A Free Retriever’s Digest Vol. 2 #6 (December 2018 – January 2019)

New Issue:

36 pages (A4, pdf)

Available for free download here:

A Free Retriever’s Digest Nr 06

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On the movement of the “Yellow Vests” in France

The following communiqué by the International Group of the Communist Left has been released after the demonstrations on Saturday December 1st, which  appear to have been the apogee of the “yellow vests” mobilizations in France so far. Beyond a characterization of this movement as “inter-class” it provides some important reflections and an orientation that tries to overcome the impasse of this kind of movement.

 

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Soviets in Iran: Is a Revolution Underway?

‘Nuevo Curso’ on the dynamic of resumed workers’ struggles (Haft Tapeh, Foolad Steel)

» We have been following the rise of the class struggle in Iran since last December. At the end of last year a wave of mass strikes spread, crossing the border of Iraqi Kurdistan, to mobilize the whole of the workers in Iran. (1) The workers took to the streets and, what is most important: they did it under their own leadership, without subordinating themselves to the petty bourgeoisie of the bazaar and the university that rejected the movement. This massive and class character of the movement prevented widespread repression and temporarily halted the course towards aggravation of the war in the Middle East. It so much frightened the ruling classes that, when protest mobilizations began in Jordan, all powers allied to inject billions (2) and stop the movement before it reached a maturity similar to that of Iran. «

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Which solidarity with the arrested workers of Haft Tapeh?

A contribution for discussion

The following article from the ‘Arbeidersstemmen’ blog presents some reflections on the actual resumption of proletarian struggles in Iran; on certain echoes to the regime’s persistent attempts at cruelly repressing their upsurge, and on some political lessons to take. It proposes a number of urgent questions for discussion among internationalists.

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The Dilemma’s of Capitalism apropos of ‘Trump’ and ‘Brexit’

Crisis– Conflicts – Struggles – Populism (I.)

In A Free Retriever’s Digest Vol.2#4 (August – September 2018) we have published the introductory section of this article: “Trump and Brexit: A new economic and imperialist orientation?” that sets out the question treated. Hereafter you’ll find the integral article, including its main dish: an introduction into the concept of capitalism’s successive “productive orders”. From this angle of attack reflections are developed on the characteristics of the present period and its perspectives. As the author has revised his overview table of capitalism’s four main productive orders, we include the updated version as an annex.

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Supplement to AFRD #03 (June – July 2018)

The G.I.C. and the Economy of the Transition Period – Introductory Article

As a supplement to issue #03 of A Free Retriever’s Digest we publish a two-part article that introduces the major political–theoretical work of G.I.C., and attempts to clarify the main misunderstandings that still mark its reception. It is freely available for download here. The following presents its summary.

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The Workers’ Councils in Germany 1918-23 (Part 1)

Introduction

‘To think of emancipation’, a century after the global revolutionary wave that began in 1917, is to question the very term emancipation. Who is the subject of this emancipation and who emancipates who, in a struggle that is anything but an ideological game between four walls. This emancipation has its source in the working class (manual and intellectual). It cannot be assimilated to a “struggle of the people”, whose “Cause” would be national and patriotic. ‘To think of emancipation’ in [2018] is to look back at the great proletarian revolutionary insurrections in Russia and Germany and draw lessons from them at the beginning of the third millennium. In doing so, the revolution in Germany from 1918 to 1921 is an essential milestone, since it raised the question of the forms of organization of any revolutionary class struggle: workers councils, workers’ unions, revolutionary factory organizations, factory committees or action committees. Like the Russian Revolution, it raised – albeit to a lesser degree, in the absence of a real takeover of power – the question of socialization of the means of production, and therefore of the abolition of the capitalist system based on profit.

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Iraq: The Sequels of the War against Daesh

Échanges et Mouvement’ on this summer’s mass revolt in Iraq

The Shatt al-Arab is the common estuary of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, more than a kilometer wide, in the proximity of Iran and Kuwait, and with Basra and Abadan as centers on the Iraqi and Iranian side respectively. In the 1950s it was still a prosperous region, not only because of the oil, but also for an incredible ecological riches, adapted to the salty sea water and the fresh water of the rivers, [surrounded by] more than 15 million palm trees and a great agricultural riches.

Three wars (Iraq – Iran 1980 – 1988, the Gulf war of 1990 – 1991 and the Iraq war of 2003), the bloody repression by Saddam Hussein in 1991, the present instability because of the Syrian conflict and the penetration of Daesh have annihilated this prosperity, and have caused irreparable damages to the ecological riches as well as to the agricultural activities. Moreover this annihilation has been aggravated by important punctures of the two rivers’ waters by Turkey, Iran, Kurdistan and the region of Baghdad. An inhabitant of the city of Basra sees it as follows: “Today the canals of the city are prone to filth. The turbines of the electricity plants stand still and the city of oil survives almost without electricity and drinking water. Half of the inhabitants are without a job.”

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Book Presentation: The German-Dutch Communist Left from its Origins to 1968

The 3rd, revised Edition in French (June 2018)

Back cover text

The German-Dutch Communist Left, represented by the German KAPD and AAUD, the Dutch KAPN and the Bulgarian Communist Workers Party, separated from the Comintern in September 1921 because of principled disagreements on all important questions: parliamentarism, syndicalism, united fronts, the Bolshevik party-state using anti-proletarian violence (Kronstadt). This radical current had the audacity to assert that it was not the “communist party”, but the workers’ councils that constituted the finally discovered form of the proletarian dictatorship, and thereby of the communist transformation. It attracted the ire of Lenin, who wrote in June 1920 his famous book on left extremism, “Left-wing” Communism: An Infantile Disorder, (1) to which Herman Gorter delivered a slashing response in his pamphlet Open letter to comrade Lenin. (2)

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A political History of the German-Dutch communist Left (Preface)

The Author’s Introduction to the new Edition (Prepublication)

Despite the theoretical and political renown of Gorter and Pannekoek in the international labor movement, the Communist Left in the Nether­lands is the least known of the left currents that emerged within the II. International, and later joined the Communist International. Their exclu­sion in 1921 from the Komintern wrapped the names that had symbolized the most intransigent internationalism in a veil of oblivion.

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