Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Against ideological and practical preparations for war between States

The new year is opening with further, serious tremors in the capitalist mode of production: an unstoppable fall in oil prices and the prices of raw materials, giddy swings in the rates of international currencies, endless instability in Greece, the difficulties of the Russian economy, slowdowns on those of China and Germany, the plunge on the world stock markets, deflation advancing everywhere, unemployment spreading in peaks and dips. The trade war is becoming increasingly frenzied, the clashes between imperialist powers more decided and, from the United States to France, from Italy to Germany, social disintegration is extending.

Military wars, fought by the most powerful capitalisms either directly or by proxy in their desperate search for oxygen are raging in a half moon that now embraces a fair slice of the world, from Central Africa to Southern Asia, whilst geo-strategic tensions are starting or continuing to re-chart key areas of the planet, from the coasts of the Mediterranean to those of the Asian Pacific. Faced with all this, comes the endless decay of bourgeois and petit-bourgeois ideology, whatever its colour or origins, whether lay or religious, right-wing or “left”-wing, laissez-faire or state, reformist or fundamentalist: it ranges from renewed clamouring for a “clash of civilizations” to the bleating appeals for a “fair international government”. In the meantime, the contradictions are piling up and becoming keener, igniting here and there in explosions that are simply temporary outlets for the destructive energy that is accumulating beneath the surface.

Then came the attacks in Paris. The word that was echoed everywhere in this case was, not by chance, “unity”. “All citizens united against the common enemy”: this is the concept central to the public speeches by politicians and commentators, intellectuals and the other troubadours of mainstream ideology in all its variations. And it is on this “appeal to unity” that it is worth concentrating our attention. We have never been interested in the masturbatory practice of “conspiracy theories”. Speculation on whether it’s Caliph Tom or Dick, or one bourgeois faction or the other, or rather the obscure staging of a massacre, perhaps with state ramifications, behind the Paris attacks is of no interest to us at all. It is a fact that the more or less local or territorial wars for the control of energy sources, a prelude and integral part of the present and future clash between imperialisms, cannot fail to have repercussions everywhere in the world, from the countries directly involved to those that play a more marginal role: and here there is no doubt that the French Capital (like all other national Capitals), has many a finger in the pie in numerous critical areas, and that these fingers are dripping with blood.

The ideological and political reaction marked by the appeal to “unity” does, however, interest us, because here we find a loud and clear echo of the “union sacrée” invoked and practised at the dawn of the last century’s two world wars and necessary for dispatching millions of proletarians throughout the world to massacre and be massacred in order to relieve the capitalist economy in its endemic crisis. Just as the objective conditions for a new world war are basically prepared in the capitalist mode of production, in the heart of its economy based on out and out competition, in production for production’s sake, in the mad extraction of plusvalue and the desperate attempt to shore up the falling rate of profit, so, in the reactions of politics and the press, there emerges the urgency for ideological preparations to be made for this clash: interclass unity, the identification of the enemy, the appeal to national citizenship, the imposition of social peace to promote the future, collective war effort.

Against this ideological preparation for the clash, which is a slow, poisonous and devastating practice, concealed as it is by ambiguous pacifism, patriotic rhetoric and moral indignation, capable of exploiting any clamorous event (if not creating it!), we communists must start fighting right away, showing proletarians that are suffering – and will suffer even more in future – the material consequences of the economic crisis the urgent need to prepare, through the revolutionary defeatism of today, in times of peace, the defeatism of tomorrow, in times of war. This means NO to the “union sacrée” in all its lay or religious variations; NO to the division of proletarians along religious, cultural or national lines; NO to the respect for the higher interests of the State, the Nation, the Homeland; NO to relegating the defence of one’s own living and working conditions to second place after the primary needs of the “battle against a common enemy”, whichever it might be: fundamentalist Islam today, scoundrel-Nations tomorrow.

Our unity is class unity. It is the unity of the proletarian struggle, against all the ethnic, religious, national divisions and barriers which brand, imprison and mutilate our class. It is unity against the capitalist economy and the State that manages and defends it politically and militarily. We are well aware that today this unity struggles to emerge, crushed by the weight of a decaying society, whilst Capital still finds it easy game to divide and command, separate and oppress. But this is the class unity we must work on and only we communists, organized in the revolutionary party with its centuries-long experience of defending theory and practice at the heart of the proletarian struggles, can and must do this. It is a hard task, totally against the current, the work of a minority and with little visibility, giving little immediate satisfaction. But it is necessary, indispensable work. Without it, without this work of preparing class unity, the disintegration of the bourgeois world will proceed at breakneck speed and brutality will burst from its every pore – right up to the supreme violence of the war between States with its accompani ment of infinite suffering and obscene bloodbaths.


Il Programma Comunista

Kommunistisches Programm

The internationalist


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