What is the significance, for the working class, of the first Tory majority government in 18 years? It is certainly going to mean even more draconian cuts in benefits, as we show elsewhere in this issue. On a wider scale the results of the election have reinforced the state’s offensive against the proletariat at the ideological level. This is as important as its actions at the economic level. The new political line up of the British state’s democratic facade has the aim of deepening the sense of disorientation within the working class in order to weaken its ability to develop its struggle, and above all its capacity to offer an alternative perspective to the hell of decaying capitalism. Thus the proletariat can expect a whole array of ideological attacks to be launched against it.
When the Greek government decided at short notice to call a referendum it was clear that the differences between the Syriza-led coalition and the IMF/ECB/EC Troika were minimal. When it came to the referendum campaign the differences between No and Yes sides, despite much melodramatic language, were, therefore, also limited.
Over the last 40 years, the ICC in Britain has maintained a regular analysis of the situation in Britain – economic crisis, political manoeuvres of the bourgeoisie, the UK’s imperialist role, and in particular the class struggle and the history of the workers’ movement. We are republishing here one of our first efforts to develop an overall understanding of the class struggle in the country where capitalism initially had its most impetuous development (from World Revolution No7, July 1976).
70 years after ‘Victory in Europe’ day, we are republishing an article that first appeared in Révolution Internationale no. 15, in 1975.
This anniversary is always celebrated by the bourgeoisie and its media with an intense barrage of propaganda, aimed at preserving nationalist feelings and travestying what the Second World War really was: not a struggle between democratic humanity and fascist barbarism but a struggle between capitalist nations who, in the defence of their sordid interests, were quite ready to shed the blood of millions of proletarians, to whip up hatred and commit the worst kind of atrocities.
This is what is pointed out by this short text written by our comrade Marc Chirik, a militant of the communist left who, during the war, firmly defended the principle of proletarian internationalism, producing leaflets calling for the fraternisation of the workers of all countries.
Today on blogs and forums, in bookshops and kiosks, throughout Europe and in the world, a new nauseous campaign has resurfaced in order to again distort the image of the militant Rosa Luxemburg. Thus, from television programmes, Rosa Luxemburg again appears under the sole traits of a “woman” and a “pacifist”. The very-well known and acclaimed paper, Le Monde, published an article in September 2013, written by a certain Jean-Marc Daniel, a professor of ESCP Europe, with the very evocative title: “Rosa Luxemburg, marxist-pacifist”. This association of the words “marxist” and “pacifist” is gob-smacking: for the ruling class the “real marxist” is one who abdicates from the class war, renounces the insurrection and the overthrow of capitalism.
The ruling class has all but transformed him into a national monument, and yet today Jean Jaurès is almost unknown outside France. His assassination on 31st July 1914 remains mysterious to this day: it removed one of the biggest barriers to France's entry into World War I
On 12 and 19 April, two overloaded boats carrying migrants fleeing from the most extreme misery sank in the Mediterranean, taking with them up to 1200 lives. These tragedies have been repeating themselves for decades: in the 1990s, the well-guarded fortress of Gibraltar was already a tomb for many migrants. Since 2000, 22,000 people have disappeared while trying to get to Europe by sea. And since the Lampedusa drama in 2013, in which 500 perished, the migrations and their fatal consequences have been growing at an unprecedented rate. With nearly 22,000 crossings and 3500 deaths, the year 2014 broke all records. Since January 2015, the sea has already claimed 1800 migrants’ lives.
“In Syria, every day brings new massacres. The country has joined the other theatres of imperialist war in the Middle East. After Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, now it’s Syria’s turn. Unfortunately this situation immediately poses a very disquieting question: what’s going to happen in the period ahead? The Middle East seems to be on the verge of a conflagration whose limits are difficult to foresee. Behind the war in Syria, it’s Iran which is the focus of imperialist fears and appetites, but all the main imperialist brigands are ready to defend their interests in the region. This is a part of the world that is on a war footing - a war that could have irrational and destructive consequences for the whole capitalist system”. Thus began the article “The threat of an imperialist cataclysm in the Middle East” in International Review number 149, written nearly three years ago to the day. The situation, the militarisation and decomposition of the Middle East, has since worsened and the threat of a generalised conflagration has become even greater.
Having read on the website of the Internationalist Communist Tendency the communiqué of 12 April 2015 entitled A proposito di alcune infami calunnie (‘Response to a vile slander’), the ICC expresses its total solidarity with the ICT and with those of its militants who have been particularly targeted in these attacks by former members of the ICT’s section in Italy, the Partito Comunista Internazionalista.
In Greece the triumph in the January elections for the left-wing Syriza party produced a pleasing symmetry in the response of the right and left of the political spectrum. In the UK, from the right, the Times declared “Far-left firebrand races to victory”, joined by the Daily Mail’s “Shock waves across Europe as the far left sweeps to power in Greece”.