Internationalist Communist Tendency's blog

A Hundred Years On: Lessons of the German Revolution

9 November is an auspicious date in the German historical calendar. 80 years ago this was the anniversary of Kristallnacht (the Night of Broken Glass) when synagogues were burned and 10,000 Jewish males were marched to concentration camps. It was the first step on the road to the genocide of millions. 28 years ago it was the day that the GDR authorities announced the dismantling of the Berlin Wall. However, a century ago it was also the date when the Kaiser announced his abdication in the face of a workers’ revolution which had begun with mutinies in Kiel before spreading across Germany.

Poland: One Hundred Years of Bourgeois Dictatorship

The Polish nationalism of today is a direct continuation and consequence of the nationalism which crushed the workers’ movement in years 1918-23.

Lest We Forget: Workers Stopped Capitalism’s First World War

The 100th anniversary of the Armistice, which we are told put a stop to the first world war, happens to coincide with remembrance Sunday, or Poppy Day. So we’re in for a treat. On top of poppy-wearing – now almost de rigueur – and two minute silences in the most improbable places, there are some smashing events in store. While local volunteers polish up war memorials, craft red poppy memorabilia, there are all sorts of state-sponsored celebrations, to mark the 11th hour of the eleventh day, in November 1918 when “the guns fell silent”.

Global Warming: Capitalism Threatens the Planet

Capitalism is killing the planet. The answer should be staring every environmentalist in the face: get rid of capitalism!

Radek on the “Defeat” of Brest-Litovsk

With this translation we begin the second volume of our series of translations from the review Kommunist, using the French version published by the Collectif d’édition smolny (www.collectif-smolny.org). As many will know the review Kommunist was the brainchild of the “proletarian communists”, or “left communists” as Lenin dubbed them, inside the Bolshevik Party in the spring of 1918. The original issue around which they were formed was opposition to the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (March 1918) but as readers of our earlier translations will know they also highlighted their disquiet with certain developments inside Russia.

Workers of all Identities, Unite!

For the past few years, but particularly in the aftermath of the 2016 US Presidential election, the theme of identity politics has dominated political discourse on both the left and the right. Countless books, articles, blogs and comments have been written on the subject, but we ourselves have dealt with it only in passing.

Legal Aid Cuts: One Law for the Rich and an Increasingly Worse One for Everyone Else

The government is currently carrying out a review of legal aid following a series of cuts that have been implemented over the last few years. There is a growing view that the cuts have gone too far and could be a false economy as well as undermining faith in the legal system. Whilst it is unlikely that the government will put any significant amount of cash back into the system, it will probably at least pay lip service to the importance of legal aid. This article considers some of the issues at stake.

The Imperialist Manoeuvring Behind the Khashoggi Affair

Under the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Saudi’s policy has become more aggressive both against Iranian influence and Turkey’s and it is in this context that the fate of Jamal Khashoggi should be understood.

Against Racism and Authoritarianism: the Problem is Capitalism!

“We will chase them out!” Alexander Gauland bawled straight after the entry of the Alternative für Deutschland (Alternative for Germany, AfD) to the Bundestag. It should be clear, at least after the racist riots in Chemnitz and Köthen, that this was no empty threat. The AfD’s rise has lent wings to the entire extreme right and is increasingly being translated into racially-motivated violence on the street.

Ireland and Brexit – Workers Need a Hard Border Against Bosses' Politics!

On 12th October, the Financial Times (FT), described the Brexit situation as an "Unpredictable Muddle". We would not disagree.

Italy’s “Government of Change”: History as Farce

The new populist “government of change” made up of the anti-European Five Star Movement and the racist Lega (The League, formerly the Lega Nord or Northern League) has begun to adopt some of the same empty rhetoric of the past. Their target is not much different from the fascist anti-semitism of the past. Whilst their main guns are today trained at the EU they also point to the nefarious activities of “financiers like Soros”. George Soros is of course the target of the anti-semitic campaign of Orbans in Hungary. According to these “populists” the problem is not capitalism but only some aspects of it.

Bolsonaro and the Crisis in Brazil

The fall out from the financial collapse of 2007-8 continues. Its latest tremor is in Brazil. The commodities boom before 2007 allowed the Brazilian Workers' Party [PT] to claim that it was redistributing income but in reality it did little. Once the commodity prices fell (and especially that of oil in 2014) the state finances were in a mess. And just about every major political figure from Lula to Temer has been tainted with corruption. Enter Jair Bolsonaro.

Against Pension “Reform" in Russia

Statement about recent pension reform in Russia written by the Krasnoyarsk Marxist Workers’ Group.

The Struggle of the Metro Workers of Granada

The leaflet below was issued by the Emancipation League whose appearance as a nucleus of the communist left we first welcomed in June this year. It demonstrates not only that the bosses are getting worried about rising class militancy (it’s a longtime since we heard the “selfish workers” line) but also that Liga Emancipación aim to have an impact on the wider working class as part of their formation as a nucleus of future world proletarian party. This is only to be welcomed. The brief introduction that follows here is from the Nuevo Curso blog from which this leaflet is translated. - CWO

Two Articles from Kommunist (April 1918)

With the publication of these two articles we are completing our translation of the first issue of Kommunist, the journal of the “proletarian communists” or left communist faction of the Bolshevik Party in the Spring of 1918. We have already published articles by Radek, Bukharin and Ossinsky in our last three issues and all can be found on our website. Here we turn our attention to a final review by Bukharin, and an economic analysis of the state of the Russian Revolution in April 1918 by one of the least well-known of the Kommunist contributors.

Are we now in a period of transition from capitalism to socialism? H. Ticktin’s concept of decline and transition

Capitalism must be overthrown before a transitional period can be initiated. There must be a total rupture with value production. In order for this to happen the working class must capture political power and set about consciously transforming social production relations. Ticktin’s conceptions seem like those other aficionados of a seamless transition to communism, who have long lost hope in the working class being the agent of revolution.

US Power and the New Course Towards War

We live, and have been living, in an epoch of capitalist decadence. Notwithstanding longer life expectancy, technological advance, and the claims of its defenders, the capitalist system is incapable of addressing existential questions such as the destruction of the environment via man-made climate change. After all, to do so would get in the way of making profits. Short-term expediency portends long term disaster.

The Working Class Holds the Key to a New World

Such a world will be organised according to the original motto of Karl Marx “from each according to their ability; to each according to their need.” This has nothing to do with the nightmare of state capitalism that emerged in the USSR.

John McCain – War Hero or Racist War Monger?

The publicity surrounding John McCain’s recent funeral was excessive to say the least, with wall-to-wall coverage in the United States and Britain, as well as other countries around the world. We were relentlessly informed in a slew of whitewashed obituaries, cringe-worthy plaudits and declarations of love from the bourgeoisie on both sides of the Atlantic for more than a week, in newspapers, online and on television, what a heroic champion of freedom, democracy, civil rights and free speech this man was; as well as being above all a great patriot.

Are We Going Back to the 1930s?

You would have to be well over 80 to directly remember anything about the 1930s. The nearest thing to real experience of that time, for those in the succeeding generation, was listening to our parents who preferred to forget about them.