Revolution or War n° 2

(September 2014)

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Marxism is Proletarian and Revolutionary, Anarchism Has never Been…

We publish here extracts of a text of the International Communist Bulletin #6 of the IFCL (Le marxisme est prolétarien et révolutionnaire, l’anarchisme ne l’a jamais été) written in 2001. At the origin, this text was aiming at denouncing the opportunist openness of the ICC towards anarchism as political current and to recall the theoretical and principle opposition, the class opposition, between this one and Marxism as theoretical weapon and method of the proletariat. We have considered necessary this new publication for the reading of an article of the English group of the ICT, the Communist Workers Organization : Marxism and Anarchism. Even though this one doesn’t go up to the openly opportunist approach of the ICC and to the giving up of the all time position of Marxism and Communist Left, it opens the door to the idea that "the course of anarchist and anarcho-syndicalist history politically has certain parallels with the course that Marxism has followed". The article hopes that we can end up understanding that "the real divide is not so much between Marxism and Anarchism per se, but between those revolutionaries who see a future (...) without classes and without a state and those who claim the title of Marxist or Anarchist but either defend a distorted version of capitalism"; i.e. "between revolutionaries and reformists" of the two currents. As a result, the article presents the Stalinist, the Trotskists and the Maoists as reformist expressions of Marxism, which commit mistakes, in stead of denouncing them for their betrayal and break with Marxism [1]. And on the other hand, it rehabilitates the supposed revolutionary part of the anarchist political current while this one has showed all along history its bankruptcy from the proletarian point of view by systematically lining up behind... the bourgeois State whether during the imperialist wars or whether the revolutionary periods. It is only by breaking with the theoretical and political positions of anarchism, and by joining the Marxist current, that the sincere ’anarchist’ militants devoted to the proletariat’s cause could participate, for instance, to the Russian Revolution side by side with the Bolshevik Party of Lenin and, for the most determined, by adhering to this one.

The concessions made by this article to anarchism have immediate and dangerous political consequences from the political point of view – we already noted it with the Stalinist and Trotskists classification as ’reformist Marxists’:

- "There is no doubt that the Marxists have had the greater baggage to ditch in this respect" of the State... while precisely the Marxist theory on State is not only unique but central in the Proletariat’s theory! It is only because they don’t have any more something in common with Marxism, because they became their opponents within the working class itself, that the Stalinist and Trotskist currents ’don’t understand the question of State’;

- the article seems to support the political positions developed by the Left fraction of the Bolshevik Party in 1918, formed mainly by Bukharin and Radek, which, just a few weeks after the proletariat’s seizure of power in Russia, was "the first to condemn the direction of the revolution as heading towards state capitalism" and which is above all known for having denounced the peace signed at Brest-Litovsk (1918) by the new workers power and Germany. We can’t develop here on this question but just recall that the Communist Left, particularly the one called ’Italian’, – not because it would be an inviolable dogma but to come back and study why and how – has rightfully criticized, in continuity with Lenin, the ’leftism’ of this fraction and its political adventurism [2].

For us, in the present historical situation (furthermore since the end of Stalinism, the fall of the USSR and the anti-communist campaigns), any theoretical and political concession of the Communist Left vis-a-vis the anarchist political current is particularly dangerous from the point of view of the proletariat as a whole as for the revolutionary camp. The anarchist ideology, because its anti-state themes, its apoliticism, its criticisms against Marxism, against the Russian Revolution and the Bolshevik Party, fully participates to the anti-communist campaigns and to the strengthening of the ideological offensive of the bourgeoisie against Marxism. To consider anarchism, even a supposed ’revolutionary’ or ’internationalist’ part of this one could make common cause with Marxism, indeed would be a ’parallel’ current to this one, represents a weakening of the theoretical and political fight against bourgeois ideology.

The groups of the Communist Left must maintain themselves on revolutionary Marxist ground by trying to "(…) convince even the youngest that, in any circumstances, anarchism is only the synonym of reaction; and more honest are men and women who set themselves in this reactionary game, more tragic and dangerous it is for the whole movement of the working class" (Eleanor Marx, 1895, translated by us from a Spanish version).

The IGCL, May 2014.

Marxism is Proletarian and Revolutionary, Anarchism has never been... (Extracts)

Let’s recall first to the present ICC how Marx and Engels – one and a half century ago – considered necessary to lead the fight against anarchism, by its ’exclusion’ from the ranks of the international workers movement (at that time, the refusal of admission of Bakunin’s International Alliance of Socialist Democracy) :

"The first phase of the proletariat’s struggle against the bourgeoisie is marked by a sectarian movement. That is logical at a time when the proletariat has not yet developed sufficiently to act as a class. Certain thinkers criticize social antagonisms and suggest fantastic solutions thereof, which the mass of workers is left to accept, preach, and put into practice. The sects formed by these initiators are abstentionist by their very nature — i.e., alien to all real action, politics, strikes, coalitions, or, in a word, to any united movement. The mass of the proletariat always remains indifferent or even hostile to their propaganda. The Paris and Lyon workers did not want the St.-Simonists, the Fourierists, the Icarians, any more than the Chartists and the English trade unionists wanted the Owenites. These sects act as levers of the movement in the beginning, but become an obstruction as soon as the movement outgrows them; after which they became reactionary. Witness the sects in France and England, and lately the Lassalleans in Germany, who after having hindered the proletariat’s organization for several years ended up becoming simple instruments of the police. To sum up, we have here the infancy of the proletarian movement, just as astrology and alchemy are the infancy of science. If the International were to be founded, it was necessary that the proletariat go through this phase.

Contrary to the sectarian organization, with their vagaries and rivalries, the International is a genuine and militant organization of the proletarian class of all countries, united in their common struggle against the capitalists and the landowners, against their class power organized in the state. The International’s Rules, therefore, speak of only simple “workers’ societies”, all aiming for the same goal and accepting the same program, which presents a general outline of the proletarian movement, while having its theoretical elaboration to be guided by the needs of the practical struggle and the exchange of ideas in the sections, unrestrictedly admitting all shades of socialist convictions in their organs and Congresses.

Just as in every new historical phase old mistakes reappear momentarily only to disappear forthwith, so within the International there followed a resurrection of sectarian sections, though in a less obvious form.

The Alliance, which considers the resurrection of the sects a great step forward, is in itself conclusive proof that their time is over: for if initially they contained elements of progress, the program of the Alliance, in the tow of a “Mohammed without the Koran”, is nothing but a heap of pompously worded ideas long since dead and capable only of frightening bourgeois idiots or serving as evidence to be used by the Bonapartist or other prosecutors against members of the International. (…)

Anarchy, then, is the great war horse of their master Bakunin, who has taken nothing from the socialist systems except a set of slogans. All socialists see anarchy as the following program:

Once the aim of the proletarian movement — i.e., abolition of classes — is attained, the power of the state, which serves to keep the great majority of producers in bondage to a very small exploiter minority, disappears, and the functions of government become simple administrative functions.

The Alliance draws an entirely different picture.

It proclaims anarchy in proletarian ranks as the most infallible means of breaking the powerful concentration of social and political forces in the hands of the exploiters. Under this pretext, it asks the International, at a time when the Old World is seeking a way of crushing it, to replace its organization with anarchy" (Fictitious Splits in the International, K. Marx and F. Engels, 1872,

As we can see, since Marx and Engels, the fight of Communism against Anarchism does not only refer to ’its attitude in front of imperialist war’ but also to all its program and goals which are regarded as a reactionary utopia dressed up as ultra-radicalism, and its methods of action and of ’organization’ as belonging to an already historically overcome sectarianism. Firstly, political abstentionism, i.e. the rejection of the political parties and activity defended by anarchism, tends to move the workers away from conscious revolutionary political struggle and to maintain them at the level of spontaneous resistance struggles. Secondly, all the anarchist ’organizational’ principles as federalism, autonomy or anti-authoritarianism, tend to provoke the disorganization and the dispersion of the proletarian forces and to undermine the working class’ tendency to set up centralized organizations. Thirdly, finally the anarchist goal of immediate abolition of the state opposes to the imperious need that the proletariat seizes power (and thus that it prepares itself, fights for and organizes for this). So it leads proletariat’s revolutionary struggle to a dead-end and it gives the bourgeoisie the possibility to reorganize and to defeat it. As Marx and Engels said, the introduction of the anarchist doctrine and methods in the workers ranks is the surest way to ’eternalize’ Capitalist state.

We can also see here in what consists Marx and Engels’ ’real internationalism’: in the uncompromising defense of the International as ’real and militant organization of the working class of all countries’ which fights for the overthrow of all Capitalist states and for the establishment of the working class’ political power (the dictatorship of the proletariat), in opposition to the ’creators of sects’, firstly the anarchists, who tend to reduce it. It means that, for revolutionary Marxism, proletarian internationalism has never been an abstract principle, nor even a simple declaration of being ’against all states, all nations and against all imperialist wars’. For Marxism, internationalism implies a concrete effort of the working class to organize itself at the international scale, to act in a united and centralized manner at the international scale too, with the aim of world communist revolution. These two concrete expressions of proletarian internationalism – the working class’ centralized organization and the struggle for world communist revolution – through the establishment of the proletarian dictatorship, are antagonistic, opposed, to anarchism’s foundations.

Marx and Engels’ analysis of the reactionary and disorganizing character of anarchism has not been only confirmed by the sabotage action of Bakunin’s Alliance within the International, but also in the mass struggle of the proletariat. A significant example is the uprising of 1873 in Spain during which the anarchists, placed at the head of the proletariat, had the occasion to put into practice their positions and methods with disastrous results for the class. Engels, basing himself on a study which included the relations of the anarchists amongst them, makes them a caustic criticism. For the sake of brevity, we only present here the conclusions:

"1) As soon as they were faced with a serious revolutionary situation, the Bakuninists had to throw the whole of their old programme overboard. First they sacrificed their doctrine of absolute abstention from political, and especially electoral, activities. Then anarchy, the abolition of the State, shared the same fate. Instead of abolishing the State they tried, on the contrary, to set up a number of new, small states. They then dropped the principle that the workers must not take part in any revolution that did not have as its aim the immediate and complete emancipation of the proletariat, and they themselves took part in a movement that was notoriously bourgeois. Finally they went against the dogma they had only just proclaimed — that the establishment of a revolutionary government is but another fraud another betrayal of the working class — for they sat quite comfortably in the juntas of the various towns, and moreover almost everywhere as an impotent minority outvoted and politically exploited by the bourgeoisie.

2) This renunciation of the principles they had always been preaching was made moreover in the most cowardly and deceitful manner and was prompted by a guilty conscience, so that neither the Bakuninists themselves nor the masses they led had any programme or knew what they wanted when they joined the movement. What was the natural consequence of this? It was that the Bakuninists either prevented any action from being taken, as in Barcelona, or drifted into sporadic, desultory and senseless uprisings, as in Alcoy and Sanlúcar de Barrameda; or that the leadership of the uprising was taken over by the intransigent bourgeois, as was the case in most of the revolts. Thus, when it came to doing things, the ultra-revolutionary rantings of the Bakuninists either turned into appeasement or into uprisings that were doomed to failure, or, led to their joining a bourgeois party which exploited the workers politically in the most disgraceful manner and treated them to kicks into the bargain.

3) Nothing remains of the so-called principles of anarchy, free federation of independent groups, etc., but the boundless, and senseless fragmentation of the revolutionary resources, which enabled the government to conquer one city after another with a handful of soldiers, practically unresisted.

4) The outcome of all this is that not only have the once so well organized and numerous Spanish sections of the International — both the false and the true ones — found themselves involved in the downfall of the Intransigents and are now actually dissolved, but are also having ascribed to them innumerable atrocities, without which the philistines of all nationalities cannot imagine a workers’ uprising, and this may make impossible, perhaps for years to come, the international re-organization of the Spanish proletariat.

5) In a word, the Bakuninists gave us in Spain an unsurpassable example of the way a revolution can’t be done" (F. Engels, The Bakuninists at Work, 1873,, point 5 doesn’t appear in the English version, thus translated by us).

Engels describes the anarchists’ action which has repeated, in great lines, every time throughout history. At the head of a real mass movement, the anarchists see themselves obliged to leave aside, or to reverse into their opposite, the principles of their utopian program : political abstentionism is converted to a political intervention without direction, nor precise objectives ; state abolition is converted to a formation of multiple small states ; anti-authoritarianism to dispersal of the movement ; finally, the lack of concrete goals brings them to stand behind the well-organized Capitalist forces, to adhere to any bourgeois party and to participate in bourgeois government.

The very tragedy the proletariat in Spain suffered in 1873, tormented between the bourgeois parties and anarchism, repeated in 1936, but much worse. At that time, in full Stalinist counter-revolution, in the midst of the deepest defeat suffered by the proletariat in all its history, anarchism – especially anarcho-syndicalism – knew a new impetus and succeeded to enlist the large masses in various countries. It is not surprising if we consider that anarchism has the role of recruitment of the proletariat and the peasants behind the bourgeoisie. It is precisely what it started doing again in Spain. United with the chorus of the bourgeois ’republicans’ and Stalinist, they tried to maintain the myth of the ’Spanish Revolution’, the ICC (our ’old’ ICC) used to say that the anarchists "find it hard to swallow the behavior of the most important organization in the history of anarchism, which had the most determining influence on the working class of a whole country: the Spanish CNT. It is obviously difficult to lay claim to the tradition of an organization which, after years of propaganda for ’direct action’, of denouncing any kind of participation in the bourgeois political game of parliamentarism, of fiery speeches against the state in all its forms, found nothing better to do in 1936 than to send four ministers to the bourgeois government of the Spanish Republic and several councilors to the Catalan Generalitat. In May 1937, when the Barcelona workers rose against the government’s police (controlled by the Stalinists), these anarchist ministers called on them to lay down their arms and ’fraternize’ with their executioners. In other words, they stabbed the workers in the back’ (ICC, Spain 1936 and the Friends of Durruti, International Review #102, 2000 ).

So, the passage of the anarchist organizations to the Capital’s camp is not, strictly speaking, a ’betrayal’ of ’genuine proletarian internationalism’. It is rather a ’natural’ trajectory to which are condemned the anarchist organizations because of the petit-bourgeois utopian character given by their own program and their own methods of action and ’organization’.

The period of the international proletarian revolutionary wave – which really begun with the 1905 Russian Revolution and found its highest and triumphant expression with the October 1917 one – marks a definitive turn in the history of anarchism: the one of its historical bankruptcy as independent, ’parallel’, current fighting in front of Marxism to set up itself as proletariat’s class consciousness, as ideology of the proletarian revolution.

"The Russian Revolution, which is the first historical experiment on the model of the class strike, not merely does not afford a vindication of anarchism, but actually means the historical liquidation of anarchism. (…) But the fatherland of Bakunin was to become the burial-place of his teachings. Not only did and do the anarchists in Russia not stand at the head of the mass strike movement; not only does the whole political leadership of revolutionary action and also of the mass strike lie in the hands of the social democratic organizations, which are bitterly opposed as “bourgeois parties” by Russian anarchists, or partly in the hands of such socialist organizations as are more or less influenced by the social democracy and more or less approximate to it (…) but the anarchists simply do not exist as a serious political tendency in the Russian Revolution. (…) What is the actual role of anarchism in the Russian Revolution? It has become the sign of the common thief and plunderer; a large proportion of the innumerable thefts and acts of plunder of private persons are carried out under the name of “anarchist-communism” – acts which rise up like a troubled wave against the revolution in every period of depression and in every period of temporary defensive. Anarchism has become in the Russian Revolution, not the theory of the struggling proletariat, but the ideological signboard of the counterrevolutionary lumpen-proletariat, who, like a school of sharks, swarm in the wake of the battleship of the revolution. And therewith the historical career of anarchism is well-nigh ended’ (Rosa Luxemburg, The Mass Strike, 1906,

The 1917 Revolution confirms this historical liquidation of anarchism. Indeed, Marxism and anarchism had two objectives, two different ’proposals’ for the ’day following’ the bourgeoisie’s overthrow. Marxism stressed the necessity for the proletariat to assume the political power in order to overcome the resistance of Capital (the Dictatorship of the Proletariat); on the contrary, anarchism wanted ’to abolish at once any form of state’. Real life, the class struggle, has proven Marxism right: the proletarian revolution had led to the establishment of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, i.e. the violent seizure of power by the proletariat organized in workers councils (centralized organization of the class) and politically led by the revolutionary Marxist party (the Bolsheviks).

Thus, the 1917 Revolution has been the antithesis of all anarchism’s predictions. It threw to the dustbin of history all the anarchist arsenal: its theoretical and political foundations (individualism, social contract), its declared objectives (’the immediate abolition of the state’), its methods of disorganization (federalism, autonomism, individual terrorist action). The Russian Revolution provoked the explosion of the inherent contradictions of anarchism which had been denounced by Marxism for decades (apoliticism, negation of the necessity of the seizure of political power by the proletariat, rejection of the class organization, etc.). All this led to the fact this current didn’t actually take any role in the seizure of power by the proletariat (which the very anarchists themselves don’t cease to bitterly acknowledge in their narratives on the Russian Revolution. Some ’consistent’ anarchists even opposed the revolution and the workers councils. The others had no other path than to ’support’, to march behind the revolution. The proletarian revolution led by the Bolshevik Party dragged along behind it the anarchists and the masses who were still influenced by anarchism (especially the peasants); and in Russia, as everywhere in the whole world (up to Mexico), the anarchists saluted the beginning of the Russian Revolution and the Bolsheviks thus recognizing the rightness of their action.

Yet, today, in a recent series of articles on anarchism (...), the present ICC presents a completely different point of view. According to the ICC :

"The outbreak of the Russian revolution stirred up an enormous enthusiasm. The revolutionary movement of the working class and the victorious insurrection of October 1917 led the proletarian currents of anarchism to identify with it explicitly. The most fruitful contribution of the anarchists to the revolutionary process in Russia was concretised by their collaboration with the Bolsheviks. Internationally, the political convergence of the internationalist anarchists with communism and the Bolsheviks was further strengthened" (Anarchism and imperialist war, World Revolution #325, June 2009, we underline).

Thus, instead of clearly stating that anarchism has been historically ’defeated’ in the Russian Revolution, that the anarchists didn’t participated to the seizure of power by the proletariat in Russia and that, as far as they adhered to the movement, they only did it by giving up their anarchist point of view and by adopting some aspects of Marxism – in particular, the recognition of the necessity of the Proletariat’s Dictatorship –, the present ICC exposes things completely upside down : as if anarchism had ’driven’ or ’brought’ something to the revolution; almost as if the Russian Revolution had been the product of the political ’convergence’ between anarchism and Bolshevism! This rough distortion of history is not but an opportunist concession of the present ICC to the anarchists, particularly to those who claim today the soviets (the councils) appeared in Russia as if they had been an expression and a product of anarchism. While, actually the workers councils as executive and centralized organization set up to the seizure of power are the direct antithesis of federalism, of autonomism, of political abstentionism and of the ’abolitionism’ peculiar to anarchism.

Anarchism was historically liquidated from the 1917 Revolution but, paradoxically, it has not disappeared. On the contrary, one more time, it began again ’to rise from the ashes’. Why? As it happened throughout the workers movement’s history, the resurgence of anarchism has been the fulcrum for the maintenance of the class struggle conditions which saw its birth, i.e. the proletarianization of the petit-bourgeois stratas which introduce their individualist class point of view within the workers movement and the existence of masses of peasants and workers particularly young or politically backward ’ inclined - as said Eleanor Marx – to take words for deeds, high-sounding phrases for acts, mere sound and fury for revolutionary activity [3]. But, moreover, and it is not the fundamental aspect, the wave of international revolution having withdrawn, the revival of anarchism is not due to its ’ultra-radical’ utopian theories, nor to its organizational intrigues, but mainly for having clung to the victory of the Stalinist counter-revolution and, more generally, to the ideological victories and domination of the bourgeoisie upon the proletariat; for having converted in ’the last wheel of the coach’ of the bourgeoisie (which, after all, is nothing else but the expression of its historical bankruptcy).

After the seizure of power by the proletariat in Russia, the Marxist communists clearly understood that the fate of the proletarian revolution was in its capacity to victoriously spread to other countries, particularly those of capitalism’s ’heart’ of Western Europe. And so, they understood – by analyzing the growing difficulties to which the revolution came up against and by criticizing the Bolsheviks’ mistakes – that, whatever would be the final outcome of this battle between the two antagonistic classes, the Russian Revolution would remain forever as the historical and practical proof of the proletariat’s possibility and capacity to overthrow capitalist state, to set up its own power, and to open up a period towards the definitive elimination of capitalism and communism’s building up. The Russian Revolution opened for the world proletariat a perspective in which its movement had to engage, a method to follow and a form of organization.

"The fate of the revolution in Russia depended fully upon international events. That the Bolsheviks have based their policy entirely upon the world proletarian revolution is the clearest proof of their political far-sightedness and firmness of principle and of the bold scope of their policies.(...)

What is in order is to distinguish the essential from the non-essential, the kernel from the accidental excrescences in the politics of the Bolsheviks. In the present period, when we face decisive final struggles in all the world, the most important problem of socialism was and is the burning question of our time. It is not a matter of this or that secondary question of tactics, but of the capacity for action of the proletariat, the strength to act, the will to power of socialism as such. In this, Lenin and Trotsky and their friends were the first, those who went ahead as an example to the proletariat of the world; they are still the only ones up to now who can cry with Hutten: “I have dared!”

This is the essential and enduring in Bolshevik policy. In this sense theirs is the immortal historical service of having marched at the head of the international proletariat with the conquest of political power and the practical placing of the problem of the realization of socialism, and of having advanced mightily the settlement of the score between capital and labor in the entire world. In Russia, the problem could only be posed. It could not be solved in Russia. And in this sense, the future everywhere belongs to “Bolshevism.” (Rosa Luxemburg, The Russian Revolution, 1918,

And actually, although the proletariat made heroic efforts in many countries to extend revolution, the defeat of the movement in Germany – where the main proletarian detachment was concentrated – provoked a reversal in the course of the events, opening a counter-revolutionary course which led progressively to the degeneracy of the Communist Parties and of the revolution in Russia which, in the middle of the 1920’s, ended up by the establishment of the Stalinist regime. Anyway, from this moment on, the defense of the 1917 Revolution as highest practical realization – up to then – of the proletarian revolution, as ’model’ from which the proletariat will have to restart its revolutionary movement (of course by overcoming its limits and mistakes) practically converted into a class frontier. That is why, for instance, the acceptance of ’the October Revolution as proletarian revolution’ was one of the criteria for the participation to the conferences of the Communist Left at the end of the years 1970. And, obviously, this defense includes too the admission of the necessity of the political leadership of a world party of the revolutionary Marxist vanguard:

’The organization of revolutionaries (whose most advanced form is the party) is the necessary organ with which the class equips itself to become conscious of its historic future and to politically orient the struggle for this future. For this reason the existence and activity of the party are an indispensable condition for the final victory of the proletariat. (…) The necessarily world-wide and centralized character of the proletarian revolution confers the same world-wide and centralized character on the party of the working class, and the fractions and groups who lay the basis of the party necessarily tend towards a world-wide centralization’ (International Communist Current’s political Platform, 1976, underlined by us).

Here again, we see the concrete expression of proletarian internationalism but in an even higher phase of the movement. According to the old ICC and to Marxism in general, the world and centralized nature of the revolution endows the party with this same world and centralized character. In this sense, revolutionary Marxism – from then on represented only by the groups of the Communist Left which appeared in front of the degeneracy of the Communist International – had to include amongst its tasks the pursuit of the permanent fight against anarchism in order to extract, keep and defend the experiences of the revolutionary wave. Even though this fight was faced with more difficult and disadvantageous conditions as far as anarchism could take advantage and would receive direct support from the monstrous ideological campaigns of the bourgeoisie aiming at crushing, mystifying and erasing Marxism, the Russian Revolution, the dictatorship of the proletariat from the proletarian masses memory; i.e. all of which had really and effectively threatened capitalism’s survival itself if only for a short period.

Thus, with the reflux of the revolutionary wave, the anarchists forgot their ’sympathies’ (their ’convergences’ as says the present ICC) towards Marxism and Bolshevism as quickly as they had declared them previously. In particular, instead of assimilating the ’key’ for the proletarian movement’s future, i.e. the understanding of the impossibility for the proletariat in power to resist for long in one country and thus, however, the necessity for spreading revolution to the international scale, the anarchists took out again from their dustbins their old stuff against ’authoritarianism’ and ’centralization’ (i.e. against the class’ organization), on the ’dangers of all parties’ (in the first place the revolutionary communist parties) and on the harmful character of the ’dictatorship of the proletariat’ (whose example would be... the Russian Revolution!) which would not be but actually the dictatorship of some bourgeois-Jacobin-authoritarians such as Lenin and Trotsky, opposed to the councils (these being a prototype of anarchism). On this ground, anarchism is nothing but the echo of the furious bourgeois campaign to bring disgrace and discredit revolution.

Finally, during the Second World War, the anarchist current, the majority of its different groups, adopted a ’social-patriot’ attitude, i.e. it participated actively in war... side by side with ’their’ own bourgeoisies. That was nothing else but the reaffirmation that anarchism had integrated the capital’s camp and that, in relation to its forces, it led the proletariat into the imperialist butchery. It is from this time that the reduced and weak publications of the surviving Communist Left in this dark period (such as Bilan and Internationalisme) did not stop their permanent fight, despite all difficulties, to denounce and also to distinguish themselves from the anarchists’ activity of that epoch.

’It was during the discussion about the groups to be invited to the next conferences that we were able to bring out the social-patriotic role of the anarchist movement during the 1939-45 war, in spite of its hollow revolutionary phraseology. We also pointed out that its participation in the partisan struggle for ’national and democratic liberation’ in France, in Italy and even today in Spain is a logical continuation of its participation in the bourgeois ’republican and anti-fascist’ government and in the imperialist war in Spain in 1936-38. Our position that the anarchist movement, as well as the Trotskyists and any other tendency that participated in the imperialist war in the name of the defense of a nation state (the defense of Russia) or of one form of bourgeois domination against another (the defense of the Republic or of democracy against fascism) has no place in a conference of revolutionary groups, was supported by the majority of the participant’ (An International Conference of Revolutionary Groups, Internationalisme #23, Gauche communiste de France, 1947, reproduced in the ICC International Review #132).

Again, we see here that it is not a simple ’drift’ or a ’betrayal’ of internationalism by some anarchist elements or groups – as makes believe the present ICC – but an historical process of passage of the whole current, of the anarchist movement to the camp of capital, through a series of events of world historical importance (as in 1936-1939 in Spain as well as its participation to the Resistance in the countries occupied by Germany, etc...): its participation to bourgeois governments, its participation in the crushing of the proletarian insurrection and, finally, its participation in the enlistment of the proletariat to world imperialist war.(…)

Fraction of the International Communist Left, 2011.

(Published on : 9 September 2014)



[1.- Maoism has never betrayed Marxism since it has never been...

[2.- The comrades can refer to the following statement of the IFCL, The defense of the Proletarian Character of the October Revolution is still a class frontier !, after the publication of the statements of Bukharin’s fraction and, above all, the Preface which presents it, wrongly, as the first fraction of the Communist Left.

[3. Préface to Plenajov’sAnarchism and Socialism English translation,1875.