We publish our letter of October 16, 2016 with which we announce the cessation of our political relations with the Internationalist Communist Tendency (ICT)
To the International Bureau of the ICT
With this letter, which is to a large extent in the form of a review of our political cooperation till now, we inform you our decision to stop all sorts of political relationship with you.
As you already know, we came in contact with you willing, as a small nucleus which had as starting point the tradition of Communist Left, to contribute to the extent of our forces in the creation of a revolutionary organization in Greece, a country where there is no such political tradition. We consider ourselves more as a catalyst than as an embryo of the future international revolutionary party for the overthrow of the capitalist system (hence the name Enzyme of our magazine, where our principle is not to give our readers “chewed food” but “food for thought”) and in this direction we try to discuss and collaborate with comrades throughout the world in a non-sectarian way. In this context we had taken the decision to collaborate closely with you and despite the fact that we did not belong to the ICT in an organisational way as member we had declared clearly and in practice, in many ways, our close political relationship with you.
There is no doubt that the creation of a revolutionary organisation is a difficult, laborious and long-term task, a continuous test to all kinds of pressures of the capitalist society, which requires sharp critical spirit, ideological consistency and political courage, especially when groups from different countries take the decision to commit themselves, cooperate and work together towards a common goal: the fight to overthrow of capitalism and for the communist emancipation of the humanity. We believe that our common path with the ICT had many very good elements, but after a certain point some problems and rifts emerged between us, which have great importance for us and hence do not allow us to be able to continue going together with you.
We cannot continue because we cannot neither understand nor accept the fact tactical issues to be intentionally converted into positions of principle thus leading to the misrepresentation and the maltreatment of our declared – in many times and in many ways – positions and views. Something like that happened on the subject of last year’s Greek referendum (which was about whether the financial package of austerity measures put by the international loan-sharks who have been overrunning our country in recent years should be accepted or not), which reached to the point to exercise a public polemic by you through articles on your Site and also to slander our comrade through your last letter (… 2016) in which you were not only slandering our comrade but you substantially twist totally what was said by our delegate and was reflected in the minutes of the … meeting of ICT’s International Bureau (… 2015) and was written down explicitly to the report of the meeting that yourselves had written down. Through your attitude you not only self-contradict yourselves but you also apply the divide and rule tactics in order to sow the seeds of dissension and mischief within our group. This is too much and it is really unacceptable!
From our side, we always and by all means have supported and support in a clear way that we are against all sides of the left of capital – whether large or small – including giving any “critical support” to the parties of the left of capital (as the party of SYRIZA in Greece, which we regard it as the worst Greek government ever). As you already know very well, we do write the above in all our relevant texts all the time, before and after elections, before and after the referendum, and these texts in particular have been posted on your Site. Consequently, you self-contradict yourselves.
To tell us that we should not care for the future of our country and its people and not voting “NO” to measures against the further destruction of Greece and the killing of its people, through abstaining in the referendum in the name of a childish revolutionary purity: ok, this can be accepted as a kind of sectarian narrow-mindedness. To tell us, on the other side, that you are on the one hand against participation in referendums because of reasons of principle, but you are not against participation in elections, even citing the unfortunate example of PCInt’s participation in the parliamentary elections in 1948 in Italy: ok, it can be accepted as a manifestation of political incoherence. To write articles citing the history of modern Greece, for which you know nothing about: ok, it can be accepted as a funny bragging event. But to tell us that we do not consider SYRIZA as a bourgeois party and that, instead, we consider it as an “independent proletarian voice”: hey, this, guys, is really too much!!! We are not going to prove “that we are not elephants”. Your assertion -in which there is no grain of truth- that we support a party which is among the governments of the biggest political bastards who governed our country: we can’t perceive it differently, but only as an insult.
However, the problem is more profound here because, from what it seems, you are – unintentionally or intentionally – supporters of the political ideology that SYRIZA represents, that of the left wing of the post-modern liberalism. But we will refer to it in detail below.
Before that, we would like to point out that the way you operate as an organization has an ‘air’ of Cominternism, to which we are against.
There were two main reasons why you were the only international current with which we had decided to come in contact with and to seek for political cooperation. The first reason was our agreement with your political platform and the second was your declared position that your goal is unity and coordination among the dispersed revolutionary forces on the basis of a common political platform and not the creation of political clones of your organization in different countries. As you cite explicitly:
“We reject, on principle, as well as on the basis of different Congress resolutions, the idea of creating national sections as clones of one already-existing organisation, even ours. National sections of the international party of the proletariat cannot be built in a largely artificial way in a country by creating a centre for translating publications edited elsewhere and, moreover, outside the real political and social struggles of the country itself”.
(Towards the New International).
From the first moment that we came in touch with you we made it clear that we do not wish for the time being to join the ICT, because firstly we want to shape our own political physiognomy, however we seek for a mutual cooperation on an equal basis on the basis of common programmatic positions as a sympathiser group.
Throughout the period of our political relationship we always respected your autonomy and we never got involved in your internal affairs.
Unfortunately it is not the same with you. With regret we find out, during the last one year and half, more and more, that you do not at all mean what you say and that on the contrary you seek to convert us to your political clone attempting to violate our political autonomy in matters relating to the situation in our country.
A clear proof of this practice was your statement on the Greek referendum of 5th July 2015, through which, and in completely divergence with our position, you were indicating, from abroad, to Greek voters not to vote “NO” in their referendum, in a strange harmony with the international loan-sharks and the domestic Greek bourgeois establishment, which conducted together a fierce terrorist campaign against the “NO”. Your international statement was accompanied with a series of articles of public, “photographic-type”, polemic against us. Although the fact that such acts were violating blatantly our political autonomy and the relationship of respect between comrades and constituted an attack on our group, we did not choose the path of public polemic, but instead that of patient discussion.
Often we were asked to explain and “apologise” for the articles we choose to publish in our magazine, sometimes invoking childish arguments on your behalf, for example that the writer of the article did not acknowledged your existence and did not deign to discuss with your comrades when he was in Milan!!! We remind you that it is about our magazine and we do not have any intention to convert it to a Greek branch of the ICT’s bureau.
The culmination of this was the last e-mail sent by the International Bureau of the ICT (… 2016), through which you were asking us to explain why we had published in our blog three articles from the Site voltairenet.org, even putting us an ultimatum of 48 hours (sic!) to answer, without further comments and explanations on your behalf. This is unacceptable! Who do you really think you are to put ultimatums to us? Did you remembered the “glorious” colonial and imperialist past of your country or did you envy the “glory” of Schäuble?
Your organization’s intention is supposed not to be a matter of creating clones of it internationally, but in practice your behavior proves exactly the opposite. We reject the organizational monolithism and we consider that critical spirit, freedom of criticism, comradeship and party democracy are basic and essential conditions which are necessary for the proper functioning of a revolutionary organization.
Furthermore, from what have seemed so far, within ICT it is difficult to be conducted a serious political discussion on issues that occasionally arise (we remind you for example the issue that had arisen concerning the article on Holocaust [“Anti-Zionism, anti-Semitism and revisionism”] and which since summer 2014 is still pending, and also the way in which the debate on the ICT international statement on migrant question was conducted).
Regarding the article on Holocaust and as you know, the German organization had expressed its disagreement with that article (we remind you that it was an article that was on your Site and we had translated it in Greek for our magazine). Immediately we invited them to write an article expressing their point of view and that we would gladly publish it in our magazine and discuss the issue. Despite the promise made by a representative of the German group in a meeting of the International Bureau in the presence and agreement of all of you, he decided to snap his fingers at his promise. After two years’ time waiting, when we kindly reminded his promise in the … meeting with your representatives -which took place in … 2015- he gave us a disarming reply that he had already written dozens of pages (!) but the article was not ready yet and he asked us whether we would like to publish such a large article. We just mention it as an example of your seriousness and consistency.
Finally, we are distressed that you never expressed the will to discuss with us political issues that we, as a group, considered of high importance and on which we presented our translated texts in order to start a political debate (for instance our text “Ten theses on the communist project today” and two texts written by us concerning the transitional period from capitalism to communism). But it seems that more important issues from the issue of socialism concern you, on the content of which you cannot even agree between you. You seem to consider the Greek referendum more important, to deal with it during a year and a half.
Your whole haughty and snobbish attitude demonstrates, even disguised, that deep down you do not actually want to have a close and equal political relationship with us.
However, and in order to come back to the ideological issue mentioned above and as originated in the recent developments -mainly the upsurge of refugee/migrant issue- and beginning with the exchange of e-mails during the preparation for the international ICT statement on the migrant question up to your last letter (… 2016), we would like to express some of our serious concerns. In our opinion, the recent migrant crisis experienced by the countries in the European Union, and by Greece first, highlighted, besides the general migrant and refugee issue as consequential to war and to multiple crisis, highlighted as well the very serious weakness of the political forces that are in favour for the revolutionary overthrow of the system to take a position on this important issue.
Your statement on refugee crisis is exactly the policy of open borders which SYRIZA government is implementing in Greece, in response to the Merkel’s “humanitarian” call, on the suggestion of German industrialists for the entrance of one million cheap labor hands. The only thing that left to write on your flags is the demand of Negri – who is a fervent left supporter of contemporary global nomadism – his motto for providing with a «universal citizenship», which will let you achieve your aim for the dissolution of nations. Your policy on migrant issue and «human rights» is a true copy of the policy of the «humanist» and great «friend of immigrants» George Soros, “powdered” with revolutionary phraseology. We have no intention 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 have the fate of Palestinians living as foreigners and enslaved in its own country.
The political discourse of all these above mentioned political forces – in which ICT is included and which was clearly reflected in your last letter where among other things you say that you are in favor for the human rights and you cite as internationalist aim the abolition of nations [how can really exist inter-nationalism without nations? There is nowhere in the revolutionary tradition such a thing!] – it (their political discourse) locates them to the left wing of postmodern liberalism. And it is due to the fact that they are emphasizing for the dominant rhetoric about “human rights”, which is one of the modern ideological cutting-edge weapons of the system. The political literature on “open borders” is in fact one of the modern tactics of the system in order to promote the ideological agenda of neoliberal universalism and to serve variously its material interests through countries’ decomposition, societies’ manipulation, through providing cheap and obedient labour-force and through the enrichment of various networks of organised crime.
If the dopey, mass-democratic, individualistic and pleasure-searching masses of “civilized” Europe want the dissolution of their nations in the name of postmodern multiculturalism we can do anything about it. If you wish the dissolution of the nations, you can start by your own and be sure that you will find very good allies in the ruling circles of the ruling class. We, because we are not SYRIZA, we have any intention to resist to the total destruction of our country, to the dissolution of our nation and to the abolition of our culture. We will not become the Palestinians of Europe.
In line with the above-mentioned, but as well on a much wider basis, is being posed the question of the specific content of the revolutionary internationalism in our era, the era of neo-liberal ecumenism of “open markets” and of the global financial dictatorship, which are accompanied by the request for a liberal mass-democratism and the dogmatic notions of “human” rights and a totalitarianism of which the highest principles are the individual and his rights, aiming at destroying collective social identities and at the transformation of humanity into a global crowd of individualistic slaves of capital.
From our side we are seriously wondering about the feasibility of the successful confrontation to the system through the adoption of the same ideology and policy of the system itself and we consider that it is impossible. If we really want to overthrow the system, our objective should be to strike the ideological core of values of the enemy. We cannot be ideologically liberal and in the same time be in favour of communism. We cannot say that we are internationalists and in the same time be in favour of the abolition of nations. So we do not want to belong to the left wing of postmodern liberalism.
In conclusion and as results from all the above mentioned, except from the organizational issues that are preoccupying us regarding our political relationship till now, there are also serious ideological differences between us that separate us and consequently all these do not allow us to desire the continuation of our political common path.
Athens, Sunday 16 October 2016
The ICT issued a statement on our group which you can read here:
As one can easily find out by reading the above ICT statement, it is about a classical type Stalinist statement, extremely common for hundreds organizations of the Left, who consider themselves as a genuine possessor of the ‘revolutionary truth’ and they are cursing those who dare to disagree with them charging a million things against them.
We are not at all disposed to adopt this same old sick mentality and so we are not going to respond to all this nonsense. We consider that our published views and our practice are enough to show who we really are and what we exactly believe.
We will limit ourselves to only some comprehensive comments and in a number of crucial highlights.
What we have learned very well by studying the theory and practice of revolutionary movements is that communism (and Marxism) is internationalist, and not ecumenicalist, and that’s why it aims not at the abolishment but at the peaceful coexistence and the mutually beneficial cooperation between nations. Communism is an exponent of the abolition of the state as an institution of class domination and organized violence, which is a concept which a jurisprudential and politiological concept, and not with nation, which is a racial and cultural concept. Nation is a product of historical development and occurs first in certain people (such as the Greeks and Chinese) after humanity came out from barbarism through the fusion of races and the creation of particular civilization and it then gradually expanded until the contemporary era. Therefore, the fate of the nation – as a historical product – in a communist society will be decided in the course of time by the nations themselves.
Universalism and cosmopolitanism – and not internationalism- are in favor of the abolition of nations, having as starting point the bourgeois cosmopolitanism of the philosopher and stockbroker Voltaire and today the ideologues of neoliberal globalization, from Fukuyama, with his famous announcement on the “end of history” to Negri with the infamous Empire.
We live indeed in a transitional era where infantilism and paradoxology emerge in some of its features. Hence the childish and absurd claim of the ICT for an internationalism without nations! Nevertheless, ICT consists of national organizations. Once it wills to abolish nations, why does not therefore starts from itself? Here we cannot avoid the temptation to cite an amusing quote from Marx:
Moreover the representatives of «young France» (non-workers) came out with the announcement that all nationalities and even nations were «antiquated prejudices.» Proudhonised Stirnerism…
The English laughed very much when I began my speech by saying that our friend Lafargue etc., who had done away with nationalities, had spoken «French» to us, i.e., a language which nine-tenths of the audience did not understand.
Letter from Marx to Engels, 20 June, 1866
However, internationalism without nations is a striking contradiction in terms! Because, as clearly states the term itself, internationalism necessarily presupposes the recognition of nation, as also does nationalism. The difference between nationalism and internationalism is not that the first accepts nation, while the latter rejects it, but nationalism, in its chauvinist version, claims privileges against other nations, while internationalism supports harmonious coexistence and equal collaboration between nations. Proletarian internationalism particularly is a variation of internationalism (there is also the bourgeois liberal internationalism) that nominates the proletariat as a bridge of cooperation between different nations. The difference between liberal and proletarian (Marxian) internationalism is that, unlike the classical bourgeois liberal conception that international peace will occur through trade, for the latter international peace will occur through the abolition of states (and not of nations).
It seems to us completely paradoxical to explain to people who claim to be Marxists that borders cannot be abolished without the abolition of the state (including the state of the working class). And in order the state to be abolished perhaps you need something more than a decision of any ICT. Again we will not resist the temptation to quote an extract from Lenin:
The method of socialist revolution under the slogan “Down with frontiers” is all muddled up. We have not succeeded in publishing the article in which I called this view “Imperialist Economism”. What does the “method” of socialist revolution under the slogan “Down with frontiers” mean? We maintain that the state is necessary, and a state presupposes frontiers. The state, of course, may hold a bourgeois government, but we need the Soviets. But even Soviets are confronted with the question of frontiers. What does “Down with frontiers” mean? It is the beginning of anarchy….The “method” of socialist revolution under the slogan “Down with frontiers” is simply a mess. When the time is ripe for socialist revolution, when it finally occurs, it will spread to other countries. We shall help it along, but in what manner, we do not know. “The method of socialist revolution” is just a meaningless phrase.
V. I. Lenin, The Seventh (April) All-Russia Conference of the R.S.D.L.P.(B.), April 24–29, 1917
True, if the ICT (or the Party of their dreams) take the power in a country –say Britain, Italy, Germany or Canada- then they would really abolish the borders in the name of the international workers’ brotherhood? Or the Bolsheviks were very nationalists for the ‘internationalist’ criteria of the ICT because they maintained the borders and they didn’t open them ‘for all workers’?
Finally, the ICT is morally obliged to answer two key questions which provoke through their statement.
First, when you say that we are a ‘threat’ ‘to the security of the revolutionary proletarian milieu’ (that is, in simple language, to the Lilliputian groups of the Communist Left) what exactly do you mean dear comrades? What they all understand? Namely, that we are agent provocateurs? Shame on you ‘comrades’.
Second, what exactly do you mean when you say that we have a ‘manifest cooperation with anti-Semitic forces’. Which are these forces? Why don’t you say their names in order to reveal our ‘vile role’?
You must answer these questions; otherwise you are slanderers of the worst kind.
When you answer them, then we challenge you to a public debate on ‘nationalism and internationalism’, because these issues are very important to unravel them with ultimatums, cheap characterizations, slanders and anathemas. A really hard work for ICTiers! After all the Hellenic word ‘dialogue’ (διάλογος) is a bloody invention of Hellenic nationalism.
Athens, Saturday November 12, 2016