Internationalist Communist Tendency's blog

How the Pandemic Revealed the Real Health of Nations

As we noted in our last issue, a pandemic is as good as any event to demonstrate the efficacy, or not, of a social system. This one has generally found the capitalist mode of production wanting. By now most people will have forgotten the early failures.

Iran: Oil Workers Reject Trade Unions

In the capitalist world, whatever the subject, it naturally only hits the headlines if the rulers of all factions are in control of it. If the news is about a war, climate change, economic downturn, regime change, elections, protests, immigration, in fact any issue where the working class as a class is absent, so it can be manipulated in a way that suits the ruling class, then not only is it covered by mass media, it also grabs the attention of “independent” media and journalists. They usually follow it up with tedious discussions, seminars, films and even more news.

Only the World's Workers Can Save Us from a Capitalist Cataclysm

Editorial for Revolutionary Perspectives 18 (Series 4).

Afghanistan: The USA and its Allies Retreat

The US military were not due to completely exit the country until the end of this month, yet they have been overwhelmed by the speed of the Taliban takeover. Our aim here is to give an update amidst all the commentary and propaganda floating about since.

Save the Planet - Destroy Capitalism!

In July hundreds of lives were lost in heat domes over western Canada and the US, and floods in Germany and China. Wildfires raged out of control from California to Greece, Turkey and Siberia. These disasters are clearly the result of global warming disrupting weather patterns. If emissions of greenhouse gases continue on the present path, these events will seem like a vicar’s tea party in comparison to what is to come. Millions upon millions will die.

Police Powers Bill: Preparing for Class War

The Police, Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill has given rise to a wave of ‘Kill the Bill’ protests and demonstrations across the country, and has been criticised for the wider powers it gives to the state in general and more specifically to the police.

Iran: On Oil and Troubled Water

As we write, comrades are translating the bulletins emerging from the struggles of the oil workers’ strike committee in Iran which have now been ongoing for two months. They can be found on our website (and we publish Statement No. 12 below). The oil workers are not alone.

"Let the Bodies Pile Up in their Thousands"

The entire Covid saga is an absolute condemnation of capitalism.

End of Lockdown, No End to Workers Paying for It

Before the pandemic struck the global economy was on the brink of a fresh crisis. Massive speculation, debt and bankruptcies indicated what was coming. The Covid pandemic has provided a convenient scapegoat for the failings of capitalism itself.

South African Riots: The Social Crisis Erupts

In mid-July the social crisis in South Africa (SA) exploded in a week of rioting, looting and arson which swept across the provinces of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. By the end of the month over 330 people had been killed and a trail of destruction left across the major cities and shopping centres.

1971-2021: 50 Years Since the USA Reneged on Bretton Woods

For the CWO, and indeed the entire political tendency to which we belong, it is axiomatic that we are living through capitalism’s third global economic crisis. For over a century the economic system (mode of production) which was once progressive for humanity, in that it created the material possibility of a prosperous world community without national borders or class divisions, has represented a barrier to human progress when it is not a direct threat to human existence itself.

After the Cuban Protests: Discussion with Proletarios Cabreados

We are publishing here our translation of a further document on the Cuban protests in July, entitled Análisis de la actual crisis y revuelta en Cuba desde la perspectiva comunista radical, by a group in Ecuador which goes under the name of Proletarios Cabreados (Pissed off Proletarians). You can find them at proletariosrevolucionarios.blogspot.com

Iranian Oil Workers Strike Update

52 days have gone by since the start of the strike, which began when thousands of Iranian oil workers downed tools on 19 June and walked off oilfields across Iran. The Council for Organising Protests by Oil Contract Workers has issued 11 statements so far. In our previous article we published parts of their first 6 statements (see leftcom.org) as well as giving a short explanation of their full context.

Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies: The Madness of a Highly Speculative Capitalism

Capitalism finds itself in a tricky situation. Since the end of the post-war boom in the 70s, despite the restructuring of production, and the attacks on the daily working conditions of millions upon millions of proletarians, it has become more difficult than ever to find profitable reinvestments for capital. This crisis of valorisation of capital is only one of the many symptoms of the more profound crisis of capitalism: the law of the tendency of the rate of profit to fall. This fall in the rate of profit is accompanied by attempts of the capitalists to postpone the crisis, to look elsewhere for short-term methods of making profit, or to save their own skins by any means necessary.

Iranian Oil and Petrochemical Workers' Strikes Go On

Since Saturday, 19 June, thousands of workers at oil and gas projects and petrochemical plants have been on strike across the country in several provinces. They are coordinating their action under the title of Strike Campaign 1400, which refers to the current year in the Iranian calendar. The number of industrial centres that have participated in this strike is reported to have reached more than 100 units in 10 provinces and the number of workers on strike has passed 105,000. Significantly, there has been very little news coverage of these massive strikes, both in the domestic and foreign media but the strikes are still going on as we write.

Cuba is the Latest Episode in the Death Agony of (State) Capitalism

Cuba is the latest illustration of the failure of the Stalinist recipe of party dictatorship behind national borders, which palms off socialism as the development of the productive forces within a money based economy whilst every capitalist category, from wage labour to commodity production, from surplus value extraction to the concentration of privilege at one pole, is retained.

A Communist Left Critique of Platformism (Part II): The Platform and its Disciples

In Part I we examined the Free Territory, or Makhnovshchina, the revolutionary movement in Southern Ukraine 1918-21. It was neither a peasant counter-revolution as portrayed in Trotskyist and Stalinist propaganda, nor an anarchist utopia. Rather it was part and parcel of the bloody process of the rise and fall of the Russian Revolution, itself a part of the post-war revolutionary wave. In Part II we finally look at The Organisational Platform of the General Union of Anarchists or simply the Platform, and the Platformist tendency that it later inspired.

A Communist Left Critique of Platformism (Part I): The Makhnovshchina

Many over the years have pointed out the apparent similarities between Platformism and the Communist Left, and indeed some comrades whom today we count among our ranks first came to the politics of the Communist Left through Platformism. But while the need for revolutionaries to come together, in an organisation united around a common platform, is something both tendencies acknowledge, the differences go a bit further than whether one stands beneath a red or black banner. We often get asked what is our attitude towards Platformism and the following is a two-part attempt to grapple with the question.

Let's Get Political!

Leaflet distributed by the CWO at recent strikes and protests happening around the UK.

Sugarcane Stalinism

Originally published in Intransigence, Issue 2 (July 2018)