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)

Continue reading “How to understand ‘May 1968’ in France?”

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‘Nuevo Curso’: Proletariat, xenophobia and lumpenization

From Catalonia to the American Midwest, from “Brexiters” and Corsican separatists to Salvini and the German AfD, all over the world the petty bourgeoisie has played a leading role and has directed reactionary “revolts” under the pretext of the crisis… towards nothing. Not enough, it now enters a new and inevitable phase after the clash with reality: it has no alternative, no future to offer society. Its only option is to revitalize the fantasy of the “people”, interclassist entelechy, (1) a crappy and Utopian version of the nation, now turned into a pure delirium, a zombie political subject.

Continue reading “‘Nuevo Curso’: Proletariat, xenophobia and lumpenization”

Bombardment in Syria: What is to be done in face of war?

‘Nuevo Curso’ apropos of the US “surprise attack” of April 14

» We woke up this morning with the news of the allied attack on Syria. The USA, French and British armies have launched more than 100 shells on Syrian soil, including Damascus and Homs. The objectives, according to the official versions, were the sites and arsenals of chemical weapons. The situation had reached a point of no return and all the actors expected an imminent attack. (1)

This attack is another example of the criminal development of war tensions around the world. Each of the imperialist capitalisms both in the region – Syria itself, Turkey, Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Israel, even Greece and Egypt, now in the second row – as well as in the capitalist centers – France, USA, Great Britain, Germany – they see in the Mediterranean Levant a strategic border where their respective ambitions collide. Continue reading “Bombardment in Syria: What is to be done in face of war?”

France: strike at the SNCF, struggles and conflicts in all sectors, students and pensioners’ demonstrations

An intervention by the IGCL (March 28, 2018)

We reproduce the leaflet that the International Group of the communist Left (IGCL) has been distributing in France before the start of the strike of April 3rd at the state railway company, the SNCF, followed by its evaluation in a communique of April 10, after a week of ‘union action days’. (AFRD)

The workers at SNCF are presently suffering a direct attack by the Macron government, meaning: by the state and the French ruling class. The difficulty for French capital is that it happens while various sectors or factories have been on strike these last weeks and months or are passing through more or less open conflicts in the midst of a generalized increasing discontent in front of the many measures adopted by the government. Continue reading “France: strike at the SNCF, struggles and conflicts in all sectors, students and pensioners’ demonstrations”

First Skirmishes of the Massive Confrontations between the Classes

‘Revolution or War’ on the class struggle

» As weak and limited as it may appear at first glance, the international dynamic of workers’ struggles continues on all continents. Without being exhaustive, it is interesting to make a quick list of some of them in order to draw a vision and a general understanding. Greek workers went on a massive strike against Syriza’s imposition of the austerity bill from the European Union. Similarly in Tunisia protests against unemployment and austerity spread throughout the country during the month of January. The masses of workers have not forgotten that such demonstrations led to the overthrow of Tunisian President Ben Ali. In Iran demonstrations erupted throughout the country at the end of December against unemployment and austerity measures. There were 3,500 arrests and three deaths. It was the same in many countries, from India, in Sudan to Iraqi Kurdistan … In December, thousands of demonstrators clashed with the police around the Argentine parliament in Buenos Aires to prevent the adoption of a new ’reform’ against pensions. In January, in Korea Hyundai car workers rejected the agreement signed between management and the union and went on a wildcat strike. It was the same in gold mines in South Africa. At the announcement of the cuts at Carrefour, 28 supermarkets in Belgium went on wildcat strike on January 26. Continue reading “First Skirmishes of the Massive Confrontations between the Classes”

The movement in Iran is a practical refutation of Leninism

A critique of the positions defended by some groups of the communist Left

» The movements of workers in Iran seem to have been ignored for a long time by groups that refer to the internationalist Communist Left. The Spanish group Nuevo Curso who relies on the Spanish Left of De Munis (1) immediately pre­sented the two articles adopted in this ‘Digest’s’ issue: “Mobilizations of workers in the Middle East” (12/29/2017) and Why is the movement in Iran in reflux?(01/03/2018). While, at the time of writing, no analysis is yet available from vari­ous Bordigist groups, the ICT and the ICC have recently presented their analyzes. The ICT de­cided to postpone an English translation of both articles from Nuevo Curso to its forthcoming printed version of Revolutionary Perspectives. On its website it has published an article, “Iranian Protests against Austerity” (2) with some notable differences compared to the texts written by Nuevo Curso. The same differences also appear in two articles of the ICC about the movements in Iran. (3) Such a fraternal unanimity of ICT and the ICC is remarkable, given their years of open mutual hostility.  Continue reading “The movement in Iran is a practical refutation of Leninism”

‘Nuevo Curso’ on the proletarian movement in Iraqi Kurdistan and Iran (2)

Why is the movement in Iran in reflux?

» According to intelligence sources, (1) on Tues­day night the number of rallies was reduced by one third and participation by almost a half. The key is not so much in the threats of Khamenei and the development of the repression, which al­ready amounts to a dozen dead and more than 1000 detainees, “soft” so far in terms of the regime. (2) The key is the failure of the call for strikes last Tuesday.

There were no interruptions in work in the towns, large or small, of the whole country and the mar­kets were as busy as usual (…) the protest move­ment is running out of steam.   Continue reading “‘Nuevo Curso’ on the proletarian movement in Iraqi Kurdistan and Iran (2)”

‘Nuevo Curso’ on the proletarian movement in Iraqi Kurdistan and Iran (1)

Mobilizations of workers in the Middle East

» All the world’s press commented on the refer­endum on the independence of Iraqi Kurdis­tan last September.(1) With more or less agree­ment on its political “opportunity”, in the end ev­eryone celebrated “the will of the people” and “national unity” not without envy. But in reality it was another “fake independence,” an attempt by the Kurdish bourgeoisie to buy time and pro­vide the population with its particular “Ground­hog Day”. (2) The response of the Iraqi govern­ment was to take back the border factually under its control and to take direct control of the large oil fields around Kirkuk. From then on the inter­esting started.   Continue reading “‘Nuevo Curso’ on the proletarian movement in Iraqi Kurdistan and Iran (1)”