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.

 

‘The economic necessity of imperialism’ (Anton Pannekoek, 1916)

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)”

A Free Retriever’s Digest Vol.5 #1 (January – March 2021)

Contents:

36 pages (A4, pdf)

Available for free download here:

210131 A Free Retriever’s Digest Vol.5 Nr 01

(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)”

Mr. Trump’s ‘Sixth of January’ 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”