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.
Continue reading “Two Internationalist Statements for May 1st”
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.”
Continue reading “The War in Ukraine is just a Chapter of the Permanent Imperialist War”
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”
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)”
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.
Continue reading “No to the Imperialist Mobilization around the War in 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.”
Continue reading “On the Russian (and American?) Invasion of Ukraine”
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)”