BEYOND THE G20 LONDON SUMMIT
to channel proletarian struggles on an international scale
for the proletarian rupture
AGAINST SUMMITS AND COUNTER-SUMMITS
General characteristics of contemporary struggles
Fifteen years ago we took stock of the situation by portraying the struggles that characterize the current phase of capitalism, without taking into account any elements particular to specific confrontations. (2) Since then, nothing has fundamentally changed with regard to those general characteristics. The current events confirm the main features that we presented then: international attempts to channel proletarian revolts and obvious signs of rupture, still systematically characterised, from the proletarian point of view, by strengths and weaknesses similar to those we had highlighted. The capitalist society catastrophe, that continues to take shape and aggravate (3), as well as the tendency for radicalisation of the contradictions and confrontations, bring up once again the issue of the revolutionary leadership and the destruction of the international capitalist dictatorship. Facing today's barbarity, the issue of the proletarian social project (the social revolution, the destruction of the commodity society re-emerges as the only possible alternative.
This text, while presenting a brief analysis of the development of the balance of forces between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, is a denunciation of the "new" attempts made to channel the proletarian energies, and more particularly those that take shape through these summits and anti-summits that seem to dominate the international reality; various pseudo-radical ideologies that emerge from the clash. As a direct product of a debate among proletarians openly considering the issue of international power and destruction of the universal capitalist dictatorship, this text is also a contribution to the fight of the proletariat for its autonomy. It is then an element of struggle for the constitution of a self-direction breaking away from all the ideologies that intend to maintain us chained to the old social-democrat chariot, redecorated for the occasion with some new garments.
In Communism n°9, we had already signalled that the traditional forms of bourgeois containment had lost most of their lure. We pointed out that the traditional forms of struggle, such as "strikes" organized by the trade unions, pacific demonstrations, and even the national political system and its electoral circus didn't trigger much enthusiasm anymore. "While the old state mediations have lost their capacity to act as safety valves... the proletariat, which is supposed to be dead and buried, surges forwards ever more explosively, without accepting mediations, without being stopped by little strikes, peaceful demos, or promises of elections."
We also noted that contemporary struggles are characterised by violent and uncontrolled proletarian explosions directed against private property and all political and social forces that defend it. Since then, these explosions of proletarian rage against the capital have repeatedly renewed, distinguished by "the firm and violent action of the proletariat which occupies the streets and violently confronts the whole state apparatus", as we mentioned in our text. The number of countries -Iraq, Venezuela, Burma, Algeria, Morocco, Rumania, Argentina, United States (Los Angeles)- where this type of explosion occurred has continually increased: Albania, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Ecuador, Argentina once again (Santiago del Estero, Neuquen... ), Bolivia, Algeria (Kabylia). Every time, these examples reveal the same bourgeois incapacity to contain the struggle, marked by a violent opposition to everything that the present society stands for (including political parties and trade unions of the democratic opposition), and by expropriation of bourgeois property, more or less organized and led by vanguard elements. "By sweeping away the ancestral prejudices and challenging state terrorism, proletarians take what they need and try thus to destroy all the mediations which they are condemned to by capital: money, wages, work, etc."
Facing this human tendency to directly re-appropriate one's own life, we noted, in 1993, that the bourgeoisie invariably counterattacked with their eternal "carrot, stick and disinformation". Manipulation of information and systematic concealment of the universal content of those revolts, presenting them as "student" riots, or "miners", "Palestinians", "Kurds", "Muslims", "Berbers"... We also pointed out that the bourgeois counterattack was always based on the granting of some minor concessions and on the development of a selective repression, aiming at isolating the proletariat from its vanguard elements. In that text, we also analysed the weaknesses of the current proletarian struggles (short-lived riots, finally defeated, lack of permanent proletarian associationism, absence of a worker's press, lack of historic memory, ignorance of the revolutionary program... ), as well as the need and possibility of overcoming these weaknesses and turning this discontinuous process of uprisings into an ascendant process leading to social revolution. (4)
The left-wing bourgeoisie's need to reorganize itself: renovation attempts
The current left-wing bourgeoisie endorses the program that the social democracy has always defended: lesser evil, democratism, populism, trade unionism, pacifism, and support to the so-called "third world"... But in this society, where the devaluation of capital proceeds unbridled, where commodity must be labelled "new" to be sold and where ideological production is wholly integrated into the commodity production, the old ideas of the dominant class also need to be incessantly recycled to remain effective at containing the social assault. More than anyone else, the left-wing bourgeoisie's renovation attempts comply with this tendency, widely subscribing to the "neo" fashion: "neo" Marxism, "new" left-wing, anti-"neo"-liberalism (5)...
The immediate motive of these renovations is directly generated by capital's necessity to respond to the deficiency experienced by the bourgeoisie every time the proletarian wrath expresses itself outside and against the traditional containment measures of the class struggle.
A third element that has forced the left-wing bourgeoisie to recycle and put on new garments to conceal its putrefying body and hideous face, resides in the socio-economic catastrophe of the countries labelled "socialist" by the bourgeoisie, as well as in the subsequent deterioration of the image of the related left-wing. In actual fact, neither the Trotskyites' critical support "with reservations" policy, nor the radical Maoism escaped the collapse. With an implacable clarity, the system those movements so dearly defended (unreservedly or not) confirmed to have never been anything else but the most brutal exploitation of the proletariat. Without the excuse of any revolution -or social counter-revolution, as they so often claimed- (6) the dominant class of those countries simply and openly declared its preference for "capitalism and democracy". The whole international left-wing bourgeoisie was then forced to repudiate its life-long love affair with these references and start searching for other fables to try and remain credible. Only certain leftist factions of the social democrat spectrum continue, through their support for Castrism, to obstinately cling to the defence (unreserved or not) of this monstrous Stalinist offspring called "socialism within one country". (7)
But the left-wing bourgeoisie has no autonomy with regards to the right wing -even on a terminological basis- it follows in its wake. The particularities it endorses have always been determined by the evolution and contradictions of world capital's cycle, and even when they seem different, looking closely, most of the time they appear to be the same old stories, told differently. So, to the ideologies of the worldwide bourgeoisie, victor of the Second World War -democracy, human rights, anti-terrorism, anti-authoritarianism, anti-fascism... (8)-, were added the ideologies of the factions most maltreated by free trade. In reality these ideologies were merely the vulgar antithesis of what the international free tradist dominant bourgeoisie presently still enforces. Every time the classic free tradist politics (which has nothing to do with anything "neo") adopt a new terminology (globalisation, global village... ) the old leftist bourgeoisie pseudo anti-imperialist defines itself on the basis of the "anti" prefix: anti-globalisation, anti-neo-liberalism...
Even the supporters of national liberation, considering their catastrophic results and their out of date discourse, started recycling themselves into anti-globalists...
In reality, there is nothing new under the capitalist sun. All this is nothing more than cheap chatter, a terminology made up by international capital, backed up by publicity agencies that seek to improve its image and enforce its present objectives pretending they are something novel. Capital is worldwide by essence; it has always been global. Historically, the starting point of capitalism is not the nation (as Marx said, the world market precedes the national market), but the revolution of the world market (that existed for quite a long time). This occurred at the end of the 15th century through the generalisation of value on a world scale and found its conclusion in the 16th century with the impossibility of a capitalist accumulation without a conquest of the production, and, finally, through the historic subsumption of humanity by capital. In capital's history, the global always precedes the particular or local. Free trade is the general politic of the hegemonic faction of capital, well before the origin of the worldwide market or the origin of the worldwide money. This brings us back more than a thousand years ago, and since then, this politic has constantly opposed the interests of the protectionist factions. Free trade and anti-free trade (with or without the adjunction of the "neo" prefix), globalism and anti-globalism, the regionalism... are nothing but distinct expressions of the everlasting battle fought by the bourgeois factions. One defends the upholding of protectionism, source of its accumulation, and the other, more coherent in the strict application of the rule of value on an international scale, is willing to breach this protectionism.
If nowadays the instruments of fabrication of public opinion so insistently emphasize these tendencies, represented in a roughly caricature way by the international summits and bourgeois anti-summits, it's precisely to trick the proletariat into a struggle that is not its own, and try to provide a response to the explosions of proletarian rage in which the exploited aim at re-establishing the struggle on real classist grounds. Social democracy, as historic counter-revolutionary party intended for the proletarians, tries to pull it out of the streets and prevent direct action to maintain the proletariat's submission to a number of mediations that turn it into a manoeuvrable support force to the inter-bourgeois struggle. (9)
Ideas and personages of the "neo" left wing
During the 70's and the 80's, it called itself the "new left-wing" and gathered a wide spectrum of social democrat ideologies, claimed more democracy, more socialism, more anti-imperialism, more statism, more populism, cursing the large corporations, the monopoles...
Today, it goes by the name of anti-globalisation, anti-free trade, anti-International Monetary Fund, anti-worldwide trade... it preaches in the name of the civilian society and a diffuse citizenship and defines itself through an opposition against the financial and multinational capital, and, in its wide majority, in favour of the "Tobin" tax... But in reality, it's the one and the same dog, even though it wears different collars.
Indeed, the left-wing bourgeoisie on the whole was able to become aware of its own incapacity to contain the proletariat, but, in the image of this greyish recycled paper hoping to be sold as "new", it decided to mobilise its forces around the so-called "globalisation". It tries to focus everything on the major assemblies of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization, or any other apparatus of the world state of capital.
Trade unions and political parties in decrepitude, feminists and ecologists having lost their credibility, Keynesian economists, all kinds of pacifist and libertarian movements (10), philanthropists, journalists, third-worldists and "anti-imperialists", non-governmental organizations and humanitarian organisms, bankrupted farmers and animal-rights associations... all of them, without exception, seek a new political virginity by mustering against these meetings. Has-been political stars, completely disavowed, reappear in public and summon citizenship celebrations with the intention of defying the summits organized by official representatives. In the carnival-like context of these flashy folkloric parades, pacific and docile, under strict surveillance by the law-enforcement forces and the trade unions (like the powerful European Trade Unions Confederation), a heterogeneous variety of personalities like the leaders of the support committees to Marcos' pseudo-guerrilla or that caricature of radical farmer called Bové, or even bygone personages of the "champagne socialists",... try to constitute a "global option", that truly brings nothing new in regards to the old bourgeois socialism of the 19th century. And let us not forget to add to this charming picture, the "anti-globalisation" support of openly rightist, nationalist, fascist and pro-nazi personages and organizations, like Charles Pasqua, former Minister of the Interior in France, or the LePenist youth of the French National Front.
The common denominator of the anti-globalisation holdall is the pretence of establishing a capitalism that would supposedly be "more human", more democratic, that is to say, one which would reinforce the democratic and citizen domination on the human species. The watchwords against globalisation, the IMF, the World Bank, "neo"-liberalism clearly confirm that it is not a matter of destroying capitalism, but rather perpetuating it.
The Attac association (Action for a Tobin Tax of Aid to the Citizens) -the name alone is already rather remarkable- is the meeting point of old social democrat structures and personalities, merely given a new physiognomy. It represents undoubtedly the most important international institution of the anti-globalisation scene. Alongside, stand many other networks, federations and organizations, a mingling of ideological movements, trade unions, political parties, charities, religious organizations and NGO, such as the Tri-Continental Centre, the Worldwide Women's march, the 2000 Jubilee, the Continental Social Alliance, the People's Global Action, the "Monde Diplomatique", the "Ya Basta" association, the Global Resistance Movement, the Farmer's Confederation. (11)
Although they introduce themselves under a variety of aspects and platforms, these organizations are, as we have previously said, the result of the leftist bourgeoisie's recycling that by any means attempts to regain a bit of credibility, and to put forward, with regards to the current capitalist catastrophe, a reformist alternative responding to the increasingly uncontrollable explosions of the international proletariat. Just to give an idea of how much the program of these organizations replicates the old bourgeois reformist program, we shall quote and emphasize some considerations extracted from the constitutive platform of the Attac association and the World Social Forum of Porto Alegre.
So, Attac does not claim to fight against capitalism, but against what it calls "financial globalisation". To do so, it proposes to use the Tobin Tax and to hamper speculation. The platform starts as follows:
"The financial globalisation aggravates the economical insecurity and social inequalities. It bypasses and belittles people's opinions, the democratic institutions and the sovereign states in charge of the common interest. It substitutes them with purely speculative logic expressing the exclusive interests of international corporations and financial markets."
Its conception of the world is based on the good old social democrat method consisting in only considering the consequences, denying the determinant causes, and analysing only a few particularly notorious and harmful manifestations of capitalism, and omitting that these are the necessary and inevitable products of this whole social system. The same way social democracy founded its revisionism on the imperialism presented at that time as a novelty (12), today Attac elaborates its own on the pseudo-novelty of financial globalisation. Yesterday as today, something "new" had to be put forward to justify politics aiming at reforming capital. In both cases, it is only about diverting the proletariat from its struggle against the very foundations of the capitalist society.
The social democrat theories of imperialism and ultra-imperialism (Kautsky) constitute the keystone of this manoeuvre. Yesterday as today, this theory conceives capitalism to have entered a new phase, distinct from those in the past, and that would have transformed its essential nature. According to this theory, capitalism in its imperialistic phase formally centralises itself in a world decisional centre -or several ones in dispute-, based on the concentration of financial capital (defined as the merging of banking capital and industry capital), the large monopolist international corporations, the exploitation of capitals and the competition between corporations and governments for the apportionment of the world.
Therefore at the beginning of the 20th century, just like today, the novelty would have then been the world domination of financial capital and monopolies, as it was explicitly theorised at the time by the right-wing social democrat Rudolf Hilferding. Lenin adopted this theory in his famous pamphlet on imperialism. Today as yesterday, with Attac and all the "anti-globalisation" groups, social democracy claims to stand against this financial capital, demanding more democracy and more state control from capital: "people's opinions, democratic institutions and sovereign states".
It is easily noted that behind these associations, these old and new physiognomies, there is nothing, absolutely nothing, new: it is nothing but the old rotten program of social democracy that has always called for a "more social" (sic), "more human" (sic) capitalism, against the notorious dehumanisation produced by capitalism itself. Today as yesterday, all of them put forward "people's opinions", that is to say populism, in opposition to proletarian classism. They put forward "democratic institutions" in opposition to the classist position of struggle against these institutions to enforce proletarian dictatorship, and finally, they put forward the "sovereign states in charge of common interest" in opposition to the classic revolutionary standpoint of utter destruction of the bourgeois state, and all this bullshit about the sovereignty of the state. For, as Marx and Bakunin affirmed, the greater the sovereignty of the state, the harsher the oppression for its subjects.
Attac is an openly social democrat expression that, as such, denounces the increase of wealth and poverty and would like the citizen opinion and pressure on the states to regulate capitalism's excesses. From an historic point of view, it defines itself as a right-wing social democrat expression, because it doesn't allege any opposition to capitalism itself and to the contrary, claims to be in favour of the freedom generated by capitalism to achieve its goals. It appeals to the governments for a control of this freedom (not to be abolished!). In no way does it criticize productive capital, nor, of course, capitalist exploitation (the extortion of profit is implicitly legitimated). It contests capital's benefits it considers excessive with regards to the undeniable widening of misery and the non-productive speculation. As if, once again, it were possible to deal with the consequences without dealing with the causes.
The constitutive platform of Attac states: "Capitals' total freedom of circulation, the tax havens and the explosion of the volume of speculative transactions drive the states into a frantic race to obtain the favours of the big investors... Such evolution engenders a permanent increase in capital's income to the detriment of labour's income, the generalisation of precariousness and extension of poverty."
Attac doesn't even try to conceal its dread for the social revolution and admits its function is to avoid it at all costs, even if this is all said using a fashionable terminology: "To respond to the double challenge of a social implosion and a feeling of political despair demands a civic and militant compromise." While we're at it, and as it is also a very fashionable trend, we note that among the current social democracy, freethinker's style, or in the libertarian spheres, the whole of the classic concepts has been revised, re-interpreted and re-adapted to conform today's likings, by removing from them any classist content. Because it has reached decisive importance, we'll call attention to the falsification related to the concept of exploitation, keystone of the constitution of the proletariat as a homogeneous world class. According to the new interpretations, exploitation wouldn't be the surplus value extortion, which, directly and objectively, unifies in misery the whole proletarianized humanity, and which, historically, was decisive for the proletariat to recognize itself as a class.
That's why one can sometimes hear: "they make me work so hard it is exploitation!" As if work weren't always exploitation! Or: "the workers of such and such country are exploited." As if those from the other countries weren't exploited! Or else: "multinational corporations are exploitative institutions." As if local ones weren't exploitative! It is also said that "monopolies exploit and destroy the planet's resource" as if it weren't capital itself that exploits and destroys everything! As if capital didn't dictate the action of every business of this planet! We can also hear: "imperialists exploit us!" as if there were any non-imperialist bourgeois or any bosses that do not exploit! And finally, we are asked to believe that we are not subjected to exploitation, that exploitation is not this world's rule, but merely constitutes an exception, an extreme case that only applies in very distant places. "In the countryside, in the third-world countries." The further we believe it to be, the better it suits social democracy. So the remedy to this should be "to manifest solidarity with their misery, accept austerity and protest less here". To this we must add that, for them, solidarity has nothing to do with the classist concept of our struggle, but in reality belongs to the Judeo-Christian concept of guilt and sin and calls for a charitable attitude. It is then still a matter of a typical worldview of the dominant class and its openly bourgeois socialism.
This falsification leads to many others, such as the very concept of proletariat, which they mention as little as possible. And when they refer to it, they confine it into a mere sociologic category (the workers, as imposed by Stalinism), never as a constantly evolving revolutionary subject, which deprives the proletariat of all revolutionary perspective and denies the fact that it bears the only social project alternative to the current world: communism, the human worldwide community.
Returning to Attac, we can obviously note that the measures they propose are in full coherence with their social democrat worldview: taxation of the financial capital, major state control over profits and tax havens, claims for more democracy: "to this end, the co-signers hereby create the association ATTAC (Action for a Tobin Tax of Aid to Citizens)... aiming at deterring international speculation, tax the capital's income, sanction tax havens, prevent the generalisation of retirement funds, and, in a general way, re-conquer the fields lost by democracy to the financial sphere and oppose all new renunciation of the sovereignty of states on the pretext of the 'right' of investors and merchants."
The Social Forum of Porto Alegre of January 2001 (that the organizers intend to renew every year) constitutes one of the examples of summit meetings (parallel anti-summit par excellence of the leftists bourgeoisie), a widened expression of the old social democrat ideology, elegantly adorned with in vogue features like the congresses and counter-congresses. This forum's program closely resembles the invariant program of the left-wing bourgeoisie: "pleading for a democratic agrarian reform with usufruct for the land cultivators, access to water and seeds, demanding cancellation of the external debt and reparation for the historic, social and economic debts occasioned by the external debt, elimination of the tax havens, effective application of human rights, opposition to all forms of privatisation of natural resources and public goods, calling for people's sovereignty and a demilitarised planet". (13)
The "proclamation of social movements" holds the program of all associations, trade unions, parties, present in Porto Alegre, and is filled with the most remarkable affirmations of the bourgeois credo. It is an apology for a capitalism devoid of all the harmful consequences inherent to its being, that engenders neither poverty nor misery nor unemployment, for a capitalism that does not destroy nature, for a non-patriarchal capitalism, for a capitalism without racism, in short for a fair and equitable capitalism in which everyone would live in perfect harmony. "We demand a fair commercial system that ensures full-employment, food sovereignty, fair trade and well-being."
That is a pre-eminently bourgeois discourse, according to which, after correcting a few excesses and injustices, capitalism would embody... the well-being society! Cynical apologies of the bourgeois society into which the right wing doesn't even dare to venture, openly admitting this is all impossible!
Another recurrent aspect of this anti-globalisation ideology is the claim for an increased support for what they call the third world, some going as far as requesting 0.7% of the GDP. What the promoters of this program do not say, it is that such an aid for development does not mainly apply to hospitals, schools or other projects linked to capitalist development, but it is also directed (nearly the whole of it, in certain countries) into the financing of local armies (so they can buy weapons from the countries that provided the aid), financing and training of police officers specialised in anti-subversive and anti-riot action (it is through those aids the Algerian, Peruvian, Congolese torturers are offered training in France, Belgium, etc... ), buying tear gas produced by Shell with the raw materials from those "third world" countries, the support for conducting massacres ("genocides", "holocausts"), like in Rwanda...
This is, roughly, the anti-globalisation ideology designed by social democracy, or more precisely, by its right wing. But some expressions are notably more left orientated, and correspond to other factions of this historic party of bourgeoisie destined to the proletariat. Indeed, bourgeois leftism, which formerly defined itself through the defence of so-called socialism in such-and-such country or of such-and-such "worker's state" that are now considered as more or less degenerated, today keeps a low profile, and does not dare speaking of socialism in positive terms anymore, and even less of socialist block, but continues to characterize itself through a politically correct anti-capitalism. As we'll analyse further in this text, these leftists, along with the liberal extreme left-wing, today re-baptised as libertarians, attempt to respond to the class contradictions that arise, and more particularly to the currents that among the proletariat express a rupture with the bourgeois society. We shall examine those class contradictions in order to further evaluate and understand these expressions.
Summits, counter-summits and proletarian struggle
The importance of these summits and anti-summits is probably exaggerated, because for it to function well capital needs neither international conferences nor summit meetings. The keystone of homogeneity in the decision making of capital is essentially rooted in the fact that the dictatorship of the rate of profit exists everywhere, that it is the origin of all decisions, the essence of each economic directive, the reason for capitalism to exist, always and all over the world. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the multinationals and governments, the parliaments and local administrations, the associations of states and consortiums, the trusts and the small enterprises, all apply, whatever the importance of the decision to be taken, the criteria of profitability of capital (their own or the one they administer); and in the same way, within the enterprises, from the highest leader to the last worker, they are all forced to apply these criteria if they want to keep their jobs, and this is independent of the fact that this situation is advantageous to some, whereas it means suffering and the daily alienation from their life for the others. Capital is precisely characterised by its democracy, by its capacity to co-opt those who, among its subjects, will be the most unscrupulous in satisfying its appetite for profit, those who will display the greatest skill at imposing its despotism without mercy, whether they are leaders, governors, international civil servants, local administrators, trade-union chiefs, or torturers. Let us simply remember the workers' leaders who, at all times, were co-opted by the government of capital, from Noske and Walesa to Lula! The other face of this democracy that allows co-opting the workers' leaders to serve capital is the daily despotism that imposes value in process against human life. Omnipotent dictatorship of the rate of profit that, moreover, develops competition between proletarians and leads to the struggle of each against each other, always in favour of imposing the greatest possible rate of accumulation.
But beyond the myth existing around the importance of the formal centralism with which capital is endowed, it is clear that capitalism has decisional centres (meetings, institutions, places, organisms, people...) at its disposal, which, whenever needed, centralise some global decisions, obeying this omnipresent dictatorship of the rate of profit. Within these centres are generally announced the measures that attack the standard of living of proletarians; while between the more decisive factions of the bourgeoisie are signing agreements. These summit meetings of capitalistic power are publicly announced in the media, in search of popular support for the leaders of capital and for the measures that emerge from those meetings. And naturally, these meetings also obey to the hazards of negotiations between the different factions of capital, as well as to the necessity to constitute constellations and alliances in an attempt to improve the balance of forces against other factions, as it is the case for the regional common markets. Another purpose of these summits and anti-summits is to make a show about the importance of these bourgeois polarisations, which capital needs to channel any proletarian protest.
Therefore, although the decisional importance of these summits is exaggerated, and even though their spectacularisation and their pseudo protest constitutes a necessity of the reproduction of bourgeois domination, it is normal that the proletariat has always considered them as an attack against its own life, and this, whether these meetings take place in only one country or whether they gather the bourgeoisie of various ones, whether they are governmental, organised by political parties, trade unions, or whether they originate from the structuring of these forces at an international scale. At any time these summits have always caused great movements of protest, violent demonstrations, street fighting, bomb attacks and intense often-armed confrontations. Against the myth that presents as a new fact the confrontations that break out nowadays almost everywhere in the world at the time of these summits (the manipulation of the public opinion always requires making new stuff from old ones), we could mention many examples that occurred on the five continents and demonstrate the opposite. We need only remember the great street battles of the 60's and 70's, triggered by the proletariat in America against the various international summits organised on this continent, against the meetings of the OAS, of the Alliance for Progress, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the GATT, or against Presidents Conferences... We need only remember the enterprises set on fire, factories and campuses occupied, the violent demonstrations, bomb attacks against state sites, the strikes, the confrontations with the police, with special repression units, and in many countries, with the army...
Regarding current events, the class confrontations become more and more obvious: Davos, Seattle, Nice, Prague, Gothenburg, Naples, and Genoa... (14) are a manifestation of this. Once more, the proletariat re-emerges exactly where the different factions of international capital meet to decide how they will proceed with the exploitation of the proletarians all over the world. On the one hand stand the official summits and the social democrat anti-summits, the conferences in the official lounges and the carnival-like processions dominated by social democracy, the official pseudo protest. On the other hand the proletariat emerges, outflanking the processions, in an attempt to impose its direct action (15), smashing shop windows and expropriating everything that can be, attacking official buildings and bourgeois property in general, setting fire to everything that represents the state, and criticising and denouncing aloud, through leaflets, pamphlets and reviews the NGO, Attac, parties and trade unions.
As one can see, even in these bourgeois lairs and despite the presence of a lot of recuperation forces, once more both classes of society confront each other; bourgeoisie against proletariat, conservation of the bourgeois social order against its global reconsideration. Right- and left-wing may stage all the protest shows they want, the media can do its best to validate the options of "globalisation" and "anti-globalisation", but inevitably, the critique of capitalism carried by the proletarians leads them to overpower the containment; and then, inevitably, both antagonistic social projects re-emerge: perpetuation of the capitalistic catastrophe or social revolution.
Aside from the discussion that we shall approach further and which develops nowadays within our class about the stance of the proletariat, about its involvement or not in these processions, about the significance of the motto "to stand outside and against conferences and anti-conferences" (which is our position!), about the assessment of this direct action (does it correctly express the unification and the development of the international force against capital, or on the contrary does it presuppose a submission to a show that diverts from the real direct action?). Aside then from this discussion, there is no doubt of the fact that these explosions express the rage of our class facing the bourgeois gathered there in order to "decide the fate of the planet". (16) In this way the process of proletarian autonomisation initiated by our class at the time of the summits and anti-summits is extremely encouraging. It materialises through a rupture with the trade-unionist containment, through important expressions of violence against this latter, against private property, against the different state-controlled structures in place; and all this emphasizes the fact that the real opposition does not stand between Davos and Porto Alegre, between the World Trade Organisation, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and Attac... but, as ever, between capital (right- as well as left-wing) and the proletariat.
Although the autonomy of the proletariat still remains very relative within these struggles, they nevertheless express the class war and therefore, the ever-growing antagonism between humankind and capitalism. These struggles also put back on the agenda within the community of struggle that develops -particularly within the vanguard minorities- some central issues, like proletarian internationalism, the international necessity to get constituted in force, the issue of the international struggle against the power of capital and the world state. Of course, from the social viewpoint, solutions are still far from being found. But the fact that thousands of militants throughout the world reconsider and re-discuss the central issues of social revolution definitely constitutes an encouraging fact. If we add to this the continuity of recurring explosions in different places in the world, we can say that it is an important step for the revolutionary movement.
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