Paris, March 9th 2007.
The internal fraction of the ICC to the IUPRC,
We've received the Thesis you have adopted at your conference late January and we thank you for having sending them. Our present statement on your Thesis will adopt the same method and mainly the same evaluation that we already did in the Notes (only in Spanish and French) on your previous documents - Three phases..., A passive working class ? - we published in our bulletin 37 and that we sent you. We hope you'll be able to discuss this one and to respond too, and even criticize of course, in order we can develop a debate and a political confrontation of our respective positions.
As your previous texts, your Thesis are clearly defending class and communist positions. Thus we salute them. They confirm what we stated in our Notes :
"We consider that the GPRC defends fundamental political positions which place it beside what we call the proletarian camp. It means beside the groups which defend the revolutionary interests and goals of the proletariat.(...) These positions of the GPRC, true class frontiers, appear - even though briefly - in the text The Three Phases" (Bulletin 37, Notas sobre los textos del GPRK de Rusia).
Again the Thesis clearly states :
Through these positions, your Thesis strongly reaffirm two basic principles of Marxism and revolutionary workers movement : classes struggle and internationalism. These two principles are guide lines for the whole and permanent activity and intervention of the communists which they can't forget, nor let aside for any reason.
Now, we've some critical comments and a main political criticism, which may be an important political disagreement, we want and we have to mention you. We address you these comments and criticisms as part of a fraternal debate and a political struggle within the same proletarian camp and they have to be considered as such.
Firstly the critical comments : indeed your Thesis are very brief. And thus you couldn't develop much every position you put forward. If they clearly are class positions, it is difficult to evaluate with precision how you understand them and how you defend them. Almost every point would deserve a specific discussion to really precise what it means. In our opinion, their present redaction enables various contradictory positions to formally coexist which can be politically very dangerous if they aren't discussed more precisely and in details and not clarified in your organisation. We can't develop here but we surely will come back on this aspect.
The second critical comment is that many basic questions aren't mentioned such as the reference to the workers' movement history - revolutionary organisations, October revolution, Marxism, your own filiation, etc... Whereas, to be able to defend consequently and with efficiency the class positions, we must understand them in an historical framework, it means through the historical experience of the workers movement, and particularly and mainly through the debate, the political struggles, the lessons and the experience of its political revolutionary organisations all along its history.
And the third critical comment is that the Thesis appear to be, in great part, determined by the Russian historical and present specificities, the negative enormous weight of stalinism in this particular country, and the daily political struggle you certainly have to lead in this situation. We know Russia is the place where the counter-revolution, whose main ideology was stalinism, has been the worst, the deepest and the longest upon the proletariat and the revolutionary minorities. And we know it certainly is the place where it still exerts today the strongest pressure against true communism. Let's be clear : the fact that comrades and groups still defend communism in present Russia - which is living a permanent state of war with a very repressive State - and are presently developing and relating with the international present Left Communism currents is to strongly salute. It's full of promises for the future and reveals the still existing vitality and strength of the proletariat in Russia. But precisely for this reason, we want to notice and underline the fact that your documents in general, and certainly these Thesis, are reflecting this pressure and suffering this weakness.
For instance, you don't mention the October revolution while you implicitly refer to it. We guess the Stalinist party, or parties, claims the October revolution in the name of Russian nationalism and it might be difficult to defend the experience of the Russian revolution from the communist point of view. But it's precisely for this reason that an even more important and crucial struggle on this question is required and has to be led by the revolutionary groups to dispute to the bourgeois forces the true class experience and the real legacy of this historical event. Surely part of the obvious hesitation you have to explicitly mention the question of the revolutionary Party - you don't use the word - comes as a consequence of stalinism weight.
But precisely on this question comes the main political criticism we have : we didn't formally mentioned it in our previous Notes even though we already noticed it, but the present Thesis express a clear Councilist tendency which is for us a real political weakness and presents a real danger not only for any group but for the whole proletarian and internationalist camp. What do we qualify as Councilism ? Mainly and briefly, Councilism is the political current which strongly underestimates the role and the tasks of the political organisation of the proletariat up to fully deny it any function for some of its historical trends. Historically, it appears in the 30's in reaction to... the degeneracies of the Russian revolution and the bolchevik Party and to the rise up of stalinism. But it quickly rejected all the experience of the bolchevik Party and presented the Russian revolution as a bourgeois revolution. Theoretically and politically it is the modern version of anarchist a-politism Marx had to fight against within the 1st International, of Economism trend Lenin fought in What is to be done ? while at almost the same time Rosa Luxemburg confronted the reformist and opportunist policy and practice of the unions leadership in the debate about the Mass strike... Concretely councilism tends to reduce the working class struggle to its economical dimension, underestimating or denying its crucial political dimension and content, it means denying any active and concrete role to class consciousness and to communist minorities where this class consciousness is synthesized and openly defended.
This short and uncompleted presentation of councilism enables us to see why and where, in our opinion, the Thesis present this important political weakness :
We don't develop more here since this is a crucial and large question which needs an important and serious debate. But we're particularly interested in developing the discussion on this specific question with you and we hope it'll be the case for you too.
Here are, dear comrades, our fraternal comments, some of them strongly critical, others supporting, that we wanted to express you without waiting too long. We hope you'll understand they are not a dogmatic and sectarian rejection of any contact and discussion with you. All the contrary. We call you to consider them as we do ourselves : a call for debate and confrontation our respective positions. The only limitation we may have regarding the discussion with you would be our limited forces. We wait for your response.
We don't understand Russian language, nor German. Is English OK for you ? You once told us you could also read Spanish. Is this correct ? What language would be the more useful for you ?
By the way, we saw your web site. Do you want us to make a link on our own site ? Do you accept to do the same for our ? In case you agree, here is our web address :
Would you agree if we decide to publish your text and our response in our bulletin ? We join you the translation into French of the Thesis. It may be useful for you. Once they'll be translated into Spanish by our Mexican comrades, we'll send them...
The internal fraction of the ICC.
Internal Fraction of ICC - Communist Bulletin (Nš 40)