PRESENTATION OF THE BULLETIN 21
We do insist and do confirm : we have entered in a new period of crisis and war
Every day is more confirmed what we've said in regards to the new period opened up with September 11th 2001 and what we've reaffirmed in many bulletins and particularly in the previous one (n°20). Actually we are in a situation of a worsening economical crisis and this one presses increasingly the bourgeoisie towards war. A superficial understanding of the present situation at the level of the major imperialist rivalries, tends to defend the idea according to which the American superpower, since the collapse of the USSR, is only confronted to "dwarfs". This appreciation is about Germany and France in particular even though today they increasingly dare to oppose openly to the hegemonist policy of the United States in the world. They so seek to present an other pole of imperialist regroupment. It would be correct to speak of opposition between the United States and "dwarfs" if one only would look at the military means. But it's clear since a long time, and the present reality confirms it, that the military strength in itself is not all, nor the only determining factor. Actually, war still remains "the continuation of politics through other means" as has affirmed the Marxists and some bourgeois as the theoretician of the modern war (19th Century) Von Clausewitz. The economical, political and diplomatic influence of the European imperialisms turns to be, at least, as fearsome as the American military one. Since Germany and France have strongly manifested their "imperialist independence", a break had happened and this has allowed many States of less importance to find good reasons for not following the United States anymore. Thus they make the American policy increasingly difficult.
War as politics is not reduced to electronic wargames supposedly easy and "clean". In Afghanistan as well as in Iraq, despite the United States could show their force dropping the most sophisticated and destructive bombs, they also had to show their capacity to occupy the ground and to control it. There, it's another thing. The occupation and the control of these areas is obviously more difficult than the war confrontation and it's very costly in men and money - without speaking of the "internal danger" (the social reactions in the United States themselves) that this policy can't but revive. Up to 2002, the United States could still make done part of their menial tasks by their NATO "allies". Today it isn't the case anymore. We can see now in Iraq that the United States have great difficulties to find some no-American small battalions to replace their troops. So the new US military doctrine which pretends to be based on an army able to be "sent to various operation theaters at the same time" in the world, is at fault. The situation the United States are presently going through, reminds strongly the one of Napoleon's "Great army" unable to resolve the problem of the guerilla in Spain at the beginning of the 19th Century.
This policy of
"post-modern" war as they call it, turns to be very
expensive : for the United States alone, the simple occupation
of Iraq costs 3.9 billions dollars a month and their global
military budget reaches 400 billions dollars while their 2001 debt is
31% of their PIB [in french "Production Intérieur brut"]
(while it's 26% for the European Union). This means to increase the
expense, the taxes, and so to "cripple" the working class.
But the capitalist States have no choice. They will survive in the
crisis without end which affects them only by imperialist war. It's
the only outcome for capitalism in order it can carry on, even though
it's harder and harder and even if it's through the spreading of
barbarism all around the world.
In its path, it will inevitably confront the working class which, as we've seen it in the wave of struggles which begun in Europe (in particular in France) last spring, is reviving its capacity to struggle and which will react against the attacks that will necessarily occur.
The proletarian camp; in its great majority, globally shares the same understanding of this situation as well as the sense of its responsibilities in front of it. We'll just quote the Internationalist Communist Party-Le Prolétaire-Il Communista which lately headlined its french newspaper : "After the spring strikes, let's prepare the future struggles !" (Le Prolétaire n°468, August-September 2003). In this issue, the ICP defends that "the movement also acted as revealing for the positions of a group which claims to be a Left Communist representative, the ICC". Unfortunately we can't be but in agreement with this appreciation : actually the movement has been a revealing for the ICC which has been the only organization that turned its back to the struggle.
No revolutionary organization is above making mistake, nor a wrong understanding of the situation, and thus above leading an inadequate policy. But in the case of the present ICC it isn't by chance, nor a temporary mistake. It's a direct consequence of its very serious political drift. We refer our reader to the resolution on the international situation adopted by the 15th congress of this organization as well as the critical text we publish in this bulletin. As every body will see it, the ICC defends today the historical perspective of a "third way" (the destruction of humanity without world war and without classes struggle) which is antinomic to the "War or Revolution" alternative. Even though it carries on claiming this alternative, it isn't but an empty language. This "third" way is the one of the working class defeat without fights, the one which leads the Current to the abandon of the struggles. Finally, the ICC rejoins the famous "third way" of the revisionists and the opportunists of the social-democracy who called the workers not to fight for the revolution.
The sliding of the ICC on opportunism ground in the intervention within the class struggle is already a tangible reality. But it can't but getting worse because the sectarian policy developed by this organization. Up to these last years, the ICC was looking for and was developing the debate, the discussion and the polemics with the other groups of the proletarian camp. Today, it develops an opposed policy and even justifies it. In the same resolution, every body can realize how much it shows itself disdainful towards the proletarian political milieu. In particular regarding the other groups of the Communist Left, it asserts with condescension : "Actually, far for giving them a clear vision of the situation in which the working class is, the period of decomposition, new and unprecedented (regarding to Marxism - note of the fraction), has produced among them a real theoretical disarray" (translated by us from french since this resolution isn't published on the ICC web site). And the future it predicts for them is almost mortal : "... the revolutionary minority risks to be itself brought down and destroyed by the putrid atmosphere which surrounds it and which penetrates in its own ranks...". Thus, the ICC rejects the source of vitality which is represented by the discussion, the confrontation of ideas and criticisms for the proletariat and which could have served to stop its drift. Its voluntary isolation will hammer it even more.
Saturday 20th of September 2003 in Paris, the ICP (Le Prolétaire-Programme Communiste) held a meeting of its readers. Were present members of the other ICP (Programma Communiste) as well as a delegation of our fraction. The ICC didn't attend whereas, up to 2000, it would have never miss one of these meetings organized by an other political group in which members of other political tendencies oftenly come ; That's precisely what makes these meetings, particularly in Paris, so important spaces of discussion. It's important to underline that during this meeting of September 20th, our comrades have solemnly called the ICP and all the present if they accepted our participation since the today ICC has denounced publicly all the members of our fraction as "police auxiliary". After a short time of surprise followed by roars of laughter (1), one militant of the ICP-Le Prolétaire said : "what a confession of political weakness from the ICC !", and then the members of the two present organizations gave their agreement and their confidence for our participation at this meeting. It has been very fruitful since every one could give his opinion on the lessons of the last spring struggles of the working class. This discussion showed a general agreement on the essential questions of the analysis of the situation and on its perspectives. Even though different tones have been expressed by the participants. The ICP insisted on the extent of this genuine workers movement and it reminded the characteristics it had already drew in June and that has been confirmed. As our fraction, it also underlined the limit of the movement while it acknowledged that those limits were normal since it was a movement manifesting the renewal of the class struggle and that, thus, it could not go further. The struggle of the "intermittents" (2) of the french show business industry has been understood as proletarian and granted as such. The perspectives of the struggles development is beyond us since the capitalist class is obliged to lead new massive and frontal attacks against the working class (massive redundancies and soon in France against the social security) and that that the economical crisis (as well as the military policies) don't let it any room to maneuver. We don't develop here our responses since there are presented in different texts of this bulletin.
But we want to underline here the willingness, clearly claimed in this meeting by the present organizations, to lead and develop a real political debate in the proletarian camp. We welcome this attitude and we'll do all we can in order it develops. In that sense, many remarks of the ICP militants are to be underlined. For instance when one of them declared that we had to be more vigilant to the vocabulary used in the polemics and the discussions because it oftenly appear that "we may be speak of the same political ideas and positions with different words". Also, he clearly indicated that, for his organization, the only mean to intend to respond to the disaster created by the present ICC crisis is "to make polemics on the political positions in question".
Actually, in this bulletin, we present letters we have received from readers interested to the discussion and to the deepening on the French spring strikes movement and on the question of the intervention of the revolutionaries in the struggles. We are obliged to note that criticisms of the present analysis and intervention of the ICC multiply as well as the lack of understanding of the policy it leads in front of its organizational crisis.
The proletarian camp in front of its crucial responsibility
The dramatical logic
in which the ICC is engaged, has got over various steps all along the
last months. We have tried to bring them to light as they advanced,
to show that the obvious drift led our organization towards
opportunism. The facts show that unfortunately we weren't
Today the ICC proves that it flounders into full opportunism through the aberrant character of its analysis of the situation, through its desertion of the class struggles, through its wanted and claimed break with the debate with the others proletarian expressions. Its "new" conceptions on the predictable future of humanity through its "third way" or, according to its words the "third possibility", show that its drift tends to lead it from opportunism to revisionism.
We want to believe that nothing is already definitive. We call the whole organizations and isolated individuals of the proletarian camp to not let this catastrophic trajectory carry on up to its term.
We all have the responsibility to lead this struggle to save, if not this organization as such, at least the maximum of its militants as well as, from our point of view, the past of the ICC, its contributions to political reflection within the working class for more than 30 years.
The debate within the proletarian camp must also take on this task. The fraction won't give it up !
The Fraction, October 5th 2003
1. The ICC is, now and unfortunately, the laughting stock of all the proletarian camp. Whatsoever, it's a "a new political defeat" of the ICC, of its expulsion policy of the fraction and of its method which are based on a police understanding of History and which reduce, as did stalinism, the political disagreements to manifestations of the class ennemy.
2Workers of the french show business industry - actors, all kinds of manual workers such as electricians, warehousemen, cameramen, etc... - who have short contracts and who suffer great precariousness. They've been attacked in their unemployed system and they developed many strikes and spectaculor actions, interrumping summer festivals, theater and TV programs, etc...
Communist Bulletin - 21