«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. () 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.» ()
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.
Continue reading “Critique: The Erring Ways of the ICC on Inter-Imperialist Relations”
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.
Continue reading “The ICT’s Call for Action – Two Kinds of Criticism”
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.
Continue reading “‘Controverses’: Internationalist Positions on the War in Ukraine”
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.
Continue reading “War in Ukraine: A Salute to Proletarian Internationalism from Argentina”
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.
Continue reading “War in Ukraine: An Internationalist Voice from Russia”
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’, () 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.”
Continue reading “Topic: Has Capitalism entered its Decadence since 1914? (V)”
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)
Continue reading “Putin’s Assault on Ukraine: Internationalist Statements and Analyses”
Discussion of Historical Materialism
A Reply to Link and Aníbal – Continued
(C.Mcl., February 2022)
«In general, the dominant historiography “explains” history, the birth and disappearance of civilizations, by the action of “great men”, the fight for ideas, the triumph of certain religions, geophysical factors, external invasions, natural disasters, etc. In short, everything except the recognition that societies are crossed by internal evolutionary dynamics. And if certain historical currents are clearly more interesting insofar as they evoke economic factors or conflicts of interest between social groups, it is never in order to derive a key to the evolution of societies. The reason is simple: if this is the case, capitalism could, like all previous societies, also be crossed by an internal dynamic and not be eternal!
It is quite different for Marxism, if it does not neglect any factor, whether internal or external – even the struggle for ideas, the genius of great men, the influence of certain geophysical factors, etc. – it puts forward three essential elements that articulate them in a hierarchical and coherent whole: (1) societies evolve; (2) their evolutionary dynamics are above all based on issues around material factors (especially economic ones) and (3) factors that are carried and defended by social classes with antagonistic interests. In other words, it is mainly spurred on by the confrontation of the latter (the class struggle) that societies evolve, that is to say by an evolutionary dynamic internal to societies.»
This is the second and last part of an exhaustive reply to contributions and interrogations on the question: Has Capitalism entered its Decadence since 1914? that have been published on this site. The available chapters and paragraphs can be accessed via the hyperlinks below.
Critical comments and contributions are welcome. Please observe the modalities mentioned in the Colophon.
Henry Cinnamon, February 25, 2022.
The translation has been completed. The final two chapters: 6. What are the Real Changes in 1914? and 7. Conclusion have been added on April 9, 2022.
The first part of this reply can be read online here. It can be freely downloaded for offline reading as well: A Free Retriever’s Digest’ Vol.6 Nr.1 Supplement (February 4, 2022)
Continue reading “Topic: In Defense of Historical Materialism (Part II)”