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ICC day of discussion on WW1, London, 20 September

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Alf
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Aug 17 2014 19:19
ICC day of discussion on WW1, London, 20 September

Day of Discussion - World War One: how the workers were mobilised for war, and how they put an end to it

September 20, 2014, 11 am to 6 pm

Lucas Arms, 245A Grays Inn Rd, Kings Cross, London WC1X 8QY

In all the noisy commemorations about the First World War, some things are more or less left in silence. First, that a crucial responsibility for the war lay with the ‘Labour’ and ‘Socialist’ parties who in 1914 voted for war credits and set about mobilising the workers for the war effort; and second, that the war was ended by the revolutionary struggles of the working class.

In the first session of this day of discussion, we will look at how the majority of the parties of the Second International came to betray the fundamental principles of internationalism and integrate themselves into the bourgeois state. This treason did not come about overnight, but was the product of a long process of degeneration which still contains many lessons for today. We will focus in particular on the German Social Democratic Party, the great jewel of the International, whose capitulation in 1914 was a decisive factor in the collapse of the International.

In the second session we will begin the discussion by showing a short film about how the working class recovered from its disarray in 1914 and, after three years of slaughter, began the wave of strikes, mutinies and uprisings which forced the ruling class to end the war and, for a while, threatened the very existence of the world capitalist system.

All welcome. Comrades who envisage coming to the meeting from outside London and will need accommodation should write to us at uk@internationalism.org.

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Aug 29 2014 16:02

So: any brave souls out there thinking they might come to this?

Baritz
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Aug 29 2014 19:27

Hi Alf,
I'm hoping to attend. I was at last year's event, and was rather quiet and well-behaved libcom arrow for bullet points)
One thing I found stressful last year was the lack of applauding after a speaker's contribution. As a very well-mannered prole I always like to clap, but as no one else did I had to keep still... (and there were THREE main speakers). The bottled-up tension all came out in my train journey home when I clapped furiously to myself for several hours.
Otherwise, I'm looking forward to the 20th.

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Aug 30 2014 09:26

ICC internal meetings tend to avoid all the old trappings of the 'old' movement, long since appropriated by capital - singing the Internationale, flags...and applause for 'speeches', so I suppose these get transposed to the outside. We could of course think of providing a small side room or cupboard for you to give vent to your uncontrollable clapping impulses.

Baritz
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Aug 30 2014 12:26

Excellent, thanks libcom arrow for bullet points)
I might even try one-hand clapping...

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Aug 31 2014 08:07

It's not against The Internationale, which I agree is a good song, it's a rejection of the way it has been used by the left of capital. In the future it can be reappropriatedby the workers' movement.

slothjabber
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Sep 1 2014 10:10

I'm coming of course. Some others from the MDF should be coming too.

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Sep 3 2014 07:35

Is there ever a chance the ICC will record talks? As someone who is severely limited in his international mobility, it would be the only chance to see this, besides reading your written material.

Baritz
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Sep 3 2014 09:29
Railyon wrote:
Is there ever a chance the ICC will record talks? As someone who is severely limited in his international mobility, it would be the only chance to see this, besides reading your written material.

Hi Railyon,
There are a few talks on the ICC website, at http://en.internationalism.org/world-revolution-radio

The top one of the list is from last year's 'Day of Discussion', but it seems to be unavailable for download as an MP3 - but ok to listen to 'on-site'.

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Sep 3 2014 09:37
Baritz wrote:
Excellent, thanks libcom arrow for bullet points)
I might even try one-hand clapping...

Just when I thought the innuendo couldn't get any worse!

Baritz
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Sep 3 2014 09:54
Chilli Sauce wrote:
Baritz wrote:
Excellent, thanks libcom arrow for bullet points)
I might even try one-hand clapping...

Just when I thought the innuendo couldn't get any worse!

Hmm, it must be your saucy mind libcom arrow for bullet points)

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Sep 3 2014 10:07
Baritz wrote:
Railyon wrote:
Is there ever a chance the ICC will record talks? As someone who is severely limited in his international mobility, it would be the only chance to see this, besides reading your written material.

Hi Railyon,
There are a few talks on the ICC website, at http://en.internationalism.org/world-revolution-radio

The top one of the list is from last year's 'Day of Discussion', but it seems to be unavailable for download as an MP3 - but ok to listen to 'on-site'.

Thanks for pointing that out - couldn't find that on the website the last time I visited, and Youtube doesn't have much material either.

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Sep 16 2014 10:48

The film is of course already on our site h(ttp://en.internationalism.org/first-world-war-i), but we will show it again with an introduction to the discussion. We will record the proceedings.

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Sep 22 2014 07:47

Meeting went fairly well with participation of ICC members and sympathisers, comrades from SPGB, CWO, Free Communist, MDF and unattached. The main points of the discussion will be written up and we will see if we can make use of the audio recording.

Baritz
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Sep 22 2014 11:44

This was a very interesting meeting. The attendees were mostly of the Communist Left, but there were also 4 SPGBers present. It was a comradely affair – anyone could speak if they wished to, and whilst differences were sharply expressed they were never personalised. The main speaker gave a measured and unhurried overview of the response (of the 2nd International parties) to the declaration of war in 1914; (and the long-term underlying issues which brought down the SPD as a suitable vehicle for the working class to attain communism). Plenty of food was provided (always a big plus!) and then the recent ICC film on WW1 was shown. This is a very good short film, (available on their website), whatever issues I have with it politically.

As an SPGBer, I was interested to hear the areas of disagreement from the Communist Left – the SPGB was criticised on several grounds - apparently not understanding (or agreeing with) the importance of events in Russia 1905, 1917, and the emergence of the Soviet/Workers' Council form). As for the War 'we' only opposed it 'passively', and failed to intervene in workers' struggles, unlike the Bolsheviks, John Maclean etc. In other words criticism which I think boils down to the usual dividing issues of socialist/communist consciousness, (how it comes about), the role of the Party/revolutionaries in general, and the nature of the revolution to come. So plenty to ponder on!

I'd like to thank Alf and the ICC for putting this on and for the usual comradely welcome.

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Sep 22 2014 22:45

Thanks for those comments. The discussion continues....