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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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)
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 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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‘Controverses’: Internationalist Positions on the War in Ukraine
The following statement of the Forum for the Internationalist Communist Left is completed by an updated review list of internationalist statements and analyses produced both by political groups and individuals from diverse backgrounds and tongues. We recommend readers with a mastery of foreign languages, especially of Spanish and/or French, to consult it, as it provides a somewhat broader scope than the selection we present on this site in English. We also would like to encourage readers with language capabilities to contribute crafting proper English translations of the most interesting texts, that may appear both at Controverses and here.
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War in Ukraine: A Salute to Proletarian Internationalism from Argentina
Against Capitalist War!
(La Oveja Negra, March 13, 2022)
In support of the internationalist statement issued by KRAS in Russia at the outset of the military assault on Ukraine, the group around ‘La Ovaja Negra’ (“the black sheep”) in Argentine published an excellent reply underlining the old adagium of the international workers’ movement: the proletarians of the world have no country to defend! We present this statement in the translation by Internationalist Perspective.
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War in Ukraine: An Internationalist Voice from Russia
An interview with KRAS – IWA by Grupo Moiras (Spain)
Grupo Moiras is an anarcho-feminist group in Spain inspired by the ‘Mujeres libres’ of the Spanish Civil War. KRAS is one of the rare groups in Russia, from the anarcho-syndicalist milieu, who has defended a proletarian internationalist position for years. The interview presents the groups’ view on the character and stakes of the present war in Ukraine, on the contradictory positions that divide anarchists in Ukraine, most of whom are siding with the Ukrainian bourgeoisie and its army against the Russian military invasion; on the difficulties of anyone in Russia who tries to protest against the war in face of the military censorship and the brutal state repression of the Putin regime, and on the difficulties of the anarchist milieu in particular.
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Topic: Has Capitalism entered its Decadence since 1914? (V)
Understanding the Decline of a Mode of Production
(Link, February 28, 2022)
The elaborate reply by C.Mcl. ‘In Defense of Historical Materialism – A reply to Link and Aníbal’, (1) has incited one of the protagonists addressed to a first response that we publish integrally here: ‘Understanding the Decline of a Mode of Production’, by Link.
This first part focuses on “the theoretical issues and criticisms raised by C.Mcl., because these issues are key to an understanding of Marx’s historical materialism”, which he esteems is a rather unilateral one with the latter. According to Link, “both the relations and the forces or production have an impact on the decline of a mode of production, not just the one that C.Mcl. believes” – i.e. the production relations. “There is no question that economic decline as a product of internal contradictions can be and is a feature demonstrated in a period of decadence, but to argue that economic decline is the only factor that demonstrates a mode of production is decaying is a rather narrow, dogmatic approach.”
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Putin’s Assault on Ukraine: Internationalist Statements and Analyses
In this post we list a collection of internationalist statements against the war in Ukraine and analyses of its wider significance and stakes for the working class internationally, notwithstanding their variety and inevitable differences in points of departure or conceptions.
We share the concern voiced at the Forum for the internationalist communist Left: “Given the seriousness of the international situation, the weaknesses and the dispersion of the internationalist-revolutionary milieu, it goes without saying that we will support any common position along the lines of the ones we have listed below. Indeed, if there is a paradox to be underlined on this level, it is that each of the groups below brandishes proletarian internationalism loud and clear – which is excellent … but they are withdrawn into themselves and quite incapable of speaking with one voice!”
As not all texts referenced here are yet available in English, this post is subject to updates when they become available. Incidentally a translation of ours has been added on a follow-up page. Suggestions and proposals for internationalist statements are welcome.
The editor, March 5, 2022.
(Last updated: April 17, 2022, Listing closed)
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