COMMUNISM No.14 (January 2009)
Central review in English of the Internationalist Communist Group (ICG)
COMMUNISM No.14 (January 2009):
Bourgeois attempts to channel proletarian struggles on an international scale and Invariant struggle for the proletarian rupture - AGAINST SUMMITS AND COUNTER-SUMMITS
Empire by Michael Hardt & Antonio Negri or the modern hiccups of old revisionism
Greece: "Merry crisis and happy new fear!"
Nearly two decades ago the bourgeoisie provided us with triumphant speeches about what it referred to as "big upheavals in the East". The end of so-called communism was announced amidst a blaze of publicity and was supposed to sound like a brilliant worldwide harmonization. Mankind was going to enter a new era without war and full of prosperity. But the capitalist utopia of a world without contradiction promptly came up against its own reality. The same historical limits of capital arose all over again. Capital isn't able to dissociate its positive poles of concentration, wealth, and "peace" on one hand, and negative poles of desertification, poverty, and war on the other. The myth of an eternal and smooth development of wealth, which the bourgeoisie lived on, is collapsing. Obviously, misery hasn't vanished! The fall of the Berlin Wall and all the promises of change appeared for what they really are: the restoration of a fašade. Capital has seen its contradictions sharpen: valorisation and devalorisation, development of and constraint upon productive forces, etc. The war between capitals is fiercer than ever.
The myth of a world without contradiction evaporated before it took shape. "Fašade restorations", and successive governments following one another at an ever more frantic pace, face a multiplication of inter-capitalist armed conflicts. The bourgeoisie can no longer define the future other than as an ever-escalating crisis. The cornered bourgeoisie is finally incapable of hiding the horrible rising doubt, about the permanence of its own system: capital suddenly feels insecure about its destiny.
Bosses, trade unionists, politicians, managers, ideologists, scientists, merchants, etc., i.e. all of the capitalist administrators are haunted by hesitation. Incapable of grasping the future of the world beyond capitalism, their limited point of view systematically clashes with the figures of their own economic indicators that force them to lay off, restrict, cut down, repress, etc.
Then, the doubt pattern becomes society's dominant pattern. The capitalists are at a loss and have doubts about everything. About the future, of course, but also about their allies, about the competence of their subordinates, about their investment possibilities, about their own management programmes, about the benefits of liberalism as well as those of protectionism, etc.; all sectors of society begin to doubt. After the certainties of the post-war and reconstruction years, here now are black years where scepticism reigns supreme. Capitalist religion is turning into a big question mark!
But this doubt pattern also settles as the ideology prevailing within the very working class. Just as the bourgeoisie doubts about the possibility of an unlimited valorisation of capital, the working class doubts about the ineluctability of the revolutionary perspective of the proletarian struggle, historically determined to destroy the capitalist society and to establish communism, a human society at last. Scepticism among the proletariat results in questions like: "Do we form a class?", "What's the need for getting organized?", "Why fight? Our mottos, distorted by the enemy, are hardly recognizable. So why go on using them?", etc.
The few classist organizations that try to stand against the widespread resignation are not spared either. The repeated assaults of this defeatist ideology, by instilling a false need to call into question their essence, is corrupting and disrupting them too. All you have to do to measure the devastating effects that this generalized doubt ideology has among organized militants is check the number of militant brochures around the world that, as opposed to "outmoded communism", advocate re-evaluation, doubt and modernism as a line of conduct.
Our group is also confronted with this feature of present times. For instance, when we report in our publications the ongoing struggles of our class, doubts happen to arise even from close contacts of our group. "Was there a proletarian insurrection in Iraq in 1991, in Albania in 1997? What guarantees do we have that the information is reliable? What is the source?", etc. Under the yoke of social peace, these comrades rely more on bourgeois disinformation than on direct evidence and testimonies brought back by local comrades. The problem worsens when the prevailing scepticism associated with life's every day misery prevent solidarity and common action in support of these struggles.
Proletarians don't relate to other proletarian struggles around the world. These struggles remain terribly confined to the factory, to the workshop, to the protection of jobs, etc. Their standpoint is marked by immediatism, localism, fragmentation and corporatism. Beyond the walls of the workshops and factories, it's the void. "What will the future hold for us?" is such a dreadful thought that everybody gives up and thinks only of making a niche. On one hand, hammered out pictures of starvation, wandering, massacres, and pollution; denunciation in the media of financial scandals, generalized corruption at all levels of society, the "injustice" of Justice - all this contributes to the trivialization of these very real disasters and generates a terrible feeling of powerlessness. On the other hand, the lack of class criteria, the dominance of particularism, the weight of individualism, the terror of repression that hovers over any actions that challenges the social consensus and somewhat reappropriates class struggle methods - all this makes proletarians, even the combative ones, apprehensive to assume the international and internationalist dimension of their own struggle. This generalized uncertainty is such that proletarians are blinkered, confined to a "here and now" standpoint and are cut off from any historical perspective; they no longer trust their force as a class.
Against the power of this ideology of doubt, against retreat into one's shell, against the apprehension of the future, against the paralysing dictatorship of localism, particularism, and immediatism, it appears vital to wave the communist flag higher than ever. The bourgeois habitually rob our mottos from us, our flags, and our terminology (in order to distort them), but they cannot confiscate the programme they embody, they cannot destroy the militant practice that stands up for the one and only perspective contained in the concrete communist movement: i.e. the complete destruction of this moribund capitalist world state, the revolutionary abolition of wage labour, classes and Value!
These are the very unfavourable conditions under which, more than six years after the publication of the last issue of "Communism" in English (June 2002), we are publishing a new one. In spite of all the difficulties that our little group met in the development of this issue, it is essential for us to continue publishing material in English. Assuming the vanguard tasks of the struggle is a necessity and not a choice. Too often, proletarian organizations or even isolated militants remain confined to the geographical limits imposed by capital, and therefore consent to the frontiers that divide the world proletariat. Comrades! Today, and not "later", is the time we must organize ourselves directly on an international level. "Down with all frontiers!" must become a motto that is part of the militant reality of all our expressions of struggle. Let us overcome the frontiers, obstacles, problems of language, of "culture", etc. and let us build up, let us organize, let us centralize our efforts and our strengths to abolish the Old World!
It's in this frame of mind that the Internationalist Communist Group has produced this publication in English that reaffirms our refusal to submit to the "every man for himself", the ultra-immediatism and aversion towards organization that presently undermine our class.
Comrades, let us struggle against the apathy that capital has forced down on us! Let us stop being objects, the objects of the exploitation of capital. When we fight back, the bourgeoisie threatens us with more and more misery. It claims that our lack of abnegation, of sacrifice, of dynamism, and a fortiori our struggles are responsible for the failure of society. But reality is the exact opposite. The less we struggle, the freer this society feels to sacrifice us on the altar of Value. Let us take our destiny into our own hands and let us change the world! Let us be the subject of our own history.
Comrades, faced with this militant effort that you now have in your hands, don't remain passive. This review in English is a collective tool for struggle. Use it as a weapon, as a collective organizer. Don't passively consume the revolutionary publications. We insist that the material we publish in various languages be circulated, criticized, improved, and surpassed, so that together we may strengthen our community of struggle against this agonizing and murderous world. The language quality of this issue remains, alas, poor. We nonetheless thank the close comrades who helped us out in the correction of the texts, and without whom this issue could not come into existence. In this way they take part in the proletariat's collective and international action to abolish frontiers. We take this opportunity to renew our call to any English-speaking militant who could help us correct and improve the translations of our texts. Comrades, we need your help. Let us get together, correspond, and be critical, let us circulate the information about our struggles, let us read each other's publications with attention and with the intent of overcoming all the limits imposed by the bourgeoisie.
Today more than yesterday, let us brandish communism in our confrontation against the whole of the bourgeoisie in its multiple facets, whether classical social democrats, nationalists, Stalinists, Maoists, fascists, environmentalists, etc. while putting forward the primary content of communism: i.e. the negation of the whole capitalist being!
Against Economy, against Politics and Religion, against Art, against Science and Progress, against Family, Labour and all Fatherlands, against wage labour, let us shout louder than ever: long live communism, long live the worldwide social revolution, and long live the proletariat's international communist organization!
In spite of all those who promise, in a variety of ways, the survival of this society, we do not doubt that, like any living, social, historical organism, like any previous society, capital is an entity that contains its own lethal contradictions. Its overcoming is not announced by a new religion, but by the living negation that the class of men condemned to work in order to survive - the revolutionary proletariat - carries within itself.
We don't "believe" in communism. It is apparent, in practical terms, in the movement that unfolds before our eyes, in the real movement aimed at the abolition of the established order. Manifestations of this movement have flared these past years in proletarian struggles in Iraq, Albania, Argentina, Algeria, Bolivia, etc. as well as in some initiatives (even modest ones) to transform the proletariat's objective community of interests into an international, organized and centralized active community of struggle. No, we do not doubt that class solidarity will soon rise against this society based upon selfishness, individualism and retreat into one's shell; a solidarity that emerges from the struggle of the proletariat to free itself from its chains.
Let us not doubt about communism; let us struggle to affirm it!
Let us not doubt about our own strength; let us organize it!
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