Russia: About “Anarchists” who forget the principles

Statement approved at a referendum of the members of the KRAS-IWA (Russia)

“We reproduce the following article in solidarity with KRAS, section of the anarcho-syndicalist IWA in Russia. From the beginning of the war in Ukraine members of KRAS have consistently defended the internationalist position, denouncing all sides in the conflict and calling on workers to resist it. (1) For this, they are now being accused by those anarchists who have taken the side of the Ukrainian national resistance of being stooges of the Kremlin.

We can’t help but be reminded of the smears against our comrades in the PCInt who, for opposing all sides in the Second World War and for calling on workers to “desert the war” , (2) were denounced by the Stalinist party of Togliatti as “agents and servants of Hitler”. Back then such smears were used to physically liquidate internationalists.

Once again there is no low to which those who have made their peace with national defencism will not stoop down.” (ICT, June 13, 2022)

In agreement with the foregoing, we have added a translation of the London Anti-War Manifesto of February 1915 to a new documentary section on this site: Proletarian Internationalism against Imperialism and War (Documents), which refers to the historical schism on the question of war that also took place within anarchism apropos of the First World War,

The editor, July 3, 2022.

1 See: KRAS-IWA against the War, Statement of February 25, 2022, and their interview with Grupo Moiras (Spain) of March 13, 2022 (English translation on this site).

2 Read: The Proletariat Opposes the Imperialist War Firmly Resolved to Reach its Own Historical Objectives (Statement from Prometeo, Year 21, 1 November 1943 – the first issue in Italy after the collapse of Mussolini’s central government, with an introduction by the ICT).

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Two Internationalist Statements for May 1st

Hereafter we present two internationalist statements that have been released or circulated at the occasion of this year’s May 1st:

1. War, Poverty, Crisis and Disease: The True Face of the Capitalist System

by ‘No War but the Class War’ Liverpool. Dating from the end of March, this leaflet has again been brought to attention at the occasion of May 1st, documenting the approach by the internationalist action committees that, among others, have been called for by the ICT. In addition, the setup of these committees is explained by “What Are We Fighting For?”

2. Russia, Ukraine, NATO: Pimps of Death

is an anonymous leaflet that attempts to situate the war in Ukraine, denouncing all imperialist rivals who clash in and over Ukraine and highlighting the latest evolution – the current exacerbation of the barbarism of this war.

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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 War in Ukraine is just a Chapter of the Permanent Imperialist War

Introduction Article of I Quaderni dell’Istituto Onorato Damen Nº 1 (April 2022)

“A new dramatic front of the permanent imperialist war has opened in the heart of Europe. At the dawn of February 24, 2022, the Russian armed forces have unleashed their firepower against Ukraine, bombing the main cities of the country and invading the Ukrainian territory from several fronts with hundreds of thousands of soldiers. A war that in the plans of the Russians probably had to last only a few days, given the disparity of the forces in the field, whose prolongation [however] dangerously risks to widen, dragging the whole of Europe into the vortex of the conflict. This is the future that the capitalist system envisages for us, a future made of wars, generalized misery and increasingly precarious living and working conditions.”

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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.

The editor

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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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No to the Imperialist Mobilization around the War in Ukraine!

An international leaflet by ‘Le Prolétaire – Proletarian’ (March 8, 2022)

The following statement treats the, foremost, humanitarian campaigns that are permanently waged in the Western hemisphere, notably in a Europe that has to cope with a massive influx of refugees, mostly women and children, elderly and “foreign nationals”, who escape from the war in Ukraine. There is a real concern among the populations in Europe with those desperately displaced who often not only have fled from their homes, but most tragically also have left their relatives and friends behind, of whom the adult men are drafted into the Ukrainian military. The leaflet attempts to lift the veil of democratic humanitarianism that the ruling classes in the West throw over the grim reality of a barbaric inter-imperialist carnage they are deeply co-responsible for.

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On the Russian (and American?) Invasion of Ukraine

I.O.D. on the war in Ukraine and the proletarian perspective (March 4, 2022)

Overcoming their initial surprise by the Russian state’s assault on Ukraine since last Thursday February 24, I.O.D. has resumed their analysis, and has issued a formal statement on the tangle of interests involved in this worsening conflagration. It goes well beyond any rhetoric about the indubitable Russian culprit versus the “reasonable” rest of the “international community” (minus some distinct renegade states), as a perpetual media campaign in the Western hemisphere will have it. Trying to shed light on the questions: who profits from the crime? and: what is the international situation heading towards? it provides a brief balance sheet of the imperialist contentions and shared interests implicated at world level, and formulates the dire stakes this poses, eventually for the survival of humanity.

Secondly, a concise critical assessment of the situation the world proletariat and its political minorities find themselves in, is set forth, issuing a call for their renewal: to go beyond “the same [old] theoretical and organizational framework of the Third International”, by “taking note of the many changes in the organization and in the international division of labor” since the times of the October Revolution of 1917, in order to proceed to a new systematization of all the elements inherent to the condition of the modern proletariat” in view of “building a new communist party on a world scale.”

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