Revolution or War n°13

(Semestrial - October 2019)

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Class Struggle and Historical Future

The historical alternative revolution or war is not just a slogan or a theme of communist propaganda. Nor is it a simple and vague historical perspective for tomorrow. It is already a central element of the current situation. Since the economic impasse of capitalism, the crisis, can only deepen, revolution and war become factors whose contradictory and dynamic, dialectical, relation determines more and more directly the course of the situation. Without the consciousness of this historical dilemma, it is difficult to understand the actual course of events and to adapt the positions that the proletariat - starting with their communist vanguards - must adopt according to the moments and the places. The use of abstract and general principles is not enough to answer immediate questions and issues. Nor to guarantee against the betrayal of the class principles, proletarian internationalism and dictatorship of the proletariat in particular.

The relationship that unites the two opposed poles, revolution and war, is the class struggle. Contrary to what many like to think, or wish, including within the Communist Left [1], the class struggle is always the driving force of history and its process is the main determinant of the course of the events and the conditions for resolving the dilemma revolution or war. To the point that "the defeat of the proletariat is the condition for the unleashing of imperialist war" (the journal Bilan #34 [2], September 1936).

Capitalism is war, Lenin said. Constrained by the bitter and fierce defence of their national capital, every bourgeoisie and every capitalist state are inexorably pushed to engage in a march towards generalized war. Trump is the clearest and most caricatured expression of this, just one of many. All-out trade wars, imperialist provocations and assaults, abrupt breaches of signed treaties and international alliances, revival of armaments, particularly nuclear missiles, weaponization of space, the most shameless blackmail, even ultimatums, on the weakest powers have worsened - because they were already in action before under Obama - and multiplied. In return, the other imperialist powers, especially the main rivals, are not to be outdone. Their survival depends on it. Such is the dynamic, the gearing or the infernal mechanism, of economic and imperialist rivalries.

However, it is precisely in this moment of increasing tensions that the capitalist economy slows down again and strongly; that the probability of a new open crisis, financial or otherwise, is hardly any longer in doubt ; that the global recession, or economic slowdown, that is coming up, can only herald even more ferocious attacks on the living and working conditions of populations in general and, first and foremost, on the international proletariat.

The dynamic of the class struggle is an objective reality. The crisis and war now force the bourgeoisie to attack the international proletariat head-on and everywhere. It therefore has the initiative of the struggle and the new crisis can only strengthen its determination to provoke and confront the proletariat. The general strengthening of the repression apparatus is an expression of this. The current bourgeois campaign and the demonstrations encouraged and organized by the states against global warming, which aim to drown the proletariat in the people and drag it into the defence of the democratic state, is another. Is not the concord of all, including antagonistic social classes, already be called upon to save the planet?

The emergence of new revolutionary energies, in progress [3] , and their regrouping are essential to the constitution of the political vanguard and the party whose proletariat will, and already needs, to orient itself and organize its class struggles as efficiently as possible; and even more so to impose the proletarian revolution on the generalized imperialist war. To develop as well as possible, to "define political positions that are the only points of reference when the great turmoil breaks out and militants risk being swept away like fetuses of straw" (Bilan #34, idem), these forces must seek to reclaim the history of the workers movement and particularly of the Communist Left. This work also involves discussing and clarifying historical debates, deep divergences or simple nuances, across this Left. Like the fight against expressions of opportunism within this latter, political confrontations and debates are an essential element in the struggle for the party, for a politically united and historically effective party.

Thus,"nothing would explain the inertia offered by various groups of the Communist Left to the initiatives of our fraction to tackle the work of political enlightenment and to establish on an iron foundation the organization that will be able to lead the struggles of the working class for the victory of world revolution" (Bilan #33, August 1936, we emphasize).


Revolution or War, September 24th, 2019.

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Notes:

[1. "The general dynamics of capitalist society (...) is no longer determined by the balance of forces between classes"(Resolution on the international situation of the 23rd Congress of the ICC, https://en.internationalism.org/content/16704/resolution-international-situation-2019-imperialist-conflicts-life-bourgeoisie).

[2. Journal of the Italian Fraction of the Communist Left in the years 1930 in France, translated by us.

[3. cf. in particular the special issue of our journal on Communist Left groups, RoW #12.