Presentation and Reports from the Public Meetings in Paris and Saint-Nazaire

Paris Meeting (22 September 2023)

On Friday 22 September, the ICT held a public meeting in Paris with around 37 people in attendance. Among the attendees, the following political groups were noted: Robin Goodfellow, the International Group of the Communist Left (IGCL), the International Communist Current (ICC), and a member of the CNT-AIT. The subject of the meeting was the march to war and the role of revolutionaries in this new political situation. ICT comrades from the UK, the USA and Italy were present to highlight the international aspect of our meeting, and the gravity of the current political situation. We publish here the introduction to the discussion, followed by our political conclusion on this meeting.

Imperialist War and/or Class War

Today we are still in the midst of the longest recession capitalism has ever known (after the longest economic boom, known in France as the “thirty glorious years”). This has led to incredibly complex contradictions in all areas; economic, social, environmental, and even health.

1. What Has Led to the Current Situation?

In the 60s and 70s, capitalism experienced an incredible wave of class struggle throughout the world (both in the East and the West). Workers' resistance gained momentum and eroded the capitalists' room for manoeuvre. This then led to the rationalisation and restructuring of the economy and industry everywhere. After an unprecedented attack on the working class in the form of Reaganomics and Thatcherism, the capitalist states relocated their companies to countries where wages were very low. For a time this policy, as part of the development of globalisation, made it possible to fight against the fall in the rate of profit.

But the policy of attacking salaries and social benefits could only buy them a little time; it was not able to halt the decline in the rate of profit. Since the beginning of the 2000s it has been clear that no new cycle of production and accumulation has been possible. However, capitalism also faces several additional crises as we have already pointed out above.

After the financial crisis of 2008, all that they could do to save the system was to implement an easy money policy. Central banks, by means of Quantitative Easing (QE), then dosed capitalism with its morphine. Once again this policy had its limits. The financial bubbles that could burst at any time had to be mopped up. A low rate of inflation was initially intended to help pay down some of this debt. But inflation policy got out of hand and proved to be uncontrollable. Hence a policy of tightening credit was put in place at the end of 2022, and again today. Zero interest rates, which had made it possible to give oxygen to the system so that business could recover, were replaced by a new policy of tightening credit which could lead to a serious recession. The Federal Reserve (FED) rate rose to 5.25% in August. The European Central Bank (ECB) increased its rate to 4.5%, the highest since Spring 2001.

However, this credit crunch is bringing about bankruptcies and a real estate crisis in several countries (in China, USA, Great Britain, and soon France). In Germany, there are serial bankruptcies of department stores; elsewhere there is the surge in American interest rates, the Chinese real estate crisis… Le Monde wrote on 28 August:

In recent weeks, worrying signs for the global economy's health have been piling up…Business insolvencies are on the rise everywhere; they have already exceeded their 2019 levels in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Sweden.(1)

Some figures:

A. China

This year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts growth of 3.2% for China, the lowest rate in four decades, and far below the 5.5% official target. But overall the situation in China worries capitalists. It goes against the grain by finding itself facing potential deflation – that is to say, no _in_flation. Consumer prices thus remained stable in June over a year, while producer prices continued to plunge, reflecting sluggish demand which further complicates the recovery, according to official figures published on 10 July. These figures are fuelling fears of deflation – a decline in consumer prices – in the world's second-largest economy.

B. Europe

Here we have economic stagnation, coupled with persistent inflation. Inflation is increasing in ten of the twenty Eurozone countries, including Belgium, Spain, Ireland, Portugal, Austria, and Italy. The increase is greatest in France, where it went from 5.1% in July to 5.7% in August (the statistics harmonised at the level of the EU are slightly different from those of INSEE, which places inflation at 4.8%). European GDP growth was revised downwards for the second quarter to 0.1% according to Eurostat on 7 September 2022 after 0.1 in the first quarter. And at the same time, in Germany, the largest European economy, growth is at 0%. This economic stagnation, coupled with persistent inflation, complicates the task of the ECB, which had a mandate to maintain inflation at 2% in the medium term!

C. United States

We are told that the economic situation is solid. We know that the statistical data is not accurate and hides the reality and true levels of unemployment. However, the slowdown in the job market has been confirmed. In August, the number of jobs created was 187,000, significantly below the average of the last twelve months, which was 271,000, according to data published 1 September by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The statistics for the months of June and July were also revised downwards by 110,000 jobs from the initial estimates. As for unemployment, it has increased quite significantly, going from 3.5% to 3.8% between July and August, returning to its highest level since the start of 2022.

The capitalists are not telling the whole truth because they don’t want to frighten the stock markets, which live on the belief that everything will get better; so they cheat. However, we read in Le Monde that

World trade has entered a recession – down 0.7% in the first quarter.(2)

How can we have business in recession and economic growth? GDP also takes into account consumption, but you still have to buy food.

Hence, the only solution for capitalism would be a new cycle of accumulation. But it has been trying in vain to find it for more than 50 years. Only war, by destroying living and dead capital, could enable this new cycle for the establishment. We have reached that point. But what’s more, capitalism is faced with many other problems such as stopping the depredation of nature, which is already an unavoidable barrier. It is therefore in the face of this unavoidable issue and the scarcity of raw materials that the march to war is looming.

This is why a new path towards generalised imperialist war has opened up. From this point on, imperialist war will become the master and drive the entire international situation.

2. Towards Imperialist War

From our point of view all other questions are subject to the increase in imperialist tensions.

A. Reconstruction of blocs

Chinese Premier Li Qiang called for opposition to bloc confrontation: “we should not choose sides,” he warned on 6 September 2023. He also called for action against the risk of “a new Cold War”, during the summit in Indonesia before the meeting of representatives of the great powers (the American Vice-President Kamala Harris and the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov) and leaders of Southeast Asia.

At the end of the summit, Indonesian President Joko Widodo said: "I can guarantee that if we are not able to manage our differences, we will be destroyed."

The most important current problems and conflict zones are Ukraine, Taiwan, the South China Sea and the arming of North Korea, as Kamala Harris recalled. At the summit she denounced "Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine", security challenges in the South China Sea and the threat of North Korean missiles.

Obviously, the precise outline of the blocs is not yet fixed but we can see the main components.

  • The United States has succeeded in tightening and expanding NATO behind it and creating AUKUS in the Asia-Pacific.
  • The other bloc around China is not yet definitively united; for the moment China is seeking to solidify the Global South and defend its interests against the Western bloc. The BRICS group has grown to include Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, Egypt, Ethiopia and Argentina. BRICS will thus increase from five to eleven members. The group will represent 46% of the planet's population and a little more than a third of the world's GDP.

China knows very well that not all of their interests align with its own. The only real point in common is an ambition to propose another international order, separate from that dominated today by the richest economies on the planet.

Another common point concerns how to “dethrone” the dollar, symbol of Western hegemony. In recent months, Western sanctions imposed on Russia – the freezing of the central bank's dollar reserves, the exclusion of Russian banks from the SWIFT international interbank communications network, the ban on oil imports from Moscow, etc. – have reignited the interest of many emerging countries in “de-dollarisation”.

Since the start of the war in Ukraine, initiatives to reduce the use of the greenback have multiplied. Russia now sells its hydrocarbons to Beijing in renminbi. In January, it connected its interbank messaging system to Iran's, allowing banks in both countries to exchange money without going through SWIFT. In the Spring, China, which is also developing a competitor to SWIFT (the China International Payment System, CIPS), purchased liquefied natural gas (LGN) from the United Arab Emirates in yuan.

B. Other signs exist which are more insidious:

Trade wars are continuing and intensifying. According to the IMF, 3,000 new trade and customs barriers were erected in 2022 (three times more than in 2019), which will mean a drop of 7% in global GDP.

The aid granted under the pretext of the “green economic transition” is very telling. Europe says it is ready to dig up the hatchet against the United States, because of American subsidies for electric cars favouring those “Made in USA”. Are the two partners and allies about to restart the trade war? Obviously, no. But this is a sign of increasing tensions between states.(3)

What are the facts?

As part of the fight against inflation, Joe Biden announced this summer a vast aid plan including a measure that is particularly irritating for Europeans: a tax credit, up to $7,500, for the purchase of an electric car, provided it comes from an American factory, battery included. Donald Trump had already declared a trade war on China, then on Europe with the increase in customs duties. And now, Joe Biden is taking a step intended to shore up its industry as a priority.

More seriously, the United States is leading the trade war against China, in particular by methodically pursuing a strategy of weakening Chinese tech. In the middle of summer, the United States promulgated an executive order prohibiting American investors, by 2024, from placing their dollars in China in key sectors, such as certain sectors of AI, quantum computing or even semiconductors. This is what some are calling the “tech war”.

France is pushing the EU to react against the invasion of the European market by Chinese electric cars.(4)

Raw materials are at the heart of the conflicts (e.g. wheat in Ukraine). Raw materials (wheat, rare earths, etc.) play a very important role because what is at stake is imperialist supremacy for world domination. It is fundamental in this context to ensure control of areas rich in raw materials (e.g. Africa).

This search for raw materials also continues in the oceans and near the poles where competition is developing. The successive military coups in Africa show that the situation is becoming untenable for the weakest countries whose wealth is exploited by their “patrons”. But immediately after leaving one imperialist “patron”, the question of its replacement arises again.

A war economy throughout the world (we refer to our article on the development of the war economy in the world and particularly in France with Emmanuel Macron's declaration on the subject).(5)

Generalised tensions throughout the world. Ukraine is only the tree that hides the forest, etc...

The UN counts eleven conflict zones in the world: Myanmar, Haiti, the DRC, the Horn of Africa, the Sahel, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, South Sudan, and Nigeria.(6) We would add others which are more serious like Ukraine, Armenia and Azerbaijan, Iraq, China and India, Korea, Taiwan and the China Sea...

3. At the Social Level

Every day we see further confirmation of what we wrote in issue 22 of Bilan et Perspectives for the first half of 2023, which is devoted to the renewal of workers' struggles.(7) Obviously, the content of the struggles is still weak after 50 years of decline in workers' struggles. On the other hand, we are seeing an increase in strikes and struggles throughout the world with enormous confusion among workers who are unable to free themselves from the union shackles.

We will spare the reader the whole litany of struggles since they are becoming widespread everywhere. We wish to give a special emphasis to the struggles on the front, in Russia and Ukraine, because many told us that we were on the wrong track by predicting them and then directing part of our activity towards NWBCW committees.

A. The world before the war in Ukraine: a complex and difficult situation due to the weakness of the working class.

Until recently, it was other forms of struggles that were emerging everywhere, and rather on the periphery of the central imperialist powers, that is to say in the "factories of the world" (China, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, etc...) or even elsewhere – even in Syria. We are also starting to see a rise in the potency of reactions in Russia and Ukraine. These reactions are more against the economic situation (unpaid wages) than against the war.

At the heart of the system, the struggles are of a mixed character, as attacks are also underway against the petty bourgeoisie and the middle classes in the form of their proletarianisation. It is once again in these layers that capital can extract hoarded money to operate national economies, by wresting from them the "profits" they enjoyed and employing them as low-cost labour power (precarisation).

But the latest workers' struggles, even if they were not victorious and did not know how to go beyond the union framework and the supervision of the bourgeoisie, have shown that the working class is not satisfied. It has great potential for struggle amidst growing discontent.

It is in the period which is opening that the risks are becoming more unmanageable for the world bourgeoisie. They must work out how to continue the path towards war, re-developing arms and ammunition stocks while the populations and proletarians are increasingly strangled by exploitation, and continue their attacks against social measures while the social terrain is unreliable and submissive.

B. Since the war in Ukraine: the social struggle needs to take a new direction, on account of the fight against austerity and restrictions stemming from the bolstering of the war economy – which means less for living, more for the military.

So beyond the Ukraine-Russia battlefield, the efforts required to maintain the war economy in a period of attacks on living standards will prove more and more delicate for the bourgeoisie.

In Ukraine already, the long, unsuccessful counter-offensive and the rapid increase in the cost of living are leading to an upsurge in workers' protests across the country.

  • The state wants to abolish the third radioactivity impact zone and social guarantees for victims of the Chernobyl disaster (in particular preferential pensions, free meals for children in schools and other payments). Right away, on 4 July, residents demonstrated in front of the town hall of Ovruch, in the Zhytomyr region.
  • There is a strike at the Novokostyantynivska mine, in the Kirovograd region, which extracts uranium ore. It is the largest uranium mining centre in Europe. Since 17 July, mine workers have refused to go underground. The mine employs nearly 650 people, 200 of whom are mobilised in the army.
  • On 15 July, medical staff from several public hospitals protested at the Kryvyi Rih municipal council, shouting “Our wages! Our wages!". They went for two months without being paid after they had only received a downpayment for the month of May, when the payments stopped. On 22 July, a new meeting took place. A nurse from the neurological department of the 11th hospital said that in addition to constant salary delays, staff numbers have been significantly reduced.
  • A technician from Kharkiv's main construction company, Zhytlobud-1, testifies: "Holidays were not paid, the wage was halved."
  • And at the front: in Bakhmut, for example, on 25 June in the 31st Assault Brigade. After the offensive, the soldiers received such a counterattack that they retreated further back than before the offensive. The next day, the colonels arrived with threats. But two battalions refused to fight. They did not feed the recalcitrants and threatened to imprison them. Three battalions laid down their arms, because they had been led to the slaughterhouse without support. 30 people were immediately shot. They appointed a new commander, but the same thing happened. There was still no food, only dry rations. If they are threatened with imprisonment, they respond: “Jail us, and who will take our places?” Now they continue to fight in a certain manner, but without advancing. (Information confirmed by Der Spiegel.)

The number of convictions for evading mobilisation under Article 336 of the penal code continues to increase, although less rapidly than at the beginning of the year (for Ukraine, we are talking about 200,000 defectors).

In Ukraine, as in Russia, the longer the war lasts, the more we will see numerous social struggles develop over wages. There are already strikes over unpaid wages in both Ukraine and Russia.

In Russia it is much the same.

  • There are several prisons. Last year, around 300 Russian conscripts who refused to fight in Ukraine were detained in a basement in Zaitsevo, Luhansk Oblast. There they were threatened, not fed, called "pigs", not allowed to go to the toilet, not allowed to wash and not given medical care. We are also aware of acts of torture.
  • On 17 May, information was leaked regarding a strike and demonstrations by several dozen workers at the UAZ automotive plant in Ulyanovsk. According to the Baza Telegram channel, which published a video filmed inside, workers gathered for a protest in the workshops and complained about low wages.
  • But the most heated confrontations happened near the front line on 24 May. 39 ex-prisoners escaped from the "Storm Z" training camp in Lisichansk (in the so-called "Lugansk People's Republic"). Law enforcement agencies in the Rostov region received a wanted notice which gave a description of the deserters.
  • On 27 May, we learned of the escape of 7 armed ex-prisoners from a Russian military unit near Soledar in the Donetsk region.
  • In the 155th Brigade of the Marine Corps, since the beginning of the war, about 220 servicemen have refused to participate in war operations, as indicated in the operational summary of the Ukrainian General Staff dated 22 March.

For more information, see the article from Le Monde which lifts a corner of the veil of reactions in Russia in the army and in the country.(8)

Elsewhere around the world, struggles are developing, particularly for the standard of living.

The United States, the UK and Germany have experienced strong strike action; the bourgeoisie finds itself forced to take even more restrictive measures against the right to strike. In the USA, there is talk of a law against slowing down work in ports and considering it an “unfair labor practice”. The same is true in the UK where “minimum service levels” may be established in many public services. At time of writing, a new, unprecedented strike in the “Big Three” firms in the automobile industry is being prepared in the United States.

It's the strike that could change the face of America. For its supporters, it could mark a break with 40 years of wage stagnation (real median wages have risen by 9% since 1979, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis) and unions' continued decline since Ronald Reagan fired over 11,000 air traffic controllers in 1981. For its critics, it could mark a return to the 1970s.(9)

In Germany, strikes for better wages are increasing. According to DIW expert Karl Brenke, “there have been more strikes in the last ten years than in previous decades.”(10) And since then, railway workers and airport employees have walked off the job in the Spring. An indefinite strike was planned at Deutsche Bahn which resulted in an agreement providing for an increase in salaries of 410 euros per month: 200 euros paid from December 2023, to which will be added 210 euros from August 2024. The railway workers will also receive a tax-free bonus of 2,850 euros paid with the October salary.

And what about China? Protests and strikes in Chinese factories are on the rise, according to the social movement monitoring site China Labor Bulletin (CLB).(11) During the first quarter of 2023, the site recorded 108 protest movements, ten times more than in the last quarter of 2022, and twice as many as during the entire year of 2022. These demonstrations are concentrated in export industries, primarily electronics, followed by clothing, toys and automobiles, according to the Hong Kong-based site.

In Syria, despite the fierce repression of recent years, demonstrations have resumed in the south of the country on a large scale against the dizzying rise in living standards. And even in Kenya in July!


We now come to the practical and militant consequences of the political situation that we have just described.

The ICT was right to defend the development of NWBCW committees. Obviously their success is not immediate; many are stillborn. We are neither immediatists nor deluded with regards to the difficulties we are set to encounter. This is a long-term orientation which will be measured against the march to war. The reactions in Ukraine and Russia already indicate the path that these struggles will take. Other internationalists who did not wish to work concretely with us, also act in similar ways, like certain anarchists of the CNT-AIT, or Assembly, etc... Thus, more and more our policy against war becomes, and will become, fundamental; and we will have to link the immediate struggles of workers for living standards and the fight against imperialist war.

The more the war intensifies, the more it will turn into a class war.

Notes on the Meeting

We were able to reaffirm the shift in the political situation on several fundamental points: the march to war and the reaction of the working class, which is still weak but real nonetheless. We restated the necessity of the NWBCW committees. And most importantly, we reiterated our call to all revolutionaries and internationalists, without exception, to work with us to strengthen our shared political intervention in the coming period.

A comrade from the CNT-AIT shared what their organisation has been doing on a practical level to help deserters from both sides. This allowed us to restate our support for this type of action, while moreover specifying the necessity of helping these deserter comrades to find interlocutors more suitable and more effective than ourselves for this type of action (with a reminder of the RKD who used the Quakers to help German deserters during the Second World War).

The comrades from the USA, the UK (after their intervention – see below) and Italy made the link between the workers’ struggles in their respective countries, which gave more substance to our concrete political interventions (and which were welcomed by one participant since their interventions were made in French). In response to the interrogations of certain comrades in the room who asked why internationalists belonging to the Communist Left were not all working together when this would strengthen their interventions, the ICT restated that the committees are open to all revolutionary internationalist comrades. Nobody is excluded from these committees since all internationalists fighting for revolution are welcome to join them. However, our public intervention in this area is of a practical nature and involves distributing leaflets, joint public meetings, support for internationalist militants in difficulty like the deserters and, perhaps in the near future, comrades imprisoned by their “own” bourgeoisie, etc. In this way, we wish to do more than simply making platonic statements against the war as other revolutionary groups have done, which in and of themselves are not wrong but are clearly insufficient.

Unfortunately, the meeting, which could have delved much further into all the aspects of the current situation and its practical consequences, was derailed somewhat by the comrades of the ICC, who did not wish to defend their current political position on the march to war in relation to our presentation, for which a young comrade expressed strong regret. These comrades attempted to divert the discussion onto the union question, and to pointed questions dating back over twenty years. We did not wish to polemicise too much on these subjects during public meetings, and so we did not do so here.

However, the discussion on the union question was presented in such bad faith that even the CNT-AIT militant present had to clearly note that the words of the ICT comrade had been completely distorted, since he found himself in political agreement with them, and there was no need for the discussion to be shifted onto this terrain. Another participant did not understand the tension evident among some attendees during the meeting. From our side, there was no animosity, we only wanted a political discussion, and for that discussion to be as in depth as possible, no more. Besides, we had no interest in digging up disagreements over twenty years old that ICC comrades never cease to throw in our faces. What a way to put off young sympathisers from coming to discuss with members of the Communist Left!

All of these slip-ups just show that these comrades, highly idealist in their lack of concrete analysis and stuck living in the past, do not understand the gravity of the political situation in which we find ourselves. We call on them to pull themselves together in order to face the fundamental questions currently confronting humanity, and specifically the working class. We have other, far more serious work to do.

As for us, we were able to defend and develop our political position. This was essential and this is what we did. Maybe the ICC comrades will now defend their political vision in their journal, and leave aside ancient history, which has nothing to do with politics and which is decades out of date.

To highlight how unserious one of these idealists was, we recall their surrealist, rather colourful intervention, in which they accused us, repeating the same phrase more than ten times, of rejecting the class struggle. What they meant by this is anyone’s guess!

Groupe révolutionnaire internationaliste
25 September 2023

Intervention by a CWO Comrade

The accusations from the ICC do not merit any response. Faced with the numerous crises of capitalism, the working class is the last hope of humanity. But all over the world, the working class does not find itself in the best conditions. During this recent strike wave in the UK, our comrades joined pickets and rallies in several cities (Cardiff, London, Guildford, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Lincoln, Newcastle, Glasgow and others). The workers, in our discussions with them, explained that they had no real hope of winning pay rises that would correspond to inflation rates. The unions still have a strong presence, and are under no real pressure from the working class. This comes as no surprise. After decades of retreat, it will take time for the working class to find its path again. The problem is that workers are still not ready to fight and/or are too timid for fear of losing the little they have gained. In these conditions, it is very easy for the unions to appear combative even while sabotaging demand struggles. And we cannot yet speak of a more conscious struggle here. In a word, the problem we currently face is not first and foremost the unions, but the level of militancy among the working class.

Since the start of the war in Ukraine, our whole political perspective has been based on the recognition that this war is a decisive moment in imperialist history. And this turning point needs a new response from revolutionaries and from the Communist Left. We must abandon the useless, sectarian polemics of the past, in which each group tries to prove that it’s better than the rest. Today, the situation is far too serious and dangerous for such petty games.

If we want to be a part of a real class movement, capable of responding to capitalist barbarism, we must shift our orientation. We must focus on what we agree on as internationalists if we hope to be able to guide the inevitable struggles to come. We have therefore decided not to respond to vain polemics and provocations or criticism, other than the necessary action of internationalists. Our fight is against the imperialists and those who would defend the left of this or that imperialist project. This is the basis of our support of the NWBCW committees.

The committees must lead the way by linking the economic struggle to the political struggle, but they can only succeed when the class begins to join them in the broad sense. Some are forming across the world (in South Korea, Turkey, Canada and the USA), but for the moment most of them are the work of political militants (although the one in Glasgow was formed in a working class neighbourhood with the participation of part of the local community). If the workers do not make them their own, will they remain empty? It is a start, and they constitute a concrete form of internationalist praxis that goes beyond simple declarations of intent.

Saint-Nazaire Meeting (29 September 2023)

On 29 September, the ICT organised a public meeting in Saint-Nazaire, with the presence of militants from the IWG, the CWO and the newly formed RIG.(12) The content of the meeting concerned our analysis of the international situation, marked as it is by the march to war, and its consequences for revolutionaries. This first meeting was made possible thanks to the “Ami.e.s de May” collective, who hosted the meeting in their premises and some of whom took part in the discussion.

The meeting began with three interventions, the first summarising the analysis formulated by the RIG in the text “Guerre impérialiste et/ou guerre de classe” (translated above). The interventions that followed focussed more particularly on the importance of the limits of the current workers’ struggles in the UK and the USA. The comrades were able to show how the intensification of international tensions is influencing the politics of the bourgeoisie and their attempts to keep things under control socially. The role of the unions and of the identitarian politics of the Democratic Party were exposed concretely. These comrades also showed the orientation of their activity as militants in NWBCW committees.

Besides the comrades of the ICT, the attendees included activists and sympathisers of the “Ami.e.s de May”, a militant from Lutte Ouvrière (LO), a worker from Italy who came on account of his internationalist inclination, as well as a group of sympathisers and members of the ICC. For the organisers, the point of the discussion was to present the gravity of the international situation created by the war in Ukraine. We emphasised that this can only be understood in relation to the persistent crisis of the capitalist economy. For this reason, many tensions are appearing in many countries, which is stimulating a resurgence of workers’ struggles, in particular in the capitalist centres. Finally, it was important for us to show that internationalists have the responsibility to take part in this revival of struggles, and to discuss the possibility of intervening with participants.

On the initiative of the ICC, at first the discussion was about fairly secondary points in the interventions, like our so-called failure to take into account the geopolitical stakes of the conflict, our purported confusion on base unions, and, perhaps most astonishingly, our alleged underestimation of the gravity of the war. This was more than a little rich from a group which defends, against all evidence, the idealist conception of "decomposition" according to which the bourgeoisie is supposedly not leading society towards war!

Although the comrade from LO was aware of our differences, he noted his agreement with our analysis of the march to war and the still-central role of the working class in halting this process. A debate followed on the nature of revolutionary organisation, which according to him would inevitably involve participation in unions. For our part, we showed that the paralysing effect of the unions is more than just a consequence of “rotten leadership”. There are incontrovertibly militant workers in these organisations, and we intervene in the struggles that they lead. However, this does not change the fact that the unions belong fundamentally to the bourgeoisie's system of managing the working class. For their part, the ICC saw fit to add to their response an undisguised contempt for the LO militant, revealing an attitude totally contrary to the spirit of this meeting.

Other interventions brought up important questions like the state of the combativity of the class, its composition after waves of restructuring the workforce and the precarisation of wage labour, as well as the significance of the Yellow Vest movement. However, we noted the extent to which the ICC’s intervention was coordinated in its aim of distorting the discussion, which was derailed in favour of their outright and delusional accusations against our positions. Despite our refusal to follow them down this path, the militants spoiled the debate by brandishing all sorts of unverifiable details completely devoid of any context, which were a thousand miles from the concerns of other attendees. Such fury cannot be explained primarily by political motivations, without which these interventions might have treated the latter with a bit more prudence. Freeing themselves from any fear of ridicule and egotism, the authors of these interventions seemed to believe they had won some decisive battle… on terrain in which we had no desire whatsoever to wallow.

All these attitudes consisting in intervening outside the subject of the public meeting, and all these attempts to take advantage of the place for discussion to derail those discussions, and to call into question, without reason or relevance, our general political activity, we consider dangerous, inappropriate and counter-productive. This grotesque attitude of provocation and accusation does not benefit the political groups that instigate it. What an image we are creating of the Communist Left for those who still claim to be a part of it! We expect an apology from these comrades at the very least.

The most serious aspect is indubitably the effects of this interference on the meeting. Such behaviour can only result in driving away responsible sympathisers who come to our politics or would otherwise be up for discussing them, by making ourselves look ridiculous. This deliberate, coordinated practice, which we have seen at our two most recent meetings, is nothing other than a campaign of sabotage and demoralisation. This sectarian frenzy did not succeed in deflecting the meeting from its main aim, namely that of emphasising the new and dangerous situation into which a decadent capitalism is plunging society today. Our priority remains working with other internationalists everywhere, who see the real dangers faced not only by the working class but by humanity as a whole, as it grapples with a doomed imperialist system.

Groupe révolutionnaire internationaliste
2 October 2023



(2) ibid.


(4) L’Express, 13.9.2023









Tuesday, October 10, 2023