2015 has seen the high profile mainstream film Suffragette, as well the announcement of a new biography of Sylvia Pankhurst. The article we’re reprinting here originally appeared in World Revolution in 1980. At that time, very little was written about the life and politics of Sylvia Pankhurst and her own writings were difficult to obtain. As the article notes, those books that did deal with Sylvia tended to leave a large and unexplained gap from 1914 to the early post-war years; in other words, the period of her break with the Suffragette movement and her internationalist opposition to the war, which led her to enthusiastically support the Bolsheviks in the Russian revolution and to call for soviet power in Britain.
We are publishing here a summary of the discussions that took place at our most recent public meeting. We would like to thank all comrades who attended for their contributions to the debates and to encourage both them and others who would like to take up any of the themes explored to do so on our forum or through direct correspondence with the ICC.
To lose one militant is a misfortune. To lose an entire section is a failure. We therefore owe it to ourselves, and to all those who identify with the tradition of the Communist Left, to examine this failure in a ruthlessly critical spirit, and to lay our conclusions before our readers.
Our comrade Bernadette died on Wednesday 7 October, after a long and painful illness: lung cancer.
The terror attacks in Paris bring the barbarity of imperialist war and the social decomposition of capitalist society, expressed in a morbid ideology worthy of Nazism, to the heart of the European proletariat. There is only one answer: "Proletarians of all lands, unite!"
An ex-member of the ICC, Devrim, who left some three years ago, has subsequently made a number of criticisms of our organisation. This article is our reply.
We are publishing here a letter written by the ICC in response to an article published on the website of the Communist League of Tampa, a group which has appeared recently in the USA ( Why we need a world party). In the interests of public debate among revolutionaries, the comrades asked us to publish our letter on our website and informed us that they are working on a reply which will in turn be published on their site.
In the struggle to form a Communist Party in Britain during the revolutionary wave of 1917-23 it was the Left, led by the small group around Sylvia Pankhurst and the Workers’ Dreadnought, that was clearest about the danger posed by the Labour Party to a workers’ revolution.
For thousands of years people have been forced to flee from war, persecution, famine and forces of nature such as floods, droughts, volcanoes etc. But these movements were not a permanent phenomenon and they mostly involved only a small part of the population. After the beginning of agriculture, with the cultivation of plants and the domestication of animals, humanity lived for thousands of years on the same spot. Under feudalism the peasantry were attached to the land and serfs stayed, from the moment they were born until their death, on the same land, which belonged to their feudal lord. But, with the onset of capitalism around the fourteenth to fifteenth century this changed drastically.
Why are millions fleeing Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, and other countries in the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa? Because the population there is desperate to escape a permanent state of war, an infernal spiral of two, three, even five way conflicts between equally murderous antagonists, whether official government armies or terrorist gangs. Syria is the most ‘advanced’ expression of this descent into chaos.