Announcement: ‘Fundamental Principles of Communist Production and Distribution’ (G.I.C.,1935)

The first complete German and English editions

Habent sua fata libelli.”
(Books have their fates.)

 

Iran: Strikes in the Oil and Petrochemical Industries at the Center of new Proletarian Struggles

After the fiasco of the recent presidential elections in Iran (less than 50% of the voters participated), a massive strike wave initiated by ‘contract’ workers in the oil and petrochemical industries has extended throughout the country, persistently resisting the maneuverings and repression of the ‘Islamic Republic’ and resuscitating a widespread solidarity in society.

In the following we document its repercussions in the political milieus laying claim to proletarian internationalism:

  • ‘Left-wing Communism – NOT an infantile disorder’ has opened a special section since last June 30, featuring analyses from internationalist sources, news and background articles: Iran oil strike at the center of a new wave of proletarian struggles. Besides voices from the former milieus, statements by a number of bourgeois (ultra-) left organizations can be consulted there (in provisional translations) as well, next to a number of communiqués by the strike committee in Iran, and some commentaries.

  • Hereafter, on page 2, we present the first statement we have received on the courageous struggle by the precarious workers in Iran, the communiqué by ‘Internationalist Voice’ of June 27, 2021, (regardless our disagreement on ‘peripheral’ capitalism’), summarizing the stakes and demands at its point of departure, and putting forward a first evaluation.

  • The Internationalist Communist Tendency has just published its first article, envisaging  both to inform its readers (at the hand of communiqués from the strike committee) and to draw a critical balance sheet of the strike, its repercussions in the country, and the perspectives this opens up: Iranian Oil and Petrochemical Workers’ Strikes Go On . (28 July, 2021)

Last but not least, we invite our readers to explore the publications we have had occasion to relate on this blog on the situation in the Near and Middle East, and specifically regarding Iran. For our following of proletarian struggles we recommend in particular:

Iran: “Lessons from Strikes, Labour Struggles and internationalist Tasks” (Extracts)  (A balance sheet by ‘Internationalist Voice’,  January 2019)

Theses on the 2018 proletarian struggles in the Near and Middle East and their prospects (An article summary, Fredo Corvo, January 2019)

Impending war Iran-USA, towards a third world war? (Translation from ‘Arbeidersstemmen’, January 2020)

Iran: A New Wave of Strikes and Workers’ Protests and the Need for Workers’ Solidarity (A Communiqué by ‘Internationalist Voice’, August 2020)

The editor

On the Bookshelves: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!”

An Articles Selection from G.I.C. – Authors,

1926 – 1938

Bibliographical data: ‘Group of International Communists. From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!’ Translator and editor: Hermann Lueer. First edition: Red & Black Books, Hamburg, June 2021. Pocket, 105 pages, ISBN-13: 978-3-9822065-7-8. (ca. €8.07). Kindle e-Book, ISBN-10: 398220657X. (ca. €4.21).

From the back-cover: « Most Marxists do not like Marx. At least, they don’t like the economic principles of the communist society that Marx derived from his critique of capitalism. But most Marxists do not criticize Marx in this respect either, they prefer to interpret him.

“Fundamental Principles of Communist Production and Distribution”, the now legendary 1930 pamphlet of the Group of International Communists, was both a detailed exposition of the communist mode of production that Marx and Engels had only sketched out and a fundamental critique of the revisionism of the political parties that invoked Marx.

The book at hand contains a selection of articles published by the members of the Group of International Communists in various periodicals between 1926 and 1938, whose critique has lost none of its relevance to this day. »

Read the editor’s foreword & table of contents

Topic: Has Capitalism entered its Decadence since 1914? (III)

The Falsehoods of the International Communist Current (ICC) — A critique

Chapter 3: The national question before and after 1914

Extract: “Certainly, the productive forces have developed with the industrial revolution that began in the countries of Western Europe and North America. However, were we witnessing “a step forward in the development of the productive forces on a world scale before 1914? Not at all, because the first Euro-American countries would limit this development to their geographical area and de-industrialize the rest of the world, destroying all potential for competing economic growth, as the study on the 250 years of capitalism that we have republished clearly shows. To this we add the very telling graph [above], whose data confirm this observation, since in 1750, 80% of industrial production was located in the world outside Western Europe and North America and only 20% in the latter two areas, whereas after a century and a half of ‘capitalist ascendancy’ (1750-1913), we are witnessing a spectacular geographical inversion in this distribution, as production had become almost exclusively concentrated in the Euro-American area (84%) to the detriment of the rest of the world (16%)! In other words, the development of productive forces following the industrial revolution, far from being “a step forward in the development of the productive forces on a world scale…”, remained confined to the Euro-American area to the detriment of the rest of the world. Once again, the reality is strictly the opposite of the idealistic postulates of the ICC. This divergence in geographical evolution is at the origin of the economic bi-polarization of the world between the so-called Developed Countries and what will later be called the Third World.”

 

Click here to read the complete chapter.

 

Graph 3.1: Distribution of the Manufactured Production in the World (1750 – 1913)

Source: Les mondes insurgés, Altermanuel d’histoire contemporaine , Ed. Vuibert, p. 13.
The data come from: Paul Bairoch, ‘International industrialization levels from 1750 to 1980’ ,
published in The Journal of European Economic History, n°11, 2, 1982.]

The Intifada of Class Unity or that of the Sacred Union?

A further Statement by Circolo Internazionalista (May 24, 2021)

«It is still too early to draw up an exhaustive balance sheet of recent events in Palestine, however, it is already possible to sketch an outline.

Since the U.S. of the Trump administration recognized the Israeli claim to Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state three years ago, the maneuvers and prodigious actions of the Israeli bourgeoisie to annex East Jerusalem have had a marked increase: new and massive settlements of Israeli settlers around areas inhabited by Palestinians; daily provocations, insults, assaults by far-right groups claiming to want to “purify” East Jerusalem of “Arabs” and their mosques, including Al-Aqsa; deliberations by Israeli courts rediscovering Jewish “property rights” on land on which 27 Palestinian families have been settled for more than 60 years and ruling on their eviction; and, most recently, the provocative closure by Israeli police of access to Muslim prayer sites during Ramadan. It is very probable that with the intensification of these bullying actions, which could not fail to trigger a reaction from the Palestinians, the government of Benjamin Netanyahu wanted to divert public opinion and the “opposition” parties in Israel from their difficulties, recomposing them under the sacred union for the defense against the historic “external enemy”. In this, Netanyahu’s game was completely successful. All he had to do was wait.» Continue reading “The Intifada of Class Unity or that of the Sacred Union?”

Appeal to Arab and Jewish workers in Palestine and Israel

Demonstrating for calm and coexistence at the Oranim junction in south Jerusalem, May 13, 2021. (Sue Surkes/Times of Israel)

Arbeidersstemmen (‘Worker’s Voices’), Amsterdam, May 25, 2021.

With hope and expectation, workers around the world have received the news on the joint demonstrations on bridges and traffic junctions of Arab and Israeli speakers. During the mutual bombings and pogroms back and forth, they protested hand in hand, as neighbors and fellow workers against terror and war.

After the armistice, by their participation in mass peace demonstrations, they expressed the fear that the powers on both sides of the borders speak of peace, but in reality are already preparing the next war. War preparations that require further intensification of the exploitation of all workers: border-crossing labor, digging tunnels, building missiles, surplus labor for the development and purchase of weapons systems. All this in addition to passing the costs of war and reconstruction on to the working and poor. Both the State of Israel, the PLO State in the West Bank and the Hamas State in Gaza feel empowered in their war efforts by the massive support of “their” populations blinded by nationalism. Without exception, these three states will continue to direct the terror of extremist militias and gangs against any resistance to the war preparations and intensified exploitation, even if this resistance invokes the “peace” and the “right of self-determination” as articulated by the leaders of the peace movement. Continue reading “Appeal to Arab and Jewish workers in Palestine and Israel”

The Proletarian Mountain and the Bourgeois Mouse

‘Circolo internazionalista’ on the proletarian perspective in the Middle East

Among the statements that have come to our attention on the latest escalation in the barbaric ‘Israeli-Palestinian’ conflict issued by a diversity of groups who lay claim to proletarian internationalism, we want to highlight one for its focus on an aspect of the situation that crucially differs from the previous rounds or ‘cycles’ in this seemingly perpetual imperialist stand-off: the mobilization of Arab Israelis, including strikes and demonstrations, not only in solidarity against the brutal maneuvers of the Israeli state in East Jerusalem, on the West Bank and against the Gaza strip, but also in defense to state sponsored repression and terrorism directed against themselves in the heart of the country.

The following article by the Internationalist Circle – “workers’ coalition” from Rome (Italy) on what may be regarded as a key factor to ending the bloody impasse: the refusal to follow any of the nationalist flags and the search for proletarian solidarity across religious, ethnic and national divides, has been written on the eve of the US-sponsored “truce” of Friday 21st.

The editor

Continue reading “The Proletarian Mountain and the Bourgeois Mouse”

Topic: The 1921 ‘Kronstadt Tragedy’ – Beginning of the Counterrevolution?

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Kronstadt uprising and its defeat we present a small selection of titles from the vast literature available, which we consider of interest in order to go into its wider historical significance and implications:

  • The Program of the Kronstadt Uprising is presented and analyzed in a chapter of the work by Ida Mett: La commune de Cronstadt. Crépuscule sanglant des soviets (Paris 1938, 1948) [“The Kronstadt Commune. Bloody Twilight of the Soviets”]. It was first published in English by Solidarity, London 1967.

  • A council communist analysis that came about contemporaneous to the publication of Mett’s work in the West can be read in Willy Huhn’s work “Trotsky – The Failed Stalin” (1952), from which we provide a chapter in translation.

  • An extensive bibliography and documents‘ collection established by ‘Fragments d’Histoire de la gauche radicale’ (“Fragments of the History of the radical Left“, mainly in French language) in collaboration with ‘Les Révolutions-1917’ is presented at the hand of the authors’ survey text.

  • Last but not least, we recommend The Retreat of the World-Revolution – The 1921 ‘Kronstadt Tragedy’, an extract from Chapter V: Gorter, the KAPD and the Foundation of the Communist Workers’ International (1921–7) of Ph. Bourrinet’s political historiography The Dutch and German Communist Left (1900–68) (Brill, Leiden – Boston 2017).

The editor, April 26, 2021.

 

Click to read these contributions to The 1921 ‘Kronstadt Tragedy’ – Beginning of the Counterrevolution?

 

Trotsky and the Kronstadt Uprising of 1921

Provisional Council at the Petropavlovsk, Kronstadt, March 1921

The violently crushed Kronstadt uprising of March 1921, followed by the introduction of the NEP, marked a decisive turn in the consolidation of the state capitalist regime that had come to bearing through the October insurrection in Russia 1917. The struggle for “soviets without the communists” (i.e. without the Bolsheviks) led by the insurgent mariners would be the last attempt by the proletarian masses to reconquer political power over the state, whose grip had been strengthened under pressure of the ‘civil war’ in Russia, with its so-called ‘war-communism’, to the detriment of the councils (soviets). Having achieved a military victory over the “white armies” through an unprecedented militarization, the Bolshevik regime was confronted with a plain catastrophe at the economic level, resulting in mass famines and peasant insurrections, like the Makhnovchina in the South. The Kronstadt uprising was the top of the iceberg of a mass movement that had its counterpart among the industrial proletariat. With its defeat, and the subsequent repression of political life, the backbone of the proletarian mass strike in Russia since 1905 was crushed, sealing off the counter-revolutionary involution of the Bolshevik party in power.

The following chapter from his major work Trotsky – the failed Stalin presents the analysis elaborated by the council communist Willy Huhn at the beginning of the 1950s of the role of the Bolshevik party, its leadership and of Trotsky in particular in these key events, with regards to the later political current of “trotskyism”.

Our translation is followed by a brief editor’s note on some historical inaccuracies by Huhn.

Last updated: April 22, 2021

 

Continue reading “Trotsky and the Kronstadt Uprising of 1921”

Topic: Has Capitalism entered its Decadence since 1914? (II)

Discussion Contributions

Apropos of the recently started series The Falsehoods of the International Communist Current (ICC) — A Critique, we have opened a new section on our topics pages, which collects Discussion Contributions on the Question of Capitalism’s Decadence by commentators of this work in progress. At present it contains the following essays:

Autumn 2020:

Decline and Senility of Capitalism with Marx, Engels and Communism.

A critical recapitulation and determination of capitalism’s historical phase (Anibal & materia, May 22, 2020)

Some Key Questions for Luxemburg’s Theory of Accumulation.

Problems for the modern day supporters of Luxemburg’s theory of total dependence on precapitalist markets (Link, November 27, 2020)

Spring 2021:

Capitalism is coming to an end. But how?

Does China’s further integration into capitalism lead to the latter’s “obsolescence”? Fredo Corvo replies to C.Mcl. (Version of March 14, 2021)

The Decadence of Capitalism. A Discussion

Aníbal & materia (Version of March 22, 2021)

New: Is Decadence an Economic Phenomenon?

Link, May 17, 2021

 

Click to read Discussion Contributions on the Question of Capitalism’s Decadence

 

This section may be updated with new contributions. We invite interested readers to send in their commentaries and/or contributions. Please read the modalities in the Colophon.