«The war in Ukraine has the “merit” of delimiting well the internationalists from all those who take the cause of one of the two camps in presence. By its positions on this conflict, the International Communist Current (ICC) is part of this “third camp” as Pierre Lanneret called it in his review of the revolutionary positions during the Second World War. (1) But this conflict has still another “merit”: that of testing the theoretical foundations of the analyses in presence. Now, on this plan, the war in Ukraine illustrates the gaping incoherences of the “analyses” of this organization of which it tries in vain to put back together the pieces in a “framework” article entitled The significance and impact of the war in Ukraine.» (2)
In pursuit of his critique of the foundation of the ICC’s theories and analyses, C.Mcl. has advanced a brief synthesis of his previous critiques, focusing on a central question regarding the present exacerbation of inter-imperialist tensions and confrontations in and over Ukraine: whether it constitutes a step in the reconstitution of antagonistic imperialist blocs and alliances in view of a renewed drive towards a worldwide war (as many within the internationalist camp estimate), or whether the conclusion of such a dynamic is, as it where, effectively precluded by a supposedly dominant tendency of “everyone for himself” (as the ICC tirelessly defends).
In anticipation of an integral, verified translation, we present the conclusion of this critique, which we find most important for its global analysis and estimation of the present war and the dire perspective it opens up to humanity.
The Editor, July 9, 2022.
The New Global Geopolitical and Geo-economic Polarization
If we have pointed out some gross aberrations in the ICC’s analysis of China, it is because it argues that: “…the war in Ukraine is not preparing the ground for the formation of new imperialist blocs that will take humanity into a third – and no doubt final – world war… (…) [We reject] the argument that we are seeing the reconstitution of stable military blocs. We will simply say that despite real tendencies towards a “bipolarisation” of imperialist antagonisms, we still consider that they are outweighed by the opposite tendency for each imperialist power to defend its own particular interests and resist being subordinated to a particular world power.” (3)
In fact, by totally underestimating the growth in the emerging countries, and especially in the most spectacular of them – China, the ICC fails to understand the fundamental difference between the former Eastern bloc and the future emerging bloc around China.
Indeed, both the USSR and its satellite countries have always been economic dwarfs and even military dwarfs – witness the lamentable Soviet military defeats in the Six-Day Wars in the Middle East, in Afghanistan and, today, its setbacks in Ukraine… – yet Russia remains a nuclear giant: it is the only country against which the United States cannot wage war without risking near-total destruction itself (which is not yet the case for China). In this sense, the Cold War is not yet completely over.
By contrast, China is an economic giant, although still a military dwarf. But, precisely because it is an economic giant, China could also become a military giant and a giant with weapons that are much more powerful and sophisticated than those of Russia. This is what the United States must prevent. Therefore, the current strategy of the USA and NATO consists, on the one hand, in reducing Russia’s military power to its economic minimum, i.e. no more than the GDP of Spain, and, on the other hand, in realigning Europe behind the USA in order to put it in battle for the major challenge today: the confrontation with China. Hillary Clinton, the former head of American diplomacy, was not mistaken when she recently declared that: “Russia is ‘a short-term threat’ and China ‘a long-term threat’“ and warned the West against China’s expansionist ambitions while seeing Moscow as a temporary threat. (4)
This is the reason for the maneuver deployed by the USA, a maneuver already used with Saddam Hussein and consisting of suggesting that the Americans would not intervene in case of an invasion. Iraq fell into the trap then and Russia has fallen into it now. Indeed, Biden was adamant with Putin in the weeks leading up to the invasion of Ukraine while the Europeans were doing everything to negotiate. The icing on the cake is that not only did Biden not give an inch to Russia’s demands, but he bluntly told Putin that if the latter wanted to obtain his demands by military means, NATO would not react! (5)
The result of this policy is clear: NATO has been re-soldered and American leadership has been fully reaffirmed. The financing of NATO, which the Europeans were reluctant to provide, has now exceeded American expectations, orders for military equipment are pouring into the United States, European defense is dead, the Nord-Stream-2 gas pipeline is closed, all dialogue and cooperation with Moscow is buried, as well as the development of economic exchanges that Europe had hoped for with Russia, especially in the energy field. Better still, the gas that Europeans used to buy from Russia must now be supplied by the Americans!
Moreover, this war is the final blow to the European efforts, especially of France and Germany, to develop a counterweight to the USA by cooperating with Russia. In other words, there is no doubt that with the war in Ukraine, the USA have achieved all their objectives: political, imperialist, economic and ideological… They are a winner on all levels: on the imperialist level with a reorganized NATO and a reaffirmed American leadership; on the economic level with a Europe weakened by the war and finding itself even more dependent on the USA for energy than before; on the political-economic level with a weakened Europe because it can no longer act as a counterweight to the USA, neither militarily (a buried Europe of defense), nor economically (economic cooperation with Russia); on the military level with a fully open cash drawer for the Americans: all European countries massively buy American military equipment; on the ideological level with the theme of the future conflict with China: the defense of the free world against dictatorial regimes.
Therefore, to list all the internal tensions within NATO in an attempt to justify the current impossibility of reforming imperialist blocs is to take mosquito bites for lethal injections. It is looking at the tree without seeing the forest behind it.
Speaking of blindness, such an analysis on the part of the ICC goes back to the illusions of Vercesi in 1938-39, who did not believe that a second world war was possible. The latter relied on the multiple diplomatic negotiations and attempts at agreements which, according to him, revealed the need for capital to avoid a world conflagration – local wars were sufficient for the needs of capitalism, he said.
Today, the ICC is taking a similar approach by lining up all the possible disagreements within NATO and all the potential weaknesses of China. However, tomorrow, when the iron and the fire will be heard with the United States, the ICC will declare itself again “surprised” as it has to admit today that “the brutal acceleration in Europe [of chaos, instability and bloody warfare] through the massive invasion of Ukraine still caught the ICC by surprise.” (6) In reality, the ICC has constantly been surprised by the evolution of capitalism because it simply does not possess the right keys to understand it.
C.Mcl., June 16, 2022.
Translation: H.C., June 17, 2022.
1 Pierre Lanneret, alias Camille. Biographie. Les internationalistes du « troisième camp» en France pendant la seconde guerre mondiale. 1995, éditions Acratie. ISBN 2-909899-04- 7. (French, opens pdf)
2 ICC, May 9, 2022.
3 Amos, April 11, 2022: ICC public meetings: Who can put an end to capitalist wars and barbarism?.
5 A remarkable analysis of this trap has been made by the I.O.D. group (Istituto Onorato Damen), translated into English on the website of ‘A Free Retriever’s Digest’: The Ukrainian Powder Factory. (The article dates from the beginning of February 2022, three weeks before the assault by the Russian army on Ukraine on February 24. Editor’s note)