Some time ago (May or earlier) I started a thread to discuss the IBRP. This may have been before a major crash, but I am unable to find it. Anyhow I was somewhat unsatisfied with the discussion, so it would be good to re-open it. I would be particularly interested to see input from Devrim and redtwister on this thread.
The IBRP is the "International Bureau for the Revolutionary Party". Originally their name sounded somewhat trottish and put me off, and people equated them with the ICC. I had read quite a bit of the ICCs stuff, but found them to be too dogmatic for my taste. I wasn't very interested in more of the same, but I happened to read a few things that I liked, and so I read more.
For those who aren't leftist trainsporters: The IBRP is left-communist, it was formed in 1983 by the Communist Workers Organization (UK) and the Internationalist Communist Party (Italy)(who aren't boridigist). They recently formed sections in North America and France as well, and they seem to be on good relations with groups in Germany, Austria, Colombia, and Iran (or the Iranian Diaspora). They believe in decadence theory, though it is more similar to Loren Goldner's interpretation than the ICC's. They also believe in the "revolutionary party" as the organic vanguard of the working class (i.e. less as an organization with a given political coloration, than as the leading elements of the working class given organized form - that is why they consider themselves to be a potential building block of a future party, rather than a party itself); they don't believe in the party taking power, but that power in given territorial sections will be held by the organs of the working class.
Here is their platform: http://www.ibrp.org/english/platform
Here is an explanation of what they mean, and what they don't mean, by the party: link
Now here is what I like about them:
-They are common-sensical in their ultra-leftism. They lack the dogmatism and sectarianism of the ICC, but mirror Loren Goldner and other left communist writers whom i like in that they look at situations sensibly. (For example, some sympathizers of theirs in the US decided to split a few years ago [and were somewhat nasty about it], and while the ICC started tirading against 'parasitism', the IBRP wished the ex-supporters well in developing their politics). This also leads them to have a much more sensible view of decadence, insofar as it informs their critique but does not dominate it.
-They are also (seemingly) unpretentious. They believe in an eventual party, but do not proclaim themselves it, nor even a necessary part of its construction. The names of their consituent organizations, such as the Communist Workers Organization or the Internationalist Workers Group, and the name which they use for many of their publications "Internationalist Notes", reflect this insofar as they want to build an organized force but do not pretend to be this. This is a good relief from the opportunist organizationalism that pervades leftism, and the anti-organizationalism that seems so prevalent among ultra-leftists.
-Their take on the Bolsheviks is pretty good; something akin to "nothing can be simplified to Lenin/Trotsky but the theoretical weaknesses combined with some serious fucked up behavior led to the Bolsheviks quickly becoming the vanguard of the counter-revolution. Lenin/Trotsky may not have wanted this but they played a large part in it. That doesn't write off the huge significance that Russia had at the time for the international working class".
-They also recognize the value of non-left-communists, and do not have a constant need to prove others wrong. For instance they have written good things about the IWW, and spanish exile CNT members.
-They have a history which gives them some weight. The PCInt was founded in Italy in 1943, and I think the fact that they have existed for over 60 years with what seems to be at least a sizable presence has probably tempered them and led to the above qualities which I like. Most of the more imbalanced types either remained in the "French Fraction of the Communist Left" which dissolved in 1953, or split from the PCInt in 1953 to become what we nowadays call Bordigists.
Now here are my questions:
-I can't read Italian, so I have to go by what's in English. However, their British section has existed for 30 years and as an international organization they've been around for over 20. It seems that they've only recently expanded beyond their two founding organizations, and it does not seem like the CWO has made the kind of impact (in terms of things like growth) that most organizations do after 30 solid years of existence. Neither of these are necessarily faults, but I'd be interested to see what people's takes on them are. Are the causes of this objective or subjective? Can some of our UK comrades attest to their experiences with the CWO over the years? For instance, using Chris' "prick scale", are they:
1. not much of a prick at all
2. kind of more prickly than prick
3. moronic and thick, but not necessarily all that rude beyond being a smug fucker, inbred, scenester activist-level prickness
4. 3+unnecessarily rude, sectarian, opportunistic, manipulative
5. 3+4+everyone's a fucking twat, I'm wonderful, suck my balls, I'd prefer to be rude than breathe, Spartacist League/Healyite/Progressive Labor Party prickness
-Can anyone speak to the above question on an international scale?
-Also, what are some takes on their politics? Something beyond "Och they talk about Lenin", but actually dealing with the substance of their politics (are they bolshies, activists, rely too much on decadence theory, etc.?)