This series has denounced the least visible part (the hidden face) of the organisations of the left and extreme-left of capital (Socialists, Stalinists, Trotskyists, Maoists, official anarchism, the 'new' left of Syriza, France Insoumise, and Podemos). In the first article of the series we saw how these organisations negate a working class that they pretend to defend, in the second we unravelled their method and way of thinking. In this third article we want to analyse their functioning, the internal regimes of these parties and how their functioning is the very negation of all communist principles and constitutes an obstacle to any movement towards these principles.
The ICC adopted the Theses on Decomposition more than 25 years ago. Since then, this analysis of the current phase of society has become a key element in our organisation's understanding of the evolution of the world. The following document provides an update of the Theses on Decomposition with regard to the evolution of the world situation during the last quarter century, and especially in the recent period.
In the context of the impact of decomposition on the life of the bourgeoisie, this report focuses more particularly on the difficulties faced by the bourgeoisie with the rise of populist currents and on the way in which it tries to react to this. It will therefore not deal directly and centrally with the history of populism or with more general issues such as the relationship between populism and violence.
Decomposition and populism
The ICC has not discussed a report on the life of the bourgeoisie since its 17th congress in 2007.
An article written by a close sympathiser which uses the marxist method to try to get to the roots of the American Civil War, a momentous event which still has an impact on contemporary capitalism, and the class struggle, in the USA.
“In the United States of America, every independent workers’ movement was paralysed so long as slavery disfigured a part of the republic. Labour in a white skin cannot emancipate itself where it is branded in a black skin.” (Marx)
Capitalist society, in the final phase of decline, is giving birth to a whole variety of "identity crises". The atomisation inherent in the system of generalised commodity production is reaching new levels, and this applies both to social life as a whole and to the reactions against the increasing misery and oppression spawned by the system.
Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen… the infernal spiral of imperialist conflict continues to plunge the Middle East into the depths of barbarism. This region is a concentration of everything that is most disgusting about decadent capitalism. After decades of instability, invasions, “civil” wars and all kinds of murderous conflicts, Iran is now in the eye of the storm.
Historical framework: the phase of capitalist decomposition
1) By the late 1960s, with the exhaustion of the post-war economic boom and in the face of deteriorating living conditions, the working class had re-emerged on the social scene. The workers' struggles that exploded on an international scale put an end to the longest period of counter-revolution in history, opening a new historical course towards class confrontations, thus preventing the ruling class from putting in place its own response to the acute crisis of capitalism: a Third World War.
We are going to publish a number of documents emanating from the 23rd ICC Congress: reports that were discussed and ratified (or extracts from them) and resolutions that were adopted.
We begin now with two resolutions on the international situation: one on imperialist tensions, the life of the bourgeoisie, and the economic crisis, and one on the balance of forces between the classes. We will also publish in due course a statement by the ICC on the work of the Congress.
Thirty years ago, a terrible, particularly bloody repression took place on Tianenmen Square and in the main Chinese metropoles. The recently-released Tiananmen Papers fully confirm the facts as we published them at the time, detailing a savage repression involving machine-gun fire, round-ups, massive arrests and executions. Today as yesterday we insist that "the police-military terror and the democratic lie are complementary and both strengthen each other".
Like the last two issues of the Review, this one continues the celebration of centenaries of the historic events of the world-wide revolutionary wave of 1917-23.
For the 75th anniversary of the Normandy landings of 6 June 1944, the bourgeoisie has once again pulled out all the stops to exploit all the emotions stirred up by witness accounts of the slaughter and spread its nauseating nationalist propaganda. Yet another parade of the weapons of war, yet another mass spectacle. All the figureheads of the great powers were there, from Merkel to May and Macron, and of course Donald Trump. The aim is to glorify patriotic sacrifice and to justify the bloody carnage in the name of “freedom”.
In the first part of this article we looked at some of the most important developments in the international proletarian milieu after the events of May 68 in France. We noted that, while the resurgence of the class struggle gave a significant impetus to the revival of the proletarian political movement, and thus to the regroupment of its forces, this dynamic had begun to run into difficulties by the beginning of the 80s. We take up the story from this point. This “history” by no means claims to be exhaustive and we make no apology for the fact that it is presented from the ICC’s “partisan” point of view. It can be supplemented in future by contributions from those who may have different experiences and perspectives.
An impossible choice between needing to make a living and needing clean water and good health. In this situation the division in the community created by this impossible choice is particularly destructive because it is dividing a mining community, which means dividing the workers, and when workers are divided they lose the one strength they have to struggle against capital.
We look at the environmental journalist's claim that he is now for the overthrow of capitalism as the only solution to the ecological crisis.