1939 and all that...

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wld_rvn
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Jul 24 2005 20:20
1939 and all that...

On several threads the discussions have touched on the question of anti-fascism, the second world war and how to struggle against militarism. We think it would be important to devote a thread to these questions, and we'd like to begin by publishing the text below, which is an excellent demonstration of the positions left communists intervened with - under terrible conditions - during the second world war, and could act as a basis for a discussion on the real meaning of internationalism.

For the ICC,

World Revolution.

==============================================

Manifesto of the Communist Left to the Workers of Europe, June 1944

It will soon be five years that imperialist war has raged in Europe, with all its misery, massacres and devastation. On the Russian, French and Italian fronts tens of millions of workers and peasants are slaughtering each other for the exclusive interests of a sordid and bloody capitalism, which obeys only these laws: profit, accumulation.

In the course of five years of war, especially the last year - that of the liberation of all peoples, you have been told - many false programmes, many illusions have disappeared, making the mask, behind which the odious face of capitalism has been hidden, fall. In each country you have been mobilised behind different ideologies, each having the same goal, the same result: to hurl you into the carnage, one against the other, brothers against brothers in misery, workers against workers.

Fascism, National-Socialism, demand "living space" for their exploited masses, but only do so to hide their fierce will to extricate themselves from the profound crisis which undermines their very basis. The Anglo-American-Russian bloc wanted - so it appeared - to deliver you from fascism in order to give back to you your freedoms, your rights. But these promises were only the bait to make you participate in the war to eliminate - after having first begotten it - fascism, the great imperialist competitor, outdated as a mode of life and domination for capitalism. The Atlantic Charter, the plan for the New Europe, was only the smokescreen behind which was hidden the conflict's real meaning: a war of bandits with its mournful trail of destruction and massacres, all of whose terrible consequences the working class must bear. Workers

You are told, they would like to make you believe, that this war is not like all the others. You are being lied to. As long as there are exploiters and exploited, capitalism is war, war is capitalism.

The revolution of 1917 was a proletarian revolution; it was the shining proof of the proletariat's political capacity to constitute itself as a ruling class and to move towards the organisation of a communist society. It was the response of the labouring masses to the imperialist war of 1914-1918. But the leaders of the Russian state have since then abandoned the principles of that revolution, have transformed your communist parties into nationalist parties, have dissolved the Communist International and have helped international capitalism to hurl you into the carnage. If in Russia, they had remained loyal to the programme of the revolution and of internationalism, if they had constantly called on the proletarian masses to unify its struggles against capitalism, if they had not adhered to that masquerade, the League of Nations, it would have been impossible for imperialism to have unleashed the war. In participating in the imperialist war together with a group of capitalist powers, the Russian state has betrayed the Russian workers and the international proletariat.

Workers of Germany!

Your bourgeoisie counted on you, on your endurance and your productive power, to win a place for imperialism, to dominate the industrial and agricultural basin of Europe. After turning Germany into a barracks, after making you work for four years at breakneck speed to prepare the engines of war, they have thrown you into all the countries of Europe to everywhere bring - as in each imperialist conflict - ruin and dislocation. The plan of your imperialism has been foiled by the laws of development of international capitalism which has since 1900 exhausted any possibility of a blooming of the imperialist form of domination, and still more so, of every nationalist expression. The profound crisis which wastes the world, and particularly Europe, is the insoluble crisis, the death crisis, of capitalist society. Only the proletariat, through its communist revolution, can eliminate the causes of the distress and the misery of the labouring masses and the workers.

Workers and soldiers!

The fate of your bourgeoisie will now be determined on the terrain of imperialist competition. But international capitalism cannot end the war, because war is its last, its only possibility of survival. Your revolutionary traditions are profoundly rooted in the class struggle of the past. In 1918, with your proletarian leaders Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg, in 1923 (despite the opportunism already arising in the Communist International) you engraved on history your revolutionary will and power.

The National-Socialism of Hitler and the opportunism of the 3rd International made you believe that your fate was linked to the struggle against the Treaty of Versailles. This false struggle could only tie you to the programme of your capitalism, which was characterised by a spirit of revenge and the preparation for the present war. Your interests as workers are only linked to the interests of all the exploited of Europe and of the whole world.

You occupy a critical place to force an end to the monstrous carnage. Following the example of the Italian proletariat, you must undertake the struggle against war production, you must refuse to fight against your brother workers (1). Your revolt must be a manifestation of the class struggle. It must be translated into strikes and upheavals. As in 1918, the fate of the proletarian revolution is dependent on your capacity to break the chains that bind you to the monstrous machine of German imperialism.

Workers, Labourers in Germany

They have deported you to build engines of destruction. For each worker who arrives, a German worker can be sent to the front. Whatever your nationality, you are one of the exploited. Your only enemy is German and international capitalism; your comrades are the German workers, and the workers of the whole world. You carry with you the traditions and experiences of the class struggles of your countries and the entire world. You are not "foreigners". Your demands, your interests, are identical to those of your German comrades. In participating in the class struggle in the factory, at the point of production, you will effectively contribute to breaking the course of the imperialist war.

French workers!

At the time of the strikes in 1936, all the parties manoeuvred to transform your just and legitimate class demands into a demonstration of support for the war which was then being prepared. "The era of prosperity" which the demagogues of the Popular Front presented to you as a full flowering was, in fact, only the profound crisis of French capitalism. Your ephemeral improvements in living standards and work were not the result of an economic recovery, but were brought about by the need to set the war industry in motion. The invasion of France has been exploited by all those responsible for the conflict - from the left to the right - to instil in your minds a desire for revenge and hatred against the German and Italian workers, who no more than you bear any responsibility for starting the war, and who, like you bear the terrible consequences of a butchery willed and prepared by all the capitalist states.

The Petain-Laval government speaks to you of a National Revolution. It is the most vulgar lie; the most reactionary method to make you accept without flinching the weight of military defeat for the exclusive benefit of capitalism. The Algiers Committee (2) holds out before you the return to pre-war abundance and prosperity. Whatever the colour or form of tomorrow's government, the labouring masses of France and the other countries of Europe will pay a heavy war tribute to the Anglo-American-Russian imperialists in the ruins and destruction caused by the two armies in struggle.

Too many among you have been led to believe in, to hope for, the well-being brought by the armies, be they English, American or Russian. The intrigues and contrasts which already manifest themselves within this "trinity" of thieves on the subject of the division of the spoils foreshadows the fact that the conditions imposed on the proletariat will be hard if you do not take the path of class struggle. Too many among you have made yourselves the auxiliaries of capitalism by participating in the partisans' war, the most extreme expression of nationalism.

Your enemies are neither the German soldier, nor the English or American soldier, but their capitalism which has led them to war, to killing, to death. Your enemy is your own capitalism, whether it is represented by Laval or De Gaulle. Your freedom is linked neither to the fate nor to the traditions of your ruling class, but to your independence as a proletarian class. You are the children of the Paris Commune, and it is only by inspiring yourselves by it and by its principles that you will succeed in breaking the chains of slavery that link you to the outdated apparatus of capitalist domination: the traditions of 1789 and the laws of the bourgeois revolution.

Workers of Russia!

In 1917, with your Bolshevik Party and Lenin, you overthrew the capitalist regime and established the first Republic of Soviets. Your magnificent class action opened the historic period of the decisive struggle between two opposed societies: the old, the bourgeoisie, destined to disappear under the weight of its contradictions; the new, the proletariat, constituting itself as a ruling class so as to move towards a classless society, communism. In that period too, imperialist war raged. Millions of workers fell on the battlefields of capitalism. The example of your decisive struggle filled the working masses with the will to put an end to the useless massacre. In breaking the course of the war, your revolution became the programme, the battle flag, for the struggle of the exploited of the world. Capitalism consumed by the economic crisis - aggravated by the war - trembled in the face of the proletarian movement which burst over all of Europe.

Surrounded by the White armies and those of international capitalism which sought to eliminate you by famine, you succeeded in extricating yourselves from the counter- revolutionary embrace; thanks to the heroic support of the European and international proletariat, which took the road of class struggle, the bourgeois coalition was prevented from intervening against the proletarian revolution. The lesson was decisive: henceforth, the class struggle will develop on the international terrain, the proletariat will form its communist party and its International on the programme confirmed by your communist revolution. The bourgeoisie will direct itself towards the repression of the workers movement and towards the corruption of your revolution and your power.

The present imperialist war finds you not with the proletariat, but against it. Your allies are no longer the workers, but the bourgeoisie. You no longer defend the Soviet constitution of 1917, but the "socialist" fatherland. You no longer have comrades like Lenin and his co-workers, but jackbooted, bemedalled generals, just as in all the capitalist countries - the symbol of bloody militarism, the slayers of the proletariat. You are told that there is no capitalism in Russia, but your exploitation is the same as the rest of the proletariat, and your labour power disappears into the abyss of the war and into the treasuries of international capitalism. Your freedom is the freedom to be made to kill to help imperialism to survive. Your class party has disappeared, your soviets are eliminated, your unions are barracks, and your links with the international proletariat are broken.

Comrades, workers of Russia!

Among you, as everywhere else, capitalism sows ruin and misery. The proletarian masses of Europe, like you in 1917, await the favourable moment to rise up against the frightful conditions of existence imposed by the war. Like you, they direct themselves against all those responsible for this terrible insanity, whether they be fascists, democrats or Russian. Like you, they try to overthrow the bloody regime of oppression which is capitalism. Their flag will be your flag of 1917. Their programme will be your programme, the one your present rulers have taken from you: the communist revolution.

Your state is allied with the forces of capitalist counter-revolution. You must be in solidarity with, you must fraternise with, your comrades in struggle, your brothers; you must struggle at their side to re-establish in Russia and in other countries, the conditions for the victory of the world communist revolution.

English and American soldiers!

Your imperialism is developing its plans for the colonisation and enslavement of all peoples, in order to try and save itself from the grave crisis which envelops all of society. Already before the war, despite colonial domination and the enrichment of your bourgeoisie you were subjected to unemployment and poverty, those without work numbering in the millions. Against your strikes for legitimate demands your bourgeoisie did not hesitate to employ the most barbarous means of repression: gas.

The workers of Germany, France, Italy, and Spain have accounts to settle with their own bourgeoisie, which like yours is responsible for the filthy massacre. You are wanted to play the role of cop; you will be sent against the proletarian masses in revolt. You must refuse to fire, you must fraternise with the soldiers and workers of Europe. These struggles are your class struggles.

Workers of Europe!

You are surrounded by a world of enemies. All parties, all programmes, have failed the test posed by the war; all play on your suffering, all unite to save capitalist society from collapse. The whole band of riffraff in the service of high finance, from Hitler to Churchill, from Laval to Petain, from Stalin to Roosevelt, from Mussolini to Bonomi, is in collaboration with the bourgeois state to preach order, work, discipline, fatherland - in the perpetuation of your enslavement. Despite the betrayal of the leaders of the Russian state, the formulas, the theses, the predictions of Marx and of Lenin find, in the very perfidy of the present situation, their striking confirmation.

Never has the class division between exploited and exploiters been so clear, so profound. Never has the necessity to put an end to a regime of misery and blood been so compelling. With the killing at the front, with the massacres from the air, with five years of restrictions, famine makes its appearance. The war spreads over the whole continent; capitalism does not know how to, cannot, end this war. It is not by helping one or the other group of the two forms of capitalist domination that you will shorten the fight. This time it is the Italian proletariat which has blazed the trail of struggle, of revolt against the war.

As with Lenin in 1917, there is no alternative, no other path to follow outside of the transformation of the imperialist war into a civil war. As long as capitalist rule survives, there will be neither bread, nor peace, nor freedom for the proletariat.

Communist workers!

There are many parties, too many parties. But all of them, even the Trotskyist groups, have fallen into the counter-revolution. One single party is missing: the proletarian class political party. The Communist Left alone has stayed with the proletariat, loyal to the programme of Marxism, loyal to the communist revolution. It is only with this programme that it will be possible to give back to the proletariat its organisations, the weapons necessary to its struggle, to victory. These weapons are the new communist party, the new international.

Against all opportunism, against all compromise on the terrain of class struggle, the Fraction (3) calls on you to aid the proletariat in extricating itself from the vice of capitalism. Against the united forces of capitalism, the invincible force of the proletarian class must be built.

Workers and soldiers of all countries!

You alone can stop this terrible massacre unprecedented in history. Workers! In all countries stop the production destined to kill your brothers, your wives, your children. Soldiers! Cease fire, throw down your weapons! Fraternise beyond the artificial frontiers of capitalism. Unite on the international class front.

Long live the fraternisation of all the exploited!

Down with the imperialist war!

Long live the world communist revolution!

Notes:

(1) In 1943, the strikes and class struggle of the proletariat in Italy led to the fall of Mussolini and Italy's call for an armistice. This was the first - and we know today. The only serious breach that the working class made in the second inter-imperialist butchery (Note by the ICC).

(2) The coalition put together by Anglo-American imperialism, with the participation of De Gaulle, to rule France after its "liberation".

(3) The organisation of the communist Left.

Re-published in World Revolution no.275, June 2004

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JoeMaguire
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Jul 25 2005 02:13

This is exactly the reason marxism as gone from being a mass movement right down to a handful of internet chatroom posters

pushka
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Jul 25 2005 03:39

Would you like to expand on that comment Octoberlost...I quite enjoyed that 1st post.

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Alf
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Jul 25 2005 17:43

What was the reason why the left communists were a small minority in 1944?

The left communists did and said in 1944 what the Bolsheviks, Spartacists and others did in the first world war.

At the beginning of world war one, Trotsky joked at Zimmerwald that the internationalists could fit into two taxis. But the tide changed during the course of the war and by 1917-18 millions of workers and soldiers were involved in mass strikes, mutinies and revolutions - in other words, putting the slogans of the internationalists into pratcice. 1944, by contrast, was a period of terrible defeat for the working class and revolutionary ideas could only reach a small minority of the workers, even though there were some important class movements against the war (eg Italy 1943).

The point is that you can't find a magic formula for making sure that revolutionary ideas are taken up on a massive scale. The fundamental question is whether there is a deep, historic movement towards massive struggles or not. But revolutionaries have to defend certain basic principles at all times, and opposition to imperialist war is probably the most important one of all. This the left communists did with considerable courage during the second world war.

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Jul 25 2005 17:50
Alf wrote:
What was the reason why the left communists were a small minority in 1944?

The left communists did and said in 1944 what the Bolsheviks, Spartacists and others did in the first world war.

Question posed then answered. Succinct, I like it.

'Curse those workers -- what we were doing was right in theory!' angry

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Jul 25 2005 18:07

Hi

Loving this thread.

Will we be discussing of the pros-and-cons of revolutionary defeatism? or will we tackling the aggregate position of the ICC as a whole?

Opportunism aside, I'd be interested in seeing revolutionary defeatism eliminated as a candidate component of any strategy likely to realise the libertarian socialist project.

Revolutionary defeatism continually leads to positions offering payoffs of 4 or less on the LRSUG.

Nurse!

Chris

pushka
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Jul 25 2005 18:11

Thanks for the replies to my question to Octoberlost, everybody!

As Lazlo said, the ideas were good in theory, a pity they didn't work in practice, but I suppose that depends on 'who's running the show' and unfortunately it seems that 'men in grey suits' were running it rather than the workers...

I still hold out hope for these ideas tho, as we plan in smaller communities and hopefully form larger links across the UK and the rest of the world, especially in these troubled times of the 'War on Terrorism'!

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Jul 25 2005 18:16
Quote:
Trotsky joked at Zimmerwald that the internationalists could fit into two taxis.

Ha! That Trotsky, for a shitty authoritarian working against the working class he could crack a joke, god love 'im.

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Jul 25 2005 18:19
Trotsky, My Life wrote:
There are many freaks in the world, and many of them are to be found in teaching

Cracked me up. Still does Mr. T

roll eyes

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Jul 25 2005 18:26

amusing, but you read his autobiography?!

confused

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Jul 25 2005 23:53

OK, here are some questions, without answers, to the people who have responded to this thread so far, and anyone else who wants to join in.

What do you understand by the term revolutionary defeatism?

What do you think should be the revolutionary response to capitalist wars?

More specifically, what do you think the internationalist response to World War Two should or could have been?

RedCelt
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Jul 26 2005 12:21
Jack wrote:
Alf wrote:
More specifically, what do you think the internationalist response to World War Two should or could have been?

It was a war against fascism, whether the capitalist imperialists liked it or not. Capitalism might be shit, but if the choice is between it and fascism, then it's worth fighting for. Alas.

:(

I don't think capitalism is ever worth fighting for. Surely in that case you would be fighting against fascism. It isn't a choice between two evils.

red n black star

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Jul 26 2005 16:33

Hi

Alf wrote:
What do you understand by the term revolutionary defeatism?

No short answer to that question can do it justice. I recommend one Googles it. In a nutshell, to me, it means jeopardising your nation’s military victory to put one over on the bourgeoisie, even though it looks like it’s in your best interests to join in with the war.

Alf wrote:
More specifically, what do you think the internationalist response to World War Two should or could have been?

Donate one of their taxis to the French resistance.

Love

Chris

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Jul 26 2005 20:45

Jack wrote

Quote:
Obviously, I don't recomend going out there and fighting to defend commodity exchange, but in practise, it was between fascism and capitalism; not fascism and socialism. I don't think either capitalism or fascism are much fun, but I'm fucking glad 'liberal'-capitalism won the day

Another question: in what way is fascism not capitalism? Was Nazi Germany not capitalist?

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Jul 26 2005 21:34

^ somehow, I dont think he gets the preference for "liberal-capitalism"pr a difference between any capitalism. Yeah all evil shmevil, but only a totalist would take his line of argument, frankly.

To what extent was WW2 an imperialist war and/or one in which there was a direct challenge from a distinctly nasty form of capitalism that one could see a moral if not necessary duty to fight against? Not a fight for the Allies capitalism but against another even greater threat to what little rights and illusions the workers have? The efforts of the Italians, French Resistance and others were major examples where communist/socialist ideas were also put into action but that wasn't possible for all workers who were called up and I dont see the sacrifices they made as being worthless even if they were moved like pawns by and for the greater enemy.

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Jul 26 2005 21:47

If called up I'd have organised within my unit so we could turn the guns on the officers after the fascists were defeated 8) If I was left in the UK I'd have worked with those who were trying to turn the Home Guard into a militia capable of using force against any possible appeaser/collaborationist government.

Mike Harman
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Jul 26 2005 21:50

For those interested, and I haven't had a chance to read it myself, I've just put "Class War on the Home Front" - a collection of articles by and about the Anti-Parliamentary Communist Federation on the library. Good timing in relation to this thread:

http://libcom.org/library/apcf-class-war-home-front

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Jul 26 2005 21:52

A book just came out about they guy who started the movement off -- he was an ex-CP/IB'er who left after being disillusioned with their role in Spain.

Here's a review of the book with more info

http://www.camdennewjournal.co.uk/011305/r011305_01.htm

Mike Harman
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Jul 26 2005 22:03
Lazlo_Woodbine wrote:
A book just came out about they guy who started the movement off -- he was an ex-CP/IB'er who left after being disillusioned with their role in Spain.

Here's a review of the book with more info

http://www.camdennewjournal.co.uk/011305/r011305_01.htm

Thanks for that, looks really interesting.

Pat Henry
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Jul 27 2005 12:33

Lazlo_Woodbine wrote:

Quote:
If called up I'd have organised within my unit so we could turn the guns on the officers after the fascists were defeated If I was left in the UK I'd have worked with those who were trying to turn the Home Guard into a militia capable of using force against any possible appeaser/collaborationist government.

The ruling class needs to enrol workers for any imperialist war - whatever the justification that's given (fighting fascism, etc).The fact of the matter is that once workers have signed up to fight for 'their' national state - be it democratic, fascist or stalinist - they have suffered a defeat for which they will pay for in blood.

They also learnt the lessons of WW 1 - at the end of WW 2 they deliberately bombed the workers centres (Dresden, Hamburg) or allowed them to be massacred (Berlin, Northern Italy) precisely in order to prevent any kind of uprising or revolt.

Even today we're constantly pummelled with the idea that somehow the resistance were 'heroic' fighters - when actually they, along with the trades unions, were heroically...recruiting workers to be massacred.

It's only when workers reject all the false friends will a truly internationalist position develop - against all wars, against 'sacred unions', for world wide revolution.

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the button
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Jul 27 2005 12:52
Jack wrote:
£20, is that hardback?

..... and is it by Stuart Christie? (Where's oisleep?) wink

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Jul 27 2005 12:56
Pat Henry wrote:
The fact of the matter is that once workers have signed up to fight for 'their' national state - be it democratic, fascist or stalinist - they have suffered a defeat for which they will pay for in blood.

Usually the workers' don't have much choice. Organising within the army would have been much better than dodging the draft and becoming a marginal force. Israel has about a 30% draft avoidance rate, but still has a very strong military, because those who avoid service are usually not organising with their fellow workers who are in the military.

Seumus
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Jul 27 2005 13:31

In retrospect.

If we'd had any idea at all we should have done what Spanish anarchists did and took the war against Franco to be a war for the revolution and against fascism. The Hitler war was no more than a continuation of that struggle.What we didn't have was a right view of what was going on, we didn't have a broad view.The Spanish revolution was seen as being a peninsular thing. Today we are in a not unsimilar situation in that many anarchists do not see themselves as internationalists but refugees from the political parties. We have to get more involved , surely, in anarchist education . In France and Spain we find families where generation after generation they have followed what the Spaniards used to call the ,"Idea".

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Jul 27 2005 14:08

Yes, well that's the thing -- the Spanish response to the war was built on about 60 years of libertarian organising. No such basis existed in the UK. I'd say that teh experience of WW2 in the UK did have a radicalising effect. Class consciousness was increased through people's experiences of seeing the upper class try to run a modern war. Many people because sympathetic to the communists, etc. My own grandfather started reading humanist publications, including stuff by Nicholas Walters, which his rural background would never usually have brought him into contact with.

So the major effect was an increase in strength for the labour and Communist parties, which was obviously a crap thing...but because people went to the left groups that were best organised and already rooted in class activity.

Beltov
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Jul 27 2005 15:34
Jack wrote:
Yea, it would've been well good if workers had refused to fight the Nazis.

roll eyes

It is important to be clear on what fascism and the Nazis repesented. Some seem to think that fascism wasn't a particular form of capitalism. So what was it then? Was it a new mode of production? Did it have a new set of social relations? Obviously not. The fascist form of capitalism still had a class system, with a cash economy and a powerful state. If the German bourgeoisie opted to rule in this manner then it was because it best suited the needs of German capital: to recover lost ground from WW1; to manage the deepest economic crisis ever known; to re-arm and attempt once again to seize territory from its neighbours. Finally, the working class had been defeated so it was easier for the bourgeoisie to abopt a more 'brutal' form of rule, because the chance of resistance was so less likely.

Indeed, so specific were these conditions that it is very unlikely that they will ever be repeated, and the fascist form of the dictatorship of capital will most unlikely be adopted by the bourgeoisie ever again. So all this talk about 'the rise of fascism' is just a bugbear, a campaign pushed by the bourgeoisie to scare us into having faith in and trusting democracy.

Furthermore, the tendency for the state to play a central role in the planning and control over the whole of society was not just specific to Germany: this was just one expression of an international phenomenon that took different forms: democratic, 'liberal'-capitalism; Stalinism etc. etc. from the beginning of the 20th century.

So WWII wasn't a war between capitalism and fascism, but a war between rival capitalist states. But it was ideologically presented to the working class as a war in defence of 'democracy' against 'fascism'. Indeed, it is correct to say that the war in Spain was a direct preparation for WWII. The war in Spain was not a 'revolution' or a civil war between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie: it was a war between two rival factions of Spanish capitalism in which the working class were dragooned into participating in by the CNT.

What marked out the communist left was this ability to see through the propaganda of the bourgeoisie and maintain a marxist analysis of the international situation.

And another thing. Who were these 'Nazis' on the battle field? Who were Franco's troops? The were WORKERS in uniform. The vast majotiry of them conscripts. So 'fighting fascism' actually meant joining an army controled by the bourgeoisie, picking up a weapon and killing other workers. Those who defended anti-fascism: anarchists, Trotskyists, Stalinists, actively recruited workers to go and kill other workers.

On the other hand, those 'loony totalists' actually argued that these workers on the front should NOT kill each other, but instead fraternise and turn the guns on their officers! How crazy can you get? roll eyes As Bilan said in the 1930s, even though the working class was defeated, the order of the day was DON'T BETRAY. All those who call for workers to sacrifice their lives in the service of one capital against another are TRAITORS.

If the fascists had 'won' in Europe do you really think they'd have gone round and gassed every man woman and child on the planet? Of course not. Very soon after victory in Europe 'normality' would have been restored: open hostilities would cease temporarily; industrial production and reconstruction would have set in and before long, when the period of reconstruction came to an end, the economic crisis would return, the working class - for there would still have been one! - would have continued to struggle, tensions between the territory dominated by the German bourgeoisie and rival capitalisms (because the Nazis wouldn't have invaded every country) would increase and open hostilities would have resumed. The real history of the world since WW2 hasn't been radically different!

The real scourge for humanity is the global capitalist system itself, no matter what local form it takes.

There's more to say on the current situation in Iraq but this post is long enough already.

Beltov.

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Jul 27 2005 15:49
Beltov wrote:
If the fascists had 'won' in Europe do you really think they'd have gone round and gassed every man woman and child on the planet? Of course not.

No, only gas for the remaning jews and gypsies and death by labour camp for the slavs and other non-aryans. roll eyes

Are you prepared to see milions gassed in order to preserve the 'correct' communist line? You sicken me.

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Jul 27 2005 16:03

Hi Beltov

Beltov wrote:
If the fascists had 'won' in Europe do you really think they'd have gone round and gassed every man woman and child on the planet? Of course not. Very soon after victory in Europe 'normality' would have been restored: open hostilities would cease temporarily; industrial production and reconstruction would have set in and before long, when the period of reconstruction came to an end, the economic crisis would return, the working class - for there would still have been one! - would have continued to struggle, tensions between the territory dominated by the German bourgeoisie and rival capitalisms (because the Nazis wouldn't have invaded every country) would increase and open hostilities would have resumed. The real history of the world since WW2 hasn't been radically different!

Is that the official ICC line Beltov? That's one of the strangest things I've ever read, well done.

You're only a stone's throw from arguing that we should have surrendered in order to get the war over and done with quickly so we could get back to the true communist struggle.

Or was the length of the war historically predetermined?

Taxi!

Chris

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Jul 27 2005 16:21

Beltov, are you saying that your family and friends would all have been just as well off if the Nazis had won? Are you serious -- if you are, you live in a very white, middle class circle.

Is this general ICC policy?

Beltov
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Jul 27 2005 18:11

OK. First off, the posts made under this username are those of an ICC militant: they are not made in the name of the ICC so they are not the formal, collectively agreed upon 'policy' of the ICC. We use the wld_rvn account for this purpose.

It is interesting to see how the replies have focussed on the question of the holocaust, especially given the bourgeoisie's recent campaigns on the 60th anniversary of the end of WW2 (and ignore the rest of the points made!). What seems to have offended some is the mere suggestion that the crimes of the Nazis were the not the product of a capitalist system in its death throws but somehow 'special', that can only be commited by 'totalitarian' regimes. And furthermore, that 'our' liberal-capitalism is somehow incapable of such atrocities. The existence of such conceptions shows how successful these ideological manipulations can be!

The ICC has dedicated several articles recently in its press to exposing these lies. An attempt won't be made here to make all the points they raise, but to draw attention to the most important ones.

To begin with: in the article 'Auschwitz: Allies and Nazis are both to blame' we challenge the conception that the Allies were ignorant of the existence of the Nazis labour camps in 1942/3. They weren't. They knew all about them but did nothing. In fact they went to great lengths to hide their existence. Furthermore, when German imperialism began to suffer military reversals it made an approach to the Allies - through the Polish Bund - to exchange prisoners for trucks. The Allies refused, condeming these prisoners to death, because they didn't want their own war effort disorganised.

Next, in the article 'Capitalist Barbarism and Ideological Manipulations', we also take up the question of the how in warfare all states are pushed to use the most violent and destructive means to impose their military power. In WW1 the use of poison gas. In the 1920s Britain invented terror bombing... in Iraq! In WW2 the firebombing of cities and then the ultimate weapon, the atomic bomb. The ferocity of the Allies' attacks were intensified when the tide turned against the German and Japanese imperialisms. The British bombing of German cities killed 1 million workers. Atrocities were carried out by the Russian's on the Eastern front, and by the Americans against the refugees from Stalin's forces. In the Far East the greatest democracy, the 'land of the free' dropped two atomic bombs to demonstrate the superiority of this new weapon over all conventional arms, on a country that was willing to accept defeat, but not on the terms the Americans wanted: the removal of the Emperor. The United States achieved its ends, Japan capitulated and …the Emperor remained. The complete futility of using the atomic bomb against Japan in order to force it to capitulate has since been confirmed by the statements of the military, some of them high ranking, who were themselves staggered by such cynicism and barbarity.

This is not to lessen the barbarism carried out in the concentration camps, but it is necessary to see that this was just one expression of the general tendency within capitalism towards deepening barbarism.

Quote:
To see the Holocaust as a particularly abject and shameful moment in an ocean of barbarity, rather than as a specificity, requires the power of criticism. It requires a refusal to succumb to the really revolting guilt and intimidation campaigns of the bourgeoisie, who label those who reject and condemn the Allied camp as well as that of the fascists, as indifferentists, negationists (those who deny the reality of the Holocaust), as anti-Semites, neo-nazis.

('Capitalist Barbarism and Ideological Manipulations', International Review no.121 - 2nd quarter 2005)

The most important lesson to draw from the six years of slaughter of the second world slaughter, is that the two camps that fought it out, and the countries that followed them, were all the rightful creation of the vile beast that is decadent capitalism, no matter what ideology they used; Stalinist, democratic or Nazi.

Beltov.

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Jul 27 2005 18:16
Beltov wrote:
What seems to have offended some is the mere suggestion that the crimes of the Nazis were the not the product of a capitalist system in its death throws but somehow 'special', that can only be commited by 'totalitarian' regimes. And furthermore, that 'our' liberal-capitalism is somehow incapable of such atrocities.

Nonsense. Who's said anything like that?

Of course the British Empire was capable of similar atrocities and didn't have as its main aim the ending of them. It doesn't alter the fact, however, that the Nazi holocaust was brought to an end by the end of the Nazi regime.

You seem to be still denying that a Nazi victory would have meant certain death for millions more jews and gypsies and other non-aryans?

Do you disagree? Yes or no?

Lazlo_Woodbine
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Jul 27 2005 18:18

"see the Holocaust as a particularly abject and shameful moment in an ocean of barbarity."

I've no problem with this statement. It is not, however, inconsistent to act against the 'more abject and shameful moments', as the anti-fascists did.