Revolutionary Organisations and
Class Consciousness
(Part 4)

3. The Revolutionary Organizations during the Capitalism Era

The structure and the impact of the revolutionary organizations have been taken to consideration and discussion within the workers movements. The reason is that this issue has not been analysis in a proper way and not fixed by the proletariat from the beginning, but some steps has been taken during the development of the working class history. During the different periods of the capitalism, the revolutionary organizations have had various forms, functions and roles.

Therefore, it is very important to analyze this issue during different periods of capitalism era.

As has been pointed out before, the proletariat has no economic power and this means that the proletariat has no ideologues, in short, the proletariat is nothing other than its solidarity, class consciousness and organization.

“The only material strength that the proletariat has is its organization. This is why organization constitutes for the proletariat, still more than for other classes, a decisive and fundamental condition for its struggle, its capacity for self-organization is the measure of its passage from a class-in-itself to a class-for-itself, from a simple economic category within capitalist production into an historical class." 1

As mentioned before, the revolutionary organization is a product and a part of the class. The class creates the revolutionary organization as an instrument for its development, deepening and homogenization of class consciousness. But this does not mean that the revolutionary organization (Internationalist Communist Party) is the exclusive carrier of class consciousness, but is the most brightest and clearest in the class.

It is necessary to see the revolutionary organization and the party as part of the proletariat, but not any part, but a part that collects the most militant and the brightest elements of the class earlier than others who understand the movement's historical tasks and goals.

3.1 During the upward phase of the capitalism

During this period, the task of revolutionaries was, as representatives of the movement's overall and ultimate objective, to participate actively in the organization of the class.

Unions were a school for the fight and the fight was a school of communism. Reform was an opportunity for the working class to achieve a lasting improvement in the capitalist society. Capitalist society had a reform opportunity to humanity through their everyday struggles.

"In the upward phase of the capitalism, the party was the organ of the unification body of the class, which campaigned for parliamentary reform and in which the revolutionaries could defend the proletarian revolution program. In parallel to the political party, the trade unions were representative of an economic view. These two types of unit organizations could exist in society in a permanent manner, therefore, the capitalism would be able to provide some reform to the working class." 2 [Our translation]

3.2 During the decadence phase of capitalism

“The sailor Khorrin tells in his memories how the seamen who considered themselves Social Revolutionaries would in reality defend the Bolshevik platform. This was to be observed everywhere. The people knew what they wanted, but they did not know how to call it by name (…)”
(Trotsky, History of the Russian Revolution, vol.2)

During the period of capitalist decadence, proletarian political organization could only take the form of revolutionary minorities whose task is not to organize the working class or take power in its place, but constitute as a political leadership. Prerequisites for a communist revolution could be possible if the revolutionary organizations clarity and influence within the working class.

What is the Marxist definition of the party? The party is the political organism that the proletariat creates to develop and deepen their class consciousness, and by providing political leadership, orientation, focus and lead the proletariat in the direction of a frontal attack on the state and capitalist society in the direction of building a communist society.

The main ambiguity in the organizational view of the ICC is that the ICC doesn’t have a political leadership view of the revolutionary organization or the party. This is a logical consequence of the ICC’s unclear view about the development process of the proletariat’s class consciousness.

When the proletariat class consciousness does not need to be developed and deepened in a dynamic process, should only be generalized, then it is entirely logical that the revolutionary organization (or the party) reduces its role and activity to a publishing level, as a publisher will only generalize class consciousness. Therefore, the political leadership becomes insignificant.

The only publication that we have seen from the ICC and their view about the political leadership , is a text of the International Journal No. 5, entitled "Partito Comunista Internazionalistas (PCInt) 6:th congress." But there are texts from the ICC that rejects the political leadership as Leninism perceptions. The text “Association Workers' Power or the rådsocialismen as leftist radical conscience” in the International Revolution No. 2 the ICC writes:" ... Leninism perceptions of the party's leading role ... ". In page 37 in the same issue: " 'The party's leading role' is in our opinion, a principle which is not at all correspond to the experience of working class out problems of the revolution."[Our translation]

We could not even take what felt the ICC with Leninism!? Would not the terminology of the ICC lead to confusion within the working class? We agree with the ICC, when they say "No to 'Leninism' yes' to Lenin and the Communist Left! "" Leninism (Stalinism, Trotskyism, Maoism), it is counter-revolutionary treason against Lenin. "Leninism" means a split between Lenin and Luxemburg, from the Bolshevik faction and the other leftist factions. Note that all the time "Leninism" in quotation marks.

The ICC says:

“It has shown us that revolutionaries, far from imposing on the proletariat a political leadership brought from outside, far from adopting a voluntarist attitude worthy only of petty corporals, far from forcing the course of events, simply worked to make the proletariat as a whole conscious of its historic interests.” 3

And the ICC continues to equate the “leading” with the “ordering or commanding” and where to give the same meaning to “leading” with the “ordering or commanding”.

“Orientating the proletarian movement is too passive a task for their taste. They want something a bit spicier , a bit more lively. Thus they slide away from the idea of ‘orientating’ or ‘giving a direction’ towards a false political interpretation of the role of revolutionaries. By making the apparently simple jump from ‘giving a direction’, to ‘leading’ in the sense of ordering or commanding, they give the impression of according greater importance to the activities of the party. In reality, they do nothing of the kind.” 4

The consequence is a paradox in the organization's view of the ICC. On the one hand, the ICC stresses the importance of responsibilities of the party, on the other hand, treats "leader" with "commander". Of course our perception of "leadership" that is collective , is not the same as found in the left of capital or conservative organizations (parties) and should be individualized.

“But some revolutionaries mistrust such simplicity, which seems to them to hide some unpleasant trick. In their eyes, such simplicity can only be an easy way out, an ignorance and underestimation of the party’s lofty responsibilities. To put a bit more shine on this ‘simplicity’ and surround the party with its full glory, they feel obliged to give it the role of ‘leader’ or commander.” 5

Councilists calling itself often "anti-Leninists" and "anti-Bolsheviks" instead of calling themselves "anti-capitalists" despises the political leadership of the party as the view of Leninism and the idea of doing two things. The first thing they do is to disarm the proletariat from its main instrument, the party and its role as a political leadership. Second, they create confusion within the working class, Stalinism, Trotskyism, Maoism, etc. is described as the continuation of the Bolshevik faction. An example from Russia, describing how it works in practice the political leadership. “The sailor Khorrin tells in his memories how the seamen who considered themselves Social Revolutionaries would in reality defend the Bolshevik platform. This was to be observed everywhere. The people knew what they wanted, but they did not know how to call it by name (…)”

The political leadership of the party is a collective leadership, not an individual leadership that is popular in the bourgeois parties. The leadership of the party is a political leadership and will not be reduced to a technical level. It is not important what calls itself the various groups of the proletariat, most important is that they defending party's platform, then the party's political leadership, is a real fact.

3.2.1 The view of Substitution within the working class

The question of Organization is not something that has been decided from the beginning of the working movement, but an issue that has been under development for the proletariat. Bourgeoisie ideologues accuse the Bolsheviks were power hungry and their goal was to establish political dictator and it should not be forgotten that the anarchists, rådister etc., how in a shameful way joined this profession. The Bolsheviks had not the view of substitution from the beginning but they said "all power to the soviets" .

“No party substituted itself for the practical and decisive activity of the workers. The Bolsheviks acted in a decisive way within their class but they did not take power in the place of the workers .” 6

With the revolutionary wave failure, especially in Germany, condemned the revolution in Russia to isolation. It was the isolation of the revolution, which strengthened the substitution view with the Bolsheviks which had its roots in the Second International ambiguities. The question is, should the Bolsheviks condemned, or we will draw lessons from their experiences.

“The progressive degeneration of the Communist International provoked an upsurge amongst the most healthy revolutionary elements. But how difficult this upsurge was! Those who today pretend to invent everything anew and who judge history from their superior intellectual heights in fact adopt a purely infantile attitude, imagining what ‘should have been’ in that period and condemning every thing that goes outwit their abstract schemas. We don’t judge history, but draw from it lessons for the future. It would also be ludicrous for us to analyse the reflux of the revolutionary wave and the death agony of the Communist International as if they were the products of the machiavellian plans of the Bolsheviks!” 7

In fact, the view of substitution was not only influenced the Bolsheviks, but also at Spartacists and Rosa Luxemburg, too. Rosa Luxembourg said they will not take power before they were supported by the majority of the proletariat.

“The Spartacist League refuses to take over the power of government merely because the Scheidemann-Ebert element have completely discredited themselves… The Spartacist League will never take over the power of government otherwise than by a clear manifestation of the unquestionable will of the great majority of the proletarian mass of Germany (Proposed programme adopted by the KPD at its foundation in 1918.)” 8

To Be Continued

M. Jahangiry
25 February 2010
1. Communist Organisation & Class Consciousness, page 37
2. Territorial meeting of the ICC - IR 17
3. Communist Organisation & Class Consciousness, page 105
4. As above, page 104
5. As above, page 104
6. As above, page 62
7. As above, page 64
8. As above, page 60