On our departure from the International Communist Current - Pale Blue Jadal

Painting of a mountain

Article explaining the reasons why Enternasyonalist Komünist Sol, which became the Turkish section of the ICC, later left the organisation.

As we announced on the January of 2015, as all the membersof the International Communist Current in Turkey, we’d taken the decision toleave this organization at the end of last year. In the short announcement wepublished, we said we first intended to write a text evaluating the process politically and expressing why we had to leave the ICC. We managed to finish this piece, which is a result of our discussions after leaving the ICC, a bit later than we hoped; we are thus thankful for the understanding of those who’d shown interest in our text. >

1. The Formation of an ICC Section in Turkey and its First Period

Though only indirectly related to the process leading to our departure from the ICC, we think we need to mention the formation of the Turkish section of the ICC since this period had effects on the discussions in the coming years as well.

The Turkish section of the ICC was formed in 2009 when the members of the left communist group Enternasyonalist Komünist Sol (Internationalist Communist Left), which had been founded in 2006, joined the ICC. The dominant orientation of the ICC during this period was one which emphasized the importance of the culture of debate, which realized even if it did so partially that the traumas of the past posed problems and which was careful to appear as open as possible. The aim of this orientation was the quick expansion of the organization. In those years, on the one hand the positions of the communist left had started to become known and find some echo in countries outside Europe, thanks to the internet. On the other hand mass struggles had started to take place in different parts of the world. Besides, the lack of young militants was being felt in the ICC, the majority of which was made up of the 68 generation. All these factors fanned the ICC’s hopes for and excitement about rapid growth.

 Enternasyonalist Komünist Sol in Turkey was one of the groups around the world which came into contact and started discussing with the ICC in this period. The EKS, which was made up of youths whose political experience and accumulation had just started to form, was quite an excited group being the first in Turkey to fully adopt the positions of the communist left tradition. No matter how the EKS saw itself, rather than being an organization, it was a collection of politicised circles of friends. The excitement of its initial years turned into a feeling of isolation faced with the might of various forms of nationalism in Turkey; this in turn gave a more serious character to EKS’ search for international connections. The ICC was to be the group which conducted this contact most seriously among the groups contacted by the EKS and its theoretical positions would come to have an increasing effect on the group in Turkey due to the warm and open attitude of its members among other factors. Finally, the EKS’ integration process into the ICC started and following discussions on the ICC’s platform on statutes for about two years, this process ended with the EKS dissolving itself and joining the ICC. This was indeed a world-wide period of albeit limited growth for the ICC: A Filipino group joined the ICC at the same time as the EKS as well as people joining in countries such as Brazil, Peru and Ecuador where the ICC wasn’t present in this period either. 

On the other hand the EKS was not a homogeneous group and even at the end of the discussion process, one of its members still disagreed with the ICC platform on the question of feminism while another disagreed with its statutes on the question of union membership. These disagreements were disregarded due to the objective of rapid growth which dominated the ICC in this period. Also, since the EKS was just a collection of politicised circles of friends, serious problems had begun to occur between its members and these problems weren’t shared with the ICC due to a group mentality. The ICC on its own part, within the framework of the optimism of its general framework, did not feel the need to examine the internal dynamics of the EKS which, after all, was a group capable of putting out a regular publication.

 Yet problems shelved or ignored have the disturbing habit of getting bigger. Thus in a short time the tensions within the new Turkish section of the ICC were to turn into an open crisis. The first consequence of this open crisis was the dispersal of a group of friends in the section which previously acted as a block and its components leaving the organization one by one. The remaining members of the section managed to shake off the effects of the crisis only by focusing on the Tekel struggle[1] which was had started in this period. In the following period, there was a limited expansion of the section’s sphere of influence which was followed by new members joining. On the other hand, while new people joined, the last remaining founder of the original EKS left the organization as how he saw the ICC had changed completely as a result of the whole process. Thus the section was to assume its final form.

Despite all its problems, the Turkish section was to become the most critical section in the ICC. The most important example of this is the fact that the section in Turkey was the only section which had rejected the ICC’s infamous position on parasitism[2]. Though the members of the EKS were, far from rejecting it, in fact relatively open to this idea which they weren’t really familiar with, in time a position which rejected the concept of parasitism developed within the section and eventually the section took a position against the theses on parasitism. After the section assumed its final form, we decided to re-examine the issue as new comrades had joined and as a result we rejected the concept of parasitism again with a more in-depth text than the previous one.

The positions criticized by the Turkish section weren’t limited to the subject of parasitism. The Turkish section was the most prominent among those who opposed the position on the analysis of the Arab Spring which emerged within the ICC and claimed the civil war starting in Libya was similar to the Spanish civil war. In this period, some comrades from the section also seriously criticized the functioning of the central organ of the organization[3] and pointed out that the role of this organ was reduced to approving the decisions taken by its own secretariat. Sadly, the validity of this serious criticism was to be seen soon.

 In its first period, the Turkish section could exist within the ICC as a critical section. On the other hand it would be difficult to say that these criticisms were taken very seriously within the ICC during this period. There were no responses to the first text of the Turkish section rejecting the concept of parasitism whereas only a single comrade responded to the second one. The fact that the section’s predictions on the Arab spring were validated was missed rather than leading to a reexamination of the general position on the subject.

If we evaluate the process from the foundation of the Turkish section until this point in its totality, we see that the approach which accepted those who disagreed with the ICC’s platform and statutes into the organization continued throughout the process where our critical attitude was tolerated so as not to scare us off. For while the tendency which dominated the ICC in this period was aware of certain problems caused by the ICC’s past due to its framework of expansion, its apparent solution didn’t go beyond shelving the problems. In the end, it was difficult to define this tendency with a term other than opportunism. As we were to find out later, there were others who criticized the opportunism of this dominant tendency in the ICC; yet the perspective of these comrades was much different than ours which wanted the organization to face the problems of its past.

2. The Crisis in the ICC and the Position of the Section in Turkey

The dominant tendency in the ICC mostly tolerated the criticisms of youths like us who were far away from the French section of the ICC which constituted the center of its life. Yet this tendency was not so tolerant towards criticisms which it perceived as a threat to itself. These comrades whom the dominant tendency perceived as a threat saw even limited openings trying to get past the historical traumas[4] of the ICC as a problem, criticized the opportunism beyond the idea of a rapid expansion and against the orientation of not scaring the youth away, emphasized that the 68 generation needed to transmit its experience to the youth one-sidedly; This emphasis presupposed that the young comrades were bereft of any experience on the question of organization. The dominant tendency reacted harshly against these criticisms and this lead to a crisis in the organization. As the ICC itself later said: “The epicenter of the present crisis of the ICC was the existence in the section in France of a campaign of denigration, hidden from the organization as a whole, of a comrade, who was demonized to such an extent that her very presence in the organization was supposed to constitute a barrier to its development.”[5] Within the scope of the campaign against this comrade, chosen as a target by the dominant tendency, the central organ of the ICC was to approve the denigrations written by its own secretariat against her as it did with everything else coming from the secretariat. Yet as this campaign came to be known, some comrades in the ICC took action. By the 20th Congress of the ICC in 2013, the old expansionist tendency had lost its influence.

As the Turkish section, we came to be aware of all these incidents and the change that took place in the 20th Congress. This was a congress where the expansionist positions of the past years were subjected to a storm of criticisms by a more conservative tendency: the theoretical acquisitions had been lost, immediatist errors had been committed, routines had lead to a sclerosis in the organization; the old secretariat of the central organ had followed an opportunist path in general.  Also, among the retrospective criticisms made at this congress were that a culture of everyone agreeing with everything had emerged in the organization and that the discussions had become shallow: being critical was now saluted. That all these criticisms were being made was quite positive for the delegates of the Turkish section in the congress who were still trying to understand what had gone on. On the other hand, while the delegates from Turkey strongly condemned what was being done to the comrade who’d been subjected to a campaign of denigrations, they didn’t agree with the explanation of this incident based on the concept of morality. While the culture of agreement was extensively criticized in the congress, it still continued in its effects: only the comrades with whom the majority agreed with had changed. The new dominant tendency did really seem to desire a debate. Yet the objections to the positions put forward were again voiced mostly by the delegates from Turkey. Though the Jury of Honor[6] formed in order for the denigrated comrade to be absolved created questions for most of the delegates from Turkey, the delegates left the congress nevertheless hopeful.

After the 20th Congress, certain discussions started taking place and criticisms started to be expressed within the ICC upon the nature and purpose of the newly formed Jury of Honor. At the same time, quite lively days were taking place in Turkey: the Gezi Park protests had begun a short time after the ICC 20th Congress. Naturally, the center of the sections discussions had to be about how to analyze this movement. There were disagreements within the section on this question. The section managed to focus on the internal questions of the organization only after the discussions on Gezi. The first example of this was the critical letters sent by the members of the section who were in the central organ of the ICC to a meeting of this organ. In these letters, objections to the distortion of minority positions were voiced and the idea that Paris commune type neighborhood assemblies could dominate the revolutionary wave of the future instead of the workers councils in light of the mass movements of the period was criticized. These discussions continued in the 2013 Conference of the Turkish section.

On the other hand, after this conference, the problems which started within the section a few months ago were to relapse. A series of meetings took place between some members of the section and the ICC’s secretariat took place which was quite a difficult process and didn’t reach a conclusion. When the section eventually resolved the issue on its own initiative and mobilized to catch up with the internal life of the ICC, it was to be confronted with a picture worse than how it had been before within the organization.

In December 2013, the Jury of Honor established to absolve the comrade targeted by the old secretariat published a communiqué. This text claimed that there was a clan[7] in the organization and compared a member of the old secretariat defined as the architect of its pogromist policies[8] with Stalin’s ex-Menshevik chief prosecutor, Andrey Vhyshinsky[9]. The new secretariat made a call to the organization to rapidly discuss this text and take a position in support of it. After discussing these texts within the Turkish section, we felt the need to take a position against these texts which called on us to take position on a subject the details of which we weren’t well versed in. Also, the comparison of a member of a communist organization, no matter how bad the campaign he conducted against a comrade might be, with a persecutor of the Stalinist counter-revolution such as Vhyshinsky who’d sent ten thousands of revolutionaries to their deaths seemed problematic to us. Thus we put forward criticisms which defined the tone of the Jury of Honor’s text as extremely agitated, and the call of the secretariat as rash and hasty. In later discussions, we saw and accepted that there were mistakes in our letter due to lack of information and withdrew the erroneous points while continuing to defend our criticisms on the tone and method of the communiqué.

3. The Extraordinary Conference of the ICC

This was the same period when there was a call to gather an extraordinary conference of the ICC. Generally, in the internal discussions preceding the Extraordinary Conference, the comrades who’d voiced criticisms of the new secretariat, the conservative tendency which was being referred to as the left wing of the organization and the Jury of Honor were being blamed just for making criticisms, and accused of being a part of the campaign against the comrade the old secretariat had targeted. Yet the comrades who made these criticisms were not the architects of the expansionist tendency: the expansionist comrades had gone silent since the 20th Congress on the criticisms directed at them and supported, or at least didn’t publically object to the new secretariat. Critical attitudes generally come from sections outside France. Especially the text of one of these comrades on how minority positions were suppressed in the ICC had had a serious influence in the Turkish section. The publication of internal texts calling for minority positions to be defended and secured had given us hope. Thus we started preparing for the Extraordinary Conference in order to contribute to the establishment of an atmosphere where critical approaches could be expressed. In all these meetings where we discussed the texts of the Jury of Honor and the coming conference, comrades both from the new secretariat and various sections also participated. 

As a result of these discussions, we wrote a statement of position on the crisis in the ICC as the comrades from the Turkish section. In this statement, while condemning the old secretariat’s scapegoating policies, we criticized the culture of agreement in the organization, the idea that expressing indignation against what was done against this comrade was a measurement of how revolutionary one was, the analysis of pogromism developed over this individual incident and the fact that the discussion revolved too much around personalities. Also, we emphasized that what was going on was a political crisis rather than a moral one. We criticized the positions of the tendency which called itself the left wing of the ICC as being centrist as these comrades saw themselves as the orthodoxy of the ICC. We also criticized the intolerance of this conservative tendency towards all sorts of criticism. We opposed the idea that the 68 generation had to transmit its experience to new comrades in a one sided fashion, an idea we saw as undialectical. Opposing the positions which developed in the organization that if the ICC somehow ceased to exist the party couldn’t be founded, the proletariat couldn’t make a revolution and the world would face unavoidable ruin, we expressed that we hoped we wouldn’t be alone in continuing communist activity in case a situation likes this took place. Lastly we called for the ICC to conduct a serious critical examination of its own history. Our perspective was for the ICC to become an organization where minority positions, different positions could be expressed and discussed freely. By going to the conference with such a text, we were hoping that our criticisms would break free from isolation and have a positive impact within the organization.

A short time after we sent our critical text to the secretariat, a formation called the International Group of the Communist Left published a provocative article targeting the ICC, full of quotes from its internal bulletins which this group had somehow obtained. The Turkish section condemned this provocative attack even before the Extraordinary Conference, becoming the first section in the organization to take position against it. Nevertheless, the members of our section in the central organ of the ICC didn’t fail to criticize the extremely angry tone of the communiqué written in response to this attack, its engagement into polemics with this group which we didn’t see as proletarian, the speculations made in the communiqué in regards to the internal life of the ICC as well as the comparisons made with the Stasi and Stalin and the expression that a pogrom was taking place against the ICC in it. The concern behind all these criticisms of ours was that such a reaction would make the ICC appear wrong when it was right and give the impression to its readers that what went on was nothing but an inexplicable fight between two miniscule groups. In fact, exposing the IGCL’s provocation shortly and with a calm tone would have been enough. Events confirmed our concerns yet the ICC still chooses to close its eyes to the fact that its communiqué created the opposite of the desired effect.

In fact, the people who the provocative text of the IGCL harmed most were the critical comrades and especially our section by creating a feeling within the ICC of being under attack. At this time it was impossible for the positions we’d put forward to be discussed calmly. In the Extraordinary Conference, the delegates from Turkey didn’t step back from their positions despite the conservative comrades declaring that people who defended such positions weren’t in the organization now and such criticisms were arrogant in an atmosphere where all the other delegates went up to declare agreement with positions of the dominant tendency. Yet the delegates were asked to delay their votes where they were going to vote no and withdraw the texts they were to submit for being voted on the basis of the IGCL’s attack, which the comrades accepted. The direst aspect of this harsh conference, on the other hand, was the resolution conservative comrades drew up against the delegates from Turkey. 

Before the Extraordinary Conference, a comrade who couldn’t participate in the conference providing translation support for the Turkish delegates was discussed. For this reason, the delegates from the section were talking to this comrade through the internet and trying to clarify if there was anything the comrades had missed. There was no attempt to hide these talks, which took place during the conference, from the ICC at all. The comrade who talked to the delegates from Turkey did not tell them how they should act or what they should do in the conference either. Various comrades from other sections who witnessed these talks did not warn the delegates from Turkey about them at all. Then, on the last day of the conference, the delegates were confronted with a resolution drawn up behind their backs which claimed that the section in Turkey gave the delegates an imperative mandate[10] and based on this claimed that the Turkish section didn’t internalize the organizational principles of the ICC and were unaware of this very important lesson of the workers movement. The comrades who drew up this resolution had not even felt the need to even ask a question either to the Turkish delegates or the comrade who talked to them from Turkey to find out what had actually happened. Furthermore, regardless of the intentions of the comrades who drew up this resolution, it was to have the function of discrediting the critical positions of the Turkish section. No one voted against this declaration in the conference.[11]

It was clear that tolerating the critical positions of the Turkish section was now out of the question for the new dominant tendency of the organization. Nothing was going to be the same for the Turkish section after the Extraordinary Conference.

4. The Process of Leaving

Before any discussion on the critical positions put forward by the Turkish section, the dominant conservative tendency in the ICC took over. The comrades were of the opinion that the positions of the section stemmed from a series of problems, the most important of which were localism and that the section was accepted into the ICC opportunistically. The section had to be reintegrated into the ICC. A meeting took place in Turkey in June a short time after the Extraordinary Conference. The history of the Turkish section written by the Secretariat for this meeting was to astonish us. The history of the section, along with all its problems and in essence its critical positions as well, was tied to a single comrade who’d left a few years ago and afterwards had written his criticisms and published them online; the history of the section was presented as being limited to that of an -ism added to the end of this comrade’s name. Naturally the text was full of factual errors.  The retrospective historiography which was conducted on the Turkish section wasn’t a very novel situation for the ICC. The conservative tendency was writing the history of the period of the expansionist tendency from scratch. It wasn’t surprising that a comrade hailed as “the ambassador of the ICC on the internet” when he was in the organization by the expansionist tendency being declared as the chief villain of the history of the section. On the other hand, the absurdity of the whole argument was also evident in that the majority of the members of the section had joined either just before this comrade had left or later. In any case, the objections towards this text and the errors in it were not taken into consideration. In the same meeting, a conservative comrade put forward the accusation that the Turkish section was a clan for the first time. The members of the section responded by saying that this was a serious claim and needed to be investigated. While no such investigation took place afterwards, the idea that the section was a clan continued to be voiced within the organization.

After the June meeting, a good deal of incorrect information started to circulate about the Turkish section within the ICC. This eventually took the form of myths. We will suffice to mention only the most prominent ones. First of all, the myth that the Turkish section was integrated into the ICC despite rejecting parasitism, voiced by the comrades in the secretariat, came into being. This argument was shown as the basis of how the integration of the section took place opportunistically.[12] On the other hand, the most obvious example of the opportunism in the sections integration process, that comrades who disagreed with the platform and the statutes were accepted to the organization, received little mention. Yet the myth was not true: the Turkish section had rejected parasitism when it was, in fact, in the ICC. It was claimed that the history of the section consisted of a series of endless crises: yet there had only been two serious crises in the history of the section. The claim that no texts had been written on these crises was similarly wrong: more than one texts had been written on this question and these texts had been discussed with comrades outside Turkey. Another myth circulating in the organization was that the Turkish section prepared for the Extraordinary Conference only by itself whereas all these meetings took place with the participation of comrades from outside Turkey as well as the secretariat itself. Another claim was that the warnings in the texts written by the section towards the Extraordinary Conference constituted attacks against the organization and that the section dictated its delegates how to vote which had not taken place whatsoever. The claim that an internal text written by a member of the section on ethics ignored the texts written by the organization on this subject previously was another legend since the said text was in fact written in response to the organization’s orientation text on this question. It was claimed that the section failed to inform the organization of its disagreements during the Gezi process whereas within the heat of the events the section had a meeting with the comrades from the secretariat trying to explain its disagreements. The fact that all these errors were corrected repeatedly by the members of the section didn’t prevent their circulation. We don’t explain the formation of such myths about the Turkish section within the ICC to the comrades’ effort to consciously engage in manipulation. Memory can be misleading, individuals can remember the events of the past in accordance to the situation they are in a given moment. On the other hand, it is obvious that all these myths had the function of providing a basis for the criticisms of the conservative tendency against the section and discrediting the criticisms expressed by the Turkish section in the Extraordinary Conference and in fact the section itself before the discussion had even begun.

One consequence of this atmosphere of distrust against the section was that the article written by the section against the horrific workplace murder in Soma was arbitrarily not published despite having been translated into English. The reason why the text written by the section wasn’t published was that a comrade who was a member of the secretariat criticized it. There was no further discussion of the subject following a response written by a member of the section; when we voiced the issue later, we were told that the issue had lost its currency. Thus the article written by a comrade from the French section became the only word of the ICC on the subject world-wide and the article written by the section of the organization where this horrific incident had happened was buried.

On the other hand, many of us did indeed see a point in the criticism that the section did have a problem of localization within the ICC. While insisting that our criticisms should be discussed without being tied to these problems, we felt that we should evaluate this criticism of us separately and solve the possible problems.[13] On this basis, in the meeting of the ICC’s central organ which took place after the meeting in Turkey, the delegates from Turkey agreed with the comrades on the following decision: The members of the section would regularly participate in two separate groups in the meetings of two other sections and continue to have regular section meetings both to discuss local activities and the texts the central organ wanted discussed… Or so we thought. In the letter written by the secretariat after the meeting of the central organ, it was said that the decision, quite the contrary to what was agreed on at the meeting, was for the section not to have its own meetings. The members of the section expressed that this letter misrepresented the decision reached at the meeting of the central organ and the comrades didn’t oppose this.

In the meanwhile, two incidents which demonstrated how dangerous levels the mistrust towards the Turkish section in the ICC reached took place. The first was when, in a meeting of the ICC’s central organ, the central organ of the French section tried to call a vote to exclude the Turkish delegate of the ICC’s central organ, claiming that the Turkish section was a clan and couldn’t be trusted. In an organization which cares about international centralism so much, the central organ of a local section demanding the exclusion of a member of the international central organ from a meeting of the latter was a tragicomic situation. Despite the objections made by the comrade from the section on the basis that such a vote would be against the statutes, the majority of the central organ continued to insist on a vote immediately to exclude the comrade from the meeting. Only after a small number of comrades opposed this vote saying the comrade shouldn’t have been invited in the first place if she wasn’t trusted was the vote dropped. In the end, the comrade from the section left the meeting saying that it wouldn’t be correct to stay in such an atmosphere of distrust. The second example was when a comrade was touring the sections of the ICC abroad, after having a short phone call with another comrade from Turkey; she was accused of trying to manipulate the meetings with the comrade she talked to.

Yet the most striking moment of the whole process was the resolution on the Turkish section which came out of a meeting of the secretariat which took place with the participation of the majority of the central organ. This resolution, on the basis of all the myths on the section, decided to ban the members of the Turkish section from having section meetings, insisted that every text to be published in Turkish had to be translated into English to be checked first and that the members of the Turkish section were to participate in the meetings of the two sections they were now tied to exclusively. The Turkish section was in effect dissolved; yet the resolution avoided saying this openly as according to the statutes of the ICC a section could only be dissolved if it openly betrays the ICC and even the resolution admitted this wasn’t the case. All of us strongly opposed this resolution for its arbitrary decisions outside the statutes and because it put an impossible workload on the shoulders of the comrades doing the translating which would prevent them from any participation in political discussions and we declared that we didn’t accept or recognize the resolution. Afterwards we held a meeting and proposed holding an extraordinary conference of the section to discuss how such a dire resolution was adopted unopposed. We got a response to our call after the next meeting of the central organ. The meeting declared all our criticisms invalid and proposed holding the conference with an entirely different agenda, based on texts decided on by itself. At this point we were sure that it was impossible for us to remain in the ICC with critical positions. The process had led each of us to question certain essential positions of the ICC on the questions of organization and centralization. Thus each of us wrote our letters of resignation and left the ICC.

5. What Did We Learn?

The biggest problem of the ICC isn’t its central organs, its secretariat or the expansionist and conservative tendencies we saw dominate it when we were in the ICC. The biggest problem of the ICC is that the orientations determined by positions of power in the organizations are being largely and lately increasingly approved constantly by nearly all the comrades and this being seen as normal. When we first entered the ICC, we thought this organization was one without chiefs and leaders, where all militants expressed their ideas freely in the internal debates, where minority positions were overemphasized rather than suppressed. In this sense, the positions of power we’ve seen in the ICC, the fact that the central organs have assumed the character of being positions of power within the organization is unacceptable to us by itself. 

The attitude we’ve seen in the ICC was quite distant from being open to discussion, especially in the latest period. For us, one of the most basic preconditions of a comradely discussion is for those who will discuss their different positions to engage in discussion presupposing that they may be wrong. We never saw such an attitude in the tendency which dominates the ICC now. For although the comrades can say absolute truths do not exist, they have never doubted the truth of the totality of their experiences and acquisitions which they want to transmit to the youth (and in fact anyone who criticizes them); they never lost faith in how right they were at all times and in every condition.

The ICC is a structure within which having and defending minority views is getting more and more impossible. Theory is developed in a one-sided way within the ICC and the task of the members is to approve the theory they receive. In this sense there is no room for critical voices in the ICC. That an organization which had a founder who defined the idea of a monolithic and homogeneous organization as monstrous, which claimed to be against monolithism from day one surrendering to monolithism to such a degree is as sad as it is ironic. The main reason that monolithism came to dominate the ICC stems from the now quite dominant notion of homogenization in the organization. Yet if we accept that absolute truths do not exist, any communist association has to be heterogeneous in order to produce a flowing theory with a lively discussion.

According to the ICC, one of the worst things that can be done in a communist organization, especially the ICC is leaving. Unfortunately for the comrades, the ICC is no longer a means but an end in itself. The development of the idea envisaging that if the ICC ceases to exist, the party can’t be formed, the proletariat can’t make the revolution and the world will face an inevitable disaster shows how much this organization absolutizes and sanctifies itself. That the ICC has gone through a tragic introversion, built walls around itself and is so cut off from the outside world and the discussions held by communist elements outside it adds a new dimension to all its problems.

We do not forget the warmth shown by the members of the ICC towards every one of us through the years. We will continue to see every single ICC member as comrades so long as they defend internationalist principles. Yet after this process, we see little possibility for the ICC to rid itself of the problems it has fallen into and make a positive contribution as an organization.

One of the points we keep returning to in all the discussions we’ve been having after leaving is how we can avoid the consequence we’ve witnessed in the ICC. The essence of the conclusion we’ve come to is as follows: Never, no matter how old we are, never will we be afraid to admit we were wrong even if we’d lived a mistake all our lives; never will we be afraid to start from the scratch.

This is the attitude with which we start again. We have started having the theoretical discussions we’ve announced earlier on this basis. Though the starting point of these discussions was the critique of the theoretical positions of the ICC, our discussions quickly exceeded the theoretical framework of the ICC and started touching different subjects as well. Thus the theoretical texts we will write and share as our discussions mature will not be about the ICC. We hope the products of this effort will contribute to the reassertion of the struggle for communism.

Pale Blue Jadal

[1] The Tekel struggle was a workers movement which was launched on December 15th 2009 by tobacco factory workers and which led to the largest strike since 1980 on February 4th 2010 as many other workers went on a solidarity strike.

[2] A ‘theory’ defined on the basis of the idea that the common denominator of the groups which left the ICC was forming their existence via the ICC which makes defining these groups as parasites acceptable. The ICC traces the roots of this theory to the fact that Marx used the term parasite in his polemics.

[3] The organ that conducts and coordinates the ICC’s international political activities.

[4] Processes which lead to members leaving the organization in groups, repeated about every ten years since the foundation of the ICC.


[6] An investigation organ modeled after the Dewey commission formed to clear Trotsky of Stalin’s charges against him, lead by American pragmatist philosopher John Dewey.

[7] A clan is defined by the ICC as a group formed within the organization not on a political but a personal basis.

[8] Pogromism is defined as a method and mode of behavior which emerged in the ICC as a result of the loss of the ICC’s moral acquisitions. Basically, it means policies of social and psychological violence conducted by a group or a person against a different group or person.


[10] Meaning, basically, that the section dictated its delegates how it should behave and vote.

[11] In fact, even one of the Turkish delegates, because he was told that talking to comrades from the section during a conference was banned (which is not the case according to the ICC statutes), voted yes despite posing serious criticisms of the way the resolution was drawn up.

[12] Though according to the statutes of the ICC, integration takes place on the basis of the platform and the statutes, conservative comrades add the need for agreement on the ICC’s essential positions such as the historic course and parasitism to these two texts.

[13] Eventually we concluded that what we understand from localism is different from what the ICC understood from it.

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Mar 30 2015 07:52


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Mar 30 2015 08:02

Thanks to people for writing this, as I know people here wondering what happened.

I noticed that there was an article on a workplace murder in Soma which the ICC apparently refused to publish. I know it's probably a bit late now but we would happily host it