Friday, 29 September 2023

WHAT DISTINGUISHES OUR PARTY: The political continuity which goes from Marx to Lenin, to the foundation of the Communist Party of Italy (Livorno, 1921); the struggle of the Communist Left against the degeneration of the Communist International, against the theory of „socialism in one country“, against the Stalinist counter-revolution; the rejection of the Popular Fronts and the Resistance Blocs; the difficult task of restoring the revolutionary doctrine and organization in close interrelationship with the working class, against all personal and electoral politics.

Another step closer to a new world massacre

The blast of cannons draws ever nearer to the heart of Europe. But if the truth be told, the cannons have never ceased their rumbling since the end of the Second World massacre, openly declaring that “capitalism is war.” No surprises there: long before even the First world war broke out, we communists had been demonstrating that that was in the DNA of capitalism – a mode of production that made a huge leap forwards when it supplanted the previous historically superseded modes of production, but which is now itself at the end of the line: more and more massacres, more devastation, more extreme poverty and instability, ever greater daily challenges facing the vast majority of the world’s populations. The opening twenty years of the 21st century speak volumes: only the deaf and blind, and those who do not wish to hear or see, fail to realize what’s going on!

The militarist dynamics of the capitalist mode of production receive a boost from economic crises. The Second World massacre never put an end to imperialist wars, far from it. Such wars enabled this or that State to plunder raw materials and control their movements, export capital, conquer markets or slices of markets and subjugate the proletarian and proletarianised masses, while skewing the struggles for freedom of those in thrall to the old colonial imperialism. So-called international organizations like the UN, EU, NATO, OECD, WTO and so on, are nothing more than pacts among gangsters that enshrine and underwrite the carve up, for as long as the balance of power among the dominant powers remains unaltered. In this way, as the economic crisis deepens, so its counter-trends make less of an impact and conflicts become increasingly necessary with new alliances. Hence the way is paved for the fast-approaching inter-imperialist war: events in the Balkans, the Middle East, Africa, Caucasia and, lastly, the Ukraine, are nothing if not cruel harbingers of what is to come.

And so today, the war in Ukriane – a war between bandits. In the red corner, the United States. Like the rest of the world, bogged down in an economic crisis, from which it is unable to escape; as always, it uses NATO (its military arm in Europe) to try and isolate and restrain its most direct rivals. And in the blue corner, Russia, which feels surrounded after what amounts to its ruinous ‘Cold War’ defeat, leveraging the nationalism of ‘Great Russia’. Piggy in the middle, in a continent that increasingly appears to be a veritable jungle of nationalisms: the European Union States (first and foremost Germany), ‘united’ only in their decision to apply feckless economic sanctions and still unable to break away from their most powerful ally.

In the meantime, we feast our eyes on the latest version of the ghoulish spectacle featuring the massacre of civilian populations and the disgusting hypocrisy of imperialist powers and ‘mini-powers’. Their ‘constitutions’ (most notably that of Italy, the ‘most beautiful in the world’, according to some!) ‘reject war’ while playing with words. They started with ‘peace missions’, ‘exporting democracy’, and the ‘battle against terrorism’; and recently Russia has come up with ‘military special operation for the demilitarisation of Ukraine…’. Whatever they are called – wars ‘of defence’, ‘of national self-determination’, for the ‘consolidation of borders’ or ‘pacification’, etc. – they are imperialist wars: the military translation of permanent conflict, typical of the capitalistic mode of production and inherent in it. As we wrote in another article some thirty years ago (and as we have always maintained):

“Von Clausewitz’s definition of war as ‘the continuation of politics by other means’ (the politics, we would add, of the preservation of capital) suits bourgeois society down to a tee. So much so that it could easily be turned on its head to define politics as the perpetuation, by different means, of the permanent (albeit mostly clandestine) condition of war that is capitalism’s real mode of being and development. War between individual sets of capital in everyday economic life; trade wars between concentrations of capital (and thus, in the long run, between States too) for the possession of markets and supremacy in crucial sectors for the production or supply of raw materials; wars at first diplomatic, that later become out-and-out wars when those antagonisms intimately bound up with the process of capital expansion reach boiling point and seek their ‘solution’ in organized armed violence, in war tout court.

“Of course, several factors must come together before the association between the consecutive stages of a single process becomes apparent, thus bringing to an ignominious end those intricate and widely propagated theories in favour of the oft-vaunted possibility that the various states of equilibrium reached in one of them should crystallise in a sort of ‘everlasting (albeit troubled) peace’”…[1]

We cannot yet tell if this conflict will remain within the confines of the specific Russo-Ukrainian question or if it will morph into a generalised war in Europe or, worse, if it will end up sparking off an inter-imperialistic conflict. It is too early to say, and we have no intention of indulging the half-baked premonitions typical of the ‘geo-politics’ narrative beloved of those unwilling or unable to take a position on the thorny question of class. At present we can say with certainly that we are facing an imperialist war on all fronts that has yet to explode into an inter-imperialist war, even if decisive steps in that direction have been taken.

All wars have had – and will always have – an ideological front, a pretext for sending to the slaughter (active and passive) our fellow class comrades, trapped inside the confines of the cattle pen of National Unity, and the Homeland (whose epithets include socialist, democratic, home to civilization, chosen people, etc...), by the bourgeois State, which is, and remains, the capitalist collective whose governing body is solely, and always, a bourgeois business committee. And so, as the canons thunder, the foul gruntings of nationalism make themselves heard – ‘foul’ because when the Nation readies itself for the kill, it goes under the name of ‘Homeland’, when, in reality, it is only – and always – the bourgeois State. In other words, the instrument that guarantees the social division of labour, the private ownership of the means of production and the exploitation of the workers until their backs are broken. Meanwhile, the massacre of civilians (which goes hand in hand with the glorification of the ‘heroic patriotic sacrifice’ of more or less voluntary soldiers) provokes tears, laments and moral indignation: in close and direct relation to the ‘normality’ of workers’ deaths in peacetime.

The pacifism that is humanitarian, religious, cultural, reformist, unarmed, disarming and ‘resilient’ (it is time to dispose of this ridiculous adjective which ratifies the status quo) is powerless to stop war, and more of an accomplice. Only the proletariat, which opposes national unity and the war economy with strikes and the boycotting of the war machine, can ‘stop’ war: but this active, operative pacifism, this defeatism taken to its extreme, implies transforming the war that the bourgeoisie wages between its States, and against the proletariat, into a revolutionary class war to destroy all bourgeois States.

                                                                                                                                 March 13th, 2022

[1] “Capitalismo è guerra (Capitalism is War)”, il programma comunista, n.1/1991. Thirty years passed since then, but...


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