Third International

The Third International was born from the ruins of the Second, in direct opposition to the imperialist war and in response to the victory of the proletarian revolution in Russia.
With the victory of the Stalinist counter-revolution in the USSR, the Third International degenerated to the point where it became nothing more than an instrument of the USSR's imperialist foreign policy.

The idea of the historic course in the revolutionary movement

Since the report on the class struggle to the last Congress, there have been no immediate shifts in the overall situation facing the class. The proletariat has demonstrated, through various struggles, that its combativity remains intact and that its discontent is growing (eg transport workers in New York, 'general strike' in Norway, struggles in numerous sectors in France, postal workers in Britain, movements in peripheral countries like Brazil, China, etc). But the situation continues to be much more clearly defined by the difficulties facing the class - difficulties imposed by the conditions of decomposing capitalism but continually reinforced by the bourgeoisie's ideological campaigns about the 'end of the working class', the 'new economy', 'globalisation', and even 'anti-capitalism'. Within the proletarian political milieu, meanwhile, there remain fundamental disagreements about the balance of class forces, with certain groups using the ICC's 'idealist' view of the historic course as a reason for not participating in any joint initiative against the war in Kosovo. This is certainly one reason to focus this report not so much on the struggles of the recent period, but on trying to deepen our understanding of the concept of the historic course as it has developed in the workers' movement: if we are to answer these criticisms effectively, we must obviously go to the historical root of the misunderstandings that infect the proletarian milieu. Another reason is that one of the weaknesses in our own analyses of recent struggles has been a tendency towards immediatism, a tendency to concentrate on particular struggles as 'proof' of our position on the course, or on the difficulties of the struggle as a possible basis for calling our conceptions into question. What follows is very far from an exhaustive survey; it's main aim is to assist the organisation to acquaint itself more closely with the general method through which marxism has approached this question.

The Platform of the Communist International

In parallel with our series 'Communism is not a nice idea, it is on the agenda of history', we are publishing a number of classic documents of the revolutionary movement of the 20th century relating to the means and goals of the proletarian revolution. We begin with the platform of the Communist International adopted by its founding Congress in March 1919 as the basis for adherence of all genuine revolutionary groups and currents to the new world party.

Reply to the IBRP, Part 1: The Nature of Imperialist War

The IBRP has responded, in the International Communist Review no 13, to our polemical article “The IBRP’s Conception of Decadent Capitalism” which appeared in no. 79 of our International Review. The IBRP clearly expound their positions. Thus the article is a contribution to the necessary debate that must exist between the organisations of the Communist Left, which have a decisive responsibility in the struggle for the formation of the proletariat’s communist party.

The Proletariat and War

The fantastic violence of the Gulf War has served as a reminder that capitalism means war. The historic responsibility of the working class, as the only force capable of opposing capital, has been highlighted all the more. But to take up this responsibility, the revolutionary class must reappropriate the theoretical and practical experience of its own struggle against war. It must draw from this experience confidence in its revolutionary capacities and the means to fight successfully.


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