Revolution or War n°25

(September 2023)

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Political Dilemma of the ICC Minoritarians: Be Consistent and Tackle the Dogma of Decomposition

As this issue draws to a close, the ICC publishes a text by Ferdinand, Disagreement with the International Resolution of the 24h Congress of the ICC [1] – accompanied by a Response to Ferdinand – both only in French so far. And so, two years after this congress. The first is in addition to the texts already published under Steinklopfer’s pseudonym, which attempt to oppose the ICC’s most caricatured and blind positions on the international situation, and in particular on the tendency towards imperialist bipolarization and generalized war. At first sight, there is little to expect from this internal tendency, which clearly refrains from questioning the framework and dogma of Decomposition. From its observations, the Divergences text concludes “an asymptotic process towards the definitive defeat” of the proletariat, leaving revolutionaries only with the task of “disseminating revolutionary positions, but above all qualitative, theoretical work, in-depth analysis of current trends.” (emphasis added) In other words, an inward-looking orientation. And an armchair preservation of the principles?

Nevertheless, it is sweet and pleasant to us to note the text’s long-standing criticism of the idealist method used by the ICC. It starts from the postulate of Decomposition and reduces all facts to it: “Everything is a product of decomposition – and all growth is therefore null and false. What is more: everything decomposes homogeneously, a kind of smooth disintegration not only of human relations, morality, culture and society, but of capitalism itself. (...) The implications of the contradiction between our ‘classical’ views and reality were too radical.” And, not to spoil our pleasure, we have even better: “this understanding of the period of decomposition is schematic and (...) an abandonment of Marxism.” (emphasis added) In short, it is not just the IGCL cops and parasites who denounce the ICC’s abandonment of Marxism.

Eternal optimists, we are. Let’s not despair of this internal tendency, even if it seems to be positioned more to the “right” than to the “left”. Let’s help it: one more effort comrades, free yourselves from the taboo of the Decomposition framework. Because – and in this we agree with the so-called “majority” position of the ICC – your “arguments call into question” the concept of decomposition, as it had already been replied to Steinklopfer.

If you want to be politically consistent, you will have to go all the way, risking a violent internal battle and personal risks – Steinklopfer knows the music which governs this type of situation within the ICC. He was first violin during the internal crisis of 2001-2002. And in case you have any doubts, the Response to Ferdinand reveals a piece of the score: Ferdinand has “an insidious way of casting doubt on the organization’s analysis” and uses afallacious argumentation [in which,] despite the formal expression of agreement with this framework [of decomposition], in reality transpires, through a cloud of smoke, a concrete questioning of it.”

The slightest internal questioning of Decomposition presents such “organizational” stakes, in fact of faction and personal power, that the consequent political struggle can only be difficult and painful. After all, the theory of Decomposition is also used to underpin the psychologizing theories of clans, anti-organizational parasitism and Stalinist-style internal ICC practices implemented in the 1990s and especially the 2000s. To call it into question is also to call into question the outrageous organizational practices of the past. The accusations already made by the “majority” that your positions contradict this theory and your previous agreement with it should not intimidate you. Any communist militant can and must go back on positions he now considers erroneous. There is no shame, and even less betrayal, in changing your position, provided you make it explicit. It is a question of loyalty to your communist convictions and your militant commitment. Demanding that you renounce today’s political convictions in the name of a past vote is a typical Stalinist practice. It destroys militants as communist militants and as individuals.

September 10, 2023