Revolution or War n°4

(September 2015)

PDF - 972.6 kb

HomeVersion imprimable de cet article Version imprimable

On "Predictions" and the Question of the Historical Course

We publish here after a Correspondance with a former member of the ICC, comrade MG. He sent us critical comments on the last issue of our journal. In particular, he comes back on our article A New Period Opens... [1] and so participates in our internal debate that we opened to the readers with the publication of Critical Comments [2] of one of our members. But before entering into this debate, some amongst our readers and sympathizers will certainly wonder : what interest is there in developing discussions to know if the situation is more or less favourable for the proletariat? Is it not useless hair-splitting? For revolutionaries and all those who wish to participate in the class struggle against capital, is it not enough to support and participate in all struggles which develop, and just to “defend the revolutionary principles and positions”? In fact, this question relates in a manner more or less open, or affirmed, to all revolutionary and communist groups : should they advance “hypotheses” on the evolution of the working class struggles and more widely on the historical course of the classes’ struggle ? And if so, up to the point of risking falling into hazardous predictions and mistakes? This finds its most accomplished expression in the longstanding debate which opposes the “historical” ICC [3] and the ICT (ex-IBRP) on the question of the “historical course” [4].

Any revolutionary worker or simply a combative and militant one who has been confronted by any workers struggle, more or less wide, in the work place, in the neighbourhood or city, has been led along with comrades of struggle to ask himself the following question: does our struggle tend to develop and win strength and vitality against the management, the boss, the company... or rather does it tend to lose strength, energy and efficiency, and to withdraw? The response to this question sets the attitude and the concrete and immediate orientations for the fight in attempting to adapt them according to the evolution of the situation day by day (sometimes by hour), that is the dynamic of the relation of forces which are confronting. Why should, what is obvious and a necessity for any combative and militant worker, and even more for any active revolutionary militant in the workplace or neighbourhood, not be even more obvious for the revolutionary political groups organized precisely for intervening in the struggles of their class? And even more so, for the communist groups whose main and specific task is to defend not only the class positions of principle but also, and in a certain way above all, political orientations and slogans responding to the necessities of each moment – historical and immediate, international or local – of the struggle between the classes?

« The social democrats [the communist groups today] are the most enlightened, most class-conscious vanguard of the proletariat. They cannot and dare not wait, in a fatalist fashion, with folded arms for the advent of the “revolutionary situation,” to wait for that which in every spontaneous peoples’ movement, falls from the clouds. On the contrary, they must now, as always, hasten the development of things and endeavour to accelerate events. This they cannot do, however, by suddenly issuing the “slogan” for a mass strike at random at any odd moment, but first and foremost, by making clear to the widest layers of the proletariat the inevitable advent of this revolutionary period, the inner social factors making for it and the political consequences of it. If the widest proletarian layer should be won for a political mass action of the social democrats, and if, vice versa, the social democrats should seize and maintain the real leadership of a mass movement – should they become, in a political sense, the rulers of the whole movement, then they must, with the utmost clearness, consistency and resoluteness, inform the German proletariat of their tactics and aims in the period of coming struggle. » (Rosa Luxemburg, Mass Strike).

Here is why we attach so much importance to clarify and understand if events such as September 11th 2001 (the attacks in New York) or January 7th 2015 (those in Paris), to mention just a few, represent or don’t represent a change, indeed a break, with the previous historical dynamic and if they announce, or not, new historical stakes. This is also why it matters to try to understand the general march of the events, their course, and more particularly the dynamic of the working class struggles. This is the debate we continue here publicly with comrade MG’s letter.

IGCL, July 2015.



[3. Understood as historic current which overtakes widely the formal decrepit organisation of today.

[4. « In no case can it be a question of a revolutionary organisation playing Nostradamus and building its politics on abstract predictions. But it is precisely this error that the ICC makes with its concept of the ’historical course’ » Marxism or Idealism, our Differences with the ICC, (