We are publishing here an article written by our comrades of Internacionalismo, the ICC's section in Venezuela, in which our organisation takes a position from the viewpoint of the international proletariat on the serious crisis which is hitting the country. Within this we denounce the hypocrisy of the world's bourgeoisie and its complicity with both the Chavist clique and the opposition which have plunged the proletariat and the population as a whole into the most barbaric conditions. Our comrades analyse how Chavism, a product and expression of the decomposition of the capitalist system, uses an ideological swindle of "the socialism of the twenty-first century" which is set up on the basis of an attack against the living conditions, consciousness and combativity of the proletariat. Similarly, they analyse how inter-imperialist tensions are a factor which contributes to aggravating the crisis. The article gives the perspective that the only possible outcome to the barbarity of the situation of Venezuela and the entire world continues to remain in the hands of the proletariat which, through its conscious struggle, can aim to overthrow the capitalist system which is plunging us into chaos and despair.
The escalation of the push towards Catalan independence and the difficulties of the Popular Party government, and more generally the whole of the state, in dealing with this problem through a framework of agreements and negotiations, represents an important political crisis for the Spanish bourgeoisie. It has thrown the “1978 consensus”up in the air (i.e. the rules of the game that the state has followed since the democratic transition in 1975). And this is a state which has already been greatly weakened by the crisis of two party rule – the tandem of the PP and the PSOE (Spanish Socialist Party) - and the difficulty to provide an alternative through the formation of new parties (Podemos and Ciudadanos).
On the first of October the masses who had been led by the Catalan separatists to the farce of the referendum were brutally beaten by the police dispatched by the Spanish government. Both Madrid and the Catalan authorities covered themselves in the mantel of democracy in order to justify both the vote and the repression. The Catalan separatists have presented themselves as the victims of repression in order to advance their call for independence. The Rajoy government has justified its repression in the name of defending the Constitution and the democratic rights of all Spaniards. The “neutrals” (Podemos, the Party of Ada Colau,etc.) have declared that democracy is the means for containing Rajoy and “finding a solution” to the Catalan conflict.
Saturday 11 November 2017, May Day Rooms, 88 Fleet Street, London EC4Y 1DH, 11am to 6pm
One hundred years after the October insurrection in Russia, we will be holding a day of discussion about the relevance of the Russian revolution for the class struggle today. We will look at its historic importance as a first step towards the world revolution against capitalism, at its huge political and organizational achievements, as well as the tragic process of its degeneration and defeat.
Presentations will be given both by the ICC and the comrades of the Internationalist Communist Tendency. We also hope that the debate will include other groups and individuals who are trying to understand history - and what the future holds in store for us - from the standpoint of the working class.
An overview of the international situation reveals the accentuation of barbarism and global chaos. The disturbing series of terrorist attacks during the summer, striking once again at the heart of the capitalist world, alongside the missile-rattling over North Korea and the endless wars in the Middle East, illustrate this tragically.
The events in Charlottesville Virginia in August highlighted the revival of “classical” fascism, which has developed in numerous countries as an extremist wing of populism. The white supremacist gangs which assembled in Charlottesville have flourished in the poisonous atmosphere released by the election victory of Donald Trump, whose comments after the murder of the anti-fascist protester Heather Heyer were widely condemned as a thinly-veiled apology for the far right. In Greece, the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party has evolved a long way beyond the small groups of plotters which have usually been associated with nostalgia for Hitlerism. In Hungary, the anti-semitic, anti-gypsy and anti-Muslim Jobbik party is very close to the populist government headed by Viktor Orban. These groups can no longer be understood as merely a kind of bugbear used by the left to bolster support for democratic values, a view which had a definite validity in previous decades. Unlike the 1930s, they are not serious candidates for direct government office in the centres of world capitalism, but their closeness to the populist parties and governments means that part of their agenda is being taken into account by a number of ruling parties. More important, they act as a factor of division, intimidation and outright pogromist attacks on the street.
The Duterte regime has been in power for more than one year now. Since Duterte’s election more than 13,000 (mostly poor people) have been being killed by the state police in his “war on drugs”.
Despite these widespread killings, there are no massive and widespread condemnation and protests among the poor people, even by the victims’ families and relatives. Instead apathy and fear prevail. A significant portion of the population, even among the poor, felt “relieved” that these “outcasts”, “evils” of society have been eliminated. Even though it is accepted that there are many innocent victims, there is a significant acceptance among the population that this is “justified collateral damage” for the interest of a general cleansing. And the (admittedly manipulated) surveys by bourgeois institutions claim that Duterte enjoys “excellent trust ratings”.
On Sept. 7, the Moon Jae‐In government and the United States coercively deployed Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) on Sungju-gun Sogong‐ri against most of the Korean people’s opposition including the residents. The deployment of the THAAD in South Korea does not contribute to a resolution of issues on nuclear weapon of North Korea and the peace of East Asia. It is just a hypocritical security game. It is not only a programme heightening the threat of war for the sake of US imperialist force but also a scheme to assign South Korea at the front of imperialist war.
We once again confirm that the purpose of North Korea's nuclear weapons development is a genocidal massacre against civilians, especially the working class, even though North Korea insists that the nuclear weapon is a guarantee of its regime. In addition, we never forget that the only force using the nuclear weapons which slaughtered civilians indiscriminately in the war was US imperialism. History has shown that the two systems, which are different in the Korean peninsula, are the same in terms of the exploitation of the working class and are the absolute enemy of the working class. Workers should not take either side.
With the threats to attack the US Pacific island of Guam or targets on the American continent, with missiles flying over Japan, and the threat to defend itself with nuclear weapons in case of a US attack, the showdown between North Korea and the US has reached a new stage. The US threatens to respond with their whole arsenal of military, economic and political weapons: President Trump talks about visiting North Korea with “fire and fury” if the US or any of its allies are attacked by the regime. The risk of the use of nuclear weapons puts the stakes much higher than ever before and poses a direct threat to some of the biggest metropoles of Asia – Seoul, Tokyo, etc. The recent military steps by the US and its allies South Korea and Japan (in particular the installation of the new THAAD missile systems in South Korea) have sharpened the confrontation between the US and China and pulled other countries even more into this maelstrom.
How can we explain these events in Korea and what do they mean for humanity?
In October 1917, after three years of unspeakable carnage on the battlefields, a beacon of hope in the fog of war: the Russian workers, having overthrown the Tsar in February, now deposed the bourgeois Provisional Government which had replaced him but which insisted on carrying on with the war “until victory”. The Soviets (workers’, soldiers’ and peasants’ councils), with the Bolshevik party at the fore, called for an immediate end to the war and appealed to the workers of the world to follow their revolutionary example.
In Le Proletaire number 519, the publication of the Parti Communiste Internationale (PCI), there's a critique of our article "Attacks in Paris, down with terrorism! Down with war! Down with capitalism!"
We want to support the PCI in making this polemic. Such polemics within the revolutionary milieu have always been the life-blood of revolutionary combat. Too infrequent today, they are nonetheless precious, notably between organisations which defend the principles of the communist left. Such attempts are indispensable for political clarification.
In that spirit, we are responding the PCI critique here.