Movement of the internationalists against the stalinist degeneration of the Third International and against the defensive degeneration of the Fourth International from 1942.
The rise of stalinism was not uncontested within the Russian Communist Party. From 1923 onwards, sometimes in the midst of great confusion, the tendencies that opposed the emptying of the soviets for the benefit of the state apparatus and the concurrent assertion of the interests of national capital over the world revolution, would gradually gather around the Left Opposition that saw in Trotsky and Rakovsky its most qualified spokesmen.
The struggle of the Left Opposition in the years 23-28 takes place on different levels. We will not go into a detailed analysis. Let us briefly recall the main issues:
On the internal level: struggle against the growing bureaucratization of the party and the state, struggle against the danger of the kulak [agrarian bourgeoisie] and increasingly openly against the “nepists” [private petty bourgeoisie born in the heat of NEP state capitalism].
The Opposition advocates a new course of anti-bureaucratic measures, a policy towards the peasantry based on the poor peasants and directed against the kulaks, a progressive collectivization of the countryside based on greater industrial development and economic planning.
On the international level: struggle against the Stalino-Bukharinist course (Anglo-Russian Committee, alliance with Chiang Kai-Shek in the Chinese revolution).
On the theoretical level, which guided all international politics, it fights against the theory of “socialism in one country”, and defends the Bolshevik program claimed by Trotsky in the theory of “permanent revolution”.
Jacques Roussel. “Les enfants du prophète”
Since the proclamation of “socialism in one country” in 1928, different opposition groups will define themselves in the International. When Trotsky arrives in exile in Turkey, he will become the natural reference for them.
Trotsky was expelled from the party in 1927 and later from Russia. Most members of the left opposition are forced to submit and “repent” after being excluded from the party. They will be sent to prison and “socialist” deportation camps, where they will all be killed or executed by traitors and foreign agents. The Russian opposition was physically exterminated. Then it was the turn of the stalinists themselves who had known the October Revolution. The Bolshevik party was also physically liquidated.
For the Revolution and the International Opposition it was an immense loss. Nowhere else had there been a revolutionary party comparable to the Bolshevik party, tempered in the harsh hardships of the underground, of the revolution, of the civil war, of power. With its extermination all the communist revolutionary traditions perish. The disappearance of the Russian Left Opposition was, in particular, an irremediable loss, for they were the bearers until the end of the revolutionary, theoretical and organizational capital amassed over many years. The communist continuity was practically assumed by Trotsky alone.
Jacques Roussel. “Les enfants du prophète”
Between 1930 and 1931, Trotsky managed to lay a fragile foundation for joint work between the different groups and trends that were emerging in each country. His battle is first and foremost to define the “International Left Opposition” on a global political framework, breaking the tendency of different groups, from Urbahns in Germany to the Bordiguists in Italy, to form tendencies exclusively from a specific national experience or at least on the limited bases of a national organization.
I believe that your conception of internationalism is wrong. Ultimately, you conceive of internationalism as the sum of national sections or as the product of the reciprocal influence of national sections. This conception of the International is at best unilateral, non-dialectical and therefore wrong. If the communist left throughout the world were to bring together only five individuals, they would equally be obliged to build an international organization simultaneously with one or more national organizations.
It is wrong to consider the national organization as the foundation and the international one as the roof. The relationship between the two is totally different. Marx and Engels initiated the communist movement in 1847 with an international document and the creation of an international organization. The same thing happened with the creation of the First International. Zimmerwald’s Left followed the same path in preparing the Third International. It is much more imperative to follow this path today than in Marx’s time. Of course, it is possible, in the epoch of imperialism, for a revolutionary proletarian tendency to emerge in such and such a country, but it cannot flourish and develop in an isolated country; the day after its creation it must seek or establish international links, an international platform, an international organization, because this is the only way that can guarantee the correctness of the national line. A trend that is locked into national frameworks for years is inevitably doomed to degeneration.
“To the editorial board of Prometheus”, Lev Trotsky, 19 June 1930
The “International Left Opposition” will group most of the communist left as an “opposition”, that is, still claiming to be part of the degenerating Third International and aiming to rescue it.
The Fourth International
When, in 1933, the KPD and the Internationale cleared the way for Hitler to come to power and accept that he should go on to lead the German state without an insurrectionary response, it became clear that the Internationale and its parties were already a dead body from the point of view of the class programme. The “International Left Opposition” can no longer be thought of as a mere fraction of it because the prospect of rescuing it has become utopian. The reality will be even worse. The International is not just a dying organization without possible resurrection. The Spanish Revolution would show that the Communist parties had gone from passive accomplices to organizers and vanguard of the counter-revolution.
Just when the revolution was reaching its pinnacle in Spain, in 1936, the Stalinist counter-revolution was consolidating its power in Russia for many years, by exterminating millions of men. As a consequence, its Spanish branch deliberately behaved, from July 19th, as a standard-bearer of the counter-revolution, concealed at the beginning, shameless from May 1937. With all forethought and on strict orders from Moscow, it pounced on a proletariat that had just annihilated capitalism. That fact, witnessed by thousands of stalinist documents of the time, represents a definitive reactionary mutation of foreign stalinism, in line with the previous mutation of its matrix, Russian stalinism.
A pavlovian reflex of the different pieces of the Fourth International and of others that look at it with disdain, assigns to stalinism an opportunist and reformist role, of class collaboration, comparable with Kerensky’s or Noske’s. This is a serious mistake, because what stalinism did was to politically lead the counterrevolution, and to implement it with its own weapons, its own henchmen and its own uniformed and secret police. It immediately stood out as the extreme right-wing reactionary party in the red zone, indispensable to annihilate the revolution. As in Russia, and long before that in Eastern Europe, China, Vietnam, etc., the so-called Communist Party acted as the owner of capital, monopolized by its own state. It is impossible to imagine politics that are more roundly anti-communist. Far from collaborating with the bourgeois Republican parties or with the Socialist Party, which still had a reformist bias, it was the latter that collaborated with it and soon appeared on its left, as traditional democrats. Both parties were astonished and fearful at the same time, contemplating the treacherous anti-revolutionary expertise of a party that they still regarded as communist. But they conceded, for with their own wits they faltered in the face of the huge flood of workers.
“Reaffirmation”. G. Munis, 1977
The defeat of the Spanish Revolution between two hands -the Spanish Republic led by stalinism and Fascism led by Franco- left the way open for a new imperialist world war. The Bolsheviks had judged that one of the causes of the de-synchronization and the fragility of the outbreak of the revolutionary wave against the first great imperialist war had been the absence of an international revolutionary political organization after the betrayal of Social Democracy. The answer would be the constitution in 1938 of the Fourth International… at the height of the counter-revolution, with the aim of preparing a global agitation on the principle of revolutionary defeatism useful for turning the impending imperialist world war into a global communist revolution.
Skeptics ask: But has the time come to create a new International? It is impossible, they say, to “artificially” create an International. Only great events, etc., can bring it into being. The only thing that all these expressions show is that the skeptics are no good at creating a new International. Generally speaking, skeptics are useless.
The Fourth International has already emerged from great events; from the greatest defeats the proletariat has ever recorded. The cause of these defeats is the degeneration and betrayal of the old leadership. The class struggle does not tolerate interruptions. The Third International, after the Second, has died for the revolution.
Long live the Fourth International!
But the skeptics will not be silent. But has the time come to proclaim it? The Fourth International,” we reply, “does not need to be “proclaimed”. It exists and struggles. Is it weak? Yes, its ranks are still small because it is still young. So far it is composed mainly of leading cadres. But these cadres are the only hope for the revolutionary future; they are the only ones really worthy of the name. If our International is still numerically weak, it is strong because of its doctrine, its tradition, and the incomparable spirit of its leading cadres. That this is not seen today is of no greater importance. Tomorrow it will be more evident.
The Fourth International already enjoys the just hatred of the stalinists, the social democrats, the bourgeois liberals and the fascists. It has no place and cannot have any place in any popular front. It fights irreducibly against all political groups linked to the bourgeoisie. Its mission is to annihilate the domination of capital; its goal is socialism. Its method, proletarian revolution. Without internal democracy there is no revolutionary education. Without discipline there is no revolutionary action. The internal regime of the Fourth International is governed according to the principles of democratic centralism: complete freedom in discussion, absolute unity in action.
The present crisis of human civilization is the crisis of proletarian leadership. The revolutionary workers grouped around the Fourth International point out to their class the way out of the crisis. They propose a programme based on the international experience of the proletariat and of all the oppressed in general, they propose an unblemished banner.
Workers of all countries, grouped under the banner of the Fourth International.
It is the flag of your next victory!
“Under the Flag of the Fourth International”, Lev Trotsky, 1938
In theory, the formation of a new International closed the factional stage and thus the historical time for a “communist left”. Among other things because, although some tendencies inside and outside the Fourth International continued to qualify stalinism as “centrist”, neither the right nor the center existed anymore inside the 3rd International. The Third International had become the active organizer of the counter-revolution and was poised to be the main recruiter for a new imperialist war.
The Communist Left… of the Fourth International
The road to the collapse of the International began, still alive Trotsky, with the “Emergency Conference”. German troops had entered Paris and nothing seemed more prudent than to take the organs of the International to the United States, a then neutral country that would still take two years to join the war. Doing so meant that the SWP would become the center of the organization, a center only compensated and supervised from afar, at a time when travel and communications were little less than heroic, by a Trotsky who lived under harassment and siege in Mexico until his assassination by Stalinist agents in 1940.
Within weeks of Trotsky’s death, the SWP began to deliver a speech that was increasingly “defensive” and close to “anti-fascism”. The war on war, the conversion of imperialist war into revolutionary civil war turns into an ambiguous non-support and non-intervention. Cannon, the main leader of the SWP, offers to support the Roosevelt government if it enters the war by leaving the military training of workers before going to the front, within the regular army, to the unions. Yet while it is obvious that the SWP under this policy will pose no danger to the war effort of the American bourgeoisie, in 1941 the main leaders of the party are put on trial in Minneapolis.
Their defense, unlike that of Luxemburg or Liebknecht, is shameful. At one point in the trial, Cannon goes so far as to say:
Both our members and the workers we influence have to go to war and do what the rulers of this country tell them. As long as we do not have a majority behind us, we are not in a position to do anything but obey orders.
Instead of turning the trial into a trial of militarism and imperialism, they play on ambiguity by reducing the party’s aspirations to a political opposition that Cannon sums up by continuing to write and speak in favor of a different foreign policy for America.
Russia was still absent from the war, when in the American party (Socialist Workers Party) the first symptoms of derailment were noticed. Shortly thereafter, with everyone on the chopping block, the SWP was deliberately withholding revolutionary formulations against the imperialist war, and refusing to take up the struggle against it. It justified itself by pretending to camouflage from the police eye and to adapt itself to what the then patriotic ears of the proletariat were receptive to. But the most despicable and at the same time tragic aspect of opportunism is that, by cutting off the access to education and the revolutionary mobilization of the masses, it does not elude, however, the blows of reaction unless it is completely submitted to it. Thus the leaders of the SWP were sarcastically accused by their government of internationalism and revolutionary defeatism, the very thing that they were avoiding, and went to prison for a year and a half or two for a crime that they were obliged to have committed, but which they always kept from committing […].
The American leaders of the SWP had little of the strength and mental consistency of a Liebknecht. They proclaimed before their judges, not the need to transform the imperialist war into a civil war, but a real war against fascism. They clumsily accused the American government of being incapable of taking a stand against Berlin, and their press presented stupendous programs to defeat Hitler. The words revolutionary defeatism horrified them, so they vetoed them. All the internationalist formulations were carefully struck out from magazines and newspapers, including the simple voice of imperialism unless it referred to the national enemy. Throughout the war – an overwhelming argument in itself – they did not organize a single act against it, nor did they throw out a single leaflet. In short, comparing their policy with that of the centrist parties of the time, the English ILP and the Spanish POUM, the similarity between the two even reached terminological identity. In a word, the SWP replaced revolutionary politics with the bourgeois and stalinist politics of anti-fascism, a mere twin imperialist levy of the Hitlerite “struggle against plutocracy”.
All this was done in the name of educational tactics and efficiency. It is an old custom for opportunists to present their abandonment of principles as a convenience given to the masses, while at the same time, in moments of repression, as an unavoidable protective legalism. They pretend to deceive the class enemy when in fact they are influenced by it; they boast of educating and winning over the masses, while softening the revolutionary content of their own militants. The masses cannot be drawn into revolutionary principles and action except by formulations and attitudes of the greatest neatness.
The SWP example took off. Shortly after its opportunistic turn, the English section of the Fourth International, which had achieved considerable development by supporting the strikes that Labor and the Trade Union patriotically condemned, was also put on trial. Its main leader and defendant chose to defend himself, also invoking practical reasons, the miserable opportunist verbiage of the Socialist Worker’s Party.
The pernicious repercussions of these two examples will not be well understood without taking into account that the United States was then the seat of the world Executive Committee and that due to the war the American party press – the English one to a lesser extent – was the only one capable of reaching all the sections and groups in the countries not occupied by Germany and Japan.
Nevertheless, there were immediate cries of warning and indignation. The author of these lines, then a member of the World Executive Committee, sounded the alarm as early as 1941, when the first premonitory symptoms of opportunism were revealed, before the shameful brazenness of the process. After the process, the Spanish group that had emigrated to Mexico, which included French and other countries’ militants, publicly de-solidarized from the American majority and the Executive Committee, practicing an independent policy from then on. At the same time, it drafted a strong document criticizing and vindicating proletarian internationalism, submitting it to discussion in all sections with a view to a future world congress. We will see later what his fate was. But this was not the only indictment of opportunism. Others arose in China, South America, within the SWP itself. Later it will discover that they have arose in France too.
Thus, still in the midst of the world war and hesitant of the victory of one side or the other, the policy of the Fourth International, mainly exposed by the American party, appeared in serious abandonment of internationalist principles and tasks. This failure, this capitulation, it can be said without any attenuation, determined in those responsible for it a despicable subterfuge. Since it was clearly impossible for them to be faithful to proletarian internationalism, they invented their own fidelity to the principles in the defense of Russia as a degenerated workers’ state, which was all the more comfortable since Russia, after its friendship with Hitler, had become the close ally of the respective homelands of the opportunists.
In the Fourth International, the defense of Russia was never anything but an opinion subject to the contrast of experience. In its bosom lived tendencies radically contrary to the notion of the degenerate workers’ state without anyone calling them to account; as they did after their surrender to the SWP’s patriotic anti-fascism and its executive committee. On the other hand, the lack of internationalism, to a greater extent, their abandonment during the war, was incompatible with membership of the organization, since evidently those who have not remained untouched in the face of the immense pressures and tricks of national defense are disqualified from any decisive revolutionary action. In New York, the internationalism of the Fourth was dismantled, making the defense of Russia the main criterion for membership. The consequences of this reversal were to be devastating.
G. Munis. “The Fourth International”. 1959
The political response will come, already in 1941, from Natalia Sedova -an old militant and recent widow of Trotsky- who will be joined by the exiled group in Mexico of the Spanish section. Sedova, Munis and Peret try to impose a debate denouncing the attitude first of the SWP and then of the International Secretariat. They demand the celebration of the second congress which is obligatory by statute and which the Americans and their allies in France and Great Britain will manage to delay until 1948. Their criticisms are accentuating a set of positions that will end up generating a left-wing fraction in the organization based on the criticism of the betrayal of internationalism in progress by the American leadership.
It is not a coincidence that the internationalist faction is nourished not only by Spaniards, that is, by militants who lived the Spanish revolution with the section in exile – including the one in the camps in France -but also by Greeks, Vietnamese, Italians… that is, by those countries where the proletariat is facing the war in a revolutionary way: Italy in ’43, Greece in ’44, Vietnam in ’46… the role of stalinism as the head of the counter-revolution first seen in Spain, repeats itself country by country… and the International does not succeed in placing itself at the revolutionary vanguard. When in 1946 the international secretariat published a Manifesto for the pre-conference with which it wanted to tie up the Second Congress, lowering it down to a conference, the left responded with what in the previous four years had already become a practically complete programmatic alternative.
The Fourth International will not be able to fulfill its revolutionary mission if it does not unreservedly abandon the defense of the USSR in favor of a policy of relentless struggle against capitalism and its accomplice, stalinism. In order to lead this struggle victoriously, the counter-revolutionary character of the Russian bureaucracy, which is emerging at home as a class in the process of formation, oppressing Eastern Europe and Asia, must be revealed at every step and in practice. The lie of its “nationalizations” and land “reforms” must be exposed, and fraternization between occupiers and occupied must be developed, clearly stating that neither has anything to defend in Russia, but rather to destroy everything just as in any capitalist state, as well as the agents of the Kremlin whether or not they participate in the government. Fraternization between occupiers and occupied must be the central theme of our agitation in the occupied territories, whatever the occupying power. It is the only way to combat chauvinism among both the defeated and the victors, and to prepare the international front of the exploited against the exploiters. At the same time, the evacuation of all occupied territories, including those occupied by the Russians, must be demanded with increasing insistence.
In the rest of the world, we must show at all times that stalinism is only the national agent of the Kremlin’s foreign policy, whose interests are always opposed to those of the socialist revolution, which would be its ultimate ruin; that the fate of the workers is totally indifferent to it; that it is the best defender of the national bourgeoisie because it does not foresee any other future than that linked to the fate of the Russian counter-revolution.
Therefore, the PS-PC-CGT government’s slogan for France, and any similar slogan in any other country, must be abandoned because it only aims at breaking the revolutionary thrust of the masses by handing over the vanguard to the GPU.
The united front policy from organization to organization in the present stage, must be abandoned as far as the traditional “workers” parties are concerned. It must be substituted, from now on, by proposals of united front to the minority working organizations that are susceptible to give immediate results, as for example the anarchists. However, the united front, in precise and immediate tasks, must be advocated without faltering in the factory, in the locality and if possible in the region.
Our transitional programme must be pruned in the same way. For the time being, the demand for the Constituent Assembly must disappear, as well as all the slogans that are based on a progressive conception of our program for the masses at the present stage. The world today is going through an acute revolutionary crisis and our organization must prepare itself for the decisive struggles to come, since no development of capitalism can be expected, whether it is quiet or not. We must therefore tirelessly raise, popularize and explain the slogan of the formation of democratically elected workers’ councils in the workplaces, so that it can be applied at the earliest opportunity. To this slogan must be added all the consequences that it implies: formation of workers’ militias that obey only the committees elected by the masses, disarmament of the bourgeois forces, congress of workers’ committees, dissolution of the bourgeois state and creation of the workers’ state.
At the same time, on the economic level, the agitation must fundamentally insist on the sliding scale of wages, linked to the sliding scale of working hours without reduction of wages, and on all its ramifications: setting up by the workers of factories closed by the capitalists, seizure of the capitalists’ assets by the workers starting with war and black market profits, and finally the confiscation of factories and land by democratically elected workers’ committees in the workplaces.
Benjamin Péret. “The Exegetes’ Manifesto”, 1946
When the Second Congress of the Fourth International was finally held in 1948, the sections and groups that since 1943 have been taking a stand independently of the International Secretariat (IS) are a minority that has been diminished by repression and by the infamous maneuvers of the IS itself to reduce their representation. The leadership prevents the renunciation of the internationalism of its reference groups during the last war from even being discussed. The denunciation and rupture is as inevitable as the tendency of the majority that would end up approving in the third congress of the no longer international that the main contradiction of capitalism no longer would be class struggle (bourgeoisie against proletariat) but the confrontation between the USA and stalinist Russia, explicit renunciation of Marxist continuity, communism, internationalism… and even decency.
The 1948 Congress refused to condemn participation in capitalist national defense under the guise of resistance, and passed a political resolution that elevated the Russia-US rivalry to the level of a major world contradiction. In reality, it ignored the irreducible proletarian-capitalist opposition, on a worldwide scale, which is the exclusive guide of a revolutionary organization. For both these reasons, the Fourth International ceased to be a revolutionary organization as from that congress. It could henceforth deform, in no way form, revolutionaries.
G. Munis. “Fifty Years After Trotskyism”, 1982
The fact is that the renunciation of internationalism demolishes and sterilizes any evolution or position that does not start from the most radical rectification. It is not Trotsky’s mistakes that produce the degeneration of the International, as it was not Lenin’s that led to those of the 3rd, it is the renunciation of internationalism that makes any programmatic correction impossible and only gives them place as the left, democratic wing of the stalinist counterrevolution.
Notwithstanding the irrefutable experience, the main Trotskyist parties, relieved of internationalism during the war, committed to national defense through resistance, reached the opposite conclusion; stalinism extends socialist property, notwithstanding the proletariat itself. It was simply essential for them to cover their serious revolutionary deficiencies with something. That is why their present position, which the League adopts, is much more a stalinist deception than a political or sociological error.
The errors of the masters often become a mortal wound for the disciples. Thus, what in Trotsky was a mistake, at most an obfuscation of thought, reaches in the fiery Trotskyism proportions of falsehood, of crass opportunism and even of capitulation. But it is necessary to emphasize that in that metamorphosis, existence also precedes consciousness. Having ignored, in the middle of the world war, the principle: “against the imperialist war, civil war”, this Trotskyism stripped itself of the essential and most vivifying aspect of revolutionary thought, and denied itself the possibility of correcting errors and making the least theoretical progress. From its compromises with the national defense (resistance), we no longer discover in it knowledge or even an attempt of theoretical knowledge, but a string of fallacies and justifying attitudes more and more low as one calls for the next. And it has ended up giving in its current position. Formally and organically, he has regressed to what was the Left Opposition to the Third International during the half of the twenties and the first two years of the thirties, in spite of the criminality and filth that since then has been accumulating in stalinism. Politically, it is foolish and with its head down in the face of the extension of that same stalinism (for that ame Trotskyism, this is aossible) in Eastern Europe, in China, Korea, Vietnam, Cuba and even in Egypt, where 15 or 20,000 Russian soldiers hold the sacred banner of Islam against that of Israel.
In sum, the retrogression of Troskyism was originated by its break with internationalism, not by Trotsky’s mistake regarding the nature of the Russian system, which shallow critics affirm. The practical and theoretical defense of that system demanded during the world war, and continues to demand today, a strict rectification of the idea of the degenerated workers state and of all the presuppositions that engendered it. On the contrary, neither the defense of Russia nor that of any other stalinist country can be practiced without shunning internationalism, that is to say, the world proletariat, in order to go and take orders from the enemies of that same proletariat.
G. Munis. “Analysis of a Void”, 1971-72
The break-up of the International and the departure of its internationalist tendency coincides with the moment when the open phase in the programme of the International is culminating with the formation of the International Communist Left in 1929-30:
- The transition programme has been pruned from everything that derives from the conception of state property as a socialist element or one that tends towards socialism, a conception inherited from the Third and Second Internationals.
- The nature of stalinism and bureaucracy has been clarified in the criticism and overcoming of the concept of the degenerated workers state, and the consideration of stalinist Russia is already that of an imperialist state capitalism.
- The program of the Third International, on its part, has seen the workers control trimmed and the immediate postwar period has made necessary a critique of the united front tactic with the social democrats and stalinists already integrated in a definitive way in the state.
- The impossibility of national liberation, both in the occupied and in the colonial countries, is not contradictory with the working class, as had been made clear in China first, in Europe later and in Vietnam at the end of the war.
The critique of the supposed working class nature of stalinism and the affirmation, for the first time, of a program that takes as its basis what is distinctive of decadent capitalism, marks the culmination of the work of the Communist Left stage opened by Trotsky in 1929. There remains, however, a very important element for the definition of communist tactics: the trade unions. But this debate, which begins at the end of the war, will have to be developed in a new international framework that will only materialize after the definitive rupture, advanced in the 2nd Congress. The denunciation was made formal at the 7th Plenary Session in April 1949. In September it is made public and definitive with the publication of the “Explanation and Call to the Militants, Groups and Sections of the Fourth International” of the Spanish section, renamed ICG (Internationalist Communist Group) and later FOR (Revolutionary Workers’ Ferment). The appeal gathers around it militants from all over the world: Vietnamese who are taking refuge in France after the persecution and massacre at the hands of the stalinists with the complicity of the French colonial government, like Ngô Văn; French who come from the groups that tried Counting Munis and Benjamin Peret -who have returned from Mexico- and the nucleus of Spanish militants who came to fight during the Spanish revolution and who are now refugees in France -Esteban Bilbao, Jaime Fernández, Paco Gómez, Agustín Rodríguez- the grouping adds up to more than fifty people in France alone. Soon the Communist Workers’ Party of Italy (founded by Nicola di Bartolomeo, “Fosco”) and revolutionary factions from Mexico, Denmark, Yugoslavia, Greece and Germany will approach.
The End of the “Communist Left” Stage
With the formal departure from the Fourth International of the internationalists and the defeat of the last revolutionary attempts of the proletariat in the aftermath of the war (Greece, Vietnam), a new historical period opened.
On the programmatic level, the tasks and the historical phase as a “communist left”, that is, as the left of a degenerating International, has ended. The fundamental lessons of the counter-revolution have already been cupellated by the internationalists. But these are already limited to a few groups whose influence on the real struggles will be only punctual in the following decades.