Statement of the Internationalist Communist Tendency on the nationalist metamorphosis of the so-called "Internationalist Comrades" (Greece).

Astute readers will have noticed that we are in process of removing all reference to the so-called “Internationalist Comrades” (Greece) and their publication Engymo from our site. We are issuing this document in order to inform individuals and groups of the Communist Left everywhere why.

Internationalism versus nationalism

In a social climate that is increasingly characterised by nationalism, racism and reactionary ideas, communists face the challenge of swimming against the current and defending uncompromising internationalist principles. With regard to the political development of the "Internationalist Comrades" (Greece) group, we can only state that they have completely failed in this respect. The publication and dissemination of texts of the most reactionary conspiratorial ideologists is for us a clear indication that the so-called "internationalist comrades" (hereinafter "IC") have completely moved to nationalist positions. We regard it as our duty and political responsibility as an organisation to declare publicly that this group has become a threat to the integrity and security of the revolutionary proletarian milieu through its manifest cooperation with anti-Semitic forces. The so-called "IC" was never an affiliate of the ICT but linked to us (and the rest of the Communist Left, since they translated and published from all its traditions) through a long process of discussion, which in retrospect was characterised more by its lows than its highs.

The first serious differences emerged when the so-called "IC" in July 2015 called for "critical" support for the referendum of the bourgeois SYRIZA / ANEL government. This support for the parliamentary spectacle revealed all sorts of confusions regarding their assessment which made the possibility of broad political agreement with the ICT appear somewhat premature. For us as ICT this was not a problem in itself. It is our declared policy with all the political forces that are seriously aiming at proletarian emancipation and internationalism, to compare positions, to discuss them in the long term, and, if necessary, to undertake polemics on practical and theoretical questions. However when it finally became clear that they did not really see Syriza as part of the bourgeoisie we began to realise that they were outside, not only our tradition, but that of the entire communist left. In coherence with their fundamentally reformist approach, which they never overcame, they invited us to vote "NO" in the referendum, not seeing this as a trap (and insult) created for the proletariat by Syriza. They thus failed to fulfill what is an inescapable duty of any organisation, even an "informal one", which claims to be communist: to give a clear political indication to our class, to extract it from the quagmire of bourgeois ideology in which it is trapped. For them, our stance was “in the name of a childish revolutionary purity: ok, this can be accepted as a kind of sectarian narrow-mindedness”. Further comment is superfluous (for real communists …)

Moreover, various twists and turns of the so-called "IC", raised significant and increasing doubts about their seriousness and political responsibility. For example, a written discussion contribution of a single member of the "IC", in which homosexuality was referred to as a "deviation", has to be mentioned. This caused us to shake our heads, especially as it was unclear to what extent this homophobia was supported or tolerated by the whole group.

The refusal of the so-called "IC" to support a statement of ICT on the so-called "refugee crisis" was also alarming, as this expressed an irreconcilable rejection of the racist border regime. We wrote specifically: "While most representatives of the capitalist left are, at first sight, cosmopolitan and humanitarian, this is more than mendacious and hypocritical. For example, the SYRIZA government in Greece is not doing anything to help the refugees but is actively implementing Frontex's policy. Tsipras personally took part in the annual manoeuvre on the border with Turkey to announce that Europe's borders are safe. At the same time, the anti-racist and refugee support movement is facing numerous failed projects. (...) If the much-promised slogan "Refugees are welcome" does not turn into the hollow phrase, one should think about where we really "welcome" it: in a society where pay reductions, social cuts and precarious employment dictate everyday life. Some well-educated people will be able to get a job, but most of them will be confined to camps for a long time, and will eventually be faced with unemployment and misery. For capital, they are a welcome reservoir of largely lawless workers, which can at any time be played against other sectors of the class. (...) Those who make profitable profits by shortening wages, raising rents, and tightening the screw of exploitation are currently drawing all the stops to give the impression that there is not enough jobs and living space. They also have a good reason for this reference to the self-created "constraints": Whoever takes action on his colleagues can not rise up with him. As long as workers regard themselves as competitors for jobs, dwellings, etc., as long as they are tackling nationalist and racist ideologies, capitalism is not questioned as long as exploitation and impoverishment are open. But precarious working and living conditions are just like the misery of the refugees' products of capitalism. We are an international class! An internationalist perspective against racist cleavage and exploitation can only lie in the political struggle for the complete abolition of all exceptions, regulations, and administrative practices directed against migrants."

This was obviously too much internationalism for the so-called" IC", which, from then on and with all sorts of phraseology, distorted our position as being to support a "No Borders" policy and a neo-liberal mystification "of human rights”. However, as we insisted, the main attention of communists is always directed towards the conditions of the struggle of the international proletariat in its entirety. As was obvious, it was a political denunciation of bourgeois hypocrisy, which, while celebrating the fall of the "Wall" erected by one of the imperialist blocs at the time of the "Cold War" (the former Soviet empire), continuously raises new ones today. A denunciation accompanied by an indication of the fact that only the revolutionary overthrow of the bourgeois system can really eradicate all borders and consider the oppressed around the world our brothers and sisters. On the contrary, their long "farewell" letter – written with the arrogant and presumptuous tone that distinguishes them and which has no scruple in resorting to insults – comes with an unbearable stench of nationalism:

We have no intention for Greece to be transformed into a transit centre, a warehouse of souls and a sorting camp for cheap multipurpose labour force for the contemporary slave markets of Europe. Nor do we want our people to share the fate of Palestinians living as foreigners and enslaved in its own country”.

However nothing prepared us for the leap, characteristic of petty bourgeois intellectualism, into printing the works of know conspiracy theorists (such as Thierry Meyssan) and anti-semites. We want to warn everyone that this group is neither made up of “internationalists” nor “comrades”.

International Bureau of the Internationalist Communist Tendency

November 7, 2016

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Comments

The problem is that the ICT is not inter-NATIONAList so much as nowhere-in-particular-ist. Class struggles exist in definite as well as in several places. Socialist revolutions will only occur in definite places, even if only so far known as 'nations', but whatever they might be called, the places will remain where they are, irrespective of what happens on them. Particular conditions in particular places need specific consideration, even though they are all part of a vast capitalist world. It is unlikely that the forms of struggles and outcomes will all be the same in whichever places they occur. Thus obviously what happened in Russia was never going to match what was thought best in Italy in the 1920s, because the particular circumstances had to be tackled in ways actually applicable at the time, in view of local experience, needs, resources and knowledge.

KLZ

Most criticisms we receive are that we are not centralised enough!

We absolutely agree that

Particular conditions in particular places need specific consideration, even though they are all part of a vast capitalist world. It is unlikely that the forms of struggles and outcomes will all be the same in whichever places they occur. Thus obviously what happened in Russia was never going to match what was thought best in Italy in the 1920s, because the particular circumstances had to be tackled in ways actually applicable at the time, in view of local experience, needs, resources and knowledge.

and it is the founding principle of the ICT. We have a common platform (which the IC of Greece never signed up to) which is an expression of our political centralisation. After that individual affiliates are left to establish their own way of working and taking part in struggles in the places where they exist without having a "party line" imposed on them from afar (as is the case with all other international organisations we know of). The problem is that in each area we exist our presence is still small and we only make an impact through our propaganda at the present time. This is not surprising at a time when the international class struggle is at a low level everywhere (albeit for different reasons) but we are still planting seeds for a future revival of the class. The latter though is not in our gift however clever we are, or however much we desire it and work for it.

Thank you, Cleishbotham, for your response comment of 2016-11-10 16:31. You are busy, I am busy, so I'll leave it at that for the time being, except to say that clarification is better than compounded confusion for workers everywhere.