[We don't publish the whole article in French. We've just translated some part for lack of forces and time. Most of the cuts are quotations of the groups. Anyone can refer to theirs website or their press to check these quotations]
In the US 2008 presidential elections with Barak Obama's election, the American bourgeoisie aimed at reaffirm the imperialist policy led since the September 11th 2001 attacks by the Bush administrations and to select the man and the administration team which would be able to face the more efficiently possible the new situation created by the brutal worsening of the world economical crisis. Each election, particularly in the first world imperialist power, presents the opportunity for the bourgeoisie to strenghten the electoral and democratic mystification and is a moment for reinforcing, or to arouse, "national unity". On this occasion, the electoral and democratic mystification has been particularly credibilized by the supposed break with Bush's imperialist policy that Obama would represent according to all the medias. As well, the election of the first "afro-american" President in the United-States has enabled to develop a tense and huge campaign about the "American dream" - it means the defense of bourgeois democracy - thus developing even more the feeling of national unity.
These elections have so largely fulfiled their function and represent an unquestionable political success for the Americain bourgeoisie.
In regards to Barak Obama's election as President of the first world power, the groups who claim this Communist Left tradition have, globally, put forwards correct and appropriate positions. Our Fraction wants, first, to underline and bring out that groups like the ICP (Proletarian is its publication in English), the IBRP [...] as well as the ICC, understood well the huge medias campaign about the choice of Obama as 44th President of the USA.
The ones and the other have been able to point out the fundamental idea according to who ever is the person destined to occupy the function, the first thing which defines the policy which will be led, is the defense of the interests of the US bourgeoisie. And for such a thing, given the present situation, the State will have to carry on rescueing the bankrupted economical sectors because the crisis and thus to carry on and strengthen the attacks against the working class - firstly - and against the whole population.
This defense of the national interests has two essential axis that the groups have been able to acknowledge and put forwards : the war preparation ; the defense of the role of first world imperialist power on one side and, on the other, the economical measures which will worsen the work and living conditions of our class.
The ICC seems to give a greater echo to these facts and, for instance, publishes articles in various languages about these elections. It appears that, despite its inexorable opportunist drift, some reflexes remain and we're delighted of this.
In an article of the ICC press in the US (Internationalism 149), we can read a statement which is correct and which underlines, one more time, the two essential axis the bourgeoisie is struggling against :
"Obama promised to deliver change, but this promise was nothing but ideological sophistry. The whole campaign was a hypocritical lie, that captured the hopes of a population, and above all of a working class increasingly fed up with misery and war, but still unclear as to its own role in society and as yet unable to dispel the ruling class's mystifications.
The real victor in this election was not the fictitious "Joe Blow" of middle America, not the African Americans who are part of the US working class, but rather the ruling class. It is clear that more of the same and worse will be dished out to the workers, increasing the weight of misery. Obama was not a "peace" candidate. His criticism of Bush was that the latter got bogged down in Iraq, spread the troops too thinly, and left American imperialism incapable of responding adequately to future challenges to its dominance. Obama plans to send more troops to Afghanistan and to be ready to strike back against threats to America's imperialist interests. He was fiercely critical of the Bush administration's inability to respond to the Russian invasion of Georgia last summer. Such a peace-nik, is he!"
In the followings of this same article, the ICC even comes to affirm :
"For the ruling class this election has been a success almost beyond its wildest dreams (...) The post-election euphoria - the literal dancing in the streets that greeted Obama's victory - is testimony to the extent of this political victory. The impact of the election is comparable to the ideological victory that occurred immediately after 9/11. Back then the bourgeoisie benefited from a surge of nationalist hysteria, binding the working class to the bourgeois state. Today, hope in democracy and faith in a charismatic leader, binds large sectors of the population to the state".
We point out that the ICC thinks these elections and the campaign around them represent a political victory for the American bourgeoisie. We'll come back on this question in relation to other past statements of the ICC and in regards to the electoral mystification a few years ago when Bush was elected for his second term.
[In other articles of the ICC - for instance see Révolution internationale n°396, December 2008, Obama, United-States President : it's always the bourgeoisie who wins the elections -, the ICC press underlines the ability of the American bourgeoisie to manage and control its election process and its political apparatus]
Thus, at first sight, it seems that the three main currents of the Communist Left agree on an globally identical analysis, not only on the role and the function of the electoral circus - which is the least we can hope from this political tendency - but also of the present stakes for the capitalist world and the contradictions in which it is caught : the warlike preparation and the increasing classes struggle in front of the brutal worsening of the economical crisis.
Behind this convergence of statements, there are nevertheless differences which reveal the disagreements - and above all different dynamics of these groups - in regards with the analysis, and thus in regards with the perspectives, they make of the situation. The ICP and the IBRP base their respective statements upon an analysis which is in coherence with their past positions and their theoretical understanding. This enables them to solidly found their position - even though we can have disagreements with such or such aspect, essentially due to programmatical differences, mainly with the ICP.
It is not the same situation with the present ICC statement which is in complete opposition with the analysis it made at the time of Bush's re-election in 2004 whose "continuance in office [was] untenable" (Internationalism 132, Dec. 2004) which made his democrat rival Kerry the bourgeoisie's candidate who would have normally been elected. Inescapably, its present statement is strongly weakened since it does not explain how [...] the American bourgeoisie have been able to reverse the 2004 situation where "irrationality producted by fear and powerlessness, have ruled these elections" of 2004 (Révolution internationale 352). In brief, how the American bourgeoisie gangrened by the "Decomposition" could react while its Bush Administration was completely unadapted up the point to present a catastrophic balance-sheet, still according to the ICC ?
The weakness of its present statement, because the obvious contradiction with the previous analysis on the 2000 and 2004 elections, opens the door to false and dangerous positions today.
At first, the present affirmation that this election "has managed to rejuvenate electoralism and the democratic myth, which has taken so many hits since 2000, especially amongst the younger generation, and left so many people disenchanted with the "system". " (Internationalism 149, 2009) reintroduces the idea that the bourgeoisie had lost any control and any mastery of its political game since Bush's first election (1) and that the democratic mystification had been particularly weakened. And actually, it doesn't allow to understand, all the contrary, the strength and the political game of the American bourgeoisie in front of the proletariat, nor in its march towards imperalist war... since 2001. It is thus what we intended, on the basis of the original positions of the ICC, to remind at that time to the ICC members in our bulletin 30 (2) and which enables today to understand and explain the political success that represents Obama's election for the American bourgeoisie.
Secondly, and with no doubt still more serious, the present statement of the ICC according to which "with Obama's victory, it mattered above all to «erase» the catastrophic image of the United-States after Bush's 8 years (qualified of worst President of all the US History" (Révolution internationale 396, translated by us) - it means Bush's imperialist policy didn't correspond at all to the Americain capitalism interests -, participates to reinforce two mystifications, two themes of propaganda, particularly dangerous for the proletariat and that the bourgeoisie didn't stop hammering : that Obama's policy could be "different", more "pacifist", more respectful to "Human's Rights", less aggressive, at the imperialist level ; and that Bush warlike advances, supposedly dictated by his irrationality and his inadequacy, didn't correspond to an inexorable process of world capitalism towards generalized imperialist war.
In stead of bringing credibility to the bourgeoisie's lies, revolutionaries have the duty to affirm that Bush's policy was THE necessary policy to the US bourgeoisie. And that it is precisely this kind of policy Obama will lead. That is exactly what the articles of Le Prolétaire (ICP) and Battaglia comunista (IBRP) do. Thus, we can affirm with no fear of mistaking that Bush - and his team - was "the right man in the right place" from the bourgeoisie's point of view. The attacks against the working class, the warlike advances he led, were exactly the policies the US bourgeoisie had to lead. And Obama will carry on in the same direction.
But it is very difficult for the ICC of today to go back over its analysis of the 2000 and 2004 elections - as for the other statements as well wrong and dangerous - and it considerably weakens its present statement. Actually, there is a "theoretical" framework, a "theoretical" approach, which founds these contradictory, wrong, and dangerous statements : its conception on the so-called "phase of decomposition" in which this one, the decomposition, would be permanent and definitive and would exert its effects more and more strongly upon the whole society, and in particular upon the working class. It is this decomposition which would explain Bush's two elections and the Americain bourgeoisie's supposed inability to manage its "electoral circus" : "As decomposition continues to accelerate, the U.S. ruling class has joined other capitalist nations, like France, in its difficulties in controlling the electoral charade" (Internationalism 132). It's the Decomposition which explains that "that the deep America, the country sectors, subjected to misery, to demoralization and to the total lack of perspectives by the effects of the crisis, have been particularly pervious to these mystical themes allowing to present as the devil the foreigner (the fanatical muslim !) as responsible for all evils" (Révolution internationale 354).
Questionning this vision of the present "Phase of Decomposition" ? Even asking about its dogma ? The internal political stakes of this organisation would be enormous : it would mean to question the political positions which ensue from it, at least since 2001 : the giving up of the historical alternative war or revolution (15th Congress of the ICC, 2003), the giving up of the foundation of the theory of capitalism decadence, the cycle crisis-war-reconstruction-new crisis (16th Congress, 2005), the rejection of the danger of generalized imperialist war (16th Congress) to the benefit of a so-called écological apocalipsis (17th Congress, 2007), the rejection of the defeatist theories about the weight of decomposition on the proletariat, the rejection of the supposed permanent danger of clanism in the functionning of the communist organizations - and by the way the rejection of the ideological justification for our exclusion and the questionning of the validity of the fight aiming at eliminating our fraction and its militants -, etc.
Nevertheless, it's precisely on this path that the ICC militants still faithful to the positions of our organization, must engage if they sincerely want that their organization turns away from bourgeois illusions and mystifications in which it increasingly falls in ; that it rejoins, solidly, on a firm ground, our fraction and the other organizations of the Left Communist in the clear defense of the proletariat's interests in front of this kind of events. Let's be clear : as we don't stop repeating since our exclusion of the ICC in March 2002, we don't say to these militants, if there are any, to leave the ICC. On the contrary, we carry on calling them to assume the debate, and thus the political fight within the ICC whether to regain the organization to its positions of origin and to its historical responsabilities today, or to assume a minoritarian activity in its ranks in order there is the greatest political clarification. In both cases, and even if the first outcome is the most desirable, even though today the most unlikely, we call theses comrades to take contact with our fraction. It's the most openly possible, publicly, that this debate and this struggle should be led, it means in front of the proletariat, in front of the proletarian camp in order the latter as a whole comes out the most reinforced and the most united possible. In a period in which, crisis and wars becoming more acute, in which the ideological pressure of the bourgeoisie on the proletarians will intensify and in which the classes stakes will become sharper and sharper, the international proletariat has an urgent need that its political vanguard minorities be the clearest possible and speak with the more united and coherent voice possible.
The Fraction, December 20th, 2008
1. "However, despite the large turnout and the responsible behaviour of Kerry, the democratic mystification still suffered a serious setback for the bourgeoisie. Among large sectors of the population, the “anybody but Bush” campaign had become a real crusade, an opportunity to correct a serious political blunder in American political history. (...) The failure of the bourgeoisie's media campaign to shift the political division of labor to the Democrats resulted in widespread frustration, even depression, at how such a democratic movement could have failed to dislodge an unpopular president, and risks triggering widespread disillusion in the electoral process" (Internationalism 132, Dec. 2004).
2. "How can't they see, to the contrary, that these elections have been an important success for the American bourgeoisie ? That the democratic and electoral mystification has emerged sthrengthened and credibilized ? That the American imperialist orientation has emerged reaffirmed and has been hurled at the whole imperialist rivals as a challenge ? How can't they understand the fact "that the deep America, the country sectors, subjected to misery, to demoralization and to the total lack of perspectives by the effects of the crisis, have been particularly pervious to these mystical themes allowing to present as the devil the foreigner (the fanatical muslim !) as responsible for all evils" (Révolution internationale 354 on the web site only, Victoire de Bush aux élections :Une situation difficile pour la bourgeoisie américaine, Nov. 2004, translated into english by us) means that it has been particularly sensitive to a nationalist and warlike language ? How can't they see the fact that an other important part of the American people has been particularly sensitive, before, and with no doubt is even more now after the elections, to the "antiwar", pacifist, democratic, "Left", themes, participates to create the best conditions for setting up a pacifist and Left movement, it means on the basis of bourgeois themes and field ? How can't they see that the two phenomenons constitute precisely the setting up of a political device the State apparatus of the American bourgeoisie needs for engaging itself even more decided and determined in its imperialist and warlike policy ? Isn't there precisely the classical political conditions for a false opposition - war or pacifism -, on false fields - posible peace in the framework of capitalism -, in order to attempt to take off into it the whole population, and particularly the working class ? Isn't there the classical political shape for imposing the dynamic towards imperialist war to the American working class ? Unless one believes that bourgeois pacifism, even radical, the very one which will develop with these elections outcome, isn't the main arm of the bourgeoisie to bring the working class into the imperialist war field, behind the bourgeois State... Another door is opened... in relation to proletarian internationalism. " (Bulletin 30, March 2005).
Communist Bulletin 45 - Internal Fraction of ICC