Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Nobody gives a damn

This is an extremely tedious Marxist booklet, published by the impressively named International Communist Current (ICC). It really does exist in about a dozen different nations, but the total worldwide membership must nevertheless be minuscule. In the United States, ICC material is distributed by a group called Internationalism. The ICC belongs to the Left Communist or “ultraleftist” tradition within revolutionary Marxism, associated with Anton Pannekoek, Herman Gorter and Amadeo Bordiga. “Communist Organisations & Class Consciousness” is dubbed “Pamphlet No 3” and contains the ICC's views on revolutionary organizing. It's undated, but was probably published circa 1980.

I won't go into the details here, except to note that it's a theoretical text. A large part of it is Marxism 101. Another section criticizes Lenin along the same lines as Rosa Luxemburg and the German KAPD, while nevertheless defending the October revolution and arguing that the Bolshevik party didn't degenerate until somewhat later (presumably around 1921-23, judging by other texts). The booklet ends with a criticism of the ICC's ultraleftist competitors, the Bordigists and the “councilists”. It calls on revolutionaries to intervene in the struggles of the working class in order to develop class consciousness, struggles which are said to be decisive for the world revolution.

Of course, since the ICC really rejected most forms of political activity (unions, labor parties, anti-racist campaigns, feminism, Third World solidarity etc), their “interventions” were limited to leafleting and discussing with workers on wildcat strike. Since ICC never raised any concrete demands, except “spread the strike” (outside the unions), they had zero influence. Most of the time, they simply chewed dogma. During the 1990's, they gave up even these somewhat narrow activities in favor of internal purges of “clans” and “Freemasons” (sic), but I'm digressing…

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