For years, the GIO has been claiming that we've been spreading slander against their organization. More recently Cleishbotham of ICT wrote that these are “atrocities” spread by the CIK worldwide. We would like to know exactly what are these alleged slanders ?
See the comments below.
No, there’s no mistake. We have indeed put forth our proposal for common political work. Moreover, this would seem a bad joke on your part, or is it simply bad faith? How can you ask if we sent the right text, when this text consisted of the various points proposed to you during the joint meeting between IWG-Klasbatalo? Your attempt to depict our proposition as coming out of nowhere can’t be serious. Do we have to remind you that it was in fact your delegate who asked us to put our political proposals on paper? What’s worse, you imply that our political proposal would be delusional by drawing attention to a letter that one of our comrades sent to one of yours, which has nothing to do with Klasbatalo’s political proposal to the IWG and the ICT. You have to separate the personal from the political, comrades! In fact you say yourself:
“Camaraderie does not require friendship.” It remains to be seen just how you will apply this principle. We’ll leave it, then, to comrades in the militant political milieu to judge whether our proposal is “delusional”. For our part, this shows vividly that the IWG is currently unable to engage in serious debate on regroupment and political intervention with others from the Communist Left, preferring to say that the dog (referring to Klasbatalo) is rabid and should be put down (no debate or common work, in other words).
You then have the revelation in your ‘answer’ that the two Klasbatalo delegates who met with your delegate are most generous and sincere, but that their militancy has nothing to do with communist work. We would have appreciated your illumination on what constitutes communist intervention. Unfortunately, nothing. You speak of “revolutionary work”, but say nothing about what that is. Do we detect a whiff of leftism and unprincipled activism on your end? For our part, we briefly but clearly reviewed the nature and function of communist intervention in our proposal:
“The need for regroupment of revolutionaries and the function of the future class party:
These embryonic movements of struggle are universally obstructed by the bourgeoisie, its government, its police, and its unions. The bourgeoisie has a vested interest in keeping these movements docile and harmless, so long as their revolutionary and subversive potential exists - hence the need for the bourgeois left. This state of affairs poses two problems that are intrinsically linked: 1. The emergence of groups of the political vanguard brings the communist program to the very heart of the class struggles. 2. The involvement of 'historical' political organizations already existing within the proletariat, and the Communist Left. In other words, the development of these two aspects in the building of an international class party is sorely lacking in the current class struggle. The establishment of an organized and centralized vanguard to ensure a clear political direction for revolutionaries and communists advancing these struggles to victory leading to the revolution.”
You then ask what Communist Left we’re speaking of. Should we reply to this ridiculous question by saying that we’re referring to the Left Communists of Alpha Centauri? But seriously, let’s take a look at another excerpt from our proposal, which, though concise, is quite clear on this question:
“The basic political positions for a regroupment of revolutionaries into a party are the legacy of the Communist Left, namely the experience of different sections of the left that emerged within the Communist International in the '20s-'30s.”
Comrades, we claim the same political heritage, particularly that of the Italian communist left. You ask frankly about our position on trade unions, the party and nationalism. We invite you to look at our basic positions. You will see that we more or less have essentially the same political positions as you. Again, we were very clear in our proposal regarding this:
“The basic criteria are internationalism, the political recognition of the principle of dictatorship of the proletariat, rejection of bourgeois methods of control, such as unionism, parliamentarism and national liberation struggles, the recognition of the proletarian character of the October Revolution, the recognition of the need for an international communist party, as well as the rejection of bourgeois united front tactics. These are in fact, synthetically, class boundaries that distinguish proletarian organization from that of the bourgeois and the petty bourgeois.”
Then we gather from you that in order to be “practical and materialist”, we must debate with you on the nature of unions, the party and nationalism. A funny order of priorities when we are currently experiencing a massive attack from capital against the working class, which has opened enormous possibilities for communist intervention. Aside from the points on which we agree and on politically convergent positions between our two groups, we must unite particularly on the need for the party, on the rejection of unionism and nationalism, etc.
As well, you’re ordering us to remove alleged slander towards you from our blog. Evidently, you can’t specify what you mean, since such slander simply doesn’t exist… There are certainly some texts critical of positions or activities of the IWG on our blog. But these remain critical texts: frank and fraternal. You should know the difference between criticism and slander! Do comrades of the IWG have difficulty in dealing with criticism? This should be useful to you. In declaring that we are conducting alleged smear campaigns and spreading alleged anti-IWG slander, you fail to respond to our critiques and above all have not confronted us politically – moreover, you have never done so, and continue not to. Have you adopted the ICC’s theses on political parasitism toward us, a theory nonetheless rejected by the ICT?
The constitution of the CIM, if you recall, was indeed the result of the departure of IWG sympathizers (Among them was a women who stopped doing any political work), but this came about not through some crazy pretext, but importantly, among other things, through the IWG’s ambiguous involvement in activities commemorating the death of a Canadian Maoist leader! What would you think if the American IWG were involved in the organization of a commemoration of say Bob Avekian, a former leader of the American Maoists?
Then you make the following admission:
“We have no need of two communist groups in this part of the world, only one.”
This phrase, slipped in just after your final clearly written refusal to work with us – what are we to make of it, comrades? So our existence as a group is of no use? That only the IWG's current should exist in North America? Moreover, we should remind you that we’re not the only two communist groups in North America: there is a section of the ICC in the USA as well as a Bordigist PCI comrade in Canada.
In short, we made these proposals for political work as we have been very much motivated by and strongly support the editorial content of the Revolutionary Perspectives #59 from the CWO, British section of your organization, the ICT. Here’s an extract of an important text in the current struggle for revolutionary regroupment:
“At the moment there are many groups and individuals around the world who recognize this but we are either too scattered, or too divided to take a lead in forming such a united movement. Some object to it on principle, declaring that the spontaneous movement will take care of itself. We wish we could share their confidence. We think responsible revolutionaries should re-examine their differences, asking ourselves if the things that we thought divided us now do so in the light of this new period in working class struggle. We should emphasize not the little we disagree on, but the much that we agree on. We should seek to work together in common struggles, not simply to recruit this or that individual to our own organization, but to widen the consciousness of what a real working class struggle means. In the face of the obstacles we have outlined above, it would be suicidal not to. » (Editorial for Revolutionary Perspectives # 59)”
(RP 59, taken by Bilan et Perspectives 12, December 2011, the review of the TCI in France).
Sadly, we find that you seem not to agree with the sound principles issued by your British sister organization, but behave to the contrary. Your delegate, in a meeting with two of ours, made it understood that they would be welcome anytime in the IWG so long as the IWG could continue its sectarian code of omertà towards Klasbatalo. The IWG seeks therefore “just to recruit this or that individual for [its] own organization” rather than working “to broaden awareness of what the class struggle really means.” We see in this a clear enough expression of federalism on the part of the ICT: two territorial sections which have completely opposite political positions.
The CWO, for one, is for regroupment, while the IWG, on the other hand, is sectarian. Even more problematic, your delegate has long been spreading rumours that one of our militants is an infiltrator (Note). Obviously, your delegate provided no evidence, skillfully using innuendo. This is a dangerous game. We strongly urge you either to provide evidence or apologize for the wrong done to the reputation of our comrade.
We’ll conclude with this passage from GCF’s journal Internationalism concerning difficult debates between revolutionary groups:
“There have always been three methods used to overcome difficulties arising from these circumstances:
- the honest and fair revolutionary method,
- the opportunistic method,
- the sectarian and bureaucratic method.
The revolutionary method consists of raising political debate throughout the organization and openly before the proletariat. Based on the differences between the two groups or trends, it tends to elevate the debate and create an atmosphere allowing for a higher awareness of the entire revolutionary movement and class.
The second method, that of opportunism, leaving certain things out, ‘letting bygones be bygones’, splitting hairs, obfuscating, and obscuring the essence of debates.
The third method is judgment from on high conducted by ‘superior’ elements of the organization, without allowing for verification by all of the organizations’ militants. Here we see resolutions published by a CC or CE, resolutions pronouncing ‘ad hoc’ organizational and disciplinary measures, and administrative exclusions. In short, separating the targeted group from the rest of the organization by any means available. This method was honored in the CI during the time of Zinoviev and Stalin.”
(Translated from French http://fr.internationalism.org/gcf/annexe2
We have attempted to remain as faithful as possible to the spirit and application of the first method, while the IWG nimbly juggles the last two. We strongly hope for another response from you, this time a serious and thoughtful one.
Bravo for your timely and valuable intervention in the Greek language!
The Internationalist Communists Klasbatalo
Note: A few weeks later, RS asserted that he had never said that.
Note: A few weeks later, RS asserted that he had never said that.