Let the Communists of the imperialist countries unite their forces for the renewal of the communist movement
(Article from La Voce del (nuovo)PCI, n.12)
Resolution approved by the fourth Preparatory Commission’s reunion enlarged to some trustees.
Proletarians all over the world, let’s unite! A little more than 150 years ago, Marx and Engels, founders of the communist movement as a conscious and organized movement, launched this call with the Communist Party’s Manifesto. In spite of all changes occurred since then till now, this call maintains its full worth, and indicates how the working class and the popular masses can win imperialist bourgeoisie.
Exactly 100 years ago, Lenin, leader of the first victorious proletarian revolution, with its work What has to be done?, indicated the general characteristics the working class needed to begin the socialist era.
On the basis of these precedents, the Preparatory Commission (CP) of the (new) Italian Communist Party’s foundation congress addresses to the imperialist countries’ communist parties and organizations, to the yet not organized Communists and the organizations struggling to establish socialism (that is the Subjective Forces of the Socialist Revolution [SFSR]). The CP asks all these forces to mobilize and join, so that as soon as possible the working class and the popular masses of every country can get a communist party quite careful of the experience of the proletarian revolution’s first wave, apt to the Communists’ task in the second general capitalism crisis and the consequent developing revolutionary situation.
In order to do it, the CP exposes and summarily explains the reasons for its conceptions and purposes regarding this internationalist task. The CP is born and wants to carry out the convocation of (new) Italian Communist Party’s foundation congress. Just the work to carry out this aim more and more clearly shows that the communist party’s rebirth is tied by thousand links to communist movement’s rebirth in the rest of the world. It is particularly tied to its rebirth in other imperialist countries, especially the European imperialist countries which our country is closely tied to. We think that it is a wrong nationalistic conception to believe that communist movement’s rebirth could unlimitedly go on, without being developed in other countries, at least to some measure.
We do not address other countries’ Communists for presumption or lack of respect or esteem of their experience and the work they’re carrying out. On the contrary, we want to expose our conceptions and purposes to other countries’ Communists, in order to establish links founded on criticism and self-criticism with them, so that everybody could better and quickly carry out its aims.
The advancement of every one of us is conditioned by the others’ advancement. This shapes and limits a common field of work, and confirms the international character of the transformation we are working to: the victory of proletarian revolution, the establishment of socialism and the march towards communism.
Capitalism crisis and popular masses’ resistance
Day after day, the contradictions between the imperialist bourgeoisie and the popular masses of both oppressed and imperialist countries are growing. The contradictions among the imperialist groups and their states are growing as well. The contradiction between the collective character achieved by men’s material and spiritual productive forces, and the survival of capitalist relations of production, becomes more and more antagonist. It shows itself on more and more numerous levels and more and more strongly (for instance, the environmental devastation, and the risk of destruction for the human gender itself).
The survival of capitalist relations of production throws the popular masses of oppressed and ex-socialist countries in a bottomless chasm, and takes more and more victims among the popular masses of the imperialist countries as well. After the Second World War, it began a period of capital accumulation recovery and of economical activity development. At the beginning of the Seventies in the last century, that period ended, and begun the second general crisis of capitalism. The crisis within the communist movement produced by the prevailing of modern revisionism led to the socialist field collapse, the liquidation of most of the parties created within the First Communist International, and the missing of most of the institutions created by the first wave of world proletarian revolution (States, parties, mass organizations). The old communist movement decay allowed capitalism to unfold again completely free, in every field and corner, and according to its true nature. The reactionary, anti-popular, and destructive character of capitalism in its imperialist phase has returned in the foreground. Therefore, since the beginning of the Nineties, the capitalism general crisis is going on faster on a large scale and on a world level, confirming that capitalism is historically backward.
This drives imperialist bourgeoisie to intensify its extermination war it actually carries out against the popular masse of imperialist and oppressed countries, in order to create exploitation conditions apt to increase the value of accumulated mass of capital. Meanwhile, imperialist groups and States are driven to a new inter-imperialist war by the need to increase capital value. Particularly, European imperialist groups can exercise their economical and political interests against US imperialist groups’ robbery and arrogance, only setting themselves up as political and military power opposing to USA. To settle accounts among themselves is a more and more urgent matter of life ad death for the imperialist groups. There is no other way to impose them within capitalism. The European Union can survive and develop only setting out this way. Unavoidably and spontaneously the imperialist bourgeoisie follows this way and must compel the popular masses and the working class as well to march together with itself.
Developing socialist revolution in imperialist countries means to transform the extermination war popular masses are undergoing, in a war that they fight in an organized way, taking charge of the situation with strategy and tactics apt for winning. Only the socialist revolution development can stop a new inter-imperialist war, preventing or transforming it in revolutionary war. Therefore the rebirth of communist movement is a necessity.
Since years, the resistance opposed by popular masses to the advancement of capitalism general crisis is developing not only in the oppressed and ex-socialist countries, but in imperialist countries as well. Nevertheless, most of all in imperialist countries, this resistance only marginally acts as Communism school, because it is not oriented and directed by working class through its communist parties. On the contrary, it developed spontaneously and in open order. Single proletarians and popular masses’ members "struggle one by one against bourgeoisie." Their resistance flows and is scattered in individualist rebellion, individual brutishness, attempts to individually survive and find a way out, generically antisocial behaviors of individuals and little groups, aggressions and vandalisms with no class distinction, generic anarchist individual criminality imitating capitalists’ behaviors, subversive activities of disconnected individuals and little groups. Workers of some category and place struggle against the single bourgeois directly exploiting them. Their resistance stay confined to the labor and claiming struggles, steeped in reformist illusions and spontaneous political activism and adventurism deviations. Often the resistance develops under direction of organizations subjected to imperialist bourgeoisie, regime unions and leftover mass organizations of old communist and socialist movement by now dominated or even manipulated by bourgeoisie itself. In other cases, workers struggle against other workers instead of struggling against the bourgeois relations of production and the class defending them. Indeed, bourgeoisie transforms the contradiction between itself and popular masses in thousands of contradictions among parts of the popular masses. So, popular masses’ resistance against advancement of capitalism crisis develops under direction of openly reactionary, fascist, and racist forces.
All these things are not new. The founders of communist movement described them in the Communist Party’s Manifesto of 1848 (Chapter 1). They are typical of periods when communist movement, as an organized and conscious movement, is weak. Today they show themselves at a higher level and in a new way, that’s why many of us do not recognize them. Revolutionary and reactionary mobilizations get mixed up. In the confusion, imperialist bourgeoisie prevails, because of its power, experience, organization, and tested praxis and preventive counter-revolutionary institutions.
It is right and necessary that we Communists, particularly we Communists of the imperialist countries, ask ourselves why the rebirth of communist movement, which we want free from the tumor of modern revisionism, goes on so slowly in imperialist countries. We must ask ourselves why communist movement has such a little influence on working class, even if popular masses’ resistance against crisis advancement is developing on a great scale. In many imperialist countries the communist parties do not even exist. In those countries where there are parties calling themselves Marxist-Leninist or even Marxist-Leninist-Maoist, the advances done in accumulation of revolutionary forces are scarce or null as well. So that some comrades, most of all of parties of oppressed countries but of parties of imperialist countries as well, even assert that today is not possible to accumulate revolutionary forces in imperialist countries, that proletarian revolution must before develop on a great scale in oppressed countries, that the Communists of imperialist countries can do nothing but resist as little groups waiting for more favorable situations that sooner or after will be created by revolution in oppressed countries and by sharpening of contradictions of imperialist groups and States between themselves and between them and the popular masses. Nevertheless, it is a wrong conception, delegating responsibility to the movement produced by events in the popular masses, overrating their spontaneous movements (after all a mistake of spontaneous political activism), justifying the backwardness of imperialist countries’ communist movement which real reasons they are not able to realize, and finally accepting it. The experience not only teaches that socialism can strengthen on a world level only winning also in some most important imperialist countries, even if, within a revolutionary situation on a world level, the socialist revolution can begin everywhere. It also teaches that communist movement doesn’t develops beyond certain limits without a strong communist movement in imperialist countries, and then without strong communist parties in those countries. Neither the Cultural Proletarian Revolution launched in 1966 by the Chinese Communist Party under direction of Mao Tse - Tung was able to reverse communist movement’s decay. Even the remarkable victories of proletarian revolution of the seventies in some oppressed countries (Vietnam, Cambodia, South Yemen, Nicaragua, Angola, Mozambique, and Ethiopia) were not able to do it. In oppressed countries, the more widespread and strong popular masses’ resistance is more and more often directed by reactionary forces. This poses again the peculiar contrast between the heroism of fighting popular masses and the reactionary character of political forces leading them, a phenomenon already shown in the past, when the influence of world communist movement, as an organized and conscious movement, was weaker.
The weakness of imperialist countries’ communist movement restrains and limits also the development of communist movement in countries oppressed by imperialism. It has reasons internal to imperialist countries’ communist movement and will not be automatically healed neither by the sharpening of contradictions nor by a possible bigger development of communist movement in the oppressed countries. Surely, this movement is giving an important contribution to the rebirth of communist movement in imperialist countries (we have only to think at the role carried out by Peruvian Communist Party in the next past) but it is not the decisive force. It’s up to us Communists to remove the causes preventing us from being in the lead of the resistance opposed by popular masses at the developing capitalism crisis.
Where do the difficulties we Communists of imperialist countries meet with in accumulating revolutionary forces come from?
Some answer that the difficulties that communist movement presently meets with in imperialist countries come from opportunism diffusion. Opportunism is resignation to bourgeoisie’s power, agreement with bourgeoisie and subjection to it in order to have satisfied the immediate needs of individual, little groups or some categories. It is to find settlements with bourgeoisie that maintain its power, to have illusions about bourgeoisie, to hesitate and waver in the struggle against bourgeoisie. Nevertheless, we can eliminate opportunism only during the development of revolution, not as a premise to revolution.
In fact, opportunism is mainly fed by two sources. One source is the imperialist bourgeoisie’s influence (ideological influence, blackmails and corruption) upon revolutionaries’ ranks. We can limit this influence, but we cannot completely eliminate it until we eliminate the bourgeoisie itself. The other source is the structural influence of bourgeoisie, as old ruling class, upon popular masses not yet or only a little mobilized to the revolutionary struggle. We can eliminate this influence only through the involvement of popular masses by communist movement. Therefore, it is clear that the diffusion of opportunism is not the source of our difficulties. On the contrary, it is an expression, an aspect of them.
The main obstacle to communist movement rebirth in imperialist countries is internal to the movement itself, and so its removal is entirely in the hands of imperialist countries’ Communists. The main obstacle is the dogmatism of those who call themselves Communists, who sincerely try to act as Communists, but have a scarcely dialectical leading conception, a scarcely dialectical method to understand the world and try to transform it. Dogmatism hampers communist parties’ reconstruction and strengthening. We Communist do not sufficiently apply the laws of practical movement that transforms the present state of things, that’s to say the laws of communism as they were already defined by Marx and Engels in German ideology (1846). That is why we are not able to lead it. Some even deny the existence of a practical movement transforming the present state of things, reducing it to what they are determining, reducing the practical movement to the conscious and organized movement. It is an idealistic position, according to which the conscious and organized movement creates the practical movement. Coherently developed, this position drives to conclude that therefore Communists have nothing more to understand, and this supports the indifference towards investigation and experience elaboration which effectively permeates so many Communists. In reality a practical movement that changes the present state of things exists: the task of us Communists is to understand its laws in order to lead it. Following closely the laws of the practical movement which changes the world does not mean to be at the rear of events. To be at the rear of events is to follow the popular masses still influenced by bourgeoisie, that’s to undergo bourgeoisie’s influence in an indirect way. The practical movement transforms the present society and drives it towards Communism. We Communists must understand the laws of this transformation, become conscious of the necessity inherent in things and become active and conscious promoters of the transformation. By its nature, the transformation of capitalist society in communist society is a passage from a movement undergone by men out of necessity, done without being conscious of it, to a planned and conscious movement. Already in the Communist Party’s Manifesto, in 1848, Marx and Engels taught us that Communists’ task as regards the rest of workers’ mass consists in knowing condition, course, and general outcomes of proletarian movement, and in being the most resolute part of proletariat, the one that ever pushes forward (chapter two). The transformation of capitalist society in communist society is an objective and necessary movement that can be completed only becoming a subjective and conscious movement as well. Without consciousness and direction it disperses in thousands ways, stagnates and sometimes for some time it even changes in its contrary. Without a revolutionary theory the revolutionary movement cannot develop beyond an elementary and spontaneous level. In thousand ways it is exposed to the manoeuvres of the experienced ruling class that influences, infiltrates, deviates, removes it from its course, envelops it in inextricable contradictions, exhaust, fragments, disperses it and opposes one part of practical movement to the other. Particularly, imperialist bourgeoisie systematically, even spontaneously, as well as consciously, transforms contradictions between it and popular masses in contradictions among parts of popular masses. So it prolongs its existence, makes popular masses’ destiny miserable, and morally and intellectually brutalizes them. So the popular masses’ mobilization against the advancement of capitalism general crisis does not become revolutionary, but reactionary, a mobilization directed by imperialist bourgeoisie’s groups.
The main obstacle to the rebirth of communist movement consists of the fact that Communists sincerely devoted to revolution cause have a conception of world and work method not sufficiently considering neither the transformations bourgeois society has got nor the experience of the first wave of proletarian revolution. According to the programs of most of imperialist countries’ communist parties and groups, and their analyses on economical, political, and cultural movement of present society, it seems the first wave of proletarian revolution, that shook the world from top to bottom, passed without any trace, only because States, parties, and organizations by it created collapsed. Communism is really dead and erased from history; it never existed, either in these programs! This is still bourgeoisie’s ideological influence, bourgeoisie’s illusions and exorcisms. Reality is quite different!
To break with dogmatism that makes our efforts sterile, to elaborate a revolutionary theory reflecting the reality of transformation towards Communism, that we must direct and, on its base, give revolutionary solutions to proletarian revolution’s tasks: all this sums up in the thesis that new communist parties must found themselves on Marxism Leninism Maoism. We show this our thesis more in detail in the following seven points.
1. The imperialist socio-economical formations
Today, most of sincere Communists have a conception about economical and political movement of imperialist societies, formed by combination of two elements: 1) Marxist - Leninist formulas repeated without the enrichment and specification requested by reality developments, and so transformed in empty formulas, and 2) improvised analyses by Soviet revisionists who were subjected to imperialist bourgeoisie in the fields of politics, society and culture management, and for a long time let survive a mummified sector of ideology repeating and adapting Marxism - Leninism in an opportunistic way, so very well serving to cover them. The most elders well remember Suslov and his empty speeches. Studying the current programs of imperialist countries’ communist parties or studying the conception of the world implied in their analyses is sufficient to convince ourselves that all this is true.
Imperialist societies present important characteristics, owing to 1) the progress of the collective character of productive forces, 2) the formation by imperialist bourgeoisie itself of a series of Antithetic Forms of Social Unity (AFSU), 3) the first wave of proletarian revolution (where socialist revolutions and new democracy revolutions combined), with the constitution of the first socialist countries and the formation of a strong, conscious and organized communist movement all over the world.
The AFSU are: institutes, procedures, institutions by which bourgeoisie tries to face the collective character assumed by productive forces, but within production and social relations that deny it. There belong to AFSU the fiduciary money used by economic movement on a world level since more than 50 years, in which most of each individual’s "social power" materialize, the public economical politics, the collective bargaining about salary and working conditions, at category, country and world level, the social security institutes and the public services, the demographic politics, the formation of labor force, the communication networks unified at a world level, the public building, the environmental and infrastructural politics, the other institutions summarized with the expression "social State". They are all the institutions, according to an expression of bourgeois journalism, intended to promote or maintain the "social cohesion" and avoid the paralysis and chaos that would be rapidly produced by the "free market" or by the "excessive search of profit", that is to say by the capitalist way of production. In short they are all the institutes, procedures and institutions by which bourgeoisie tries to rule the society economic movement and all social life, but maintaining capitalist production relations. Surely, bourgeoisie does not succeed to rule economical movement by AFSU, and to address it according to predetermined plan and objectives. The relations among capitalist groups and between bourgeoisie and working class and other popular masses exclude the governability of society. Because it does not rule economical movement, imperialist bourgeoisie doesn’t either govern political and cultural movement of the society: "things slip from fingers". Nevertheless, the forms through which the economical, political, cultural movement develops are not understandable without taking in account those transformations.
The substance of capitalist way of production shown by Marx persists during all capitalist era, but it never existed in a pure condition. It existed only in concrete socio-economical conditions that deeply changed during capitalist era, just because capitalist society must lead to communist society. This one does not rise suddenly, but forms through decomposition of capitalist society and restricted to its wrapping until it break it. The substance of capitalism shows itself in different ways according to the capitalization level of society, to the level reached by formal and real subsumption of human activities in capitalism, to the survival in each concrete country of forms and institutions of its pre-capitalistic society with which the capitalist way of production combined transforming them, to forms and institutions in which communist movement expressed itself, in each concrete country, to AFSU concretely put into the field by the ruling class. The socio-economical formations of imperialist era, particularly after the first wave if proletarian revolution, have specific characteristics that we must take in account if we want to direct their transformation.
Capitalism took possession, subsumed new activities. Activities always done by each individual or family groups as their own "natural", spontaneous and diffused activities were transformed by capitalism in commercial activities: cooking, tailoring and maintenance of clothes, body and mind cure, sexual relations, children’s procreation, upbringing and care, education, treatment of diseases, elders’ assistance, dead men’s burial, recreative activities, etc. Capitalism took possession of these and other activities and restructured them according to its own nature. Capitalism broke up old activities in different commercial activities establishing each one of them in new productive sectors. It deeply distinguished knowledge, design, organization and direction from execution. It made each one of these a commercial and separate activity (a distinct sector of economical activity) and deeply changed and enriched it. The development of urbanization, social relations, and civilization involved new activities. The functioning of capitalism itself, with its financial, commercial, insurance, and advertising activities created separate commercial activities and productive sectors. All this made raise a working class numerically enormous, but with characteristics different from those ones dogmatists are fond of, with their class analyses of the times gone by. Since the first page of The Capital, Marx clearly taught us that commodities can be wares sold or services rendered, that the nature of their use value was secondary, even if in his exposition most of all Marx referred as examples to wares, according to the characteristics of society of his time, 150 years ago. Nevertheless, dogmatists stay to by now outdated historical examples. They close their eyes in the face of the already clear fact that today the majority of commodities produced by capitalists, which production is medium and support of capital valorization, especially in imperialist societies, is constituted by services, and it will be more and more so. They ignore a great part of the real working class of our countries, and this is just what Soviet revisionists taught us, even at the end of the Eighties recording only the "material production" as production. Only studying and sufficiently understanding the mechanisms of imperialist socio-economical formations as they are today, we shall succeed in opening the way towards socialist revolution.
A combination of economical and political movement come off that, on one side is, as Lenin said, anteroom of socialism. On the other side impresses characteristics both to economical and to political movement, and generally to the movement of society in every field. The Communists must take in account these characteristics. If they don’t do it they will not be able to accumulate revolutionary forces, mobilize the working class in order to seize the direction of society eliminating imperialist bourgeoisie’s direction, and lead the society to march as more consciously and directly as possible towards communism. Considering the programmatic writing of most of imperialist countries’ communist parties and groups, we see that communist oscillate between 1) Marxism caricatures pretending to make follow each political and cultural initiative from the immediate economical interest of its promoters, and 2) the real renouncing of Marxism, showing itself in a stereotyped and then unreal description of political and cultural movement which the bourgeois culture’s categories in fashion weighs on.
2. The general crisis of capitalism
The crises that shook and shake society in imperialist era are different from the crises described by Marx referring to Europe in the first half of 19th century. In the imperialist era the cyclical crisis Marx described, that characterized the pre-imperialist phase, are softened and shortened by anti-cyclical measures included in the AFSU, reduced to cycles of expansion and recession relatively short and with oscillations controlled in comparison to the real upsetting of present societies. The old cyclical crises survive with their characteristics described by Marx only in the handbooks of political economy brought out by Soviet revisionists until the end of the Eighties and by their dogmatist followers. Soviet revisionists continued to found their description of imperialist societies’ economical movement on cyclical crises. The communist parties still ideologically dominated by Soviet revisionists waver between two theses. On one side there is the thesis that bourgeois society succeeds in recovering from crises. Today, this right-wing thesis is aloud proclaimed by few people, but in the recent past fed many subjectivist conceptions within the revolutionary movement. Still today, it is the logical, even if not declared, foundation of all the conceptions that deny the possibility to accumulate revolutionary forces in imperialist countries, and place their hopes only in the development of revolutionary movement in oppressed countries. Generically, they place their hopes in "worsening of contradictions", because of the "historical crisis of capitalism", become a Messianic wait, a "deus ex machina" for the solution of logical contradictions which dogmatists spin into. On the other side, the left-wing thesis exaggerates the political and economical consequences of cycles of expansion-recession following one another in brief intervals. Like their masters, the Soviet revisionists, the dogmatists set their conscience at rest talking of an "historical crisis of capitalism" that goes on omnipresent, immutable, even the same during all the imperialist era, all-inclusive and free from any countertendencies. According to them, this crisis sums up all the manifestations of society. They do not distinguish and even less explain the origin, course and conclusion of the effective periods of crisis crossed by society since the beginning of imperialist era, the following periods of recovery and development and their succession. Neither they worry about explaining why this everlasting crisis that would be begun more than hundred years ago it has not yet completed its work: why are we still in imperialist era?
In fact, in imperialist era the society is upset by general crises, long lasting crises beginning as economical crises, caused by that absolute overproduction of capital theoretically explained by Marx in the chapter 15 of the third book of The Capital. Overproduction of capital means that the capital accumulated cannot be entirely employed for extracting surplus value enlarging the real process of capitalist production until absorbing in it all disposable. So doing, bourgeoisie would product a decreasing mass of surplus value.
For example, in the condition given by the first wave of proletarian revolution and the already developed AFSU, if capitalists would have continued to enlarge the properly capitalist process of production, they would have extract a same or less surplus value than that extracted by capitalists employing in productive process only a part of accumulated capital and only a part of the disposable proletariat.
This is the source of the renewed rush of the imperialist groups that throw themselves like ravenous wolves to take more deeply possession of the entire world, of the fever of productive, technological, financial innovations and the creation of new sectors of activity and fields of investment, of the great financial bubbles and the connected raking and destruction of capitals and savings, of the migrations on a large scale, and of many other phenomena of the last thirty years, the cultural and political up settings of the last decade and the ones that are coming.
This pushes imperialist groups and States to the war among them and the widespread extermination war that imperialist bourgeoisie actually carries out again the popular masses. Only transforming this war in socialist revolution the Communists will be able not only to prevent inter-imperialist war but also to canalize popular masses’ resistance on the road of socialism.
The general crises of imperialist era begin as economical crises but going on they change in political and cultural crises, and find solution only in the political and cultural field. The solutions are or the socialist revolutions or a new set up imposed by the strongest imperialist groups that gain their leadership only by inter-imperialist war.
A first crisis of this kind succeeded in the last third of the 19th century and turned in the partition of the entire world among the imperialist powers and the entry in imperialist era. The first real general crisis occurred in the first half of the 20th century and ended with the formation of the socialist field and the establishment of US imperialist groups’ hegemony over what remained of capitalist world. After almost 30 years of capitalist accumulation’s recovery, in the Seventies the second general crisis of capitalism begun and it’s still going on. In these general lines, the great successes of the communist movement in the first part of the 20th century and the following defeat we are struggling to get out became understandable.
Until the end of his life (1895), Engels continued to study capitalist society’s evolution in imperialist countries. He realized the formation by then actual of the AFSU (theoretically indicated by Marx in the Grundrisse), by which the bourgeoisie somehow faced the most destabilizing effects of capitalist production’s anarchy when it had subsumed economical activities on a large scale. He repeatedly indicated that bourgeoisie somehow found solutions to the anarchy of its way of production. Likewise, he realized a new kind of crisis was coming, and clearly talked of it in the preface of 1886 to the English edition of the first book of The Capital. With his works on imperialism, Lenin gave great contribution to understand the more advanced "superstructure" of capitalism. We Communist must necessarily take possession of these starting points in order to direct the movement transforming imperialist societies. We must develop them and fill the gaps showed by the communist movement during the first wave of proletarian revolution, in order to sufficiently understand the present society’s movement in order to direct it.
3. Communist movement’s balance
The world went and is going towards Communism. This precisely means that it is elaborating, finding, discovering and trying social relations and institutions adequate to the collective character assumed by its material and spiritual productive forces to the control men conquered over nature and their self life. The practical movement that transforms reality does not stop only because we do not understand it. Nevertheless, the ways towards Communism are two.
One way is conscious, more direct, and less tormenting. It passes through the establishment of working class’ power at least in the greatest imperialist countries. The working class takes power from imperialist bourgeoisie through revolution and drives itself and the other popular masses’ classes to massively acquire consciousness of their possibilities and tasks, and to adequate relations among individuals, social groups, nations, and countries to the collective character of economical activity and the whole of social activities, learning to rule themselves and their activities.
The other way is more winding and tormenting. It unwind itself through general crises, recovery periods, inter-imperialist wars, subsequent waves of proletarian revolutions, construction of communist parties, mass organizations and socialist States and their corruption and destruction. This will go on until on a world level the subjective conditions will be more advanced, and finally socialist countries will arise, continuously marching toward Communism opening the road also to others.
During the first wave of proletarian revolution (1900-1950), the communist movement conquered great successes, never reached in history by any other movement, even less in neither hundred years of life: a great socialist field collecting a third of humanity of that time, influential communist parties practically in every country, and the dissolution of the colonial system. The popular masses conquered life and work conditions never either imagined before. The imperialist bourgeoisie had to elaborate AFSU driving on society’s transformation on a great scale. Nevertheless, in the second half of past century, the communist movement as a conscious and organized movement largely collapsed, and many of its conquests were lost. Why did this great setback occur? The armies become victorious learning from their defeats. Defeat is mother of victory for those who collect its teaching, instead of becoming demoralized. But why were we defeated? Some Communists overlook this matter. According to them, defeat is accidental. It is fruit of mysterious and imponderable causes. Trying again, soon or later the right time will come. Some ascribe defeat to some leaders’ treason, some others to bourgeoisie’s arrogance. Nevertheless, these answers are unfounded, if we just examine them critically. If they were true, we shall be condemned to repeated defeats. In fact, what will guarantee us that there will be no more traitor leaders? Who can give us a friendly and docile bourgeoisie?
Modern revisionism took the direction of the old communist movement and brought it to ruin. However, they need to erode, corrode, and corrupt for decades to get this outcome, so strong the strength of the old communist movement was. Modern revisionism is the outcome of imperialist bourgeoisie’s influence within the communist movement, and we cannot absolutely prevent this influence until the bourgeoisie exists. The bourgeoisie influences us and we influence the bourgeoisie (the AFSU). But revisionism succeeded in prevailing over the communist movement, taking its direction and eroding and corrupting this movement like a cancer, until it collapsed. This happened because communist movement’s left wing believed that its conquest were not reversible. The left wing did not give revolutionary answers to the new problems given by the successes the communist movement achieved. The left wing did mistakes of dogmatism, lack of dialectics. It didn’t see the new; it didn’t rightly realize either the laws of socialist socio-economical formations it created, or those of the imperialist socio-economical formations it had to revolutionize. The modern revisionism won because of the old communist movement’s limits. Lacking revolutionary answers, the modern revisionism won giving bourgeois answers to the new world problems. Step by step, more and more regressing, within few decades the old communist movement was liquidated.
Only understanding and overcoming the old communist movement’s limits we put the rebirth of communist movement on bases for new and more lasting successes. The old communist movement’s limits regarded both the socialist revolution in imperialist countries that it wasn’t able to carry out, and the development of new socialist countries it established but was not able to make last and flourish. The new communist movement has to give answer to these two kinds of questions, elaborating the experience of the first wave of proletarian revolution and understanding the laws of present socio-economical societies.
4. The struggle between to lines in the party
The first limit of the old communist movement quite concerns communist parties, subjects and indispensable promoters of revolution and transformation. The communist party is the working class’ party but it’s influenced by imperialist bourgeoisie directly and through other social classes. The trend of the war between working class and imperialist bourgeoisie depends on communist parties. Experience not only showed that working class will be able to defeat imperialist bourgeoisie only with a right communist party. It also showed that imperialist bourgeoisie is able to defeat working class only succeeding in corrupting the communist party. Owing to the centrality of communist parties (denied only by grass roots political activists), in every communist party the struggle among the influence of the two classes to determine party’s line is unavoidable.
We cannot avoid that bourgeoisie exercises its influence among our ranks, but we can prevent that it prevails and decides our line. Secondly, world changes and our knowledge must be adapted: the struggle between new ideas and experiences and old ideas ad experiences is unavoidable in every party’s development. Thirdly, reality is not immediately reflected in our consciences. The substance of things does not directly and immediately reveals itself: the struggle between true and false is a necessary process through which every party can make the right line prevail. In conclusion, the experience of the first wave of the proletarian revolution teaches us that struggle between two lines in the party is permanent and makes the party advance. There is no life without struggle. Democratic centralism and struggle between two lines are not incompatible. The experience of the party leaders of the two greatest revolutions of the last century, the Russian (Bolshevik) Communist Party and the Chinese Communist Party, gave great examples on a large scale and in very different conditions of application both of democratic centralism and of struggle between two lines. They didn’t’ realize it clearly, but they had both to apply the organizational principle of democratic centralism and to carry out repeated struggles between two lines, in order to advance till victory and bring to conclusion the great revolutions they directed. The History of USSR Communist (Bolshevik) Party (1938) explains some of the struggle carried out by the first. The Resolution about some questions of our Party’s story (1945) explains some of the struggles carried out by the second.
The struggle between two lines is an objective fact, and does not disappear denying it. Denying it means that the left wing will carry it out blindly and will be more probably defeated. The left wing of communist parties wrapped itself in dogmatism, so allowing the modern revisionist to take possession of them and drive them to death.
5. The first socialist countries’ balance
The first socialist countries accumulated a patrimony of precious experiences both during the period of their achievement and the period of their decay under direction of modern revisionists till the collapse of the last Eighties. We can draw huge teachings from it, many still unexplored by new communist parties.
They highlighted that the relations of production present three different aspects: 1. the property of means and conditions of production, 2. the division among men in productive activity (divisions between manual and intellectual labor, directors and directed, men and women, city and countryside, advanced and not advanced zones and sectors, etc.), 3, the relations of distribution of the product. Only considering all these three aspects it is possible to certainty realize where the bourgeoisie in socialist countries was. It was constituted by the leaders of the Party, State and other social institutions who supported bourgeois solutions to the problems of development of the new socialist society. Without considering all these three aspect of the relations of production we cannot clearly realize what the transition from capitalist to communism consist of, the gradual and by leaps elimination of the residual capitalist relations and the gradual and by leaps development of communist relations, the historical task of the socialist phase. We cannot as well clearly realize the struggle between 1. the capitalist relations that unavoidably continue to exist after the conquest of power and the establishment of proletariat’s dictatorship, and 2. the germs of communism strengthened by socialist revolution, gradually developing looking for their right forms. We cannot as well make a class’ analysis of socialist societies. Therefore, it will not be possible to direct the oppressed classes’ struggle within the new specific political and cultural conditions of socialist society. The Great Cultural Proletarian Revolution was a practical display of the strength that class struggle could release in favor of communism in socialist society.
Some programs of new communist parties identify bourgeoisie in socialist countries in the surviving part of old exploiter classes, some in intellectuals, some in underworld, some in bureaucracy, some in the members of cooperative sector. No one of these analyses stands to criticism nor makes the whole story of socialist countries understandable, nor gives weapons to prevent restoration to socialist countries’ Communists, nor gives a right orientation to ex-socialist countries’ Communists, so that they will be able to lead the class struggle developing in their own countries.
A corollary is the current interpretation in some communist parties about the nature of society of socialist countries directed by revisionists. They describe them as societies at "monopolistic State capitalism," even if "of a new kind" or at "bureaucratic capitalism." Particularly, it’s widespread the indication of Soviet society directed by modern revisionists (that is, since 1956 to 1991), as a social imperialist society. In this field as well, but this time in a negative sense, the Communist Party of Peru has a distinguished position. It’s clear that socialist phase is a phase of transition, in which gradually and by leaps the capitalist social relations are liquidated and the germs of Communism develop. It’s clear as well that when the modern revisionists, exponents and spokesmen of specific and typical bourgeoisie of socialist society, took the direction of the party and the State, the nature of USSR couldn’t change suddenly. Really, the line of the march was reversed. In every field, step by step the already established communist relations were gradually suffocated, the residual capitalist relations were gradually strengthened, and those that were dead but still could be reanimated were brought back to life. It’s right to accuse the Soviet revisionists to be social imperialists, meaning that under the cloak of socialism they follow a line of interference, blackmails and arrogance in the relations with communist parties. It is wrong to state that USSR suddenly became an imperialist country. The Communists stating that USSR was a social imperialist country never explain what, according to them, the leap of 1989-1991 consisted of, what produced it and what is presently happening in the countries that constituted USSR. Why don’t they try to do it? The Communists of the ex-socialist countries can understand the class struggle developing in their countries and their tasks only starting from a materialistic dialectic conception about what socialist countries were before the revisionists took their direction and in the following decades.
6. The socialist revolution in imperialist countries
The world proletarian revolution is the combination of socialist revolutions in the countries where capitalism is the predominant way of production with revolutions of new democracies in the countries where the feudal remnants (the relations of personal dependence and the agrarian question) and the subjection to imperialist countries are predominant. Still today, in view of the next wave of proletarian revolution, the distinction between the two kinds of revolution is a necessary premise for their right combination. The revolutionary movements of the oppressed countries can be understood in their real development and laws determining it only taking in account that a democratic revolution is going on inside them, and that it will complete and triumph only under the working class’ direction by its communist party and therefore as a revolution of new democracy. This makes still clearer how vain is expecting that the development of revolutionary movement in oppressed countries could be the main cause of communist movement’s rebirth in imperialist countries.
As for socialist revolutions in imperialist countries, Engels (in the introduction of 1985 to The class struggles in France since 1848 till 1850, of Marx) already clarified that it was not possible to establish socialism through the conquest of power by Communists during a popular insurrection shared by the communist party as one among various popular parties. The course of revolutions in 1918 and 1919, in Central and Eastern Europe quite confirmed this thesis Engels drew from the experience of the Commune in 1871. Socialist revolution can win only through a process of revolutionary forces’ accumulation that by its nature and necessarily must be completed while imperialist bourgeoisie is still dominating. The attempts done by the parties of the first Communist International to carry out the socialist revolution in imperialist countries showed and confirmed that such an accumulation cannot only or mainly occur through the insertion of the conscious and organized communist movement (the communist party and its mass organizations) in the struggle the bourgeois parties and organizations carry out among them to gain the political direction.
We draw a conclusion from the balance of the first wave of proletarian revolution and the analysis of the preventive counter-revolution regimes (where the security of the regime comes first, the respect of democratic, political and civil rights come after) established by imperialist bourgeoisie: generally, the revolutionary forces’ accumulation in imperialist countries is the phase of "strategic defensive" of the protracted revolutionary popular war Mao tse-tung talks about. The protracted revolutionary popular war is the form of proletarian revolution also for the imperialist countries. The theory of the protracted revolutionary popular war outlined by Mao reflects the development of imperialist countries’ revolutionary process as well. Most probably, in every country the socialist revolution will be a reversal of the extermination war that as a matter of fact, driven by the second general crisis of capitalism, imperialist bourgeoisie is carrying out against the popular masses of imperialist countries. It will reverse this war in a war the popular masses will carry out in a more and more systematic and organized way, taking the initiative guided by the working class directed by the communist party. It will be the fight between the masses’ revolutionary mobilization promoted by the communist party and the masses’ reactionary mobilization the bourgeoisie must promote in order to face the political and cultural crisis and the inter-imperialist war. In the course of it the transformation of masses’ reactionary mobilization in revolutionary mobilization will be realized. This work’s direction can be taken and carried out only by communist parties that guarantee their existence and work’s continuity whatever bourgeoisie’s attempts to break them off may be, that is by communist parties clandestine as Lenin’s party was and as imperialist countries’ communist parties were as well, but only in the periods when imperialist bourgeoisie forbade the Communists to carry out an open political activity.
7. The mass-line method
The communist parties even if clandestine can promote and direct a large mass’ mobilization adopting mass-line as main method of direction in the meaning explained by Mao Tse-tung. It consists of identifying the left and right wing and the centre in every social aggregate, in every circumstance and at every level, then in mobilizing and organizing the left wing so to unite the centre to it and isolate the right wing. In every social aggregate and circumstance the left wing consists of that part that has aspirations and objectives which realization favors the cause of proletarian revolution, and that, developing from one phase to another, drive those forces to flow in the river of proletarian revolution, in the way suitable to their nature. From another point of view, this method consists of collecting ideas and feelings existing among the masses in a scattered and confused way, of elaborating and drawing from them lines, methods and measures, so that they can recognize them as their own and put them into practice. Then it goes on collecting the new ideas and feelings born among the masses on the ground of the new practice they carried out, elaborating in lines, measures and methods and bringing them back among the masses, and so on over and over again. The communist parties which successfully led revolutions in the last century practiced the mass-line as main method of work and direction, even if they didn’t’ clearly realized it. Under their direction the popular masses defeated imperialist bourgeoisie, drove back all the attempts of revenge and restoration and imperialist bourgeoisie’s aggression and built socialist countries invincible and able to carry out great progresses, which influence spread out all over the world infusing strength, trust and rush into the popular masses of every country: the imperialist bourgeoisie didn’t leave any stone unturned in order to defend itself from their influence above the popular masses. The socialist countries became unstable, had to protect themselves with barriers from bourgeoisie’s influence and the relations of the forces are reversed, only when the modern revisionists prevailed in the communist parties, with their bourgeois solutions to the problems of the socialist society, and the communist parties pretended to direct the socialist societies no more as they were directed by the true Communists (through communist party, mass organizations, mass-line), but as the bourgeoisie directs its subordinates (through industrial relations), the popular masses (through macroeconomic and general politics) and itself (through bourgeois democracy and inter-imperialistic wars).
The mass-line is the right and necessary relation of the communist movement as conscious and organized movement with the communist movement as a practical movement transforming the present state of things, of which the first is a part and an aspect.
According to us these are the main questions of universal character that the new communist parties must deal with, in order to define a program able to let them overcome the present state of stagnation and accumulate revolutionary forces. We believe that the Communists looking for an answer to these questions, if they will not surrender till they will get satisfactory answers, will come to our same conclusion: Maoism is the third higher stage of communist thinking after Marxism and Leninism, just as Leninism was the second higher stage after Marxism, in the same meaning explained by Stalin in Leninism Principles (1924).
The rebirth of the communist movement is an historical necessity, and it will inevitably happen. We are only it spokesmen and promoters. We shall better and faster fulfill our task giving up dogmatism and uniting our forces to define the universal and general characters of the conception and method adequate to the tasks we deal with. We shall better and faster do it considering the work Communists carry out in their countries as an experience useful for defining the general program and method, and as a field where we may experiment their trueness through their concrete application, and particularly the trueness where there are reflected the specific characteristics of every country by now having a indispensable function in popular masses’ mobilization and action.
In order to do this, all the communist parties and organizations, and the not yet organized Communists and the Subjective Forces of the Socialist Revolution, particularly those of imperialist countries, must unite their forces creating a circuit founded on three factors: 1. the reciprocal knowledge and the exchange of experiences, 2. the open debate, founded on criticism and self-criticism, about the analysis of the situation, the balance of the communist movement, the program, the methods and the general political lines, 3. the solidarity against the preventive counter-revolution (the national security politics) that characterizes the imperialist bourgeoisie’s political activity. They are all indispensable aspects that must go on at the same time and mutually strengthen each other. The ideological and political unity can strengthen itself only through the ideological fight, and it’s always relative. Without sincere and open debate about the ideological and political divergences, without sincerely facing the controversial questions, also the exchange of the experiences largely remains a formality; it is a deprived of its positive effects. What unites us and that no divergence destroys is the common struggle against imperialist bourgeoisie and for communism, and the solidarity that ties each others in this struggle. We must not fear the ideological struggle or the fact that the bourgeoisie surely shall attempt to take advantage from our divergences. Through the ideological struggle we shall trace righter orientation and line, which will allow us to become the vanguard and organized part of the working class and to make it lead our countries’ popular masses in the struggle against imperialist bourgeoisie. So, we shall become the conscious and organized part, which the practical movement that changes the present state of things absolutely needs to go its way.
Founding on it, the Preparatory Commission of the of the (new) Italian Communist Party’s foundation congress shall try to establish and carry out international relations, paying attention, as much as possible for us, to conferences, seminars, and international aggregations of communist parties and organizations already regularly working and all the other initiatives other communist organizations already are promoting. Founding on it, we ask all communist parties and organizations, all Communists yet not organized and Subjective Forces of Socialist Revolution, particularly those of European imperialist countries, to pay attention to our positions and experiences, in the light of theirs to criticize them, and to intensify and improve the relations of unity and struggle among all us.
The bolder in self-criticism, the more disposed to learn from others’ experience, will go on better and faster and will teach to others. We all must change ourselves and become the more conscious and resolute part of the great army of the classes and oppressed people marching towards the victory of proletarian revolution on a world level.
To draft this call, the CP took in account the programmatic writings of the following parties and organizations:
1. Revolutionary Communist Party of USA (RCP-USA) www.rwor.org
2. Revolutionary Communist Party (Organizational Committees)of Canada firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Marxist Leninist Party of Germany (MLPD) www.mlpd.de
4. Labor Party of Belgium (PTB) www.ptb.be
5. Communist Party of Spain (reconstituted) (PCE(r)) www.antorcha.org
6. Communist (Marxist Leninist) Organization Voie Proletarienne (France) email@example.com
7. Committees to Support Resistance for Communism (CARC Italy)
8. Communist Organization Rossoperaio (RO Italy) firstname.lastname@example.org
9. International Conference of Marxist Leninist Parties and Organizations (ICML) int.co@-online.de
10. Revolutionary Internationalist Movement (RIM) email@example.com
The list doesn’t intend to exclude other parties and organizations nor indicates a particular affinity with the organizations included. They are all organizations we were able to study the programmatic writings and which we think could be useful to sincerely and openly debate with.