Bordigism, and national liberation

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Devrim
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Apr 23 2007 09:17
Bordigism, and national liberation
Alf wrote:
However, there are some groups which are genuinely part of the left communist tradition which are to say the least ambiguous on national liberation - the various 'Bordigist' groups. Of course it's a major problem, but it doesn't exclude them from the communist left.

Of course, it depends how you define the communist left. I think that the ICC's concept of a 'proletarian political milieu' despite having a terrible name, is a necessary one. It defines, which groups we can co-operate with on an organisational level, and which groups we can do joint work. It should act as a barrier to us falling into sectarianism.

The question then is how you define the 'camp of the working class'. I think that the first point that we evaluate a group on is it's attitude to capitalist war. If these 'various 'Bordigist' groups' support national liberation struggles then they are outside this.

I don't know the details about these groups as I don't speak Italian, but as I understand it there are groups, which have equally leftist positions on national liberation, and trade unions to the Platformists for example. When you add this, as if on its own it weren't enough, their position on the party-state relationship, one has to wonder how on Earth these organisations can be considered to be in the 'camp of the working class'.

If these were any other leftists groups, which didn't claim heritage from the Italian left, the ICC would denounce them for what they are.

Devrim

mic
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Apr 23 2007 10:26

Hi Devrim, you could find very "interesting" quotations also in Programma Comunista, one of the main reviews of bordigists.

"la presa di coscienza nel proletariato, nonchè la sua combattività di classe, passano attraverso la palestra delle lotte di liberazione nazionale [...] anche se ciò significa che i proletari dovranno scannarsi fra di loro."
-- Programma Comunista - (~1976)

"the acquisition of class consciousness by proletariat, and it class combativeness, pass through the exercise [gym] of national liberation struggles [...] even if this means proletarians will have to 'cut throats' among themselves."

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Apr 23 2007 10:39

I'm going out on a limb here, but I'm fairly certain that although the Bordigists say national liberation struggles are theoretically possible, they haven't actually supported any specific ones. They probably use a similar method to Lenin (who also supported national liberation struggles):

"In the present war the national element is represented only by Serbia’s war against Austria (...) It is only in Serbia and among the Serbs that we can find a national-liberation movement of long standing, embracing millions, ‘the masses of the people’, a movement of which the present war of Serbia against Austria is a ‘continuation’. If this war were an isolated one, i.e., if it were not connected with the general European war, with the selfish and predatory aims of Britain, Russia, etc., it would have been the duty of all socialists to desire the success of the Serbian bourgeoisie as this is the only correct and absolutely inevitable conclusion to be drawn from the national element in the present war ...

[But] Marxist dialectics, as the last word in the scientific-evolutionary method, excludes any isolated examination of an object, i.e., one that is one-sided and monstrously distorted. The national element in the Serbo-Austrian war is not, and cannot be, of any serious significance in the general European war. If Germany wins, she will throttle Belgium, one more part of Poland, perhaps part of France, etc. If Russia wins, she will throttle Galicia, one more part of Poland, Armenia, etc. If the war ends in a ‘draw’, the old national oppression will remain. To Serbia, i.e., to perhaps one per cent or so of the participants in the present war, the war is a ‘continuation of the politics’ of the bourgeois-liberation movement. To the other ninety-nine per cent, the war is a continuation of the politics of imperialism, i.e., of the decrepit bourgeoisie, which is capable only of raping nations, not freeing them. The Triple Entente, which is ‘liberating’ Serbia, is selling the interests of Serbian liberty to Italian imperialism in return for the latter’s aid in robbing Austria. All this, which is common knowledge, has been unblushingly distorted by Kautsky to justify the opportunists" - Lenin, Chapter 6, The Collapse of the Second International.

We can see here that Lenin leaves the door open to national liberation, even though he rejects the arguments that would support the Great War on the grounds that this is an imperialist war from all angles. It should also be pointed out that it's not necessarily correct to say that Left Communism denounces national liberation as such - it's more that true national liberation is absolutely impossible in this epoch. All wars in this period are imperialist wars and therefore cannot be supported in any way, shape or form by the proletariat.

Without a concept of decadence, why would the Bordigists come to this conclusion? Their conceptual framework leads to either two conclusions:

- either national liberations struggles were always wrong (in which case, Marx, Engels, Lenin, Luxemburg, pretty much every revolutionary that ever lived were all part of the bourgeoisie); or
- national liberation struggles are always okay, as long as that is what they really are.

Considering they have this bizarre idea of Marxism being "invariant" since 1848, it's no surprise they've gone for the second option.

mic
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Apr 23 2007 10:53

Also one thing I read some time ago, about 9/11:

"Per cui la violenza degli sfruttati contro i loro sfruttatori e quella degli oppressi contro i loro oppressori è una violenza giusta, necessaria, umana. È invece orrenda e terrorizzante quella opposta dei padroni contro i lavoratori e quella delle potenze dominanti contro i paesi e i popoli dominati. Di conseguenza il colpo inferto alla superpotenza dai nazionalisti islamici non va condannato, va approvato."
-- Rivoluzione Comunista, 2001 http://digilander.libero.it/rivoluzionecom/Supplementi/2001/193/RisolCC.html

"... Consequently the stroke inflicted on the superpower by islamic nationalists is not to be condemned, it is to be approved."

Rivoluzione is a split from Programma (1964). Just some examples of the confusion governing all these groups.

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Apr 23 2007 10:59
mic wrote:
"... Consequently the stroke inflicted on the superpower by islamic nationalists is not to be condemned, it is to be approved."

Rivoluzione is a split from Programma (1964). Just some examples of the confusion governing all these groups

This is pretty shocking really.

Devrim

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Apr 23 2007 11:08

Mic, do the IBRP classify the Bordigists as anti-proletarian?

mic
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Apr 23 2007 13:30

Well... those positions are clearly anti-proletarian. They speak for themselves.

And I don't know what's worse. In fact, their call for a "dictatorship of the party" makes their communism (or at least their socialism) very different from mine, to use an euphemism.

There are many serious deviations from marxism, from historical materialism, which make bordigism unuseful and even harmful for the working class.

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Apr 23 2007 14:29
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- either national liberations struggles were always wrong (in which case, Marx, Engels, Lenin, Luxemburg, pretty much every revolutionary that ever lived were all part of the bourgeoisie)

Hmm. Marx was middle class, Engels was a capitalist scumbag, Lenin was a middle class bureaucrat wanker, Luxembourg was a middle class professional revolutionary (very bourgeois), so...

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Apr 23 2007 14:43

Mic

I would agree that those positions are flawed, incorrect, and anti-proletarian. I'd also agree that Bordigism is far from the clearest expression of the proletariat - even if we agree they are part of the proletariat.

But , to be fair, you have evaded the actual question that I asked: is Bordigism (or the group you're talking about) part of the working class, or not?

It seems to me that there are three possible responses to this question:

- nope, they're part of the working class;
- nope, but they're certainly in grave danger of doing so;
- yes, they have definitively crossed the line

I'm interested in your view on this group and also the IBRP's method for assessing these issues.

I'm also interested in your response to Devrim, where he says: "It [the concept of the proletarian milieu] defines, which groups we can co-operate with on an organisational level, and which groups we can do joint work. It should act as a barrier to us falling into sectarianism."

What criteria do the IBRP use to determine who you can work with and who you can't?

mic
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Apr 24 2007 00:37

Demogorgon, I've to say I don't completely understand the sense of your question. But I'll try to answer as straight as I can.

Bordigists build their political work on some principles of marxism (they recognise the existence of social classes, profit, crisis of over-accumulation), but their use of dialectic and of historical materialism is mostly flawed. They've a mechanical and almost mystical vision of history and social events, thus of their political activity.

Their analysis, their strategical and tactical program put them aside from the working class. It's not a case they've virtually no connection with workers' struggles and class movements. So, is their political work useful for the working class, in the short term as well as in the long term? Mostly, not. In most cases they're absolutely irrelevant, they create some kind of intellectual and philosophical groups separated from reality and unable to act and change the course of events. In some cases, they could also have been harmful, if they were able to influence workers. Some examples, I already gave.

Finally. Could we collaborate with them? I'll leave aside the fact they're absolutely uninterested and unwilling... But collaboration about what? Even in struggles, in demos, when they decide to go there - remaining outside the movement, they precise - they call for the reconstruction of red unions or other anachronistic form of organization and abstract program. Maybe about a cine-forum, maybe.

Does this mean we're closed, we're sectarian? I don't believe so. IMO, it simply means that the expression "proletarian political camp" doesn't have sense. With some anarchists, autonomists and many non-politicised workers, at least, some comrades in Bologna were recently able to promote struggles and strikes outside unions, for the autonomy of workers. Just to give you an example of our day-by-day work, on the "local level".

About the "organisational level" (again, if I understand well), IBRP defined a platform, which we believe is the minimum common denominator political groups have to share to really defend the interests of working class nowadays. Around this platform, any political group is invited to discuss, participate and eventually join, to put the basis for a future strong international organisation representing the interests and the program of the working class.

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Apr 24 2007 08:51
mic wrote:
With some anarchists, autonomists and many non-politicised workers, at least, some comrades in Bologna were recently able to promote struggles and strikes outside unions, for the autonomy of workers. Just to give you an example of our day-by-day work, on the "local level".

I think that this is different. In a strike you co-operate with all workers as workers. The last time I was on strike in Ankara I was on strike with social democrats to defend a worker from being sacked who was quite religious. So what?

Quote:
About the "organisational level" (again, if I understand well), IBRP defined a platform, which we believe is the minimum common denominator political groups have to share to really defend the interests of working class nowadays. Around this platform, any political group is invited to discuss, participate and eventually join, to put the basis for a future strong international organisation representing the interests and the program of the working class.

I have just had a look at your platform (I didn't read it in detail), and I think that it is very long for a 'minimum common denominator political groups have to share to really defend the interests of working class nowadays':

http://www.ibrp.org/english/platform

I think that our basic principles are a bit wordy, but much shorter:

http://eks.internationalist-forum.org/en/basic-positions

I think that there are basic points, on parlimentarianism, trade unions, and national liberation, which are a minimum for joint work. I think that it is good for us to develop joint activity, and discussion with groups that defend these positions, whether they call themselves Marxists, anarchists, autonomists, or whatever.

Devrim

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Apr 24 2007 09:12

Mic

Thank you for your response. I don't claim to know much about Bordigism, their profile in English is practically nil so what I do know is usually second or third hand.

From what I do know, I would largely agree with your general assessment of them. But your method of assessing the possibility of joint work, seems to be based on a point-by-point rejection of this or that political position.

You refuse to be nailed down on the point I keep asking: are the Bordigists (however confused, however mistaken on this or that point or series of points) part of the working class or not. This is not a moot point, in my opinion.

It would be impossible for me to support any initiative of the SWP (Socialist Workers Party, a Trotskyist formation in Britain) not simply because I disagree with this or that political position. It is because they are leftists, i.e. part of the capitalist political apparatus. I'd assume you'd agree with this. Thus, even positions held by the SWP that I might superficially agree with (e.g. getting rid of capitalism, russia = state capitalist, no parliamentary road, etc.)* can't possibly be the basis of co-operation because of their leftist nature.

So, returning to the Bordigists, do you see them as part of the communist left, i.e. a part of the workers' movement or have they degenerated to such an extent that they should now be considered to have passed over to the enemy class? If so, then obviously there can be no basis of co-operation with them whatsoever.

However, if we still consider them part of the working class then, whatever our disagreements with them, there is surely a basis for co-operation on some issues on which we do agree. And they must agree with you at some level or they couldn't be part of the communist left in the first place!

To take this at another angle, as a sympathiser of the ICC, I happen to disagree with many aspects of the IBRP's politics. This wouldn't prevent me from supporting you in areas where I agree with you, and supporting the idea of the ICC and IBRP working together on interventions concerning fundamental points. Even more importantly, in the face of repression from the bourgeois state it would be the duty, as far as possible, for the whole proletarian mileu to stand together and offer mutual solidarity with threatened militants, etc. In such circumstances, I would offer - as far as I'm able - support to the IBRP because I consider you comrades.

The question is, do you see the Bordigists in the same way? And what method do you use to make these assessments?

* And for all you nitpickers out there, I know that these formal positions of the SWP are a farce, but that's not the point here.

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Apr 24 2007 13:04

We actually had a very similar discussion to this in the ICC at the end of the 70s, when Battaglia Comunista first invited us to the conferences of the communist left. They also invited the Bordigist groups (who, unsurprisingly, refused to come). A number of comrades took up the same position as Dev: the Bordigists support national liberation, so they must be bourgeois. This view was opposed by MC in particular, and we began a discussion around a text he wrote called 'Confused groups and our own confusion'. Eventually, this gave rise to the resolution on proletarian political groups in International Review 11 (I don't think this is online, but I will check) which laid down a general framework for analysing the class nature of political organisations. The method it put forward when looking at an organisation was not simply adding up its bourgeois and proletarian positions and coming up with a mathematical answer, but looking at the historical trajectory of different currents and the positions they have taken up in response to fundamental historical tests such as war and revolution. Undoubtedly the Bordigists come from a proletarian current which had taken an internationalist position on the second world war - the Italian left. The confusions they have now are confusions which go back to their origins (both in the formation of the PCInt during the war, but even more particularly after the 1952 split with the Damen tendency). The question is then posed whether the Bordigists have definitively crossed a class line by directly participating in imperialist wars, siding with capitalist governments against the working class, etc. Certain currents within Bordigism have done this - in particular the El Houmami group in Algeria which fully supported the imperialist wars in the Middle East. But this led to a huge split in the Bordigist party, showing that there was still proletarian life in the current as a whole.
This discussion was of enormous importance in the development of the ICC, in its evolution away from a certain rigid sectarianism which existed at its origins. The struggle against sectarianism was not finished - it re-appeared in particular in the debates with the 'tendency' that later became Internationalist Perspective, one of whose defining positions was the rejection of the notions of centrism and opportunism as constant problems within the workers' movement. I would also say that the ICC is still seeking to get rid of certain sectarian reactions within its own ranks, as well as fighting its much more overt expressions within the 'proletarian milieu'.

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Apr 24 2007 13:57

Hi Alf

I think I understand the general framework you set out here but I'll read the resolution in IR11 later.

For the moment, though, I'm not sure how the trajectory argument would work in favour of at least some of the Bordigist groups. I understand that the ICP split because of the Algerian thing and yes, this does demonstrate some proletarian life, if only because they refuse to support such struggles (in practice even if they make theoretical concessions) and then expelled the elements that did.

I'm wary of making a judgement about an organisation on the basis of of one quote from Rivoluzione Comunista, read second-hand (because I can't read Italian) and don't understand the context, but if it did turn out that they really did support the 9/11 attacks, could we still consider them as part of the workers movement?

Such support would no longer be a theoretical concession to possible national liberation struggles, but out-and-out support for an imperialist attack. Wouldn't that mean they have crossed the class line?

mic
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Apr 24 2007 14:00

Apparently the discussion is going to deviate from bordigism... Not a big problem.

Devrim, I wasn't talking about participation in a strike, but organising, and pushing to organise, strikes and struggles in different factories and working places (call centers etc.) on the territory. In Bologna there were weekly assemblies with tens of workers, from different factories, and some of them also from different political organisations. These assemblies were physically hosted by the local section of PCInt.

I'm not talking about very large movements, but till some struggles were emerging in different places at the same time, I think these assemblies proved to be an important instrument for the working class, for its most active elements at least, to organise outside unions and also against anti-strike laws. Solidarity struggles involving workers of different factories, employed by long or short contracts, about wages, precarity, health, safety... I think they've to be proposed and encouraged by comrades. Is it some kind of joint work or not? This work, we certainly couldn't have carried on with bordigists, as they live in their ivory tower and wait for revolution to arrive.

Then, I'm not arguing our platform is "perfect", but certainly I think it's very good. And, as I'm trying to show, it doesn't prevent us from carrying on joint work with different political organisations about concrete issues. BTW, you're free - more, you're welcome - to criticize the points you don't agree with. Precisely, which points do you think are not necessary or not correctly formulated? I'm curious to know. I'd also like to know more about your position on "class party". Have you written something about it, specifically?

To go back to the original issue, Demogorgon, I've not argued bordigists are "agents of the bourgeoisie", or something similar! First, we don't suffer this paranoia, then, they're comrades! I certainly would give my solidarity to them, to any other honest comrade, and to victims of state repression in general. Just in case it's not clear, I would certainly solidarise with ICC comrades in the face of repression! I would be really astonished if you doubt about this... If contrasts exist, you've to think that many old comrades in both organisations know very well each other, and there are personal and human links, I think, in addition to political ones.

Finally, Demogorgon, you wrote we search for political differences to reject the possibility of joint work. Political positions are certainly important, but I was referring to them mainly in the perspective of practical work together. Not about political differences per se, but about their implications on concrete organisational activity. In fact I'm talking about day-by-day concrete work. Again... which "joint work" do you have in mind? I think class struggles should be the first and main ground to collaborate. But, maybe surprisingly, it's where great differences emerge between organisations which apparently are quite similar.

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Apr 24 2007 14:18
Quote:
Devrim, I wasn't talking about participation in a strike, but organising, and pushing to organise, strikes and struggles in different factories and working places (call centers etc.) on the territory. In Bologna there were weekly assemblies with tens of workers, from different factories, and some of them also from different political organisations. These assemblies were physically hosted by the local section of PCInt.

I think that this is a good thing.

Mic wrote:
BTW, you're free - more, you're welcome - to criticize the points you don't agree with. Precisely, which points do you think are not necessary or not correctly formulated? I'm curious to know.

I haven't read through it all, but I will in the next few days, and comment on it. My point was that it seemed rather long for a 'minimum common denominator'.

Mic wrote:
I'm curious to know. I'd also like to know more about your position on "class party". Have you written something about it, specifically?

No, we haven't. We are for a party though.

Devrim

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Apr 24 2007 14:22
Alf wrote:
The method it put forward when looking at an organisation was not simply adding up its bourgeois and proletarian positions and coming up with a mathematical answer, but looking at the historical trajectory of different currents and the positions they have taken up in response to fundamental historical tests such as war and revolution.

But doesn`t that quote about the Twin Towers seem to suggest that they have crossed the line. I don`t know much about the different Bordigist groups, but I would say that their trajectory is away from communist positons.

Devrim

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Apr 24 2007 14:47

Quite probably, but my understanding as that Rivoluzione was not a Bordigist group. Neither is the OCI, which I would call leftist. Both have some tenuous links with Bordigism in the past, but we are talking specifically about the Bordigist groups - such as Le Proletarire in France, Programma in iIaly, etc.

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Apr 24 2007 14:48
mic wrote:
To go back to the original issue, Demogorgon, I've not argued bordigists are "agents of the bourgeoisie", or something similar! First, we don't suffer this paranoia, then, they're comrades! I certainly would give my solidarity to them, to any other honest comrade, and to victims of state repression in general. Just in case it's not clear, I would certainly solidarise with ICC comrades in the face of repression! I would be really astonished if you doubt about this... If contrasts exist, you've to think that many old comrades in both organisations know very well each other, and there are personal and human links, I think, in addition to political ones.

Mic, I wasn't implying you had said the Bordigists were "agents of the bourgeoisie", and apologies if I gave that impression. I was trying to get a clear statement as to whether or not you think they've gone over in the way that the leftists (e.g. Trotskyists) have. You seem to be saying that this is not the case.

In retrospect, my point about solidarity in the face of state repression was perhaps ill-chosen. There would certainly be a case for basic human solidarity, as was displayed by many workers in the history of the Italian Left to the Trotskyists and vice versa during the 2nd World War. I need to think about this aspect a bit more perhaps!

mic wrote:
Finally, Demogorgon, you wrote we search for political differences to reject the possibility of joint work. Political positions are certainly important, but I was referring to them mainly in the perspective of practical work together. Not about political differences per se, but about their implications on concrete organisational activity. In fact I'm talking about day-by-day concrete work. Again... which "joint work" do you have in mind? I think class struggles should be the first and main ground to collaborate. But, maybe surprisingly, it's where great differences emerge between organisations which apparently are quite similar.

In terms of joint work, I suppose I was thinking mainly of the defence of the Russian Revolution undertaken by the ICC and the CWO in the 90s, and the calls from the ICC for a joint leaflet denouncing the imperialist wars of the past decade. Admittedly, in the case of the Bordigists this is a bit of a moot point because, as you say, they're not interested in any joint work, even with each other. But the reason they don't do this is, quite simply, because they are sectarian.

I think all proletarian organisations have a duty to discuss with other organisations that they consider to be on the same side of the class line. I also think they have a duty to put forward common positions and statements when the crises of war and class struggle shake society. For example, a single common statement from the ICC, IBRP, and the Bordigists denouncing the war in Iraq and calling for world revolution would be worth as much as the collected mass of paper your individual organisations have printed in the past 3 decades and might pose the beginnings of a real communist movement.

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Apr 25 2007 14:39
Demogorgon303 wrote:
It would be impossible for me to support any initiative of the SWP (Socialist Workers Party, a Trotskyist formation in Britain) not simply because I disagree with this or that political position. It is because they are leftists, i.e. part of the capitalist political apparatus. I'd assume you'd agree with this. Thus, even positions held by the SWP that I might superficially agree with (e.g. getting rid of capitalism, russia = state capitalist, no parliamentary road, etc.)* can't possibly be the basis of co-operation because of their leftist nature.

How do you decide whether or not an organization is a part of the capitalist political apparatus?

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Apr 25 2007 19:13

It's a question of political judgement and there are no absolute rules. But when we are looking at currents which were once part of the workers' movement (and for us that includes the social democratic parties, the Communist parties, and the Trotskyists) you have to examine their behaviour in the light of major historical events like world war and revolution. The social democratic currents who supported the war in 1914 and opposed the revolution of 1917-19 directly aligned themselves with the capitalist state, often assuming a leading role in government, became once and for all part of capitalism's political apparatus, a view already taken by the left communists in the early 20s, who opposed the idea of the 'United Front' with social democracy. A similar process befell the 'Communist' parties when they adopted the theory of socialism in one country in the late 20s, supported national defence in the early 30s and helped prepare the workers for the coming world war. The majority of the Trotskyists also abandoned internationalism when they participated in the war. These betrayals were definitive - individuals can change course, but once an organisation throws in its lot with the class enemy, there's no going back (although at each stage the healthier proletarian elements broke from these organisations at various stages in their degeneration).

We are thus talking about broad, historical developments, which make it possible to see that organisations which attempt to carry on these 'dead' traditions today can only repeat their anti-working class activities. That's pretty clear with the Labour parties and the Communist parties because for decades they have been parties of government. It's less obvious with the 'extreme' left (trotskyists, maoists, some anarchists) because it tends to play a more critical, oppositional role, but the real function of this 'critical' stance is to prevent workers from ever really challenging the big guns of the official Labour movement.

That doesn't mean that everything is black and white - especially where anarchism is concerned. In our view the CNT became part of capitalism's apparatus when it aligned itself with the Spanish republic in 36-39, but not all anarchist groups followed them in their betrayal. Some anarchist groups are evidently proletarian and many more are caught in a kind of no man's land between the two sides.

We don't claim to have an infallible guide to determining the class nature of political organisations and we have certainly made mistakes. But it is essential to have a method which is both historical and based on fundamental class criteria.

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Apr 27 2007 17:21

Just to re-launch the discussion on "national liberation":

this is actually a national liberation if - as stated during the 2 Congress of Comintern into 1920 - there is a really communist party which can act as such ( freedom of press, activity, speechs etc.), we're talking of a back-ward country namely at beginning of his capitalistic development, if the struggle of the local woking class, which MUST be ahead and not behind other classes, has linked with the one of rest developed countries ( given the existence of an International ).
Nowdays no1 of previous condition is existing anymore.
Then it's absurd, uncorrect,opportunistic and not internationalist speaking about "national liberation" to support somewhere.
The Italian Left agreed with such formulation, even if wanted it thightlier in order to avoid opportunistic interpretation. They talked about Palestina ( 1920 remind !!! ) saying that the ONLY POSSIBLE liberation for arab workers - the great majority of area yesterday as nowdays - consisted of their communist struggle for their own Soviet against all states, clerics etc. ( and not for their own "free" state ).

mic
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May 2 2007 11:23
Quote:
La situazione odierna
Rispetto alla fase postbellica delle lotte di liberazione nazionale nelle aree asiatica e africana, conclusasi prima dell’ultimo quarto di secolo, altra e ben diversa è la situazione odierna, risultato del compimento del ciclo della rivoluzione borghese in tutto il pianeta. Oggi, quando in certe aree si manifestano lotte e guerre cosiddette “nazionali”, anche se possono talvolta poggiare su conflitti e oppressioni nazionali realmente esistenti, esse vanno comunque caratterizzate e denunziate generalmente come un riflesso della lotta tra i differenti imperialismi per la spartizione delle materie prime a livello mondiale e per la conquista di avamposti strategici in vista del futuro conflitto bellico generalizzato, come sta accadendo ad esempio nel Corno d’Africa, ma anche nell’Asia Centrale e in Medio Oriente. L’imperialismo agita naturalmente la bandiera dell’“autodeterminazione dei popoli” tutte le volte che gli conviene: quindi, anche laddove il termine stesso di “oppressione nazionale” è pura mistificazione e ogni rivendicazione di autodecisione solo una trappola in cui viene attirato il proletariato. E’ ciò che accade, ad esempio, quando le fiammate nazionalistiche sono il risultato di una artificiosa riattivazione, ad opera dell’imperialismo e delle cerchie capitalistiche locali, di vecchi contrasti ormai da tempo sopiti; oppure quando determinate popolazioni, pur essendo vittime di un’autentica e storicamente ben identificabile oppressione da parte di nazionalità economicamente più sviluppate, non sono in realtà autentiche nazioni, ma pseudo-nazioni.

Il marxismo e la questione nazionale

It's a quite long article on the question of national liberations, from "il programma comunista". They essentially say that the cycle of bourgeois revolution ended before the last quarter of century (1900 I guess). So-called "national" wars have to be generally denounced as a reflection of struggle among different imperialisms...

The article, as I said, is quite long, and I wasn't able to find it in English. It should be read in its entirety to understand their position. I don't pretend to express their exact position here. But it's quite clear they mark a turning point around 1970.

Leo
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Joined: 16-07-06
May 2 2007 19:42

So are they saying that national liberation wars became reactionary before the last quarter of the 20th century? Did I understand it correctly?

mic
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Joined: 11-12-06
May 2 2007 23:24

Yes, Leo. At least "generally" yes.

I tried to use their own words, even if extracting the most relevant sections (in my opinion).
If I'll find something else, in English, I'll post it here.

Leo
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Joined: 16-07-06
Dec 19 2015 02:17

Well, that's a step forward for them, I think.

From their website:

Quote:
To be communist is to be anti-nationalist. The rise of the nation state has been the historical form marking the advent to power of the bourgeoisie. Within boundaries set by a complex process of history, a dominant national class could carry on its economic and political interaction with other dominant national classes, at times with commerce and at times through war. Using the myth that “the nation is indivisible,” the ruling class nourished the deception that the historic duty of the working class was to identify with the nation-the state and its economy-and defend it with arms against all threats.

Bordigists always had a hard time trying to swallow the Comintern theses about national liberation, unions and parliamentarianism while holding the Comintern theses as an invariant dogma.

mic
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Joined: 11-12-06
May 3 2007 20:52

The article "Marxism and the national issue" appears in
internationalist papers 13

It starts at page 30:

Quote:
The current situation
Compared to the post-war phase of the national liberation struggles in the Asian and African areas ending before the last quarter of the XX century, the present-day situation is quite different, and is the result of the conclusion of the cycle of bourgeois revolution throughout the planet. Today, when so-called “national” struggles and wars occur in certain areas, even if they are sometimes based on real national conflicts and oppression, they must nevertheless be recognised and generally proclaimed a reflection of the fight between the various imperialist powers