On the ICC

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The following text was written within the context of a discussion that was initiated on the website: http://leftcommunistnetwork.freeforums.org/

The intention from my part was to be a small input with the work of cleaning the Augean stables.

A proletarian note!

On the ICC

What Devrim and Link have written about their course of entry and exit from the ICC inspired me to put together some of my earlier thoughts, which I have been carrying for years since my exit from the same organization. Perhaps this can be considered a sort of my introduction to the forum, where I’m trying to approach the problematic of the ICC from its relation to the question of organization. The main intention is to start an open discussion about the status of the proletarian Marxist tendency, including the Left communism related to the third international. One might argue that the issue is not actual considering the ongoing system crisis in the capitalist world as a galvanization aspect of changing reality. Just a little political comparison between Marxism and its historic counterpart Anarchism, as two different political philosophy in the proletarian movement, must be enough to convince everyone, how Anarchist or anarchist-inspired movements are growing everywhere; As Barbara Epstein (of course from a Leftist outlook) pointed out some years ago, at least in Europe and the Americas, it has by now largely taken the place Marxism had in the social movements of the ’60s: the core revolutionary ideology, it is the source of ideas and inspiration; even those who do not consider themselves anarchists feel they have to define themselves in relation to it.

So critically touching the ICC issue, as case study and validation point, may help us find out about the weakness in the Marxist tendency is suffering as a proletarian movement. In my view, one of main reasons to Anarchism’s flourishing is the historic and objective absence of any organizational question which on the contrary functions as a starting and ending point for the Marxist tendency. In this respect, the history of the ICC is the history of unfinished organizational crisis’ which has been running parallel to its decades of existence.

My entry point to the ICC took place in early 1990s, after a long and unnecessary process and procedure of discussions, communications and preparation from 1985 to 1991, and ended in 1994, in connection with the power struggle started in the central organs, which unlashed another internal crisis in the history of the ICC. Theoretically I had differences, on number of “theories or views” on the question of parasitism, the course of history, the bourgeoisie left in the opposition, the councilism as a real danger, on the role of the vanguard as interventionism…. However the origin of crises, organizational management of it and its further development to character and political elimination of members, including from central organs, and declaring an open war against opponents under the disguised method of “struggle against clan, circle and Guru mentalities”, i.e. “the Pavilion clan,” and the way the whole organization from top of the pyramid imposed and applied this throughout the organization by forcing and manipulation with series of pre defined or supposedly proposed resolutions and interventions. Sadly, the ugly and dirty war of discrediting, disabling and finally passivated opponents and other unclear members was coined as the continuation of “Marx’s and Lenin’s “struggle for defense of the party spirit. Everybody had to stand up and dance with the music for the “party spirit”! Thus, my exit finalized when the whole of this craziness and exorcism, at least on the surface, left me with two options to choose:

Stay inside and become part of the game and completely demoralized.

Leave the group and escape from the irrationality of the deeps of power struggle rooted in the system of organization, which is capable of applying any means to save itself as a single unite: i.e. the organization for the sake of the organization: which normally demands a single leadership, in ICC’s case it has to be invisible one, as unified single unit and voice.

The concept of organization for the ICC was building around two major inter connected concepts: A- monolithic structure: the application of a monolithic (center) structure for the system of internal function.

B- (driven from a) sectarianism: externally avoidance of any kind of anchoring in the class struggle of the proletariat through the tactic and strategy of so-called interventionism, over more than four decades of physical existence.

It is in this context and from composition of these two inter-related concepts that arises an embedded characteristic of an organization resting on the monolithic center which has functioned as the strength within the group for so many decades of existence in facing all changes and crisis that has occurred both in the capitalist world and in its internal static structure. Regardless of how much idealistically they claim to be a part of the proletariat, in reality, as a sect, the ICC’s means and aims were and are to sustain its own structures, at any cost: discrediting the remaining lessons of the historical struggle of the class through the Marxist communist tendency from the first international onwards.

The confusion around the range of episodes for those internal crises, followed by members, individually or regrouped, breaking with the group must be seen in this framework of organizational form: monolithic centrism and sectarianism. Any so-called “theoretical” presentation from this kind of activity is obliged to be born futile: in the Marxian tradition of proletarian movement, the theory and practice are processed and generated in the process of class struggle on historically objective manner. An organization which tactically and strategically established distances to the class movement and its socio-political expressions, e.g. strikes, demonstrations, campaign…, even when it succeeded in delivering a kind of “theoretical” work, unconditionally this effort is useless for the proletarian movement, which misses practical and material connectivity to this type of theoretical framework. Moreover, the appearance and development of class consciousness, partly is generated inside the vanguard minority. However, the organizational tools for processing the level of political and theoretical achievements demand an organizational structure ready and available for this kind of elaboration: raising, constructing and establishing different theoretical and political views and perspectives inside the proletarian movement. These kind of organizational tools are alien for Monolithic structure such as ICC. The relationship and connectivity of an organization like ICC to the proletariat is similar to Marxist academic world to the same class with the major difference that the academic paper work is more factual and based on some level of well established theoretical methods and tools. Within this context, to change the fundamental characteristics’, Monolithism and sectarianism, of organizational structure in the ICC must be considered not as difficult, but as impossible.

In the early 1970s when the ICC was taking shape mainly in France/Paris, the legacy of the CL, from the III international, was applied to create organizational and political coherence, necessary perhaps to build a regroupment attractive to individuals who were semi disillusioned by the return, at least signs, of economic down turn, and the arise of proletarian class question.

The truth is that the ICC has managed to exploit the legacy of the left communist from the III international to a historical extent of almost discrediting the same legacy. As mentioned above the monotheism and sectarianism are the core functionalities of the ICC from the organizational and political topology. This kind of organizational topology was alien for the CL currents in the III international: active relationship and connectivity with different formations in the class movement: trade unions, factory committees, neighborhood committees…., and actively participation in daily class struggles: in and outside of the production point. Militant activity emphasized the deep roots of all proletarian organizations (parties, groups… organized under the structures of the Internationals (first, second and third) in the proletarian class struggles (political, economic and ideological). If the end of mass party structure become impossible for the proletariat after the changes took place in the domain of operational state in the capitalist mode of production: the unchallengeable dominance of finance capital in the sphere of production, the rise and the role of state in organizing the socio-economic of social fabric as a unified totality.

The Monolithism was not an organizational practice in the internationals and related parties or regroupments: circles, groups, fractions, semi fractions, tendencies, parties under regional, national and international organization. The histories of internationals are shining examples, while remained in the domain of proletarian class perspective.

The Structure of monolithic type, as an organizational practice, came much later after transition of the SDP:s and CP:s to the domain of capitalist tools in challenging and controlling the proletarian class struggle and its class identity, in order to maintain the existing class structures. The Stalinism became birth mark of Monolithism, when the October revolution was both lost and defeated materially, by restarting of the cycle of capital accumulation, and ideologically when the mass vanguard party of proletariat, Bolshevik, become integrated and identified with the new type of capitalist mode of operation: State-capitalism-socialism.

In this framework, an organization constructed after the old mass party structural model, center-periphery relation, top-bottom (leadership) characteristic, but missing the basic attribute of the old party model, minority-majority relation, as a dynamic tool for theoretical-political activities, is doomed to find itself in the state of organizational crisis or as it was coined in early 1990s, the state of dysfunctioning. Regardless of how the ICC is displaying the lessons of the Marxist tendency in the proletarian struggle, in the form of political positions, by application of a decision making mode that goes back to the period of Stalinized CP structures, i.e. elimination of minority tendencies by any means, it can’t integrate itself to the present or future movement of the proletariat. In this mode of organizational decision making process and control mechanism there is no time and space for initiation and further development of the class consciousness through theoretical construction of the communist program and platform.

A political current, which from very early start, began inwards to construct an organizational idea, what can historically be defined as Stalinist/CP conceptualization of an organizational structure: monolithic centralist form, where there is no space for any different lines of thinking, analysis and theories should continue in the same path as it started from the very beginning or dissolve itself. An option to rationalize the structure as holding compositions of the organizational system, build upon Monolithism, practically would lead to the decomposition process, in this case the end of the ICC as a political entity.

IG/Hamid January 2014

 

 

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