Thursday, 17 October 2019

Save the planet... But how?

Climate change, increasing CO2, plastic everywhere, pesticides and herbicides, air and water pollution, deforestation and desertification of increasingly vast areas, the melting glaciers, widespread cementification and mineralization, cities blocked by traffic, additives and poisons of all sorts in the food we eat… Quite right to take action, organize and come out onto the streets to contrast the growing destruction of our environment.  And it is quite right for young people, worried about the future, to be in the frontline.  But are the methods and objectives appropriate?  Above all: is the origin of this increasing destruction really clear to those who take action because they are distressed and above all enraged at the catastrophic prospects so widely presented?  

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“A historical movement going on under our very eyes” Before and behind the Manifesto of the Communist Party

“the world has long since dreamed of something”

K. Marx to A. Ruge, September 1843

Last year, we showed more than once how the two-hundredth anniversary of Karl Marx’s birth had stirred up an authentic overproduction of gigantic idiocies[1].  But apart from the anniversary, there is an increasingly widespread interpretation that sees Marx’s work (and Engels’ and in any case the Manifesto of the Communist Party and more in general historical-dialectical materialism) as the individual fruit, more or less acceptable according to the different points of view, of philosophical minds, intellectuals and “thinkers”. To sum up, a “personal vision”, an “interpretation” that at most is to be placed alongside other “interpretations” or – as people say nowadays, banally – “narrations”.  The umpteenth demonstration that individualism is an ugly beast, particularly if it is joined to a purely idealistic and unhistorical – substantially counter-revolutionary – approach

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What distinguishes our Party

Each issue of our periodicals carries the following words on the cover:

«What distinguishes our Party is the political continuity which goes from Marx to Lenin, to the foundation of the Communist International and the Communist Party of Italy (Livorno, 1921); the struggle of the Communist Left against the degeneration of the International, the struggle against the theory of «socialism in one country» and the Stalinist counter-revolution; the rejection of the Popular Fronts and the Resistance blocs; the difficult task of restoring the revolutionary doctrine and organisation in close interrelationship with the working class, against personal and electoral politics.»

The purpose of these few words is to give a brief and general indication of what characterises our Party. Although it was not intended to be a detailed explanation (synthetic formulas mark a trace, do not claim to illustrate it), a distinctive feature of our movement is immediately made clear to the reader: for us, contrary to the whole myriad of «modernisers» of Marxism, there exists a continuous, unchanged, unalterable line which defines the revolutionary Communist Party. This is so precisely because its line rises above the ups and downs, the setbacks and advances, the rare but glorious victories and the numerous and catastrophic defeats of the working class, on the difficult path of its struggle for emancipation. It is in fact only thanks to the uninterrupted permanence of this line that the proletariat exists as a class; indeed this line does not reflect the temporary and often contradictory position of the proletariat at this or that stage of its path, in space and time, but the direction that it must necessarily take, starting from its situation of exploited class), to become the ruling class and then achieve, throughout the world, the abolition of all classes and communism. While the material conditions for this path were created by the capitalist mode of production itself, this path does not fall from the sky and it can be travelled to the end only by struggling. And only the Marxist doctrine knows its necessary phases, its indispensable means, as well as its ultimate aims.

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First May 2019: Drive back the attack by capital! Organize the response of the proletariat!

Everywhere in the world our living and working conditions are under attack and the militarization and State control of our lives are taking giant steps forward, with the ideological accompaniment of nationalism, chauvinism, hostility towards the “foreigner”, sexism: in other words division within the proletarian class. All the bourgeois parties – right as well as “left” – draw up or have drawn up elaborate reforms of the labour market, like the Loi Travail in France, the Jobs Act in Italy, Agenda 2010 in Germany; or they plan harsher measures with the sole objective of making working conditions flexible, increasing pressure on the working class, limiting wages. In a word, increasing the exploitation of workers! All over the world, these parties are also united in agreement in another sense: in strengthening their repressive apparatus to an ever greater extent with consolidation of the state of emergency (for example in the USA, France, Germany, Turkey etc.) and in providing the police and legal apparatus with a growing number of special measures for intervention, such as provisional arrest, the use of Tasers, harsher laws. Where the working class is more militant, for example in Italy amongst the – often non-EU – workers exploited in the field of logistics, or where the working conditions prove even more abominable, the battles there are countered by the State with recourse to police violence and judiciary repression. Even widespread “popular” protests, like those by the gilets jaunes in France, showing vague discontent with capitalistic relations and in which wage workers have also taken part, serve the State by providing the ground for experimenting new repressive measures and for exercising power.

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Class memory: Peterloo 1819

The film Peterloo by the English director Mike Leigh tells the story of real events that took place in Manchester, the cradle of the industrial revolution, on 16th August 1819: the massacre of workers during a demonstration – known at the time as “the massacre of Peterloo”.  In the history of the workers’ movement (and not only in England!), those events – preceded by ever more frequent strikes and demonstrations – come between the fading of “Luddism” (the instinctive sabotage by home workers when the first machines were introduced heralding the beginning of the factory system) and the evolution of these scattered workers’ struggles towards the organized movement that assumed the name “Chartism” (from the “Chart” of claims it formed around), thus, between the opening years of the 1800s and the 1840s – decisive experiences which, together with others on both the economic and the political and philosophical planes, contributed to forming the humus for the establishment of dialectic materialism and communism (The Condition of the Working Class in England dates to 1844, The Manifesto of the Communist Party to 1848). But back to Manchester.  

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