This is the second and last part of the historical summary article by Ph. Bourrinet on the workers’ councils in the proletarian struggles of 1918 -1923. The first part has been published in A Free Retriever’s Digest Vol.2 #6 (December 2018 – January 2019) and can be read on this web blog as well.
Continue reading “The Workers’ Councils in Germany 1918-23 (Part 2/2)”
‘Nuevo Curso’ on the ramifications of an inter-imperialist stand-off
The Spanish media seem to be infected by the triumphalism of the Venezuelan opposition: “In Venezuela there is no risk of a civil war, 90% of the population wants change”, Guaidó said on the cover of ‘El País’. () And if we were to take the media’s account seriously, Maduro’s regime would fall under the pressure of the demonstrations and the much awaited, but for the moment unseen, defection of the middle cadres of the army. Is that all? Or are there many things that escape from the media’s framework?
Continue reading “How will the Venezuelan crisis end?”
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.
Continue reading “A Balance Sheet of the ‘Yellow Vests’ Movement in France”
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.
Continue reading “Iran: “Lessons from Strikes, Labour Struggles and internationalist Tasks” (Extracts)”
As we understand the general rise in fuel taxes has been withdrawn by the French government and certain categories most in need have been granted a (temporary) financial relieve. Faced with this partial (and possibly temporary) retreat by the French authorities, flanked by measures like attempting to foster a nationwide “social dialogue” while simultaneously trying to turn on the screws of state repression, the “yellow jackets” mobilization in France seems to be in decline.
The following text undertakes an attempt of drawing lessons from this inter-class mobilization in comparison with those that may be drawn from the recent wave of struggles in Iran, which has shown a more clearly pronounced proletarian character, but so far has met relatively few echoes within political milieus claiming adherence to proletarian internationalism.
Continue reading “What workers in yellow jackets can learn from the proletarian struggle in Iran”
‘A Free Retriever’s Digest’ appreciates having a recent blog publication, which evaluates the workers’ struggle in the Near and Middle East (specifically in Iran), adopted in libcom’s news section, with a French translation in addition.
Hopefully, this summary and the balance sheet it introduces (”Iran: What after the repression of the Haft Tapeh workers and the steelworkers in Ahvâz?”) contribute to resuscitate interest in the situation of these recent (waves of) struggles and the questions they pose to the workers’ struggle in this region and internationally.
Continue reading “Editorial Note (January 12, 2019)”
An article summary
The following theses give an introductory summary to the article Iran: What after the repression of the Haft Tapeh workers and the steelworkers in Ahvaz? published in full length on the author’s Libcom blog.
The struggle of Haft Tapeh in Shûsh and of the steelworkers in Ahvâz (Iran) seems to have come to an end. This is a moment to learn the lessons of the five waves of proletarian struggles that shook the Middle East in 2018. In the next wave of struggles the previous steps will be repeated. When their lessons are learned – and integrated with those of the revolutionary wave of 1917-1923; the next steps will be accomplished with a heightened mass consciousness, with an improved mass organization and for higher class goals. The proletarians in the Middle East have not yet become conscious of it, but the struggle to defend their livelihood, turning itself against the imperialist war, is developing towards a revolution compared to which the overthrow of the Shah regime in 1979 was only child’s play.
Continue reading “Theses on the 2018 proletarian struggles in the Near and Middle East and their prospects”
A statement by ‘Nuevo Curso’ (December 23), introduced by the IGCL
We publish the statement of ‘Nuevo Curso’ (Spain) on the present state of the yellow vest struggle in France following the demonstration on Saturday 22 December. Even if we do not necessarily share all the formulations used by the comrades – a certain number would need clarification – we agree both with the fundamental analysis of the movement itself, the limits of its original inter-class character; and with [that of] its dynamics, which are now in decline after five weeks of mobilization. The fundamental factor explaining this decline is the absence of a relay taken over and ensured by the working class as such and the takeover by the French bourgeoisie and its State of a situation that had surprised and escaped it at least until the eve of Saturday, December 8. This is the main lesson that the workers’ component of the yellow vests and the entire proletariat in France must learn from this unprecedented mobilization. The other lesson we must all learn, the revolutionaries in particular, is that the massive confrontations between the classes we have openly entered now will be extremely violent as a result of the massive and brutal repression used by the States, including in countries with a “democratic tradition”.
Continue reading “Time to surpass the ‘Yellow Vests’ Moment”