Guy Sabatier (1947 – 2023), Tribute to an Internationalist

In the following we publish the obituary of Guy Sabatier, written by a companion of his, which has been published in French, Italian and English on the ICT’s website. It relates his lifetime engagement as an internationalist in the milieu(s) of the communist Left since the end of the 1960s in France. We have accompanied this by a provisional list of titles from his works that tries to demonstrate their scope, versatility and depth.

We have become acquainted with Guy through his participation in the Forum for the internationalist communist Left (Controverses), and express our condolences to his family members, close friends and companions for the loss of this remarkable person and militant.

Henry Cinnamon, January 14, 2023.

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Axel Weipert: The Second Revolution. The Council Movement in Berlin 1919-1920

A Book Review by Ph. Bourrinet

The history of the council movement seemed a long outdated history after a myriad of studies in the 1960s and 1970s in both parts of Germany, often under very clear ideological banners: democracy versus dictatorship. After a long historiographical slumber on revolutionary events in Germany; after the so-called “collapse of communism”, important studies on the council movement emerged in 2013 with a volume devoted to the Hamburg Workers’ and Soldiers’ Council. (1) Axel Weipert’s study, published in Berlin in 2015, is a very notable contribution to the new historiography after the downfall of the (Berlin) wall, this time devoted to the “second revolution”, the second phase of the council movement after the January 1919 workers’ defeat in Berlin. (2)

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Russia’s Annexations in Ukraine are Another Step Towards Global Imperialist War

Statement of the Internationalist Communist Tendency
(October 21, 2022).

We resume this publication by adopting the latest statement issued by the ICT (International Communist Tendency) on the threat of a more generalized war, including the use of nuclear weapons, apropos of the recent exacerbation of the armed conflict in Ukraine, and on the development of the working class alternative to capitalism, its crises and war, which has also recently announced itself through a tendency towards massive strikes.

In addition, we draw the attention of ours readers to the progress in the constitution of “No War but the Class War” committees, defending proletarian internationalism against all sides in the inter-imperialist conflict, which has been initiated by the ICT, and which has recently taken shape through the constitution of such committees in Turkiye (April 28), Italy (August 5) and Canada (Toronto and the Pacific North-West Committee, September 2022; Montreal, October 2022).

The Editor, October 23, 2022.

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Critique: The Erring Ways of the ICC on Inter-Imperialist Relations

«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.

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Russia: About “Anarchists” who forget the principles

Statement approved at a referendum of the members of the KRAS-IWA (Russia)

“We reproduce the following article in solidarity with KRAS, section of the anarcho-syndicalist IWA in Russia. From the beginning of the war in Ukraine members of KRAS have consistently defended the internationalist position, denouncing all sides in the conflict and calling on workers to resist it. (1) For this, they are now being accused by those anarchists who have taken the side of the Ukrainian national resistance of being stooges of the Kremlin.

We can’t help but be reminded of the smears against our comrades in the PCInt who, for opposing all sides in the Second World War and for calling on workers to “desert the war” , (2) were denounced by the Stalinist party of Togliatti as “agents and servants of Hitler”. Back then such smears were used to physically liquidate internationalists.

Once again there is no low to which those who have made their peace with national defencism will not stoop down.” (ICT, June 13, 2022)

In agreement with the foregoing, we have added a translation of the London Anti-War Manifesto of February 1915 to a new documentary section on this site: Proletarian Internationalism against Imperialism and War (Documents), which refers to the historical schism on the question of war that also took place within anarchism apropos of the First World War,

The editor, July 3, 2022.

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

New Discussion Contributions

We present the reply to “In Defense of Historical Materialism” by Aníbal (Forum Inter-Rev, Spain) in our supplemented translation. It sets forth what the latter regards as his main difference with C.Mcl. – whether capitalism has started its entry into decadence at the beginning of this century (as C.Mcl. argues) or it has arrived at its historical apogee (which Aníbal holds); it further proposes a series of topics and questions for further discussion, and finally points out some more objections and criticism.

The editor, May 31, 2022.

 

On the text by C.Mcl. “In Defense of Historical Materialism”

Aníbal, January 26, 2022 (Revised and supplemented version of May 28)

 

Two Internationalist Statements for May 1st

Hereafter we present two internationalist statements that have been released or circulated at the occasion of this year’s May 1st:

1. War, Poverty, Crisis and Disease: The True Face of the Capitalist System

by ‘No War but the Class War’ Liverpool. Dating from the end of March, this leaflet has again been brought to attention at the occasion of May 1st, documenting the approach by the internationalist action committees that, among others, have been called for by the ICT. In addition, the setup of these committees is explained by “What Are We Fighting For?”

2. Russia, Ukraine, NATO: Pimps of Death

is an anonymous leaflet that attempts to situate the war in Ukraine, denouncing all imperialist rivals who clash in and over Ukraine and highlighting the latest evolution – the current exacerbation of the barbarism of this war.

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Topic: Capitalism, Crisis and War – What is to be done?

This section presents discussion contributions on the topicality of Capitalism, Crisis and War vs. the proletarian alternative, and notably on what initiatives to take apropos of the current exacerbation of military barbarism in and with regards to the war in Ukraine.

It starts with ‘War of Imperialist Capitalism: What to Do and What not to Do’ by the animator of the Inter-rev Forum (Spain), one of the protagonists of a “third call“, alternative to the ‘joint statement’ by the ICC and others, and to the ‘call for action’ of the ICT respectively.

We continue with a “comment” by the initiators of the aforementioned initiative on our blog article The ICT’s Call for Action – Two Kinds of Criticism, and our reply to it.

This section will be updated to include further contributions and references on the topic. We invite our readers to send in their propositions by e-mail, whether written by themselves or signalling contributions of interest written by others (Please consult the Colophon for the modalities).

The editor, May 1, 2022.

Capitalism, Crisis and War – What is to be done? Discussion Contributions

The War in Ukraine is just a Chapter of the Permanent Imperialist War

Introduction Article of I Quaderni dell’Istituto Onorato Damen Nº 1 (April 2022)

“A new dramatic front of the permanent imperialist war has opened in the heart of Europe. At the dawn of February 24, 2022, the Russian armed forces have unleashed their firepower against Ukraine, bombing the main cities of the country and invading the Ukrainian territory from several fronts with hundreds of thousands of soldiers. A war that in the plans of the Russians probably had to last only a few days, given the disparity of the forces in the field, whose prolongation [however] dangerously risks to widen, dragging the whole of Europe into the vortex of the conflict. This is the future that the capitalist system envisages for us, a future made of wars, generalized misery and increasingly precarious living and working conditions.”

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The ICT’s Call for Action – Two Kinds of Criticism

On April 6, two different initiatives have been launched by groups claiming to defend proletarian internationalism from a left communist perspective: A “Joint statement” about the war in Ukraine by the ICC, I.O.D. and two other groups, and a “Call for action” by the ICT with the slogan “No war but the class war” respectively. Very rapidly both have been rejected in an “unwelcome response” on the ‘Left-Wing communism’ site, which alternatively proposes to organize a debate themselves.

As a project aiming to contribute to open discussions among internationalists ‘A Free Retriever’s Digest’ does not support any attempt to circumvent an open discussion about criteria of adherence (for instance by asking for the adoption of a list of – apparently certified – internationalist groups, organizations, forums, etc.). Moreover, it does not support confining such a call to adherents of the historical communist left, thereby excluding groups from different backgrounds like for instance KRAS-IWA (Russia) and Internationalist Perspective (USA, Canada), in spite of their internationalist stance on the war in Ukraine. Instead, we are of the opinion that the latter provides a sufficient criterion to take up contact for an open debate in the spirit of the Zimmerwald movement.

We consider the call by the ICT as currently best approximating an initiative to gather proletarian internationalists in a broad sense, notwithstanding differences of approach and analysis, as for instance on a certain activism that appears in its main slogan. The following exchange at Pantopolis between what we’d term a position of critical support versus one of rejecting the ICT’s initiative virtually out of hand seems of interest to us for showing the reasons involved in these two very different attitudes.

The editor, April 22, 2022.

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