Revolution or War n°24

(May 2023)

PDF - 556.1 kb

This number 24 of our journal has been conceived as a “special issue on class struggle and revolutionary intervention”

HomeVersion imprimable de cet article Version imprimable

Erratic Flight into Activism of The Group Emancipation

Those who have been reading us for some years already know the group Emancipation – originally known as Nuevo Curso. We return to this group today insofar as it has just published an article sanctioning its fall into activism and its undoubtedly definitive distancing from the International Communist Left, which we warned against in 2019 and 2020.

“Promote the self-organization of the workers in every place and in every sphere we reach. And if that is our strategic orientation, the tactic would be to redirect hours and capacities towards its realization. That is why, a few months ago, we went from publishing articles in Communia almost daily, to publishing them a couple of times a week. (…) At work. Meet with co-workers outside the company to discuss the situation, how it affects you collectively and how to react. Invite trusted colleagues from nearby contractors and companies and expand the circle when a shared vision is sufficiently clear. In the neighborhood. Identify needs and help address them collectively. From offering remedial classes in order to resist the deterioration of education and the widening class divide in schools to organizing collective purchases to reduce prices of basic goods. Identify what solidarity systems could help in case of layoffs and closures in small companies or establishments in order to organize them in the future.”  [1]

Instead of fighting for the direction and political orientation of each proletarian struggle to make it as effective as possible, Emancipation engages in the so-called “self-organization” of education of the children, collective purchases and solidarity systems in case of layoffs. Nuevo Curso’s party in the making reduced to welfare... How did Emancipation get here?

The group in Spain Nuevo Curso, which later took the name of Emancipation, appeared in late 2017. Very quickly, it signaled itself with class political positions that clearly fought against the bourgeois political positions of leftism. Formally, the group was situated on the terrain of the class frontiers or positions that the political platforms of the ICT, the ICC and the IGCL defend. Our journal echoed these positions and this new group by republishing several of its statements. [2] Emancipation was also characterized by the intervention it developed within the proletarian camp, particularly on the question of the party in the making, and the dynamism it showed for the regroupment of new revolutionary energies, specially in North America. The regroupments that took place in the United States from different circles around the Communist Left, particularly the ICT, but also Emancipation and ourselves, were the result of a dynamic that this group was able to encourage and animate among a new generation of militants.

As a new communist group without experience, it was up to us to favor its integration into the international proletarian camp as best we could and to work so that it could re-appropriate the heritage of principles and program of the Communist Left. Thus, in particular letters, and then publicly from February 2018, we invited the comrades to enroll in one of our central orientations, that of “to gather and focus all of the revolutionary forces around the positions and the debates of the Communist Left and its material expressions, political groups and circles, and more particularly around its main component today, the Internationalist Communist Tendency.” [3] And this was what Nuevo Curso then achieved by meeting with the ICT and ourselves. The result was Nuevo Curso’s 1st Organizing Conference in February 2019, which defined a whole series of “three-year (sic!) goals” including “the integration (…) into the ICT.” [4]

If we had saluted then this orientation, we warned the comrades against the danger, of immediatist order, of fixing triannual plans for the realization of such or such an orientation and of envisaging the adherence to the ICT without a process of debate and political clarification. “In this sense, the orientation of ‘regroupment towards the ICT’ established by the conference remains valid on condition that it is not understood, or considered, in an immediatist manner, but as a process and a historical struggle.(...) We fear that the comrades of NC and Emancipation will be discouraged by the observation that this orientation will probably not be achieved in the way they had envisaged, nor in the three years in which the conference planned it ; or that they will question it and ‘condemn’ the ICT in the following. It would be a political mistake due to an immediatist and ‘short-term’ understanding that.... the formulation of the conference by reducing the orientation to mere adherence and planning for three years, makes us fear.” [5]

Unfortunately, our warning was not heeded and very soon, five months later (!), our fears were verified at the 1st Emancipation Congress. Instead of joining the ICT, “the congress constituted Emancipation as a global and internationalist organization.” [6] The report of the congress did not provide any explanation for this 180 degree turn. No balance-sheet of the previous orientation was made, not even waiting for the famous three years. Worse, the group began to deny both the role of the ICT as the main organization of the Communist Left and to ignore the existence of a proletarian camp, refusing all debate and political confrontation. It was also during this congress that comrades began to advance more or less openly not only the idea that there was a particular Communist Left in Spain, but above all that it came from the Trotskyist Workers’ Opposition of the 1930s through the figure of Munis. In a letter of July 10, 2019 [7], we warned them against “the programmatic, theoretical and political dead end in which the claim of continuity with the 4th International [was] embarking Emancipación”, while proposing to openly debate it. We reiterated our invitation on the following November 19 in a letter [8], published in RW #14, which initiated the contradictory debate. The following issue of our journal published a critical presentation of Munis’ theses on the Spanish War, Spain 1936: Can There be a Proletarian Revolution without Insurrection and Destruction of the Bourgeois State? [9], which exposed Munis’ lack of a clear political break with Trotskyism.

From then on, Emancipation stopped corresponding with us, the only effective link it had left with a component of the communist Left, thus refusing any debate and, worse, weakening so any clarification of its own political position. In so doing, cut off and aloof to the Communist Left – alone in the world –, de facto Emancipation could only become locked into sectarianism, so favoring even more its activism and immediatism. Its 2nd conference – in place of a congress because of covid – of August 2020 reported of the bankruptcy of its orientation: “we are aware of the difficulty of organizing groups in a structure where trade union control, the development of precarious work conditions and the small scale of most workplaces all combine against us. In order to reach a wider sector of workers and gain organizational power, we must complement this work from the neighborhoods.” [10]

In other words, in addition to the ICT adhesion, the three-year goal of February 2019, “to constitute a geographically significative network of worker nuclei in the Iberian Peninsula and Spanish-speaking America”, had not been realized. But instead of drawing a balance sheet of the immediatist and activist vision that this goal overlapped, Emancipation relaunched this failed orientation by extending it to the neighborhoods! Two years later, it is this erratic flight into activism that the article Impulsing Organization is a Priority cited above comes to conclude. In doing so, Emancipation turns its back on the central international historical struggle to build the world party of the proletariat. In doing so, it abandons its original 2017-2018 ambitions, which we welcomed at the time and which it summarized as follows:

The success of the communist groups “will depend on their ability to reclaim and make useful the class program, all those lessons of the past that emerge from the very history of the labor movement. (…) Together, historical vanguards, workers’ groups that re-appropriate the program and contingent vanguards that seek answers, form the real movement ’towards’ the party,” [11] Nuevo Curso claimed in 2018. Today, it has turned his back on that orientation.

The result of all this, in addition to being a waste, is that it is probably too late for Emancipation to get off the fatal activist path it has embarked on despite our warnings.

RL, April 8th 2023



[1. Communia, January 2023,

[2. The reader may refer to various issues of Revolution or War, including issues 9 and 10, in which we have reproduced positions taken by NC-Emancipation.

[3. Revolution or War (RW) #9, February 2018,

[4. To our knowledge, the results of this conference have never been published.

[5. IGCL Letter to Emancipation, March 15th 2019, not published.

[7. IGCL Letter to Emancipation, RW #12,

[8. IGCL Letter to Emancipation, November 15th 2019, RW #14,

[11. What is the Party? by Nuevo Curso, reproduced in RW#10, September 2018,