Trotsky and the Kronstadt Uprising of 1921

Provisional Council at the Petropavlovsk, Kronstadt, March 1921

The violently crushed Kronstadt uprising of March 1921, followed by the introduction of the NEP, marked a decisive turn in the consolidation of the state capitalist regime that had come to bearing through the October insurrection in Russia 1917. The struggle for “soviets without the communists” (i.e. without the Bolsheviks) led by the insurgent mariners would be the last attempt by the proletarian masses to reconquer political power over the state, whose grip had been strengthened under pressure of the ‘civil war’ in Russia, with its so-called ‘war-communism’, to the detriment of the councils (soviets). Having achieved a military victory over the “white armies” through an unprecedented militarization, the Bolshevik regime was confronted with a plain catastrophe at the economic level, resulting in mass famines and peasant insurrections, like the Makhnovchina in the South. The Kronstadt uprising was the top of the iceberg of a mass movement that had its counterpart among the industrial proletariat. With its defeat, and the subsequent repression of political life, the backbone of the proletarian mass strike in Russia since 1905 was crushed, sealing off the counter-revolutionary involution of the Bolshevik party in power.

The following chapter from his major work Trotsky – the failed Stalin presents the analysis elaborated by the council communist Willy Huhn at the beginning of the 1950s of the role of the Bolshevik party, its leadership and of Trotsky in particular in these key events, with regards to the later political current of “trotskyism”.

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250 years of modern Capitalism: A reconstruction of its dynamics (Part 2)

“I pre-suppose, of course, a reader who is willing to learn something new and therefore to think for himself. […] Every opinion based on scientific criticism I welcome.” (Karl Marx, Preface to the First German Edition of ‘Capital, critique of political economy’, 1867).

Taking up a longstanding concern of Marx’s that he was unable to fulfill, this work in progress treats the development of modern capitalism over the past 250 years, with special attention to the classic country of its origin: Great Britain/the UK, at the hand of examined statistic sources and according to criteria developed by Marx.

With its third chapter: “An economically polarized World” now available in the topics section of this site, our translation is up to date with the work’s version of March 17, 2020 at ‘Capitalisme & Crises Économiques’.

We invite our readers to consult the article through its Table of Contents.

The editor

Iran: A New Wave of Strikes and Workers’ Protests and the Need for Workers’ Solidarity

A Communiqué by ‘Internationalist Voice’ (August 3, 2020)

The following communiqué provides a first time account of the acutely revived workers’ combativity in Iran, despite the corona-virus pandemic hitting the country hard, and the omnipresent state repression and political maneuvering by the local regime. For the first time in recent years, the workers in the oil- and gas industry are massively implied. The communiqué is followed by a brief commentary from ‘Arbeidersstemmen’. We hope to provide more details and analysis on the present struggles in due time.

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Internationalist statements on the wave of protests and riots apropos of US state repression (Spring 2020)

A Rapid Press Overview

In the following we present a number of statements and press releases by groups, circles and authors claiming adherence to (proletarian) internationalism, mostly from US- or North American sources, apropos of the wave of international protests and riots sparked off by the police killing of Mr. George Floyd at Minneapolis (Minnesota). The concise ones have been adopted in full, the longer ones by extracting their conclusion.

The list does not pretend to be exhaustive and is supplemented.

The editor

(Last updated: Monday June 29, 2020)

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Corona-virus Pandemic: Legitimate Mistrust of the Governments

A statement by ‘Arbeidersstemmen’ (March 15, 2020)

The sudden succession of emergency measures taken by all governments in the Western hemisphere, presumably to counter or “control” the spread of the Corona-virus pandemic, as the stock-markets repeatedly crash, a recession of the world economy is underway and public life is increasingly disrupted, pose many questions.

In a first statement the ‘Arbeidersstemmen’ blog tries to take up the most urgent of them, relates the first manifestations of workers’ reactions to the state of emergency in crisis- and virus-ridden Italy, and puts forward some points of reflection to encourage workers of engaging in a collective struggle.

 

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The social struggles in France

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. (1)

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On the pension strikes 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.

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Trade Unions and the Left Against the Mass Strike in Mexico

Lessons from the workers’ struggle in Matamoros

Introduction by ‘Nuevo Curso’

The development of “wild” and mass strikes in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, (1) is the most important class struggle in the Americas in years. We have followed it as closely as we could on our news channels, but only broadly in our journal. (2) Hereafter we publish a summary of the latest events, that was sent to us by a group of comrades from Matamoros, and that is born out of the need to draw lessons in the heat of the struggles. (‘Nuevo Curso’, April 9, 2019)

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A Balance Sheet of the ‘Yellow Vests’ Movement in France

In its second communiqué on the ‘yellow vests’ movement in France the IGCL  provides a balance sheet of its strengths, weaknesses and dilemma’s, together with an updated summary of the situation at the 11th Saturday of demonstrations and their prospects.

2nd Communiqué by the IGCL (January 27, 2019)

The eleventh Saturday of the ‘yellow vests’ movement in France, 26 January 2019, has seen the mobilization continue throughout France. According to the police, there were 69,000 demonstrators across the country. It is nevertheless obvious that this figure is largely underestimated: 2,500 demonstrators in Paris were announced, whereas there were in fact between 8,000 and 10,000 when the two main parades met at 4 pm at the Place de la Bastille. The clashes that subsequently broke out there allowed the police to disperse the crowd that would gather in the square. But the exact number doesn’t really matter. The fact is that this movement of ‘yellow vests’ expresses a rage and a willingness to oppose the growing misery imposed and promised by capitalism and to confront the state, that the bourgeoisie does not succeed to extinguish. Just like the strikes in Iran in 2018 or the mass strike of tens of thousands of workers in northern Mexico as we speak, to mention but a few, (1) the radicalism, combativeness, [and] obstinacy of the ‘yellow vests’ movement signals the degree attained by the class antagonisms, and the fact that we have entered in a new period of massive confrontations between the classes at the global level. This generalized climate of potential social revolt, already partly in action, is essentially the result of the effects of the 2008 crisis, which are still being felt, exacerbating capitalism’s current contradictions of all kinds, political, ecological, imperialist, migratory, social, etc. Today, these contradictions have accumulated and are exploding one after another. In this international climate of general social revolt in the making, the “slowdown of world growth” – to use the words of bourgeois economists – and the risks of a financial and stock market crash can only accentuate this atmosphere of “the end of the world”, the end of the capitalist world to be exact, and bring the current generations of proletarians to the necessity, to consciousness and willingness to oppose capitalism’s misery as well as the generalized war that it is preparing and, finally, to destroy it. The entire capitalist class, at least its most enlightened fractions, is so concerned with this situation that “the eminences gathered at the Davos summit believe that it is time to ‘re-moralize’ globalization (according to Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum) and to seek the paths to a ‘more inclusive’ world economy” (‘Liberation’, 23 January 2019), and that States are already preparing for it both politically and in terms of violent and massive repression.

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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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