Top 10 Left Communist Groups Today

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klas batalo
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May 9 2020 19:56
Top 10 Left Communist Groups Today

What are your favorite left communist or adjacent groups still existing and why?

Dyjbas
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May 9 2020 20:52

I'm a member of the CWO, which is part of the Internationalist Communist Tendency. Apart from the UK, we also have affiliate groups in Italy, Germany, Canada and USA, as well as sympathisers globally.

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sherbu-kteer
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May 10 2020 06:43

This topic would make a great Buzzfeed article

zugzwang
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May 10 2020 07:51

Libcom could prob get more money/traffic adopting a listverse-type format

syndicalist
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May 10 2020 19:08

What’s yours?

klas batalo
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May 10 2020 19:56

Out of the big three probably ICT.

I’m more close politically to Angry Workers though.

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R Totale
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May 10 2020 20:31

Agree that the Angry Workers/Wildcat Germany/Kamunist Kranti and friends lot are the most interesting. (Do Troploin count as a group?) External Fraction of the ICC get points for dedication, though.

klas batalo
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May 10 2020 20:52
R Totale wrote:
External Fraction of the ICC get points for dedication, though.

syndicalist
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May 11 2020 14:09
Quote:
Kamunist Kranti

I remember being in contact with them in the early 1990s. They generally seemed to have been engaged in "mass work".

Quote:
Angry Workers

, "funny" I never really had a political label in my mind for them.
Interesting.

Quote:
ICC

, even though they used to denounce us, we always got along pretty well with their NYC folks. Had a few public events with them over the decades. And have found some their writings of interest.

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May 11 2020 14:28
syndicalist wrote:
Quote:
Angry Workers

, "funny" I never really had a political label in my mind for them.
Interesting.

Fully agree that they're not too easy to stick a specific label on - since their book came out, I've seen anarchists criticising them as left communists, and more standard leftists criticising them as anarcho-syndicalists, and I think they seem as much influenced by Italian workerism/operaismo/autonomia as anything else. But fwiw, from the intro to their new book:

"For those who like to categorise, we put ourselves on the communist left. That might not mean much to many, and it isn’t really important, other than to say that our approach to revolutionary politics lies firmly in workers’ self-organisation. Everything we do centres around this perspective: that in order to really change society, working class people have to take matters into their own hands. We don’t think the state is a neutral force that we can bend to our will by just getting the right political party elected. States always have been, and always will be, the main arbiters in maintaining class relations"

Dyjbas
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May 11 2020 16:45

There is more to the Communist Left than just workers’ self-organisation and anti-statism though. The historical currents coming out the Third International don't seem to be a reference point for the Angry Workers, and they tend to eschew "programmatic politics".

Spikymike
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May 11 2020 18:27

And following post #10 above have a look at the introduction to these comrades here:
http://www.mouvement-communiste.com

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May 11 2020 20:27

Top 10 left communist groups?

I don't think there are that many.

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May 11 2020 20:36
R Totale wrote:
Agree that the Angry Workers/Wildcat Germany/Kamunist Kranti and friends lot are the most interesting. (Do Troploin count as a group?) External Fraction of the ICC get points for dedication, though.

None of these are left communist.

Left communism believes in:
- the need for a worldwide party,
- the dictatorship of the proletariat as a necessary step to communism,
- the Bolsheviks and the Comintern as, at first, genuine proletarian revolutionary organisations

KK are hard to define, basically close to communisation, AW are some kind of workerists, Mouvement Communiste are some kind of workerist/councilists, Troploin is just Dauve (since Nesic died) and is communisation, can't remember who EFICC is.

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Lucky Black Cat
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May 11 2020 21:22

I've been trying to learn a bit more about left-communism lately. They're more diverse than I realized, so maybe this question can't be answered, but what generally is the left-communist position on Kronstadt?

And what differentiates a left-communist from a Trotskyist?

Dyjbas
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May 11 2020 21:49

Lucky Black Cat, it depends which left communist you ask.

For the ICT view on Kronstadt have a read of 1921: Beginning of the Counter-Revolution? and for an analysis of Trotskyism, see the pamphlet Trotsky, Trotskyism, Trotskyists, particularly the chapter on Trotsky and the Internationalist Communist Left which explains the relations between the two tendencies.

Briefly though, Kronstadt was a sign that the counter-revolution was on the march, while Trotskyism we would consider to be part of the left of capital (among other reasons because modern Trotskyists take sides in imperialist conflicts, and tend to equate socialism with state control).

Mair Waring
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May 11 2020 22:19

What groups exist beyond the ICC and ICT? I am not aware of any others.

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sherbu-kteer
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May 11 2020 22:41
Mair Waring wrote:
What groups exist beyond the ICC and ICT? I am not aware of any others.

The various ICPs:

http://sinistra.net/con/addresses.html

Naturally the pickings are slim in English but for French and Italian speakers, there's a few more options

BigFluffyTail
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May 11 2020 22:51
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Mouvement Communiste are some kind of workerist/councilists

I don't think so. Their presentation says they're a fusion between operaism and "a radical critique of ultraleft ideology". Councilists deem them "bordigists", which isn't true either. But they definitely have a thing for Lenin and Bordiga, as seen by their "Reviews".

For Krondstadt it depends as Dyjbas says. They presented the ICT's view. The ICP agrees with Trotsky on the issue, more so than some trotskists. See here and here Le prolétaire's polemic on the issue against trotskists questioning Trotsky's position and against the ICC (whose position on subject you can thus deduce). Council communist Otto Rühle got into a heated argument with Trotsky on the subject while they were in Mexico. All of them, however, are careful not to sum up what happened in Russia via that one event.

Speaking of trotskyism that reminds me of a tract I received from LO (a major trot org in France) for the municipal elections, right before confinement. They claim to be the "camp of workers" but the first side of the tract argued for small businesses against big businesses and the other side equated socialism with state control. Nowhere were workers or their issues mentioned. They can't even lie properly!

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May 12 2020 02:40

For a nice little overview of the differences between left communism and Trotskyism, see this recent article by the ICC – it's so schematic, it even comes with a table and all:

http://en.internationalism.org/content/16727/nuevo-curso-and-spanish-communist-left-what-are-origins-communist-left

(I'm being facetious, but aside from some sectarian references to Bilan and "fraction work", there's not that much to disagree with.)

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May 12 2020 09:17
Craftwork wrote:
None of these are left communist.

Left communism believes in:
- the need for a worldwide party,
- the dictatorship of the proletariat as a necessary step to communism,
- the Bolsheviks and the Comintern as, at first, genuine proletarian revolutionary organisations

I mean, the OP was specifically asking for left communist and adjacent groups, and I think it'd be fair to call all of them adjacent. Also, I don't want to sound like someone arguing that anarcho-capitalism should be considered anarchists based on wikipedia definitions or anything, and I admit to not being the greatest expert on this stuff, but is the above even true for all of the historical Dutch-German left? Like, I would have thought that Ruhle and the AAU-E would at least disagree with some of the above, and I don't know how useful a definition is if it excludes some of the people who made up the actual communist left when it existed as a historical force.

Quote:
KK are hard to define, basically close to communisation, AW are some kind of workerists, Mouvement Communiste are some kind of workerist/councilists, Troploin is just Dauve (since Nesic died) and is communisation, can't remember who EFICC is.

As above - not really sure what point arguing over labels achieves, and "communisation", like anything else, means lots of different things to different people, but the original 70s communisation theorists like Dauve were definitely emerging out of left communism (or do we need to have a debate about the differences between left communism and the ultra-left?), even if they aren't part of the Invariant Apostolic Succession of Pope Bordiga. As I say, at least leftcom-adjacent.

Lucky Black Cat wrote:
I've been trying to learn a bit more about left-communism lately. They're more diverse than I realized, so maybe this question can't be answered, but what generally is the left-communist position on Kronstadt?

And what differentiates a left-communist from a Trotskyist?

The most important difference is that Trotskyists don't usually apply for stalls at anarchist bookfairs. tongue I think the major points are: national liberation/taking sides in wars, unions, social democratic parties and voting - Trots luv all of 'em, leftcoms hate em.

AFP wrote:
For a nice little overview of the differences between left communism and Trotskyism, see this recent article by the ICC – it's so schematic, it even comes with a table and all:

http://en.internationalism.org/content/16727/nuevo-curso-and-spanish-com...

Now I get around to looking at that, I see it's a response from them to an article from Nuevo Curso, which argued that "The Communist Left Was Never Left Communist" which neatly sums up the difficulties and absurdities of trying to define this stuff.

Spikymike
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May 12 2020 12:16

Internationalist Perspective has it's origins as the EFICC (see Issue No1 1986) but has evolved significantly from that today as an independent group with it's own clear analysis. See here for starters:
https://libcom.org/library/world-we-see-it-reference-points-internationa...
And for those interested in that evolution this slightly earlier text titled - 'Internationalist Perspective and the Tradition of the Communist Left' which appeared in the editions of their journal No 57 and No58/59 starting here:
https://internationalistperspective.org/issue/internationalist-perspecti...

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darren p
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May 12 2020 14:58

I think having a knowledge of these things (the histories of various political currents) is useful in order to get a handle on radical thought. But to me, these groups which claim to be the living heirs to this or that tradition are just LARPing. It pays to be informed of movements of the past but the only useful position to be in today is one that is critical of it all. The conditions of 2020 are very different to those of one hundred years ago...

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May 12 2020 10:56

I don't like the Top Ten idea. Takes me back to the world of Top of the Pops, Alan Freeman, Tony Blackburn and of course Jimmy Saville.

This is the ICC's very brief summary of the historical tradition, but it doesn't attempt to make an exhaustive map of existing groups. https://en.internationalism.org/the-communist-left

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May 12 2020 23:22
Alf wrote:
I don't like the Top Ten idea. Takes me back to the world of Top of the Pops, Alan Freeman, Tony Blackburn and of course Jimmy Saville.

Left communist hit parade would be better grin

klas batalo
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May 13 2020 00:06

Angry Workers self-describe as communist left.

They do certainly seem to be influenced by operaismo and have participated in syndicalist efforts.

I've seen some call them libertarian communists, and I myself think of them sort as ultra-left workerists.

But that's their self-definition.

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May 13 2020 04:11

Nuevo Curso is probably the strangest of the bunch. If they didn't hold such racist and reactionary views about the lumpen proletariat, feminism and immigration they would be my favorite hands down for being so unique. The tendency they adhere to basically came directly out of the fourth international, with Munis splitting to form his own organization separate first from FI and then also from the communist left organisations(Damen's tendency I think) he was in talks with. They reject "trotskyism" but still programmatic-ly uphold FI as revolutionary for its first period and claim its legacy. Munis went on to write in his For a second communist manifesto that the Transitional program "is now more than insufficient, good for promoting opportunism in the face of the Stalinist counter-revolution and its subsidiaries. It is obsolete, in the same way as Lenin's previous programme was in 1917. Unless it is overcome, taking into account the experience and objective conditions created by the rotation of capital, as well as the subjective possibilities of the proletariat in the case of full revolutionary agitation, it will not achieve victory anywhere and any insurrectional movement will be crushed by counterfeiters". The document itself, and NC's first congress, still use the "method" of the transitional program in forming its demands and program. Such clear and concrete demands as they put forward for their first congress is something that is very rarely found in the Communist Left.

Quote:
The most important difference is that Trotskyists don't usually apply for stalls at anarchist bookfairs. tongue I think the major points are: national liberation/taking sides in wars, unions, social democratic parties and voting - Trots luv all of 'em, leftcoms hate em.

Overestimating how unified "trotskyists" are on these questions...

Quote:
They do certainly seem to be influenced by operaismo and have participated in syndicalist efforts.

I feel like the point where they diverge from syndicalism is that in some texts they do describe a need for a "revolutionary organisation" and not strictly a labor union struggle. From what I have read they are much closer to "workerism".

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May 15 2020 01:44

Thanks for the replies, everyone. smile

BigFluffyTail wrote:

Speaking of trotskyism that reminds me of a tract I received from LO (a major trot org in France) for the municipal elections, right before confinement. They claim to be the "camp of workers" but the first side of the tract argued for small businesses against big businesses and the other side equated socialism with state control. Nowhere were workers or their issues mentioned. They can't even lie properly!

Lol, wow. Are you sure they didn't mean workers camp? Trotsky seemed to like those.

AnythingForProximity wrote:
For a nice little overview of the differences between left communism and Trotskyism, see this recent article by the ICC – it's so schematic, it even comes with a table and all:

http://en.internationalism.org/content/16727/nuevo-curso-and-spanish-communist-left-what-are-origins-communist-left

Ooh, I loved that little table, very helpful.

R Totale wrote:
The most important difference is that Trotskyists don't usually apply for stalls at anarchist bookfairs. tongue I think the major points are: national liberation/taking sides in wars, unions, social democratic parties and voting - Trots luv all of 'em, leftcoms hate em.

Haha. Well, I can think of four Trotskyist groups I know, and two of them hate all capitalist parties (even so-called left ones) and the other two encourage (critical) support for "left"-leaning candidates. Not really sure about their differences on the other issues.

This is a good thread! Seeing some old libcom posters I haven't seen in a while and some I've never seen before. smile

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Jun 1 2020 18:13

Thought its pretty interesting that Emancipation, who has the paper Neuvo Curso, established a youth-wing called The Torch last year with this appeal. I guess it is sort of in the same vein as the old Fourth International's focus on young workers, especially to intervene in them being mobilized for nationalist or militarist purpose. So far most of the articles seem to be very similar to those of their primary paper and they don't seem to have posted about any "in real life" actions.

To my knowledge none of the other groupings on the communist left have a youth-wing? The people I've spoken to with who are members of ICT have been vehemently opposed to the concept of youth leagues...

An interesting historical artifact is the Left Communist Youth-League of Norway. It was an independent youth-league to the Norwegian Labor Party and took strong influence from Pannekoek and Gorter, though it would later merge with the other youth-leagues into a unified youth-league, and its old leaders would become leading government social-democrats after the war.

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Jun 2 2020 20:26

The top left communist existing today is whoever set fire to the AFL-CIO headquarters. Nothing anyone else can do will out-left-communist that.

Spikymike
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Jul 6 2020 11:24

Forgot to mention the GCI/ICG and also 'Guerre de Classe' that both have some useful texts posted in English on this site. As for all the others mentioned above they are worth reading critically in relation to each other and other communist material on this site.