What Is the International Communist Party

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Summary

  • Our name is our program
  • Where we come from
  • Historic party and formal party
  • Why the working class
  • What is communism?
  • And what does it mean to be communists?
  • What is to be done?
  • These are the fundamental concepts:
  • In conclusion

Our Name Is Our Program

“The International Communist Party?”, someone will blurt out with a mixture of irony and incredulity. “Are you kidding? Those parties have shown their bankruptcy! Communism is dead! The era of nationalism has returned! and they call themselves the International Communist Party! In what world do they live?” Our skeptic should calm himself or herself: we know very well in what era we live, and for that reason we so call ourselves. First of all, let’s clear the air of some uncertainties.

Party? Yes, we call ourselves a “party,” and we insist on the necessity of a party. The dominant ideology-the way of thinking of capital and of those who keep it on its feet: politicians, economists, trade unionists, the police and writers of all stripes-would like to reduce us to so many isolated individuals unable to see beyond the limits of the “I,” who is paralyzed by the fears pullulating in the world, stupefied by a trivial, empty, and obscene mass media, and resigned to an acceptance of what is, literally drugged by the myth that “the individual can do everything if only there is the will or the knowledge, if s/he reads or is informed.” Whereas, in reality, under the reign of capital the individual is more vulnerable than one can imagine, the prey of forces whose operation cannot be fathomed.

On the other hand, the dominant class has its political parties, each corresponding to the many competing interests that characterize capitalism. And when need dictates, that class is capable of generating the “totalitarian party,” an explicit and direct instrument of class rule, able to regiment within its ranks individuals otherwise abandoned to themselves and reduced to impotent molecules. Hence, why should the proletariat not have its own party? Why should we aid the ruling class in its work of disintegration, abandonment and subjugation, by accepting the notion that “the parties have had their day”? Doing so would be criminal idiocy.

Instead, we say loudly that the working class has need of its own party to react to the disintegrative influence emanating from the ruling class, to respond to the parties of “law and order,” the “fatherland,” “status quo,” and war. But it requires a party that encapsulates its historical interests, that will help the working class regain that unity and self-identity which is needed in order to defend itself today and to counterattack tomorrow; a party that remains a stable and recognizable point of reference founded on a solid theoretical understanding, with a program clear to everyone. It must stand for a multigenerational experience and an internal discipline free of any dumb, unfounded fear of punishment or of blind faith; that rests on the understanding by every member of the obligation to give to a common cause without heeding the motivating rewards of public recognition, personal gain, and positions of honor.

It is a truism that in these times parties do not fare well. There are those that have disappeared from the scene and those that “re-baptize” themselves; that go down with their leader or that change their political vestments. But it is not the party-form per se that has gone belly up as allege so many of the so-called “alliances,” movements, clubs, “leagues,” which in the final analysis either end up behaving as parties in the traditional sense, or, not wishing to do so, simply evince their inability to carry on. What went bankrupt were the parties whose political programs relied on one or the other of the two imperialist blocs as models to follow: the one in the West under the hegemonic leadership of the US or the one in the East with the USSR as guide (or in the various other models: Chinese, Albanian, Cuban, etc.). Looking to these models, they had aligned totally their politics, strategies, and tactics.

The economic crisis opening in 1975 with its tragic aftermath of social instability, unemployment, racism, ethnic hatreds, and war has minced the old guarantees, certainties, stability of occupation, the self-assurance in the present, and faith in the future. The whole world is undergoing upheavals with old reference points no longer serving as guides; the habits that have served to rectify and condition the modes of living of at least two generations have been shaken to their foundation, and all commentators agree that there reigns today the greatest uncertainty. In this ever more dramatic situation, there are those who would bring on greater disorientation and a deepening of the morass with the proclamation, “The time for parties is over!”

Communist? Yes, we call ourselves communist, and we insist most emphatically on the necessity of communism. A cardinal dictum of Marxism states that all societies divided into classes reach a point wherein the further development of productive forces comes into violent contradiction with the social life associated with the system. The result is perennial instability, an acute disintegration of social living conditions in all their aspects-delinquency, drugs, unhappiness, environmental destruction, violence between individuals and social groups-with cycles of economic crises becoming ever more frequent, deeper and longer, and endless wars that converge from the periphery to the center and explode into devastating world conflicts. The system rotates about itself clogged with goods it cannot dispose of, no longer able to reabsorb the millions of unemployed raised up by its development, and seeks to escape from the impasse through the only method it knows-by the over-all destruction of all that exists in superabundance. After which the endless cycle begins all over again with renewed aggressivity and an enhanced ability to destroy.

For a time now capitalism has reached the level that from the standpoint of human progress its history is destined to remain negative. For some time, then, there has existed the necessity-objectively, not subjectively, materially, not morally-to replace it by an alternative economic and social system, one that rests on the very high level reached by the productive forces but liberates them from those bonds that render them destructive, redirecting those productive forces to ends that have nothing to do with the race for profits, the competition of all against all, and market imperatives that are structurally and genetically mad!

“Really, the beautiful accomplishments of Soviet communism!” our skeptic will sneer. That observation leaves us neither hot nor cold for the simple reason that we never took for “communism” that which existed in the USSR (or China, Albania, Yugoslavia, or Cuba, the lands of so-called “really existing socialism”). “It’s easy to say that now!” s/he interjects. No, not from now. We have been saying that from the middle 1920s, when our political current first clashed with the neo-nascent Stalinism declaring it to be a negation of communism. To make it clearer: we saw in Stalinism a modern form of counterrevolution. In the USSR and in the countries of the self-proclaimed “real socialism” there was not an ounce of socialism or communism. All of them were possessed by more or less developed structures of state capitalism. Of capitalism, therefore, not of socialism or communism, which was reflected internationally in the programs of the pseudo-communist parties of Stalinist origin, all echoing the myth of popular democracy and identifying with some sort of progressivism, their eyes fixed on reforms, parliaments, and always advancing some scheme for governmental collaboration. As regards our counter-current analyses, based on decades of labor, study, and struggle, we carried on alone and by ourselves. At a time when to affirm the above meant to be labeled “fascists,” “agents of the Gestapo,” “paid representatives of the CIA,” our current closed ranks and learned to reject the infamous deceptions of Stalinism whose horrific, tragic, and disastrous legacy is visible to all in every corner of the earth, the fate of former Yugoslavia occupying first place at the moment.

For this reason we have no difficulty-in fact, it’s a point of pride-calling ourselves communist today, yesterday, and tomorrow. Who has not understood this, who is convinced that “the era of communism is over,” is, like it or not, no less than ...the last Stalinist on this earth for insisting on calling communism what was the (largely) state capitalism of Eastern countries that, having finished with its primitive, primary accumulation, now sought to update itself, a response in part to the world economic crisis initiated in the mid-1970s. In fact, the necessity for communism is felt ever greater in former Yugoslavia and in Rwanda, in Los Angeles as well as Moscow or Paris, in Afghanistan as much as Italy; in the world megalopolis swollen with abject poverty, pollution, and violence, as well as in the countryside poisoned by an overuse of pesticides; in the research institutes of medicine, chemistry, and physics that are driven by the imperatives of profit rather than need, not to mention the secretive arms-developing laboratories devoted to the goal of creating ever more diabolical and destructive weapons to defend the system of private profit. The necessity is felt in the so-called First, Second, and Third World, sites of ever greater extraction of surplus value; in the Amazonian forest devastated by the fires of advancing capitalism, and no less so on African plains exhausted by the needs of monoculture and abandoned in the scramble for cheap petroleum and other scarcer forms of extractive wealth.

International? Yes, we call ourselves “internationalists,” and we underscore the need for internationalism and for an international organization and strategy. Not only because from birth communism has been international and internationalist-and could not be otherwise. But also because once again reality itself has indicated the way. In the course of a century, we have witnessed the impressive spread of capitalism to every corner of the earth. As Marx had accurately foreseen, capitalism has subordinated and drawn into its very efficient web of economic, political, cultural, and informative relations the most distant area of the planet. The process so presciently described in The Communist Manifesto of 1848 has leaped out of the confines of Europe and North America to involve Asia, Latin America and Africa, subjecting them to its iron laws and pitiless development. Capital is a worldwide economic system; it has itself created the basis for a worldwide interactional collective of human life.

At the same time the competition amongst the various bourgeois nations has become very acute, and prefigures the line up of a future world war. A commercial war between the US on the one side and Germany and Japan on the other has been on the order of the day for years, with the other highly developed industrial nations having to find a place within the parameters of that confrontation. The “warring” competition to control natural resources and dominant trade routes in the environs and periphery of the highly developed areas is a fact of the day, and this provides an explanation for the Gulf War, Somalia, Rwanda, the widespread instability in Africa, Asia, and Kosovo, often assuming the form (but only the form!) of ethnic and religious conflict. This situation is rendered even more chaotic and dramatic by the collapse of the Eastern bloc and the outbreak of local conflicts of unparalleled viciousness. The world of bourgeois relations oscillates ever more between the worldwide dimension of this market as an expression of the imperialist phase of capitalism and the outbreak of localism and nationalism as reflection of competition in the quest for profits, characteristics particular to the era of acute crisis such as the one unfolding in the last fifteen years with its highs and lows, the phases of vertical fall, and moments of timid but deceptive reprise.

It is clear that the only way to escape from the wasteland of patriotic rhetoric, nearsighted localism, the barbarism of narrow nationalism, the blind confines of ethnicity-the escape from the darkness of these ever-spreading conflicts lies in the restoration of a vigorous international perspective. A perspective that as a starting point recognizes the positive historic accomplishment achieved by the productive forces in laying the very basis of communism; that goes beyond narrowness and envy, beyond the clearly irrational fears and idiotic theories nurtured by democratic and bourgeois ideology even when loudly and rhetorically proclaiming “liberty, equality, and fraternity.” A perspective able to respond to and resist every sort of chauvinism however masked; able to stand opposed to its own bourgeoisie, yet sure in the knowledge that the struggle is international. A perspective that faces up to the problems posed by huge human migrations, the destruction of large areas of the planet, the increasing impoverishment of the outer peripheries of the developed world with more than hypocritical and empty, beneficient gestures. One that responds by embracing in one worldwide brotherhood the working classes of all nations, forced by the very expansion of capitalism to undergo the daily experience of hunger, disease, nomadism, and death.

In summary, an internationalism that is the obligatory anticipation (in reality and not on the level of ideas) of the concept of humankind on which communism must rest, thus going well beyond the embarrassing limitations to which bourgeois society has habituated us, with its exploitation and competition for personal gain. And lastly, an internationalism decidedly against the stew of ideas so characteristic of that society-the “sovereignty of the individual,” “the supremacy of the nation,” and the servile toadying to “elected leaders.”

The International Communist Party thus stands for a program, a strategy, a tactic, and an organization that are so structured as to overcome the contingencies of time and space; able to assure a continuity through the generations, to integrate and extol in one organization the best of revolutionary energies while eliminating personal egoism and envy; able to unite the workers of the world not withstanding political, ideological and geographical barriers, to organize, lead, and guide them in the struggle against capital, for communism, for a classless society.