Revolution or War n°6

Biannual - September 2016

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[Warning: Most of the articles of this issue have been translated by French speaking comrades and they could not be corrected, nor verified, by a native English speaking one. Therefore, we apologize for their possible "heavy" and difficult readability and if the reader finds any political confusion or mistake, we call him/her to refer to the French version]

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Activities Report for the IGCL General Meeting

A precision first : this report can’t be and don’t seek to be exhaustive. An activities report mainly aims at two things: drawing a balance-sheet and perspectives for the period to come. Drawing a balance-sheet does not mean establishing two columns, one positive, the other one negative, and making the balance. The balance-sheet is not in itself but in relation to the development of the world historical situation and the main milieu in which we are, the revolutionary milieu in general and the proletarian camp in particular. And all this in relation to our basic principles, our political orientations and our forces. Have we respected our principles (our Platform) and verified its value in face of the historical situation ? Have we put forwards our political orientations (defined by our understanding of the historical situation, see our Thesis on the International Situation [1]) and have we adapted, indeed modified, if the situation required it ? Have we utilized at best our forces in regards with our principles and orientations as well with the necessity of the general situation ? In short, have we respected and developed the mandate that the 2013 Conference of constitution had given us ?

Certainly we won’t be able to have a report on the international situation which would enable us to come back on the last 2 years and a half since the constitution of the group and the adoption of our Thesis on the international situation. We don’t have forces enough. Nevertheless, this balance-sheet is going to be determined by the fact the reporter (attempting to take into account what, according to him, should be shared by all the comrades) considers that :
- the development of the world situation has confirmed the general validity of our framework of analysis (the Thesis) : Capitalism’s decadence, alternative revolution or war and the conditions in which it is increasingly posed through the notion of historical course, economic crisis and imperialist rivalries exacerbating, bourgeois economic and political offensive, proletariat’s combativity and limits mainly due to the absence of revolutionary perspective, indeed under the form of ’simple hope’, in its ranks (in other terms: weakness of the consciousness of the class in the great proletarian masses);
- in relation to the Thesis dated July 2013, the situation has nevertheless developed: the relation economic crisis-imperialist rivalries has become more and more direct, the particular dynamic of the working class struggle opened in 2008 has died out precisely in 2013 (the ’Greek’ dynamic as potential international focal point) and a more aggressive ideological and political offensive of the bourgeoisie at the international level against the proletariat opened up since January 2015 with the Paris attacks which opened « a new period ». Crisis and war are going to become direct factors of consciousness in the proletarian ranks and revival of the revolutionary aspiration ;
- finally, the contradictory dynamics which go through the Proletarian Camp and the revolutionary camp have deepened: hesitations of the International Communist Tendency (ICT www.leftcom.org) for assuming its historical task, subsistence and even small waking up of the ’Bordiguist’ groups (for the ’partidist’ forces), lack of confidence and hesitations of the new elements, groups, circles which regularly rise up and disappear, growing decay of the ICC [2], maintenance of an anti-organization milieu of ’Councilism’ kind; all this aggravated by the isolation of the revolutionary groups from their class as an expression and factor of the generalized lost of consciousness of the communist perspective.

Of course, this rapid balance validating our general 2013 orientations – we think all the comrades will share it – does not take away possible discussions, clarifications, indeed nuances or disagreement on such or such particular point. We think about the question of the main axis of the imperialist confrontations such as comrade S. has raised it after the Russian intervention in Syria. We think about the understanding of the historical course which has been the subject of various and constant discussions and clarifications within our rank all along these years. We think about the regular questionings on the role of the ICT as ’pole of regroupment’. There certainly are others.

We note three fundamental elements which have determined the dynamics in progress of the international situation since 2013 from which we can evaluate, positively according to the reporter, the capacities of our group for acknowledging, taking position, and even re-adapting its orientations :
- the exhaustion of the dynamic of struggle in Greece (July 2013) that the group has been able to take into account quite quickly (see RG#1, introduction to the Thesis, and above all RG#2);
- the attacks of January 2015 in Paris opening up a new period of massive confrontations;
- the hesitation of the ICT in front of the constitution of the IGCL (summer 2014) and the adaptation of our orientation towards it [3].

To read or re-read the issues of Revolution or War with the leaflets and communiques give a quite faithful image of the IGCL’s reality and dynamic. Thus we propose to begin by the journal for establishing our balance-sheet.

1) The Journal and Our Leaflet

"Consequently, the IGCL decided to develop a printed international journal, Revolution or War – to be published initially on a semi-annual basis – and circulated as widely as possible so as to conduct the group’s general work on a regular basis and to develop a political presence internationally and locally, when and where it’s needed"(Resolution on the foundation of the IGCL, November 2013 Conference).

In first place, the group has been able to fulfil the mandate given by the conference in regards to the establishment and the realization of a regular biannual publication in two languages. As well as the setting up (with comrade Ldo’s help) of the web site which enables us also to insure a reduced Spanish version and the publication of most of our leaflets and communiques in this language. The journal has never suffered delays and we estimate that its political content expresses the richness and the capacities of the IGCL. Few are the revolutionary and even communist groups which succeed to insure a regular publication. To this success, we must also add the quality of our web site and our Facebook pages which enables us to make know too – besides the militant diffusions inescapably limited – our immediate statements by leaflet or communiques. Certainly, there might be points to improve.

The regularity and the frequency of the journals and the updatings on the web site already say a lot about the strength and the dynamic of the group. From this point of view, the group has fulfilled the mandate that the conference had given it.

The other part of the mandate in regards with the publications deals with the political content and the orientations put forwards. The reporter thinks that the journal has responded as it should to the situation (in accordance to its frequency) :
- in relation to the development of the situation and the immediate events of international importance, the editorials and the leaflets-communiques have succeeded to take into account, sometimes at the last moment for some editorials of the journal (which expresses our capacity of reaction), the breaks and the ruling events in the situation: the war in Ukraine (February 2014), the strikes in Germany-Belgium (October 2014), the attacks in Paris (January 2015), the world economic crisis (fall of the BRICS) and the political meaning of Syriza in Greece (February 2015), on the waves of migrants in September 2015, on the new Paris attacks (November 2015), on the proletarian alternative after the attacks in Brussels and the media campaign which followed it (March 2016). Beyond these immediate responses, the journal in great part focused on the denunciation of bourgeois democracy put forwards in most of the events as central element of the bourgeois ideological mystification in general and more particularly with the aim of imperialist war;
- in relation to the revolutionary and proletarian camp, we have also been able to take position on the main events: International Communist Current (ICC)’s internal crisis, its congresses, International Communist Tendency (ICT)’s public meetings in Canada, General Assembly of Battaglia Comunista, as well as regularly republishing texts and articles of the ICT or still of the bordiguist PCint;
- as public debate, the journal has provided orientations and elements of reflections on the historical course, on the method of analysis of the class struggle and the imperialist rivalries, on the democratic mystifications and the Internet’s one, on the elections, on the ICC and ICT platforms, on the question of the Party (Postcap Collective Russian group), on Anarchism. We must insist on our willingness to open the journal and our debates to the whole Proletarian Camp and to assume the debates which goes through it. This is a central orientation that we must maintain and deepen so that we win the maximum of forces of the camp to this tradition unfortunately forgotten and given up due to sectarianism.

In brief, we consider that the journal and our interventions have not only responded to the general situation – and sometime local and immediate ones when we could – but also expressed:
- the vitality of our group and the intensity of its internal life ;
- its openness to the immediate situation and the other revolutionary groups – particularly those of the Communist Left – so endeavouring to the fight for the Party;
- its willingness to intervene in the class struggles and, above all, to develop its capacity and its role of political leadership at the general level, historical, and at the immediate, in the struggles.

Later, we can consider that the journal has put forwards the political positions and orientations that the 2013 Conference had defined. In particular, it has clearly set itself within the "partidist" camp while being able to defend the need and the perspective for overcoming sectarianism, expressing the unity of the Communist Left and the necessity for ’overcoming’ the 1945 split between the two historical currents represented by the ex-IBRP (ICT today) and the ICC of the years 1970-1980.

This positive balance of the work for the journal takes off nothing to the weaknesses and lacks which, certainly, would deserve to be noticed and discussed. It belongs to the discussion of this report for the general meeting (and thus to the comrades) to raise the weaknesses or possible lacks after having pronounced on the general balance-sheet which is drawn here on the journal. Actually, depending of the agreement or not with this balance-sheet, the discussion of the weaknesses and the lacks won’t take the same political meaning. In particular, criticisms which the reporter does not share, have been expressed on the ’readability’ of the journal, on ’the audience we address to’ (during the discussion on the necessity of an "agitation leaflet"). If this critic should be maintained, it would matter to know in which framework we discuss it: the one of a general agreement with the positive balance-sheet we draw in this report or rather in the framework of an opposition to this one. In that case, the discussion would have to focus on the understanding of the intervention of a communist group and its publications.

Thus we will ask the general meeting of the group to state on this balance-sheet of the journal (and of the interventions by leaflets and communiques, included our intervention through the web site). Has the mandate that the 2013 Conference had given, been fulfilled?

2) The Internal Life of the Group

"We are building up a group from two nucleus and militants whose histories and experiences are different. And we have to take into account this situation that we’ll have to overcome through the improvement of our homogeneity and unity. The group is formally set up but its political unity remains a process" (Report of Paris Discussion, November 13th 2014).

We can believe that the internal life of our group has gone through two moments or periods:
- the first goes from the Conference until December 2014;
- then from December 2014 until our days (by the time the reporter is writing).

We can wonder : is the "small crisis" that we have being passing through late January with two comrades’ joint dismissals representing a new step? Fortunately, one of them has quickly come back about his decision. On the other hand, the other comrade remains deaf to our calls and he does not participate any more to the group’s activities. If we can believe that the elements of an internal crisis, or rather of a collective demoralization, appeared at that time, the reporter thinks they have been reduced quite quickly by the reaction of the whole group and its members: after a time of confusion, indeed a rising demoralization amongst all of us (no doubt at different degrees), because the concomitant announcement of both dismissals, the majority of the comrades could react (fraternal mails but firms at the political level) and, rapidly, one comrade could go back over his decision. The whole comrades of Montreal and Paris overcame the demoralization effects (at the personal level because friendship relations as well as political) of the other comrade’s withdrawal until today. Further more, to what extent have scepticism, or the lost of political confidence, about the revolutionary and communist perspective amongst the great proletarian masses which directly affects the whole Proletarian Camp, played in these dismissals?

On the other hand, it is clear that the last withdrawal weakens considerably the group. Not so much because we would have two arms less for the diffusion (even though his intervention to the ICT public meeting has been a strong moment of our fight for the regroupment and the party), but essentially because his dynamism and his reflections have always impelled the group, its debates and its reflection: various advances and clarifications that the group has realized – and with it the militants - were thanks to the initiative of the comrade. Contrary to what he could said rapidly in such or such mail, the questions the comrade raised, were not a ’lost of time’ but a ’saving of time’ if we consider that:
- the comrade’s ideas – as all comrades’ ideas – are not his "owns", coming out from his own brain, but a particular expression at a given moment of positions and questions which exists within the class – contrary to what the bourgeois and petit-bourgeois ideologies don’t stop delivering on us;
- soon or later, these questions would have been raised under one form or another and, quite often, when they are silenced and put under the carpet, they reappear in a period of crisis or huge intervention which needs an urgent response.

At the time we are writing (April 25th), the comrade remains silent and refuses to discuss with the group. We don’t have to rush even more since the comrade can find himself in a personal situation of demoralization. Nevertheless, we’ll have to meet him, try to convince him of not breaking any links, indeed to win him to the idea that his place is amongst us.

The "Political Battle" for Discussion Reports

Despite the heterogeneity due to the different histories and experiences of the two nucleus, the dynamic and the enthusiasm of the comrades that the Conference had made arise, enabled the Montreal section to take the decision to hold weekly meetings since December 2013 and write reports of discussion of each meeting. The fact the group could get itself this pace of meetings and reports has been the main vector of our internal political life, of our debates and our collective political clarifications. Sometimes, they suffer from difficulties due to the written transcripts "afterwards" of oral intervention. These often intense debates, mostly contradictory, have been accompanied with some personal tensions and recriminations between Montreal and Paris. We can say that the group has really integrated and understood this "method of functioning" after a year. It is comrade S. who summarizes very well our difficulties on this matter and who positively settles the debate:

“Actually, I believe that we have a difficulty to understand us well (as says your report, ’we don’t speak the same language’). The last report of France is very critical. Nevertheless, it is not only a question of speaking the same language; I also believe that we don’t have the same assessment of the reality. Let’s say things as they are: for the ICK, the constitution of the IGCL represents a great leap forwards in terms of militant and organizational practices. We don’t have the experience of the ex-comrades of the ICC. And, for the FICL [Fraction of the International Communist Left], the IGCL may represent the contrary: a kind of step backward to the past for Jonas and Juan.

By this, I’m not saying that the IGCL constitutes an involution for the nucleus in France… but a new dynamic or organizational practice they must fit to: things don’t go as quickly on the Canadian side since we don’t have 40 years of discussions and debates in our luggage and certainly not the same homogeneity as in France. Where you see real threats to the possible explosion of the group, we continue to see leaps forwards in terms of reinforcement of our cohesion and internal life. In all the years the ICK had existed, we never had so much debates than in one year with the IGCL. The most important discussion we had was at the beginning of the coming closer to the FICL: the "Contribution à un état des lieux de la Gauche communiste" [only in French [4]] and its Critical Review… [5]. It is thus obvious that we don’t understand the disagreements the same way. At least comrades, we have debates and are able to confront them.

Now, regarding the report and the questions raised.

For me, the reports of discussion are necessary and represent the motor on which the group must base itself to go on” (S.’s letter of December 3rd 2014).

Thus, at that level, the mandate given by the Conference (during the discussion on the Statutes and on the development of the political internal life) has been fulfilled.

We have to notice that we have learnt also to debate from what is written in the reports while we know an intervention can’t be badly transcripted and that it can be corrected afterwards. But the interest of the group is to debate at the risk of attributing to a comrade words or ideas he has not really expressed (at the risk of provoking personal tensions too) and even if it means ’polarizing’ the debates so that we can draw the maximum of the questions raised (keeping moderation of course and by focusing on the main questions).

Nevertheless, the isolation of various comrades (added to the very strong weakening of Jonas’ physical capacities) and the reduction of members in the Montreal section make more difficult the permanent effort to maintain the weekly pace for feeding the internal life and debates. The risk of loosening is permanent. As well as the difficulty to make live the meetings through the preparation in advance. This also needs individual efforts which require not so much ’more work’ but a constant preoccupation. It was what comrade Steve’s letter on the "travail artisanal" ["amateurish, or primitiveness, methods"] of December 14th 2014, was rightly recalling.

Thus, we can’t consider that the weekly meetings and reports are a definitive gain: both remain a daily and permanent fight of each member to make live our collective body. In particular, the isolated members must attempt to take position regularly, every week if possible, by a writing, on the reports sent by Montreal. Not only this must enable them to break their isolation and sustain their political reflection, but also feed the life and the debates of the meetings of Montreal nucleus. The reporter believes that this collective and individual struggle for sustaining and reinforcing this pace on the basis of the weekly Montreal meetings is a priority for the period to come.

The Utilization of the Social Networks and the Internal Functioning

The first debate which has really crystallized the political disagreements linked to our different past experiences and which has provoked personal tensions as well, has been about the utilization of Facebook and the social networks. In front of the strong – and above all increasing – reticence in Paris, the tensions have increased all the more since the Montreal comrades were all almost permanent users, at personal level, of Facebook. Soon, the fact that the comrades were not clearly distinguishing the personal dimension and the political dimension in ’"their" Facebook not only revealed disagreements on the understanding of the relation militant life-personal life for the militants but also on the internal functioning: actually, it is the expression of the group as a whole which predominates and the individual political expressions (and initiatives) can’t be but under its control and from the internal process of political homogeneity. This "control" is the only means to guarantee at best that the personal initiatives be the most "positive" possible.

Moreover, a debate emerged also around a vision according to which the social networks could also be means for the spreading of the working class struggles.

Finally, our behaviour and utilization of the social networks has been clarified and settled by the group who adopted the position expressed in the article of the journal #3 [6].

The Political "Battle" against the Concessions to Democratism and Individualism within our Ranks

Behind this difficult and fundamental debate for the future of the group and its development, the thoughtless utilization of Facebook and its mode of instantaneous, immediate and emotional communication without… collective and methodical reflection has revealed in our ranks concessions to bourgeois democratic and individualist ideologies whose internet has become one of the main vectors.

The episode of the personal, but political, exchange (in successive posts) on Facebook with K. who had just resigned from the ICT in which one comrade let himself drawn, has been a very important moment, we do think, in the fight against the democratic and individualist illusions within our ranks which allowed the whole comrades to acknowledge where concessions to these ideologies could drive us to and to reinforce our political unity. In this occasion, we think that the group has taken a big step strengthening its unity and its political homogeneity.

The Question of the Intervention

We have already mentioned the proposal made in November 2014 to make regular "agitation leaflets". It matters to come back on the arguments which were put forwards at the time. The argumentation for this proposal was actually developing a criticism of the journal or, at least, a different conception, between the two original nucleus of the group and a different conception of the intervention within the working class:

“ It is a journal which addresses above all to the regroupment. Then, because selling this kind of journal in a demonstration, to proletarians, is a little silly; we utilize concepts in general which can’t be mastered by the workers. The comrade proposes that we rather publish, eventually, a leaflet of agitation – a little like the IWG does – to intervene in the struggles. Thus, in stead of publishing more often a theoretical journal which addresses to the regroupment, we could carry on publishing the journal twice a year with articles to publish through leaflet for intervening in the demos “ (Montreal Report, September 27th 2014).

We can wonder in what degree this vision carried then by the comrades corresponded to the mandate that the Conference had given to the journal:

“ Consequently, the IGCL decided to develop a printed international journal, Revolution or War – to be published initially on a semi-annual basis – and circulated as widely as possible so as to conduct the group’s general work on a regular basis and to develop a political presence internationally and locally, when and where it’s needed." (pt 2 of the Resolution on the constitution of the IGCL).

Immediately and after this debate, we have adopted the possibility to accompany the diffusion of the journal whether with an article on a leaflet paper that we give or with an existing leaflet or communiqué. But to our knowledge, the discussion around these arguments have never really developed. According to the reporter, they are to be rejected (see the Paris Report, September 30th 2014) and they reveal a different vision of the journal and more widely of the intervention in the "great masses of the working class". In particular, we don’t have an "individualist’" vision of the class and of the intervention within its ranks. It is not a sum of individuals but a social, exploited and revolutionary class which overcomes and ’transcends’ the individuals who conform it. In this sense, we don’t speak, nor the journal, to a particular category of the class but to the class as a whole.

We have also dealt in many occasions with the relation between internal life and intervention. Juan, alone in Paris, has raised this question in terms of priority according to the moments and the immediate (and local) situation: favouring the internal life to the immediate intervention for developing the general and historical intervention of the group. Favouring or making a priority one of the two terms does not mean ignoring the other term of course, nor excluding that the relation between both can reverse in some occasions. In various occasions, the comrades have expressed the fear, even the criticism, that this vision make that the group could withdraw into itself and live in isolation.

It will matter that this discussion develops from now to the General Meeting so that we can advance in our collective understanding on intervention and on the orientation to give to the journal.

Despite these differences of conceptions, we think that, globally, the group and its militants have been able to mobilize for the public interventions when they were necessary and possible (diffusion of the press and leaflets, public meetings, speech interventions, etc.). It is obvious that there are failings and that we could do ’"more". Distinguishing what belongs to "objective" limits in terms of militant forces and collective, and individual, availabilities on one side and, on the other, what belongs to political hesitations, doubts, side steps, individual and collective, in front of the mobilization and the effort that the interventions represent, is necessary even though it is difficult. Most of the comrades being alone in their city – included in Montreal, the comrades can intervene collectively only rarely, it seems –, we often are let on our own which makes still more difficult the mobilization for intervention. From this point of view, the writing of reports of intervention (at least oral in the Montreal meetings, written everywhere else) must become a regular practice so that the whole comrades can both state on the intervention realized, support the comrade who made it, and reinforce his own militant confidence as well as the confidence in the capacity of the group as such, often through a single militant, to intervene correctly and with determination.

Nevertheless, we could mobilize during working class struggles and street demonstrations which were taking place where we live. And so we could distribute the journal and the leaflets. It was the same on the occasion of the public meetings of political groups. In particular, the quality of our interventions to the ICT public meetings in Canada have certainly been a very important moment for our intervention and for our relations vis-a-vis that organization.

Remains the question of the sales of the journal which are weak. Certainly, no doubt that the whole communist publications under paper form are more and more badly sold (see the General Assembly of BC [7]). We don’t develop here on the objective conditions on which we can’t do much. Even so, the effort of diffusion, still more difficult, is essential for being able to develop a political presence and gather around us. Do we make enough efforts for distributing the journal? It is a permanent collective and individual fight which requires for the essential our political and militant convictions: to understand the political meaning of the development of a political presence of which the distribution of the press and the leaflets are a component – the others being the public meetings, the encounters with contacts, etc...

4) The Development of the Proletarian Camp and our Intervention

“ Similarly, the IGCL has associated itself with the political agreement arrived at by the CI-K and FICL in their debate on the state of the proletarian camp, defining our analysis of the camp as well as our intervention in it. In particular, the aims of our interventions are to participate in the struggle for the consolidation of communist forces in order to constitute the world party of the proletariat. Today, the fight for the communist party requires that we push both for consolidation and polarization around the Internationalist Communist Tendency and as well to fight against the manifestations of opportunism and sectarianism within the camp, especially against apolitical and ’anti-party’ tendencies. “ (Resolution on the Foundation of the IGCL).

In this report, we consider as assured the comrades’ agreement with our analysis and our general orientations such as the text voted by the Conference Criticalhttp://igcl.org/Critical-Review-of-...Review… (RW#3) presents them. Since the Conference, the Proletarian Camp has been passing through two particular moments, both in 2014, and to which we have been directly confronted with: the doubts and hesitations of the ICT in front of the foundation of the IGCL; the last internal crisis of the ICC and its consequences. Both events don’t change, according to the reporter, our analysis and our general orientations. On the other hand, they express some changes in the situation which required that we adapt our main orientation; that is the one towards the ICT.

The "Partidists" and the ICT

In a first time, doubts and questionings within our ranks have reappeared on the role of international “pole” of regroupment by the ICT and above all on the concrete intervention we needed to have vis-a-vis this organization. In particular, we had difficulties amongst us to understand that we had not to address ourselves to the IWG – the Canadian group – but to the ICT as a whole as well as looking at our intervention in the long term. It seems to us that this approach has been understood, at least integrated, precisely from our reaction to the August 2014 ICT letter which criticized the constitution of our group. This letter marked a step, negative one, and needed an adaptation of our orientation in regards with the new situation so created. We have decided thus:
- ” to carry on supporting the ICT when it will develop correct statements and interventions (for instance by reproducing its articles, or leaflets, on our web site, even in our public diffusion (…);
- (…) to develop more than before (than the fractions) our fraternal criticisms – i.e. underlining too our fundamental point of agreement – on theoretical, political, and even "organizational"’ questions;
- to firmly and publicly criticized, in relation with our general orientations and priorities of intervention, the positions and the leftist kind "adventures" that the ICT (or some of its parts) may develop sometimes [8] (…) “
(letter to the ICT, October 15th 2014).

We call the General Meeting to state on this adaptation of our orientation.

Even though the behaviour of the ICT remained fraternal and that it seems to have better understood the seriousness of our intervention since then, our new orientation remains fully topical. Accordingly, the General Meeting must draw a positive balance-sheet of our intervention in the first period (until October 2014 and our response) as well as since then.

Within the so-called "Partidist" Camp (besides the ICT), it matters to keep on paying attention to the Bordiguist groups: particularly Le Prolétaire-Proletarian (Programme communiste). These groups continue to develop, from and within the framework of their "Bordiguist" programmatic positions, class statements and to set the stakes of the situation in relation to the historical alternative 3rd Imperialist World War or Proletarian Revolution. Very often on the immediate events, we find ourselves on the same side of the class barricade (see on the "indignados" movement in Spain for instance or today "Nuit debout" [All Night Up!]). From this point of view, they carry and claim clearly and strongly the revolutionary perspective.

Furthermore, different groups rise up and disappear at international scale. In the extent of our possibilities (we don’t have the capacities for playing the role of pole of international regroupment), we have succeeded to develop some correspondences with such groups or circles. Nevertheless, our effort is certainly insufficient; if only because it is left to a single comrade and is not taking in charge by the whole group as such: at least, we should define mandates. But we call the attention of the comrade on a group like Robin Goodfellow which intervenes increasingly and whom we regularly meet. This group which was typically in the "Academic" milieu on Bordiguist basis, now sets itself more and more in working class mobilizations and participates to the debates of the Communist Left.

The ICC and its Internal Crisis

In a first time, the whole comrades pronounced in agreement with the publication of the “Appeal” in front of the internal crisis of the ICC, in agreement with its content and its timing. It is only in a second time that the question of the urgency for publishing it before the supposed date of their Conference has been raised by comrades as well as doubts on its form and content. It will be good that we could make a balance-sheet of this intervention – not in itself vis-a-vis the ICC but because tomorrow we’ll find us again facing other situation of the same kind and, above all, which will require urgent responses.

The reporter believes that we were right to publish so rapidly. Not because we could hope some immediate result, that is the rising of a class reaction within its ranks, but because it mattered to alert the whole Proletarian and Revolutionary Camp which could have intervened at its turn, for one part; and for the other, to sabotage the work of the ICC liquidationists who wanted to make ’their own dirty cooking in their corner’, in silence, out of sight.

According to the reporter, today, the state of the ICC, its publications, its statements, its activity, the disappearance of entire sections, the cascading dismissals, the demoralization of the last militants, in short its growing state of deliquescence, so much comes to justify our Appeal, its content and its timing. Its degeneration and its members’ demoralization – expression and product of the former – manifest particularly in the lost of progressive confidence in the proletariat’s revolutionary potentialities and whose theory of Decomposition has been, too, the result and then the active factor.

The "Councilist" Sphere

This milieu, whether in the "Anglo-Saxon" area (around libcom web site for instance) or still in the European one (much former ICC members, Controverses for instance), don’t accept our criticisms, ignores us and even develops a relative political hostility. We keep on believing that it represents today the opportunist Right wing of the Camp, when it is not simply Anarchist excrescences, or close to it. We have not much to hope except a systematic opposition. Very often its members are quite demoralized for their past organizational experiences and have lost confidence in the proletariat up to be enthusiastic towards any novelty like the "Indignados" for later falling back in their lethargy.

Nevertheless, we must notice that there are other councilists who can express dynamics different to the one of the "elders" who are marked by the past. For instance, we can’t exclude that in the Anglo-Saxon area, in the United-States or Canada, groups or circles may appear from Councilist positions (Pannekoek) and present a dynamic of clarification and revolutionary regroupment. In Europe, update, these circles are often influenced by "Modernism": the GARAP for instance. However, this is a group which develops a genuine activity in the struggles (whose political content has to be verified up to today) and which participates also to the General Assembly and the Paris ’interpro general assembly or committee’ ["inter professionnal", that’s inter sectors or corporations] and sets itself – for what we could see – on the ’good’ side of the different barricades.

Towards a Reorganization of the Proletarian Camp

More generally, it would matter, according to our strength, to establish a report of the Revolutionary Camp and of the Proletarian Camp. The historical situation drives to the reflection of the revolutionary minorities and to their responsibility. It tends to make rise up the questions and the contradictions put under the table amongst and within the groups. The present deliquescence of the ICC already provokes, and will provoke more and more openly, a void to be filled; as well, the development of the situation and the increasing actuality of the historical stakes cannot but encourage the “Partidist camp” and its main axis, the ICT, to confront the hesitations and doubts that may exist within it, to overcome the rests of sectarianism which still last and to assert still more clearly, that is concretely in the class struggle, the revolutionary and communist perspective before the whole proletariat’s eyes. The situation also drives to the rising of new forces and, even, that some already existing, shake themselves out of their torpor (Bordiguist groups) or rise to the heights of present requirements (Robin Goodfellow ?).

After decades of (relatively) stable conformation, the Proletarian Camp is passing through a situation which announces and prefigures a reorganization that the historical situation will speed up. We must be an active factor of this reconfiguration by leading coherently and decisively the struggle for the Party against the Councilist tendencies and the opportunism while setting this struggle in the long run. For this, we must consider the Proletarian Camp and all its organizational components as parts of ourselves. We must consider the internal life of each group also as of our responsibility, as one part of our internal life.

5) The Debate Underway and to Be Developed

Whether it is at the level of the internal functioning or at the level of the orientations towards the Proletarian Camp, the underlying theoretical and political questionings have been in great part clarified and settled. We can clearly say that the first year of the IGCL has represented a first period of setting up the group and clarification of basic questions indispensable for its regular functioning and without which the group would not have survived very long.

From January 2015, globally, the debates became quieter since they increasingly tend to fit within the framework of our political and organizational principles. The period 2013-2014 have seen one single line of confrontation, of opposition, of the debates dividing regularly Montreal and Paris; both still marked by their respective pasts, the ICK and the FICL-IFICC, the particular experience of the comrades in France and the questionings of the comrades from Canada. From 2015 on, the debates and the oppositions don’t oppose systematically the two former nucleus and they don’t refer any more to questions of political and organizational principles. There, it is a sign of a state of political homogeneity that the group as a whole succeeded to reach after one year. This dynamic of political homogeneity has not slowed down since then. The debates on the historical course, on the analysis of the class struggle, on the imperialist rivalries, the debate on the class consciousness which is just beginning, express particularly the level of political unity that the IGCL has reached.

Nevertheless, and despite its dynamism (and given the permanent bourgeois ideology’s pressure), the group remains fragile :
- the demoralizations of comrades are favoured by the weak number of members and their relative isolation. The numerical weakness is an "objective" fact which weakens and which expresses too the fact that the revolutionaries are suffering the weakness of the communist perspective within the proletarian ranks;
- the taking in charge of the debates by the whole comrades and "nucleus" is not assumed enough and, despite an increased collective consciousness, is handicapped by the absence of real section which could be a focus, a central active factor, of the political life of the group;
- as well, the taking in charge of the journal is not collective enough in its political and technical realization as well as in its following and political support.

The reporter believes that it is precisely on the two last points that the group must today focus on and direct its effort on.

Conclusions

It is thus a positive balance-sheet of the activities of the group that this report asks the General Meeting to discuss and to draw. Almost three years after its foundation and despite a relative isolation, few militants, few active sympathizers, our group has imposed itself as full group of the Communist Left and its regular political presence in the Revolutionary Camp, the coherence of its political orientations and its capacity of reaction, brings credit to the political organization and to the Communist Left. Despite our isolation and weak forces, it remains that we are today amongst the few political expressions of the Communist Left in North America and one of its more frequent and regular in Europe. Even better, on various questions and on the occasion of events of the class struggle and of the situation, included of the Proletarian Camp, we find ourselves at the centre of the reaction of the Communist camp and one of its main active factors while assuming, at the scale of our forces, our role of political vanguard of the proletariat vis-a-vis the class as well as the revolutionary camp as a whole. The mandate that the Conference had given, has been fulfilled well and the journal expresses it clearly.

Nevertheless, it remains some "objective" fragilities due to to the historical situation – to the difficulties of the proletariat to find back the revolutionary path to Communism – and to the particular weaknesses of the Proletarian Camp. It is in this situation and this milieu, both certainly called to change brutally, that we must make live our group and develop its presence so that it’ll be an active factor of the struggle for the Party. For this, while keeping vigilant and present in the daily fights, we must set our whole activities in a long run vision – the only one moreover which really allows us to be more present and efficient in the daily fights. In particular, it matters to integrate the permanent dynamic relation between internal life and intervention while acknowledging that today, and in last instance, it is the internal life (included understood as internal life of the Proletarian Camp) which defines the intervention, content and level, and guarantees the class content and the regularity as well as the ability to speed up. For the reporter, it is still the dimension of internal political life which remains determining for the strengthening and the development of the group and its unity (the different nucleus must still strengthen their ties, in particular Toronto with Montreal). In this sense, the debate and the clarification that we have begun on the class consciousness must enable us not only to deepen our understanding of the dynamic of the development of the proletariat’s revolutionary struggle, the first place of the political dimension in the class fight, the role of political leadership of the Party, the struggle of the communist organizations in the class struggles and in the fight for the Party, but also the activity and the functioning of the small communist groups of today as ours.

April 2016.

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Notes:

[2. International Communist Current.

[3. Mainly due to the difficulties with the IWG, the Canadian group of the ICT, at first hostile to the setting up of another group of the Communist Left in Montreal.

[8. We were referring at that time to some statements and interventions of the IWG (Canada).