What is the ICC? - Introduction

Printer-friendly version

Grouped together here are several documents elaborated by the ICC at different moments of its history: their common feature is that they aim to synthesise the programmatic positions and general perspectives of our organisation. To understand the significance of these documents, it would be useful to provide a few elements of the history of the ICC.

The ICC was founded in January 1975 by different political groups which had arisen in the wake of the historic revival of the working class at the end of the 1960s, a revival expressed in particular by the general strike in France in May 68, the 'Cordobazo' in Argentina in 69, the 'Italian hot autumn' of the same year, the strikes by the workers of the Baltic coast in Poland in the winter of 1970-71. This worldwide resurgence of the proletariat put an end to four decades of counter-revolution and announced a whole period of class combats, which were bound to become sharper and sharper with the aggravation of the capitalist crisis that had provoked the resurgence.

The appearance of new groups, more or less informal or organised, but trying to appropriate proletarian class positions, was one of the primary expressions of the end of the period of counter-revolution and the opening up of a period of class confrontations. It was still necessary for these groups, if they were to live up to their responsibilities, to understand both the new historic period that had produced them, and the need to attach themselves politically to the communist fractions of the past that had disengaged from the degenerating Communist International in the 1920s. The groups that were to constitute the ICC were able to understand this point. They based themselves principally on the experience and positions of the Gauche Communiste de France (which had published the review Internationalisme between 1945 and 1952 and whose positions had also been at the basis of the group Internacialismo in Venezuela in 1964).

In June 1968, in the midst of the general strike, the group Revolution Internationale was founded in France, on the same positions as Internacialismo; and following a whole series of discussions on programmatic questions, it regrouped in 1972 with two other groups, which had also emerged from the events of 1968, forming the future French section of the ICC. Discussions were broadened out to include groups which appeared in other countries, notably World Revolution in Britain, Internationalism in the USA, Rivoluzione Internazionale in Italy and Accion Proletaria in Spain. Finally these six groups, which had very similar platforms, decided to constitute a single organisation, the International Communist Current, at its founding conference in January 1975.

One of the tasks this new international organisation gave itself was to elaborate a political platform that synthesised class positions and expressed the level of clarity reached by its militants after seven years of discussions, reflection and intervention in the class. This platform was adopted in January 1976 at the First Congress of the ICC and has since formed the basis for joining the organisation. It is this document (which now includes the rectifications decided at the 3rd, 7th and 14th Congresses in 1979, 1987 and 2001) that is published here. It is a document of a programmatic nature which, apart from its introduction which refers to events of the time it was written and certain formulations which belong to that particular moment (this is why we have judged it useful to accompany it with a few footnotes), remains valid for the whole historical period of the workers' movement opened up by capitalism entering into its phase of decadence, by the first victorious proletarian revolution in history, October 1917, and by the degeneration of the revolution resulting from its international isolation. This is why the First Congress of the ICC felt that it was useful to adopt at the same time another document, the Manifesto of the ICC, which is published here after the platform, and which takes into account the new historic course opened up by the reawakening of the world proletariat at the end of the 1960s.

This document, which is now nearly 30 years old, makes reference to facts that the new generations don't know that well. This is why we have decided to complete it, even more so than with the platform, by adding a certain number of footnotes. This is above all because at the end of the '80s an event of major historic import took place: the collapse of the so-called 'socialist' regimes of eastern Europe and of the entire bloc led by Russia.

It is precisely this considerable historical event that led the ICC, at its 9th Congress, to adopt a new document, the Manifesto entitled Communist revolution or the destruction of humanity, which follows on after the first Manifesto.

The Manifesto of the 9th Congress of the ICC was thus adopted in the summer of 1991. It develops the ICC's analysis of the new world situation created by the collapse of an entire portion of the capitalist system - the eastern bloc and the Stalinist regimes. This event, followed two years later by the outbreak of the Gulf war and the dislocation of the western bloc, inaugurated a new phase in the history of capitalism. The bourgeois mode of production had sunk into the final phase of its decadence, the phase of decomposition. In this sense, this document completes the other two and brings them up to date.

If they are to live up to their responsibilities faced with the enormous stakes of the current historic situation, revolutionary organisations must have their ears turned to reality. They must be capable of adapting their analyses to the evolution of history. Marxism is not a dogma, nor a fixed theory based on unchanging positions; on the contrary it is a living theory. If it is to be an effective weapon of the proletarian struggle for emancipation, the theory and method of marxism must be constantly tested against the development of historical reality. This is what the ICC aims to do with these documents, while at the same time reaffirming the communist political positions which have been settled once and for all by the experience of the workers' movement.

ICC, April 2004.