Monday, August 31, 2009

Proposal for an online discussion forum within the Communist Left

The purpose of this virtual exchange forum would be to encourage discussion between groups of the communist Left, so that these groups:

Participate in strengthening the foundation of the proletarian camp by setting up a permanent meeting place for a fraternal exchange of ideas;

Contribute to the clarification of the communist program with regard to the struggles of today’s working class;

Attempt as far as possible to bridge the gap between various elements not so much as to put aside differences between its participants, but in order to eventually be able to intervene within the struggles of the working class

We also hope that the mere presence of such a meeting place will engender a clearer definition of what constitutes the proletarian camp in the 21st century, rooting out any outside elements that would confuse the class that is ours. The class that produces the surplus value can indeed defend its immediate interests; but only a revolutionary minority united around an internationalist class party can instill class-consciousness in the working class in order to guide the struggles in a revolutionary direction.

Since in general the Communist Left is very low in number and divided on certain questions, its intervention in the class is minimal and dispersed – sometimes with serious differences, of course; but sometimes with the same political point of view or with minor differences. We think that a place of theoretical debate and practice could be a step toward greater unity and clarity of the proletarian political program.

Also, different groups of the CL have already suggested such a forum for debate.

IBRP [New name Internationalist Communist Tendency]

« From its formation the two organizations which founded the IBRP have made it clear that the Bureau did not claim to be the international party of the proletariat but neither are we a mere academic discussion circle. It follows from this that the activity of the IBRP, in total coherence with its Platform and its own strategic aims, has always aimed to encourage discussions between different groups at an international level, concretely aimed at the rebuilding of a real revolutionary international party. The entire activity of the IBRP, though not claiming to be the party nor the original nucleus of the future party has been taken up with the theoretical and political debate with other groups. International correspondence in various languages, meetings and discussions with elements who have contacted us and the publication of an English review Internationalist Communist (unfortunately now suspended for financial reasons) have been for many years our daily work.» 25 Years of the Bureau: Balance Sheet and Perspectives, May 2008


“In this particularly difficult situation for our class, we can only observe and deplore not only the weakness of communist minorities but especially the sectarian isolation endured and maintained by these groups and organizations in the proletarian camp.

What the class needs – and only its communist vanguard are in position to provide, and moreover it’s their responsibility – is guidance, clear political reference points, definite objectives indicating the sense of its struggle and the real stakes involved.

To engage in struggle, to go on strike, the working masses essentially have no need of communist minorities; this it can and does manage on its own. However, to lead the struggle in such a way as to turn the balance of forces in its favor; to avoid the pitfalls and the inevitable traps set by the bourgeoisie, its left apparatus and its unions; to comprehend the magnitude of the situation and the depth of the issues, the communist minorities are indispensable and historically it is for this specific task that the class has given rise to them.” La bourgeoisie à l'offensive tous azimuts ; le prolétariat en ordre dispersé. (The bourgeoisie in an all out offensive; the proletariat in scattered array.) Bulletin #47 26/07/2009)


“For a sect, dialogues with others obviously have no purpose. "We don't agree! We don't agree! We're not going to be convinced!" Why can't revolutionary organizations convince other revolutionary organizations through debate? They can, because it's only the sects who refuse to question their own certitudes.

How did all the revolutionary regroupments of the past come about if it's impossible for anyone to convince anyone else through debate?” Sectarianism, an inheritance from the counter-revolution that must be transcended - International Review no.22 - 3rd quarter 1980

“ … the politicization of the proletarian struggle is linked to the presence of a communist minority within its ranks. The fact that the internationalist milieu is still very weak indicates the distance the working class still has to travel in order to engage in revolutionary struggles and give birth to its world class party, an essential organ without which the victory of the revolution is impossible” 18th ICC Congress: Resolution on the International Situation - International Review no.138 - 3rd quarter 2009

Of course these quotes are not exclusive but reflect the urgent need of a forum for practical and theoretical discussions considering the scale of the current crisis and a struggling working class without any revolutionary political orientation for the long term that is to say communism. It is important, for instance, to take stock of struggles in Greece and in Guadeloupe, to study the consequences of the growth of state capitalism in the current and future struggles of the working class, etc.

Proposals for basic criteria to participate in this meeting place:

· Acknowledgment of the dictatorship of the proletariat

· Acknowledgment of the necessity of an international working class party

· A minimum of intervention in the class (e.g. drafting and dissemination of leaflets)

It goes without saying that internationalism is a criterion but we believe it is included in the first two criteria and that only the international working class struggle can lead to victory over capitalism.

For the moment we are sending out invitations to the IBRP, OPOP (Brazil-Workers' Opposition, the ICC, Pcint (Proletarian) and to IFICC.

Possibly other groups (and /or individuals that match these criteria could be added.

We hope, through this forum, to see groups of the CL evolve fraternally toward a relative homogeneity – wherever possible – or to see them break away from the proletarian camp should discussions arise with concepts completely foreign to the interests of our class.

This will be an internal tool for groups of the CL. The implementation of texts will be accessible only to participating groups, this restriction to prevent leftist groups from confusing or hampering the discussions. However, the site would be open for all to read, and thus the conscious elements of the class. Admittedly it is restricted to Internet access, but let us not forget that its primary purpose is for groups of the CL.

The texts should be published in English and French. The responsibility for translation lies with the groups participating.

Obviously, this is a proposal. We hope it will be discussed and possibly modified by the participants proposed. The CIM will not set up this website. In the event of your agreement, we await the proposals of a new site or an addition to the current one.

Internationalist greetings

Internationalist Communists Montreal (ICM)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

From Nationalism to Internationalism

We have just published a booklet, "From Nationalism to Internationalism".

This booklet tells the story of an activist over a period of about 35 years. For him, it is an easy enough transition from nationalist to Maoist groups, for almost all of them are fundamentally nationalist, with the Stalinist justification of the concept of "socialism in one country" for the latter. He has been well acquainted with Maoists having been a militant founder of the Maoist group In Struggle! (En Lutte!) This booklet is his political autobiography.

In the introduction he writes: “The purpose of this booklet is to comment on my political activity as a militant, while grounding myself on my current knowledge of Left communist positions.”
His booklet is both intended as a criticism of past activities (for example, a critique of the Maoist current in which he’d long evolved) and to show that these same activities were alien to the proletariat. In fact, he is writing this booklet so that young workers and students can avoid the same mistakes and gain an understanding of the politics of the Communist Left, the real proletarian camp. To learn from our struggles and past mistakes is an important aspect of Marxism.
Here’s an excerpt:
“The October 1917 Russian Revolution was the first step toward world communist revolution in an international revolutionary wave that ended the imperialist war and lasted several years. The failure of that revolutionary wave, particularly in Germany in 1919-23, condemned the Russian Revolution to isolation and rapid degeneration. Stalinism was not the product of the Russian Revolution, but its gravedigger. The bourgeoisie’s biggest lie for the past 80 years has been in calling Stalinism “communism”. “

Table of Contents
My origins
My years in the dead-end of nationalism or the nation before classe struggle
Taxi drivers’ Struggle against Murray Hill
My years in the dead-end of Maoism or socialism in one country
October 1970 crisis
Other important events in Quebec and internationally that influenced me
L’Atelier Ouvrier
The In Struggle! (En Lutte!) team
1976 Olympic Games underground
Once again, the police and their mercenaries
Dissolution of the Maoist group In Struggle!
Fight against pesticides in a suburban town
Years ‘89 and ‘90: the collapse of the Soviet Union and its satellites
Summer of 1990 :The Mohawk bourgeoisie’s struggle against the Quebec and
Canadian bourgeoisie
Memoir that plays into the hands of bourgeois democracy
1996 socio-economic summit
Summit of the Americas Quebec City April 2001
Discovering the existence of the communist Left
The International
I- Basic Positions of internationalists of Montreal
II- "every man for himself"
III- Marxism and the police
IV- Terrorism, a War Weapon of the bourgeoisie
V- A circus of darkness and lies: the National Assembly
VI- from The Question of Trade Unionism in Quebec
VII- Data on major Quebec companies
VIII- Origin of the Communist Left
IX- Capitalism is dying !

 It is still available. Send your address to:

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Summary of the French version of the response of ICM to the Mise au point du BIPR

  1. First, we would apologize for any confusion caused, and explain that the release of the document without addresses and coordinates for the IBRP-GIO . Although it is presented as an IBRP tract.
  1. That this occurred as a result of a computer sending error by one comrade in the group. (details if necessary)
  1. The text was prepared in anticipation of a reply on doing a joint distribution, should that have had occurred. We had made the request april 03, 2009.
  1. We decided not to do a distribution of the IBRP leaflet at our meeting last week, and that is as far we had taken it as a group.
  1. We in no way wished to convey the idea that we were a sympathizing group officially tied in any way to the IBRP.
  1. We chose the IBRP tract-leaflet because it encapsulated many of the crucial points affecting the class struggle today, very well.
  1. It has never been our intention to denigrate the IBRP or any of its organizations. To this extent, we apologize to the comrades of the GIO for leveling the charge of being an opportunist group – this instead should have remained leveled at one comrade within the group, and the charge of opportunism specific to a particular set of events that you are aware of.
  1. On this same point we’re thoroughly convinced that you have only heard one side of the events properly. Our point here was not to denigrate but to have the truth come out.
  1. Though we have no official ties with the IBRP, we adhere to most if not all positions within the IBRP’s platform and overall approach. We are in continual debate and discussion on the platforms and programs of the IBRP and the ICC, IFFIC as well as the Bordigist ICPs and evolving our own elaborations.
  1. Folowing from this, it must be said that whenever we made contact with those interested in the IBRP in particular, we have directed them to the Bureau and the GIO. And we will continue to do so, while encouraging all contacts to familiarize themselves with all the groups within the communist left as well as their publications.
  1. We are not cops, informers, counter-revolutionaries or hobbyists getting their jollies from spurious factionalism. So while we understand your response to our error, we hope you will rescind your decision to not allow our use of your leaflets and tracts. We will continue to use quotations from all the groups on the communist left, including the IBRP when appropriate, with proper credit given.
  1. In any case, the spread and development of the class struggle today, around the world face the global economic crisis currently raging, can illustrate how our communication errors are secondary in this situation. The entire communist left has to relate to the actual working class struggle, wherever it finds itself, and not to the petty debates that are often manufactured between communists. To blow these out of proportion is idealism of the worst kind. Jocks (CWO)
  1. If these problems and misunderstanding are not resolved today, we hope that they will be in the future.