Revolution or War n°25

(September 2023)

PDF - 773.9 kb

HomeVersion imprimable de cet article Version imprimable

25th Congress of the ICC: “Destruction of Humanity” or Generalized Imperialist War? (July 2023)

As stated in the introduction to the article The political impasse of the ICC, we are publishing the position paper on its 25th congress as it was written in July 2023. Only note 6 was introduced at the time of publication. The fact that the CCI has in the meantime announced that it is dedicating dozens of pages to our group does not change our general orientation towards the proletarian camp, nor towards this organization in particular.

The International Communist Current has held its 25th congress, which it reports on in a presentation. [1] This was accompanied by the publication of various reports on imperialist tensions, the economic crisis and the class struggle, as well as an Update of its theses on decomposition. This time, there is no new questioning or opportunist rejection of the classic positions of the original ICC and Marxism, as were in their time the substitution of a third way for the historical alternative of revolution or war (15th Congress, 2003), the disappearance of any possibility of generalized imperialist war (17th Congress, 2007) or the rejection of the notion of the historical course (23rd Congress, 2019), to name only the most significant. Apart from the ritual call against the danger of parasitism, there are no specific statements on the proletarian camp.

Likewise, there is no balance-sheet of the activities and the realization of the perspectives put forward at the previous congress. What about the orientations put forward for 2021? What about “the struggle against opportunism within the organizations of the Communist Left, linked to the struggle against parasitism [and] the defense of the organization against the attacks of parasitism and for breaking the cordon sanitaire?” [2] What about “the ability to analyze the world and historical situation (...) one of the pillars of our immediate perspectives”? Clearly, the so-called cordon sanitaire that parasitism – in fact, our group, according to it – sought to establish, i.e., the isolation of the ICC, persists. So much so that we are often obliged to fight to convince those, and not only young militants, who do not want to hear about it, that it remains an organization of the Communist Left and that it continues to defend class positions despite its opportunist and sectarian drift. The IGCL, “the most dangerous of the parasitic groups”, made up of “gangsters and cops” according to the ICC, is very often the only one to defend it! Sweet pleasure of defending proletarian principles on these occasions.

And what about its capacity for analysis? We had seen that one of the aims, if not the main one, of the previous congresses was to justify the theory of decomposition internally at all costs [3], in the face of its own members’ doubts and lack of conviction about this theory; which is rejected by the whole proletarian camp. One of the main political implications of decomposition is the denial of any prospect of generalized imperialist war, of a Third World War, as capital’s only way out of its crisis. And all this with the main argument that the chaos and “every-man-for-himself” attitude provoked by decomposition annihilate any possibility of, or even tendency towards, the constitution of imperialist blocs. [4] But since then, imperialist war has broken out in Ukraine. It has provoked a heightened imperialist polarization, evident to all, and further confirmed by the latest NATO summit in Vilnius; and it marks a first significant step in the push towards generalized imperialist war. These moves are manifested by the fact that direct and indirect preparation for war, general and precipitous rearmament, and the establishment of war economies, are the central factors in the situation, and tend to determine and dictate all the policies that each national bourgeoisie is now forced to implement, particularly against its own proletariat.

Unless losing all credibility, the ICC of the decomposition is therefore obliged to recognize, empirically, the reality of imperialist war – after having denied it – as a factor in the situation, while clinging to the thesis, against all evidence, that there is no dynamic of imperialist polarization. Responding to its members who disagree on this issue [5], the 25th Congress affirms that “the consequences of the conflict in Ukraine do not lead to a ’rationalization’ of tensions through a ’bipolar’ alignment of imperialisms behind two dominant ’godfathers’, but on the contrary to the explosion of a multiplicity of imperialist ambitions, which are not limited to those of the major imperialisms (to be examined in the next section), or to Eastern Europe and Central Asia, thus accentuating the chaotic and irrational character of the confrontations.”

What the report – of the very Congress! – on imperialist tensions actually contradicts. “If the war [in Ukraine] was indeed initiated by Russia, it is the consequence of the strategy of encirclement and suffocation of the latter by the United States. In this way, the United States has succeeded in intensifying its aggressive policy, which has a much more ambitious objective than simply stopping Russia’s ambitions.” And this part concludes with the fact that the United States “tightened the screws within NATO by forcing European countries to come under the Alliance’s banner, especially France and Germany.”

So, tendency towards imperialist polarization or not? So, is American imperialist policy irrational and out of control? Or is it a well-thought-out and effectively implemented policy that demonstrates the strength and unity of the state apparatus and the American capitalist class? The problem with the so-called dialectical method so loudly claimed by the ICC is that it is still trapped in the metaphysical opposition of opposites. It still has not understood, or does not want to understand – at the risk of destroying one of the pillars of the theory of decomposition – that the defense by each national capital of its own interests, the “each-one-for-himself” attitude, is only a moment of imperialist polarization. Any gang leader knows that he must seek an alliance, if possible with a stronger godfather, if he is to defend his own interests. In the same way that the strongest godfathers often seek to ally, often by imposition, themselves with weaker gangs.

This denial of generalized imperialist war as one of the poles of the historical alternative, and therefore as a factor in the situation and its concrete development, results in... a tendency to underestimate and deny class struggle as the driving force of history. “This general dynamic of capitalist decadence is no longer directly determined by the balance of power between classes. Whatever the balance of power, world war is no longer on the agenda, but capitalism will continue to sink into decay, since social decomposition tends to spiral out of the control of the contending classes.” [6]

In so doing, today’s ICC is incapable of understanding the immediate terrain and stakes of the attacks that each national bourgeoisie has begun to carry out, and will carry out more and more, against each proletariat. And this in relation to the path that each must follow, economically, politically, ideologically, etc., to prepare for war. The result – and we cannot go into too much detail here – is abstract and only provides general considerations and orientations, ultimately of an economist nature, which reduce proletarian struggle to the return of “class identity” as a prerequisite for struggle. But more importantly, by denying the evolution of the balance of forces between classes, and hence class struggle, as the central factor in the development of capitalist society, the ICC substitutes to it the struggle against decomposition. In other words, the idea of decomposition. Examples: “the current effectiveness of union control relies on the weaknesses that derive from decomposition. (…) One of the most effective weapons of the ruling class is its ability to turn the effects of decomposition against the class. (…) The proletariat of the world’s first power, in spite of numerous obstacles generated by decomposition, of which the US has become the epicenter.” [7] In short, the obstacles to proletarian struggle are not the very real political forces of the bourgeois state apparatus, but the effects of decomposition.

In 2003, at its 15th congress, the ICC, definitively won over by opportunism, had liquidated its position on the historical alternative of revolution or war in favor of a “third way”, the classic opportunist thesis. [8] Since then, and no doubt in the face of the – and our – criticisms, it has had to abandon any reference to this third way, which smelled too sweetly, and too openly, of opportunism and revisionism. But that does not mean it has stopped falling into the latter. Admittedly, it has re-established a historical alternative that may seem harmless to the uninformed or less rigorous reader and militant. Destruction of humanity or generalized imperialist war, is not it the same thing? Well, no. From the point of view of the proletarian struggle, its different stakes and battles, its terrains and timing, the destruction of humanity is merely an idea, a postulate that has nothing material about it – let’s be precise: politically and historically material. The march to generalized war directly and concretely imposes even greater sacrifices for its preparation and the establishment of war economies. And it forces the bourgeoisie, a material force acting on the equally material terrain of class struggle, to attack the proletariat not only for the economic defense of its national capital, but also in preparation for war.

The formal return to an “alternative” is by no means a step forward for the ICC. Rather, it is a reaffirmation of the organization’s idealist approach and its opportunist and revisionist course.

RL, July 23rd 2023



[1 Readers interested in reading the almost 80-90 pages of all these documents can find them on the ICC website.

[3. See our past statements in this journal, for instance:

[4. Today’s ICC scarcely cares that the blocs as such were only formed on the eve, a week before the outbreak of the 2nd World War, with the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact of August 1939.

[5. There is little to expect from this internal tendency, which is careful not to question the framework and dogma of decomposition, despite its recognition of a dynamic of imperialist polarization and generalized war. The conclusion it draws is that the proletariat is incapable of opposing war, and that the time has come not for intervention, but for theoretical deepening. In short, it is even more "right-wing" than the official ICC line.

[6. Resolution on the international situation of the 23rd Congress, 2019, ( It is worth reporting that the French version is not exactly the same, that it refers more directly to decomposition only: “Whatever the balance of power, world war is no longer on the agenda, but capitalism will continue to sink into decomposition.”

[7. Resolution on the international situation of the 25th Congress of the ICC,

[8. At the time of the 2nd International, the 3rd way was that of reform and a peaceful, gradual transition to socialism.