The Algerian Crisis

‘Nuevo Curso’ on the mass protests in the Maghreb

With a country in general uproar, Bouteflika waited until the last moment to present his presidential candidacy. (1) The demonstrators are still on the warpath because they know that the official candidacy wins. (2) But why should the fossilized Algerian bourgeoisie impose a dying Bouteflika who survives on medical care in Geneva?

Continue reading “The Algerian Crisis”

Advertisements

Robin Goodfellow in the Land of the ‘Yellow Vests’

A critique by the Pantopolis blog (March 15, 2019)

We are happy to [refer to] the latest text from the group Robin Goodfellow (RGF). (1) Coming from the Bordigist camp, it has striven to always be in tune with the class struggle, despite the desperately academic tone of its publications.

This text shows a positive spirit of openness towards the movement of the ‘yellow vests’, in which proletarians predominate. Contrary to some sects falsely laying claim to left-wing communism, Robin Goodfellow did not spit on the movement, quite the contrary. These sects did, by the way, not manifest an “aristocratism” of revolutionary “purists”, but rather the ubuesque (2) holy fear of micro-bureaucrats, ready to hide under their beds at the first signs of serious confrontation with the “forces of order”, shamefully describing the healthy reaction of the yellow vests to the terrible force of the capitalist state (3) as “useless violence.”

The text of Robin Goodfellow is very precise on the classes, or rather the heterogeneous layers that have intervened in the movement of the ‘yellow vests’. It deserves to be welcomed for demonstrating that, in the ‘yellow vests’ movement, the proletariat is very much present (workers, employees), even as a vast majority.

Continue reading “Robin Goodfellow in the Land of the ‘Yellow Vests’”

Marxist-Humanism at the crossroads

A Press Review on the inter-imperialist standoff about Venezuela

After the fuss about the failed “humanitarian” aid operation, the economic crisis and the boycott by the United States drag on. As usual, the proletarians in particular suffer from a lack of basic necessities and medicines. In this case, they are also called upon to defend the interests of one of the two groups within the ruling class of Venezuela, those around the incumbent president Maduro (supported by the corrupt army summit, Russia, China, Turkey and Iran) and the self-proclaimed interim president Guaidó (supported by entrepreneurs and the US and — in an unprecedented action — the EU). This false choice is fought by (as far as known) all publications that defend the standpoint of proletarian internationalism, that is, those who invoke the Communist Left against both Stalin’s ‘socialism in one country’, and against the defense of the Soviet Union by most Trotskyists as a ‘workers state’, despite its ‘degeneration’ and ‘bureaucratization’, later followed by a ‘critical’ defense of the Eastern European ‘popular democracies’ and other ‘socialist’ countries that participated in the Russian bloc.

Continue reading “Marxist-Humanism at the crossroads”

The Workers’ Councils in Germany 1918-23 (Part 2/2)

This is the second and last part of the historical summary article by Ph. Bourrinet on the workers’ councils in the proletarian struggles of 1918 -1923. The first part has been published in A Free Retriever’s Digest Vol.2 #6 (December 2018 – January 2019) and can be read on this web blog as well.

 

Continue reading “The Workers’ Councils in Germany 1918-23 (Part 2/2)”

How will the Venezuelan crisis end?

Nuevo Curso’ on the ramifications of an inter-imperialist stand-off

The Spanish media seem to be infected by the triumphalism of the Venezuelan opposition: “In Venezuela there is no risk of a civil war, 90% of the population wants change”, Guaidó said on the cover of ‘El País’. (1) And if we were to take the media’s account seriously, Maduro’s regime would fall under the pressure of the demonstrations and the much awaited, but for the moment unseen, defection of the middle cadres of the army. Is that all? Or are there many things that escape from the media’s framework?

Continue reading “How will the Venezuelan crisis end?”

A Balance Sheet of the ‘Yellow Vests’ Movement in France

In its second communiqué on the ‘yellow vests’ movement in France the IGCL  provides a balance sheet of its strengths, weaknesses and dilemma’s, together with an updated summary of the situation at the 11th Saturday of demonstrations and their prospects.

2nd Communiqué by the IGCL (January 27, 2019)

The eleventh Saturday of the ‘yellow vests’ movement in France, 26 January 2019, has seen the mobilization continue throughout France. According to the police, there were 69,000 demonstrators across the country. It is nevertheless obvious that this figure is largely underestimated: 2,500 demonstrators in Paris were announced, whereas there were in fact between 8,000 and 10,000 when the two main parades met at 4 pm at the Place de la Bastille. The clashes that subsequently broke out there allowed the police to disperse the crowd that would gather in the square. But the exact number doesn’t really matter. The fact is that this movement of ‘yellow vests’ expresses a rage and a willingness to oppose the growing misery imposed and promised by capitalism and to confront the state, that the bourgeoisie does not succeed to extinguish. Just like the strikes in Iran in 2018 or the mass strike of tens of thousands of workers in northern Mexico as we speak, to mention but a few, (1) the radicalism, combativeness, [and] obstinacy of the ‘yellow vests’ movement signals the degree attained by the class antagonisms, and the fact that we have entered in a new period of massive confrontations between the classes at the global level. This generalized climate of potential social revolt, already partly in action, is essentially the result of the effects of the 2008 crisis, which are still being felt, exacerbating capitalism’s current contradictions of all kinds, political, ecological, imperialist, migratory, social, etc. Today, these contradictions have accumulated and are exploding one after another. In this international climate of general social revolt in the making, the “slowdown of world growth” – to use the words of bourgeois economists – and the risks of a financial and stock market crash can only accentuate this atmosphere of “the end of the world”, the end of the capitalist world to be exact, and bring the current generations of proletarians to the necessity, to consciousness and willingness to oppose capitalism’s misery as well as the generalized war that it is preparing and, finally, to destroy it. The entire capitalist class, at least its most enlightened fractions, is so concerned with this situation that “the eminences gathered at the Davos summit believe that it is time to ‘re-moralize’ globalization (according to Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum) and to seek the paths to a ‘more inclusive’ world economy” (‘Liberation’, 23 January 2019), and that States are already preparing for it both politically and in terms of violent and massive repression.

Continue reading “A Balance Sheet of the ‘Yellow Vests’ Movement in France”

Iran: “Lessons from Strikes, Labour Struggles and internationalist Tasks” (Extracts)

A balance sheet by ‘Internationalist Voice’ (January 2019)

The following extracts from the balance sheet “Lessons from strikes, labour struggles and internationalist tasks” give interesting information on the backgrounds of the Shora (or: councils) that have existed during the workers’ struggles at Haft Tappeh in Iran’s Khuzestan province during last year. The text itself expands more broadly on several proletarian struggles in 2018, concluding each with an evaluation of positive and negative features as lessons for the future. The struggles are analyzed from the theoretical background of the group ‘Internationalist Voice’, who declares itself close to the ICT and the ICC.

Continue reading “Iran: “Lessons from Strikes, Labour Struggles and internationalist Tasks” (Extracts)”

What workers in yellow jackets can learn from the proletarian struggle in Iran

As we understand the general rise in fuel taxes has been withdrawn by the French government and certain categories most in need have been granted a (temporary) financial relieve. Faced with this partial (and possibly temporary) retreat by the French authorities, flanked by measures like attempting to foster a nationwide “social dialogue” while simultaneously trying to turn on the screws of state repression, the “yellow jackets” mobilization in France seems to be in decline.

The following text undertakes an attempt of drawing lessons from this inter-class mobilization in comparison with those that may be drawn from the recent wave of struggles in Iran, which has shown a more clearly pronounced proletarian character, but so far has met relatively few echoes within political milieus claiming adherence to proletarian internationalism.

Continue reading “What workers in yellow jackets can learn from the proletarian struggle in Iran”

Editorial Note (January 12, 2019)

Dear reader,

‘A Free Retriever’s Digest’ appreciates having a recent blog publication, which evaluates the workers’ struggle in the Near and Middle East (specifically in Iran), adopted in libcom’s news section, with a French translation in addition.

Hopefully, this summary and the balance sheet it introduces (”Iran: What after the repression of the Haft Tapeh workers and the steelworkers in Ahvâz?”) contribute to resuscitate interest in the situation of these recent (waves of) struggles and the questions they pose to the workers’ struggle in this region and internationally.

Continue reading “Editorial Note (January 12, 2019)”