The ICC adopted the Theses on Decomposition more than 25 years ago. Since then, this analysis of the current phase of society has become a key element in our organisation's understanding of the evolution of the world. The following document provides an update of the Theses on Decomposition with regard to the evolution of the world situation during the last quarter century, and especially in the recent period.
In the context of the impact of decomposition on the life of the bourgeoisie, this report focuses more particularly on the difficulties faced by the bourgeoisie with the rise of populist currents and on the way in which it tries to react to this. It will therefore not deal directly and centrally with the history of populism or with more general issues such as the relationship between populism and violence.
Decomposition and populism
The ICC has not discussed a report on the life of the bourgeoisie since its 17th congress in 2007.
An article written by a close sympathiser which uses the marxist method to try to get to the roots of the American Civil War, a momentous event which still has an impact on contemporary capitalism, and the class struggle, in the USA.
“In the United States of America, every independent workers’ movement was paralysed so long as slavery disfigured a part of the republic. Labour in a white skin cannot emancipate itself where it is branded in a black skin.” (Marx)
Capitalist society, in the final phase of decline, is giving birth to a whole variety of "identity crises". The atomisation inherent in the system of generalised commodity production is reaching new levels, and this applies both to social life as a whole and to the reactions against the increasing misery and oppression spawned by the system.
Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen… the infernal spiral of imperialist conflict continues to plunge the Middle East into the depths of barbarism. This region is a concentration of everything that is most disgusting about decadent capitalism. After decades of instability, invasions, “civil” wars and all kinds of murderous conflicts, Iran is now in the eye of the storm.
Historical framework: the phase of capitalist decomposition
1) By the late 1960s, with the exhaustion of the post-war economic boom and in the face of deteriorating living conditions, the working class had re-emerged on the social scene. The workers' struggles that exploded on an international scale put an end to the longest period of counter-revolution in history, opening a new historical course towards class confrontations, thus preventing the ruling class from putting in place its own response to the acute crisis of capitalism: a Third World War.
We are going to publish a number of documents emanating from the 23rd ICC Congress: reports that were discussed and ratified (or extracts from them) and resolutions that were adopted.
We begin now with two resolutions on the international situation: one on imperialist tensions, the life of the bourgeoisie, and the economic crisis, and one on the balance of forces between the classes. We will also publish in due course a statement by the ICC on the work of the Congress.