Ecuador, or Peru for example - notably the article on the meeting in Brazil for example).

This question actually raised two discussions: first, was it actually based on a real difference, and second, if so what could explain it?

On the first issue, there is an ongoing discussion as to whether the groups in Latin America actually represent a new development, or whether it is rather that we are discovering a phenomenon which already existed but of which we were previously unaware. Moreover, when we look more closely at our European sections we do in fact find that there is a real development of contacts of all kinds (both with individuals and with groups from other political trajectories), as they open up to questioning and debate faced with the worsening crisis. As an example of this latter the section in France has opened up a series of discussions with the internationalist CNT-AIT section in Toulouse, and this has prompted us to look again at the relationship between left communists and internationalist anarchists (we've published a series of articles on the subject in the pages of WR recently).

On the second question, we are undoubtedly confronted in Europe with a real suspicion of political organisation in general, and as the article says the Congress debated the idea that this could be due to the trauma suffered by the whole European population, especially its working class population, as a result of the experience of Stalinism and world war - but that is an ongoing debate which is far from being concluded.

I don't know if this answers the question, of course we can take up any of these points further if you wish.