Meanwhile, at Iran’s backdoor…

About the creation of a Chinese-Russian bloc

The following article attempts to contribute to a discussion on the danger of the present imperialist tensions, conflicts and regional wars escalating into a world war. It criticizes positions taken by some internationalist groups who, while fully acknowledging the historic disintegration of both imperialist blocs of the “Cold War” period, tend to deny the possibility of an effective (counter-) tendency towards the formation of new imperialist blocs in a course towards a third world war, and/or fail to identify the latter.

Against the ICC’s theory of “decomposition, the highest stage of capitalism’s decadence” (1990), the author argues that a tendency towards “re-composition” of imperialist blocs is expressed by the formation of a new anti-US bloc around the axis Moscow-Beijing, strongly involving Iran as a regional power in its stand-off with the USA. It is claimed that this view is compatible with the approach of the question by the ICC’s proclaimed political ancestor, the Gauche Communiste de France (GCF) in 1946.

The article highlights some confusion in the joint declaration recently issued by the GCCF and Internationalist Voice, which has been inspired by the particular theory of capitalism’s “decomposition”. Last but not least, it calls for an open discussion at international meetings among “organizations from the communist Left” that need to be “invited on the basis of clear criteria”.

The Editor

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Freedom, Equality and Solidarity in the Dutch Health Care System

An Essay by Fredo Corvo

According to a critical commentary in this review, an article by ‘Nuevo Curso’ apropos of the self-chosen death of Noa Pothoven (a severely traumatized Dutch youngster) suggests that “‘(state) assisted suicide and euthanasia’ would be routinely practiced in the Netherlands by way of a cynical reply of the bourgeoisie and its state to a degradation of the country’s health service, to the extent of constituting ‘a real mass crime’ committed against the ‘damaged and unproductive’ and the elderly in particular”. (1)

The following essay takes up the challenge that “a debate among those who adhere to the cause of proletarian emancipation should also take into account that certain moral dilemmas based on the development of medical science and technology, demographic developments like increases in life expectancy, and changing patterns of need for cure and care, will not somehow be automatically resolved after a proletarian revolution, but will have to be taken up by the proletarians collectively under qualitatively different conditions.” (Ibid.)

From a layman’s point of view, this essay examines qualitative developments in medical care in the field of technology, medical ethics and budget cuts. However, in order to analyze the financial results of measures taken by the Dutch state for each medical condition, the expertise of a medical economist would be required.

 

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First Congress of Emancipación: One step forward, two steps back

At the end of June, Emancipación held its first congress. With this, the publisher of Nuevo Curso’, which releases a new article almost every day, has shifted its ambitions from the Spanish-speaking region to a global scale, from an organization around basic positions to one that puts forward slogans and statements to the actual situation. However, this step forward is not without problems related to the historical origins of this organization from what is often called the Spanish Communist Left around Grandizo Munis.

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‘Nuevo Curso’ apropos of a failure of ‘youth care’ in the Netherlands

The following presents an article by ‘Nuevo Curso’ apropos of the tragic suicide of a youngster, that was immediately subjected to an international media campaign on “state sponsored euthanasia” in the Netherlands. Our commentary shows how easily one can fall into hawking a rant, when not observing minimal standards of verification. In a separate topic article we present the results of a first examination of official mortality statistics in this country by medical end-of-life decisions over the period 1995 – 2015.

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On the escalation of imperialist tensions in the Persian Gulf

Faced with the escalation of the imperialist tensions over the Persian Gulf area, highlighting the confrontation between the USA, Iran and their respective allies, we adopt a recent update article from the ICT website, followed by a joint declaration by two other proletarian internationalist groups; the ‘Gulf Coast Communist Fraction’ (USA) and ‘Internationalist Voice’.

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Robin Goodfellow in the Land of the ‘Yellow Vests’

A critique by the Pantopolis blog (March 15, 2019)

We are happy to [refer to] the latest text from the group Robin Goodfellow (RGF). (1) Coming from the Bordigist camp, it has striven to always be in tune with the class struggle, despite the desperately academic tone of its publications.

This text shows a positive spirit of openness towards the movement of the ‘yellow vests’, in which proletarians predominate. Contrary to some sects falsely laying claim to left-wing communism, Robin Goodfellow did not spit on the movement, quite the contrary. These sects did, by the way, not manifest an “aristocratism” of revolutionary “purists”, but rather the ubuesque (2) holy fear of micro-bureaucrats, ready to hide under their beds at the first signs of serious confrontation with the “forces of order”, shamefully describing the healthy reaction of the yellow vests to the terrible force of the capitalist state (3) as “useless violence.”

The text of Robin Goodfellow is very precise on the classes, or rather the heterogeneous layers that have intervened in the movement of the ‘yellow vests’. It deserves to be welcomed for demonstrating that, in the ‘yellow vests’ movement, the proletariat is very much present (workers, employees), even as a vast majority.

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Marxist-Humanism at the crossroads

A Press Review on the inter-imperialist standoff about Venezuela

After the fuss about the failed “humanitarian” aid operation, the economic crisis and the boycott by the United States drag on. As usual, the proletarians in particular suffer from a lack of basic necessities and medicines. In this case, they are also called upon to defend the interests of one of the two groups within the ruling class of Venezuela, those around the incumbent president Maduro (supported by the corrupt army summit, Russia, China, Turkey and Iran) and the self-proclaimed interim president Guaidó (supported by entrepreneurs and the US and — in an unprecedented action — the EU). This false choice is fought by (as far as known) all publications that defend the standpoint of proletarian internationalism, that is, those who invoke the Communist Left against both Stalin’s ‘socialism in one country’, and against the defense of the Soviet Union by most Trotskyists as a ‘workers state’, despite its ‘degeneration’ and ‘bureaucratization’, later followed by a ‘critical’ defense of the Eastern European ‘popular democracies’ and other ‘socialist’ countries that participated in the Russian bloc.

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Iran: “Lessons from Strikes, Labour Struggles and internationalist Tasks” (Extracts)

A balance sheet by ‘Internationalist Voice’ (January 2019)

The following extracts from the balance sheet “Lessons from strikes, labour struggles and internationalist tasks” give interesting information on the backgrounds of the Shora (or: councils) that have existed during the workers’ struggles at Haft Tappeh in Iran’s Khuzestan province during last year. The text itself expands more broadly on several proletarian struggles in 2018, concluding each with an evaluation of positive and negative features as lessons for the future. The struggles are analyzed from the theoretical background of the group ‘Internationalist Voice’, who declares itself close to the ICT and the ICC.

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The IGCL on Marxism and the National Question

» The end of 2017 was marked by the renewal of nationalist quarrels in Europe. After Scotland, and Flanders in Belgium, Catalan separatism resurfaced in its turn, as did, to a lesser extent, Corsican separatism. These independence movements affecting ‘old capitalist nations’ follow the creation of new nations after the explosion of the Eastern bloc, the Baltic countries, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, former Yugoslavia. Very often, these nationalist movements are supported by extreme right-wing parties, but not always (Catalonia and Scotland). (1) What do these nationalist movements represent and what are the stakes, and especially what danger do they pose to the international proletariat, and particularly that of the countries or regions under consideration? «

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How to understand ‘May 1968’ in France?

« The struggles of May-June 68 in France have been part of a general wave of labor disputes and protests of various kinds (student claims, protests against the multiple wars in the world, a search for different values ​​and ways of life…) that flourished from the second half of the 1960s until the beginning of the 1970s. All these conflicts expressed the accumulated tensions in society after two decades of very vigorous growth that jostled all the ideas and structures in place. They manifested to the highest degree the contradictions between the rapid development of the productive forces and the obsolete nature of the superstructures that coordinated them: economic, political, ideological, legal, family, cultural, moral super-structures, etc. These blatant inadequacies are at the basis of the explosion and the radical character of all these movements, not in the sense of an exit from capitalism – a perspective that was shared only by a very small minority at that time – but in the sense of challenging old structures that are not adapted to the new realities of the post-war period. The article The significance of the struggles from 1966 to 1972” tries to draw up its tableau. Its first part is devoted, on the one hand, to the critical discussion of explanations commonly put forward to understand these events and, on the other hand, to lay the foundations of a coherent alternative explanation. »

(From the presentation of Controverses No. 5, May 2018)

The full version of this article has first been published in French on the Controverses website on May 11, 2018: La signification des luttes de 1966 à 1972. Hereafter we present an abridged version by the author. (Note from the editor)

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