Sunday, February 17, 2013

Our answer to the fraction of the International Communist Lefts activity report of October 2012.

We respond below to the fraction of the International Communist Lefts activity report of October 2012. There’s an element in the report's conclusion that we enthusiastically endorse: “... we offer to those with whom we are closest, including CIK, to initiate procedings leading to the formation of  a new organization following a process of discussions and agreements on platform positions and orientations.

The ICKs logic is that it is indeed essential to begin a process of discussion with the FICL which could eventually lead to a merger between the two groups.
As well there’s one aspect in the conclusion of the ICTs’response to the report (of activities of the fraction of the Communist Left) that can give us inspiration and help to reunite internationalist communist forces around a single pole of consolidation.

« it would be a great step forward if you could participate in the formation of an internationalist organisation based amongst French communists which could act as a real nucleus oriented, not only to debate amongst the internationalists around the world, but also to the working class [we] are directly in contact with »

Dear comrades,

First, we apologize for the delay in response to your report. Indeed, as we had already told you in recent weeks, as a result we’ve had a lot of difficulties  holding meetings with all of us present , I (Alex) personally was delayed in responding to you. Don’t see this as a lack of enthusiasm on our part. On the contrary, we were aware, with great interest, of your document of October 2012, your balance sheet of the IFICC and the FICL over the last ten years. For our part this response, will often see us returning to some points: some observations and statements. It is that, like you, we see the urgency of the global political situation, both in relation to the attacks of the bourgeoisie and the response of the proletariat to them, and the opportunity we face in organizing ourselves differently.

Now, let’s begin by saying that we fully agree with the preamble on the nature and the need for organizational activities report. As with you, we say that an organization of Marxist allegiance has a programmatic history to as appoint of reference if it’s to maintain a dialectical approach. Indeed, this means a review and a critical return on the political activities of the Organization in order to clear its proletarian programmatic positions from elements that are alien to it; because, of course, no revolutionary organization is immune from any penetration of bourgeois ideology into its core. As well inn 2011, to an greater or lesser degree, experienced, having produced the document 'Contribution à un état des lieux de la GCI', experienced a fight that was, in many points, beneficial!

Actually, at one point, we even entertained the idea of split. In fact, we have avoided a worse situation because a faction would have probably resulted in the breakup of our group given our lack of political experience on this issue. However, we can say with pride that we have been able to avert this by remaining united despite somewhat-bitter differences that arose, keeping the focus firmly on the debate, criticism...In the end undertaking an internal repositioning of the IC-K. It’s an experience that is important to us and that we fully accept  despite this detour to the “into the swamp” of the Communist left (Controversies, IPPI, IOD). Our 'critical return', although with relatively less discussion, allowed us to set the record straight at the time grasping more clearly what presently represents the real proletarian camp as well as our role in it.

We therefore made your formulation ours:

« Any communist organization is responsible of its history and must take it in front of the proletariat”.

And now :
 « Even for a small group as ours, the necessity for making balance-sheets and drawing orientations of activities from these balance-sheets is imperative ; as disproportionate this work and this effort can seem to be at first sight in regards with our forces. »

This is what we have worked on hard in the year 2011, while managing to maintain an activity of intervention within some struggles, and this despite the divergences and contradictions of political order within the group caused by the document 'Contribution '. We will come back quite often on this but we believe, to some extent, that the work may be an example for other groups that comprise both the swamp of the Communist left, and the historical Communist left; in this sense where, currently, among the groups of the GC, disagreements seem more to point in direction of ruptures and divisions rather than the emergence of internal discussions and attempts at clarification for the proletariat as a whole. It is in this serious light that we consider, , the future of the IC-K and that we continue to respond diligently to the struggles and movements that appear here and there. For example, last Sunday, Comrade RJ gave a lecture on the current economic crisis before twenty-or-so people and received a good welcome, despite the recent (in the same week) death of his mother. In short, we firmly deal with our meager forces.

On the inheritance of IFICC, of the FICL, and the defense of the ICC.

We continue to consider the ICC programmatic contribution as possibly the most important work ever produced by an organization from the Communist Left, as well as the one from the Italian fraction around Bilan. We note despite this contribution (which should be a real tank against the opportunistic derivative) growing confusion about the interventions of the ICC within the proletariat. That is how an organization regardless of its strengths is never immune against an opportunistic direction, treason and counter-revolution. For we, who feel closer to the platform of the ICC, we note with regret the various injuries that has experimented the organization over the past years starting with the departure of the EFICC, subsequently the JJ’s case, and then by the ICC’s activities against the IFICC.

In this regard, we believe that the political work conducted by the IFICC has born fruit historicaly, without unfortunately preventing  the ICC from continuing its path towards resonant opportunism that overwhelms the organizations belonging to the Communist Left (Note). For the history of the revolutionary movement, for the rehabilitation of the ICC also, it would have been legitimate for IFICCs activities to continue unabated in order to maintain the real parallel continuity of the ICC. Unfortunately, the break up of the fraction in 2010 significantly weakened its political action. Despite the analysis that you have produced and that we share on the drift of the ICC of the past ten years, nothing is yet lost. The work of the fraction was conducted as far it could taken under the circumstances, with hard work and conviction.

The constitution of the FICL - with its mandate to pursue both the work of the IFICC opening up again to the benefit of the  other groups of the Proletarien Political Milieu - is a huge task for forces at its disposal, especially with the absence of Ldo.

You mention in the Bulletin no. 13 and in your report:

Since we've decided to open our internal bulletins to the whole proletarian political milieu, organisations and their contacts and sympathizers, we consider that our area of internal discussion is not any more limited to the single ICC but to the whole political milieu which will have to become the active and determining factor for the building-up of the future world communist party. We think that the questions which are raised by the ICC crisis, its opportunist drift, concern and "belong" to the whole components of this milieu. Moreover, if we think we are still in the phase of "internal fraction", of "redressment", of the ICC with its method and its very precise political requirements, we have also to make up for the responsibilities that the ICC is giving up, such as the struggle for the unity and the defence of the Left Communist.”

As we have pointed out in the footnotes, we share the same understanding of the proletarian political environment and we see the Communist Left as a whole belonging to this historical critique, even before it is a current divided in this or that organization. On the other hand, in the current context (exacerbation of the crisis, rise of the proletarian struggles, threat of a polarization of the enemy forces lading to war, weakness of a genuine revolutionary intervention within our class to deal with all of this), we believe that it is time for you to close the chapter on the fraction and undertake new activity to strengthen our ranks; to concentrate the activities of the FICL to the regrouping of revolutionary militants around an organization capable of leading the fight. We agree with you that:

Today, at the very moment of this balance-sheet, our fraction has formally no more than two comrades of which one is particularly and badly affected at the physical level. The concrete work, material work if so we can say, of our group doesn't rely but on one comrade.

This situation is not simply due to personal “objective” realities. Of course, the dispersal of the three comrades of the fraction, one in Mexico, the others geographically separated in France, of course too the respective personal difficulties of which some are real and important – the living conditions of the comrade in Mexico, the health of one of the two comrades in France –, are material elements which made more and more difficult the political commitment of the whole. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that the events, pressure of the anti-communist campaigns, lack of immediate results – the contacts in general, the process with the IC-K, the slowness of the evolution of our relationships with the ICT, the relative isolation too – have contributed to shake our understanding of our orientations and to weaken above all our political and militant convictions. It is particularly clear as regards with our comrade in Mexico. The last two years, the comrade's commitment has reduced up to the point the rest of the fraction could not any more count on him for its regular activities which thus begun to be strongly reduced : the realization of the bulletin, the internal discussions, the intervention in particular towards the contacts relatively numerous in Mexico... Caught in personal and daily difficulties, our comrade has progressively disengaged himself and did not participate but formally and intermittently to the activities of the fraction.
This disease, the weakness of comprehension and conviction, is for the essential as we recall it, the result of the ideological offensive of the bourgeoisie.”

The ICM and the IC-K have experienced  their moment of discouragement, we are well placed to understand the situation of Comrade Ldo. Alex nearly resigned in the spring of 2010 faced with feelings of political isolation. Luie himself also had to take a short break in the summer 2011, and Réal has also offered his resignation during our discussions around the Contribution. It goes without saying all the pressure on organizations of the proletariat since the beginning of the 1990s has Indeed shown, that isolation does not help us at all.
Now, if we return to last comments, the abandonment of the FICL’s fraction work does not mean the abandonment of possible interventions - addressing  - of  the possible direction of ICC’s militants. Indeed, for the IC-K, since our critical return on the Contribution, the Communist Left tendency (the partyist one), even before a conglomerate of organizations with more or less pronounced differences is first and above all a programmatic body to defend against all detours, attacks, and foreign intervention, that we need to defend the ICC or the ICP! Because the Communist Left was not bankrupt and is sharper than those who believe they can pronounce its end.
Take the ICC as an example, threatening at any moment to abandon its class ground: nothing prevents a proletarian to resume the positions of the organization...And to extract its proletarian positions from its opportunist trajectory, just as organizations that once formed the left fractions were able to reconstitute their approach from the first Congress of the third international.

In this regard, let’s us recall that the IC-K has had to make a long journey for more than a  year to understand the limitations of the proletarian camp, to see more clearly the issues that arose out of a conciliatory position towards a group like Controversies. As well it’s thanks to you that we can now say that we’ve escaped from the organizational swamp within the Communist Left.

Towards a first grouping

Comrades, you offered a close connection, and we offer you a grouping together. In fact, from one part and to an other (FICL and the IC-K), the need to come together in as a single organization seems to us both a historical duty as well as a chance to appeal to the proletarian camp. Moreover, we are already politically "close",let's gear up, without hiding possible differences. The work of political clarification between us has been going on informally since 2006. Because of your political responsibilities elsewhere (fraction work), it was not relevant for you to open your ranks to other militants, we have never really talked about regrouping, sporadically , but with no real action. If you agree, we believe that it is time to formalize this group’s relation into something else a tighter relationship, on top of  joint propaganda signatures, and the mutual opening up of our publications.

Recent years have plunged the historic organizations of the Communist Left through several crises: dismemberment of the ICP; major crises (with an "s") of the ICC; the crisis of IBRP/ICT to organise themselves effectively with the appearance of precarious groups and their disappearance of  without much comment, with no interventions or poor ones (B & P, IWG), the split of the IOD. In short, the proletarian camp suffered more attacks it gives. Not to mention the appearance of groups claiming to be members of the CL making an appeal, then quickly being reduced to silence (the Australians, for example). Of course, these were not only deceptions. The ICT and the ICC arrived to integrate new cells; but it does not appear that the call has truly paid off. The ICC continues on its downward slope while the ICT  seems to lack the capacity for true international intervention.

So, it seems to us that addressing the direction of the proletarian camp is our responsibility. If the ICC is slowly moving towards the enemy camp confusing in its various interventions; and if the ICT is unable to find the drive to become a pole of regroupment although occasionally it seems so (ex: RP no.59), sometimes not (ex: its policy towards us) - then why don’t we start to organize ourselves together to work towards this grouping?

In regards to our two groups, we are already in agreement on several points even so we have to significantly deepen these.

You come back, in fact, in your activity report, to discussions between the IBRP and IFICC, discussions on consciousness that we ourselves planned to begin with inside the IC-K. Unfortunately, we only discussed it in surface. This is a discussion that we could also conduct with you, although we can glimpse an agreement in advance,due to the fact that: neither of us are councilist or bordiguist. However, this has never been stated and furthermore is necessary to debate.

On the other hand, concerning the legacy of the partyist Italian left, we can say with more confidence that it acts as the main reference for the IC-K with respect to its programmatic positions, though we consider the council communist tendency, which evolved into councilism, as belonging to the history of the Communist Left as well despite his abandonment of the Marxists principle of the organization of the international working class avant-garde into a class party.

With regard to the organizational conception of federalist type of the ICT, we fully share the criticism because we ourselves suffer its’ backwash with the IWG. We consider the centralization of the ICC as being more effective, less problematic, even if there is always danger of an executive maneuver seizing the reins of the organization as is the case currently in the ICC. Therefore, if some militants were able to take on a direction of this  sort, it means at some point that the self-study of organisational frameworks has work failed to meet the operational needs of the organization. In effect, provided that it is possible to do so, executives of a Marxist organization must develop fairly evenly to both taking turn at tasks;  staying vigilant, reporting on our interventions (so that positions remain firmly on class terrain); and keeping an eye on the operations of the Executive Committees. The recent programmatic mistakes of the ICC can suggests that a takeover just seasoned the original positions of the organization is currently in work and little framed by militants with more experience. However, we miss the operation of internal self-study of the ICC and cannot say more on this.

Let’s continue :

Like you, we claim fundamental analyses of the ICC - prior to its liquidation - and Marxism as the alternative "imperialist war or proletarian revolution" and we defend the notion of historic course as the ICC has defined and refined in the years 1970-1980. Thus, we share with you this observation that the historic course is towards class confrontation, understanding the shortfall in the organisation of the proletariat running against the time in ongoing class struggle and especially the  in terms of the upcoming confronation (threat of global war).
Also, it seems more relevant to take at into account this statement of yours and take the opportunity to point out the merits of a merger between our two groups:

For any communist organization, the intervention towards the class – publications, leaflets, communiques, etc... – in the historical situation, in the workers struggles indeed but not only, is a central dimension of its activity what ever is its size and its immediate influence. It must be a permanent concern that only the concrete conditions of its realization – real state of the militant forces, relation of forces between the classes, degree of the repression of the enemy class and its State apparatus which is precisely determined by that relation of forces – can limit the extend and the intensity.

Linked and in coherence with our vision of the construction of the party, in particular in accordance with the understanding that any communist group must set up itself as an international and centralized organization, as an embryo of communist party, the intervention has to be international and historical which doesn't exclude, and even all the contrary do favour, its indispensable “declension” at the immediate and local levels according to the circumstances. Believing that resolute intervention, and thus the effort and even the political fight for its realization, is not but for the party of tomorrow because the weakness of both the workers struggles and the militant forces, their influence in the class – what is the point of mobilizing and contributing so much efforts to distribute a few thousands leaflets which won't change nothing to the situation since “nobody reads us” ? – turns the back to the responsibilities of the political vanguard of the proletariat. At their turn, these reluctances, hesitations, doubts – as expressions of the wrong understanding of the role of class consciousness in the classes struggle, in particular expressions of political concessions to anti-party and a-political visions which belong to the opportunist political current Lenin defined as “economism”, we today qualify as “councilism” – come to reinforce and to worsen the initial lack of militant conviction and to weaken it even more. It is also at that level that the “danger of councilism” manifests itself as the ICC had defined it in the years 1980 (see International Review 40 : The function of revolutionary organizations: The danger of councilism) and as such it is exerted within the very proletarian camp and its political organizations. In that sense, at the level of the “external” intervention as well as at the level of the “internal” functioning – see the first part about why a report ? – we claim a party method, included for a small group as our.”

The IC-K also considers:
that the question of the revolutionaries' regroupment cannot be posed but in the theoretical and political framework of the Communist Left and the supporters of the fundamental, indispensable, essential, crucial role of the Communist Party as political vanguard and leadership of the proletariat. From this, all the “councilist” milieu can't but oppose to the process towards the formation of the Party and becoming objectively the relay for the ideological and political themes of the bourgeoisie.”

It is also said that the prospect of a grouping for the IC-K, despite the present difficulties of conflict, is currently with the Internationalist Communist Tendency.

As well it’s important for us to note that in this regard, this regroupment is not opportunistic because, if make a balance sheet of the relationship between our two groups, we can say that we have been corresponding for almost 6 years – through agreements (joint interventions) and critiques (Contribution); We share essentially the same programmatic positions (Italian heritage, the original ICC platform) and that we were already able to speak with a single voice in the past. Similarly, despite the differences that we have with you (some critiques of our leaflets, brochures, or  most important political mistakes as with the 'Contribution'), we are still remained connected, as we continued to defend the spirit of the FICL (especially in facing Internationalist Voice). It seems so logical and even essential to start a process of discussion leading our own groups abilitiy, to intervene more effectively both within the proletarian struggles and  within the proletarian camp (ITC, TCI) along with you!

If you agree, we could implement an initial plan and timetable in this respect, as well as the terms and conditions under which to operate.

The IC-K

Note : One parenthesis however, we consider that there is always a real revolutionary movement known as the Communist Left, which claims programmatic contributions from successive fractions of the Third International Left and offshoots with roots in both the Italian Left and the Germano-Dutch left, unlike the Internationalist Communist Tendency  which currently  seems to use the name "communist internationalist."-