International Communist Current
The International Communist Current is an international centralised left communist organisation which was formed in 1975 and which has sections in France, Great Britain, Mexico, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Venezuela, Brazil, Sweden, India, Italy, USA, Switzerland, Philippines and Turkey.
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The ICC claims to embody the heritage of the Communist League of Marx and Engels (1847–52), the three Internationals: the International Workingmen’s Association, 1864–72, the Socialist International, 1889–1914, the Communist International, 1919–28, the left fractions which broke with the Third International in the years 1920-30, in particular the German, Dutch and Italian Lefts. Its direct political antecedent was the Gauche Communiste de France, which broke away from the so-called Bordighists in the mid-1940s because it considered the formation of a new party to be premature. This group was dissolved in 1952. However, the Internacionalismo group, which was founded in 1964 in Venezuela, was heavily influenced by the experience and positions of the Gauche Communiste de France, as among the militants who were to form this group was an ex-militant of the Gauche Communiste de France, Marc Chirik.
The International Communist Current (ICC) was founded in 1975 by Revolution Internationale (France), World Revolution (UK), Internationalism (USA), Rivoluzione Internazionale (Italy), Internacionalismo (Venezuela) and Accion Proletaria (Spain). Most of these groups came out of the growth of revolutionary politics with the international resurgence of working class struggles that took place in the late 1960s.
Gradually the ICC has spread to several countries across the world although most of its national sections remain small. It has also seen a number of splits from its ranks. From 1978 up to the present day a succession of groups have split from the ICC such as the Internationalist Communist Group, Communist Bulletin Group, Internationalist Perspective group in 1985. More recently, in 2003 several members who belonged to a group calling themselves the "Internal Fraction of the ICC" split from the ICC.
The ICC has sections in France, Great Britain, Mexico, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Venezuela, Brazil, Sweden, India, Italy, USA, Switzerland, Philippines, Turkey and has published in different languages such as Russian, Finnish, Hungarian, Portuguese, Persian, Bengali, Japanese, Chinese and Korean.
In November 2010, the ICC joined people advocating the use of "legitimate force" to stop a rise in tuition fees at British universities to mobilise school children. At least one ICC member attended a planning meeting of the Education Activist Network campaign group.
The ICC considers itself to stand in the left communist tradition. 'Leftist' groups, whether Trotskyist, Stalinist, or Maoist, are thought of as "the left of capitalism’s political apparatus." According to the ICC, there is no way these groups can be the true representatives of the proletariat. The ICC considers, however, other left communist organizations such as the Internationalist Communist Tendency, the Bordigists, the Councilists and the anarchists who defend internationalist and working class based political positions to be the part of the proletarian revolutionary camp.
The ICC rejects what it describes as bourgeois democracy, finding that it "does not differ at root from other forms of capitalist dictatorship, such as Stalinism and fascism". It is also hostile to the unions, seeing them as "organs of capitalist order within the proletariat".
Instead it believes in the self organisation of the working class, electing its own leaders outside of parliament, in workers' councils. This organisation of the working class needs to be done on an international level; the revolution can only succeed if it is a world wide revolution, leading to the overthrow of all existing states and the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat on a world scale.
In their opinion, once this has been established, capitalist social relations will be abolished: these include wage labour, national frontiers and commodity production. Instead all economic activity will be oriented "towards the full satisfaction of human needs". The ICC sees the role of the communist minorities, in this process as the vanguard of the workers' movement, in which it neither organises the working class nor takes power in its name, but actively participates within the movement.
The International Communist Current defends the following political positions:
- Since the First World War, capitalism has been a decadent social system. It has twice plunged humanity into a barbaric cycle of crisis, world war, reconstruction and new crisis. In the 1980s, it entered into the final phase of this decadence, the phase of decomposition. There is only one alternative offered by this irreversible historical decline: socialism or barbarism, world communist revolution or the destruction of humanity.
- The Paris Commune of 1871 was the first attempt by the proletariat to carry out this revolution, in a period when the conditions for it were not yet ripe. Once these conditions had been provided by the onset of capitalist decadence, the October revolution of 1917 in Russia was the first step towards an authentic world communist revolution in an international revolutionary wave which put an end to the imperialist war and went on for several years after that. The failure of this revolutionary wave, particularly in Germany in 1919-23, condemned the revolution in Russia to isolation and to a rapid degeneration. Stalinism was not the product of the Russian revolution, but its gravedigger.
- The statified regimes which arose in the USSR, eastern Europe, China, Cuba etc. and were called ‘socialist’ or ‘communist’ were just a particularly brutal form of the universal tendency towards state capitalism, itself a major characteristic of the period of decadence.
- Since the beginning of the 20th century, all wars are imperialist wars, part of the deadly struggle between states large and small to conquer or retain a place in the international arena. These wars bring nothing to humanity but death and destruction on an ever-increasing scale. The working class can only respond to them through its international solidarity and by struggling against the bourgeoisie in all countries.
- All the nationalist ideologies - ‘national independence’, ‘the right of nations to self-determination’ etc. - whatever their pretext, ethnic, historical or religious, are a real poison for the workers. By calling on them to take the side of one or another faction of the bourgeoisie, they divide workers and lead them to massacre each other in the interests and wars of their exploiters.
- In decadent capitalism, parliament and elections are nothing but a masquerade. Any call to participate in the parliamentary circus can only reinforce the lie that presents these elections as a real choice for the exploited. ‘Democracy’, a particularly hypocritical form of the domination of the bourgeoisie, does not differ at root from other forms of capitalist dictatorship, such as Stalinism and fascism.
- All factions of the bourgeoisie are equally reactionary. All the so-called ‘workers’, ‘Socialist’ and ‘Communist’ parties (now ex-’Communists’), the leftist organisations (Trotskyists, Maoists and ex-Maoists, official anarchists) constitute the left of capitalism’s political apparatus. All the tactics of ‘popular fronts’, ‘anti-fascist fronts’ and ‘united fronts’, which mix up the interests of the proletariat with those of a faction of the bourgeoisie, serve only to smother and derail the struggle of the proletariat.
- With the decadence of capitalism, the unions everywhere have been transformed into organs of capitalist order within the proletariat. The various forms of union organisation, whether ‘official’ or ‘rank and file’, serve only to discipline the working class and sabotage its struggles.
- In order to advance its combat, the working class has to unify its struggles, taking charge of their extension and organisation through sovereign general assemblies and committees of delegates elected and revocable at any time by these assemblies.
- Terrorism is in no way a method of struggle for the working class. The expression of social strata with no historic future and of the decomposition of the petty bourgeoisie, when it’s not the direct expression of the permanent war between capitalist states, terrorism has always been a fertile soil for manipulation by the bourgeoisie. Advocating secret action by small minorities, it is in complete opposition to class violence, which derives from conscious and organised mass action by the proletariat.
- The working class is the only class which can carry out the communist revolution. Its revolutionary struggle will inevitably lead the working class towards a confrontation with the capitalist state. In order to destroy capitalism, the working class will have to overthrow all existing states and establish the dictatorship of the proletariat on a world scale: the international power of the workers’ councils, regrouping the entire proletariat.
- The communist transformation of society by the workers’ councils does not mean ‘self-management’ or the nationalisation of the economy. Communism requires the conscious abolition of capitalist social relations by the working class: wage labour, commodity production, national frontiers. It means the creation of a world community in which all activity is oriented towards the full satisfaction of human needs.
- The revolutionary political organisation constitutes the vanguard of the working class and is an active factor in the generalisation of class consciousness within the proletariat. Its role is neither to ‘organise the working class’ nor to ‘take power’ in its name, but to participate actively in the movement towards the unification of struggles, towards workers taking control of them for themselves, and at the same time to draw out the revolutionary political goals of the proletariat’s combat.
The ICC considers political and theoretical clarification of the goals and methods of the proletarian struggle, of its historic and its immediate conditions, organised intervention, united and centralised on an international scale, in order to contribute to the process which leads to the revolutionary action of the proletariat and the regroupment of revolutionaries with the aim of constituting a real world communist party, which is indispensable to the working class for the overthrow of capitalism and the creation of a communist society to be its main basis of activity.
- Barberis, Peter; McHugh, John; Tyldesley, Mike (2002). Encyclopedia of British and Irish political organizations (New ed ed.). Continuum. pp. 171–2. .
- International Communist Current, 2007. Communism: Not a nice idea but a material necessity: Volume I., 19th Century Workers' Movement. International Communist Current, p. 237.
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