Sic is an international communist discussion group and publishing project born in 2009 in a period of excitement in the wake of a global financial crisis and an international wave of riots, movements and revolutions. The founders of Sic were already involved in other journals – Théorie Communiste in France (who left the project in August 2013), the Anglophone Endnotes, (the now defunct) Blaumachen in Greece, Riff-Raff in Sweden – and the earlier international journal Meeting, appearing in four issues in French between September 2004 and June 2008. Since 2009, other individuals and groups from the Czech Republic (Přátelé komunizace), the US, Switzerland, Greece and Spain have joined. The members participate as individuals with their different backgrounds.
Sic is grounded upon an assessment that Théorie Communiste made at the end of the 1970s: the crises of the workers’ movements and the concomitant restructuring of the capitalist class relation have issued in a situation where there is no longer a recognised worker’s identity to be turned against capital. This look in the rear-view mirror casts a new light on the present. Globally, struggles over wages and conditions no longer play a systemically integrated and integrative role within capitalist accumulation. Gone are the days of a ‘régime of accumulation’ based on a de facto class compact, or on the collective bargain between productive capital and dominant strata of the working class in the centres of accumulation, with real wage increases traded off against ‘productivity’ increases. Instead, struggles for the defence of the proletarian condition – for the proletariat to reproduce itself as proletariat – are ruled out of bounds or ‘illegitimate’ by capital. It is the impossibility for proletarians to affirm themselves as what they are within this society, as well as the new forms of women’s struggles and struggles over ‘race’ (or against racialisation) that have developed since the 1960s, that makes the ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ and the ‘period of transition’ obsolete today. But unlike the hegemonic theoretical tendencies of these past decades, we do not conclude from this historical assessment that we must or could abandon the concept of capital as an objective social relation of exploitation; nor does our depressing present lead us to dream about a revolutionary working class that must wake up from its slumber, or ‘realise its power’. Rather, faced with the impossibility of the defence of the proletarian condition in the struggle against capital, proletarians are compelled to call into question the class relation itself. The revolutionary horizon has thus been transformed. In a society where the conditions of the production of surplus-value and the reproduction of these conditions coincide, capital cannot be abolished for communism but only by communism, or more specifically, by its production. Communisation is not a period of transition, but rather, revolution itself is the production of communism.
This common ground comes with a shared approach, which is to consider actual struggles, whether or not we are directly engaged in them. The horizon of communisation is given in the conflicting internal tendencies of actual struggles for the defence of the proletarian condition, or as a result of the internal distancing produced within these struggles, whether these take the form of ephemeral, limited bursts of riots, self-management, self-organisation, etc. Any revolutionary dynamic engendered by the configuration of the class relation and the determinate character of class antagonism in the current period will be given in the fact that the objective limits to the defence of the proletarian condition – limits imposed by the new configuration of the class relation – can only be overcome, within struggles themselves, through communising measures which dissolve all objective categories of the capitalist economy and thus the class relation itself. Through such a revolutionary dynamic, these objective limits will constrain the proletariat to adopt communising measures as a practical necessity of struggle. This horizon of communisation allows us to elaborate practical notions, i.e. abstractions for an understanding of actual struggles, as well as for a scrutinising of the categories at play in our discussions. To say Sic, ‘that’s how it is’, is not to record struggles, but to engage critically and to form a general picture.
Sic is made up of all kinds of discussions, texts or other forms that can be broadly situated within this common ground: everything can be brought to the discussion table, the only requirement is to link the topics raised back to this common ground. If you want to join Sic, then contribute with something to our discussions or our publishing project by sending it to info [at] sicjournal [dot] org.