Knowledge from the East

These four diagrams published in Zen-Shin (Forward) on the 5th of October 1962, express respectively – from left to right – the conception of the class struggle according to Marx, according to Stalino-Khrushchevism, according to Trotskyism, and according to the theses of the Revolutionary Communist League of Japan. The black arrows represent the antagonisms, the white arrows the hypothesis of “the direction of history”, [and] the passageways represented by two parallel lines signify the objective solidarity between the separated sectors. From the second diagram, which also marks an achieved internationalization [mondialisation], we see the East-West polarization superimposed with the vertical polarization of the industrial nations of the 19th century.  It should be noted that this diagram of “peaceful coexistence” is characterized by a division founded on the status quo. It is necessary to note also the more or less developed complexity and acuteness of the class antagonisms: in the diagram of the Japanese comrades [the fourth diagram], the ruling bureaucracy of the East maintains a foothold which constitutes the direction of the Western proletariat. The shaded portions of these drawings are the areas where is recognized the revolutionary legitimacy of the regime known as Soviet (of the four diagrams the Trotskyist diagram differentiates itself particularly by the nature of the separation which it indicates in the East – between the proletariat and the ruling class – a separation for it relative and almost accidental).

First published in Internationale Situationniste no. 8,  January 1963. Translated from the French by Anthony Hayes, August 2012.  A scan of the original article from page 12 of IS no. 8 is available here.

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