Saturday, 16 January 2021

Proletarians and Communists

  • Category: Texts
  • Published: Wednesday, 22 June 2016 23:19

Remember?  They said that “this is, after all, the best of all possible worlds”, that “the welfare state has done away with differences”, that “globalization has brought wealth everywhere,” that “the working class is in heaven” and “the proletariat no longer exists” (and after the fall of the Berlin wall and the USSR, that “Communism is dead”).  They were sociologists and politicians, economists, opinion leaders, philosophers and journalists, representatives of the right-wing, the centre and the “left” – all competing to spread false consciousness, illusions and delusions.  In a word, hot air.

We have always fought against this crap.  We have done so by referring to our theory and practice, to our history and our tradition, firm and unshakeable over a period of one hundred and fifty years and, above all, reiterated and confirmed by hard facts.  Thanks to these we have demonstrated that the crisis is contained in the DNA of the capitalist mode of production, that the “welfare state” is just one of the strategies by which, in times of economic expansion, capital keeps the exploited class under its thumb, thanks to the crumbs which it then snatches back at the first sign of contraction, that the process of proletarianization is ongoing and accompanies the spread of the world market, that class struggle is incessant, because the antagonism between capital and work is incessant.  And that in the USSR, as elsewhere, it was not communism that existed, but capitalism, nude and crude, in a more or less advanced form, more or less state-run.

Midway through the nineteen-seventies, came the first great crisis of overproduction of goods and capital (which we had foreseen since the ‘50s, thanks to a critical study of the situation then, which seemed to contradict the natural evolution of Capital), closing the phase of accumulation made possible by the terrible destruction of the second world bloodbath:  for the following four decades one crisis succeeded another and all capital’s strategies for dealing with them merely created the conditions for even more serious, deep-seated, extensive and devastating crises to come.  Not only was there an acceleration in the process of proletarianization (Asia, Africa, Latin America), but the living and working conditions of the world proletariat, including “well-off countries”, just got worse:  the concept of “growing poverty” in fact has nothing to do with the possibility of buying one sort of ultra-modern gadget or another (a washing-machine, a car, a television, a mobile phone, etc.) but points to the gapbetween the wealth accumulated at one end and the progressive annulment of any reserves at the other.  In the meantime, the “welfare state” was dismantled, the State showed itself for what it is (the military arm of capital), the “guarantees” (always and despite everything won after a struggle and never graciously conceded or offered up on a plate) melted away like snow in the sun, the new reforms merely served to put an end to previous ones, huge migratory flows driven by economic disruption invested all countries, trade wars grew keener and military ones devastated areas important for their energy sources and strategic value – and meanwhile the  “level of civilization”… increased: domestic violence against women and children, hatred of the weak or the “foreigner”, outbreaks of homicidal folly, desperation and suicides, the numbing of the senses by means of chemical or religious drugs, retreat into cynical and empty egoism and provincialism, the absolute ill-being of individuals and groups… A fine world – no doubt about it.

But this is the world of capital.  We communists do not demonize it:  we have widely recognized its historical merits in the necessary passage from the Middle Ages to the so-called “modern age”.

What we are saying is that this is how things are, especially in the terminal phase, the death throes, of this mode of production and that the death throes are destined to lead to decay in every sphere – in economy, in society, in material life and in culture.  We say that it is time it was buried, because, if not, not only will the rot and “civil” degradation become tremendous, but they will be accompanied by another collective disaster: a new world slaughter – no longer one more war in a far-off place but a general conflict, the last card in the hands of the ruling class for eliminating its excess production.

Throughout these cursed decades, the world proletariat has not accepted this state of affairs passively.  It has struggled and attempted to set a high price on its skin, responding to direct and indirect attacks.  But it has done so in an exasperated, instinctive, disorganized manner, without any direction, quickly giving in to the numerous siren calls.  It could not have been any different: in the last eighty years the combined action of different political forces, the vice-like hold of the many bourgeois strategies of command (democracy, nazi-fascism, reformism of various kinds and natures), the devastating betrayal perpetrated by Stalinism (one of the forms in which the bourgeois counter-revolution expressed itself), have deprived the proletariat of its head, the revolutionary party; and thus it has been obliged and persuaded to move within the narrow confines of the status quo, even when fighting, never calling into question law and order, the state of the economy and the holiness of the State, its institutions, its armed guards, whilst delegating the solution of its problems to others (enemies and traitors) – asking instead of imposing by force, the victim of illusions liberally sprinkled about, instead of reconstructing its own identity and class independence.

Today, as even thicker and darker clouds gather on the near horizon, the urgent need for communism emerges ever more strongly (even though it may not appear so to eyes clouded by too many years of deceit), the need for a different and superior mode of production, whose material premises already exist but which are suffocated in the straitjacket of class-based society – the urgent need for a social organization that will lead humankind out of the degradation of this long and disastrous pre-history, which will at last allow it to experience the harmonious history of its own species, without privileges and class contrasts because it has no classes, money or profits – in a  society where, as we read in “Proletarians and Communists” in the Manifesto of the Communist Party by Marx and Engels, “the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all”.

It becomes clearer and clearer, then, that the ball returns to the court of the proletarians and communists.  To defend themselves from the attack, the former will be obliged to return to the path of open and intransigent warfare, with no time for “compatibility” and “higher needs”, “the game of democracy” or “the needs of the company”.  And during this struggle, these struggles, destined to break out again all over the world, they will recognize their enemies, in the unions and in politics; they will experience first-hand the role of the State as the armed agent acting in defence of Capital; they will feel the need for their own defence organization and for expert guidance that has matured over decades of battles in the field, both theoretical and practical.  It will be the responsibility of the latter, us communists, to provide this guidance, entering the struggles, organizing them and directing them against all the enemies and betrayers of the proletariat and of communism, against the State and its legal and illegal bunches of cops – leading them fighting proletarians beyond the limits of guerilla defence, which is necessary but insufficient: towards the seizing of power and the instauration of the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Once again, the same chapter of the Manifesto of the Communist Party reminds us: “The Communists are distinguished from the other working-class party by this only: 1) In the national struggles of the proletarians of the different countries, they point out and bring to the front the common interests of the entire proletariat, independently of all nationality; 2) In the various stages of development which the struggle of the working class against the bourgeoisie has to pass through, they always and everywhere represent the interests of the movement as a whole”.

These few lines sum up the immense historical sense of the battle we have been fighting for over a century and a half, which only the revolutionary proletariat organized in the party has been able to conduct coherently and unyieldingly.  That this First of May 2013 may mark the beginning of the proletarian and communist recovery and revenge: it is our wish, and our firm commitment.

International Communist Party

Il Programma Comunista

Kommunistisches Programm

The internationalist


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