In Defense of Revolutionary Organisation Part 3

In Defence of the Proletariat

In the face of the recent strikes amongst postal workers, pilots and rail workers, all the ICC can say is that "by taking part in these strikes the workers have fallen into a trap." (World Revolution No. 196 July/August 1996). In this truly remarkable article we are told that whereas these strikes are simply a trap the demonstrations in support of the miners in 1992 were a part of a resurgence of class struggle - demonstrations which allowed Tory MPs to take a prominent position and which ended up singing patriotic songs! While it is clear the unions are always trying to muzzle working class autonomy, strikes are particularly vulnerable time for them, as there is always the danger that strikers, no longer under the discipline of work, will escape their control. (This is not to deny that unions do occasionally initiate strikes as an attack on workers.) The ICC defend the 1984-5 miners strike in Britain as genuine class struggle, yet throughout the striking miners remained within the framework of the NUM, even if at a local level. There was no breach with unionism, at best an attempt to create an area of autonomy under the auspices of the union lodge. When Dock workers refused to unload coal imports at Immingham, and then were told to do so by their union, it was clear that this hard fought strike was not going to overcome union restrictions, and that thus there was little hope of success. The defense of proletarian organisation, means defending workers on strike. The ICC are more concerned with a minor incident at one of their meetings than how striking workers can fight against union control and manipulation of their struggle.
The defense of revolutionary organisation means the defense of the Kronstadt Soviet against its suppression by the Bolshevik state. The defense of revolutionary organisation means the defense of the Factory Committees of the Russian revolution against their subordination to 'one-man-management' by the Bolshevik party i.e. the defense of the counter-manual to the Bolsheviks manual, which subordinated the daily life of workers to the needs of capital. The defense of revolutionary organisation means refusing to attend the Second Congress of the Communist International, as Otto Rühle and August Merges did in July 1919. The ICC need to be reminded that Rühle denounced Radek as "the Grand-master of the KPD", the pro-Bolshevik party which hampered the revolutionary movement in Germany (Der Kommunist, Dresden 1920). These historical examples are not held up because they unproblematic, but because they mark some crucial points where the split between the Bolsheviks and the Communist movement became apparent.

Back to: Introduction
Going Around in Circles

Forward to: New Atlantis
The Future lies Open
What is to be Done?

Return to: Psychic Warfare
Unpopular Books