By the end of last June was held, in Paris, a new meeting (1) between a delegation of the IBRP and the Parisian members of the Internal Fraction of the ICC.
This meeting is an additional and significant materialization of the bonds that our fraction tries to develop with the IBRP and, more widely, with the organizations and elements of the proletarian camp. For us, it is inscribed in the framework of a policy of regrouping of the revolutionary forces which is vital in the present period ; a policy in which the IBRP proves to be the main (and even only) pole, in particular since the ICC, our organization (which excluded us), engaged in a drift of degeneration.
At this meeting, the discussion mainly proceeded around two beforehand agreed topics : the international situation with its implications on the level of the intervention of the revolutionaries on the one hand, the place and responsibilities for the IBRP in the milieu of the proletarian revolutionaries on the other hand.
This discussion allowed us to quickly reach an agreement on the analysis of the main tendencies which mark the international situation during the last period : that it is of the economic crisis, of the imperialist tensions or about the class struggle, these three aspects recently know a significant acceleration. The economic crisis and the war never appeared so much bound and in a so obvious way - as two expressions of the same reality : the bankruptcy of capitalism – for our generations of revolutionaries and proletarians The historical stakes were clearly specified in the evolution of the international situation during these last years and more particularly since the famous September 11th 2001.
- since spring 2001, the economic crisis sets out again strongly with significant expressions in the countries of the center of capitalism, for the American economy in particular (collapse of Enron) ;
- with the September 11th 2001 the imperialists tensions increase, take shape (an essential antagonism appearing more and more clearly between the USA and certain powers, in particular European, joined together behind the German-French couple (2) and take an increasingly worrying turning for the future of humanity : the question of the war comes back to the foreground ;
- the frontal and open opposition between the classes appears again with significant signs of resumption of the working class struggles, in particular in the heart of Europe (Great Britain, France, Italy) since spring 2003 and that, in the tread of the social movements in Argentina (2001/2002).
In the period opened by the events of September 11th 2001, every national bourgeoisie is more and more obliged to defend its global national interests, to situate itself in support or opposition to one or the other pole : the USA on the one hand, German-French pole on the other hand. Each national bourgeoisie is thus obliged to take position for a later generalized confrontation. We underline here a dominant tendency of the present situation (tendency which already existed during the time of decline of capitalism) and not that a third generalized conflict would be imminent.
A convergence in the analysis was marked concerning the increasingly obvious balance of forces acting between the USA on the one hand, the European powers on the other hand : the USA are constrained, to defend their economic and imperialists interests, "to advance in their proper name and not any longer in the name of the disappeared Western block. Within this framework, the Franco-German oppositions are necessary oppositions : if the European bourgeoisie want to defend their interests, that can be done only against the USA " (delegation of the IBRP). This context makes that "for a revolutionary organization, it must prepare to work within a framework which is today the USA on a side and Europe on the other" (IBRP).
Nuances were brought on behalf of the IBRP, in particular on the solidity in the long term of the Franco-German pole, because of the weaknesses of the European bourgeoisie (in particular at the military level) with respect to the USA With an aim of mitigating these "weaknesses", the IBRP tended to put forward the "need for the current States of the European Union, to work for an European State ".
That part of the discussion was the opportunity, for the fraction, to make clear what we indicate as a tendency toward the "march toward the war from the part of the bourgeoisie". While underlining an agreement concerning the dynamic towards the imperialist war in which are pushed the different imperialisms, the comrades of the IBRP specified their point of view : if the prospects for war are contained in the situation, it is nevertheless necessary to remain careful in particular in the use of concepts such as the "historical course": "we do not say that the historical course is not towards the war, but not either towards the revolution", the comrades specified.
The significance of the working class struggles which developed these last years in the world, also caused an exchange of views.
Although the delegation of the IBRP clearly affirmed its agreement "on the fact that the struggles in Argentina, in France, in GB, in Italy, sign a process of «recovery» of class struggle", it held, there also, to underline the preoccupation of prudence that the IBRP has, concerning this question. This concern was expressed through the insistence that it is necessary to regard this renewal as a "process in progress", nonlinear, not established once and for all ; it made a point of being dissociated from a "tendency to solidify an alive fight in diagrams", tendency expressed by the ICC in the years 1980, according to the comrades, when it spoke about "waves" of struggles.
Lastly, an agreement was quickly reached on the development of ideological topics against the working class in the last times. The political offensive of the bourgeoisie is very significant. From the attacks of March 11th 2004 in Madrid, one saw anti-terrorism becoming the favorite topic of campaign against the working class so that this one lines up behind the antiterrorist fight of the bourgeois State. That passes by the campaigns which followed upon the attacks of March 11th but also, in Europe in particular, by the setting in front of the question of tortures in the American prisons in Iraq, to create a whole climate trying to reveal the war like inescapable in the head of the workers. It is a matter of pushing the working class with a feeling of impotence vis-a-vis the war. The other side of this campaigns aims at presenting the European bourgeoisie as "Munichoise" (3), coward, supporting terrorism. Vis-a-vis this trap tended to the proletariat, it was thus fundamental to denounce terrorism and the antiterrorism as, in particular, makes the IBRP.
This discussion was also the opportunity, for the fraction, to insist on the question of the method of analysis of the situation in front of the concern, put forward several times by the delegation of the IBRP, to shade the different tendencies detectable in the situation like on the question of the "march of the bourgeoisie towards war " or of the "renewal of the class struggle", more clearly affirmed by our fraction.
Indeed, for us, as far as one looks backward in the past, the Marxists always determined their intervention on the clear definition of the dominant tendencies within a situation. Within the framework of an historical analysis of capitalism, they always sought to define the successions and the changes of periods, to specify which were the main tendencies in a given situation and never hesitated to detect, so as to explain the reality of the dynamics which operates in this situation. It is with this method that Luxemburg, a few years before the 1st world war did burst, could affirm without hesitation and clearly that the tendency to generalized war was in march. (4)
Even if it is necessary to be kept of any schematism, because it can always exist tendencies likely to reverse the general dynamics, it is nevertheless very important, when these tendencies are detected, to affirm them in a consequent way for the working class and to inform them of the implications of these tendencies.
We will evoke, here, only some of the arguments developed in this part, the longest and the richest, of the discussion.
To evaluate in a straight way the situation of the present revolutionary milieu, we cannot base on the only numerical criterion, no more than on the influence that this milieu has immediately in the working class ; alone, these criteria could only result in deploring the weaknesses of this milieu. Even weak on the numerical point of view, the revolutionary organisations represent an essential, vital stake for the future of the proletariat.
In a context of acceleration of the history such as we live it today, the question of the analysis of the situation and the intervention who results from this on the one hand, the ability to gather the revolutionary minorities, to give an orientation to the reflection, to provide a framework for the clarification of the political positions on the other hand, constitute the fundamental parameters allowing the real evaluation of the revolutionary milieu and in particular that of the groups which make it up
It is the vision which one can have of the dynamics of the situation which constitutes the determining element to appreciate an organization.
The developments of the present situation, offer a whole series of elements of clarification for the working class which straighten up the head, to the condition however that the revolutionary organizations are able to help it to clarify the true stakes of this situation.
A political report imposes itself, according to our fraction : there is, today, only one pole of regrouping among the groups claiming from the Communist Left, contrary to the years 1970 when three organizations (the ICP Le Proletaire, the ICC and the IBRP) had the capacity to play this role. Since this period, the ICP became too weak and divided too much so as to continue to be able to assume this task. Today, the ICC turns his back to this responsibility because of its sectarian logic (it acts as a foil to the discussion) and for its political drift which carries out it more and more far towards opportunism, which gradually brings it closer to the abandonment of the Marxism and of the class positions. The only organization having the capacity to play this role of pole of reference and of regrouping, armed with a concrete experience on which we can rely on, is the IBRP.
Even with very few forces, the IBRP is nevertheless the only organisation which is able to defend inside the class, in a practical way and through the intervention in the struggles, the communist, internationalist positions against the bourgeois propaganda and which is able, at the same time, to serve as a pole of regrouping.
To play this role, the IBRP relies on its programmatic positions. But it’s not simply on the nature of the political positions defended that we can conclude to that established fact. It is also in the field of the ability to impulse the debate, to push toward a real political clarification within what we call the proletarian camp, the internationalist milieu and with respect to those who have the concern to integrate themselves in a dynamic of construction of the Party, that this organisation is active. It is thus, for example that the IBRP is in the very centre of the present debate on the decadence of the capitalism.
On the question of the imperialist confrontations, on the question of the control of the struggle against the unions which reappears following the movement of struggles in France, Italy, etc., the IBRP found itself in the position of directing this discussion.
A last aspect, not the least, which has been discussed in this meeting as a central concern for the revolutionary minorities, was the question of the construction of the organisation on which the fraction defended positions more categorical than the IBRP. We estimate, indeed, that there is a political combat, major and impossible to bypass, on that level too. A combat which is carried against the bourgeoisie (opportunism as regard organisation, penetration of “turbid” elements, etc.), against the penetration of ideologies specific to the petty-bourgeoisie (individualism, rejection of the necessity to organise, refusal of any reference to the worker’s movement, etc.). But, still more than on the other questions, this struggle takes place amongst the groups claiming for the working class and even for the Communist Left. We considered regrettable that, in this struggle, the tendency, inside the present proletarian camp, is so that the groups carried out it each one on its own and that contrary to what the history and the tradition of the revolutionary movement teach to us (see the implication of the German social-democracy in the problems of the Russian Party at the beginning of the 20th century and the one of the Italian Faction, at the beginning of the 1930's, in front of the scattering of the “left communist militants” in France).
Nevertheless, in its attitude with the group Los Angeles Workers Voice, in the USA (see Internationalist Communist 21, publication of the IBRP in English), the IBRP showed in what way and with what state of mind one must carry the debate between revolutionaries, and which method to use to defend a sane conception of the organisation. They fight thus, concretely, the dispersion of the forces and revolutionary minorities.
On that level too, unfortunately, the present ICC develop “theories” and a practice which are more and more opposed to this vital politics.
These various aspects reviewed enable us to conclude that there are, actually, two dynamics within the present proletarian camp, these two dynamics going in two opposite directions : one to create a framework for the regrouping, to gather the revolutionary energies, to support and to orientate the debates and the collective reflexion, to allow the largest intervention within the working class ; this dynamic in which our fraction inscribes itself is carried, today, primarily, by the IBRP. The other dynamic going in the opposite direction ; that of maintaining, and even increase, the dispersion, the political confusion, is carried out by the ICC and the fraction carries the combat openly against it.
In a last part, this meeting made it possible to provide the bases of a common work in which the debate must take a place of first importance. This work of political discussion must be assumed clearly : "one cannot conceive the debate like a process in a room" the IBRP said, but like a moment of the necessary regrouping of revolutionary energies.
We are fully aware, the comrades of the IBRP and ourselves, that the process engaged with these discussions is a long way which will undoubtedly be marked by tops and bottoms according to the situations that we will meet and who will require from the part of the communist minorities very clear standpoints, sometimes divergent, and a determined intervention. On these things, the agreement of the analyses is not immediate. We are decided to face such situations. But the essential is that a dynamic of regrouping exists within the proletarian camp and, there too, the fraction is actually decided to take part of all its forces in this process.
1 : The publication of that report is done with the agreement of the IBRP
2 : "The Franco-German axis is moving in the direction demanded by European capitalism, namely the construction of an imperialist bloc to fight for the interests of European capital globally (…). The direction in which the [ European ] Union is heading can, however, be recognised and this direction is towards an alternative imperialist bloc one opposed to the US" (Revolutionary Perspectives 32, summer 2004, the review of the Communist Workers Organization).
3 Réference to the meeting between French and English representatives and the German ones in 1938 in Munich. France and GB accepted, at that time to close their eyes on the Hitler’s invasion of Czechoslovakia.
4 In an article written August 1911 and entitled "Morocco", she denounced, in the name of the SD, the policy imperialist of the great powers of the time, in particular that of Germany through the episode of the Panther drain-hole sent off Agadir to make pressure on France. It spoke about "a colonial political adventure carrying out the people at the edge of the chasm of a world war" and affirmed: "For the conscious proletariat, it is a question above all of seizing the Moroccan business in its symptomatic significance, to make the estimate of its broad connections and its consequences."
Bulletin 27 (english version) of the Internal Fraction of the International Communist Current