Bulletin Nº 2

Introduction to the A. Bordiga's text:

We publish entirely Bordiga's text «Organisation and communist discipline» to make it known by all the ICC militants. For us, this publication lies within the framework of the orientations of the Fraction, in particular when it proposes :
- to fight the present "revisionist" drift which doesn't express only on the functionning level but also on the theoretical and political levels ;
- to develop the theoretical reflection, in particular through a thorough work on the history of the workers movement, in order to lead the organisation to "reappropriate" its own texts, those of revolutionary marxism, from which the present orientation moves away more and more.
Even though we don't share some ideas and conceptions presented in this text which, obvioulsy, aren't the ICC ones, we want to claim that we completly support what Bordiga defends on the question of the discipline. We support it because it totally lies within the tradition and the principles of the revolutionary proletariat and because it defends what our Current has always defended. In that sense, we think that this text might lead the comrades to think on the present practices of the organisation.

In the first part of his text where he defines his conception of the organisation, Bordiga makes a criticism in particular of the "democratic principle", which is far to surprise us. In his criticism of this principle, he begins with the totally valid idea that being majoritarian doesn't necessarily mean being politically right. Actually, we can't disagree with the fact that a rightness of a politicial position doesn't depend upon the number of the militants who defend this position. But, we can't follow him when he erroneously draws the implication that this principle has no value and, even more, when he tends to propose its pure and simple rejection. What makes us differ from Bordiga (and from the bordiguist groups which have particularly developed this conception), is that, for us, the democratic principle is fundamental. In the ICC, it's the majority which determines the orientations and the policy to be led even if it is wrong, even if it is mistaking. But what is in our conception even more fundamental, is that the minority (or the minorities) might have all the means to express and that even it might be favoured (see the wider place given to the minoritarian positions in the meetings, in the bulletins and even towards the external ; see too the over-evaluation of the minoritarian positions in the votes, etc.). We can say that what defines our vision, it's the first importance which we attach to the political reflection, to the debate, in regards with how the positions are immediatly posed. When we defend the democratic principle, it's not with the illusion that the majority is always right but because this principle is the only one which can allow the wider debate within the organisation ; and the wider debate is the best mean, indeed the guaranty, that «the positions get more precise, wiser and can even been overcomed» as says our "Declaration of formation of an internal Fraction".

Bordiga makes a big mistake which appears clearly in the text, when he believes that there is, on one side «a model», «an ideal type of revolutionary party» without divergencies, nor oppositions, towards which we have to tend and, on the other side, a reality in which «the rule is the division of the communist parties in fraction» with «dissensions which sometimes transform themselves into conflicts» (we underline) [translations into english of Bordiga's text are ours] :
- first we must reject this vision of the party not only because it's erroneous and that we don't share it, but also because it's idealistic and, thus, no-marxist ;
- next, we must clearly affirm that a party which doesn't know «rivalities of fractions and dissensions» risks to be far for representing what really needs the working class and even could be the worst of the parties.

Nevertheless, we fully follow Bordiga when he affirms that «we can't resolve the question of the organisation and of the discipline within the communist movement if we don't link them closely to the questions of the theory, the program and the tactic…». As he does, we don't respect the criteria «of the discipline for the discipline» because it can be «adopted in given situations by the counter-revolutionaries and used as an obstacle for the formation of the real class revolutionary party».
Who can oppose him when he affirms that «the most glorious example with which we must scorn the demagogic influence of such sophism, is given by Lenin who has been attacked a hundred times as distingrator, transgessor of the obedience to the party (we underline), but who carried on his way imperturbably and became with perfect logic the defensor of the sane marxist criterias of organic centralisation within the State and within the Party of the Revolution. Conversely, the more unfortunate example of the formalist and bureaucratic applications of the discipline has been given by Karl Liebknecht's vote when he felt obliged, August 4th of 1914, to vote for the war credits» ?

As we did at the last September IB, it was with the greatest honesty that Bordiga had accepted to dissolve the "Comité d'Entente" in July 1925, by discipline and because of the threat of expulsion by the Executive of the IC. But this didn't prevent him to carry on expressing his opposition to the policy of the IC.
In the Unitá of July 2nd of 1925, he justifies his orientation : «The creation of the Comité d'Entente was the only mean to get round the inconveniences resulting from their method of leading the party and of directing in the less dangerous way the reactions of the periphery against the Center systems». And yet the IC leadership had never considered that he had been «disloyal» (1) to the organisation. Otherwise, we can ask : Was he right to dissolve the Comitee ? With the distance, we can answer no. And us, have we been right to dissolve the Collectif ? We could have responded positively if we have got the change of policy from the part of the OC of the ICC and a perspective of discussion as it has been claimed by the September IB. The following events have invalidated very quicky this hope. There is why we can say today that we were wrong to declare that dissolution. The political situation inside the ICC is worst than the one which prevailed before the last IB. Since then, there have been the resolution of the CE of RI which has decided not to publish the texts of the former members of the Collectif and the suspension of those who wanted to take minutes during the meetings to which they were convoked. In 1925, the IC had not yet invented «the stalinist selfcriticism». Today, in the ICC, the members of the ex-Collectif are required to criticize their acts in order to "weigh up" if they are loyal or not to the organisation. And it depends on this selfcriticism that their texts are published. There is why it seems to us more and more obvious that the discipline such as it is practiced today within the ICC, has nothing in common with the one that the revolutionary movement has always defended.

In conclusion, we think important to recall how the Italian Fraction was born. Before becoming a fraction within the PCI (italian CP) in 1928, the Italian Left had always remained organised as an opposition and as a current with publications such as Prometeo which had been forbidden by the leadership of the party after 1925. It's what we have widely showed in our works of reappropriation of the lessons of the Italian Left. It's in this framework that there had been an important discussion between Pappalardi and Perrone (Vercesi), in 1927, for considering the right moment for the creation of the fraction (see Perrone's letter quoted by S. Saggioro). We must remember that, before his arrival to France; Perrone was in Milano the responsible for the coordination between all the members of the Italian Communist Left. Against it, the PCI had asked for the help of the PCF (french CP) in order to reduce in France the nucleus of the comrades members of the Left. Finally, as we know, Pappalardi had built up the first fraction in 1927 contrary to what recommended Perrone. This last one waited until the IC congress of 1928 –during which the Left made an appeal for the return ["réintégration" in french] of Trotsky which has been rejected – for lauching out into the creation of the Fraction «Bilan/Prometeo». Were these comrades «disloyal» ? Were they wrong to act in such a way ? Of course not, it was largely time to organise in fraction.
In regards with what concerns us, we claim what Bordiga was saying at the 3rd congress of the PCI in Lyon in 1926 :«Is there an historical example proving that one comrade has formed a fraction for fun ? It never happened. The experience shows us that opportunism penetrates amongst us always through the appearance of the unity. But, the history of the fractions proves that if the fractions don't honour the parties in which they formed, they honour those who formed them. The history of the fractions is the Lenin's history».
Let's give up with the hypocrisy of the discipline and of the loyalty. Let's finally aknowledge that do exist political acts and political positions which are confronting and that the central organs won't settle it with «suspensions» and other disciplinary measures.
The Fraction.

(1) The utilisation that the Central Organs of the ICC make today of this term is more than questionable because it has moral connotations. We'll surely go back over this in the future.