Wednesday, September 19, 2018

ICC on Poland

International Review is the publication of the International Communist Current (ICC), an organization in the Left Communist tradition. Despite being represented in at least a dozen countries, the ICC is a very small tendency. They are also extremely sectarian, rejecting virtually all forms of political activity apart from unofficial strikes and abstract propaganda for a purist socialist revolution.

This issue of International Review, dated “4th quarter 1981”, deals extensively with Poland, where massive working class struggles against the Communist regime erupted in 1980-81. The ICC, which regarded the Polish regime as “state capitalist” and “counter-revolutionary”, sided with the workers and their strike committees. The main article in this issue is titled “One year of workers' struggles in Poland” and argues in some detail that the Polish crisis confirms the ICC's worldview and political tactics. Another lengthy article, “Class struggle in Eastern Europe 1920-70”, also discusses the 1956 revolt in Hungary. “Notes on the mass strike” discusses Rosa Luxemburg's views on strike struggles and their relevance for the Polish situation.

It should be noted that the ICC didn't support the independent union Solidarnosc headed by Lech Walesa. Quite the contrary, they regarded it as an obstacle to the struggle, since Solidarnosc wanted a negotiated settlement with the regime (or at least claimed that's what they wanted). The ICC is “anti-union” and believed that the union form of organization played the same counter-revolutionary role under Stalinism as it does in Western nations. The alternative to Solidarnosc is to hold on to the independent strike committees and continue the offensive.

International Review (no 27) also contain two shorter pieces, the second part of a long criticism of Anton Pannekoek's “Lenin as Philosopher” and a leaflet against the 1981 border clashes between Ecuador and Peru, plus some comments from the editors. (Curiously, the Ecuadorean leaflet seems to have been signed “ICC” despite being printed by another group.)

This material is definitely not for the general reader, but could perhaps be useful to people who absolutely want to know how various leftist groups (in
cluding obscure ones) reacted to the Polish events in 1980-81. It should be noted that the issue was published before the suppression of Solidarnosc by General Jaruzelski.

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