Another ICC comrade, Beltov, has already sent a reply about our approach to organisation and internal debate, but here are a few more points.
First of all, I welcome your interest in left communism, your evident search for clarification, and your willingness to study the work of left communists like Bordiga.
Secondly, I think there is a healthy concern to identify the organisational practices of a proletarian organisation, with the aim of ensuring both maximum unity and the widest possible debate within the organisation. We fully share these concerns: for us, debate is the life-blood of a revolutionary organisation, indeed of any working class organisation, as we have tried to develop here: http://en.internationalism.org/ir/131/culture-of-debate
At the same time, we think that there is no contradiction between centralisation and debate: on the contrary: only a centralised organisation can organise debates that include the whole organisation and not just a part of it (in the ICC, for example, we have since our inception published international internal bulletins which are a key focus for discussion in all sections). By the same token, without debate there can be no centralised unity of the organisation because it would be impossible for the whole organisation to develop a homogenous understanding and position – it will either be lacking entirely, as in anarchist groups, or it would be merely imposed from ‘above’ as in leftist groups, but it would not be a real homogeneity based on conviction and in-depth understanding.
Very likely you agree with the above. Regarding your term ‘circumstantial discussive unity’, I cannot say that I fully understand its meaning, even if we do seem to share some basic concerns. I am not sure about the term ‘circumstantial’ as an alternative to ‘traditional schematism’ We are evidently against schematism, but as Trotsky once remarked, Marxists are necessarily part of a tradition. Even if we don’t think either ‘traditional’ organisational terms – democratic and organic centralism – are adequate, nevertheless they both represented attempts by the workers’ movement to develop the clearest understanding of the organisation question, and in that sense, both are part of our tradition. Furthermore, in the present proletarian movement, which is strongly influenced by anarchist and councilist fears of all organisation as ‘Stalinist’, I think that it is necessary to reaffirm that we are not localists or federalists but in favour of centralisation.
However, I don’t want to get into a debate about terminology or semantics, and perhaps will leave it to you to say what you think our agreements and disagreements are.
One last point: I don’t really understand the category of ‘revolutionary marxist’ which you use to define yourself and which is a basis for another discussion group on Revleft. Is there a kind of marxism that isn’t revolutionary? More to the point, it isn’t clear how far you differentiate yourself from or identify with the groups and tendencies which, for us, are part of the left wing of capital – Trotskyists, Maoists, Hoxhaites, etc etc. In the end, the internal structure of political groups can be more or less ‘democratic’, oppressive, or even anarchic, but it doesn’t alter the fact that a political organisation which defends the existing capitalist state and calls on workers to participate in imperialist wars is a bourgeois organisation.
I note that you have raised the questions of parliamentarism and national liberation, as well as Bordiga’s views on the transition period, in other posts, so I will try to get back to them another time.