Revolution or War n°12

(Special issue on the proletarian camp and its future - July 2019)

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Warning : We were unable to correct and verify the English translation of several texts in this issue. We apologize for the difficulty of the reading and we hope that there is no political misunderstanding. If any doubt, one can always refer to the French version.

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The Battle for the Reconfiguration of the Proletarian Camp, the "Party in the Making", is Launched

This issue of the journal is a special one entirely dedicated to the situation of the proletarian camp, i.e. the revolutionary political forces that claim to be part of the International Communist Left. We will resume the normal thread of our review and its frequency in October with a more balanced summary that will try to answer both the situation and the questions faced by the international proletariat in its struggles and the political and theoretical debates within this camp which constitutes, in fact, the world communist party in the making.

Why dedicate an entire issue of our journal to the state of the communist forces whose influence and impact on the immediate situation seem so small? On the one hand, because as the highest expressions of class consciousness [1], the groups of the International Communist Left are an element, product and factor, of the world situation, of the evolution of the relation of forces between the classes. That their direct influence on the proletarian struggles and the situation is more or less important, often insignificant at first sight, does not change the fact that they are an expression of the reality of this relation of forces. On the other hand, because after decades of (relatively) stable conformation, a reconfiguration of the proletarian camp is underway with the emergence of a new generation and new communist forces and the relative exhaustion of the old generation and political groups that had developed after 1968.

The current historical situation, since the 2008 crisis and the exacerbation of capitalist contradictions at all levels, first and foremost in terms of imperialist rivalries and class antagonisms, also puts increasing pressure on this milieu, in particular on its most dynamic forces, those partidist that set themselves within the historical struggle for the party and for the political exercise of the dictatorship of the proletariat. It demands them more and better. It faces them up to their responsibilities. It highlights their weaknesses and shortcomings. And it encourages the emergence of new revolutionary forces and energies that seek and find in the Communist Left a theoretical and political coherence and a programmatic framework for their engagement. This is how Nuevo Curso [2] emerged in Spain, brilliantly defending class positions, overflowing with dynamism – his blog publishes practically one statement everyday –, even though with a particular political approach. In its wake, animated and encouraged by its dynamism, particularly in Spain and on the American continent, South and North, young militants and groups began to discuss and gather. A real dynamic of discussion and regrouping then developed especially around groups, among others, such as the Workers Offensive [3] and the Gulf Coast Communist Fraction [4]. It is quite naturally that this new generation of inexperienced militants turned to the International Communist Left, and especially to its main organization, the Internationalist Communist Tendency (and to a lesser extent to our own group). Other young comrades from the United States have also come closer to the so-called ’bordiguist’ current by joining one of its groups. But in turn, as particular expressions of the development of the situation, these new forces challenge and question the historical groups and currents of the proletarian camp by directly and concretely setting them in face of their responsibility and putting them to the test.

Within this proletarian camp, the so-called ’bordiguist’ current has been dispersed into a multitude of small groups since the explosion of the International Communist Party-Communist Program in the early 1980s. The fundamental reasons for this, beyond the hazards of the organizational crisis of that time, were due to the inadequacy of its basic political positions – support for national liberation struggles, defence of the red union... The International Communist Current has been openly engaged in an opportunist process since at least 2001, revising one by one its basic positions and Marxism. These two currents are today unable, for different reasons, to respond to the legitimate questions, needs and demands of the younger generations – this is especially true for the ICC. If groups inspired more by the tradition of the so-called ’Dutch’ Left – they are not always councilist – had been able to survive or even emerge, after the late 1960s, they have now disappeared and, in fact, their programmatic framework could not allow them to serve as a pole around which new forces and, more broadly, the camp as a whole could be articulated or even regrouped.

To date, only the ICT could, and still can, constitute this historical, political and organizational reference pole around which the rest of the camp, the party in the making, can and should meet. This question – which we have been defending since our constitution – is all the more difficult to make prevail and understand because the ICT itself is very reluctant to assume this role and sometimes even turns its back on it. However, this role, this place, is granted to it by history, both by the direct organic link – albeit now tenuous – with the Communist Party of Italy since its foundation and by the state of the other currents of the Communist Left. For our part, we have neither this organic link, nor the programmatic corpus, nor thus the political legitimacy and authority, much less the material organization – of which the number of members is only one aspect – to be able to claim such a role [5]. To claim it today would be a political mistake that could only further divide this camp, hinder its regrouping and unity in process, and disorient new generations and groups.

Unfortunately, instead of encouraging the development of an open milieu to political debates and confrontations, the ICT’s policy of regroupment in North America has very quickly reduced to and focused only on those elements that it has found it could quickly integrate into its ranks. This policy was even claimed in an article of the CWO in November 2018, at the height of the debates that were taking place in this new milieu :

"Around the world it is clear that a new generation is coming to the politics of the communist left and that throws up new challenges for organisations like the Internationalist Communist Tendency. Establishing a clear revolutionary stance through applying Marxism to contemporary reality is our starting point but we cannot confine ourselves to that. As Onorato Damen said revolutionary politics ’cannot be restricted to a typewriter’. This is not a time for fractions or discussion circles. It is time to form nuclei of revolutionaries everywhere and for them to converge in the creation of an international and internationalist revolutionary party in preparation for the inevitable class conflicts of the future"(The Significance of the German Revolution [6], we underline).

In doing so, it cut short the open process of political debate and clarification that should have developed. And it abandoned the comrades and circles that seemed not to share all its positions, causing in return a rejection from them of the ICT itself that we now have the greatest difficulty in fighting. Nature abhors a vacuum. It is in this space freed by the ICT and that no one could occupy in its place, not even us, that the main anti-partidist forces of the moment, those who advocate the fight against decomposition and parasitism, the ICC and its satellite in parasitism, Internationalist Voice, rushed to pollute the reflection and the work of re-appropriation of these young comrades with the destructive poison, destroying communist groups and the political convictions of the militants, of the theory of parasitism.

We are therefore at a decisive moment in the historical struggle for the party, certainly at an early stage of its process, whose outcome can pave the way for the establishment of a dynamic and renewed proletarian camp tending towards its unity or a relapse into division and sectarianism. It was precisely at this crucial moment that Nuevo Curso-Emancipación celebrated its 1st Congress while our group held its 2nd General Meeting. We publish extracts from the activities report that we adopted and that we have conceived as much as for the IGCL itself as for the proletarian camp as a whole. In particular, it tries to warn all the partidist forces, old and new, ourselves of course but also and above all the ICT, against the danger of the circle spirit, in particular as it is expressed today through social networks and the Internet, which hinders the development of the party in the making. The 1st Congress of Emancipación marks its constitution as a full and entire political group – which is positive and which we welcome – but also the adoption of a position, undoubtedly premature, which claims a historical continuity with the... 4th International! At the same time, the GCCF adopted new Points of Unity, published here, following the debate in which we participated [7] on their first platform, despite the fact that it was the main target of the ICC offensive on parasitism.

Finally, and to the extent that the struggle for the party and regrouping is also a struggle against opportunism, we are publishing a letter to Internationalist Voice demanding that this group clarify its attitude in the proletarian camp and our statement on the 23rd Congress of the ICC. We accompany it with a text from the 2005 Internal Fraction of the ICC published in its bulletin #30, which criticizes the theory of decomposition and outlines the link between it and the so-called fight against clanism and parasitism.

To the new forces: the proletarian camp is also a field of confrontation between opposing forces due to the constant penetration of political opportunism. To all: the forces involved, a left that is still hesitant and searching for itself and an opportunist and sectarian right that is committed to the struggle against parasites, are identified. No one can escape the battle that is being launched. We better should go into it with determination and decision.

The IGCL, July 2019.

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Notes:

[1. We cannot explain this point here which refers to the relationship between class consciousness and the party on the one hand and the extent of this consciousness within the proletarian class on the other hand (see Revolution or War #6 and 7 :http://www.igcl.org/On-Class-Consciousness and http://www.igcl.org/International-Communist-Current).

[5. The same applies to other groups or circles, such as Robin Goodfellow or A Free Retriever Digest, with different positions and origins, that claim to be part of the Communist Left and that, in fact and in our opinion, actively participate ’in their own way’ and positively in the historical struggle for the party.

[7. IGCL Letter to the GCCF October 2018.