Revolution or War n°5

(February 2016)

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21st Congress of the International Communist Current:“Cultural Revival” or Announcement of Liquidation by the “Legal Successors”?

“ Last spring the ICC held its 21st Congress. Since this event coincided with 40 years of existence of our organisation, we took the decision to give this Congress an exceptional character with the central objective of making a critical balance sheet of our analyses and activities over these four decades”.

After reading the article, Forty Years after the Foundation of the ICC, what balance-sheet and perspectives...?, there is no doubt that this Congress represents an important moment in the life of this organization and a particular step in its descent into the abyss of opportunism. Apparently, it adopts a new modest and self-critical attitude about all of its history far from the peremptory statements of the past about the eternal validity of the policies and positions it adopted. But actually, “today’s” ICC reflects on forty years of its existence to, as we’re going to see, draw a negative balance-sheet of its past genuine history, and thereby to justify what is set to be the final theoretical and political liquidation by those who imposed themselves through manoeuvres, condemnations and exclusions as the “legal successors” of the degenerating ICC.

The first part, The critical balance-sheet of our analysis of the international situation, mainly relates to what the ICC considers today as mistakes, described as immediatist, in the different analyses on the development of the class struggle: the understanding of the historical course; the underestimation of the weight of the counter-revolution; having considered the proletariat as being only on the offensive while it has just developed struggles of economic defence; a lack of mastery of Rosa Luxemburg’s theory which drove to an overestimation of the crisis of capitalism; an underestimation of the harmful effects of decomposition. Except for the last point, these admissions refer to the positions of the 1970s and 1980s. Taken in themselves, they can be more or less shared and they refer to difficulties in applying the Marxist method of analysis that any communist organization inevitably will have.

On the other hand, the genuine mistakes linked to Marxist principles, that is their betrayal, are fully ignored such as the rejection of the historical alternative between revolution and war at the 15th Congress, the disappearance of the perspective of world imperialist war replaced by one of “ecological apocalypse” at the 17th Congress, the denunciation of the wildcat strike of the OPEL workers in Bochum (Germany) in October 2004, the call for solidarity with the injured anti-riot police as “human beings [and] fathers of family” (!) in 2006 during the street demonstrations in France or still the appeal to participate in the humanitarian campaigns during the 2004 tsunami in Asia... [1]

The first part of the Report on the Class Struggle runs until the end of the 1980s and recounts fairly accurately the past analysis of the ICC. It places the concept of “historical course” at the centre of their analysis. But from the 1990s, “in the face of this advancing decomposition we were obliged to re-examine the whole question of the historic course in a report to 14th Congress” in 2001 (our emphasis). And for a good reason, the “Decomposition”, set up as an absolute category, has become the determining factor of the situation instead of the struggle between bourgeoisie and proletariat which is at the core of the notion of “historical course”: “since decomposition contains the risk of a gradual descent into chaos and irrational destruction, it creates immense dangers for the working class [which] could be gradually ground down by the whole process to the point where it would no longer be able to stand against the advancing tide of barbarism” up to the point of calling to fight against it – and not against the capitalist class. For instance: “the student struggle in France in 2006 and the revolt of the Indignados in Spain (...) shook a fist at the advancing tide of decomposition“! The opportunist theory of Decomposition replaces (and liquidates) the class struggle with the “struggle against decomposition”. As a result, the method of analysis defined by the “historical course” based on the former is no more effective and its preservation, even formal, openly contradicts the theory of decomposition.

The balance-sheet of the Congress concludes from this that “today, after 25 years of stagnation in the class struggle at the international level, the ICC must now focus on a task similar to that of Bilan in its time: to understand the reasons for the failure of the working class to regain a revolutionary perspective almost half a century after the historic resurgence of the class struggle in the late 1960s”. The announcement of the liquidation of the experience of the 1970s and 1980s is scheduled. And at the very moment when the notion of “historical course” is verified, when crisis and war directly reinforce each other and oblige the bourgeoisie to lead an increased class war against the proletariat.

Reign of Bourgeois Ideology and Failure of the Struggle against “Parasitism”.

The following passages, The ICC’s role as a “fraction of a certain type” and The need for a moral and cultural “revival”, are only there to “historically and theoretically” justify the announced renunciation. No need to linger on it except to pick out, and laugh at, the new internal slogans: “the culture of theory” (after the “culture of debate”) and “the search for truth” for one part and, for the other, the degree of penetration of bourgeois and petit-bourgeois ideologies that they reveal. And, in addition, the shameless abasement of the history of the working class movement which shows the state of degeneracy this organization has got to: But the process of degeneration in the SPD began [the German social-democrat party before 1914] long before this abandonment of theoretical tasks. It began with the progressive destruction of solidarity between militants. Due to the abolition of anti-socialist laws (1878-1890) (...) this destruction of solidarity (permitted by the “comfortable” conditions of the democratic bourgeoisie) opened the way to a growing moral depravity with the emergence of a pogrom mentality within the SPD...”. Since the 1990s, the ICC has been explaining the crisis of political organizations of the working class movement by the existence of clans and personal hatred within their ranks. Today, the lack of solidarity between members provokes their degeneracy! Exit the greatest part of the theoretical and political lessons of the working class movement, of Lenin, Rosa Luxemburg, etc., in their struggle against political opportunism...

The part on The defence of the organisation against attacks on the ICC is a terrible confession of failure for the opportunism of the ICC: The strengthening of the public and intransigent defence of the organisation is an orientation given by this Congress. The ICC is well aware that this orientation may temporarily lead to being misunderstood, to being criticised for our lack of “fair play”, and so to an even greater isolation. But the worst thing would be to let parasitism do its destructive work without reacting. The Congress emphasised that in this regard too, the ICC must have the courage to ‘swim against the current’”. In short, its fight against “parasitism” and to destroy the other groups which refused to follow it on this terrain, let’s remember their internal call for destroying the IBRP at their 16th Congress (2006), has been a failure and has contributed to its own discredit and isolation.

The Real Historical Weakness of the ICC

Actually, the choice of the noted mistakes aims to question the ICC of the 1970s and 1980s and liquidate the experience – particularly the intervention within the working class struggles – and the theoretical and political lessons of these periods; especially those from its quite permanent fight against the weight of its origins and weaknesses of the councilist kind. When we speak of councilist weaknesses – the economism fought by Lenin in his time – we don’t reduce, far from it, the problem only to the formal recognition of the necessity of the Party. The struggle against the modern economism that councilism is today, refers to the relation between “being and consciousness”, between consciousness of the class and its extension within the class, between Party and class, such as Marxism succeeded to understand at the theoretical level; and to the practical recognition of the permanent political dimension of the workers struggles and to the method of analysis of the situations which goes with it. In particular, the Communist Italian Left taught us that there was a close link between the constant taking into account of the political dimension of the class struggle and the factor “consciousness of the class” for one part and the analysis of the development of the situation for another. Yet, the main historical weakness of the ICC is certainly its longstanding difficulty, despite its platform, to regain the whole historical experience of the working class movement. When it claimed the Left fractions of the 1930s, it was actually only claiming the journal Bilan from 1933 on; and the Dutch and German Lefts. It has always ignored the theoretical and political lessons and fights of the Communist Party of Italy and then its Left Fraction. Never has it really dealt, not even in a critical manner, with the Theses of Rome and Lyons[ [2] for instance. Yet, these programmatic texts present a whole method and vision that the communists must adopt to be able to develop, from a Party point of view, an analysis and understanding of the situation. “The historical course of the proletariat’s emancipation and the foundation of a new social order derives from the existence of the class struggle. Every class struggle is a political struggle; that is to say, it has the tendency to end up as a struggle for the conquest of political power and control of the new State organism” (Theses of Lyons). We can’t develop here but it is the relation to the state, the perspective of the insurrection, of the destruction of the bourgeois state and of the dictatorship of the proletariat, which determines the method and the criteria of evaluation of the development of the political relation of forces between the classes, that is the “historical course”. The main historical weakness of the ICC certainly lies in this ignorance of the experience of the Italian Left of the 1920s. It explains why it could not really get rid of its councilist origins despite the struggles led within it and why it fell down again in it since then [3].

Finally, the conclusion of this report announces in a more or less near future the official liquidation of the historical ICC by the triumphant opportunism: The ICC is today in a period of transition. Thanks to this critical balance-sheet, its capacity to examine its weaknesses and to admit mistakes, it is making a radical critique of the vision of militant activity that we have had until now, of relations between militants and between militants and the organisation, with as a guiding principle the question of the intellectual and moral dimension of the proletariat’s struggle. It is a real “cultural revolution” we must engage in, to continue to learn to assume our responsibilities. It is a long and difficult process, but vital for the future.”

With the call for “a radical critique”, the balance-sheet is clear: it is negative. We have no doubt that it is so for the opportunism whose interest is precisely to liquidate the theoretical and political experiences of the ICC of its first decades and to erase the real organisational experience – not the one invented today after the fact – at the levels of internal life and intervention within the class. This announcement of liquidation is thus consistent with the opportunist drift this organization has been living through since now at least 15 years.

A single question remains, formal but of importance: when will the official death certificate be registered by those who fraudulently monopolized the inheritance? When will be the change of platform and the declared break with the principles which founded this organization forty years ago?

RL, January 2016.

Against the idealist and opportunist theories of the today’s ICC : read our pamphlet (in French or Spanish)



[1. The list is not exhaustive. For the interested reader (or historian), we refer to the IFICC and IFCL site. The following link for the English pages,, directs to the English page of the summaries of all bulletins (all original French and Spanish texts could not be translated but they can be found on these languages pages). He (or she) will find the systematic and critical statements both fractions made on all the Congresses of the ICC (and its French section) since 2001 and will find both the denunciation of its open opportunist positions and a political alternative within the principle, theoretical and political framework of this organization. All these articles can also be a main reference for drawing the history of the ICC since this date and even, to a lesser degree, since its foundation.

[2. We have not found English translation of the Theses of Rome. Here is the link with the French version The reader can also refer to the rubric “texts and theses” of the PCInt site

[3. It suffices to point out, amongst other things, its apology and fetishism of the “self-organization” of the French student movement of 2006 or still of the Spanish “indignados”.