Internationalist Perspective and the Tradition of the Communist Left


Internationalist Perspective originated in the tradition of the Communist Left and continues to identify with the fight which this pro-revolutionary current has waged. But over the years, we also came to understand its limitations and mistakes. While the historical context in which the Communist Left was born makes these limitations understandable, it is no excuse for the theoretical and political stagnation into which this current fell.

In a series of three texts we have developed our critique of the Communist Left and, at the same time, spelled out our own views on the questions they confronted and which still confront us today, ranging from theoretical to practical: how can we understand social reality, history, the periodization of capitalism, crisis, and revolution.

In the first part we look at the theoretical framework of the Communist Left. While it was the best, the most consistent expression of pro-revolutionary Marxism, it remained imprisoned in the ideological mindset that traditional Marxism had become.

The second part examines how this mindset made it impossible for the Communist Left to understand the trajectory of capital. The analysis we develop in contrast, while rejecting traditional Marxist dogmas, returns to Marx, especially to the understanding he developed in his later years, that it is the value-form itself -- a skewed, fetishized, way of seeing things and people, and not just the “unjust” theft of value -- that is the basis of capitalism, that shapes its trajectory, that causes its crises. And that must be abolished.

That abolition is the essence of the revolutionary process, argues the third text in the series. It shows that the Communist Left’s understanding of revolution and of revolutionary organization is stuck in the past. It also looks at some of the positions of the “communisation” current, which in some ways are an antidote to the stagnation of the Communist Left but come with their own pitfalls.

In contrast to them, IP insists that only a social force can accomplish a social revolution, and that in our times, this social force can only be the collective worker.

At its conference last summer, IP collectively discussed, amended and approved the three texts. IP does not have a platform, but this series is the most comprehensive exposition of our positions since “The world as we see it” in IP #27 (1994) (readers who compare the texts will notice our considerable evolution since then). We hope that reaers will take the opportunity to respond with criticisms and comments.

Internationalist Perspective and the Tradition of the Communist Left - Introduction

Internationalist Perspective and the Tradition of the Communist Left - Part 1

Internationalist Perspective and the Tradition of the Communist Left - Part 2

Internationalist Perspective and the Tradition of the Communist Left - Part 3


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