A Book Review by Ph. Bourrinet
The history of the council movement seemed a long outdated history after a myriad of studies in the 1960s and 1970s in both parts of Germany, often under very clear ideological banners: democracy versus dictatorship. After a long historiographical slumber on revolutionary events in Germany; after the so-called “collapse of communism”, important studies on the council movement emerged in 2013 with a volume devoted to the Hamburg Workers’ and Soldiers’ Council. () Axel Weipert’s study, published in Berlin in 2015, is a very notable contribution to the new historiography after the downfall of the (Berlin) wall, this time devoted to the “second revolution”, the second phase of the council movement after the January 1919 workers’ defeat in Berlin. ()
Continue reading “Axel Weipert: The Second Revolution. The Council Movement in Berlin 1919-1920” →
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” →
I.O.D. on the threat of war looming over Europe (February 3, 2022)
The following article published by the Istituto Onoratio Damen (I.O.D.) presents a brief summary of the escalation of the stand-off over Ukraine and warmongering talk that took place in the course of the last few months, which has come to dominate even the latest issues and squabbles related to the Corona-virus pandemic. It provides a sober evaluation of this conflagration from an internationalist perspective and an answer to the question whether a major war in Europe is on the agenda.
Continue reading “The Ukrainian Powder Factory” →
Statement of ‘Le Prolétaire’, October 22, 2021.
Faced with the need to cope with the rising infection and hospitalization rates in the current “fourth wave” of the Covid-19 pandemic, and a staggering vaccination campaign, some governments in the western hemisphere increasingly take their resort to measures… not so much of strengthening public health services, but rather of increasing repression, like blackmailing wage earners, who are barred from their workplaces and having their wages suspended, if they do not dispose of the required vaccination status, as for instance in Italy.
The following elaborate statement by the Bordigist group around ‘Le Prolétaire’ analyses an attempt initiated by dockworkers in Italy last autumn to thwart off such an attempt by the state to strengthen its control over the workers (via the “green pass”) – one that however was nipped in the bud rather spectacularly, not only by the usual political and syndicalist maneuvers, but also by the poisonous, if not nefarious, influence of the ‘anti-vax movement’. It also proposes some basic lessons to draw from this defeat that merit discussion.
Continue reading “Lessons from the dockworkers’ strike in Italy against the mandatory ‘Green Pass’” →
Covid-19 Pandemic and government measures: I.O.D. on false controversies about the “Green Pass”
As many European governments see themselves forced to take emergency measures to counter the effects of a renewed upsurge of the pandemic, and prevent ailing health care systems from collapsing, a certain populist resistance against measures like the extension of the “green pass” (or whatever the official proof of
health vaccination status is called) has taken a new upsurge as well. This has translated in demonstrations in a number of countries (f.i. in Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria), more often than not escalating in rioting and deliberate confrontations with the police. As the following statement published by the Istituto Onorato Damen argues at the hand of the situation in Italy, this wave of upheaval passes completely besides the real issues at stake.
Continue reading “Green Pass, yes – Green Pass, no: It’s the triumph of bourgeois ideology” →
Some findings on the present
state of emergency
“This May 1st, 2020 is like no other. Today, no gathering in our cities to celebrate, as we have done for so many years, International Workers’ Day (…). And yet, the spirit of May Day, this spirit of solidarity among workers, has perhaps never been so powerful, so alive. For it is indeed thanks to the work, celebrated on this day, that the Nation holds.”
“Deprived of the rituals (sic) of this day, we feel today all the value, all the meaning. With this strong will: to rediscover as soon as possible the cheerful, sometimes quarrelsome, first of May Days, which makes our Nation. My dear compatriots, we will find them again, these cheerful first of May Days!” () [Little red book of President M. .., to be published?] ()
Continue reading “France: Cheerful and quarrelsome 1st-of-May Days?” →
The strikes that began on December 5 continue in a number of sectors, particularly those related to public services. Readers living outside France should note that there has been a mobilization against the abolition of pension systems in favor of a new system that significantly postpones the effective retirement age and considerably reduces pensions, sometimes by as much as 30%. The strike continues to paralyze a large part of public transport, especially in the Paris region, despite attempts to intimidate, pressure and repress both by the management and managerial staff of striking enterprises (mainly SNCF, national trains, and RATP, metro, bus and a part of the trains in the Paris region) and the police, especially during demonstrations and picket lines. Despite government provocations and media propaganda, the movement still enjoys the support and sympathy of a majority of the population according to polls. ()
Continue reading “The social struggles in France” →
The following communiqué by the International Group of the Communist Left sheds light on the situation and dilemma’s of the pension strikes in France that hold the country in their grip since last autumn. It treats most important questions that the workers and the milieu’s of politicized minorities of the proletariat are confronted with, and provides an account of the groups’ position and implication in this ongoing proletarian struggle.
Continue reading “On the pension strikes in France” →