Here, we publish extracts of the activities report that our fraction has just discussed and adopted. Werefer our reader to its presentation in the introduction of this bulletin. Obviously, in the absolute, it means without our expulsion in March 2002, this report should have been put in discussion within the ICC itself and presented to the vote of its militants. According to its own organisational rules, and according to the tradition of the workers movement, we should have participated to the works of the 16e international congress ; we should have been able also to discuss and fight against the activities report presented by the opportunist majority of our organisation. It's the very life of our organisation which finds itself affected. The absence of political debates and political confrontation of the two opposed and irreconcilable lines, the opportunist and right-wing one of the liquidators and the marxist one representing the left-wing and embodied by our fraction, which should have taken place in its ranks and in front of the whole proletariat, weakens even more the ICC itself and eases the destructive work of the liquidation. No doubt our presence within it and our permanent struggle against the theoretical and political drifts and revisions would have encountered an even greater echo and would have served as fulcrum to the an increased and organised resistance to the opportunism and the liquidation of the ICC.
For our part, and in order to thwart as much as possible in regards with our possibilities this weakening and this drying out of the political life of an important part of the proletarian camp, we publicly and openly lead our fight and we encourage all the communist forces to participate in it. It's also with this spirit and this concern we publish this report which is an activites report of our fraction as well as a balance-sheet of the political drift of our organisation.
[...] We can say that political continuity and political struggle are two essential characteristics of our fraction. [And this...] means that any balance-sheet of our activities can't be done but in relation with the evolution (and the balance-sheet) of our organisation, it means the ICC. The three first reports [of our fraction 1] are essentially a critical balance-sheet of the political activities and orientations of the ICC. And it's only from those balance-sheets that our fraction proposed alternative orientations to the opportunist one of the liquidationism. Even though we're not formally any more in the ICC, and thus we're cut from the daily life of our organisation, the following balance-sheet of the fraction can't be but also a balance-sheet of the ICC and can't be evaluated but on the latter.
But first, let's recall what were the main orientations our fraction wanted to put forward since its very origin :
"In front of this situation, our fraction takes back to its own account the «Address» of the Collectif (2) and proposes itself :
- to fight against the present «revisionist» drift which doesn't express only at the functionning level, but also at the theoretical and political levels ;
- to develop theoretical reflection, in particular a deepened study of the history of the workers movement in order to drive the organisation to re-appropriate its own foundations, those of revolutionary marxism, which the present policy increasingly moves away ;
- to put back the analysis of the international situation at the first plan of the discussions and in particular to struggle against a "demoralizing" tendency which tends to mark our understanding of the situation and of the relation of forces between the classes, in order to strenghten our intervention in the working class ;
- to push the organisation to conceive itself as a part of the Proletarian Political Milieu and thus to develop a unitarian policy, more courageous and more determined towards this one" (Declaration of constitution of an internal fraction, bulletin 1, October 9th 2001).
With the simple reading of these orientations, it comes obvious that not only they have been fulfilled in practice and realized - it's enough to have a look at the summaries of our bulletins - but also that they remain still today at the core of our activity. It'll belong to the discussion not only to draw a critical balance-sheet of this unquestionable realization (in our opinion, none of us would defend they haven't been put in practice and developed) but also to reafirm them or, this report won't defend it, to define new ones [...].
Before the 15th congress of the ICC in 2003, "we consider[ed] that, despite its opportunist drift, the ICC has not betrayed yet the proletarian camp" (Presentation of bulletin 13, available in english). Is this still valid ? We must answer explicitly to this question because it defines "the phase of «internal fraction» or of «the struggle for correcting [«redressement» in french] the organisation», [which] far from being an «organizational label», far from being a «tactical game» with the present ICC, corresponds to and sets, does set us, a method and orientations of action and reflection very precise and very delimited" (idem).
Thus, we must re-examine the real political evolution of the ICC and of our fraction struggle. We're going to make it since Spring 2003. This date corresponds with organisational terms (our previous report and the 15th international congress of the ICC) and with important historical events (the war in Iraq and the massive workers struggles in France in May-June 2003). If this opportunist dynamic of the ICC is the factor which determines the fight of our fraction, we should put out that one of the main axis of this struggle, even maybe the main one, is the political intervention of our fraction towards the other groups of the proletarian camp, firstly towards the IBRP, which we'll too integrate in this general balance-sheet.
The Rejection of the Historical Alternative "War or Revolution"
The first event of importance - we're going to take them chronologically - is the revision by the ICC of a principle of marxism and of the workers movement : the historical alternative war or revolution. Certainly, this revision has been known after the war in Iraq and after the Spring 2003 workers strikes in France. But the introduction of this revision, as even underlined the liquidators themselves, is prior to these events. Furthermore, it's of historical importance and represents an important step in the opportunist drift. Actually, this resolution "founds" in great part the different opportunist revisions which manifested in the following months.
"The economical crisis (...) continues to deepen. But contrary to the 1968 to 1989 period when the outcome of the class contradictions couldn't be but war or revolution, the new period opens the way to a third possibility : the destruction of humanity not through an apocalyptic war, but through a gradual advance of the decomposition which could at term undermine the capacity of the proletariat to respond as a class, and could also make the planet uninhabitable in a spiral of regional wars and ecological catastrophes. To unleash a world war, the bourgeoisie must begin to confront directly and to defeat the main battalions of the working class, and then to mobilize them in order they go with enthusiasm behind the banners and the ideology of the new imperialist blocs : in the new scenario, the working class could be beaten in a less open and less direct way, simply by not succeeding to respond to the system crisis and by letting itself carried increasingly into the spiral of the decadence..." (International Review 113, Résolution on the international situation, underlined and translated by us from french since this resolution is shamefully hidden and doesn't appear in the Internet ICC pages).
Our fraction has reacted almost immediatly to this revision of a fundamental position of marxism in the bulletin 21. It hasn't stopped since, every time it was possible, to denounce this statement and to call the ICC militants, either individually during encounters (Paris "Public" Meetings for instance) or in various articles (About the 16th congress of RI, Address to Rivoluzione..., see bulletins 25, 27), to take consciousness and to struggle against this revision and to call out and invite the whole groups and elements of the proletarian camp to react. If we can affirm we have globally and fully assume our role of fraction and of defence of a central principle of the workers movement in front of its betrayal, it matters too to notice that it's only recently, it means lately, that the IBRP (and Le Prolétaire [the French publication of the "bordiguist" group ICP] ? If so, even more timidly) have manifested their knowledge of this position and its gravity for, if not to denounce it, at least to mention it (a little in their press, in the individual discussions). We know our denunciation had have an impact within the very ICC [and] it has provoked strong stirs and a strong political uneasiness : it openly appeared, and still appears openly, in the territorial press of the ICC (Rivoluzione Internazionale [RZIZ] of course but not only) in turns of phrase which attempt to conciliate the "two positions" and by silencing the denunciation and in the furious and... politically powerless reaction of the liquidation (see for instance the foot-note of the article Marxism at the roots of the concept of decomposition, International Review 117) which tried to disqualify us as militants without answering the political question.
Can we say our denunciation has put, and still puts, a brake to the complete setting of this revision within the ICC itself ? Has it an immediate, real, concrete, impact within our organisation ? Raising the question, if it remains valid then we must consider it at all levels, is important since it matters to see if the fight of our fraction has also a positive impact within our organisation itself by slowing down its opportunist drift. The heterogeneity of the press, the obvious embarrassment and contradictions, the furious answer of the liquidation which shamefully evades the political question, show that not only our struggle had have positive effects, but also that it can serve as a fulcrum - no doubt about that - to an internal opposition, to a class reaction to arise within the ICC. Affirming this doesn't mean that this reaction will succeed to develop beyond a passive and dispersed resistance.
And obviously, our denunciation and our fight at that level called the attention of all the proletarian camp, groups and individuals, thus included the sympathizers and the militants of the ICC, which was in its great majority ignoring this revision, or which didn't get all its political significance. Nevertheless, at that level, the proletarian camp doesn't intervene enough, at least at the level which is required. At less, it underestimates this struggle. This must not discourage us : this struggle against the present opportunism of the ICC doesn't but begin since this one is obviously going to intensify its attacks against the whole proletarian camp. In particular, it's going to try to derail and to destroy the present dynamic of discussions, of debates, of open confrontation of the political position, it means the dynamic of regroupment as has showed its attacks in front of the fiasco - fiasco from the proletarian point of view, great victory from the present ICC liquidationnism - of its intervention in Argentina towards the NCI (3).
The Tendency to the Rejection of the Classes Struggle and to the Abandonment of the Position on Imperialism
The resolution doesn't only explicitly revises an always position of marxism. It too sanctions the same dynamic towards the revision and the rejection of marxist principles such as classes struggle and imperialism.
"In the new scenario, the working class could be beaten in a less open and less direct way, simply by not succeeding to respond to the system crisis and by letting itself carried increasingly into the spiral of the decadence (...). In this period, the working class has been confronted not only to its political weaknesses but also to the danger of losing its class identity under the weight of a social system in full disintegration" (point 15) affirms the resolution of the 15th congress. Other passages of this resolution introduce the same tendency to the abandonment of the main principle of marxism, that is that "the classes struggle is the motor of history". Our criticism of the resolution underlines too this point even more since our criticism follows the strikes of Spring 2003, it means the defeatist intervention of the ICC in that occasion and the decided intervention of our fraction on the basis of the positions and the militant experience of the ICC. Since this question is expressing more in terms of tendency than in terms of a revision openly claimed, the denunciation of this point has been at the core of our struggle in the concrete reality of the workers struggles.
"The giving up of these organisations [United Nations, NATO] of "international law" represents a significant advance of chaos in the international relations [pt. 8] (...) In the period of capitalist decomposition, the movement towards the formation of new blocs is constantly impeded by the counter-tendency of each country to defend first of all its immediate national interests, by the tendency of each one for himself. The profound divisions between the European countries about the war in Iraq have showed that «Europe» is far from forming a coherent bloc as some elements of the revolutionary movement tend to affirm"
This point is also denounced in our criticism. This rejection of the notion of imperialism constitutes even since the very beginning of our fraction, since September 11 2001 and the bombings in United-States, the first "no-organisational" question on which we led an open battle in our bulletin (see bulletins 5 and 6) and during our last participation to an ICC meeting, its January 2002 Plenary International Bureau. On this question too, our intervention had an impact within the proletarian camp by encouraging the debate and the political clarification (see the statements of the IBRP and those, partly critical of Le Prolétaire) as well as within the ICC (one more time, this has been openly expressed in Rivoluzione Internazionale but also in the contradictory statements of the whole press of the ICC).
Behind all this questionnings, lies the question of the "Decomposition" as a global vision (and even globalizing) of the situation of capitalism which is at least an idealist vision turning its back more and more openly to marxism and manifestating itself through opportunist analysis and interventions. In particular, it breaks with the notion of decadence. Thus we had to defend the problematic and the question which the ICC had attempted to answer at the time of the new historical situation without precedent opened up with the end of the East imperialist bloc and of the USSR in accordance with the very framework of the decadence.
The War in Iraq
The political content of the March 20th 2003 leaflet that the ICC distributes, rather is supposed to distribute, at the time of the break out of the war in Iraq, denounces correctly the imperialist war and defends as well correctly that only the working class struggle can oppose the imperialist war and put an end to capitalism. Of course, it doesn't put forwards the fact that the opposition of Germany and France represents the setting up of an alternative imperialist pole and that thus it marks a determined bourgeois dynamic towards generalised imperialist war. The statement developed thus tends to underestimate the gravity and the significance of the war, and above all of the confrontations between the main imperialist powers. The war in Iraq is for the ICC a moment of development of the "each one for himself" and of the imperialist chaos.
The leaflet denunces also pacifism. Certainly, here too relatively correctly, let's say in itself. But the statement is beyond the situation and the denounciation is a-temporal. Nevertheless, it's with no doubt on pacifism which is reduced to simple illusions that the lack of conviction and of militant commitment expresses the most :
"These illusions can only disarm any real opposition to ’s innate war drive. Worse still, they prepare to enrol the population for war: for if one capitalism is ‘good’, ‘peaceful’, and ‘respects the people’s interests’, then we are bound to take up arms in its defence when it is threatened by a ‘bad’, ‘anti-democratic’, ‘warmonger’ capitalism. And this is why these illusions are deliberately encouraged by all the political forces of the ruling class, and above all by the parties of the so-called ‘left’, from the social democrats to the Trotskyists" (Against Imperialist War ! Against the Pacifist Illusions ! For Class Struggle in all Countries !, leaflet of the ICC, March 20th 2003).
Yet, the content of the leaflet is globally right up to the point we are prepared to distribute it (and one of our militants distributes it at his workplace). Faced with the ICC refusal (see bulletin 18), we have distributed our own leaflet and the IBRP one.
But if the opportunist drift of the ICC doesn't particularly express itself in the political content of the ICC leaflet, on the other hand it clearly expresses in the more than timid mobilisation of the ICC militants for the demonstrations (March 22nd in Paris, April 3rd in Mexico) and in the fact the leaflet... isn't massively distributed (up to the point that in Paris the chief liquidator Peter - the fact repeated elsewhere on other occasions -, only militant mobilised on this occasion despite an official strike called by the unions in all the State owned sectors, doesn't distribute the leaflet at the April 3rd demonstration while he has a whole sport bag full of leaflets and while we propose him to help him..., see our bulletin 19). It's particularly at the militant and organisational levels that opportunism, here through the form of the desertion of the political fight, expresses itself.
"The fraction has intervened :
- at the Paris January 18th 2003 demonstration against war, and, since there was no intervention of other group of the Communist Left, our fraction decided to make hear the internationalist voice through the mean of a leaflet. We gave around 500. It was realized from the article A New Period Opens up published in our bulletin 14 ;
- with the IBRP (Bilan et Perspectives), February 15th, the fraction distributed 1200 exemplaries of the same leaflet and participated to the distribution of 2000 ones of the IBRP ;
- in March 22nd, where the fraction distributed its own leaflet, a little actualized, up to more than 2000 copies ;
- In Mexico too where we gave the IBRP leaflet and ours in various street demonstrations as well as in factories.
The fraction proposed to the IBRP, to ICP (bordiguist) and to the ICC to help them to the distribution of any internationalist leaflet with which it would agree, and produced by these groups. It also called all the isolated internationalist militants to join these political groups in order to make hear the strongest possible the proletarian voice" (bulletin 18).
The IBRP leaflet puts forwards a whole serie of proletarian reactions, indeed limited but not less real, against the break up of the war. Those reactions have been completly ignored by the ICC. For our part, we take them back in our bulletin 18 and we mention some other ones in Belgium and France.
Yet it's not around this event that the opportunist drift of the ICC expresses itself the more openly, and that it appears as such for the majority of the proletarian camp elements (let's recall that the resolution of the 15th congress isn't already adopted and even less known). But the political and militant break up with the true ICC constituted by liquidationism was going to assert in a manifest and definite manner in the two months which followed during the French strikes of May-June 2003.
The Strikes of Spring 2003
We aren't going in this report to go back over this experience of struggles, about the "analysis" of our organisation of origin and its openly scab intervention, openly defeatist, when it existed ; nor about our own active, dynamic, intervention (towards the class as well as towards the proletarian camp as a whole) ; nor about all the political fight which followed against the liquidation of the ICC militant experience, in particular of the years 1970-1980, against the falsification of the ICC intervention during the 1995 French strikes. We're sure that the comrades have kept in mind the essential of what have occurred. If not, of course we can refer to the bulletins 19, 20 and 22 in particular.
We know our intervention (leaflet since the end of April, "balance-sheet" leaflet at the end of the movement, communique and statements in the bulletin about the dynamics of the movement and about our intervention) had got an important echo in the ICC (it's after it that the liquidation banned us the entrance to the ICC Public Meetings) and amongst its militants, as well as in the proletarian camp (groups and individuals). Even though we don't go back over it in details, we must underline that we've fully played our role of internal fraction by snatching from the very hands of liquidationism the banner of the ICC of the years 1970-1980. Up to the point the resolution of the 16th congress of Révolution Internationale in 2004, the French section, has been obliged "to reject the schemas of the past" on the classes struggle. It was recognizing the lost of the banner. Our intervention also participated - it's difficult to say to what extent - to the very correct statements of the IBRP and of Le Prolétaire - even tough they were a little late, even though the interventions were too general. It gains the sympathy, sometimes active, of various militants and isolated sympathizers. It means that we've fought and defeated on that occasion the liquidation in front of the whole proletarian camp, that we've defended the experiences and the positions of the true ICC, and that we've participated to the gathering of the other parts of the proletarian camp around those general and immediate orientations of struggle - exactly what the ICC had never succeeded to do up until then.
The Strikes of Winter 2003-2004 in Great-Britain and Italy
The "wildcat" strikes of the British postmen and in the Italian urban transportations, against the unions orders and against the legal prohibition of the strike (strike notice) and the ICC intervention on those occasions have come to confirm the tendencies and the internal contradictions which had appeared in the previous Spring. They also came to confirm our analysis of the international revival of struggles, the correctness of our intervention orientations, and the ability of the IBRP (particularly Battaglia Comunista) and, at a lesser degree, the ICP, to resolutely place themselves in the dynamic of the increasing workers struggles : from the recognition of a dynamic towards a revival of the workers struggles, concrete and realizable calls for the struggle, for its spreading outside the corporation, for the organisation by the workers themselves, and for the fight against the unions sabotages;
The internal contradictions of the ICC clearly appeared in the various, different, heterogeneous, processing of the territorial publications of the ICC on those strikes. In particular, RI and the International Review superbly ignored those movements, and then finally reproduced in a truncated manner the Rivoluzione article which granted the struggle of the Milanese tramways as a manifestation of the working revival. The British postmen strike remained unknown by the French reader of the ICC during large months. As well, during months, has been ignored by the french press the recognition of the revival of the workers struggles by World Revolution since November 2003 through the publication of an article based on the report on the situation adopted by the Plenary International Bureau which had just been held and which announced a "turning point" in the dynamic of the classes struggle - being careful not to talk of revival... obviously in order not to align on our position. By the way, let's underline that this last particular behaviour is particular to the political sects. To take position in a sense or another regarding or in systematic opposition to the statements of other political groups was one of the main characteristics of what the ICC had qualified at the time, rightly or not it doesn't matter here, of being "political parasitism".
But the heterogeneity of the press and the existence of a counter-tendency to the official defeatism doesn't mean that there is an asserted dynamic against the opportunist drift. For instance, the WR statement about the postmen's strike (see bulletin 23) as well as the Internationalism one on another strike in the US are unable to put forward concrete and realizable orientations for the struggle. They limit themselves to call the working class "to regain its class identity" and, taking refuge behind the unions seizure and final control on these movements, they conclude calling into question the reality of what they call "the turning point". The framework of decomposition then quickly comes back with strength in order to try to give a coherence to all this. This coherence is given with the successful manouvers of the bourgeoisie against the working class and its powerlessness. For RZIZ, and while the Italian city transportation workers are in a wildcat strike and that their movement lasts for two months against the unions orders, "the working class must confront again the true face of the unions to begin to questionning them, to begin to look for its autonomy for its struggles".
Thus, even in the best case (RZIZ and WR), it's an incapacity and a growing abandon of the need for the working class to take on a political struggle against the bourgeois forces, unions and leftists in particular, which emerges in the ICC statements. And, above all, it's an evasion in front of the concrete, real and dynamic, political and militant responsabilities which expresses itself here and which confirms the indecisiveness and the evasion in front of the class political struggle in general.
It is worth to stop here at that moment of our chronological balance-sheet. Since it matters to notice that, globally, the points of opportunist political drift appeared until then, and that we've just summarized and gathered, do mark theoretical and political "betrayals" in regards with the communist positions and principles. In a certain way, for a reader, a sympathizer, or even a political militant, included one of the ICC itself, who isn't careful, without theoretical and political rigor, may be without experience, these elements, our criticism and denounciation, can appear as abstract quibblings of "specialists". They can even be ignored without seeing the importance and the dramatical political consequences which they contain.
But this dynamic necessarily entails an other volet which can be second in time. It is the concrete political implications of the "theoretical" betrayals : the concrete statements and the militant intervention in regards to the situation, in front of the class struggle events. And there, unfortunately, the results are already disastrous from the proletarian point of view. On all these important questions, the positions adopted by the ICC of the liquidators have joined and openly defended the bourgeois ideology :
- it openly and publicly standed against the strikes (France 2003 and Germany 2004) in their very course ;
- it openly and publicly standed besides the bourgeoisie with its calls for "humane solidarity" during the catastrophes of any kind which punctuate the life of capitalism (bombings, tsunamis, etc...) ;
- each time, it increasingly states in the same sense as the bourgeoisie about the impossibility of a generalized imperialist war, it means a 3rd World War between the great powers (4), and legitimating the United-States intervention against the manifestations of "chaos" with its arguments adopted from the bourgeoisie and its permanent and intensified warnings against the supposed international chaos ;
- it increasingly takes to its own account the bourgeois ideology and moral calling for the "revolutionary indignation", taking the concepts of good and evil, speaking of chaos and irrationality in all situations and occasions (above all when reality refutes its dogma on decomposition).
From 2003 on, the statements of the present ICC in front of the acceleration of history, in front of the rising of concrete events questionning directly the international proletariat and the revolutionaries, came to concretize in a disastrous way at the political and organisational levels, this drift that could still then appeared as "abstract", as without concrete political consequences.
2003 : a Clarification of the Political Stakes and Struggle
It's from this moment on, just after the war in Iraq and the French strikes, that begun to clearly appeared two opposed dynamics within the proletarian camp : on one side, the IBRP, the ICP (bordiguist), our fraction and a certain number of sympathizers of the proletarian camp tend and succeed to situate themselves without equivocation in the sense of the historical interests of the proletariat in each particular event, "on the good side of the barricade" ; and on the other side, the liquidationist ICC appears more and more as the spearhead , the advanced point, of the opportunist, petit-bourgeois and bourgeois positions within the proletariat by stating almost systematically on the bad side of the barricade, it means oftenly with the same arguments, almost the same positions, than the bourgeois medias and the ideological campaigns. The same cleavage has already affirmed and is going now to deepen on the crucial and central question of the communist forces regroupment. Our intervention and our presentation of this cleavage, of these two dynamics, have been essential for concretly, openly, posing the terms of the struggle against the present opportunism (...).
[...Within our fraction, during the Spring 2003 strikes in France...], there have been a real collective effort through intense discussions, at least in Paris, for at the same time taking back and relying on the ICC experience and lessons and for freeing from possible schemas already made. In particular, we've been able to understand the specificities of this movement, its particular dynamic while relying on the past experiences (1986, 1995 in particular). To roughfly summarize, we've been able to acknowledge that the dynamic of development of the struggle didn't reverse after the failure of the spreading at the national level the next day after May 13th (contrary to the railway workers 1986 movement dynamic for instance), but was seeking other way through geographical links in the neighbourhoods and cities by the means of massive assemblies, by the fighting for the leadership of the street demonstrations against the unions, etc... (see our bulletins 19, 20 and 22).
Thus the year 2003 marks a very particular moment, a step, in the acceleration of the political and organisational drift - it is after the June 2003 Public Meeting on the strikes that we've been definitively banned from these meetings - of the ICC and of the crystallization of the political forces in presence. It's at that moment that our fraction begun to impose itself as the continuity of the true ICC. And it's at that moment the IBRP opened a determined intervention towards our fraction and acknowledged us as the ICC continuity : "So your document appears to be very different from ours, the October 2002 one, that we consider still valid and that we use in the demonstrations which we can go to (...). We don't know if the ICC is today moribund (it seems so) but we regret to see the Internal Fraction taking back almost perfectly the former rôle and positions of the old ICC" (IBRP letter to the fraction about our leaflet at the time of the pacifist demonstrations against the war in Iraq, bulletin 19, June 2003). This valuation didn't prevent the IBRP to carry on and to develop its intervention towards our fraction. On this occasion, we've had the capacity to "get going again", to take the opportunity, to respond to the IBRP, The Marxist Conception of History in that issue of our bulletin, and to take back and defend the marxist conception of... the ICC. Afterwards, in the following issues, we have taken back and developed the ICC conception of decadence, the serie of articles Capitalist Decadence and Marxism. It means that then begun publicly a political struggle, in front of the whole proletarian camp which now acknowledged the reality of this political struggle, which aimed at defending the experience and the lessons of the ICC against their liquidation.
The Defence of the Lessons and the Experience of the ICCin the Intervention and the Regroupment
After the French strikes, it's obvious the ICC is passed through internal contradictions. It is too also obvious that our intervention has provoked doubts and a trouble within our organisation. Our banning of attending the Public Meetings is one of its expressions. During the summer, the ICC press intends to justify its defeatism in the strikes relying in a schematic way to the December 1995 French strikes experience by distorting the reality and above all the reality of the ICC intervention at that time. We were led so to come back to this experience and to defend at the same time the analysis and our intervention in front of the misunderstandings of the proletarian camp (for instance in the "Readers' Meeting" of the ICP-Le Prolétaire and in the bulletin), but also against the falsifications of the new ICC. This struggle and the significance of our struggle of fraction took all its extent when RI was led to denounce the strike of the summer 2003 of the "intermittent" workers of the entertainment industry who by striking "were driven to cut the branch on which they sit : every time a spectacle or a festival is canceled, it's a lost occasion to get a contract, and a certain step towards unemployment for the major part of them" (RI 338, September 2003, translated by us) ; and to "defend", or rather to try to justify, its intervention in the Spring strikes by acknowledging that its militants, the few who intervened (Lyon and Nantes) had called for coming back to work since May 22nd at the highest point of the strikes and the movement.
At the same time and in a parallel and complementary manner, the sectarian policy of the ICC which still expressed essentially, at least publicly, against our fraction obliged us to take back and to defend all the experience of the ICC on the regroupment question, it means the experience of discussion and debate within the proletarian camp through the Liquidation of the Struggle for the Revolutionary Regroupment in the bulletins 23 and 24.
The March 11th 2004 Bombing in Madrid
Ten days after the Madrid bombings, March 21st, we publish a statement which analize them as being in continuity with the situation opened up in September 11th 2001, as a particular moment of the march towards war which is started by the bourgeoisies of the great imperialist powers at the immediate imperialist level as well as the imposing of the pacifist and nationalist ideology to the working class in the name of "war against terrorism". In the same sense, three days after, the 24th; the IBRP defends that "terrorism is a weapon of bourgeois war. In the face of capitalism's march to war and barbarism, the only force which can put the brakes on is that of the working class. Class struggle is the only weapon with which the world proletariat can obstruct and slow the bourgeoisie's course to war" (Revolutionary Perspectives 32).
This event came to confirm a new moment in the opportunist drift of the ICC (see our bulletin 24). The ICC also denounced the bombings as an "act of war". But the framework of understanding of the events is all different and so are the political implications too. For one part, the reign of the "each one for himself" is reaffirmed (RI), in stead of the dynamic towards the imperialist polarisation, and thus the absolute impossibility for a march towards a generalized world war. For its part, World Revolution tends to let the door opened to this possibility. Nevertheless, in an empirical manner [...], the ICC is obliged to acknowledge that does exist a French-German "tandem".
But it's above all regarding terrorism that the opportunist drift is well marked. "Independantly from knowing which imperialist power or bourgeois fraction benefits of the terrorist actions, these tends always more to escape to the plans drawn by those who gave it birth. (...) As the sorcerer's apprentice, the «creature» tends to become uncontrollable" (RI 345, translated by us). This vision of a terrorism become uncontrollable had already appeared after the September11th bombings in the United States when the ICC presented Ben Laden as "become uncontrollable by his old [American] masters". It has extremely negative and dangerous political consequences : if we follow the liquidationist ICC, terrorism wouldn't be a moment of the imperialist confrontations between great powers.
As well, the bombings in America had initiated the salutes to "Human Solidarity". Madrid is an opportunity to get going again on the salute to the Solidarity of the those who gave at once their blood in the hospitals. Amagalmating those "donation" of blood as an expression of "this feeling of solidarity" with "the development of solidarity which the working class carries", the ICC of the liquidators defends that "the revolutionaries and the whole world proletariat must claim, highly and strongly, their solidarity with the victims".
An Opportunist and Sectarian Drift Which Carries on andWhich is to be Fought
Since then, it's at all the levels already mentionned that the ICC sinks into opportunism, into the revision of its classical positions and into the giving up of marxism. As a direct consequence of the abandon of the historical alternative "war or revolution" to the benefit of a "third way", Revolución Mundial, the Mexican publication, didn't hesitate to declare that countries like Haiti were lost for revolution ; or still, as a direct consequence of the blind and deaf dogmatism, that the Mexican bourgeoisie supported the American one at the time of the war in Iraq while it was openly opposing it, in particular by voting against the American military intervention at the United Nations.
But above all, the intervention of the German section at the time of the wildcat strike in Opel, October 2004, in the city of Bochum, marked the concretisation in the immediate intervention of the crass revisionism which is taking rule of the ICC. The leaflet which has been distributed, is a true liquidation of the strike as an essential weapon of the working class. What was announced in the resolution of the 15th international congress, the abandon of the marxist principle of the classes struggle, is confirmed and ratified by the intervention of the German section (see bulletin 29).
Questionning itself on the strike as a struggle weapon for the working class today, while at the same time the whole bourgeoisie, in its first ranks the unions, denounces the strike and calls the Bochum workers to come back to work as soon as posible, the ICC declared that "in such situations, the strike as a mean of intimidation of the adversary losts most of its efficiency (...). The strike losts a great part of its power of threat" (translated by us from French version 5). Obviously, it's a disaster for our organisation, for the credibility of the historical ICC and for all the Communist Left. After Spring 2003 in France, it is a real work of scabs, a direct support for the bourgeoisie, for its unions which are openly against the strike and sabotage it, which is done again at the immediate level. And one more time, the ICC remains on the same side of the barricade than the bourgeoisie in a particular event, but important one, of the life of capitalism. Not only is the ICC disarming the working class by taking off the weapon of the strike, but also it justifies the no-participation to it.
Other strong moment of the drift and of the "irrationality" of the new thought of the ICC, is the analysis of G.Bush's re-election. This one is understood as a weakening of the American bourgeoisie and as the domination of irrationalism and obscurantism in the American electoral process (6). Again, our organisation disarms the international proletariat by actually rejecting the true significance of Bush's re-election : the confirmation of the aggressive and offensive imperialist willingness of the American bourgeoisie towards a generalised war (see our bulletin 30).
We could multiply facts of this kind. In particular, those where the present ICC takes back the very arguments of the bourgeoisie and where it presents "reverted" analysis of the situation which pretends that the bourgeoisie is very weakened while this one is reinforced by such or such events as the re-election of G. Bush or still as the French and international political consequences of the French and Dutch referendums on the European Constitution. In stead of arming the proletariat in front of the real dangers, the determined class struggle led by the bourgeoisie, which threatens it, the new ICC "reassures" it and disarms it !
Similar to this drift at the theoretical and political level, the drift at the organisational level has also gone on : "order contingent" ["service d'ordre" in french] at the Public Meetings - at least in Paris and Mexico -, physical violences, dissolution of the Public Meeting when the relation of physical forces isn't on their side (Mexico), provocations against our militants, against the IBRP too (Naples), refusal to sell us the press, utilisation of sympathizers, coarse and hatred polemics towards the other groups, conscious sabotage of the IBRP Public Meeting in Paris October 2nd 2004, etc... Scandalous attacks against the other groups, and above all destruction of new elements appearing in Argentina ; increasing lack of mobilization of the militants, lack of militant conviction, adhesion without principle, political ineptitudes uttered when we meet, exacerbated sectarianism, still lately emptiness of the intervention at the "Fête de Lutte Ouvrière" (the French trotskist group), etc...
It matters here to make a specific comment about the triumphal rantings which are regularly presented in the ICC press about the new integrations. The new elements the ICC has integrated, or are to be integrated (France, Spain, Germany...), oftenly with close family links, are obviously integrated on an opportunist basis (at the organisation level - the history of the revolutionary organisations is the history of the struggle against clanism - as well as political - the decomposition). In particular, these new comrades look to be affected by sectarianism and by the refusal of the opened and frontal political confrontation of the different political positions - without speaking of their blind "anti-parasitism". It means they are integrated on other principles than those of the true ICC. It's why we've compared their integration to the wave of integrations of new members at the time of the bolchevisation of the 1920's in the Communist Parties, the famous "Lenin promotion". As for the CPs of that time, these integrations which are presented as manifestation of success by the opportunism aim at hiding to the eyes of the militants and sympathizers the political failures. We know that militants of the ICC try to console themselves of the political drifts and abandons, or refuses to see them and try to forget them, by the fact and the argument "there are youngs and new ones". It's typical of shameful centrism and militant renouncement...
Nevertheless, a subdued, dispersed, almost subterranean, partly unconscious, partly "shameful", resistance does exist. The liquidation can't make it disappear overnight. The most "regular" expression of resistance, not declared but nevertheless real, is the Rivoluzione Internazionale one, the publication in Italy. We already underlined the heterogeneity of the territorial press of the ICC. But it oftenly seems to be the result much more of old good reflexes than of conscious political will. The Italian comrades are the only ones who constantly express, underlined by us and thus partly consciously, a political resistance to opportunism. We've been right to grasp that opportunity for, fraternally, throwing the line to the comrades even though it was with no illusion about any immediate result. We must carry on this policy : it means to denounce firmly, strongly, with no concession, the expressions of opened and declared opportunism, and on the other hand to seize any expression of resistance, which can't be but centrist, for calling the attention of the comrades and of the whole proletarian camp that... the ICC isn't yet dead for the proletariat.
So it matters here, at this point of this report, to affirm that the ICC isn't dead for the proletariat and that still does exist a struggle for the "redressment" of this organisation. Of course, the fact it more and more uses and takes back the bourgeois "arguments", even that it provides arguments such as the chaos which opens the door to the support to the US for instance, for developing its opportunist "analysis", inexorably drives it towards the opposing camp. But despite this, it continues to present - certainly inconsequent - internationalist and communist positions on essential questions to which the proletariat is confronted. Thus it's not by declaring prematurely its death that we can fight against its harmful influence and defend its lessons and its historical experience. But well by struggling against the opportunist drift in front of the working class and the whole proletarian camp. So it's a matter of a fraction struggle which still remains on the agenda.
The experience of the last three years during which we've reaffirmed this orientation of struggle for our fraction against opportunism, comes to confirm at the highest point that this orientation is complementary to the one aiming at the regroupment of the communist forces such as they appear today . Far from going away from these forces, and from the main pole of regroupment represented by the IBRP, it's precisely in this struggle against the liquidation and for the defence of the true ICC that we could participated actively, directly, and at the forefront, to the political and organisational strengthening of this pole. The liquidation of the ICC made no mistake : since September 2004 and the split of the Argentinian Nucleo Communista Internacionalista with it, and above all since the willingness of the latter to get closer to the IBRP, it's a true work of destruction and of systematic attacks it has developed as never. Actually, it is its main orientation of activities and its mains political concern (7).
This pronounced and increased dynamic is at the same time the reaction of liquidationism to the development of the international regroupment dynamic around the IBRP and its recognition of its lost of control of the situation, of its definitive defeat to come. It failed to make disappear our fraction. It failed to make us renounce to the ICC, to its positions and its lessons. It has failed to prevent our fraternal approach around the IBRP and to prevent the debate the latter of the classical ICC positions. It has failed to derail the IBRP from our fraction and from its active rôle of international regroupment pole. In brief, it lost the lead and has nothing to offer to the new elements who arise. It is exactly what has just showed the experience with the Argentinian comrades (see bulletin 28 and 29.
The Regroupment Dynamic around the IBRP
Since Spring 2003, the relations of our fraction with the IBRP, and at a lesser level with the ICP-Le Prolétaire since they are essentially with its militants, developed at the highest point. Never had the ICC succeeded to develop such relations of intervention, of discussion, of work, of confidence with the comrades of the IBRP, with the political organisation. Far from discouraging us in front of what could seem as a lack of interest from part of the Bureau, and which wasn't but a serious and patient study from its part, we tirelessly carried on developing our links with it (mail, invitations, debates, distribution of its leaflets, reproduction of articles and leaflets, solidarity at the time of the liquidationist ICC attacks such as the Naples one, technical collaborations such as translations and distribution of the press, etc...). But it is above all our, their and our, capacity and willingness to develop a real debate on basic, theoretical, questions the ICC and the ICP disagree on, which enabled to develop relations and the political getting closer which is underway. Consequent with the classical positions of the ICC, and with the understanding the IBRP had become the only real international regroupment pole despite the divergences and the political weaknesses we think it still has, we encouraged and we helped it to develop its intervention in France and in Mexico where our fraction is present, as well as internationally. If it didn't need us for its intervention in Germany to the GIS, our support and our active participation to the intervention in Argentina is one particular realization of this policy.
Today, the challenge remains to convince the IBRP it must carry on to assume a regular political presence in France, particularly in Paris, and to participate with all our forces to the development of its intervention in Latin America, particularly in Argentina.
The other challenge is to lead to their term the discussions on decadence (in particular to succeed to know "exactly" what are the disagreements) and on the question of the Party.
In this positive paronama, we must nevertheless regret a certain passivety and difficulty for the IBRP to take on a political presence in France for one part, and to take all its part in the fight against the opportunism and the destructive sectarianism of the ICC. Thus on this level as on the others, we must continue to show the way by assuming at the first rank this struggle.
The perspective of political getting closer to the IBRP, at the core of our political orientation, what ever can be the evolution of the political divergences and so what ever can be the degree of the final organisational regroupment, and the growing of this organisation at the international level are extremely exciting and are milestones for the future party.
Our political orientation of systematic struggle against the increasing opportunism of the ICC has enabled us to develop a level of relation with the IBRP as never before the ICC itself and the IBRP had succeeded to do. Historical and various "objective" circumstances had favoured this dynamic. But it's above all the return to the very principles of the ICC on the regroupment question, and thus their defence and their concrete realization vis-à-vis all the groups and elements of the proletarian camp, without exclusive and without concession, which had nourished this approach and enabled it. It can appear curious for those who didn't understand, or turned their back to the ICC conceptions on this matter, that it is precisely in the defence of the lessons of the ICC that this getting closer developed the most. For us, there is nothing surprising.
Nothing surprising since the present ICC opportunism we qualified as liquidationist, doesn't content itself with the liquidation of our organisation. It attacks and aims at destroying the whole proletarian camp at the organisational level - the attacks and provocations of all kinds against the IBRP and Le Prolétaire; the attempt of eliminating the Argentinian comrades of the NCI... - as well as the principle and political levels.
As this report puts it to the fore, there is a considerable worsening of the opportunist drift which have passed in a short time from the sphere of errors in the general analysis (misunderstanding of the historical period opened up since September 11th, in particular the dynamic towards imperialist bi-polarisation, misunderstanding of the dynamic of the workers struggles revival...) to the sphere of the programatical positions of the ICC (abandon of the decadence to the benefit of the decomposition 8, abandon of the generalised imperialist war as perspective of capitalism, abandon of any notion of the historical course determined by the classes struggle). And then, so quickly too, the liquidationist ICC has begun to reject fundamental positions of marxism and of the workers movement such as the historical alternative "war or revolution", or still the classes struggle as "motor of history". And finally, in record time if we consider that capitalism in the present period hasn't yet imposed great and dramatical historical struggles to the working class and to the revolutionaries, the today ICC poses itself more and more systematically on the bourgeois side of the barricade on every question (struggles, strikes, political and ideological campaigns of the bourgeoisie against the working class, imperialist war...)
And all this in the name of the ICC, of its political and militant tradition and credit it could get during more than three decades. And all this too in the name of the Communist Left, and in particular of the Italian Left. Whether we want it or not, the today opportunism, its most dangerous expression, it means the ICC of the liquidators, which cannot be compared to the other expressions of opportunism of these last years, is attacking the whole existing communist forces and imposes them a political struggle.
It's this new situation, this new "historical" reality of the Communist Left, in close relation with the new historical situation opened up in 2001, which leads to the common struggle of the dynamic and communist forces, to their getting closer, to their regroupment and to the clarification of the different positions.
It has become clear to everyone that the indispensable and necessary political confrontation with the true positions of the ICC can't be led with the "official" opportunist ICC but with our fraction. And the political clarification of the different positions can't be done but in the class struggle against capitalism and its present dynamic and, at the same time, in the struggle against the present opportunist ICC which is today the highest and most dangerous expression of opportunism, against its destructive influence into the proletarian camp.
1 Since its constitution in October 2001, our fraction had taken back to its own account the report, written (see bulletin n°1) and presented in the name of the majority of the former International Secretariat (IS) for the plenary meeting of the International Bureau (IB, the organ of the ICC) of September 2001. The second report (see bulletin 6) has been presented by our fraction, in its own name,for the plenary IB meeting of January 2002 just before our final exclusion in March 2002. Since then, there have been a third one which has been realized in October 2002 for the 15th international congress of theICC while we were already excluded for various months and which is the presentation of the bulletin 13. In the bulletin 14 which followed, we also published the Resolution about the Work of the Fraction we adopted en May 2002. If we add the Declaration of Constitution of a Collective, August 2001, and the Declaration of Constitution of an Internal Fraction, October 2001 (see bulletin 1), we have a whole serie of texts which punctuate the history of our fraction and express the continuity of our struggle against opportunism.
2 The "Collectif" was the first minoritarian regroupment against the liquidationist policy within the ICC. It constitutes itself in August 2001 (see Epilogue of the IS History in bulletin 25).
3It's exactly what announces the activities resolution adopted by the 16th congress (International Review 122, July 2005) : "The defence of the NCI against the joint attacks by the Circulo, the “IFICC” and the IBRP shows the way forward for the whole ICC in the development of the organisation (...). In the pursuit of this effort, we must aim in particular at: (...) intensify our offensive against parasitism, not only against the ‘IFICC’ but also against groups with an international impact such as the GCI”.
4 When we wrote this report, the resolution on the international situation of the 16th international congress was still unknown by us. The affirmation of this resolution (point 6) according to which "world war is not the concrete threat to mankind that it was for the greater part of the 20th century" then doesn't surprise us.
5 It's worth to notice that this leaflet has disappeared from the French and English pages of the Internet ICC site. Let's underline too that it happened the same thing for the resolution on the international situation of the now famous 15th international congress. Disappeared ! What are they ashamed of ? [Note of the English version]
6 "The fact the candidate of its choice[Kerry] hasn't been elected (...) constitutes an expression of the weakening of the American power (...). The results of the presidential election reflect the increasing difficulties that the American ruling class is experiencing in its ability to manipulate the electoral circus. (...) Irrationality produced by fear and powerlessness has ruled these elections"(Internationalism 132, Nov. 2004, RI 352, Dec. 2004)
7 See the activities resolution adopted at this congress and which is quoted in the third note of this report.
8 This liquidation of the old position of the ICC on decadence has just been officially pronounced and claimed by the 16th congress of the ICC which has just been held :"In any case the cycle of crisis war and reconstruction is over and the crisis today, unable to debauch on world war, is the prime factor in accelerating the decomposition of the system. It thus continues to push the system towards its own self-destruction. In any case the cycle of crisis war and reconstruction is over and the crisis today, unable to debauch on world war, is the prime factor in accelerating the decomposition of the system. It thus continues to push the system towards its own self-destruction" (Resolution on the international situation, pt. 14, IReview 122). The announcement with no argument and with no discussion, of the end of the recognition of one theoretical foundations of the decadence, it means the recognition of the cycle "crisis-war-reconstruction" marks the liquidation of the programmatical positions of the ICC.
Communist Bulletin Nš 32 - Internal Fraction of ICC