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The ICC’s erring ways on inter-imperialist relations + Appendices


The war in Ukraine has the ’merit’ of delimiting well the internationalists from all those who take the cause of one of the two camps in presence. By its positions on this conflict, the International Communist Current (ICC) is part of this ’third camp’ as Pierre Lanneret called it in his review of revolutionary positions during the Second World War. But this conflict has still another ’merit’ : that of testing the theoretical foundations of the analyses in presence. Now, on this level, the war in Ukraine illustrates the gaping incoherences of the ’analyses’ of this organisation of which it tries in vain to put back together the pieces in a ’framework’ article entitled : The significance and impact of the war in Ukraine.


Inter-imperialist relations since 1945


For this group, the opposition between the blocs and the mutual nuclear threat during the Cold War kept discipline within them, whereas the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 would in fact dissolve the reason for their existence and thus remove any discipline in what remained of NATO. Henceforth, capitalism would sink into a period of decomposition where the ’every man for himself’ would prevent the reconstitution of imperialist blocs with a view to a third world war.

In reality, this thesis is only a view of the mind, both for theoretical reasons but also and above all because it has no material basis, as we will develop.

First of all, this analysis forgets that an imperialist alliance is not a marriage of love but of reason and that, as such, the tensions within it are consubstantial and permanent. In other words, there is no point in lining up examples of dissension within NATO as this article does at length in an attempt to validate the decomposition phase of capitalism and the outburst of ’every man for himself’, since these examples constitute the natural and permanent background of imperialist alliances !

Thus, if this organization takes a malicious pleasure in listing all the little bickerings within NATO to try to give credence to its theses ... it is significantly silent on an equally long list of acute tensions and crises during the Cold War during which the bloc discipline should have contained them according to the ICC. Here are the most important ones :

According to the ICC’s theory, such bickerings - and the departure of Greece, the French desertion of NATO’s integrated command, the Greek-Turkish war and the multiple tensions within it have been not least of them - should logically have manifested themselfs after 1989 and not before ... unluckily for this organisation, it was during the Cold War, which was supposed to impose bloc discipline, that they took place ! France’s behaviour is a fine counter-example to the ICC theory since this country slammed the door in 1966 (in the middle of the period of bloc discipline) and rejoined the integrated command in 2009, i.e. during the said period of ’every man for himself’ !

It is true that with the implosion of the Eastern bloc in 1989, the reason for existence of the Western bloc, and thus of NATO, became less clear. Indeed : (a) the need for the United States to maintain its position as the world’s leading power ; (b) the maintenance of the Soviet nuclear threat ; and (c) the instrumentalisation of new dangers (political Islamism) are all dynamics that have kept the Western bloc and NATO as such in spite of its internal divergences.

It is also true that, as with any imperialist alliance, NATO has had its ups and downs. Thus, in January 2017, Trump even threatened to withdraw the US from it [1]. Macron judged it "brain-dead" [2]. But all these bickerings were never more than mosquito bites on an elephant skin because NATO was never paralysed : it has always been fully operational, it has even extended its global sphere of control with the maintenance of more than 800 military bases deployed in 177 countries on permanent alert, it has not failed to intervene according to its interests by expanding to very many countries of the former Eastern bloc and even former republics of the USSR, it has intervened massively in Yugoslavia, in the Middle and Far East (Libya, Afghanistan), etc.

Moreover, and this is totally incomprehensible to the ICC’s theory, the first NATO military operations were undertaken AFTER the end of the confrontation between the two blocs of the West and the East and not before as Wikipedia precisely indicates : "Although the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) was present throughout the Cold War against the Warsaw Pact and conducted joint military exercises, no military operations took place. The latter occurred after the Cold War...", listing them : ex-Yugoslavia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Libya, Turkey ! Did you say that the Western bloc disappeared after 1989 ?

Furthermore, NATO is now being spectacularly strengthened by the war in Ukraine through new memberships, a significant increase in its financing, huge arms contracts for the Americans, increased economic and military dependence of Europe on the United States, etc. There is therefore no material evidence to support the thesis of a disappearance of the Western bloc or even its weakening. Even the contributors of Wikipedia with all their illusions are much more realistic than the ICC on this point : "The end of the Cold War in 1991, following the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the collapse of the USSR and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, the ’natural’ adversary of the Atlantic Alliance, raises the question of the future of the Alliance : According to the usual criteria of international relations, it should have disappeared for lack of an adversary, but it will succeed in ensuring its survival thanks to the solidity of the link that unites its members, to the fear of most Europeans of having to ensure their security without the United States and by very quickly finding new missions".


Phase of Decomposition or decomposition of the theory ?


More fundamentally, it is the background of the ICC’s analysis that is totally erroneous, namely that capitalism has entered a phase of decomposition following the stalemate in the balance of power between the classes during the so-called "truth years" (the 1980s in the ICC’s ’theory’). It is totally erroneous because, once again, it has no material basis, as shown by the following graph which represents a synthetic index of social conflicts in sixteen major developed countries, a quantitative index which shows that, far from being in equilibrium, the balance of power between the classes has been reversed in favour of the bourgeoisie since the mid-1970s :

Graph 1 : Strike index of 16 Western countries.

Certainly, the proletariat has not suffered a historical defeat like after the revolutionary wave of 1917-23 and still possesses a potential of combativity which could be redeployed, in particular - and we hope so - thanks to the economic crisis which is spreading today and which will impoverish large fractions of wage earners. However, we should not delude ourselves and fantasise : a blocking of the balance of power between the classes is certainly conceivable for a few years, but not over several decades, as the ICC states. In this case, it’s not a question of a deadlock at all, but of a dramatic retreat of the working class since the mid-1970s as a result of several factors : (1) the rise of structural unemployment ; (2) deindustrialisation ; (3) the dismantling of the large concentrations of workers (mines, shipyards, steel industry, etc.) and the recourse to subcontracting ; (4) a progressive individualisation of the wage relationship up to its current uberisation which breaks the solidarity between wage earners ; (5) a rise in household debt and (6) the strategy of the ruling class aiming to move the social revolt from the streets to the parliamentary field (cf. the policy of the left in power at that time : the ’common programme’ in France with the coming to power of Mitterrand and the left, the ’historic compromise’ in Italy, the democratisation of the dictatorial regimes of Greece and Portugal in 1974 and Spain in 1975...), etc. All these factors progressively paralysed the social body, both quantitatively (by a factor of ten according to the graph above) and qualitatively (dynamics and characteristics of struggles).

In other words, to postulate the existence of a phase of decomposition of capitalism on the basis of a blockage of the relation of force between the classes is a purely speculative construction of the mind, since it is not based on anything concrete. If the tensions, conflicts and destructuring of society are developing, it is precisely the consequence of the fact that the proletariat has dramatically retreated and that the bourgeoisie has, as a result, more and more free hands to express its internal dissensions in an open way.


Economic Luxembourgism, the breeding ground for a cascade of errors


But there is another theoretical framework which is more particularly shaken by the war in Ukraine, it is that of economic Luxemburgism which founds the ’theory’ of the ICC of ’the decadence of capitalism since 1914’ and thus of the impossibility of any autonomous national development since then. Thus, this organisation peremptorily asserted that "The period of capitalist decadence is characterised by the impossibility of any new industrialised nations emerging. The countries which didn’t make up for lost time before World War I were subsequently doomed to stagnate in a state of total underdevelopment, or to remain chronically backward in relation to the countries at the top of the sandcastle. This has been the case with big nations like India or China, whose ‘national independence’ or even their so-called ‘revolution’ (read the setting up of a draconian form of state capitalism) didn’t allow them to break out of underdevelopment or destitution"  [3].

Anyone will easily understand that with such theoretical underpinnings the ICC has been unable for almost half a century to understand the phenomenon of the emerging countries which today concern almost half the world’s population ! It is also understandable that such a blindness to simple objective facts makes this organisation particularly incapable of understanding the reasons for the emergence of China and the new world imperialist polarisation via the tendency to constitute a future imperialist bloc around this country with a view to a third world war. This is what we will quickly deal with here, starting by recalling the cascade of the main errors of analysis of the ICC resulting from its economic Luxemburgism. Indeed, let us point out to the reader that, on the substance, we have already amply deconstructed the theses of the ICC in a long study going from the so-called brake on the development of the productive forces (§1) to the national question (§3) passing by immediate struggles and the trade union question (§2) [4].

1) A decadent capitalism since 1914

The ICC’s platform argues that "capital has become unable to extend its domination even at the rate of human population growth" ... when in fact the growth of the world product per capita has only increased by 2.2 times in 93 years of ’ascendancy’ (or 0.84% average annual growth rate) while it has increased by 4.7 times in 93 years of ’decadence’ (or 1.68% average annual growth rate). In other words, if the growth of the material productive forces per capita was twice as great in ’decadence’ as in ’ascendancy’, capitalism was capable and not "unable to extend its dominance even at the rate of human population growth" (see graph 2 below). Any sensible reader will conclude that this platform is not only wrong but that it asserts the exact opposite of reality ! Very annoying for ’Marxists’ whose approach presupposes to be based on the materiality of objective facts.

Graph 2: World product per capita

2) A third world war on the eve of the Thirty Glorious Years !?

Worse, on the basis of such an analysis with Luxembourgist foundations, the ancestors of the ICC predicted the imminent outbreak of the third world war in 1952 and dispersed its few militants to the four corners of the world : "The disappearance of extra-capitalist markets leads to a permanent crisis of capitalism [...] can no longer expand its production [...] the prospect of war ... falls due. We are living in a state of imminent war" GCF, Internationalisme n°46. Such a diagnosis, made on the eve of the most formidable period of growth that capitalism has known in the course of its existence - the so-called Thirty Glorious Years - highlights the fragility of the Luxemburgist theses on the accumulation of capital : how can we understand an accumulation that is twice as fast after 1914 as before, when the relative saturation of extra-capitalist markets with respect to the needs of capitalism is supposed to be the basis for the entry of the system into its phase of decadence !?

Logically, if the reduced availability of extra-capitalist markets is the economic basis for the slowdown in the development of the productive forces and therefore for the entry into decadence of capitalism after 1914 ... how can we explain the twice as fast growth thereafter, and how can we understand the phenomenon of globalisation and the emerging countries ? By the still consistent existence of extra-capitalist markets as the ICC states today ? But then the basis of decadence disappears ! This is the dilemma from which the ICC is unable to extricate itself, condemned as it is to get lost in analyses that have neither tails nor heads.

3) A 3rd world war ready to break out during the 1970s, except for...

At the beginning of its existence, this organisation defended - in an equally peremptory manner - an analysis of the ’historical course of class confrontations’ which postulated that everything was already in place for the outbreak of a third world war : an insoluble economic crisis and fully constituted imperialist blocs ... but which only the combativeness of the working class prevented from happening ! Half a century later, we can see how ridiculous such an analysis is.

4) The decade where war or revolution was to be decided

Going one step higher, the ICC decreed that the 1980s would be the decade of truth ... to the point where the historical alternative between war and revolution would be decided there : "In the decade beginning today, the historical alternative will be decided : either the proleta­riat will continue its offensive, continue to paralyze the murderous arm of capitalism in its death throes and gather its forces to destroy the system, or else it will let itself be trapped, worn out, demoralized by speeches and repression and then the way will be open for a new holo­caust which risks the elimination of all human society." [5]. Forty years later, we can also measure the ridiculousness of such an analysis since : (a) the proletariat was in no way busy "continue its offensive" (ICC) but was powerfully retreating as indicated by the intensity of social conflicts in the developed countries, which had already been divided by four in the 1980s (cf. Graph 1) ; (b) moreover, capitalism was in no way "in its death throes" (ICC) but was going to experience an important globalisation and the phenomenon of the emerging countries !!!

5) Theory of decomposition or decomposition of ICC’s ’theory’ ?

Pushing the envelope a little further to hide all these errors, the ICC is going to ’elaborate’ its ’theory’ of decomposition, which we have seen above is totally erroneous in its empirical basis. Worse, it would even be this phase of decomposition that would have allowed the phenomenal growth of China according to their latest elucidations ... understand who can [6] ! But, beware, if half a century after having constantly denied any growth in India and China - a straw man for an organisation that claims to be in the vanguard of policy deepening - the ICC finally recognises the Chinese dynamic, it is to immediately undermine its importance by speaking of "cancerous growth" !!??

In fact, behind this formula lies a real megalomaniacal sleight of hand preventing any real self-criticism by this organisation. Indeed, it allows for the recognition of a certain amount of lip service to growth ... but at the same time asserts that, in essence, the ICC has always been right about decadence and decomposition because this growth is "cancerous"!

So, beyond the formulas, let’s look at what is really happening in China, especially from the point of view of the exploited, by looking at how real wages, life expectancy at birth and the size and volume of the population that Chinese economic growth has had to support have evolved. Indeed, the interest of such statistics is that they represent integrated indicators of a multitude of aspects of life, including material ones, and their mode of calculation does not suffer from much discussion. Now, the evolution of the Chinese population and its life expectancy are all the more remarkable as they almost stagnated during a century (1850-1950) to more than double for the population and almost triple for life expectancy by gaining about fifty years - i.e. by going from 30 to 80 years (see graph 3 below) ! Finally, the icing on the cake is that the average height of Chinese people has only increased [7].

Graph 3 : China - Life expectancy at birth

In other words, if a country can rapidly double its population, while almost tripling its life expectancy, and while ensuring equally large increases in production and material income (see graph 4 below), then long live cancerous growth !

Graph 4 : Average real wages and income per worker and hour worked

Not only will a Chinese person, whose real salary has increased three to five times in four decades, and who has gained about 50 years more since 1950, not only give no credence to the diagnosis of the ICC ’doctor’, but will rightly call him a charlatan. A Chinese employee who lives 50 years longer in 2020 than in 1950, who has seen his real salary increase significantly and who only dreams of buying his next smartphone ... will cry long live cancerous growth ! And for good reason, medically, a cancer corresponds to the death of human cells and the death of life, does living 50 years longer correspond to that ? Let’s bet that, in his immeasurable pretentiousness, Dr. ICC will surely redefine for us what cancer is ! In any case, if cancer is redefined by claiming that living 50 years longer and in better conditions is a ’cancerous growth’, then there will be many candidates to catch this cancer !


The new global geopolitical and geo-economic polarization


If we have pointed out some gross aberrations in the ICC’s analysis of China, it is because it argues that : « …The war in Ukraine is not preparing the ground for the formation of new imperialist blocs that will take humanity into a third – and no doubt final – world war... (...) We reject the argument that we are seeing the reconstitution of stable military blocs. We will simply say that despite real tendencies towards a “bipolarisation” of imperialist antagonisms, we still consider that they are outweighed by the opposite tendency for each imperialist power to defend its own particular interests and resist being subordinated to a particular world power ».

In fact, by totally underestimating the growth in the emerging countries, and especially in the most spectacular of them – China, the ICC fails to understand the fundamental difference between the former Eastern bloc and the future emerging bloc around China.

Indeed, both the USSR and its satellite countries have always been economic dwarfs and even military dwarfs – witness the lamentable Soviet military defeats in the Six Day Wars in the Middle East, in Afghanistan and, today, its setbacks in Ukraine... yet Russia remains a nuclear giant : it is the only country against which the United States cannot wage war without risking near-total destruction itself (which is not yet the case for China). In this sense, the Cold War is not yet completely over.

By contrast, China is an economic giant, although still a military dwarf. But, precisely because it is an economic giant, China could also become a military giant and a giant with weapons that are much more powerful and sophisticated than those of Russia. This is what the United States must prevent. Therefore, the current strategy of the USA and NATO consists, on the one hand, in reducing Russia’s military power to its economic minimum, i.e. no more than the GDP of Spain, and, on the other hand, in realigning Europe behind the USA in order to put it in battle for the major challenge today : the confrontation with China. Hillary Clinton, the former head of American diplomacy, was not mistaken when she recently declared that : « Russia is ‘a short-term threat’ and China ‘a long-term threat’ » and warned the West against China’s expansionist ambitions while seeing Moscow as a temporary threat [8] .

This is the reason for the maneuver deployed by the USA, a maneuver already used with Saddam Hussein and consisting of suggesting that the Americans would not intervene in case of an invasion. Iraq fell into the trap then and Russia has fallen into it now. Indeed, Biden was adamant with Putin in the weeks leading up to the invasion of Ukraine while the Europeans were doing everything to negotiate. The icing on the cake is that not only did Biden not give an inch to Russia’s demands, but he bluntly told Putin that if the latter wanted to obtain his demands by military means, NATO would not react [9] !

The result of this policy is clear : NATO has been resoldered and American leadership has been fully reaffirmed. The financing of NATO, which the Europeans were reluctant to provide, has now exceeded American expectations, orders for military equipment are pouring into the United States, European defense is dead, the NordStream-2 gas pipeline is closed, all dialogue and cooperation with Moscow is buried, as well as the development of economic exchanges that Europe had hoped for with Russia, especially in the energy field. Better still, the gas that Europeans used to buy from Russia must now be supplied by the Americans !

Moreover, this war is the final blow to the European efforts, especially of France and Germany, to develop a counterweight to the USA by cooperating with Russia. In other words, there is no doubt that with the war in Ukraine, the USA have achieved all their objectives : political, imperialist, economic and ideological... They are a winner on all levels : on the imperialist level with a reorganized NATO and a reaffirmed American leadership ; on the economic level with a Europe weakened by the war and finding itself even more dependent on the USA for energy than before ; on the political-economic level with a weakened Europe because it can no longer act as a counterweight to the USA, neither militarily (a buried Europe of defense), nor economically (economic cooperation with Russia) ; on the military level with a fully open cash drawer for the Americans : all European countries massively buy American military equipment ; on the ideological level with the theme of the future conflict with China : the defense of the free world against dictatorial regimes.

Therefore, to list all the internal tensions within NATO in an attempt to justify the current impossibility of reforming imperialist blocs is to take mosquito bites for lethal injections. It is looking at the tree without seeing the forest behind it.

Speaking of blindness, such an analysis on the part of the ICC goes back to the illusions of Vercesi in 1938-39, who did not believe that a second world war was possible. The latter relied on the multiple diplomatic negotiations and attempts at agreements which, according to him, revealed the need for capital to avoid a world conflagration – local wars were sufficient for the needs of capitalism, he said.

Today, the ICC is taking a similar approach by lining up all the possible disagreements within NATO and all the potential weaknesses of China. However, tomorrow, when the iron and the fire will be heard with the United States, the ICC will declare itself again “surprised” as it has to admit today that « their brutal acceleration in Europe through the massive invasion of Ukraine still caught the ICC by surprise » [10]. In reality, the ICC has constantly been surprised by the evolution of capitalism because it simply does not possess the right keys to understand it.


Translation : thanks AFRD (chapter The new global geopolitical and geo-economic polarization) and DeepL




When the statistics go in its direction, the ICC makes abundant use of them and does not hesitate to be satisfied with them ("we had foreseen it", "they illustrate the correctness of our orientations", etc.), but as soon as figures contradict its speeches, then it systematically nitpicks about their validity. From then on, instructed by this recurrent bad faith, we take the lead on two key points raised in our contribution : on the evolution of social conflicts in the central countries and on the reasons of the downturn since the mid-1970s.


On the statistics of social conflicts - Graph 1 (above)


We are well aware of the criticisms generally levelled at this type of data (by the statistical institutes themselves) : from one country to another, there are heterogeneities in the definition of what a strike is and in the methods of collecting information ; in general, social conflicts are underestimated ; not all forms of social resistance are taken into account and, above all, there is an absence of any qualitative criteria (a spontaneous and self-organised strike is put on the same level as a union day of burial of the struggles) ; etc. Nevertheless, most of the time, these biases are systematic over time, so even if they are under or overestimated, the general quantitative trends are very significant and well correlated with what we know about the evolution of social movements. Therefore, to explain by these means the tenfold drop in the strike index in sixteen major Western countries since the quantitative and qualitative upsurge in struggles between 1966 and 1974 would be to fall into a perfect conspiracy. Indeed, this would imply the existence of a tacit agreement between these sixteen countries to gradually flatten the curve.

Finally, it should be noted that, while social conflicts are on the decline in the old developed countries, they are on the rise in the emerging countries (China, India and a large part of SE Asia). This is only logical and a consequence of the tremendous restructuring of capitalism on a global scale as shown in the graph below :

Graph 5 : Evolution of manufacturing employment

While manufacturing employment has increased slightly in the Triad (USA, Europe and Japan) from 86 million in 1960 to 90 million in 2004, it has exploded in China, which now has more employees in this sector than in all the developed countries (OECD), and this in units that sometimes contain several tens of thousands of employees! However, here again, we should not have too many illusions because the proletariat of these countries is historically very inexperienced and full of illusions about democracy and trade unionism (in China in particular). It is nevertheless a factor that the Chinese ruling class must reckon with before embarking on warlike adventures.

These spectacular data on manufacturing employment in China formally refute the absurd ICC thesis that China’s development is not really real but a feedback loop - the development of employment in China largely corresponds to the destruction of industrial employment in the old developed countries : "Has Chinese capital developed the productive forces ? In its own terms, yes, but what is the global and historic context in which this is taking place ? It’s certainly true that the expansion of Chinese capital has increased the size of the global industrial proletariat, but this has come about through a vast process of de-industrialisation in west..." [11]. It is clear here that, despite a few formal concessions to make it appear that it takes account of reality, in substance the ICC reaffirms its long-standing doxa on the impossibility of a real development of the productive forces in ’decadence’. Indeed, for this organisation, the development of emerging countries does not correspond to anything tangible but is the result of artificialities such as credit or communicating vessels : the industrialisation of emerging countries mirrors deindustrialisation and relocation in developed countries. Graph 7 (see below) demonstrates the absurdity of such an ’argument’, as we will explain below.


On the causes of the downturn in social conflicts since the mid-1970s


The ICC does recognise the existence of a certain retreat of class struggle but its credo is that it derives this from the implosion of the Eastern bloc and the loss of class identity in relation to the discrediting of the perspective of communism ... Now, if this factor probably plays a role in keeping social conflicts at a low level, it does NOT explain the decline at all, because in 1989, social conflicts had already been decreasing for about fifteen years and their intensity had already been divided by a factor of ten in 1989 (see Graph 1) ! Once again, we can see how the ’analyses’ of this organisation are purely speculative and not based on anything material.

On the contrary, we put forward several factors that have progressively combined to initiate social conflict and disintegrate collective solidarity between employees. Moreover, contrary to the systematically unsubstantiated claims of the ICC, we put forward empirical evidence :

1) The rise of structural unemployment

The graph below for the European Union shows a perfect correlation between the inexorable rise of unemployment from 1974 and the beginning of the fall of the strike index at the same date (graph 1). Moreover, the peak in the rise of the unemployment curve corresponds exactly to the lowest point in the fall of social conflicts. In other words, unemployment played the role of anaesthetizing struggles long before the fall of the Berlin Wall and the so-called ’decomposition phase of capitalism’ dear to the ICC.

Graph 6: Unemployment rates - EU-15 and France

But then again, this data also formally disproves another absurd theory formulated by the historical founder of the ITC - Marc Chirik - claiming that : "By losing the factory, the unemployed workers gain the streets" and that "This is an enormous advantage for the politicization of these important masses of workers" (International Review n°14 - 1978). Certainly, this organisation did make a re-entrant curve in its 2015 Class Struggle Report, but without any substantive self-criticism and still carrying large illusions about the struggles of the unemployed : "The autonomous struggles of the unemployed, able to link up with the struggles of the employed workers, were much less significant than we had foreseen in the 70s and 80s (...) The students’ movement in France in 2006, and the social revolts towards the end of the first decade of the new century, began to supply answers to these problems, offering the possibility of encompassing the unemployed in mass demonstrations and street assemblies...". In a way, this is Munis’ posthumous revenge against Chirik ... so much so that the latter criticised the former on this issue of unemployment. History and the facts have decided ... but the ICC remains blissful in the face of all its certainties, even the few that it deigned to acknowledge as false when the contradiction with the facts became too violent to sustain.

2) Deindustrialisation, the dismantling of large labour concentrations and the use of subcontracting

To claim that the industrialisation of China corresponds to the deindustrialisation of the old developed countries, as the ICC does, is not only factually false, as we have seen above, but also temporally inaccurate, since the deindustrialisation of the West predates globalisation by a long time : at the very beginning of the 1970s, or even as early as the 1950s for the Anglo-Saxon countries, as shown in graph 7 below.

Graph 7: Share of industry in total employment

3) A rise in household debt

If household debt is not an explanatory factor at the origin of the decline in social conflicts like the two previous ones, it has nevertheless significantly reinforced them, especially from the 1980s onwards following the neo-liberal policies of wage cuts. Indeed, seeing their income slow down or decrease, households compensated for this loss of income by getting into debt, as shown in graphs 8 and 9 below. Indeed, a person in debt is much less likely to protest for fear of losing his job.

Graph 8: Wage share (right) and household debt (left) as % of GDP (USA)

Graphe 9 :

4) As for the other causes that we have put forward - the progressive individualisation of the wage relationship up to its current uberisation, which breaks down solidarity between wage earners, and the strategy of the ruling class aiming to move social revolt from the streets to the parliamentary arena (cf. the politics of the left in power at that time : the common programme in France with the coming to power of Mitterrand and the left, the historic compromise in Italy, the democratisation of the dictatorial regimes of Greece and Portugal in 1974 and of Spain in 1975...) - if they are not very quantifiable, they fall under the meaning of facts that are well known.


[1However, this threat was more a businessman’s tactic to make his partners pay and stop the construction of the NordStream2 pipeline than a real strategic option for the US.

[2A judgement stated in an interview with The Economist on 8 November 2021 in which he deplored that "some partners act unilaterally" and that there is no longer "any coordination of the US strategic decision with Nato partners". He therefore advocated "strengthening the Europe of defence (...) a Europe that must acquire strategic autonomy and military capabilities. And on the other hand, to reopen a strategic dialogue, without any naivety and which will take time, with Russia", because he said that Russia has no other alternative than a "partnership with Europe".

[3International Review n°23 (1980), MC & FM.

[4Concerning the criticism of Rosa Luxemburg’s economic theory, we refer the reader to our numerous contributions on this question (Contribution six is in English) :
1- On Luxemburg’s theoretical errors and his misunderstanding of Marx’s analysis : Theory of crises : Marx - Luxemburg.
2- On the mechanistic fatalism of this theory : "Permanent crises do not exist" Marx.
3- On the incapacity of this theory to understand the accumulation of capital in the 20th century : L’accumulation du capital au XXème siècle - I.
4- On the inconsistencies in the analysis of Rosa Luxemburg and her ICC epigones, notably the total lack of ethics of debate on their part : Crisis theory and the ethics of debate - I.
5- On the multi-causal character of Marx’s analysis of crises as opposed to Rosa Luxemburg’s mono-causal character : A Marxist analysis of the coming crisis.
6- Finally, on the inconsistencies of the ICC concerning the constitution of the world market ; the advent of state capitalism ; indebtedness ; wars before and after 1914 and military expenditure before and after 1914 in a debate with Link and Anibal : In defence of historical materialism.

[6We have already reduced to nothing this ’analysis’ in our article : The four curses of the ICC on the national question but we will come back to it in even more detail in a new contribution to unveil the fallacious character of the current argumentation of the ICC on China

[7Source : NCD-Risk

[8Statement made during the geopolitical program of June 11, 2022 on France Culture.

[9A remarkable analysis of this trap has been made by the I.O.D. group (Istituto Onorato Damen), translated into English on the website of ‘A Free Retriever’s Digest’.

[11International Review no. 149, 2012, Gerrard