1944 Appeal of the Internationalist Communist Party for the Creation of a United Proletarian Front Against the War

Just to show that the No War but the Class War (NWBCW) initiative supported by the ICT is neither immediatist nor something new in our political methodology, we are republishing here the appeal for a united proletarian front against the war that the Internationalist Communist Party put out during the Second World War.(1)

The Party had been formally constituted only a few months earlier, in a year in which the Italian working class had engaged in massive struggles against the war and the harsh conditions that followed from it (they were probably the largest among the European working class, crushed as it then was under the heel of the imperialist war). These struggles accelerated the crisis and the fall of the fascist regime, the latter provoked by a bourgeoisie very concerned about how things had turned out. They were therefore anxious to change horses mid-race, in order not to be overwhelmed by the collapse of the regime and a possible, much feared, proletarian "insurgency". In fact, in March 1943 huge strikes had already taken place and more would soon follow. From this point of view, the situation was thus very different from today, since, as yet, there have been no struggles involving consistent sectors of the working class (understood in a broad sense) against the war or its threat. Outside of Ukraine and Russia, the proletariat has not yet been forced to kill and be killed under the banner of "their" bourgeoisie, and bombs don’t yet rain down on the population. However, the repercussions of the war, which add to the difficulties which the world economy has been experiencing for some time, are powerfully accelerating a trend that has been obvious for a long time, namely the worsening of the living conditions of the working class and of social strata close to it.

If this so-called social unease were not only to persist, but to deepen (and nothing tells us the opposite ...) the bourgeoisie could find it more difficult to control the situation. The same goes for the trade unions, "supporters" of capital, which could find their ability to control and "govern" the working class, as ever in the name of the "national interest", weakened. If the class, or significant sectors of it, opened gaps in the political-ideological networks behind which trade unionism and reformism (but also so-called populism) have locked it up in, if the working class threw aside the cloak of resignation and passivity, the result of decades of defeats and disappointments, then a new phase could open, in which the basic principles of the proletarian class struggle, so distorted and even forgotten, could return as the heritage of the class and guide its struggles.

The NWBCW committees, where they already exist and where they eventually arise, will have exactly this task: to “work” together with those true to internationalism in order to agitate along genuinely class political lines inside the working class. It is therefore not, in itself, a party-building exercise – this is why it is aimed at internationalists in general – but undoubtedly, if the committees were to take root in a significant way, this would create more favourable conditions for the construction and development of the revolutionary party on a global scale: the International. If the committees were to take root, this would be due not only to the work of internationalist militants, but also, and we would say first of all, to the resumption of the class struggle, perhaps also thanks to the contribution of internationalists themselves. Then the communist organisation would find a way to go beyond the tiny minority to which a century of counter-revolution has relegated it, and play an active part in the coordination and political direction of class conflict.

It is therefore necessary for the working class to break the "spell" that has been disorienting and paralysing it for too long. Only in this way will it be possible to reopen the road to overcome this increasingly gloomy and inhuman world, towards communism: it is not a sufficient condition, but certainly a necessary one.

Appeal of the Internationalist Communist Party for the Creation of a United Proletarian Front Against the War


As soon as one phase of factory agitations has ended, your struggle has already revived: you have not been given what was only partially promised, and even if you were, it could not satisfy you and your families’ future needs, since wages do not allow you the luxury to buy anything on the black market, whilst the ration card only gives you just enough to avoid starvation.

Our party had warned that such a situation would soon occur, since the impasse into which the capitalist economy has entered has left all the necessary economic and moral demands of the working class up a blind alley.

Why all this?

The reason is to be found in the war which for five years now has fed exclusively on your blood on the various fronts of the conflict, and on your sweat and bread in the workplace.

We can indeed tell you that your conditions will continue to worsen despite the strikes you will be forced to undertake, because up to now your struggle has lacked a clear political vision of your fundamental tasks and, above all, you have lacked a real class guide, animated by the spirit of the revolution.

In fact you have been, and continue to be, disarmed in the face of the bosses and their political henchmen, because your greatest weapon of struggle, the strike, has not put the fight against war at the centre of the movement. On the contrary, it has been practically blunted because you have allowed alien political forces, the six democratic parties, headed by the centrist communist party(2), to take the lead in your movement, and drag it into the anti-worker and counter-revolutionary politics of support for the national war.

Thus, not only have you been disheartened by a "victory" that still leaves your belly empty, what is worse, you have been taken in, unconsciously to be sure, by a worse political manoeuvre, as a result of a class defeat, because it degrades and dishonours the ideals and political reasons for the struggle of the proletariat. Isn't the imperialist war the most ferocious, the most inhuman, the most murderous war waged by the bourgeoisie against the proletariat? Therefore placing oneself on this level means favouring the destructive work of the class enemy to the detriment of one's own class.

Against both your fascist masters who, in partially satisfying your demands, try to enlist you once more in their war; and those who, taking advantage of your economic conditions and your natural hatred of bloody fascism, incite you to strike again and again, in line with their warmongering plan as the vanguard of the so-called liberator, the Allied army, and will operate tomorrow at its side for the continuation of the democratic war;

Against those who try to channel your struggle into the national liberation front by pretending to ignore that the "homeland" of the proletariat, that of work and solidarity without borders, has nothing in common with the "homeland" of the bourgeoisie;

You, workers, must respond with Lenin's words:

War is … but an inevitable stage of capitalism, just as legitimate a form of the capitalist way of life as peace is. … Refusal to serve with the forces, anti-war strikes, etc., are sheer nonsense, the miserable and cowardly dream of an unarmed struggle against the armed bourgeoisie, vain yearning for the destruction of capitalism without a desperate civil war …(3)

Today, struggling just for immediate economic demands has lost its meaning and value; what good does the partial satisfaction of your demands do you, if the massive slaughter continues to suck your blood and sweat?


The present time calls for the formation of a united proletarian front, i.e., the unity of all those who are against war, whether fascist or democratic.

Workers of all proletarian and non-party political formations! Join our workers, discuss class problems in the light of the events of the war and form together in every factory, in every centre, committees of the united front capable of bringing the struggle of the proletariat back to its true class terrain.

The united front among workers will become a living and working reality on the sole condition that you, whatever your party political position, agree on the following…

Positions on the war

  1. The imperialist war is the most extensive, violent and corrupting attack on the proletariat in order to bar it from the road that leads to the conquest of power;
  2. Between the two poles of the war, the fascist and the democratic, the first a synthesis of violence and the second of corruption, the proletariat expresses aversion to both as simply different faces of the same capitalist reality;
  3. No one should be ready to believe in the old and laughable story of the “tactical manoeuvre”, which involves the fight against the greater evil (read: Nazi-fascism) in favour of an alliance with the lesser evil (read: democratic dictatorship);
  4. The slogan of armed insurrection, so dear to the guerrillas of the national liberation front, is just revolutionary phraseology that covers up their betrayal of the proletarian revolution and aims to create an electoral base for the six party bloc in their political ascent to power.

Positions on workers’ struggles

  1. In the present phase of the crisis, and as the war furiously rages, wage demands or immediate political demands, if on the one hand they express the serious and urgent needs of the masses and are inevitable, as inevitable and irrepressible is the proletarian right to make use of its own means for the defence of its interests, on the other hand, they would be in practice vain and illusory if the proletariat did not have the consciousness that only the active, class-based aversion to war, only the ruthless war against imperialism in any disguise, only victorious revolutionary struggle will assure power to the proletariat;
  2. It is necessary to distinguish between the strike, which is an organic expression of the workers’ struggle and a normal means of class defence, and the strikemania of those who bring to the leadership of the movement the mentality of Balkan guerrillas or armed gangs.(4) This ultimately serves to render the weapon of the strike ineffective and to discredit it in the eyes of the masses.
    Therefore, in solidarity with the strikes and with every class demonstration in the factories, and indeed by actively promoting them, the workers should above all constantly, untiringly, assert the supreme need of the struggle for proletarian power in whose historical climate immediate struggles, in their very partiality and uselessness, reveal their class colour and substance.
    In a word, the conquest of power is on the historical agenda of today for the proletariat; everything else must be considered a function of this fundamental necessity.

Positions for the organisation of the “united proletarian front”

  1. On the basis of these positions, workers (what political label they use does not matter) should spread the call of our party, and, having debated and clarified and accepted the ideas which are its justification, they should make themselves the initiators of the first contacts and the first organic groupings in the workplace. After all, the workers have clearly demonstrated that they are now masters in the art of organising themselves in defiance of the bosses and their fascist servants.
  2. The workers’ united front brings together and cements the forces destined to fight on the class barricades against the war and its leading political forces, both fascist and democratic.
    Its greatest and most urgent task is to prevent workers from being plagued by war propaganda, to unmask imperialist agents disguised as revolutionaries, and to prevent the spirit of struggle and sacrifice that animates the proletariat from being exploited for the aims of the war and its continuation, even under the banner of democratic freedom.

Long live the workers’ united front for the fight against war!

Long live the proletarian revolution!

Internationalist Communist Party
Prometeo No.4
1 February 1944

Notes to the Translation:

(1) We have already translated many of the other documents issued by the Internationalist Communist Party, the only party founded at that time to oppose all sides in the imperialist war. These can be found at the top of the English part of our website under the button entitled the Italian Communist Left. A good starting point which gives a sense of the situation can be found at: leftcom.org

(2) The Allied invasion of Sicily in July 1943 led to Mussolini's overthrow by his own Fascist Grand Council. King Victor Emmanuel III then had Mussolini arrested. This led to the German occupation of Northern and Central Italy. The Committee of National Liberation (CLN) was formed in the Allied occupied south of Italy on 9 September 1943. The six parties that formed it were the Italian Communist Party of Togliatti, the Italian Socialist Party, the Party of Action, the Christian Democrats, the Labour Democratic Party and the Italian Liberal Party. Mussolini was rescued by the Germans from the Gran Sasso three days later and the Germans installed him as puppet leader of a so-called Italian Social Republic based at Saló in the North. Its territory became a bloody battleground for the next nineteenth months. The CLN was a tool of both the monarchy and the Allied powers (most notably the USSR and USA). It set up partisan groups (as did some anarchist and Trotskyist groups in the name of “anti-fascism”) behind German lines whose activities led to the massacres of thousands of Italian civilians at the hands of the SS, and the Fascist Black Brigade which worked alongside them.

(3) V. I. Lenin, The Position and Tasks of the Socialist International (1914), marxists.org

(4) Probably a reference to the partisan movement led by Tito (Josip Broz) who was armed and financed by the Big Three Allies, USSR, USA and Brirain, against the Nazi occupation and division of what was then Yugoslavia. With the aid of the Red Army Tito took Belgrade in October 1944.

Monday, October 31, 2022