France: “Our Republic”?

Social-Chauvinism and Capitulation to Islamophobia by the Left

By Michael Pröbsting, International Secretary of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 2 November 2020,





Stalinist PCF: Defend “our Republic” against “Islamo-Fascism”?

Jean-Luc Mélenchon: another “Guardian of the Republic” … and defender of Putin’s crimes

NPA, A&R, GMI: Rallying for the Racist Provocateur Samuel Paty

An issue of “freedom of speech”?

Marxism and religion

Islamophobia and the imperialist aristocratism of the Left

The necessity to break with the centrist swamp







The Islamophobic hate-mongering of the Macron government has provoked global outrage and a widespread campaign of boycott of French products in Muslim countries. As we elaborated in our recently published statements, the RCIT – while opposing terrorist attacks against innocent civilians – denounces Macron’s racist campaign against so-called “extremist Islam” and stands in full solidarity with the Muslim migrants in France. Hence, we strongly support the legitimate protest actions against imperialist and Islamophobic France. [1]


Macron’s anti-Muslim campaign has also strongly affected the so-called “left” in France, i.e. social democratic and Stalinist parties, “Trotskyist” organizations, etc. More precisely, it has revealed the deep-sitting social-chauvinist mindset of large sectors of the left and their close relations with the French Republic.


As we have shown in documents published after the attack on the racist magazine Charlie Hebdo in January 2015, the “left” in France – similar to many other countries in Western Europe, North America as well as Russia – is adapting to bourgeois Islamophobia because it is deeply integrated in the political and ideological system of imperialism. [2] Macron’s Islamophobic campaign – exploiting the revenge killing of the racist provocateur Samuel Paty as pretext – has again brought into sharp relief these features.




Stalinist PCF: Defend “our Republic” against “Islamo-Fascism”?




It is not particularly surprising to see the Stalinist PCF wholeheartedly joining Macron’s crusade against the Muslim world. This party – “communist” in words but social-imperialist in deeds – has a long and shameful history of serving the ruling class against the oppressed. In the 1930s and later it defended the colonial occupation of Algeria. It served in the Jospin government which waged imperialist wars against Serbia (1999) and Afghanistan (2001). [3] More recently, in January 2015, it refused to oppose sending French forces to Iraq. [4] Furthermore, it has a long-standing record of supporting imperialist immigration control and committing hostile acts against migrants. [5]


Of course, the Stalinists try to drown out the thunder of cannons with their slobbery songs of love and peace. But cannons are louder than songs and the Stalinists’ deeds tell another story than their words.


This was not always the case. As we pointed out in past works, the PCF took a consistent anti-imperialist stance in the first years of its existence in the early 1920s. This was the time when Lenin and Trotsky led the Communist International before Stalin and his parasitic bureaucracy eliminated the Marxist principles of revolutionary internationalism and anti-imperialism. For example, the PCF waged a resolute campaign of solidarity activities in support of the struggle of the Riffian Berbers in the early 1920s. This people fought, under the leadership of the petty-bourgeois Islamist Abd el-Krim, against the Spanish and French imperialists and attempted to drive these occupiers out of its country. The PCF waged a militant anti-colonial campaign in solidarity with the Riffians which even included a general strike on 12th October 1925. In its propaganda and agitation, the PCF publicly expressed its support for the Riffians struggle until “Moroccan soil was completely liberated” from both Spanish and French imperialists. [6]


Jaques Doriot, a leader of the PCF at that time, openly stated in the parliament in June 1925: "If we were in power we would bring an immediate end to the French occupation of the colonies." When he was interrupted by the social democrat deputy Pierre Renaudel, a “left-wing” defender of French imperialism, with a question as to whether he had correctly heard, Doriot retorted: "We shall arrive at power by the revolution. It will be a proletarian dictatorship. We shall proclaim the independence of the colonies, Algeria, Madagascar, and all the colonies will have free choice as to their form of government." [7]


The communists took a similar line during the uprising of the Syrian people against the French occupiers at these years. In a Manifesto issued in May 1924, the Communist International stated: “The Communist International does not confine itself to condemning the actions of French imperialism in Syria as a violation of the right to national self-determination. It calls on the French proletariat to wage an energetic struggle against the instigator of the war, imperialism. (…) The Communist International, including its French section, stands by the Syrians ... in everything they may do to avoid the hated yoke of the guiltiest imperialism in the world today, the imperialism of Poincare, Millerand, the Comite des Forges, and French finance. (…) Syrian peasants and French workers form, perhaps unconsciously, an anti-imperialist united front. It will be the task of the Communist International and its French section to make everyone aware of the unity of this front.[8]


However, this has been a long time ago and today’s “communists” are as much communist as the Catholic clergy are celibate. Macron’s call to arms against Islam has reminded the PCF leadership – if it needed any reminder at all – that its place is on the side of “our Republic”, i.e. the imperialist state. This holy institution must be defended – no ifs, no buts – against the “terrorists”. And those “backward Muslim” who don’t kneel down before the juggernauts of the “fundamental values of the Republic” need to make the acquaintance of the republic’s police, judges and prison guards.


Islamist terrorism has just reminded us that it has been waging a constant war against the fundamental values of the Republic: the intransigent separation of religions and the State; secularism which guarantees freedom of conscience and criticism; freedom of expression, creation and the right to criticize any religion; equality between citizens who must not be distinguished by their origins, their religions, or their personal convictions. This Islamist terrorism has one objective: to spread terror on everyone, to attack democracy and public schools. (…) As the Conflans-Sainte-Honorine attack demonstrates, this terrorism relies on networks claiming to be political Islamism, which claims to be unrelated to jihadism, but whose propaganda feeds it. This threat must be fought wholeheartedly. (…) Those who supported or contributed to the assassination of Samuel Paty must be identified and brought to justice without delay. Hate preachers, fanatics who call for murder, jihadists must be prosecuted, put out of harm's way, severely condemned. (…) The means must be given to public authorities, intelligence, the police and the judiciary to thwart hate campaigns, such as the one against Samuel Paty until his assassination.[9]


Consequently, the PCF – and other reformist party and union bureaucrats – joined the members of Macron’s government at the official memorial event on 18 October. [10] There, they jointly praised Samuel Paty who – according to Macron (and his Stalinist buddies) – is a “quiet hero” who “incarnated the Republic“ but who is a racist provocateur in the eyes of 1,5 billion Muslims and all authentic democrats and socialists around the globe. [11]




Jean-Luc Mélenchon: another “Guardian of the Republic” … and defender of Putin’s crimes




Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of La France Insoumise which has become the main « left-wing » party in France, shares the PCF’ position on the current events in France. This is hardly surprising since Mélenchon and the Stalinists formed a joint electoral bloc for many years before the fell out with each other about leadership positions.


However, Mélenchon has added a particular chauvinist note. He utilized the Chechen origin of Abdoullakh Anzorov, Paty’s assailant, in order to launch a disgusting attack. He said: “Faced with Islamist terrorism, it is necessary to respond very precisely. There is a very clear problem with the Chechen community in France. Chechens who are active in political Islam on social media must be found and expelled.


He also said: “We are dealing with madmen and assassins who commit acts of Islamist terrorism which sully their religion and rot our lives (…) And we must also then question what is happening with Chechens in France, for we have welcomed [into France] Chechens who were partisans of a religious civil war. [And] this is the second time we have dealt with individuals linked to this community. The first time they sent 150 [people] to terrorize a city; the second time, one cuts off the head of a teacher (…) we have to wonder what they are doing.” [12]


This is a shameful statement which reveals the thoroughly pro-imperialist and social-chauvinist nature of Mélenchon and his companions in the LFI leadership. The Chechen wars in 1994-96 and 1999-2009 were not “religious civil wars” but national liberation struggles as the Chechen people have been brutally suppressed for many decades by Russia. They heroically fought for an independent state but were ultimately defeated by Russian imperialism with the most barbaric methods and heavy losses among its own army. It is estimated that the two wars have resulted in the killing of hundreds of thousands of Chechens (out of a total population of Chechnya of little more than one million people!) and the displacement of the majority of the population! [13] Today Chechnya is a prison camp guarded by the butcher Kadyrov, a loyal servant of Putin. [14]


Similarly shameful, Mélenchon supports the campaign of hatred against the Chechen migrant community, a well-known instrument of the ruling class – not only in France but in the whole of Europe. “The Chechens don’t know how to behave” – this is the well-known canon of European chauvinism.


All this is not particularly surprising since Mélenchon is well-known for his sympathies for Putin and his support for Russia’s military intervention in Syrian in 2015 which saved the tyrant Assad from being overthrown by the popular uprising. [15]




NPA, A&R, GMI: Rallying for the Racist Provocateur Samuel Paty




Smaller, more left-wing forces in France don’t go that far. Various “Trotskyist” organizations have (rightly) refused to join Macon’s ministers in the 18 October event. Furthermore, they have also denounced the Islamophobic rhetoric of the government.


However, these centrists – “revolutionaries” in words and servants of opportunism in deeds – fail to consistently oppose Macron’s campaign or even to understand its very nature. In a statement the Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste shared the public sympathy with the racist provocateur Paty: “On Friday, October 16, the NPA received the news of the decapitation of a high school teacher in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine with shock and horror. All our thoughts are with his family, his friends, his students, and his colleagues as well as all people in the larger education community, which has been shaken by this atrocious crime. The NPA condemns this disgraceful act. (…) We express our total solidarity with Samuel Paty’s relatives, friends, and colleagues, and more generally with all educators who have been impacted by this assassination. The NPA will join initiatives to express our mourning, our anger, and our solidarity in the wake of this tragedy[16]


The NPA leadership – whose core is part of the “Fourth International” in the tradition of Pablo and Mandel – is not alone in taking such an approach. [17] Anticapitalisme & Revolution, a left-wing opposition current within the NPA (which constitutes – together with co-thinkers in the U.S., Spain and Greece – an international opposition tendency within the Mandelist international) has basically the same position. “Samuel Paty has been the victim of a vile act and we want to express our pain and anger here. Those who commit or claim this assassination in the name of fundamentalism are reactionary bands, enemies to be fought. (…) We invite all unions and teachers to meet in general meetings, even during this time of school holiday, to organize tributes and reactions to Samuel Paty’s assassination.[18]


Another small group, the Groupe Marxiste Internationaliste (which is the leading force in CoReP), shares the same approach. In a statement called “Against organized Islamist Fascism!”, this group claims that Paty was killed “because he proposed to his school pupils to think about freedom of speech in the context of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons about Mohamed. We condemn this murder and state our unconditional solidarity with the relatives and colleagues of Samuel Paty.[19] The cynical language of this statement is characteristic for the social-imperialist arrogance of these people which describe something deeply offending 1,5 billion people as an effort to make young people “think about freedom of speech in the context of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons about Mohamed”!


The quotes from these three organizations demonstrate that most of the French left consider Paty as an innocent victim who did nothing wrong. But Paty was not a “good guy”. He was someone who spread the racist cartoons of Charlie Hebdo which are deeply insulting and denigrating for all Muslims. He exploited his position as a teacher in order to humiliate young Muslim school pupils. Yes, we oppose his assassination as it only provided the government with a pretext for a wave of repression against Muslim migrants. But this does not make Paty one of us. No, he was one of them, a loyal servant of the ruling class and its Charlie Hebdo hate-mongering!


By joining the public chorus of sympathy for Paty, French centrism sends a clear message to the Muslim world: “right or wrong, it’s my country” to use the British phrase. “We consider Paty and his racist deeds as one of us. You, the Muslims, you don’t understand this because you are backward. Hence, you don’t belong to us.” The reader should ask himself or herself: why do these “Trotskyists” not send condolence messages to the friends and families of the hundreds and thousands of Malians who have been killed by the French occupation forces and their local allies in the past years?! The answer is simple: they feel much closer to the French racist teacher than to the African “foreigners” who have been killed by the French Foreign Legion!




An issue of “freedom of speech”?




We do not deny that the NPA, A&R, GMI and other organizations are sincere in their statements. They really consider Paty as an innocent victim who did nothing wrong. They do so because for them, insulting and humiliating Muslims is fine, it is part of their so-called “freedom of speech”. Indeed, like Macron, the PCF and Mélenchon and the pseudo-Trotskyists present the issue as one of “freedom of expression”.


Such the NPA writes: “Whatever the conclusions of the investigation, nothing can justify such an assassination. We stand by our unwavering attachment to freedom of expression and educational freedom for teachers.” Likewise, A&R explained their call for “general meetings to organize tributes and reactions to Samuel Paty’s assassination” that they do not want to “defend freedom of expression alongside those who vilify it on a daily basis [i.e. the government, Ed.]”. And the GMI wrote: “It is education, knowledge, information, freedom of speech and art which has been attacked by obscurantism.[20]


We note in passing that such a bizarre position is also shared by left-wing Islamophobes outside of France. Andrew Coates, a left-wing blogger in Britain close to the notorious pro-Zionist Alliance for Workers Liberty, published a silly polemic against us in which he did not only demonstrate his abhorrence for the RCIT’s opposition to the Charlie Hebdo type of Islamophobia but also his lack of geographical knowledge. [21]


Of course, all this talk about “freedom of speech” in the context of Islamophobia is camouflage and hypocrisy. Let us imagine Mr. Paty would not have shown denigrating caricature of the Prophet Mohamed but … Nazi caricatures about Jews or if he would have promoted the fascist lie denying that millions of Jews were killed in the Holocaust/Shoa. Would these pseudo-socialists also have praised Mr. Paty and have called for rallies in defense of “freedom of expression”? Certainly not! But if it is directed against Muslims and their religious beliefs, than it is fine for these “very progressive” organizations! It is also very telling that all the French lefts’ statements mentioned above did not raise a single word of criticism against Charlie Hebdo and its Islamophobic caricatures! [22]


Macron and his Islamophobic left-wing allies claim that the Charlie Hebdo caricatures would provoke only a small minority of “Islamist extremists”. But how do they explain that in nearly all Muslim countries masses go on the streets and support a boycott campaign in protest against Macron and French Islamophobia?! How do they explain that nearly all statesmen of Muslim countries – including the most subservient lackeys of imperialism and friends of France like General Sisi and Mohammed bin Salman – have condemned these provocations? [23] All religious authorities of Islam and even prominent sport figures like the famous Chechen mixed martial arts champion Khabib Nurmagomedov denounced Macron as a "brute" and invoked God's wrath against him. [24] How do they explain that there is not a single Muslim country where any public activity in support of the Islamophobics’ “freedom of expression” has taken place? No, Charlie Hebdo and its numerous defenders in the imperialism world are a racist provocation to the whole Muslim world – similar to the right-wing fanatics who like to publicly burn the Quran! [25]


What Macron and his servants among the French left are promoting is a modern version of medieval principle: Cuius regio, eius religio. This formula was the foundation of the Peace of Augsburg of 1555 which ended the peasant war in Germany which was directed against the Catholic Church and its feudal allies. It meant something like that the religion of the ruler was to dictate the religion of those ruled. While both Macron as well as the “Left” claim to defend the principles of secularism, in fact they advocate the undisputed domination of the “religion” of Charlie Hebdo, i.e. the freedom to humiliate and insult the Muslim people.




Marxism and religion




It is a widespread (and shameful) prejudice of large sectors of the so-called left to denounce all movements and struggles which take place under the banner of religion. Hence, many “Marxists” condemn forces associated with Islam as thoroughly “backward”. In contrast, authentic Marxists reject such an approach.


We have elaborated extensively in other documents that Marxists have to understand the role of religion – as is the case with ideology in general – in a dialectical and materialist way. [26] This means that Marxists have to view religion primarily as a distorted expression of social interests. This is often the case in liberation struggles against dictatorships (e.g. in Syria, Egypt), against foreign occupation powers (e.g. in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Somalia, Mali, Kashmir, Chechnya, etc.) or in the case of resistance against religious and national oppression as migrants (e.g. in France, Britain).


Of course, Marxists reject the socially conservative agenda of such movements. But they cannot and must not ignore the democratic and revolutionary class interests which lurk behind the religious fog, as these manifest the determination of the oppressed popular classes to overthrow a reactionary dictatorship or a foreign imperialist invader. Marxists have to support and relate to these progressive class interests and oppose such movements’ reactionary politics so as to be able to break the workers and oppressed away from the Islamist leaderships and to win them over to revolutionary politics.


We remind the pseudo-progressive left that it was already Marx and Engels who pointed to the complex relationship between ideology resp. religion and material class interests. Engels explained in a letter to Franz Mehring in 1893: "Ideology is a process which of course is carried on with the consciousness of the so-called thinker but with a false consciousness. The real driving forces which move him, he remains unaware of, otherwise it would not be an ideological process. He therefore imagines false or apparent driving forces." [27]


It is therefore not surprising that liberation struggles have taken place many times under the banner of religion. Engels, referring to the peasant wars in Europe in the 16th century, wrote: "In the so-called religious wars of the Sixteenth Century, very positive material class-interests were at play, and those wars were class wars just as were the later collisions in England and France. If the class struggles of that time appear to bear religious earmarks, if the interests, requirements and demands of the various classes hid themselves behind a religious screen, it little changes the actual situation, and is to be explained by conditions of the time." [28]


Marx and Engels could see such a mixture of religion and politics in various national liberation struggles which took place at their time like those of the Poles against Tsarist Russia or of the Irish people against the British Empire. In both cases, Catholicism played a very prominent role.


Consequently, we look not only to the religious and ideological appearance of a given movement but also, and in particular, to the classes and their social relations behind them. Hence, it is telling that the propaganda of “Islamist extremism” has been waged by Russia in the context of its Chechen wars and its military interventions in Syria. The same has been the case with the U.S. and Europe when it had to justify its numerous aggressions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Mali, etc.


Likewise, when oppressed Muslim masses rally against the U.S., European or Russian occupiers under the slogan “Allahu Akbar”, when Muslim migrants in Europe – where they face systematic racist oppression – protest against discrimination under religious slogans, it does not have only a religious but also a political meaning as such struggles are directed against the imperialist oppression. V. I. Lenin, the leader of the Bolshevik Party and the Russian Revolution 1917, pointed out in his draft program that politically backward masses often participate in “political protests in religious guise”. [29]


In this context it is noteworthy to bear in mind that the oppression of migrants in the imperialist countries also often includes not only a national but also a religious element. [30] This was already identified by the Second International at its Stuttgart Congress of 1907 where it stated in a resolution on immigration control: “The immigration and emigration of workers are phenomena that are just as inseparable from the essence of capitalism as unemployment, overproduction and workers’ underconsumption. They are often a way of reducing the workers’ participation in the production process and on occasion assume abnormal proportions as a result of political, religious and national persecution. [31]


For all these reasons, Marxists have to differentiate: religious (as well as anti-religious) slogans of the oppressors have a very different meaning than religious slogans of the oppressed. The first is utterly reactionary and must be fought no strings attached by revolutionaries. But if the oppressed fight against their oppressors under religious slogans, such struggles must be supported by revolutionaries – naturally without sharing any backward ideologies.




Islamophobia and the imperialist aristocratism of the Left




How can the shameful position of large sectors of the French left (and not only the French!) on the issue of Islamophobia be explained? The phrase of the PCF which we quoted above – “our Republic” – points to an important characteristic of the left in France as well as in many other imperialist countries. As the RCIT has explained repeatedly large sectors of the left and the official workers movement have become integrated in the bourgeois state apparatus. Such integration is not limited to the regular participation of social democratic, Stalinist or left populist (e.g. Melanchon, PODEMOS) parties in national, regional or local governments. It also contains the integration in various sectors of the state apparatus like social security, health insurance, the education sector, think tanks, media outlets, etc. – in other words, in the social and ideological sectors of the capitalist state apparatus (the so-called "soft power" of the bourgeoisie in contrast to the "hard power" like police, army, judiciary and prison system).


Such a process of integration took place in Western Europe after World War II when these reformist parties become regular participants in national, regional or local governments. It even more increased after 1968 when the education system was massively expanded and the defeat of the uprisings resulted in demoralization of many activists who drew the conclusions to try “changing the system from within” (while, as a matter of fact, “the system rather changed them”).


This process of integration had two major consequences which are relevant for the issue which we are discussing in this essay. First, the left and the workers movement became more and more based in the upper strata of the working class, the middle layers and the universities. This means, on the other hand, that they became isolated from the plebeian masses of the working class, the special oppressed like the migrants, etc. Hence, the left and the official workers movement have become more and more remote from the problems of the majority of the working class. It is characteristic that the French left – including the “Trotskyist” organizations – are totally isolated from the so-called banlieues which are home of around 6 million people, a significant sector of lower strata of the working class, and which have experienced repeatedly violent uprisings of the migrant youth. We saw, by the way, the same phenomenon in Britain where most leftist organizations shamefully took an ignorant and often hostile position towards the August Uprising of the migrant and poor youth in 2011. [32]


This process of integration of the left in the bourgeois state apparatus has profound consequences for the material and ideological corruption of the left. It binds the left and the labor bureaucracy to the capitalist state, i.e. they have an objective interest in the well-being and the continuing existence of this machinery. In other words, instead of having an objective interest in the destruction of this state apparatus by a socialist revolution, they are rather interested in its prolonged preservation.


Furthermore, the integration of the left in the capitalist state unavoidable affects its political consciousness. The “Marxism” of such a left inevitable becomes “official” and “supportive of the state”, i.e. it mixes socialist phrases with crucial ideas of the imperialist state. Among such are e.g. various forms of pacifist prejudices or an understanding of the West as a “superior civilization” which has to be defended against the “backward barbarians” from the South (such as Muslim migrants). [33] Political results of such a social-chauvinist adaptation are, among others, the failure of most of the left to side with the resistance forces fighting against the imperialist aggressors in Afghanistan, Iraq, Mali, etc.; their failure to understand the racist and Islamophobic character of the notorious Charlie Hebdo cartoons; or their failure to oppose and mobilize against the lockdown policy of the ruling class in the last half year. [34] The Stalinist phrase characterizing the French state as “our Republic” perfectly summarizes in just two words the political and ideological identification of large sector of the left with the imperialist state. We have called this process of the lefts’ adaptation as imperialist aristocratism.


One result of such integration in the bourgeois state apparatus is the fact that the left is disproportionally strong represented among teachers. This is a sectors which is relatively privileged – compared with the lower and middle strata of the working class – as it is usually related with an academic degree, relative job security (or at least the possibility for such), better income, etc. At the same time, teachers play a crucial role in the education sector of the capitalist state apparatus. They are central to transmit the bourgeois ideology of the state to the youth so that they later become subservient labor force and citizens. It is therefore not surprising that the teachers union and the left in general “instinctively” solidarize with Paty since he just “did his job” of transmitting the “values” of “our Republic” to the ignorant school pupils. Too bad that the later and their parents did not to appreciate Paty’s effort sufficiently!


A final note: Of course, our assessment does not mean that all activists of the left belong to rather privileged sectors of the society and none of them is part of the plebian masses of the working class. That would be a silly caricature of our analysis. But what is obviously the case is that the left is much more based on the former layers and disproportionally underrepresented among the later. As a result, the left as a whole is a milieu which is dominated by the mindset and the prejudices of the academic and liberal middle layers and which is rather ignorant of the consciousness of the masses.


Such a relationship between the social basis of reformist and centrist organizations and their political outlook was well-known to the Marxist classics. Lenin and Trotsky already both pointed out this important correlation at their time. In emphasizing the difference between the new Communist International and the old Second International, Lenin said in 1920: “One of the chief causes hampering the revolutionary working-class movement in the developed capitalist countries is the fact that because of their colonial possessions and the super-profits gained by finance capital, etc., the capitalists of these countries have been able to create a relatively larger and more stable labour aristocracy, a section which comprises a small minority of the working class. This minority enjoys better terms of employment and is most-imbued with a narrow-minded craft spirit and with petty-bourgeois and imperialist prejudices. It forms the real social pillar of the Second International, of the reformists and the “Centrists”; at present it might even be called the social mainstay of the bourgeoisie. [35]


Later, when the American section of the Fourth International wavered in the face of the public pressure at the beginning of World War II, Trotsky emphasized: “But it must now be underlined that the more the party is petty-bourgeois in its composition, the more it is dependent upon the changes in the official public opinion. It is a supplementary argument for the necessity for a courageous and active re orientation toward the masses.“ [36]


Given the much comprehensive “petty-bourgeoisification” of the left and the reformist labor movement in the past decades, these hints of the founders of the Third and Fourth International are even more relevant today than they were at their time!




The necessity to break with the centrist swamp




All these developments underline once more that revolutionaries in France and elsewhere must decisively break with the reformist traitors and the centrist muddleheads! Authentic socialists must draw a line under parties which fail to condemn the Charlie Hebdo Islamophobia and which defend “freedom of speech” for such racists. Broader speaking, it is necessary to break with the imperialist aristocratism of the left and its left-liberal middle class milieu. Instead it is urgent to defend an authentic Marxist program and to orientate towards the lower and middle strata of the working class and the oppressed.


Our words in the RCIT book on the COVID-19 counterrevolution are no less relevant on the issue of the struggle against imperialist Islamophobia: “It is these layers which are most dramatically affected by the current triple crisis of capitalism. And it is these layers which will rebel first against the counter-revolutionary attacks. It is these layers which are least affected by all the Stalinist and reformist prejudices. In summary, the slogans of revolutionaries in building a new World Party of Socialist Revolution must be to break with the so-called “Left” and to orientate towards the working class and oppressed masses.[37]


The RCIT looks forward to collaborate closely with revolutionary organizations and activists who share our commitment to consistent anti-imperialism and Marxist internationalism!




[1] See on this RCIT: Boycott Imperialist and Islamophobic France! Solidarity with the Muslim migrants! Drive out the French occupiers from Mali and other countries! 26.10.2020,; Yossi Schwartz: Down with the Islamophobia in France: “We Are Not Samuel!”, 20 October 2020,

[2] See on this e.g. RCIT: France after the Attacks in Paris: Defend the Muslim People against Imperialist Wars, Chauvinist Hatemongering, and State Repression! 9.1.2015,; Michael Pröbsting: The Racist Character of Charlie Hebdo and the pro-imperialist campaign “Je Suis Charlie”. Solidarity with Muslim People! NOT Solidarity with Charlie Hebdo! 17.1.2015,; Michael Pröbsting: After the Paris Attack: Socialists must Join Hands with Muslim People Against Imperialism and Racism! Reformist and Centrist Forces try to derail the Workers Movement by Failing to Stand up for Solidarity with the Muslims and Against Imperialist War-Mongering! 17.1.2015,

[3] See on this e.g. chapter 13 in the book by Michael Pröbsting: The Great Robbery of the South. Continuity and Changes in the Super-Exploitation of the Semi-Colonial World by Monopoly Capital Consequences for the Marxist Theory of Imperialism, RCIT Books, Vienna 2013,

[4] See on this e.g. Michael Pröbsting: France: “Communist” Party fails to Vote in Parliament against Imperialist War in Iraq! 15.1.2015,

[5] See on this e.g. Michael Pröbsting: French Stalinists Join the Bandwagon of Anti-Migrant Demagoguery, 24.09.2019,

[6] Quoted in: David H. Slavin: The French Left and the Rif War, 1924-25: Racism and the Limits of Internationalism, in: Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 26, No. 1, January 1991, p. 10; see also umerous documents from the PCF which are reproduced (in German language) in Jakob Moneta: Die Kolonialpolitik der französischen KP, Hannover 1968, S. 42-61

[7] Quoted in Scott Nearing: Stopping A War. The Fight of the French Workers Against the Moroccan Campaign of 1925, Social Science Publishers, New York City 1925, p. 21

[8] Extracts from an ECCI Manifesto against French Imperialism in Syria, 11 May 1924, in: Jane Degras: The Communist International 1919-1943. Documents Volume II 1923-1928, pp. 93-94

[9] PCF: Combattre le terrorisme islamiste. Faire triompher la République démocratique et sociale, 20/10/2020, (our translation)

[10] Trade unions, democratic and secular associations, left parties, we all were with the teachers, all over the country, on this Sunday, October 18. To all of us and to our fellow citizens, we propose to act together to reduce obscurantist terror and advance the principles of freedom, equality, fraternity and solidarity, of secularism which are the basis of our Republic.” (See the PCF statement quoted above.)

[11] Sudip Kar-Gupta, Richard Lough: Beheaded teacher was 'quiet hero' who incarnated French values, Macron says, October 21, 2020,

[12] Quoted in Philippe Alcoy: Jean-Luc Mélenchon Blames the “Chechen Community” for Murder of Teacher in France, 22 October 2020,

[13] For a short summary of the RCIT’s position on the Chechen liberation struggle see e.g. RCIT: Solidarity with the Liberation Struggle of the Chechen People! Open Letter to the Oppressed Chechen People, February 2018,

[14] The RCIT has published a number of documents on Russia rise as an imperialist Great Power. They are compiled at a sub-page on our website: In particular we refer to our book by Michael Pröbsting: Anti-Imperialism in the Age of Great Power Rivalry. The Factors behind the Accelerating Rivalry between the U.S., China, Russia, EU and Japan. A Critique of the Left’s Analysis and an Outline of the Marxist Perspective, RCIT Books, January 2019,; see also the pamphlet by the same author: Russia as a Great Imperialist Power. The formation of Russian Monopoly Capital and its Empire – A Reply to our Critics, 18 March 2014, in: Revolutionary Communism No. 21,; see also RCIT Russia: Fight against Russian capitalism and imperialism at home and abroad! Provisional Platform of the Revolutionary Communists (Russian Federation), September 2019,

[15] The RCIT has supported the Syrian Revolution from the beginning in March 2011 and continues to do so until today. Our numerous booklets, statements, and articles on this issue are compiled at a sub-page on our website: Our call “Save the Syrian Revolution!” has been published in six languages and can be read here in English:

[17] The RCIT and its predecessor organization have dealt in numerous documents with the history of the Fourth International and its degenerated fragments. In particular we refer to Workers Power: The Death Agony of the Fourth International and the Tasks of Trotskyists Today (1983); this book can be read online or downloaded as a pdf for free at; Michael Pröbsting: Healy’s Pupils Fail to Break with their Master. The revolutionary tradition of the Fourth International and the centrist tradition of its Epigones Gerry Healy and the ”International Committee”, There are also critical assessments of various so-called Trotskyist organizations in our above-mentioned books The Great Robbery of the South (Chapter 13) and Anti-Imperialism in the Age of Great Power Rivalry.

[19] GMI: Contre le fascisme islamiste organisé, pas d’union sacrée avec Macron. Pour une véritable laïcité, totale et complète! 19 octobre 2020 (our translation)

[20] See the respective statements of these organizations mentioned above.

[21] Curiously enough, he calls us “U.S. Left”, albeit we are an international organization without any presence in the U.S. (See Andrew Coates: Call from US Left, “For popular action to close down the racist Charlie Hebdo magazine!”, 27 October 2020,

[22] For a more detailed analysis of the disgusting Charlie Hebdo caricatures see e.g. Michael Pröbsting: The Racist Character of Charlie Hebdo and the pro-imperialist campaign “Je Suis Charlie”. Solidarity with Muslim People! NOT Solidarity with Charlie Hebdo! 17.1.2015,

[23] The only state leader who expressed support for Macron has been so far Anwar Gargash, the foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates. He said: “[Muslims] have to listen carefully to what Macron said in his speech. He doesn’t want to isolate Muslims in the West, and he is totally right.” He added Muslims “need to be integrated in a better way” in Western nations. (…) The French state has the right to search for ways to achieve this in parallel with combating extremism and societal closure.” (Al Jazeera: UAE minister backs Emmanuel Macron’s remarks on Muslims, 2 November 2020, However, it is characteristic in itself that the only prominent representative in the Muslim world coming to aid of Macron is a minister of the United Arab Emirates, a totalitarian Arab monarchy which has become Israel’s Best Friend Forever!

[24] Russian MMA star attacks 'brute' Macron over Islam, 30 October 2020,

[25] See on this e.g. the RCIT statement: New anti-Islam film: We condemn the latest imperialist-racist assault on the Muslims! 13.9.2012,

[26] See, e.g., ISL: Islam, Islamism and the Struggle for Revolution, November 2016,; Yossi Schwartz: The Marxist View of Religion in General and Islam in Particular, December 2016,; Michael Pröbsting and Simon Hardy: Theses on Islamism,

[27] Friedrich Engels: Letter to Franz Mehring (July 14, 1893), in: MECW Vol. 50, p. 164

[28] Friedrich Engels: The Peasant War in Germany (1850), in: MECW Vol. 10, p. 412

[29] V. I. Lenin: A Draft of Our Party Programme (1899), in: LCW, Vol. 4, p. 243

[30] For a more detailed elaboration of the RCIT’s position on migration and the internationalist program of revolutionary equality we refer readers to various documents which we have published and which are accessible on our website. See e.g., Michael Pröbsting: Patriotic “Anti-Capitalism” for Fools. Yet Again on the CWG/LCC’s Support for “Workers’” Immigration Control and Protectionism in the US, 30.5.2017,; Michael Pröbsting and Andrew Walton: The Slogan of “Workers’” Immigration Control: A Concession to Social-Chauvinism, 27.3.2017,; Michael Pröbsting and Andrew Walton: A Social-Chauvinist Defence of the Indefensible. Another Reply to the CWG/LCC’s Support for “Workers’” Immigration Control, 14.5.2017,; RCIT: Marxism, Migration and Revolutionary Integration,; Michael Pröbsting: The Great Robbery of the South, chapter 8.iv) and 14ii),; Michael Pröbsting: The British Left and the

EU-Referendum: The Many Faces of pro-UK or pro-EU Social-Imperialism, August 2015, Chapter II.2,; RCIT-Program, chapter V:, RCIT-Manifesto chapter IV:; See also Michael Pröbsting: Migration and Super-exploitation: Marxist Theory and the Role of Migration in the present Period of Capitalist Decay, in: Critique: Journal of Socialist Theory (Volume 43, Issue 3-4, 2015), pp. 329-346. We have also published a detailed study on migration and the Marxist program in German. See Michael Pröbsting: Marxismus, Migration und revolutionäre Integration (2010); in: Der Weg des Revolutionären Kommunismus, Nr. 7, pp. 38-41,

[31] Resolution zur Ein- und Auswanderung, in: Internationaler Sozialisten-Kongreß, Stuttgart 1907, vom 18 bis 24.August, Buchhandlung Vorwärts, Berlin 1907, p. 58; translation in English: Weekly Worker No. 1004, 4 April 2014,

[32] See on this Nina Gunić and Michael Pröbsting: These are not “riots” – this is an uprising of the poor in the cities of Britain! The strategic task: From the uprising to the revolution!, 10.8.2011,; Michael Pröbsting: The August uprising of the poor and nationally and racially oppressed in Britain: What would a revolutionary organisation have done?, 18.8.2011,; Bericht der RKOBDelegation über ihren Aufenthalt in London 2011,; Michael Pröbsting: Britain: “The left” and the August Uprising, 1 September 2011,

[33] We have dealt with the lefts’ identification with the imperialist civilization in another essay. See e.g. chapter “The imperialist aristocratism of the Lockdown Left” in our pamphlet: The Second Wave of the COVID-19 Counterrevolution. On the ruling class strategy in the current conjuncture, its inner contradictions and the perspectives of the workers and popular resistance, 20 July 2020,

[34] The RCIT has elaborated a detailed analysis of the COVID-19 Counterrevolution in more than 50 essays, statements and articles as well as a new book. All of them are publicly available on a special subpage on our website and the most important of them have been translated in various languages. See In particular we refer readers to the RCIT Manifesto: COVID-19: A Cover for a Major Global Counterrevolutionary Offensive. We are at a turning point in the world situation as the ruling classes provoke a war-like atmosphere in order to legitimize the build-up of chauvinist state-bonapartist regimes, 21 March 2020, In addition, we draw attention to our book by Michael Pröbsting: The COVID-19 Global Counterrevolution: What It Is and How to Fight It. A Marxist analysis and strategy for the revolutionary struggle, RCIT Books, April 2020, See also the following essays by the same author: The Second Wave of the COVID-19 Counterrevolution. On the ruling class strategy in the current conjuncture, its inner contradictions and the perspectives of the workers and popular resistance, 20 July 2020,; The Police and Surveillance State in the Post-Lockdown Phase. A global review of the ruling class’s plans of expanding the bonapartist state machinery amidst the COVID-19 crisis, 21 May 2020,

[35] V. I. Lenin: Theses on the Fundamental Tasks of the Second Congress of the Communist International (1920); in: LCW 31, p. 193

[36] Leon Trotsky: From a Scratch – To the Danger of Gangrene (1940); in: Leon Trotsky: In Defense of Marxisms, New York 1990, p. 113

[37] Michael Pröbsting: The COVID-19 Global Counterrevolution: What It Is and How to Fight It, p. 98