The new ICC and its participation to the bourgeois campaign "help to the victims of the tsunami"

The article "Tidal wave in South-East, capitalism is responsible for the social catastrophe"" (Révolution internationale 354, February 1) is characteristic of the opportunism developped by the present ICC. In the midst of analysis aspects which are correct in general and of calls (general and abstract) to the proletariat and to its class struggle, positions opposed to this analysis, to the proletariat class struggle and to marxism are slipping. These positions, for the least, make concessions to bourgeois ideology and clear the way for opportunism, it means for classes collaboration.

One of these positions which gains every time more space within the ICC press, is the one of "Human solidarity". It begun to express openly from the September 11th 2001 attacks on New-York and Washington and since then it didn't cease imposing itself increasingly in any occasion. As for instance during the March 11th 2004 bombings in Madrid. Here there is progressive drift towards "humanism" which is part of bourgeois ideology. Denying or making abstraction of the existence of the antagonistic social classes, the today ICC preaches the lie of "fraternity", of "solidarity", of "unity" of all the human beings, which press the proletariat to accept passively the sacrifices that capital imposes it.

Of course, the ICC doesn't present this position in such a blunt and open manner. It just gives it a marxist and revolutionary varnish. But it's precisely this which makes even more dangerous its position because, in reality, it serves as a "beater" of the proletariat towards the bourgeoisie orientations. Here is what we can read in the RI 354 article  :

"And since the first images on TV [of the tidal wave and the victims], the first reflex of many, all around the world, has been to try to do something. Spontaneously, millions of people, in particular proletarians in all the countries, have proposed to offer food, clothes, financial donations. In France for instance, supermarkets employees, where people coming from countries hit by the catastrophe work, have spontaneously offered their Christmas bonus.

The solidarity which the proletariat expressed must and might give us confidence in our class. To give 10, 20 or 30 euros when one only earns the minimum wage, shows a remarkable devotion (...). We can see that, as soon as they have a mean to express their solidarity, a disinterested and deeply human solidarity, the working class surges into it" (RI. 354, web site, translated and underlined by us). [2]

This sentence is a real act of conjuring. Firstly, it expresses the idea that the action of the "proletarians" is submerged within (is full part of) the "millions people" 's one. It means that "the solidarity which the proletariat expressed" is full part of "to try to do something (...) all around the world" : it's part of the human solidarity in general since "of course, not only the working class develops solidarity since it's an element of human consciousness in general" (idem).

"Of course", humanity finds itself torn apart by class antagonisms. But, you know, in times of social crisis, what prevails is human consciouness and human solidarity in general. It's precisely this notion the bourgeoisie takes care of spreading out with all the sthrength of its medias in moments of social crisis (when it prepares a war, when there is a catastrophe or an economical crisis, or what ever event which unveils the capitalist exploitation, etc.) as a resort to cut short class struggle impulses : "it's true there are social differences, etc., but in these difficult times, we must be united and show solidarity to get out of the difficult situation. Not to do so is a proof of egoism". Such is the discourse of the State and of the medias to attract behind it the exploited classes ; it's the discourse of national unity, of "all behind the State". And the present ICC... flirts dangerously with this discourse through a subterfuge.

This subterfuge is the supposed "spontaneity". Apparently, millions of people have offered their help "spontaneously"... the workers of the supermarkets have offered "spontaneously" their Christmas bonus. And it's only afterwards that the bourgeoisie "has recuperated" this "great élan of spontaneous solidarity" :

"In front this solidarity which tries to express itself, the attitude of the bourgeoise is nauseating. It recuperates this great élan of solidarity and derails it for its own stingy interests with the greatest contempt not only towards the victims of the tsunami but also towards this effort of the working class" (idem 3).

Firstly, the present ICC, at its level, contributes for confusing the notion of "class solidarity" that the proletariat needs for its struggle, with general "human solidarity" - " a disinterested and deeply human solidarity [into which] the working class surges" - that the bourgeoisie is self-interested to advocate. Secondly, it fully lets aside, in general, the omnipresent capitalist State and the bourgeois ideology domination, and in particular the anticipated and permanent existence of organisms and mechanisms intentionally created by the bourgeoisie itself whose specific goal is to order, to organize and to manage this so-called "spontaneous solidarity". These organisms go precisely into action in the moments of social crisis in order to channel the discontent of the proletariat and the other exploited classes. The bourgeoisie hasn't "recuperated" any "spontaneous élan" for giving money to the victims of the tsunami. All the contrary, all the school education, the religion, the assistance and aid organisms, the medias, and finally all the ressources of bourgeois ideology domination "condition" us for falling into this kind of "spontaneous solidarity" in situations where it's unveiled the mystification according to which the State function is public service for the population's protection and the organization of the available ressources for assisting it in case of emergency.

This kind of "spontaneous solidarity" of the workers which consists in giving their bonus for "humanitarian aid" is nothing else than an expression of the ideological domination exerted by the bourgeoisie since :

- it accepts the idea that, despite the proletariat is already and daily despoiled through the over-work, through the plusvalue extortion and that it already pays the "public service" (which supposedly should protect the populations in front of "natural catastrophes") with thousands of taxes, it is despoiled one more time without reaction ;

- it accepts the idea that there has been a catastrophe which was beyond the "capacity" of the State and that it isn't responsible for it ; it's to "forget" that it would have provoked a wave of social protests precisely for the direct, as well as historical as immediate, responsability of the ruling class and of its State in this situation ;

- it accepts the idea that the State and the "Non Government Organizations" are "useful" institutions at least in the cases of social urgencies, that they are institutions through which the "humanitarian" aid can flood. In particular, it's significant that in this period of preparation for imperialist war, it is the army of the different countries (warships, military logistic, soldiers, etc.) which is presented in the medias as the one which is in charge of assuming this aid. Actually, under "humanitarianism", the great imperialist powers give concrete experience, in vivo, to their armies to manage situations of catastrophe and destruction in order to better prepare them to future desvastating confrontations, to generalized war. Thus, encouraging or letting on oneself to "spontaneous solidarity" by making "donations", participates too (with "good consciouness") to the financing of the different bourgeoisies' preparation for war.

Well, but the ICC comrades will surely retort that the RI quotations are truncated and out of their context since, in the following lines, are denounced the bourgeoisie's hypocrisy, the "stingy" use of this solidarity, the ideological campaigns by which it tries to mix up the proletariat with the bourgeoisie, by which is injected nationalism ; and, finally, that the proletariat finds itself "lost in notions of civil responsabilities which put in the same bag the workers' solidarity with the interested charity of the bourgeoisie, and which pass from a class solidarity to the Frenchs' solidarity, or the Englishs', or the Germans', etc., all classes mixed up and put in competition with the solidarity of the other nations" (idem).

Right ! But thus, what is it ? A spontaneous solidarity or an attitude produced by the fact the proletariat is "lost in notions of civil responsabilities" ? Should the working class reject or participate to this kind of "solidarity" acts ? Should the revolutionaries denounce this spirit of submission to the State and to the charity institutions or rather "to salute this spirit of solidarity" as the ICC does ? Finally, if the present ICC considers the donation of bonuses made by the workers' supermarket, shouldn't it assume this economical humanitarian aid as an organization ? Or rather to let it the "spontaneous-humanitarian" individual initiative of each militant (4?

For us, it's precisely this tendency to contradictions, to double language, which is used every time more frequently and easily by the present ICC, which gives to its articles an opportunist character : it makes pass bourgeois positions packed in a revolutionary language.

In 1902, in the French Caribbean island of Martinique, the volcano of the Pelé Mountain destroyed the city of Saint-Pierre. We publish here the article Rosa Luxemburg wrote in that occasion. Written 100 years sooner, it's incredibly topical. Topical for the denounciation of capitalism in front of the tsunami catastrophe of today. Topical for the denounciation of the present ICC opportunist support to the humanitarian campaigns of the bourgeoisie. For this one, the revolutionaries "can't but salute the élan of human solidarity at the planet level which expressed at once" (Révolution internationale 353, only on the web site, not on the paper, nor available in english. We underline). Here is what Rosa Luxemburg responds to them : "a new guest arrives, unknown, never seen before - the human being (...) who feel only the pain and see only the disaster, who only want to help and succor"...


1 It's more and more difficult to "follow" the ICC publications since the systematic and frenetic use of its web site. There have been various articles on the tsunami in various languages, some only on the web pages and not in the "paper" publication. This one seems to have been published only in french. Dated February 8th, there is another one whose title is Asian tsunami: capitalism is the real disaster! (apparently only on the web site). The latter presents the same opportunist tendencies. Particularly on "human solidarity". This new policy of using frenetically its web site has particularly developped after the political split and the public denounciation of the former NCI (Argentina) of the present organisational practicies of the present ICC. Any way, this "new utilization" of Internet is another manifestation of the increasing lack of control of its own activities by the new ICC and particularly its present central organs. The "new" use of Internet tends to hide the growing heterogeneity of the press (despite the attempts to reduce it) and the growing opportunist stupidities as in the case of the former NCI for instance. Well, it's a bluff to make believe the ICC is wealthy and active while the real political content is degenerating and the militant commitment is declining as can notice anyone looking without success - or with many difficulties - for the press in the bookshops in many different places [Note of the english version of this bulletin].

2 The WR article, Asian tsunami: capitalism is the real disaster!, dated January 8th, develops the same kind of bourgeois ideology (we underline) :

"They [the communists] must salute the great élan of human solidarity that appeared immediately across the planet. (...) Spontaneously, millions of people, and workers in particular, offered food, clothing, and money to help the victims. But this natural solidarity, which is the basis for social existence and the preservation of the human species, has immediately been recuperated by the ruling class and its NGOs." [Note of the english version].

3 Here is the same "position" developed by WR in Asian tsunami: capitalism is the real disaster! :

"But this natural solidarity, which is the basis for social existence and the preservation of the human species, has immediately been recuperated by the ruling class and its NGOs. (...) The working class' indignation at these dramatic events and its spontaneous solidarity with the victims, has been manipulated and derailed by the ruling class in a disgusting "humanitarian" campaign. Thanks to its NGOs, the bourgeoisie has taken over a real élan of solidarity to turn it into the dead-end of charity donations."

4. How many militants of the present ICC asked themselves the question of participating in the "collection" for the tsunami victims ? How many, amongst the more "consequents", have participated to it by paying money ? Otherwise, it's important to mention here that, in European countries, the greatest companies as well as in the public sector as the private - for instance in France (the State electricity company, the Post Office company, France-Telecom, Renault the car company, etc...) - directly organized with the unions participation the collection and the paiement of the donations for the "tsunami victims". It's at all level of the bourgeois States that this campaign of national unity and of class collaboration has been set up and particularly directed against the working class.

Communist Bulletin Nš 30 - Internal Fraction of ICC