Revolution or War n° 1

(February 2014)

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Foundation of the International Group of the Communist Left

This is the first issue of Revolution or War. Here, the reader will find the main documents adopted by the constitutional conference of the International Group of the Communist Left, giving an idea of our political positions and orientations. Our intention is to take part in the tradition and continuity of the international Communist Left, within which we consider as central the theoretical, political and organizational lessons of the avowed ’Italian Left’. As well, our positions of political principle - our political platform - as shown on the last page, rest on the historical positions of the ICT and the ICC. [1]

The first aim and central orientation of intervention of our group and of our review are to participate as far as possible toward the regroupment of revolutionary forces, with the future constitution of the communist party of tomorrow in mind.

What substantial meaning can these words have at the very time when all-out bourgeois attacks on the working class everywhere succeed in imposing increasingly heavy sacrifices? In a period where the media remains silent, evasive, and when this no longer works, distorts and participates in derailing workers’ response to the crisis? A revolutionary party... just as the working class is systematically presented as unable to affirm its revolutionary being? At a time when the current generation of salaried workers, often or chronically unemployed, in growing misery and hopelessness, seem above all to distrust anything that smells ‘political’, including class struggle itself? A struggle for the communist party? At a time when the greater part of the old generation of communist militants, coming out of the ‘70s and ‘80s, weighed down by the baggage of political opportunism within the Communist Left, simply give up the class struggle and the particular, but fundamental, struggle for the party, whatever their falsely attributed intentions, since they all run from political organization and its organized, collective, and centralized functioning ... Just when one of the main organizations of the Communist Left, the International Communist Current, is crumbling before our eyes at the theoretical, political, as well as organizational levels, shutting down its regular press, giving up its public meetings, after having largely abandoned its principles... Right when it seems that only the Internationalist Communist Tendency resists this general undertaking to liquidate the legacy of the Communist Left, making it the only remaining international group that can serve as a political and organizational reference in the midst of what may appear to be a general ruin within the communist camp.

All of this might suggest that the struggle is in vain; or that it would be convenient to adopt supposed ‘new forms’ of mass struggle, such as the “Indignados” in Spain or supposedly new ‘pro-revolutionary’ individual commitments based on informalism or democratism as found in certain advanced mystifications specific to ‘social networks’ and the Internet. In the final analysis, these ‘innovating’ formulas are nothing but the negation of the collective action of the class against the bourgeois state and the apology of individualism and the ‘citizen’. Yet, all of these developments and supposed ‘innovations’ have to the contrary just rendered working class struggles more essential and crucial than ever, particularly the struggle for the revolutionary party in the tradition and the continuity of the Communist Left.

However, in all of capitalism’s history, never has it found itself so weakened before the proletariat, in a situation so difficult ‘historically, ‘objectively’: since the crisis and perspective of generalized war arose at the same time. To the masses of workers and exploited, it will be more difficult than ever for capitalism to pass off its ideological mystifications, as promises of prosperity and peace fade more and more with each passing day. And while despite the ‘black-out’, the outright censorship, of workers struggles and mobilizations, their fighting spirit is unfailing, unabated, enduring. How many massive demonstrations against the adoption of misery measures in all countries have been suppressed or ignored by the media? How many isolated struggles against layoffs or against wage cuts have been given the silent treatment? Illusions on our part? Our imagination? They continue to sell us the idea that censorship is impossible in the age of Internet and omnipresent media with their ‘instant and global revelations exposure’. Nevertheless... an example, the latest in short, though a significant one: where outside of Spain was it was known that “waves of citizens demonstrated against [Prime Minister] Rajoy’s policy” (title of El Pais, November 24, 2013), the 23 & 24 of last November in 50 Spanish cities? The same can be said during the days of mass protest in Portugal, Greece, Italy, etc...

The outpouring of anger and fighting spirit overflows into all countries, on all continents. But for all that they fail to fend off the attacks. Because the working class, for the most part, remains behind the slogans and demands of leftists and the unions - slogans and demands which constrain and limit the struggle within the framework of state and capitalist ideology. Because it has yet to take up the fight against the sabotage and corruption of its struggles, against the very forces responsible for setting them up. Because it can’t seem to pull itself up to the level of conscious political struggle; i.e. up to political confrontation against all forces of the bourgeois state apparatus, particularly against those which ‘impose themselves on the workers’ terrain’, the unions, official or ‘rank and file’, of the political Left and leftist forces, including those hiding behind the various and diverse apolitical and democratic mystifications.

Here we have the reason as to why workers struggles need the intervention and the presence of revolutionaries. Not that they are the only ones able to lead and take on the political dimension of the class struggle. It’s the working class as a whole, of course, that must strive to lead this struggle on the ground, and to oppose capitalism and the bourgeois state as a whole. And also, of course, it’s the most determined and militant minorities, those most conscious of class contradictions, and of the proletariat’s future, who will be called upon as the active factors and focus of this political struggle. But amongst its more or less ‘broad’ workers minorities that appear and disappear along with the ebbs and flows of struggle, it’s these organized minorities - political groups that endure and systematize their activities, reflection and intervention, who as part of the history of the workers movement and take back and defend its most fundamental political and theoretical lessons, who are the most capable of being at the forefront of this political struggle. And that’s not just their historical responsibility, but it’s the only means to resist the pressure of the ideological struggle that the bourgeoisie leads against the working class as a whole, and against its revolutionary minorities in particular. To intervene? To be on the front lines of their class struggle? Their survival and their development depend on it!

So when these political groups are also armed with slogans of proletarian insurrection, of smashing the capitalist state, of the dictatorship of the proletariat, of abolition of capitalism and the wage system, when armed with the perspective of a classless, stateless society without exploitation - that is, when they are armed with the Communist Program and Marxist theory - then their role is essential and indispensable for the class struggle at the historical level, for the success of massive confrontations between the classes, which will open a revolutionary perspective on an immediate level for leading the daily struggles to limit capital’s attacks and to make the best of struggles to come. On the contrary, their absence would be catastrophic since they express and materialize the highest expressions - albeit not unique - of the proletariat’s class-consciousness, of the Communist Program!

This is why we have regrouped and intend to do our best to help and even be an active factor in the struggle and the process for regroupment of communist forces. This is why, far from being one more rival group competing with those already in existence, we intend to come to the support of the only international group capable of serving as a pole of reference and regroupment, that the International Communist Tendency represents. This is why we intend to fight all expressions of political opportunism within the Communist Left and within the proletarian camp whose common denominator is today the opposition and sabotage [2] of this process towards the party. Here is why we set into place in our central battle for regroupment, the perspective of the indispensable struggle for the constitution of the communist party of tomorrow. Just as the workers struggles of today already determine, at least partly, the outcome of the massive confrontations of tomorrow, the struggle today for regroupment in general, and around the ICT in particular for the present period, already determines, in still greater part, the outcome of the struggle for the party of tomorrow.

RL, 3 December 2013.

(Published on : 18 January 2014)



[1Amongst the numerous reactions to the publication of our communique on the constitution of the group - in general, while positive, enthusiastic and encouraging, some question why we are setting up a ’new’ group rather than ask for adhesion to the ICT or the ICC. In the absolute, we agree with the comrades. The fact that the French nucleus was excluded from the ICC after the constitution of the Internal Fraction of the ICC and that the Canadian nucleus, up to now and as IC-Klasbatalo, could not develop a closer fraternal relationship with the Internationalist Workers Group, the Canadian group of the ICT, is not our responsibility and we have always, politically, deplored it and fought it back. We refer our reader to the “Archives” of our website for our respective histories and struggles throughout the years since 2000. And more immediately to the correspondence published in this issue with a comrade from Canada who asks about our relations with the ICT and its adhering group in this country. As one can read in the documents adopted at our conference, the IGCL wants to develop insofar as is possible fraternal relationships with the ICT in general, and thus with the IWG.

[2And whose other important component of the Communist Left, the International Communist Current, has become one of the main vectors, if not the main one, since the opening of its process of opportunist degeneration engaged, since ruling this organization, since 2001.