Thursday, June 14, 2012

General strike or electoral circus

The student struggle against tuition increases has taken a new turn following the adoption of matraque law 78.  Recall that before being used against the student movement, this law was especially aimed at the working class, threatening any demonstration of over 50 people with heavy fines. --Leaving it to the police to decide whether or not the demonstration is legal, if they’ll accept the route or not. This law is not only an attack on the students, but on the working class as a whole. This is bourgeois ‘democracy’ for you, and this sort of law is not unique to Quebec. Faced with capitalism in crisis, several ‘democracies’ have passed similar laws or are in the process of doing so. In 2001, under the pretext of the ‘war on terror’, several states passed counter-terrorism laws, which in practice, attack working class struggles. In 2005, for instance, striking New York subway workers faced charges of terrorism. Recently a score of Montreal students were accused under a similar law passed by the federal government in 2001.

The struggle against rising tuition is spreading elsewhere in Canada, as well. Students have held actions in Ottawa and Toronto, with other groups spread across several provinces preparing to join them. A day of action took place June 5th, with a demonstration in Toronto, as well as other Ontario cities.  BC students, as well, have declared solidarity with those in Quebec, condemning bill 78. Demonstrations in solidarity against this bill have been held in Ottawa, Toronto, Paris, Cannes, New York, London and Chile. This is no longer just a struggle against the rising cost of tuition. Since May 21, workers, unemployed, students and pensioners have been banging on pots and pans every evening at 8 o’clock, and great numbers of people are out in the streets to demonstrate that they’re fed up with bill 78, the mass arrests, police brutality, government corruption and austerity measures. We’ve lost count of the number of cities and towns participating in these nightly casserole demonstrations, and these as well are spreading throughout other Canadian provinces. This struggle is part of an international struggle against capitalism in crisis. It’s linked with that of workers in Greece, Spain, Portugal, China, India, France, the UK, the US and other parts of the world.

Although the casserole demonstrations are intended as an expression of outrage against state policies, one might question the outcome. Speaking at a Montreal business conference, Finance Minister Raymond Bachand, himself, welcomed these demonstrations as a creative and festive means of voicing an opinion without hurting the city’s tourist industry. As in the rest of the world, the bourgeoisie tries to divert struggle by persuading workers to vote in coming elections, in 6 months, a year, two years… At heart, this is what matters most to the unions and all political parties: Québec Solidaire, Parti Québécois, the Liberals, the CAQ and others, diverting all activity into the electoral circus. Elections are by no means an expression of “popular will”.  The election of this or that political party is determined by the interests of  big capital of which the bourgeois state is a servant. Elections are useless to the working class. It’s a terrain in which it has no real place, except when it comes time to marking an X every four years to elect the usual bourgeois, such as Charest, Marois, David, Khadir, Legault, etc. They’d have us believe that the ballot can help to “make change”. They perpetuate the illusion of democracy, in which all “citizens” are equal and the state is neutral.

While the Liberals and the CAQ are well known for openly serving the interests of large capitalist enterprise, others are nastier in a sense, more insidious, as is the case with Parti Quebecois nationalists and Québec Solidaire. While they denounce the implementaion of rightwing policies by the Liberals with matraque law 78, they insist that the government’s policies would “go against common Quebecois values”  No no such ‘common values’ exist. What typical nationalist, petty-bourgeois language, propagating illusions of capitalism’s “human face”, while failing to mention the working class and its struggle. Capitalism is bankrupt and for its survival it’s carrying out the same attacks everywhere: raising energy prices, attacking pensions, increasing tuition, creating new taxes, eliminating thousands of jobs in the public sector, cutting unemployment benefits, on top of massive factory closures.

The strength of the working class whose exploitation sustains bourgeois society, is in its collective action, led and organized on the basis of class. Only the working class, in resisting and abolishing this rotten system, will change society. Working class struggles in Greece, Spain, Portugal, China, India, France, UK, USA, in Chile and other parts of the world are forcing bourgeois factions to unite against the working class. Hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of demonstrators around the world are refusing austerity. The lying media is censoring these struggles in an effort to prevent the rise of international solidarity. The struggle of Quebec’s students and working class is not isolated.

Workers, the unemployed, students, pensioners, we’ve got to stop going along with our fake trade union friends and politicians, such as those from QS, who are simply interested in reforming capitalism. We have to quit begging the bourgeois state through petitions and votes. We must take control of the struggle from them. Otherwise, they will divert our struggles to the parliamentary circus or into negociation of our level of exploitation.

A general strike, is what we need to expand the struggle, as our brothers and sisters, the working class from Greece and Spain, have shown. They set an example for us by uniting more and more broadly in spite of nationalism and union corporatism, by rejecting politicians, and attacking the bourgeois state machine as a whole. For example, the Greek working class besieged parliament when it approved the measures demanded by the European capitalists. It’s the capitalists who are responsible for this crisis. It’s not for the working class to pay. A single slogan: unite with the working class of Greece and Spain through general strike.

Yes for a general strike! No to the electoral circus!

To end this barbaric system, we need a new society. A society intent on production to meet real human needs as opposed to a society bent on production for profit. A society in which the means of production and distribution would be within reach of all, socialized, without an exploiter to hold the reins and appropriate our socially produced wealth. A world where the environment is no longer seen as a huge profit reserve – for plunder and ruin – by the capitalist class as we see today. A world based on the participation of all, which could be expressed through new organs of co-ordination, of production, and of distribution, through a system of delegates elected and subject to recall at any time, and representing society as a whole.To achieve this, it is imperative to overthrow the bourgeois state along with its parliamentary ‘democracy’, the capitalist class’s usual smoke & mirrors trick for establishing and maintaining their dominance. It’s up to the working class, with its class party as a guide, to take power by ridding itself of the the class which exploits it, by destroying its State, and establishing its own institutions. Only the working class as a whole, though its own autonomous bodies, workers councils for example, may establish a new classless stateless society. This task can not be delegated, not even to the most and conscious class Party.

Internationalist Communists Klasbatalo                                     Printemps Érable 2012 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Solidarity with Battaglia Comunista (PCint) which has suffered provocations in Parma (Italy)

We publish the comment of the Fraction of the  International Communist Left and want to indicate our whole internationalist solidarity with comrades of the Pcint-Battaglia Communista.

Internationalist Communists - Klasbatalo

Solidarity with Battaglia Comunista (PCint) which has suffered provocations in Parma (Italy)
We publish here the "communique" that the comrades of the PCint-Battaglia Comunista (Internationalist Communist Tendency) have written after various and suspicious provocations recently held against them. We think highly important that all groups and militants claiming the Communist Left legacy express their solidarity with BC and the ICT. This expression of solidarity is obvious, by principle can we say, and must be expressed at any moment. But today, it seems to us that it is even more fundamental at the very moment the confrontation between the classes, between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, takes a wider scale than the last decades because the deepness and the impasse of capitalism's economical crisis. Everywhere, the bourgeoisie is obliged to attack massively and roughly the working class. Everywhere, it knows that these attacks will provoke inescapably workers reactions – they have already begun - which will be massive and increasingly "radical". It does prepare itself to it. Economically of course, but above all politically, ideologically, and at the repressive level too.
In Italy, the bourgeoisie has a great experience of the confrontation and the repression with the proletariat. In the years 1970, in front of the social movements initiated by the 1969 Italian "May" [called "Mai rampant" in French since it occurred during various months in the 1969 spring a year after the French May 68, translator's note], one of its essential weapons for derailing the proletariat off its class ground and to defeat it, had been the utilization of the police provocations and the cynical and systematic use of terrorism - through murderous bombings of so-called anarchists and in which the secrete services and policemen were often implicated as well as they were not very far from the terrorist actions realized by the Red Brigades... It appears today that the Italian bourgeoisie takes out again from its drawers this arm and this tactic putting back at first plan alleged threats of "violent" groups and various bombings and murders, one day on behalf of the mafia, the other one of the anarchists (FAI), the third on a "madman". So, it creates a "climate of tension" that the BC comrades underline and denounce in their communique and which does not limit itself to national scale events but also to a lot of local "incidents"... as in Parma where some of them have been provoked but "fascist" elements. It is in this context of "tension" that the PCint office in Parma has been "visited".

This tactic of tension has only one aim : hampering the inescapable revival of the workers struggles and the indispensable workers fight-back to the attacks they suffer ; and, for that aim, also attacking the political groups and militants of the class' vanguard who call for the destruction of the bourgeois State and for the Dictatorship of the proletariat. The utilization of terrorism enables to create the suspicion of these ones, to take the workers away from them, and to prepare thus their repression, their prosecution and their banning. The communists, as their class, have nothing to do with terrorism and they firmly denounce its use and "minority" actions which substitute to the mass action of the proletariat. Following the communique of the ICT comrades, we reproduce an extract of the Resolution on terrorism, terror and class violence that we had adopted in the ICC in 1978 – which recalls why terrorism can't be a proletariat's arm and why it can't be today but utilized, manipulated, and even directly created by the bourgeoisie and its State. In front of these provocations which will certainly multiply, we claim the conclusion of the PCint comrades : "that's why we will carry on our communist fight and will defend our capacity of political action without withdrawing for one step".

Solidarity with the comrades of Battaglia Comunista !

The FICL, May 30th, 2012.
Communique of Battaglia Comunista
Serious Event at the Parma PCint Office.
During the night of Wednesday 16 to Thursday 17, unknown persons have get into our office in Parma, at borgo San Giuseppe 5, and have taken tens of volumes of the Dimitri Papaioannoy library. The following Friday morning, one comrade passing to the office found the mailbox pulled out and thrown in front of the door.
Facts as well worrying had already occurred in the previous weeks : one day, we realized that one of the two banners that we run up at the office entrance when we open it, had disappeared ; some days later, we found the other banner on the ground with a footprint on it.
It is obvious that these unknown persons have been able to open the door without breaking. We can't know who are the authors of these provocations towards us but they fit in a climate of tension which have not stop growing in the city after the criminal attack that the fascists of the Casapound have led with strikes of iron bars and knives Saturday May 11th afternoon against comrades of the anti-fascist committee of the Montanara district.
In these cases, we need to have solid nerves and much determination. As far as we are concerned, we won't let us being intimidated by anyone - as communists, we know that the bourgeoisie's hand is behind these provocations -, and we won't fall in the trap of the physical fight-back - it is exactly what the enemy class looks for. That's why we will carry on our communist fight and will defend our capacity of political action without withdrawing for one step

Battaglia Comunista, section "Guido Torricelli" of Parma.
Sunday, May 27th 2012.
(Translated into English by the FICL)

Resolution on terror, terrorism and class violence
(extracts, ICC, 1978)

We reproduce here after an extract of a programmatic document of the ICC which presents the communists' position in regards with the question of terrorism and which we carry on still today to defend as ours.

4. Capitalism is the last society in history to be divided into classes. The capitalist class bases its rule on the economic exploitation of the working class. In order to ensure this exploitation and intensify it as far as it can, the capitalist class, like all exploiting classes in history, resorts to all the means of coercion, oppression and repression at its disposal. It does not hesitate to use the most inhuman, savage and bloody methods to guarantee and perpetuate exploitation. The more it is confronted with internal difficulties, the more the workers resist exploitation, the more bloodily the bourgeoisie exerts its repression. It has developed a whole arsenal of repressive methods: prisons, deportations, murder, concentration camps, genocidal wars, and the most refined forms of torture. It has also, of necessity, created various bodies specialized in carrying all this out: police; gendarmes, armies, juridical bodies, qualified torturers, commandos and paramilitary gangs. The capitalist class devotes an ever-growing part of the surplus value extracted from the exploitation of the working class in order to maintain this repressive apparatus; this has reached the point where this sector has become the most important and flourishing field of social activity. In order to defend its class rule, the capitalist class is in the process of leading society to ruin and threatening the whole of humanity with suffering and death.
We are not trying to paint an emotional picture of capitalist barbarism; it is a prosaic description of its actual practice.
This practice, which impregnates the whole of social life and all relations between human beings, which penetrates into the pores of society, this practice, this system of domination, we call -- terror. Terror is not this or that episodic, circumstantial act of violence. Terror is a particular mode of violence, inherent to exploiting classes. It is concentrated, organized, specialized violence, planned, developed and perfected with the aim of perpetuating exploitation.
Its principal characteristics are:
a. being the violence of a minority class against the great majority of society;
b. perpetuating and perfecting itself to the point of becoming its own raison d’être;
c. requiring a specialized body which always becomes more specialized, more detached from society, closed in upon itself, escaping all control, brutally imposing its iron grip on the whole population and stifling any hint of criticism with the silence of death.

5. The proletariat is not the only class to feel the rigors of state terror. Terror is also imposed upon all the petty bourgeois classes and strata: peasants, artisans, small producers and shopkeepers, intellectuals and the liberal professions, scientists and students; it even extends itself into the ranks of the bourgeois class itself. These strata and classes do not put forward any historical alternative to capitalism; worn out and exasperated by the barbarism of the system and its terror, they can only oppose it with acts of despair: terrorism.
Although it can also be used by certain sectors of the bourgeoisie, terrorism is essentially the mode of action, the practice of desperate classes and strata who have no future. This is why this practice, which tries to be ‘heroic and exemplary’, is in fact nothing but an act of suicide. It offers no way forward and only has the result of supplying victims to the terror of the state. It has no positive effect on the class struggle of the proletariat and often acts as an obstacle to it, inasmuch as it gives rise to illusions among the workers that there can be some other way forward than the class struggle. This is why terrorism, the practice of the petty bourgeoisie, can be and often is exploited judiciously by the state as a way of derailing the workers from the terrain of the class struggle and as a pretext for strengthening the terror of the state.
What characterizes terrorism as a practice of the petty bourgeoisie is the fact that it is the action of small, isolated minorities which never raises itself to the level of mass action. It is conducted in the shadows of little conspiracies, thus providing a favorite hunting ground for the underhand activities of agents of the police and the state and for all sorts of manipulations and intrigues. (...)
In this sense we have to reject the idea of a ‘workers’ terrorism’ which is presented as the work of detachments of the proletariat, ‘specialists’ in armed action, or which is supposed to prepare the ground for future battles by giving an example of violent struggle to the rest of the class, or by ‘weakening’ the capitalist state by ‘preliminary attacks’. The proletariat can delegate certain detachments for this or that immediate action (pickets, patrols, etc) but these are under the control of the movement as a whole; within the framework of this movement the resolute actions of the most advanced elements can serve to catalyze the struggle of the broad masses, but this can never be done through the conspiratorial and individualistic methods that characterize terrorism. Terrorism even when practiced by workers or groups of workers, cannot take on a proletarian character, just as the fact that the unions are made up of workers does not make them organs of the working class. (...)

6) (...)
The struggle of the proletariat, like any social struggle, is necessarily violent, but the practice of its violence is as distinct from that of other classes as are its projects and its goals. Its practice, including the use of violence, is the action of huge masses, not of a minority; it is liberating, the midwife of a new harmonious society, not the perpetuation of a permanent state of war of one against all and all against one. Its practice does not aim to perfect and perpetuate violence, but to banish the crimes of the capitalist class and immobilize it. (...)
Its invincible force resides (...) in its capacity to mobilize the whole mass of the class and to integrate the majority of the non-proletarian laboring classes and strata into the struggle against capitalist barbarism. It resides in the development of its consciousness and its capacity to organize itself in a unified autonomous way, in the firmness of its convictions and the vigor of its decisions.
These are the fundamental weapons of the practice, the class violence of the proletariat.

ICC, International Review 15, 1978.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Comments on the international significance of the presidential election in France.

We publish this text from Fraction of International Communist Left (FICL) because we are totally in agreement with its contents.
It is important at present because the bourgeoisie of Quebec speak about the elections to settle the student strike.
 « Working class participation in the electoral circus and in the various parliaments is the best means the bourgeoisie has found to divert the proletariat from its historic task, the emancipation of all humanity. Just as with fascism, “bourgeois democracy” is a terrain in which the proletariat has no real place. »
Basic positions of the Internationalist Communists – Klasbatalo!


The result of the first round of the French presidential race comes at the very moment we end up this bulletin. These elections don't interest only the French bourgeoisie. Their results have an international significance, or at least European, at the time many countries of this continent will live new elections at the regular term of the previous mandates - Germany in particular - and at the very moment other national bourgeoisies provoke anticipated elections - such as in Netherlands. It is this international significance we want to highlight.

Actually, new configurations of the political apparatus are dawning with these elections which will tend to reproduce in the months and years to come. It is actually almost sure that the Socialist Party's candidate, François Hollande, will be the next French President (Note 1). The other outstanding fact of this election is the rising of a "Left of the Left" - the Front de gauche [Left Front] with Melenchon at its head - whose vertebral column is being the old stalinist apparatus of the PCF [French Communist Party]. This two political parties (PS and Front de gauche) of the Left of capital, far for being opposed one another as they attempt to make appear, are actually the two sharp edges of the single and same arm that the bourgeoisie intends to utilize today against the proletariat.

So we have a Left of "government" which will lead a policy in which the State intervention, State capitalism, will grow and strengthen, a neo-Keynesian policy - it is the meaning of Hollande's willingness to re-negotiate the "Stability Pact" with Merkel and the German bourgeoisie "to introduce some growth". It matters to underline that this willingness for "introducing a constituent of growth" in the European policy in front of the crisis is making progress within the different ruling classes : at the very moment the Dutch bourgeoisie is provoking anticipated elections, it is interesting to note that its fractions, up to now aligned on the "drastic reduction of the deficits and the sovereign debts" policy put forwards by Germany, wish to introduce "more growth". No illusion within the bourgeoisie : it knows that a possible growth "due to credit" won't solve the crisis. It knows that capitalism's contradictions express in a crisis of generalized over-production. And no illusion for the proletarians : this possible "growth" won't bring them any relief in their sufferings, nor pauses of the attacks they suffer. The willingness to impose, at least in Europe, an economical policy with a "constituent of growth" corresponds amongst the clever fractions of the bourgeoisie to their consciousness of the need to develop a European war industry even more efficient and a European defence which really deserves this name.

And we have with the Front de gauche a Left "called to remain in the opposition", with a "social" language, indeed "revolutionary" and "classist" one, which doesn't want to be "governing" and whose aim is to control, to flank, and to derail, then to defeat, the inescapable workers struggles in front the crisis and the attacks that the "Socialist governments" will hurl at. As doesn't stop claiming Melenchon, "we are here to go on for long !" The existence of the same kind of party is not new in Europe and the Party of the Left in Germany, Die Linke, exists now since many years, actually since the drastic measures of the German bourgeoisie has taken against the working class during the government of the... Socialist Schröeder.

Actually, the national bourgeoisies must adapt their State apparatus, and in particular the political apparatus, to the new conditions that the economical crisis imposes. In their great majority, in particular in Europe, the bourgeois teams in power are government teams which were formed before 2008, before the "sub-primes" crisis. They are marked by the "neo-liberal free-market" ideology and theories in fashion in the 1980's. And yet the bankruptcy of "economical liberalism" handicaps seriously and deeply today these teams at the economical as well as political level. Actually, politicians, economists and other high-ranking officials or specialists who were brought up with the liberal free-market ideology, can certainly not apply from one day to another with the maximum effectiveness, it means from the point of view of the bourgeoisie of course, the new State measures and the more direct and massive intervention of the State, to conduct neo-keynesian policies...

These "economical" politics present a fundamental political goal : the indispensable preparation of the main imperialist powers for the generalized war. At that level, the European bourgeoisie must tackle to this task with decisiveness and determination. And then to adjust as efficient as possible the attacks against the working class since this one will have to pay not only for the present crisis but also for the war economy. This "economical" policy against the working class which won't prevent from massive proletarian reactions, must be accompanied, completed, by a device of Left forces speaking "in the name of the working class", leaning on the unions apparatus and whose objective is to control as much as possible these struggles, to make them derail from their aim and their class demands, to sabotage and to defeat them.

From this point of view, Hollande's election in France will certainly end up with the procrastinations and the hesitations of Sarkozy's "foreign" policy who, pro-American by "personal liking" if so we can say, had finally to submit to the requirements of the profound tendencies of the imperialist interests of the French bourgeoisie which inexorably drive it to remain linked and aligned with Germany. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that his figure is not enough reliable at that level and that the coming to power of a convinced pro-European will mark a supplementary step in the development and the affirmation of a more determined imperialist policy, in a more asserted European diplomacy and policy of defence, in international initiatives towards the "emerging powers", China, Latin-America, which raise against the United-States, in the questioning of the dollar as "the international reserve currency", etc...

In this preparation to war, the bourgeoisie needs the greater order and stability. The ability of the new government teams to control and defeat the workers struggles with the action of radical Left opposition forces is a central necessity which comes to strengthen even more the necessary coming of new political teams and new political men that are not hampered by the politics of the past. Because, besides the sabotage of the workers struggles, the ultra-chauvinist language of Melenchon and the PCF in the name of the "revolutionary ideal of the 1789 French revolution and of the 1871 Commune de Paris" will complete at the ideological level the dirty work done in the very struggles. There too, Hollande needs Melenchon, both reunited around the French tricolour flag ! Both aim at chaining the French proletariat to it. No doubt that the other bourgeoisie will find their equivalents within their own ranks. Is not already the case with Die Linke in Germany ?

Far from representing a decline of the attacks against the proletariat and even less a relief for this one, the adaptation of the political apparatus of the bourgeois States, included and above all with Left governments, means that the ruling class is preparing to bring even stronger attacks. Far from representing a lull of the classes struggle, the coming of these new apparatus marks at the contrary the increase and the escalation of the class contradictions. Far from meaning a slack period, the coming of new government teams accompanied with radical Left forces in the opposition, means the worsening of the bourgeoisie's offensive against the proletariat.

The FICL, April 22nd 2012

1.We don't take too much risks betting on his election in 15 days according to the polls. But in case it won't happen and Sarkozy would finally be re-elected, we don't think this would question the basic question of our stance. The last "arguments" of the latter's electoral campaign, in particular his willingness to reconsider the European Stability Pact in favour to a policy of more sustained economical growth, the withdrawal of the French troops from Afghanistan - just for mentioning only these two significant elements amongst others -, take up the orientations put forwards by Hollande. The difference will be that Hollande's new team would be less marked by the orientations and the politics of the past and thus more capable to lead it than Sarkozy whose neoliberal past and its continual zigzags and hesitations at the level of the international politics have sowed doubt about his ability as State leader within the French bourgeoisie.