Is LibCom being couped by the Internationalist Communist Tendency?

108 posts / 0 new
Last post
jondwhite's picture
jondwhite
Offline
Joined: 23-10-12
Dec 13 2018 10:12
darren p wrote:
jondwhite wrote:
Libcom isnt supposed to carry stuff only arguing against libertarian communism core case. Debates maybe.

It's frankly bizarre that you keep repeatedly saying stuff like this. A lot of what you yourself have added will be against the anti-parliamentary communist position too, the Socialist Studies archive for one example... Do you want that taken down now?

How is an archive spanning 25 years and a variety of positions (but all within libertarian communism) comparable to a blog post advocating a vanguard party? I dont understand your perspective?

darren p's picture
darren p
Offline
Joined: 5-07-06
Dec 13 2018 10:46
jondwhite wrote:
darren p wrote:
jondwhite wrote:
Libcom isnt supposed to carry stuff only arguing against libertarian communism core case. Debates maybe.

It's frankly bizarre that you keep repeatedly saying stuff like this. A lot of what you yourself have added will be against the anti-parliamentary communist position too, the Socialist Studies archive for one example... Do you want that taken down now?

How is an archive spanning 25 years and a variety of positions (but all within libertarian communism) comparable to a blog post advocating a vanguard party? I dont understand your perspective?

It's outside the anarchist-communist (libertarian communist) tradition not within it.

slothjabber
Offline
Joined: 1-08-06
Dec 13 2018 11:19

I don't think 'libertarian communist' is necessarily a synonym for Anarchist. We've been through this before on libcom, as to what counts as libertarian communism, and the general understanding of the term that has emerged is that Council Communism, Impossiblism and Left Communism (with the exception of the Bordigists) are all 'libertarian communist' because they don't see a 'party' seizing state power (of course the SPGB does but that's by-the-by, I think most anarchists give the SPGB a pass on that one because the SPGB's conception of the party is so broad - it doesn't see the party taking power 'over' the working class because it sees the majority of the working class being in the party anyway)... though there probably always will be some people who disagree with that definition.

jondwhite's picture
jondwhite
Offline
Joined: 23-10-12
Dec 13 2018 11:47

Libcom is not synonymous with Ancom but it does exclude vanguard parties, or at least advocating for them over and above non-vanguard parties in libcom spaces.

darren p's picture
darren p
Offline
Joined: 5-07-06
Dec 13 2018 12:06

Go tell Socialist Studies they are 'libertarian communist', you'll get a good clip round the ear.

slothjabber
Offline
Joined: 1-08-06
Dec 13 2018 12:06

But you still haven't explained why you think the ICT is 'vanguardist' because it doesn't think the proletarian party takes power, but the SPGB isn't, when it does.

The SPGB and the ICT agree that some workers come to socialist consciousness before others. This is the vanguard. So what exactly do you mean by the 'vanguardism' of the ICT?

Dyjbas
Offline
Joined: 15-05-15
Dec 13 2018 12:12
Reddebrek wrote:
We're discussing whether the ICT's brand of politics is appropriate for this site, just like how there are plenty of circle A anarchist stuff that was found not to be appropriate here. And so far in this thread there have been three counter arguments.

1: An Admin said we could stay
2: Its ridiculous to even ask
3: Pointing the finger to the SPGB instead.

These aren't counter arguments, you're just not happy things you like are facing criticism.

Well no, they're not counter arguments, certainly not ones used by anyone on this thread. As you'd say, "I can't believe I have to spell this out but" here's what's actually been said:

1. An admin invited us to set up a blog here. See comment #3.
2. It's not ridiculous to ask whether ICT politics belong here, it's ridiculous to say the ICT publishing articles here is equivalent to some kind of takeover/coup. See comment #4.
3. It was jondwhite who brought up the question of impossibilist material on here in the first place. See comment #9.

Good criticism is something to welcome, spurious "criticism" like this:

Reddebrek wrote:
For starters plenty of Left Comms support Rojava and plenty of Anarchists who want nothing to do with it.

Is hardly worth responding to.

slothjabber
Offline
Joined: 1-08-06
Dec 13 2018 12:14
darren p wrote:
Go tell Socialist Studies they are 'libertarian communist', you'll get a good clip round the ear.

Left Comms don't take to it either, but that's by-the-by. Just because we reject the terminology that doesn't stop the people who don't reject it using it to describe the theory and practice of the Communist Left. Most of us anyway.

If 'libertarian communist' means 'advocating free-access communism and not advocating that the political organisation of the proletariat takes state power' then the ICT (and others of course) are libertarian communists, though I'm sure they would reject the term (I've never actually had this discussion with the ICT but I know the ICC rejects it and I know I do and I don't think I'm an outlier here, and I don't think the ICC is either).

So while a Stalinist or Trotskyist conception of a 'vanguard party', an organisation that advocates state capitalism while attempting to run the national economy, is far outside the scope of libertarian communism, the majority of the Communist Left isn't because it doesn't have this conception.

shug's picture
shug
Offline
Joined: 12-11-06
Dec 13 2018 12:44

Slothjabber’s interventions on this thread have been excellent, but I suspect his asking for evidence that the ICT calls for a vanguard party #37 is going to be no more successful than AnythingForProximity #27 asking Reddebrek for evidence that, in his/her words, “plenty of Left Comms support Rojava “. Debate becomes somewhat difficult when people either wilfully distort the positions of others, or just havent bothered reading what they claim they are critiquing. On the other hand, I do wish left coms would stop using the fecking words ‘party’ or ‘vanguard’ as the words do seem to trigger a pavlovian response in the more excitable amongst us.

LeninistGirl's picture
LeninistGirl
Offline
Joined: 27-04-18
Dec 13 2018 12:55
Quote:
“In this connection socialist consciousness appears to be a necessary and direct result of the proletarian class struggle. But this is absolutely untrue . . . Modern socialist consciousness can arise only on the basis of profound scientific knowledge. Indeed, modern economic science is as much a condition for socialist production as, say, modern technology, and the proletariat can create neither the one nor the other, no matter how much it may desire to do so; both arise out of the modern social process. The vehicle of science is not the proletariat, but the bourgeois intelligentsia; it was in the minds of individual members of this stratum that modern Socialism originated, and it was they who communicated it to the more intellectually developed proletarians who, in their turn, introduce it into the proletarian class struggle where conditions allow this to be done. Thus, socialist consciousness is something introduced into the proletarian class struggle from without and not something that arose within it spontaneously” - Kautsky.

Maybe a shaky take but isn't the Kautsky quote historically accurate? All the communist theory and theoretical understanding of class struggle(it's prospects and results) has come from non-proletarian elements, something that is true for both marxist and anarchist currents, and even those currents that existed before both(utopians, "blanquism", etc). Of course, the actual movement and struggle between classes was needed for people like Marx and Engels to be able to actually understand class struggle, theory is not something that falls from the sky.

Like the average factory worker in the 19th century did not have access to the scientific knowledge, resources or even time to be able to formulate something like the theory of mutual aid in the way that Kropotkin did, it basically had to be done by a monarch scientist.

Furthermore, the fact that Kautsky(and Lenin in What is to be done?) thought socialist theory comes from "above" in this way doesn't mean they thought intellectuals should run the party or lead the working-class. On the opposite Kautsky wrote that the intellectuals need to be subordinated the worker in party work. To quote his text Intellectuals and Workers,

Quote:
An ideal example of an intellectual who thoroughly assimilated the sentiments of a proletarian, and who, although a brilliant writer, quite lost the specific manner of an intellectual, who marched cheerfully with the rank-and-file, who worked in any post assigned to him, who devoted himself wholeheartedly to our great cause, and despised the feeble whinings about the suppression of one’s individuality, as individuals trained in the philosophy of Nietzsche and Ibsen are prone to do whenever they happen to be in a minority – that ideal example of the intellectual whom the socialist movement needs, was Wilhelm Liebknecht. We might also mention Marx, who never forced himself to the forefront, and whose hearty discipline in the International, where he often found himself in the minority, was exemplary.

jondwhite's picture
jondwhite
Offline
Joined: 23-10-12
Dec 13 2018 22:14
darren p wrote:
Go tell Socialist Studies they are 'libertarian communist', you'll get a good clip round the ear.

It is by-the-by unless any Socialist Studies are on libcom admin team.

Vanguardism is the perspective that a majority of the working class are incapable of attaining socialist conciousness. This is essentially the view propounded in the Iran article too.

The SPGB dont take the view that the majority are incapable of developing socialist consciousness or that only the SPGB or membership of, can raise socialist consciouness.

Im not saying leftcoms should be stopped from contributing - only the article advocating vanguardism in Iran should be challenged especially since impossibilist articles used to be prefaced with disclaimers.

Dyjbas
Offline
Joined: 15-05-15
Dec 13 2018 13:30
jondwhite wrote:
Vanguardism is the perspective that a majority of the working class are incapable of attaining socialist conciousness. This is essentially the view propounded in the Iran article too.

Can you provide any examples from history when the majority of the working class attained socialist consciousness in a non-revolutionary period?

Because the CWO-ICT view is that "before revolution breaks out communist consciousness is only attained by a minority of the class. It is the act of revolution which turns this into the necessary mass consciousness of the class. Necessary because communism cannot be built by a minority."

Serge Forward's picture
Serge Forward
Offline
Joined: 14-01-04
Dec 13 2018 13:41

I don't like to say, but...

Ultimately, it's just words. Malatesta talked about the anarchist party, some anarchists in the past used terms like 'vanguard' to mean something very different from the Leninist idea of vanguard. Other anarchists/libertarian communists, use terms like 'leadership of ideas', etc, etc.

As a dyed in the wool anarcho-communist, I have my disagreements with the CWO, but I welcome them to libertarian communist circles (even though they themselves might reject the term), more so than I would some elements who happen to call themselves anarchists or the odd bit of leninist detritus that occasionally washes up on these pages.

jondwhite's picture
jondwhite
Offline
Joined: 23-10-12
Dec 13 2018 14:24
Dyjbas wrote:
jondwhite wrote:
Vanguardism is the perspective that a majority of the working class are incapable of attaining socialist conciousness. This is essentially the view propounded in the Iran article too.

Can you provide any examples from history when the majority of the working class attained socialist consciousness in a non-revolutionary period?

Because the CWO-ICT view is that "before revolution breaks out communist consciousness is only attained by a minority of the class. It is the act of revolution which turns this into the necessary mass consciousness of the class. Necessary because communism cannot be built by a minority."

no because socialist society has never happened before.

Dyjbas
Offline
Joined: 15-05-15
Dec 13 2018 16:14
jondwhite wrote:
Dyjbas wrote:
jondwhite wrote:
Vanguardism is the perspective that a majority of the working class are incapable of attaining socialist conciousness. This is essentially the view propounded in the Iran article too.

Can you provide any examples from history when the majority of the working class attained socialist consciousness in a non-revolutionary period?

Because the CWO-ICT view is that "before revolution breaks out communist consciousness is only attained by a minority of the class. It is the act of revolution which turns this into the necessary mass consciousness of the class. Necessary because communism cannot be built by a minority."

no because socialist society has never happened before.

In other words you agree that mass socialist consciousness cannot be achieved before a revolutionary rupture. It follows then that before the socialist transformation only a minority possesses socialist consciousness. So according to your own logic, that makes you a "vanguardist" too. Welcome to the club. grin

jondwhite's picture
jondwhite
Offline
Joined: 23-10-12
Dec 13 2018 16:25
Dyjbas wrote:
jondwhite wrote:
Dyjbas wrote:
jondwhite wrote:
Vanguardism is the perspective that a majority of the working class are incapable of attaining socialist conciousness. This is essentially the view propounded in the Iran article too.

Can you provide any examples from history when the majority of the working class attained socialist consciousness in a non-revolutionary period?

Because the CWO-ICT view is that "before revolution breaks out communist consciousness is only attained by a minority of the class. It is the act of revolution which turns this into the necessary mass consciousness of the class. Necessary because communism cannot be built by a minority."

no because socialist society has never happened before.

In other words you agree that mass socialist consciousness cannot be achieved before a revolutionary rupture. It follows then that before the socialist transformation only a minority possesses socialist consciousness. So according to your own logic, that makes you a "vanguardist" too. Welcome to the club. grin

no. You cannot have a revolution without first having majority socialist consciousness. This has never happened before but it is possible whereas you are saying it is not possible. I'm not trying to label leftcoms but the article on iran is inappropriate here.

Dyjbas
Offline
Joined: 15-05-15
Dec 13 2018 16:33
jondwhite wrote:
no. You cannot have a revolution without first having majority socialist consciousness. This has never happened before but it is possible whereas you are saying it is not possible. I'm not trying to label leftcoms but the article on iran is inappropriate here.

Who's saying it's not possible? Did you even read my comment? Mass socialist/communist consciousness is necessary for a revolutionary process to be successful.

Again, "before revolution breaks out communist consciousness is only attained by a minority of the class. It is the act of revolution which turns this into the necessary mass consciousness of the class. Necessary because communism cannot be built by a minority."

ajjohnstone
Offline
Joined: 20-04-08
Dec 13 2018 18:42

Just a couple of quick notes.

To slothjabber, Lenin cited Kautsky approvingly on consciousness coming from the outside. Until he became renegade Kautsky, Lenin was a fairly orthodox 2nd Internationalist albeit with narodnik influences who some say later modelled his Russia on Germany.

To Leninistgirl, How did Marx and Engels describe a fairly humble artisan, a leather tanner worker? - "Our philosopher" - self-taught, an autodidact. Many workers were and still are.

And my favourite quotes from Joseph Dietzgen are

" If a worker wants to take part in the self-emancipation of his class, the basic requirement is that he should cease allowing others to teach him and should set about teaching himself."

"The terms anarchist, socialist, communist should be so "mixed" together, that no muddlehead could tell which is which. Language serves not only the purpose of distinguishing things but also of uniting them- for it is dialectic."

"For my part, I lay little stress on the distinction, whether a man is an anarchist or a socialist, because it seems to me that too much weight is attributed to this difference."

"While the anarchists may have mad and brainless individuals in their ranks, the socialists have an abundance of cowards. For this reason I care as much for one as the other....The majority in both camps are still in great need of education, and this will bring about a reconciliation in time."

(I believe Engels frowned on Dietzgen accommodation with anarchists)

I've said this also before on libcom, we have all arrived at certain agreed positions by various different routes and on the different roads, we have acquired our ideological baggage including the terminology we use. Sometimes it is only our choice of words that separates us all - as Dietzgen implies and what this thread has turned out to be about. i think any neutral reader will see a considerable overlap in these posts on what we are all trying to say.

I may be the only member of my party (but i don't believe so) who recognises the validity of Crump's description of the "Thin Red Line" I believe it's there but getting thinner all the time, (look around and see how few there are of us and how old we have all become) but also that we have the basis of comradely cooperation and that our mutual hostility is misplaced (we in the SPGB have our infamous clause and many others have their own unwritten clause.)

Something is going to have to change if we are to make change. Isn't that the dialectic? We are talking in grand terms of consciousness of the working class, but what of our own?

jondwhite's picture
jondwhite
Offline
Joined: 23-10-12
Dec 13 2018 19:12
Dyjbas wrote:
jondwhite wrote:
no. You cannot have a revolution without first having majority socialist consciousness. This has never happened before but it is possible whereas you are saying it is not possible. I'm not trying to label leftcoms but the article on iran is inappropriate here.

Who's saying it's not possible? Did you even read my comment? Mass socialist/communist consciousness is necessary for a revolutionary process to be successful.

Again, "before revolution breaks out communist consciousness is only attained by a minority of the class. It is the act of revolution which turns this into the necessary mass consciousness of the class. Necessary because communism cannot be built by a minority."

no. Majority consciousness is a precursor, you are saying it is not possible to predate the revolution.

ajjohnstone
Offline
Joined: 20-04-08
Dec 14 2018 00:48

"The emancipation of the working class must be conquered by the working classes themselves".

This is a rejection of the view that socialism can be introduced for the working class or that the working class can be led to socialism by some enlightened minority.

But it seems between Dyjbas and jondwhite there is a difference in when consciousness arises and how.

A minority remains a minority until it becomes a majority - that is the truism. But the issue at hand is what does this minority do as a minority [edit] and how does it becomes a majority.

We both reject the reformist path of gradualism to socialism. We both reject insurrectionism or putschism. (We'll differ i think on whether the latter is Leninism). But from history we have evidence that neither has created socialism as promised.

If during the revolutionary moment that Dyjbas says will result in the transformation of the minority holding consciousness into the majority who have not yet acquired it, what does the minority do when the majority impedes it by the lack of revolutionary will within the majority? This is the issue that Martov faced.

Are an enlightened minority of revolutionists justified in ignoring the views of the unenlightened majority in order to carry through the revolution?

It has been a question many times in history. Jacobinism, Babeufism, Blanquism, Bolshevism and it comes to the validity of what is now mis-represented by the Left the "dictatorship of the proletariat" and "permanent revolution"

For communism/ socialism to be successfully established the mass of the people must understand the nature and purpose of the new society. Again on Libcom, i have rebutted the argument that the SPGB stands for the 50% + 1. It is about an effective political majority to capture the State machine, not number-counting. It is about gaining a functional majority and one that is acknowledged as legitimate.

However, it is essential for the revolutionary process that this "majority" suffices to make socialism work as a system of society and the deciding factor on the "majority" is going to be how many of the population will be willing to make socialism actually work.

Again, apologies for yet another didactic post

EDIT just read this which is related to this thread i believe
https://libcom.org/forums/news/gilets-jaunes-seen-my-workplace-13122018#...

slothjabber
Offline
Joined: 1-08-06
Dec 14 2018 08:49

It's not the socialists that make the revolution, it's the revolution that makes socialists. What is the minority to do? Advocate for revolution - as it says in the Manifesto, we "point out and bring to the front the common interests of the entire proletariat". It's not the party that makes the revolution but the working class. The political organisation puts the perspective for working class action before the class, and the class decides. Our job as 'the most theoretically-advanced section' (ie, those who've groped to something like socialist consciousness somewhat ahead of the rest of the working class) isn't to direct the rest of the class, we can only advise. Sometimes our advice will even be wrong, because we don't know everything. If we did we'd all agree about the road ahead (because I think there is generally agreement on LibCom about what socialist society will look like, the disagreements are about how to get there).

This obviously doesn't have much to do with whether the ICT is taking over LibCom however. Maybe we should have another thread about these questions.

ajjohnstone
Offline
Joined: 20-04-08
Dec 14 2018 09:37

From an earlier post of mine

Quote:
Quote:
socialist consciousness cannot simply rely for its own increase on ideological persuasion. It has to link up with the practical struggle. The success of the socialist revolution will depend on the growth of socialist consciousness on a mass scale and that these changed ideas can only develop through a practical movement.

Slothjabber - [i]"I think there is generally agreement on LibCom about what socialist society will look like, the disagreements are about how to get there"[/i]

And that common goal must be where we start reconciling our positions, slothjabber, and begin to recognised our very nuanced interpretations of tactics and strategy.

And yes, we indeed may be wrong misreading changing conditions and circumstances of the time, but we should be minded that if we do not assume the role of "political leadership" of the movement, we cannot do harm by our mistaken advice into taking it down the wrong path. This is where those genuine vanguards - Trotskyist/ Leninist parties (SPEW SWP) are a particular danger.

This was not the thread it was originally intended but i think hopefully it has clarified some misconceptions and assumptions. Family disputes are often the most bitter over trivial differences but yes, what separates us are not trivial although i dare say when future generations look back they will find it difficult to discern real disagreements on basic principles.

I'm happy to call many non-SPGBers comrades- ----even if they deign not to recognise that we are the parliamentary wing of anarchism wink ----- had to get that in somewhere

slothjabber
Offline
Joined: 1-08-06
Dec 14 2018 11:07
ajjohnstone wrote:
... we should be minded that if we do not assume the role of "political leadership" of the movement, we cannot do harm by our mistaken advice into taking it down the wrong path. This is where those genuine vanguards - Trotskyist/ Leninist parties (SPEW SWP) are a particular danger...

I don't understand what you think this means. Of course we must assume 'political leadership' otherwise what is the point of being a socialist? The only thing the SPGB does is propagandise for socialism. What would it do if it didn't do that? The problem (for the rest of us) is not that the SPGB goes too far but that it never goes far enough. It may try to assume political leadership of the class but it has never done so effectively.

But the party (whatever it is, however it is constructed... at the moment the 'most advanced' workers are grouped in and around some tiny organisations that are closer to sects rather than, I think, the 'party' Marx had in mind) does not 'take' the working class down the wrong path.

It is necessary for (pro-)revolutionaries to organise together. It is through discussion and analysis of the experience of the working class that we come to arrive at 'correct' (for any given value of correct) orientations. That is better done collectively than individually. Socialists are not lone prophets wandering the streets shouting out doctrines, or sitting under trees gathering our disciples. The development of class consciousness comes from collective work, surely. That, as far as I'm concerned, is 'the party', and it includes Anarchists and the SPGB as much as the Left Communists and Council Communists. But I think the Left Communists are the clearest (read 'best' if you like) parts of 'the party', the sections around which the rest of the advanced section of the proletariat will come together. I could of course be wrong. History may prove that in fact it was the anarcho-syndicalists that had it right all along, and all the Left Communists and the SPGB may have to say 'no we were wrong and the CNT was right, we're all anarcho-syndicalists now'.

That won't be because the Left Comms or the SPGB led the working class 'down the wrong path' because parties don't 'lead' and workers 'follow'. Parties 'suggest' and the working class 'decides'. The working class isn't an inert vessel that needs to be filled with socialist vinegar and set on its way, it's a dynamic mess of contradictions that pushes, and is pulled, in a variety of directions. Our job is to analyse those dynamics and present them as clearly as we can back to the class. But it's not up to us to decide what the class does.

EDIT for a post-script. Re-reading the thread and trying to see where we are misunderstanding and talking past each other, I have to say AJJ, I really do appreciate the time and care you're taking to not mis-characterise others' points of view; yes partly because we are using different words to mean the same thing, or the same words to mean different things, it is difficult to communicate but that should be a reason for more discussion not breaking it off. The 'Thin Red Line', as far as I'm concerned, is real. The ICT has talked of 'the proletarian camp'. The ICC refers to the 'proletarian political milieu'. Whatever the precise composition of these particular conceptions of the notion of 'proletarian politics', there is a recognition that beyond whichever groups we are closest to, there is a wider constellation of people and groups that constitutes a place where discussion and engagement is necessary. It's heartening when someone from the SPGB - a group that I consider to be composed of 'comrades with whom I have disagreements' - is both trying to explain, and understand, so thanks for that. But I really think we should be discussing this on a different thread.

ajjohnstone
Offline
Joined: 20-04-08
Dec 14 2018 11:20

What i meant is that we cannot substitute the Party for the working class until it is indeed a full mass socialist party and i have thought my examples of the SPEW and SWP were sufficient to show what i meant...manouvering dishonestly into positions of power within workers' movements to lead it, frequently, if not all the time, down a path that the workers are not willing or are reluctant to go. As the CM says we disdain to conceal our views and openly proclaim them and i think you and i have enough savvy to know how these vanguard parties operate.

The SPGB does differentiate as you know from party activity and individual members activity. We don't direct or dictate what our members do within unions or other organisations. Some members of the party have engaged in official union office and in R and F union activity and i remind you of the SPC connection with the OBU, something that is often overlooked and a project that failed due to an alliance of bosses, the State, the traditional trade unions and the Communist Party.

But i don't think it is constructive to engage in a pissing contest to see who pees the furthest or the highest. But very obviously from our respective memberships we hold that we are in the clearest and best organisation.

Ultimately, who will choose will be our fellow-workers and it is to them that we must present our arguments. In that you are right. So far they have chosen wrongly, as i said in earlier post, deciding that the possibilists and the minimum programme is the way forwards. All the SPGB can do is show how wrong that choice was by continuing our propaganda in a war of words with those that still advocate that policy and who have no history to help them. We cannot overlook that there is the battle of ideas to be won.

Reddebrek's picture
Reddebrek
Offline
Joined: 4-01-12
Dec 14 2018 12:31
AnythingForProximity wrote:

Examples?

Dyjbas wrote:

Is hardly worth responding to.

Uh, yeah the four Worker Communist Parties in Iran and Iraq, probably the largest Left Com parties in the middle east that have links in both expat/exile communities and in their Kurdish minorities.

One of the Central Committee members of the WCPIran even has a dual language Youtube and tv channel where this is covered.

Here's just a couple

Kurdish independence a source of hope for people in region and world, Bread and Roses TV

https://youtu.be/G7o3SYzfodk

It's raining women in Rojava; Bread and Roses TV

https://youtu.be/rnhU8BKP_2k

These aren't the only examples I've been watching this channel on and off for over a year and several other videos will contain brief statements of sympathy.

On the off chance that this was just a quirk of a single CC member I had a brief look at the parties English language website, found a few things supporting what they call the Syrian revolution,

http://wpiran.org/english/?p=190

Quote:
From the viewpoint of the Syrian people and their heroic revolution, a revolution which was drowned in blood, the very existence of the Assad regime is at the heart of what is called the Syrian crisis. This crisis is the result of the response of the Syrian regime and the various reactionary forces in the region and around the world to a revolution which the Syrian people started two and a half years ago. These forces are now aligned around the Russian and American blocs. However, the cause of the current situation is not the rivalry between these two blocs. Furthermore, the Syrian crisis is not the result of the West’s war with political Islam, what our party called the “war of terrorists”. Such analyses belong to the past, to the time of the Cold War, to the world after 9/11, and not the world after the Tunisian revolution.

And while it does go to great lengths to include most factions in the Syrian conflict it never includes the Rojava groups. So we have an Operaismo party that expresses sympathy with the Syrian revolution, is hostile to the Syrian government and the Islamic factions with at least one leader running a platform plugging them on several occasions.

Its also very hostile to Turkish military operations in Kurdish areas of Syria.
http://wpiran.org/english/?p=830

Quote:
The “fault” of the people of Afrin is that they have freed themselves from Bashar al-Asad’s dictatorship, and making use of the existing peculiar and unstable political situation are trying to experience a form of self-governance in their villages, cities, and their lives.

On the off chance this was a fluke I checked out the other three.

The Workers Communist Party of Iran Hekmatist, the split from the WCPIran, I had a look at their English section, this was a bit difficult it doesn't appear to have a search function and several sections of the site don't appear to work, but I did find on the front page a statement on Syria

http://www.hekmatist.org/english/index.php/component/k2/item/174-politic...

Like the WCPIran it expresses sympathy for what it calls the Syrian revolution and doesn't include the YPJ in its long list of people responsible for the bloodshed their.

It also states this,

Quote:
5- The current crisis and civil war in Syria has brought the Kurdish question, as a political factor, forth. The experience of the people living in the Kurdish areas running their own affairs and staging a mass resistance against Da’esh terrorism in Kobani are amongst positive experiences in the midst of crisis, war and dark scenario in Syria and the Middle East. Resolving the Kurdish question is a major factor in any plan for Syria’s political future. Any new law or political arrangements in Syria must recognise the abolition of gender, tribal and religious discrimination; and honour equal rights to all citizens. Our political preference is that the people in Syria and the region, irrespective of their national and/or religious adherence enjoy equal citizenship rights under a free, progressive, secular and humane system.

The Left Worker Communist Party of Iraq (the split that works with the Worker Communist Party of Iran) their English which also doesn't appear to have a search function, is largely outdated, most english articles are from 2012-11, but even there it seems to be sympathetic to the Syrian Revolution line held by the other two.
http://www.socialismnow.org/html/wli270212.htm

Quote:
The eighth of March this year coincides with the outbreak of successive revolutions, both around the world and Arab world known as the "Arab spring". These revolutions that led to sweeping changes and removal of dictators like Hosni Mubarak, Ben Ali, Gaddafi, and soon Bashar al-Assad, and others, was one of the biggest achievements of the revolutions in the region. Women have played a clear role in achieving all of these achievements.

They also split from the Communist Workers Party of Iraq because they wanted to maintain links with the Worker Communist Party of Iran, so that suggests that even if they don't share the same sympathies on this issue the divide isn't strong enough to provoke the burning of bridges.

The Worker Communist Party of Iraq, all the links I've found to its English language section and those of its affiliated societies are dead. I did find via wayback machine an early 2011 statement on the Arab Spring that was very similar to the others but a lot can happen in seven years, so its possible despite the links with WCPIran Hekmatists its the one that bucks the trend.

That's 3-4 middle eastern operaismo/autnomist influenced parties in the region, some of which have extensive international contacts and surprisingly high profile (for small communist groups anyway) platforms to promote their views. And these are just formal political groups Iwas already generally speaking aware of.

So I don't really buy this alleged incredulity on the part of users here, these groups aren't exactly unknown in general never mind the topic concerns the region they're based in. The ICC doesn't like them (personally I'm not keen on any of them either, though as news sources go they're a bit more reliable than Tudeh or the ICP) but its criticism at least acknowledges their presence. But you have proved my point for me, what a lot of users on this site mean when they talk of "the Left Communist perspective" is in reality just a sectarian substitution for the particular strain you happen to be most sympathetic too.

shug wrote:
is going to be no more successful than AnythingForProximity #27 asking Reddebrek for evidence that, in his/her words, “plenty of Left Comms support Rojava “. Debate becomes somewhat difficult when people either wilfully distort the positions of others, or just havent bothered reading what they claim they are critiquing.

???? Its been less than a day, maybe give it some time before you make comments like this, yeah?

Dyjbas
Offline
Joined: 15-05-15
Dec 14 2018 12:49

Reddebrek, so you don't have any examples, because the Worker Communist Parties in Iran and Iraq are not left communist.

Reddebrek's picture
Reddebrek
Offline
Joined: 4-01-12
Dec 14 2018 13:34
Dyjbas wrote:
Reddebrek, so you don't have any examples, because the Worker Communist Parties in Iran and Iraq are not left communist.

See case in point, you use the term Left Communism in the same way SPEW use Socialism, a narrow sectarian tool unique to yourselves. No True Scotsman elevated to a political principle.

Mike Harman
Offline
Joined: 7-02-06
Dec 14 2018 13:35

On the original point, we've changed the front page 'recent blog posts' to only include ones that are explicitly marked by editors to appear on the front page (which is the case for some other front page stuff, but wasn't for blogs). Regardless of whether it's the CWO/ICT or not (readers of the comments on their blogs will know I'm not a huge fan of many of their posts), someone posting three blog posts in a row shouldn't be listed three times.

I personally don't think that original historical material (i.e. translations of pieces by Karl Radek) should be on blogs, they should be in the library - can always do a blog announcing the translation.

We have critical intros on most/all Radek stuff because he was one of the founders of National Bolshevism, but it's a bit weird having to critical intro a blog post and it looks a lot more 'official' than things in the library which is obviously archival. Will bring this up with the other admins.

As with every other thread about whether Bordiga should be on the site or not, I can't stand Bordiga but I don't see any reason to ban it from the site. I posted some Lenin recently (to bash Leninists over the head with it, but still), stuff like https://libcom.org/library/how-we-should-reorganise-workers-peasants-ins.... Doesn't mean we're going to post State and Revolution - some things are hard to find elsewhere, some things aren't.

slothjabber
Offline
Joined: 1-08-06
Dec 14 2018 13:45
Reddebrek wrote:
Dyjbas wrote:
Reddebrek, so you don't have any examples, because the Worker Communist Parties in Iran and Iraq are not left communist.

See case in point, you use the term Left Communism in the same way SPEW use Socialism, a narrow sectarian tool unique to yourselves. No True Scotsman elevated to a political principle.

Do you think Anarcho-capitalists are Anarchists, Reddebrek?

The Worker-Communist Parties of Iran and Iraq aren't Left Communists, they didn't come out of the organisations expelled from the Third International in the 1920s (primarily the Dutch/German Left around the KAPD, and the majority of the CPI who didn't submit to the 'Bolshevisation' of the party), they have no organisational links with those organisations, and they have no programmatic links to those organisations.

Mike Harman
Offline
Joined: 7-02-06
Dec 14 2018 14:14

The CWO has previously stated that there were no left communists in the UK prior to the 1970s though, which explicitly excludes Pankhurst:

CWO/ICT wrote:
In the 1970s the ideas of the communist left first came to the UK.

Pankhurst was:
- someone who was referred to by name by Lenin in 'Left Wing Communism'
- wrote Open Letter to Lenin in 1922.
- joined the KAI along with the KAPD (Essen faction iirc) in 1922: https://libcom.org/history/extracts-leading-principles-kai

So if we're going to be arguing for consistency of definitions, maybe people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

The only responses when I raised this at the time:

21C wrote:
I believe by 'communist left' they mean specifically the intellectual tradition emerging out of the Italian Fraction of the PCd'I

Which would be like anarcho-syndicalists saying that anarcho-communists aren't anarchists.

And from Dyjbas

Dyjbas wrote:
Regarding your nitpick comment on when the ideas of the communist left first came to the UK, 21C has already addressed this abov

You can't have it both ways.