100 years ago, in March 1919, the first congress of the Communist International (CI) was held: the founding congress of the Third International. If revolutionary organisations did not have the will to celebrate this event, the foundation of the International would be relegated to the oblivion of history. Indeed, the ruling class does not want the working class to remember its first great international revolutionary experience of 1917-1923, a revolutionary wave which was the international proletariat's response to the slaughter of the First World War. And the founding of the Communist International in 1919 represented the culmination of this first revolutionary wave...
After waves of popular protests in Algeria demanding the resignation of president Bouteflika and his clique, the former president seems to have finally given in to the pressure of his “people”. But the working class in Algeria should not believe in fairytales. In this “popular” national unity that aims to chase out a hated clique of leaders, the proletariat is in danger of abandoning its struggle as a class against the roots of exploitation and misery ...
US factory, 1820-30
In the first part of this series we looked at the birth of the proletariat in North America and its earliest struggles, showing how black chattel slavery was introduced as part of a strategy to divide black and white workers along racial lines. The second part exposed some of the myths surrounding the birth of democracy in America. In this third part we look at the first attempts by the US working class to organise itself into trade unions and political parties and the first mass struggles of this early workers’ movement against American capital.
It is not enough to examine the mounting threat to life on this planet through the lens of ecology, or the natural sciences, alone. To understand the underlying causes of ecological devastation, and the possibility of reversing it, we have to understand their connection to the existing social relations, to the economic system that governs the earth: capitalism. And for us that means using the only really scientific approach to understanding the structure and dynamics of human society – the method of marxism. One excellent point of departure here is Engels’ 1876 essay ‘The part played by labour in the transition from ape to man’, an unfinished movement that has been included within a broader unfinished symphony, The Dialectics of Nature".
Stalinism turned Lenin into a "harmless icon"
In the first part of this series we saw that the programme of the parties of the left and far left of capital for transforming capitalism into a "new society" leads to nothing more than an idealised reproduction of capitalism itself. Worse still, the view of the working class they present is a total denial of its revolutionary nature. In this second article, we will look into the thinking of these parties and their method of analysis, especially by those that consider themselves the "most radical".
Acknowledging the bankruptcy of the Second International and basing itself on all the work of the reconstruction of international unity started at Zimmerwald in September 1915, then Kienthal in 1916, the Communist International was founded on March 4 1919 in Moscow.
The ICC lays claim to the contributions of the Communist International (CI). Consequently this centenary is an occasion both to salute and underline the inestimable work of the CI in the history of the revolutionary movement, but equally to draw the lessons of this experience and draw out its weaknesses in order to arm the proletariat of today for its future battles.
Anti-Bolshevik propaganda poster 1919
In the first part of this article we highlighted the response of all the great imperialist powers to stem the revolutionary wave and prevent it from spreading in the major industrialised countries of Western Europe. In this article we look at the decisive contribution of social democracy to this reactionary project, and of Stalinism as one of the worst products of the isolation and defeat of the world revolution.
We fully share the concern and indignation of these tens of thousands of young people, but we must ask ourselves whether this movement, in its objectives, approaches and methods, is a real struggle to solve the problem, or whether it is a trap that can only lead them to discouragement and bitterness about being used and misled.
Brazil is wracked by increased repression, growing poverty and greater insecurity, further attacks on workers, threats of war and risks of chaos, all linked to the new president, Jair Bolsonaro, who took office on 1 January, 2019. Bolsonaro symbolises the epoch in which we are living which produces the most sinister and repugnant elements. It is a law that we can be sure will be verified, whatever the political moves of the new president: the exploited will pay more than their predecessors and the crisis of capitalism will only get worse...
The confrontation between the bourgeois factions in Venezuela - between Chavismo and the opposition parties - has undergone a qualitative leap since the beginning of 2019. It takes place in a context of an unprecedented worsening of the economic and social crisis, the most evident sign of which is the increase in poverty experienced by a large part of the population. But it is part of a scenario marked by worsening rivalries between the great powers - some giving their open support to the regime of Nicolás Maduro, others to the proclaimed interim president Juan Guaidó. The US threat, as voiced by senior officials and Donald Trump himself, does not exclude a US military intervention, using "humanitarian aid" as a justification. Support for Nicolás Maduro has come mainly from countries such as Russia and China, the main allies of Chavismo. However, rather than a direct military confrontation between the great powers, the potential danger lies in the use of the population and workers as cannon fodder in a war between bandits.
For the last two months, the question of the ecological catastrophe threatening our planet has been at the centre of attention in Belgium. With the march on 2 December 2019, which brought together 75,000 people in Brussels, this mobilisation around climate change has taken on an unprecedented breadth.