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”.
Continue reading “Trotsky and the Kronstadt Uprising of 1921”
From: ‘De Nieuwe Tijd’ (Vol.21 #5, May 5, 1916)
By way of an introduction
For a critique of the theory of the decadence of capitalism, Pannekoek is important because he has always opposed the view that capitalism would automatically and irreparably collapse. In “The Economic Necessity of Imperialism” (1916) he summarizes his critique of Luxemburg’s underpinning of the saturation of the markets at the hand of Marx’s reproduction diagrams. We will not go into this further, but do point out that the ICC’s theory of decadence relies on Luxemburg’s argument. Further, Pannekoek has taken down the tendency of the rate of profit to fall as a theoretical underpinning of Grossman’s and Mattick’s crises theory as well. Instead of an automatic and irreparable collapse of capitalism and an economic necessity of imperialism, Pannekoek argues that the periodic crises arise from the imbalance between economic factors inherent in capitalism. Instead of an economic necessity of imperialism, he posits a social and political necessity that follows from the power of big capital. Only at the margins of his reflections Pannekoek speaks of an end to capitalism in a then – in 1916 and 1946 respectively – distant future: through the exhaustion of the “material” conditions for the expansion of production. In 1916 these are “unlimited quantities” of raw materials in nature; in 1946 he already speaks of “the raw adventurous methods of capital – which on all continents are in the process of destroying the fertility of the earth”. Not unimportant, and even highly topical in the light of the current environmental and health crises. The second material condition mentioned by Pannekoek that capitalism would no longer be able to fulfill, is that of a labor force in “sufficient” quantities to expand production.
F.C., January 2021
(Last edited: March 15, 2021)
Continue reading “‘The economic necessity of imperialism’ (Anton Pannekoek, 1916)”
36 pages (A4, pdf)
Available for free download here:
(Note: due to a correction the initial pdf file has been replaced)
The next release is envisaged in the second half of April 2021. The deadline for notifications and contributions has been set to Sunday, April 4, 2021.
Continue reading “A Free Retriever’s Digest Vol.5 #1 (January – March 2021)”
First internationalist statements on the failed coup attempt by a political adventurer (Extracts)
The assault on the Capitol on January 6 by an extremist mob of Trump-fanatics in a stillborn last ditch attempt to “subvert” the outcome of the US presidential election of November 3 – the clear loss for the ‘Republican’ candidacy to that of the ‘Democrats’ – and the prompt initiation by the US Congress, on January 13, of a second impeachment procedure against its main instigator for “high crimes and misdemeanors”, mark the end of a rogue presidency bent on undermining the institutional framework of the worlds’ most powerful bourgeois democracy. These events highlight the rifts within its ranks, first of all within a ‘Republican Party’ exposed for enabling a political adventurer to surf on the tide of right-wing populism and extremism.
Whereas the security precautions for the certification ceremony on January 6 had appeared to be surprisingly weak and inefficient (entailing casualties in the row on both sides), one week before the inauguration of the Biden-Harris presidency Washington D.C. has been turned into an armed fortress, and the country as a whole has been put on alert against further disruptive actions expected from the right-wing extremist spectrum and its militia.
The hallucinating events have led to a number of first statements and communiqués by internationalist groups and individuals that we document by extracts, in chronological order.
(Last updated: February 11, 2021)
Continue reading “Mr. Trump’s ‘Sixth of January’ 2021”
To be buried by capitalism or to free the entire Earth from a vampiric system?
In the following we publish the conclusion of this article attempting to situate the corona-virus pandemic and its consequences in a broader perspective and from different angles. The previous three parts are also available on this blog:
Part I: §1 Commodity, Commerce and Confinement; §2 The Precedent of the Spanish Flu: Defense Secrets, Brainwashing and War Economy to better cut up the Cannon Fodder. (Online: March 31, 2020, ‘AFRD’ Vol.4#2 (April – June 2020) p.9 ff.)
Continue reading “Capitalism, Wars and Epidemics (IV. Conclusion)”
IGCL: Communiqué on the Situation in the United States (November 7, 2020)
“Trump has been beaten. After a week of counting the pro-Biden ballots sent in by mail, the electoral ‘recovery’, announced by Trump himself as well, did take place. The American bourgeoisie can legitimately shout success. Isn’t this proof of its political mastery? Didn’t it succeed in imposing the presidential change that it had obviously deemed necessary since the outbreak of the economic crisis and the pandemic? And to appoint Biden? Wasn’t he supported by practically all the different bourgeois factions and the state apparatus, including the highest military officers, some of the Republicans themselves, and even by Fox News, the pro-Trump news channel? But, perhaps more importantly for its success, did it not succeed in mobilizing as never before for these elections? In a country where voter turnout has historically always been low, around 50%, all records since 1900 have been broken and 67% of the American electorate voted.”
Continue reading “Election of Biden: Successful democratic campaigns against the US and international proletariat”
The Falsehoods of the International Communist Current (ICC) — A critique (Ch.1 & 2)
The following contribution challenges a fundamental programmatic position shared by several groups of the contemporary communist Left, in continuity with the beginnings of the III. (or Communist) International, namely that capitalism has entered its phase of decline as an historical mode of production since the outbreak of World War 1. It does so following the method that Marx applied in his (unfinished) magnum opus ‘Capital’, comparing the evolution of capitalism before and since 1914 at the hand of documented empirical data. These are summarized in a series of graphs and contrasted with the affirmations by one of the most outspoken protagonists of this position.
Continue reading “Topic: Has Capitalism entered its Decadence since 1914?”