We are publishing here large extracts from a reader who, while welcoming the overall approach of the leaflet on the Yellow Vest movement distributed by our section in France also criticises certain of our positions, in particular the idea that nothing good for the proletariat can come out of this inter-classist movement. These questions touch on extremely important aspects of the proletarian struggle: what is the working class, its struggle, its perspective.
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The real, organised, systematic violence on the streets of France in recent weeks was that unleashed by the state which had encountered the anger of "the people" folowing years of austerity. But this "popular revolt" of all the "poor" of "working France" who can't "make ends meet" is not as such a proletarian movement, despite its sociological composition, as the following article explains.
In the increasingly poisonous atmosphere of conflict and crisis in the Middle East, the ICC welcomes the appearance of the following article which is one of the rare expressions of a genuinely internationalist standpoint emanating from inside Israel. The author takes up the marxist position that all national struggles and slogans in the epoch of capitalist decline have become reactionary, and does not hesitate to argue that the only way out of the trap created by imperialism in Israel-Palestine is the unification of Israeli and Palestinian workers on a class basis, leading towards a proletarian revolution against all bourgeois states.
In 2008, the financial crisis which hit the United States hard, with several banks failing one after the other, suddenly plunged millions of proletarians into misery. Among the main symbolic characters of the banking sector, Lehman Brothers, one of the great pillars of the American economic system, quickly fell into bankruptcy, provoking panic throughout the entire international banking system of which it was one of the star players. Today, when the threat of new financial storm appears again on the horizon, the media have a launched a devious propaganda around the ten-year anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers.
October 10, two truck drivers from Seine-et-Marne launched an appeal on Facebook for November 17, entitled: "National blockage against the rise in fuel prices". Their message spread very quickly on social media, attracting up to 20,000 "interested" people while initiatives and appeals multiplied. Without trade unions or political parties a whole series of actions, rallies and blockades were spontaneously organised.
Our comrade Elisabeth has left us at the age of 77. She died from breathing difficulties which provoked a cardiac arrest, on the night of Saturday/Sunday 18 November.
The first part of a series looking at the detrimental political and organisational impact that parties of the extreme left of capital - including Socialist and Communist parties, Trotskyism, Maoism, official anarchism and the so-called "New Left" of Syriza or Podemos - exert on the proletariat's revolutionary organisations.
The ICC held public meetings in a number of cities across several countries to coincide with the 50th anniversary of May 1968. The idea that May 68 had signalled the development of a wave of struggles internationally was generally of no surprise to those present. But paradoxically, it was still not considered the case that May 68 marked the end of the long period of counter-revolution that resulted from the defeat of the first world revolutionary wave and which, at the same time, opened a new course towards class confrontations between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat...
In August Internationalist Voice posted a position on the ICC's web forum on the wave of protests in the Middle East affecting the countries of Jordan, Iran and Iraq. Here is a response from a close sympathiser of the ICC.
It's been estimated that between 300 and 500 people were massacred by the army on October 2 1968 on Tlatelolco Square. While the exact number, and still less the official list of the victims, is unknown to this day, the bourgeoisie has been able to exploit its own crimes, as the recent elections and commemorations around the fiftieth anniversary of the massacre demonstrate...
A hundred years ago we were at height of the world revolutionary wave – more precisely, the outbreak of the revolution in Germany, a year after the proletariat took power in Russia, in October 1917.
“100 Years ago, the proletariat made the ruling class tremble”. This title may sound odd today because this immense historical event has more or less been consigned to oblivion. The bourgeoisie has succeeded in erasing it from the memory of the working class. And yet in 1918, all eyes were on Germany – a source of hope for the proletariat, and of fear for the bourgeoisie.
The working class had just taken power in Russia. 1917. The Bolsheviks. The soviets. The insurrection...
Germany was the bolt on the door between East and West. A victorious revolution here would open the way to the revolutionary class struggle throughout the old continent of Europe. None of the bourgeoisies wanted to see this door unbolted. This is why the bourgeoisie was to direct all its hatred, and all its most sophisticated manoeuvres, against it. The revolution in Germany would determine the success or failure of the world revolution which had begun in Russia...
We are publishing here a response to the analysis drafted by Emma Goldman (1869-1940) in the first years after the October 1917 revolution. After her expulsion from the United States in January 1920 she spent two years in Russia, then published three books: “I consider then, and still consider, that the Russian problem is entirely too complex to speak lightly of it”, she wrote in the introduction to her first book. We are responding to Emma Goldman because she was a central figure of the revolutionary workers’ movement in the United States at the time of the First World War. Because of her determination to defend a clearly internationalist position against the war she was nicknamed “Emma the Red - America's Most Dangerous Woman” by the American ruling class. But there are other reasons to examine Goldman's positions in more detail...
On November 4 1918 the sailors of Kiel on the Baltic coast mutinied, refusing the order to engage in yet another futile naval battle. Within days armed workers’ and soldiers’ councils were springing up all over Germany. This revolt spelt the end of the imperialist slaughter: the bourgeoisies of the world, who had been at each others’ throats for four long years, now united to face a bigger threat: the extension of the proletarian revolution from Russia to the most industrialised countries in Europe.
A century after, the German revolution has almost been written out of history. It is still in the interests of our rulers to present the revolution in Russia as a purely Russian affair and to pretend that the world revolution was and is an idle dream. And yet the revolution in Germany showed that it was indeed a possibility, despite its failure. It is up to us to draw its principal lessons for future revolutionary movements of the working class, and this will be the main focus of the meeting.
Below are some lengthy extracts from an article in our territorial press of the ICC section in Mexico.
The electoral campaign, running from 2017 to June of this year, has been so overpowering and invasive that it succeeded in turning out 56 million people to vote. This represents the highest level of participation in the history of the country. Everything has been done to feed the image of democracy and elections among the population, in particular among the exploited...