To the Internationalists Attending the Prague Week of Action

Capitalism is past its sell by date and is dragging the planet and humanity towards an existential crisis. The system has been lurching from one expedient to the next to avert the consequences of the crisis that emerged with the end of the post-war boom in the early 1970s. But each expedient, whether it be de-localisation of production to low wage areas, the concomitant globalisation of trade that followed, or the increasing financialisation of economic activity which has widened the gulf between rich and poor across the planet, has only added to the contradictions of the system. The fictitious capital of the financial institutions led to massive speculation which mortgaged the future. Predictably this ended in tears in 2007-8 and the system has only survived through the state converting private bankruptcy into sovereign debt to save those “too big to fail”. Now such debt is so large that the mere repayment of interest paralyses the same governments from real investment. Instead they have continually cut the social services they created to buy off workers in the post-war boom thus adding to the misery of the lowest paid. Meanwhile those “too big to fail” continue to make their billions which they use to ensure that state policies favour their interests. This is why there never will be a capitalist plan to really deal with the looming existential crisis posed by climate change. After almost 30 years of feeble schemes agreed in climate conferences the planet is continuing to warm at a rate even faster than originally predicted. Capitalism unchecked means the end of all planetary life within decades rather than the three and a half billion years astronomers predict before the sun expands so much we all become toast. And in the very short term it means misery for millions from environmental disasters which are themselves the cause of wars around the world.

Global capitalism has now gone through almost six decades of declining growth rates and the consequence is the rise of imperialist tensions to a level not seen since 1939. And history never stands still. With the start of the Ukraine War it took a new turn towards generalised war. It did not come out of the blue. For years the USA has been playing up the danger of the rise of China (which originally came about due to US investment in its “Special Economic Zones” which brought cheap Chinese goods to mitigate lower wages in the USA) whilst its hubris after the collapse of the USSR has not created a “new world order” but advanced its alliance system to encircle the Russian rump of the old USSR. By its sanctions regime (itself an act of war) it has created an alliance of convenience in Eurasia between Russia, China and Iran who are not only putting their differences aside but are helping each other avoid the effects of US sanctions (which it can also bully its allies to impose). With Sweden and Finland joining NATO there is no sign of a pause in US policy. And with the same coming from the Kremlin there is also no prospect of any armistice any time soon. Like the two previous world wars, the next will demand the “unconditional surrender” of one of the contending parties first. Total war is the fruit of the imperialist stage of capitalism and the populations of Ukraine and Gaza are already feeling the consequences.

We have long argued that the one force that can allow humanity to avoid the black hole into which capitalist rivalries will drive us is the world working class. As the universally exploited class we share with our class sisters and brothers everywhere a common condition. We have no property to defend and we are only linked to the present system by “radical chains”. In other words, we are the concrete expression of the whole of humanity. Our class interests embody the interests of humankind as a whole. But currently we are not in a great shape to organise the fight back.

Impending imperialist war comes at a time when the working class has been in retreat in the face of four decades of capitalist attacks on living standards. On top of that we have been faced with a battery of ideological weapons from identity politics to the biggest identity con of all – nationalism. This is the banner under which workers will be recruited to be cannon fodder to slaughter each other to defend the “nation”, or rather, the property of those who actually own the nation’s wealth – our exploiters. After such a long period of retreat workers have to reacquire the confidence to struggle, not only against wage cuts, unemployment and austerity but now against the greater danger which capitalism poses to us all. It cannot be under-estimated that building class unity is the most important task facing revolutionaries.

We thus welcome the Prague Week of Action and all other serious attempts to bring genuine internationalists together to fight the growing drive of the world capitalist system towards barbarism. These conferences and initiatives could be a first step, provided that we all recognise the extreme danger of the situation and as a consequence concentrate on what unites us rather than what has divided us. In this respect the call of the Prague Action Week is not different in essence from the five basic points which those of us in the No War but the Class War (NWBCW) initiative adhere to. These are:

  • Against capitalism, imperialism and all nationalisms. No support for any national capitals, “lesser evils”, or states in formation.
  • For a society where states, wage-labour, private property, money and production for profit are replaced by a world of freely associated producers.
  • Against the economic and political attacks that the current war, and the ones to come, will unleash on the working class.
  • For the self-organised struggle of the working class, for the formation of independent strike committees, mass assemblies and workers’ councils.
  • Against oppression and exploitation, for the unity of the working class and the coming together of genuine internationalists.

None of the eight points in the description of who the Prague call is aimed at contradicts the basic aims of NWBCW. Indeed we could quite happily expand those five points to encapsulate the Prague eight (see below) as they both define the framework of genuine working class internationalism. NWBCW already includes comrades from the anarchist and anarcho-syndicalist tradition plus different groups of the communist left as well as individuals who belong to no specific organisation. It is present in several countries from South Korea and the US to the UK and Europe. It has no central body and each local committee decides on the basis of its local situation how best to carry out the five basic points which were originally adopted by the first committee to be formed (in Liverpool in the UK). It is still in its infancy and, like all the other initiatives, its weakness is that it is composed solely of those who are already politically committed in their opposition to capitalism and the state. Unless we can reach the wider working class — which is only now beginning to stir from the onslaught of the last forty years — then we will achieve nothing. This can only be done if we reach some “critical mass” which enables us to organise to combat both imperialist propaganda and the fake schemes of the “part-time internationalists” who always support some existing state or want to create another.

Some organisations who are in NWBCW, like members of the AnarCom Network (ACN) and the Anarchist Communist Group (ACG), have been specifically invited to Prague. Others have not, including the Internationalist Communist Tendency (ICT), yet we shall be present alongside the other comrades as we accept all eight points of the invitation. It is in this spirit that we attend the Prague Week of Action which we hope will be a success and open out to other internationalist initiatives in an attempt to draw us all closer together.

Internationalist Communist Tendency
April 2024

Prague Week of Action (20-26 May 2024)

This call is addressed to:

  • To anyone in the world who is struggling against the attacks of capital, against all wars and against all bourgeois states with the aim of destroying capital and all social relations resulting from it, as well as all forms of exploitation.
  • To all those who are aware that there is no such thing as a just war or a defensive war. There is no camp that represents barbarism while the other represents civilization, there is no camp that is more aggressive than the other, and there is no democratic camp against a dictatorial or fascist camp. All wars are capitalist wars, where different bourgeois factions are pitted against each other. Every war is a war of the bourgeoisie against the proletariat!
  • To those who do not support either faction of the bourgeoisie against the other, but fight against each of them. Those who do not defend or participate in inter-class fronts.
  • To those individuals, and groups, who fight against the policy of “defense of the national economy”, and “sacrifice in favor of the war economy”, to those who do not accept the expansionist tactics of their own bourgeoisie, even if it faces an economic, political or military attack.
  • To all those who do not consider themselves pacifists but revolutionaries. To all those who do not aspire to a bourgeois peace where the exploitation of our labor force can continue in slightly different conditions.
  • To all those who want to turn the inter-bourgeois war into a revolutionary war, the war between states into a struggle for the destruction of all states.
  • To all those who recognize in their practice that the proletariat has no fatherland to defend. Our enemy is not the proletarians driven into the trenches on the other side of the front, but the bourgeoisie – in practice, above all, the bourgeoisie “in our own country”, “our own” bourgeoisie, the one that directly organizes our exploitation.
  • And finally, to those who, according to their strength and situation, fight against the bourgeoisie by promoting the development of the proletariat as a revolutionary class and contributing to the building and development of proletarian internationalism.
Wednesday, May 1, 2024


Prague is over now. What happened there?

As the ICT delegation noted...

One could write essays about what actually happened in Prague.

From an organisational point of view, it was a disaster. Participants may disagree about who's to blame but the fact is some events didn't take place at all, others were poorly attended, people were promised accomodation and weren't provided any, and ultimately on Friday the congress venue pulled out. In the absence of any communication from the organisers, around 50 participants met up and self-organised their own congress. The discussions carried on for many hours, and though eventually the original organisers found some other venue, the self-organised congress had already made plans for the next day. So on Saturday two separate events took place: the official congress and the self-organised congress (though some participants visited both throughout the day).

From a political point of view, the real divide that emerged was between the activists who were looking for immediate solutions on how to stop the war, and those with a class struggle orientation who had a more long term perspective and understood wars, as a product of the capitalist system, can only be ended by the mass struggle of workers.

However, it wasn't all a waste of time. Over the week, many good conversations were had (particularly in smaller groups, in pubs, cafes, etc.). Experiences were shared and links were made between organisations and individuals from many different countries. Above all, seeing internationalists of various tendencies join forces to basically improvise their own congress was heartening. We all tried to make the best of a bad situation and it drew us closer together. In that sense, we are glad we went.

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