Internationalist Communist Tendency's blog

Capitalism’s Crisis of Stagnation and Austerity

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As 2018 opens economic optimism is breaking out amongst the capitalist class. Leaving aside the vainglorious boasts of the current President of the United States that unemployment in the US has reached lows only last seen in the post-war boom, or that the New York stock market is now at all time record highs, more serious economic commentators are arguing that after a decade of misery (at least for 99% of the planet) the signs of recovery from the 2007-8 banking collapse are now behind us. If this sounds familiar it is because we have heard the same tale so many times.

Bitcoin: Make Way for Cryptomoney!

bitcoin

An enormous number of currencies already exist across the world (dollars, roubles, euros, yen, yuan, etc.) – most of them tightly held in the wallets of bourgeois minorities dazzled by the illusion of its self-valorisation – wherever the crisis of the production and sale of commodities rages.

Iranian Protests against Austerity

Iran

On Thursday, 28th December 2017, in Mashhad the second most populous city in Iran, thousands of protesters gathered outside the city hall and chanted “Death to Rouhani”, the country’s President. Some reports have suggested that it may have been initiated by the conservative cleric Ebrahim Raisi, Rouhani's defeated rival in the May 2017 Presidential election. Later on, some others, including the senior officer of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, implicitly accused ex-President Ahmadinejad's circle being behind the recent protests. However it may have started, it quickly broke out of its intended framework and control and, in less than a week, spread to over 40 cities.

Radek on the International Situation in Spring 1918

Brest-Litovsk

This is the second in our series of translations from the review Kommunist via the French version published by the Collectif d’édition smolny (www.collectif-smolny.org) as La Revue Kommunist: Les communist de gauche contre le capitalisme d’état (The review Kommunist: Left Communists against state capitalism). Our first translation was of Radek’s article on the situation of the October Revolution in Russian in March 1918 entitled Five Months On. (See leftcom.org). This second one is also by Radek from Kommunist No. 1.

An Epitaph for the October Revolution?

Kommunist

2017 will no doubt see a flood of publications to commemorate the centenary of the Russian Revolution. There will be those who insist that the October Revolution provides a model for today and still others who will argue the opposite. Neither opinion is likely to go much beyond the defence of entrenched ideological positions. The fact that the great hopes raised by the October Revolution not only failed to materialise, but ended in a monstrous Stalinist regime which turned private exploitation into state exploitation, has been one of the greatest propaganda weapons for today’s capitalist system whose own crisis grows deeper with every year that passes.

Bukharin on the “Socialist” Opposition to Soviet Power

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In Revolutionary Perspectives 11 (due out January 2018) we shall be printing Bukharin’s short review of Lenin’s The State and Revolution. In the meantime we are publishing here another translation from the same journal Kommunist which appeared in March 1918. Kommunist was the journal of the “proletarian communists” or left communists who opposed the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk as well as the change in direction which the revolution began to take at that time. We have already published several articles from it with our commentaries.

The Russian Revolution 100 Years On: Newcastle Meeting of the CWO

1917

This year marks the centenary of the Russian Revolution and the Communist Workers' Organisation has participated in a number of meetings to commemorate this. On 18 November the CWO held a meeting in Newcastle to discuss its legacy, the revolutionary events of 1917-1918 as well as the process of degeneration. The following document – The Russian Revolution: From Workers’ Inspiration to Proletarian Tragedy – served as the basis of the presentation and was followed by a discussion.

Catalonian Election: Another Example of a Capitalist Impasse

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Translation of a commentary on last week’s election in Catalonia, from the Spanish blog Nuevo Curso.

From the Heart of Darkness: Anatomy of a March in Poland

The rise of so-called populism and the far right over the past few years has been a global trend. We have written about it before – "reactionary ideologies always feed on social decomposition, atomisation and growing insecurity."

Trump and Jerusalem

Gaza after the previous Israeli bombing

Trump has just offered two early Christmas presents to the imperialist project in Israel. This article briefly explains the wider context for this provocation.

Zimbabwe – crawling between imperialist masters

Mugabe and Xi meeting

The removal of Mugabe means only that the ruling elite will seek new imperialist links to solve the economic mess the country is in. Zimbabwe demonstrates for the nth time that "national liberation" in the epoch of imperialism means liberation only for the indigenous bourgeoisie linked to the world order of capitalism.

Universal Credit - Universal Torment: once more an attack on the conditions of the whole working class

The official line is that universal credit is being introduced to make things easier, simpler, gather a multitude of payments together to benefit people generally. As if fine-tuning bourgeois bureaucracy is a matter for anyone apart from itself and those it serves. The reality for those on the receiving-end is catastrophic to say the least.

Durham Teaching Assistants – Not Finished Yet?

The solidarity and determination of the Durham Teaching Assistants has been an inspiration to other workers throughout the North East and beyond. More than once they refused to accept a deal which would have meant a complete cave-in.

Durham Teaching Assistants – Conned by the Labour Movement

The solidarity against injustice and the self-organisation of the Durham Teaching Assistants was, as we wrote in July, an inspiration to other workers throughout the North East and beyond (see leftcom.org). Their refusal to allow 25% of their colleagues to be sacrificed for the sake of a sordid deal with Durham County Council has deservedly earned the TAs (or Lions of Durham as they were labelled) the admiration of many.

Neither Chavismo Nor Anti-Chavismo: For the Autonomous Struggle of the Working Class

Contrary to the cries of the Venezuelan government and its hypocritical Opposition, Venezuela remains, as before, a state-capitalist economy based on the extraction of oil rents.

Catalonia: Competing Nationalisms against the Working Class

The conflict between the factions defending the existing Spanish state and those seeking a separate Catalonian state continues to accelerate. Whatever the outcome or the detailed twists and turns it is clear that class-conscious workers need to be equally independent from those arguing for either a separate Catalan state or the preservation of the existing state order – both represent the façade behind which the bosses’ class exercise their control.

Ten Years Since the Financial Crash: What Price Education?

Ever since the post-war principle of free education was abandoned in 1998 by Blair’s New Labour government, fees for higher education have risen steeply and expanded to include maintenance charges.

N. Ossinsky’s Critique of State Capitalism in Russia

This is our third translation from Kommunist No 1 the journal of the “left Communists” which appeared briefly in the spring of 1918 to register the concerns of its supporters about certain developments in the Russian revolution which they saw as dangerous to its future.

Autonomism: cutting the ground from under Marxism

The building of a new mode of production which is based on the self-activity of all people cannot be delegated to any body – not even a working class party. It is only through the mass organs of working class life that a new society can be built. Communism cannot be brought in by decree but is the living product of a mass collective consciousness struggling towards new forms of social organisation.

Setup in Charlottesville

In Charlottesville, Virginia 32 year old anti-racist Heather Heyer was run down with a car at an anti-fascist protest on August 12. This murder by a white supremacist touched off a fury of democratic rhetoric by the very political forces that have cultivated this political violence for decades.