Towards a German Section of the IBRP

From Battaglia Comunista June 2004

There isn’t yet a German section of the International Bureau for the Revolutionary Party but the task of building it has already begun. So far we have already held two public meetings in Berlin, one in February, the other in May.

In February the theme was "The Crisis, the Tendency towards War and Perspectives for the Proletariat". The speaker put forward the position of the IBRP and the Internationalist Communist Party (Battaglia Comunista) on this subject. This was followed by an articulate and rich discussion in which fifty or so comrades participated on all the issues but particularly on the theme of the new composition of the working class and the perspectives which flow from this.

The public meeting was followed by a more restricted discussion with the comrades of the GIS (Gruppe Internationaler SozialistInnen), formerly Trotskyist, but in serious evolution towards the positions of the Communist Left, and in particular, ours.

The other public meeting in May dealt with the issue "Against war, against terrorism, for a class perspective", which was the same as various initiatives we had taken in Italy. The main points were:

  • The tendency towards war is driven by the real fall in the rate of profit. Bourgeois economists talk of the firm’s return on capital but this is the same thing.
  • This tendency towards war is indicateded by the unbroken string of aggressive acts carried out by the only surviving global super power (the USA) for at least the last 13 years.
  • From Iraq (1991) to Grenada, from Serbia to Africa right up to the latest attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq, these all confirm the indiscriminate use of force by the USA. The fact that the USA is currently showing greater aggression is determined by a variety of factors:
  • The greater severity of the problems faced by the US economy.
  • The absolute necessity for the USA to defend its hegemonic position in the world on a financial and commercial level.
  • The absolute need for the USA to continue to drain surplus value gained by the rent which it appropriates for itself through the predominant situation of the dollar in international transactions.
  • The attempt to guarantee its strategic position in order to defend itself from possible future competitors (not only Europe but also Russia, China and Japan).

But the structural problems which affect America have an impact on the rest of the world. The aggression of the other powers cannot express itself in direct confrontation with the mega-super-power. This is the case, for example, of Europe which, for the moment, cannot go beyond being a mere geographical expression and which, moreover, is especially struck by the American initiative against the Euro.

However a significant part of the great Arab financial bourgeoisie, spread out throughout the countries of the Arabian peninsula, have coalesced behind an instrument known to us all as Al Qaida. We are talking here about 200 big financial families. Behind this bourgeoisie can be found behind Bin Laden. The origin of terrorism is to be found here and it is no accident that Bin Laden was previously a close ally of the Bush family and the United States in the struggle against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.

The rupture with the US took place after the fall of the USSR and Bin Laden and his fraction of the Arab financial bourgeoisie sought to get the USA to relinquish its hold over "their" oil. In this way terrorism - first used by the USA in its anti-soviet form - has now become the arm of a bourgeoisie which has undertaken a global war, but especially against the USA, and is ready to ally itself with whoever is convenient at any given moment.

But - like any fraction of the world bourgeois in struggle against the others - this Arab bourgeois fraction has to link itself to the popular masses, (including the proletariat) through some general ideological construct. In this case they use Islamic fundamentalism which is also the most backward and reactionary anti-communist ideology. The struggle of communists against war is also thus a struggle against terrorism and the forces which support it. This is the politically crucial point. Can we consider Islamic fundamentalism as an expression of the anti-imperialist struggle as a variety of political organisations which claim to be on the left would like us to believe? Absolutely not.

From a class point of view the demands of Islamic fundamentalism are the same as those of US patriotism and European neo-nationalism. They are the ideological expressions of inter-bourgeois conflicts, in which the proletariat is used, and will be used again, as cannon fodder.

Our view is that it is both necessary and possible to build a barrier against the mounting tide of war ideology. The current priority is to construct, with the available proletarian vanguards an international reference point which can begin to act effectively within the body of the world working class. The present dispersal of forces has to be overcome in order to build the international proletarian party.

In the May meeting the audience was reduced but the there was no less interest in the discussion which, amongst other things revealed the great distance separating us from the ICC on the method of analysing the dynamic of capitalism and our respective positions. It revealed the solidity and coherence of our positions on the reasons for the war in contrast to the inconsistent schemas of the ICC on decomposition and chaos. This point was not made by us but by a group of comrades even less close to us than the ICC.

The meeting which followed the public meeting led the outline of a plan of work for the sympathising comrades in Germany, including regular meetings with representatives of the IBRP which should lead to the constitution of a new organisation the German section of the Bureau.