The scourge of sectarianism in the internationalist camp

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The end of the year 2003 saw world capitalism take a new step towards the abyss - a step represented by the second Gulf war and the creation of a military quagmire in a strategically vital area of the globe. This war has been crucial in determining the new imperialist equilibrium, with the Anglo-American occupation of Iraq and the opposition to this move from various imperialist powers who are more and more adopting positions antagonistic to those of the USA. In the face of this new butchery, the main revolutionary groups who make up the international communist left have once again shown that they are capable of responding to the propaganda of the bourgeoisie by taking up resolutely internationalist positions. Against the ideological campaigns of the bourgeoisie, which are aimed at disorienting the proletariat, these groups defended the ABC of marxism. This does not of course mean that these organisations all defend the same positions. Indeed, from our point of view, the intervention of most of them has shown important weaknesses, in particular concerning the understanding of the phase of imperialist conflicts opened up by the collapse of the eastern bloc and the resulting dissolution of its western rival, and also when it comes to discerning what is at stake in these conflicts. These differences must be understood as the expression of the heterogeneous and difficult process through which consciousness ripens within the working class - a process which also affects the groups of the political vanguard. In this sense, as long as class principles are not abandoned, these differences should not constitute an element of frontal opposition between the components of the same revolutionary camp; rather they prove the need for a permanent debate between them. A public debate is not only the precondition for clarification within the revolutionary camp, but is also a factor of clarification which makes it possible to draw the line between revolutionaries and the groups of the extreme left wing of capital (Trotskyism, official anarchism, etc). It can thus help the new elements searching for class positions to orient themselves vis-a-vis the different elements of the proletarian camp. 

It is in this spirit that our organisation launched an appeal to other revolutionary organisations when the second Gulf war began, the aim being to promote a joint initiative (documents, public meetings) which would make it possible "for internationalist positions to be heard as widely as possible&quot:[1] "the existing groups of the communist left all share these fundamental positions, whatever the divergences that may exist among them. The ICC is well aware of these divergences and has never tried to hide them. On the contrary, it has always tried in its press to point out these disagreements with the other groups and combat the analyses that we consider incorrect. This being said, and in line with the attitude of the Bolsheviks in 1915 at Zimmerwald and of the Italian Fraction during the 1930s, the ICC considers that real communists today have the responsibility of presenting as widely as possible to the class as a whole, in the face of imperialist war and the bourgeoisie?s campaigns, the fundamental positions of internationalism. From our point of view, this presupposes that these groups of the communist left do not restrict themselves to their own intervention, but that they join together in order to express in common their common positions. For the ICC a common intervention of the communist left would have a political impact which would go well beyond the sum of their respective forces which, as we all know, are only too weak at the present time. This is why the ICC is proposing to the following groups to meet in order to discuss what means could permit the communist left to speak with once voice in defence of proletarian internationalism, without hindering or calling into question the specific intervention of any group" (ibid).

This appeal was sent to:

-         the International Bureau for the Revolutionary Party (IBRP);

-         the International Communist Party (Il Comunista, Le Proletaire);

-         the International Communist party (Il Partito, so-called &quotFlorence" party);

-         the International Communist party (Il Programma Comunista).

Unfortunately, the appeal was rejected either through written replies (ICP/Le Proletaire and the IBRP) or was simply ignored. In International Review n°113 we already noted the replies and took position on them or on the silence of other groups.

In the present article, we have two objectives. On the one hand, to show through an analysis of the positions taken up by the main proletarian groups towards the war that there really is such a thing as a proletarian political milieu, whatever the level of understanding reached by the groups who comprise it. This is a milieu which because of its loyalty to proletarian internationalism is clearly distinct from the various leftist formations and their revolutionary verbiage and from all the more openly bourgeois or inter-classist organisations. On the other hand, we will focus on certain divergences we have with these groups, showing that they correspond to erroneous views on their part while also arguing that they are not an obstacle to a certain unity of action against the world bourgeoisie. In particular, we will try to show that however sincerely these different views may be held, they are being used as a pretext for rejecting any such unity of action.

Whatever its different elements may think, the proletarian political milieu does exist

In the letter of appeal to revolutionary groups, we put forward the criteria which, in our opinion, represented a minimal basis which, notwithstanding the divergences that may exist on other points, were enough to distinguish the revolutionary camp from the camp of the counter-revolution:

 "a) Imperialist war is not the result of a ?bad? or ?criminal? policy of this or that government, or of this or that sector of the ruling class; capitalism as a whole is responsible for imperialist war.

b) In this sense, the position of the proletariat and communists against imperialist war can in no way line up, even ?critically? behind one or other of the warring camps; concretely, denouncing the American offensive against Iraq in no way means offering the slightest support to this country or its bourgeoisie.

  c) The only position in conformity with the interests of the proletariat is the struggle against capitalism as a whole, and therefore against all the sectors of the world bourgeoisie, with a perspective not of a ?peaceful capitalism? but of overthrowing the capitalist system and setting up the dictatorship of the proletariat.

 d) Pacifism is at best a petty bourgeois illusion which tends to turn the proletariat away from its strict class terrain; more often it is nothing but a ploy cynically used by the bourgeoisie in order to drag the proletariat into the imperialist war in defence of the ?pacifist? and ?democratic? sectors of the ruling class. In this sense, the defence of the internationalist proletarian position is inseparable from the unsparing denunciation of pacifism" (ibid).

All the groups to whom this appeal was addressed have, as we will now show, satisfied these minimum criteria in the positions they have taken up:

The ICP (Programma) gives a very correct framework for the current phase when it says that "the agony of a mode of production based on class divisions is much more ferocious than we could imagine. History teaches us that when the social foundations are shaken by incessant tensions and contradictions, the energies of the ruling classes are mobilised towards survival at any cost ? and thus antagonisms grow sharper, the tendency towards destruction increases, confrontations multiply at the commercial, political and military level. At every level, in all classes, society is gripped by a fever which devours it and spreads to all its organs&quot.[2]

Il Partito and Le Proletaire also contribute towards developing a framework which shows that the war is not the fault of this or that &quotbad" side, but results from imperialist conflict on a global scale:

-         "The Euro front, to the extent that it resists, is not a force for peace, opposed to the war-like dollar front; it is one of the camps in the general inter-imperialist confrontation which the regime of capital is rushing towards"[3]

-         "the war against Iraq, in spite of the disparity of forces, cannot be considered as a colonial war; it is from every point of view an imperialist war on both sides, even if the state being fought is a far less developed one, it is nevertheless bourgeois and the expression of a capitalist society"[4]

-         "the so-called ?peace camp?, ie the imperialist states who judge the American attack on Iraq to be prejudicial to their interests, are concerned that, emboldened by its rapid victory, the US will make them pay dearly for their opposition, if only by beginning to evict them from the region. The sordid imperialist rivalries which are the cause of the opposition between states are coming out into broad daylight. The Americans declare that France and Russia must generously renounce the gigantic credits they have bestowed on Iraq, while the other side is indignant that the contracts for the ?reconstruction? of the country are being handed out to the big US companies and that oil sales will be in the same hands?As for this famous ?reconstruction? and the prosperity promised to the Iraqi people, it suffices to look at the ?reconstruction? of Afghanistan and the situation in ex-Yugoslavia ? two regions where western troops are still present ? to understand that for the bourgeoisie on both sides of the Atlantic, it?s merely a question of reconstructing the installations needed to make production profitable and ensure the prosperity of capitalist enterprises&quot.[5]

These positions thus leave no place for the defence, even critical, of either camp. They constitute, in fact, the granite foundation for a denunciation of all the countries and political forces which hypocritically camouflage the defence of their own imperialist designs behind the defence of peace.

Thus for Il Partito "the common and united condemnation of the war [on the part of the western countries, editor?s note] is based on an undeniable equivocation since this aspiration has an origin and a significance which is different, if not frankly opposed, for the antagonistic classes.

 The ?European party? represents big capital and big finance as established on this side of the Atlantic ? today more and more in competition with the Americans and opposed to this war. The finance magnates may not personally wave banners in the street but they have a solid control of the apparatus of the media, parties and unions which are loyal to the regime and which are used to orient fragile Public Opinion on the right and the left. For Capital, in fact, even if the wars are often ?unjust?, they are sometimes ?necessary?. It?s extremely easy to distinguish one from the other: those which are ?necessary? are the ones which your side wins, those which are ?unjust? are those which the other side wins. For example: for the European capitalisms which were involved in the horrible carve-up in Yugoslavia, the bombing of Belgrade (which was almost worse than the current bombing of Iraq) was ?necessary?; the bombing of Iraq, by contrast, where these powers are seeing rich oil contracts annulled by the ?democratic administration? imposed by Iraq?s ?liberators?, is ?unjust?&quot.[6]

For Programma Comunista "Not a man not a penny for imperialist wars: open struggle against our own national bourgeoisie, whether it be Italian or American, German or French, Serbian or Iraqi" .[7]

For Il Partito Comunista, "The governments of France and Germany, supported by Russia and China, are against this war today but only in order to defend their own imperialist interests, threatened by the US offensive in Iraq and the region&quot.[8]

For the IBRP: "the real enemy of the USA is the Euro, which is beginning to be a dangerous threat to the absolute hegemony of the dollar&quot.[9]

The only attitude consistent with these principles is a struggle to the death against capital, whatever garb it wears, and an unconditional denunciation of pacifism. This is what these groups have done, the IBRP in particular:

-         "Europe ? the Franco-German axis in particular ? is trying to counter the USA?s military plans by playing the pacifist card and has thus set an ideological trap which many have fallen for. We know quite well, and the facts are there to prove it, that whenever it has felt the need to do so, no European state has hesitated to defend its economic interests by force of arms. What we are seeing today is the formation of a new nationalism ? a European supranationalism. This is already at the heart of many declarations by the ?dissident? camp. The very reference to a Europe of human rights and social values, opposed to the exacerbated individualism of the Americans, is the basis for a future alignment around the objectives of the European bourgeoisie in its final confrontation with the American bourgeoisie"[10]

-         "in wide sections of the parliamentary ?left? and their appendices in the ?movement? (a large part of the ?anti-globalisation? movement), reference is made to the Europe of human rights and social values, opposed to the exacerbated individualism of the Americans. They try to make us forget that this Europe is the same which ? when we?re talking about ?social values? ? has already made, and demands with ever greater insistence, new cuts in pensions (the so-called reforms); it?s the same Europe which has already laid off millions of workers and which is now pressing to more than ever reduce labour power to a disposable commodity, via the devastating and increasing precariousness of employment&quot.[11]

All this testifies to the existence of a camp which has remained faithful to the principles of the proletariat and of the communist left, regardless of how far the various groups within it are aware of this.

As we have said, this does not mean that there are no important divergences between the ICC and these groups. The problem is not the existence of these divergences in themselves but the fact that these groups use them as a justification for rejecting a common response to a particularly grave historical situation. Moreover, using these divergences in this way prevents them from being clarified through a serious public debate.

How to misuse Lenin to justify joint inaction

In International Review n°113, we replied to Le Proletaire?s charge of frontism and the IBRP?s accusation of idealism, which is supposed to explain the alleged errors in many of the ICC?s analyses. We have not received any response to our arguments with the exception of an article published in Le Proletaire n°466. For this latter organisation, our differences on the question of revolutionary defeatism - and the fact that we do not consider these a barrier to working together - fully justify the criticism of frontism levelled at our appeal for joint action.

In the light of this article in Le Proletaire, we have to come back to this question of revolutionary defeatism. The article contains a new element which we will concentrate on here:

"It is not true that the organisations ranged in this category are basically in agreement on the essentials, that they share a common position, even on the one question of war and internationalism. On the contrary they are opposed on programmatic and political positions which tomorrow will be vital for the proletarian struggle and for the revolution, just as today they are opposed on the orientations and directives for action that need to be given to the rare elements searching for class positions. On the question of war in particular, we have stressed the notion of revolutionary defeatism because since Lenin this is what has characterised the communist position in imperialist wars. Now the ICC is precisely opposed to revolutionary defeatism. How then would it be possible to express a common position which, when you rub it a bit, when you look beyond the grand and beautiful phrases about overthrowing capitalism and the dictatorship of the proletariat, you find that it doesn?t exist. Common action would only be possible in such circumstances by agreeing to paste over or attenuate irreconcilable differences, ie, by hiding them from the workers we want to address, by presenting a false image of a ?communist left? united on the essential to militants in other countries we are trying to reach, ie by deceiving them. Camouflaging one?s positions ? that?s what it amounts to whether you will or no ? making unitary proposals with the aim of finding some immediate or contingent success: isn?t that the classic definition of opportunism?"[12]  (their emphases).

The ICP persists in ignoring our argument that "To talk of ?frontism? and a ?lowest common denominator? not only does nothing to clarify the disagreements among the internationalists, it is a factor of confusion inasmuch as it places the real divergences, the class frontier that separates the internationalists from the whole bourgeoisie, from far right to extreme left, at the same level as the disagreements among the internationalists" (International Review n°113). At the same time, out of ignorance (that is by refusing to acquaint itself with the critique of political positions, which is no minor fault for a revolutionary organisation) or simply for reasons of easy polemic, it does not report the ICC?s position on the question of revolutionary defeatism. It simply states that "the ICC is precisely opposed to revolutionary defeatism", leaving the door open to all kinds of interpretations, including, why not, the idea that the ICC is for the defence of the fatherland in case of attack by another power. Thus we need to recall our position on this question, which we developed at the time of the first Gulf war. In the article &quotThe proletarian political milieu faced with the Gulf war in 1991"[13] we said the following:

"This slogan was put forward by Lenin during the first world war. It was designed to respond to the sophistries of the ?centrists?, who while being ?in principle? against any participation in imperialist war, advised that you should wait until the workers in the ?enemy? countries were ready to enter the struggle against the war before calling on workers in ?your? country to do the same. In support of this position, they put forward the argument that if workers of one country rose up before those in the opposing countries, they would facilitate the imperialist victory of the latter.

Against this conditional ?internationalism?, Lenin replied very correctly that the working class of any given country had no common interests with ?its? bourgeoisie. In particular, he pointed out that the latter?s defeat could only facilitate the workers? struggle, as had been the case with the Paris Commune (following France?s defeat by Prussia) and the 1905 revolution in Russia (which was beaten in the war with Japan). From this observation he concluded that each proletariat should ?wish for? the defeat of ?its? bourgeoisie.

This last position was already wrong at the time, since it led the revolutionaries of each country to demand for ?their? proletariat the most favourable conditions for the proletarian revolution, whereas the revolution had to take place on a world-wide level, and above all in the big advanced countries, which were all involved in the war. However, with Lenin, the weakness of this position never put his intransigent internationalism in question (we can even say that it was precisely his intransigence which led to the error). In particular, Lenin never had the idea of supporting the bourgeoisie of an ?enemy? country ? even if this might be the logical conclusion of his ?wishes?.

But the incoherence of the position was used later on a number of occasions by bourgeois parties draped in ?Communist? colours, in order to justify their participation in imperialist war. Thus, for example, after the signing of the Russo-German pact in 1939, the French Stalinists suddenly discovered the virtues of ?proletarian internationalism? and ?revolutionary defeatism?, virtues which they had long ago forgotten and which they repudiated no less rapidly as soon as Germany launched its attack on the USSR in 1941. The Italian Stalinists also used the term ?revolutionary defeatism? after 1941 to justify their policy of heading the resistance against Mussolini. Today, the Trotskyists in the numerous countries allied against Saddam Hussein use the same term to justify their support for the latter&quot.

Thus it is not the ICC?s approach which is in question here but that of our critics, who have not assimilated in any real depths of the slogans of the workers? movement during the first revolutionary wave of 1917-23.

Once we have made this clarification on the question of revolutionary defeatism, are we to continue thinking that the divergences we have pointed to do not constitute an obstacle to a common response to the war by the different groups? We do not think that the mistakes of the groups to whom we addressed our appeal, put their internationalism into question. The groups who defend revolutionary defeatism are not like the Stalinist and Trotskyist traitors who use the ambiguity of Lenin?s slogans to legitimise war. They are simply proletarian political formations who for different reasons have not all put their clocks right on a certain number of questions facing the workers? movement.

Sectarianism towards the communist left and opportunism towards leftism

The IBRP, let us recall, thinks that its differences with the ICC are too important for a common response on the question of war.

However, the following passage from a leaflet by Bataglia Comunista, one of the groups of the IBRP, expresses a profound convergence on the way to analyse the dynamic of the balance of forces between proletariat and bourgeoisie - a question on which, the IBRP insists, our differences are particularly wide:

"In some ways, there is no longer a need in war to mobilise the working class at the front: it is enough for it to remain at home, in the factories and the offices, working for the war. The problem is posed when this class refuses to work for the war and thus becomes a serious obstacle to the development of the war itself. It is this ? and not demonstrations, however large, of pacifist citizens, and still less vigils blessed by the Pope ? which is an obstacle to war: that really could stop the war"[14] (emphasis in the original).

 This passage expresses the perfectly correct idea that war and the class struggle are not two independent variables but are antithetical, in the sense that the more the proletariat is enlisted the more the bourgeoisie has a free hand to make war. In the same way, the more "the working class refuses to work for the war", the more "it becomes a serious obstacle to the development of the war itself&quot. This idea as formulated by Battaglia Comunista[15] is very similar to what underlies our notion of the historic course, the historic result of the two dynamics mentioned above: the permanent tendency of capitalism to go to war and the historic tendency of an undefeated working class towards a decisive confrontation with its class enemy. However, Battaglia has always contested the validity of this position and accused it of being idealist. As with other points on which Battaglia has raised this charge of idealism and of failing to grasp the current situation, we have responded in detail with many articles and directly in a number of polemics.[16]

We might expect that an organisation which is such a stickler for detail when it comes to examining its divergences with the ICC would have a similar attitude towards other groups. This is not the case.

We refer here to the attitude of the IBRP via its sympathising group and political representative in North America, the Internationalist Workers Group (IWG) which publishes Internationalist Notes. This group intervened alongside anarchists and held a joint public meeting with Red and Black Notes, some councilists and the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCP), which seems to be a typically leftist and activist group. Recently the IWG published a statement of solidarity with &quotcomrades" of the OCP arrested and jailed for vandalism during the last demonstrations against the war in Toronto. It also held a joint public meeting with &quotanarcho-communist comrades" in Quebec.

While we ourselves fully recognise the need to be present in the debates between the political groups of the swamp, those who oscillate between revolutionary and bourgeois positions, in order to promote the influence of the communist left within these debates, we were to say the least disconcerted by the &quotmethod" employed here. It seems to display a &quotbroadmindedness" quite at odds with the policy of rigour which the European IBRP claims to adopt. Given the difference in method here, and thus in principle, we thought it necessary to address the appeal for a joint initiative to the IWG through a letter which, among other things, said:  

"If we understand correctly, the IBRP?s refusal is based essentially on the fact that the differences the IBRP has with our positions are too great. To cite the letter we received from the IBRP: ? a united action against the war or on any other problem could only be envisaged between partners that are well defined and politically identified in an unequivocal manner, and who share positions which all consider essential?. However, we have learned through the IBRP?s website (the last issue of Internationalist Notes and leaflets by Black and Red) that Internationalist Notes in Canada has held a joint meeting against the war with anarcho-communists in Quebec and with some libertarian/councilist and anti-poverty activists in Toronto. It seems evident to us that while there are substantial differences between the ICC and the IBRP on a certain number of questions, these become insignificant compared to the differences between the communist left and anarchists (even when they stick the word ?communist? to their name), and anti-poverty activists who on their website don?t even appear to take an ?anti-capitalist? position. On this basis, we can only conclude that the IBRP has two different strategies towards its intervention on the war: one on the North American continent and one in Europe. It would appear that the reasons the Bureau gives for rejecting common action with the ICC in Europe are not applicable in Canada and America. We are thus addressing this letter specifically to Internationalist Notes as the representative of the IBRP in North America in order to reiterate the proposal we have already made to the IBRP as a whole&quot.[17]

We never received any reply to this letter ? which already expresses an approach alien to revolutionary communist politics, an approach in which you only take political positions according to one?s mood and according to what troubles one the least.[18] If there was no reply to this letter, this is no accident: it?s because there could not be a coherent response without some kind of self-critique. Furthermore, the policy carried out by the IWG in North America is certainly not a specificity of the American comrades but bears the typical mark of the IBRP which is well-versed in reconciling sectarianism with opportunism: sectarianism in its relations with the communist left, opportunism towards everyone else.[19]

More generally, the rejection of our appeal is not based on the existence of real divergences between our organisations, but rather on a concern which is both sectarian and opportunist: to remain separate from others in order to carry out one?s own activity in a nice quiet corner without worrying about facing any criticisms or having to deal with the incurable trouble-makers of the ICC.

Such an attitude is neither fortuitous nor unprecedented. It cannot help but remind us of the attitude of the degenerating Third International which closed itself off from the communist left ? ie the current which was clearest and most determined in the definition of revolutionary positions ? while opening itself out to the right, with its policy of fusion with the centrist currents (the &quotTerzini" in Italy, the USPD in Germany) and of the &quotUnited Front" with social democracy, which had shown itself to be the butcher of the revolution. In the 1940s, Internationalisme, the organ of the Communist Left of France, the ancestor of the ICC, referred to this opportunist approach of the CI when it was criticising, the foundation of Internationalist Communist Party of Italy (Int CP), the common ancestor of all the Bordigist ICPs and of Battaglia: "It is no less astonishing that today, 23 years after the discussion between Bordiga and Lenin around the formation of the Communist Party of Italy, we are seeing the same error repeating itself. The CI?s method, which was so violently combated by the Left Fraction, and which had such disastrous consequences for the proletariat, is today being adopted by the Fraction itself through the construction of the PC in Italy&quot.[20]

In the 1930s, we saw the same opportunist approach from the Trotskyists, not least in its relations towards the Italian left.[21] And when there was a split in the latter at the time of the foundation of the ICP, the attitude of the new party towards the GCF could only recall to mind the attitude of Trotskyism towards the Italian left. Even at the time it would not have been correct to have talked about the degeneration of the newly-created Int CP, contrary to Trotskysim and the CI before that; and today we can?t talk about the degeneration of the IBRP or the ICPs. But it still remains the case that the foundation of the Int CP was a step backwards compared to the activity and clarity of the Italian Left Fraction in the days of Bilan, in the 1930s. This opportunism was criticised by Internationalisme as follows:

-         "There are, comrades, two methods of regroupment: there is the one used at the first congress of the CI, which invited all the groups and parties that claimed to be communist to take part in a confrontation of positions. And there is the method of Trotsky who, in 1931, and without any explanation, ?reorganised? the International Opposition and its Secretariat by carefully eliminating the Italian Fraction and other groups who had previously belonged to it (older comrades will remember a letter of protest sent by the Italian Fraction to all sections of the International Opposition, attacking this arbitrary and bureaucratic action by Trotsky)"[22]

-         "The PCInt was created during the feverish weeks of 1943 (?) Not only did it set aside the positive work that the Italian Fraction had done during the long period between 1927 and 1944, but on a number of points, the position of the new party was well behind that of Bordiga?s abstentionist fraction in 1921. Notably on the political United Front, where certain proposals for a United Front were made locally towards the Stalinist Party, on the participation in municipal and parliamentary elections, abandoning the old abstentionist position; on antifascism where the doors of the party were opened wide to elements from the Resistance; not to mention on the union question where the party went all the way back to the old position of the CI ? trade union fractions whose task was to struggle for the conquest of the unions, and, going even further, the policy of forming minority unions (the position of the Revolutionary Trade Union Opposition). In a word, in the name of a party of the International Communist Left, we have an Italian formation of a classic Trotskyist type, minus the defence of the USSR. The same proclamation of a party in a reactionary period, the same opportunist political practise, the same sterile activism, the same contempt for theoretical discussion and confrontation of ideas, both within the party and with other revolutionary groups&quot.[23]

Thus, to this day Battaglia Comunista and the ICPs bear the marks of this original opportunism. Nevertheless, as we have already said, we still believe in the possibility and the necessity for a debate between the different components of the revolutionary camp, and we will certainly not abandon this conviction because of yet another refusal, no matter how irresponsible it may be.

Ezechiele, December 2003.

[1] &quotThe responsibility of revolutionaries faced with war: ICC proposal to revolutionary groups for a common intervention faced with the war and the replies to our appeal" International Review n°113

[2] &quotFrom war to war", Il Programma Comunista, n°3. July 2003. It is remarkable that these lines were written by an organisation which thinks that the conditions and means of the proletarian struggle have been invariant since 1848 and which thus rejects the notion of the decadence of capitalism. We can only celebrate the fact that, in this case, perception of reality is stronger than the dogma of invariant positions.

[3] In &quotAgainst the war and against the peace of capital", Il Partito Comunista n°296, February 2003. In this article we have deliberately put to one side the expression of differences that are &quotsecondary" when it comes to the essential question of internationalism. We will point out however that we have already argued in our press that it is incorrect to characterise the two imperialist camps in this situation as being those of the Euro and the Dollar respectively, as can be seen from the major dissensions that exist within the EU and the Euro zone. Does Il Partito seriously think that Holland, Spain, Italy and Denmark are part of the same anti-American coalition as Germany and France?

[4] &quotThe dirty war in Iraq between the Euro and the Dollar", Il Partito Comunista n°297, March-April 2003

[5] &quotThe war in Iraq is over?capitalist domination continues" leaflet by Le Proletaire, May 2003


[6] &quotPacifism and the trade union struggle", Il Partito Comunista no. 297, March-April 2003

[7] &quotClass response to imperialist war", leaflet by Programma Comunista, March 2003

[8] &quotImperialist pacifism", Il Partito Comunista no. 296, February 2003

[9] &quotNeither with Saddam, nor Bush, nor Europe", leaflet by Battaglia Comunista, March 2003

[10] &quotDespite the neo-fascist filth, the enemy remains capital and its wars", leaflet by Battaglia Comunista, March 2003

[11] &quotNeither with Saddam, nor Bush, nor Europe" Battaglia Comunista March 2003

[12] &quotNews of political frontism: unitary proposals on the war", Le Proletaire n°466, March-May 2003

[13] International Review n°64

[14] &quotDespite the neofascist filth, the enemy remains capital and its wars", Battaglia Comunista.

[15] The words we would have used would have been a bit different and we would have talked about &quotthe refusal of the working class to sacrifice itself for the war effort", a less restrictive formulation than the IBRP?s, which could make it appear that only arms production is involved in the war effort.

[16] See, among some more recent examples: &quotThe class struggle in the countries of the periphery of capitalism", International Review n°100; &quotDiscussions in the proletarian milieu: the need for rigour and seriousness", International Review n°101; &quotDebate with the IBRP: the Marxist and opportunist visions in the politics of building the party", International Review n°101.

[17] Letter sent by the ICC, 6 June 2003

[18] This is a &quotnormal" practise among a certain number of Bordigist groups, coherent with the view they have of themselves as the sole depositories of class consciousness and the only nuclei of the future party. But even within this component of the proletarian political milieu, there are more responsible groups which in spite of themselves cannot ignore the fact that they are not alone in the world and who respond to the correspondence of other groups, either through letters or articles in their press.

[19] See in particular the articles &quotDebate with the IBRP: the Marxist and opportunist visions in the politics of building the party", International Review n°103 and n°105.

[20] Internationalisme n°7, February 1946 &quotOn the Congress of the Internationalist Communist Party of Italy&quot.

[21] See our book The Communist Left of Italy, particularly the part dealing with the relations between the Left Fraction of the CP of Italy and the International Left Opposition.

[22] Internationalisme no. 10, May 1946, &quotLetter to all the groups of the International Communist Left&quot.

[23] Internationalisme no. 23, June 1947, &quotCurrent problems of the international workers? movement&quot.


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