|Last update on October 6, 2020|
|WHAT DISTINGUISHES OUR PARTY – The line running from Marx to Lenin to the foundation of the Third International and the birth of the Communist Party of Italy in Leghorn (Livorno) 1921, and from there to the struggle of the Italian Communist Left against the degeneration in Moscow and to the rejection of popular fronts and coalition of resistance groups – The tough work of restoring the revolutionary doctrine and the party organ, in contact with the working class, outside the realm of personal politics and electoralist manoevrings|
Against the Electoral Circus
Elections! The deception against the workers is the same: that the vote – within the framework of this social, economic and political system – is a useful tool to defend the living conditions and political objectives of the working class.
The lie has a name: Democracy. The workers are not rulers over anything, since political power is firmly in the hands of the ruling class, i.e. big industry, finance and landowners.
Political power is exercised by this social class, the bourgeoisie, against the working class, first of all through the state machine, which is not at all a neutral entity at the service of the citizens, but rather the instrument for the domination and oppression of the workers, in the interest of the master.
For workers, the number of Members of Congress, legislature and city halls of whatever party, does not change anything: they have passed the laws of the past against the proletarians (social security, COVID stimulus, etc. etc.) and they will do so in the future.
The economic and political power, the handling of the state machine and the media, guarantee the ruling class the certainty that the elections and the parties that participate in them will still lead to governments that protect their interests.
By now, the parties that are part of the electoral game, or that would like to be part of it, are declaring their only choice to be on the side of the bourgeoisie.
Either electoral preparation or revolutionary preparation, we revolutionary communists have written on our banners!
The workers must not take the bait for the false promises of those who want to deceive them that one vote will be enough to change their conditions for the better, to oppose the cut in wages, the increase in unemployment, the prevailing racism.
Even if there were a party really on the side of the workers able to take millions of votes, they would not be enough to change the nature of the present social and political regime. They would always be in the minority within the congress and if ever, absurdly, they could become a majority, the ruling class would close the congress itself and throw away the democratic mask to show the true face of the dictatorship of capital over the workers.
This was the lesson of fascism.
Millions of votes would be useless. Hundreds of thousands of workers on strike can bring in a few days wage increases and material improvements in the living conditions of workers that no "electoral path" can achieve.
At a time of serious economic and political crisis of the bourgeoisie, a vast movement of strikes, framed in a large class union, directed by the most conscious part of the workers framed in the real communist party are the conditions that will allow to take political power away from the bourgeoisie and free humanity from capitalism.
Comrade Graziadei, showing a few days ago to French socialists the situation of the Italian Socialist Party (P.S.I) and making allusion to the function of the Third International, recalled Lenin is so favorable to a reasonable autonomy of practical action in different countries that he congratulated the decision made by the Congress of Bologna to participate in the general elections of the bourgeois parliament1, a resolution, however, fought against by a committed minority to better interpret the thought of the great politician of socialist Russia.
This minority having defended and amply discussed the thesis of non-participation in legislative elections in this journal even before showing it to the Congress of Bologna, some light must be shed on this inaccurate assertion by Comrade Graziadei.
The abstentionist communist tendency has never, no matter what they say, pretended to be the most faithful interpreter of Lenin’s thought. It has always maintained that Russian Bolshevism has nothing new from a theoretical point of view, like Lenin himself has recognized; Bolshevism is in fact nothing other than the return of Marxism at its most rigid and severe: in all his declarations and his polemics, it is to the rest of it that Lenin constantly appeals.
The frequent coincidence between our directives and those of Lenin demonstrate that the two currents stem from the same trunk and develop in the same direction.
If we have supported and continue to support the P.S.I.’s non-participation in parliament and other organs of the bourgeois State, it is because we judge that the current historical period is revolutionary, that in such a period, the specific function of the party is to demolish the bourgeois State, and it must fulfill that task.
Our view coincides exactly with one of the conclusions from Lenin’s report to the Congress of Third International in Moscow.
We put a much greater value on non-participation than did Lenin, for we consider that non-participation is all the more necessary and imperative now that the western countries have been plunged much longer in the delights of the precious democratic civilization of Turati and his ilk, and its roots are particularly difficult to tear out.
We believe that the evident contradiction between the conclusions of the report and the two letters by the very same Lenin results from the small significance that he attributed to democratic institutions, which in Russia only had a brief and precarious life and, not being familiar with the masses, had not been able to exercise as great an influence on them as it did with us, where it was further reinforced by left parties and in particular by the P.S.I. who for years have worked assiduously to valorize these institutions.
As for autonomy of tactics in diverse nations, we are resolutely against it. For some time, on the contrary, we insist that the representatives of the parties of the Third International reconvene in congress, precisely to reach an agreement on tactics and unity.
The absence of a rigorous uniformity in tactics was one of the causes of the great feebleness of the pre-war International and it has had the most painful and miserable consequences.
To repeat the same error in the Third International would mean exposure to new surprises and cruel disillusionment.
Uniformity of tactics has for us a capital importance. Among questions of tactics, the one of participation or not in bourgeois elections has primary importance, for it marks the clear separation from the partisans of social-democracy and the partisans for the dictatorship of the proletariat: it is on these two profoundly antithetical conceptions that socialists must polarize; any transaction between them is equivocal and engenders confusion. Subsequent coexistence of these two groups in the same party is a cause of weakness for both, but it is certainly noxious for the communist tendency that, appearing most recently, must isolate itself and have its own physiognomy, if it wants to make its own place.
All of the comrades of our tendency are thoroughly studying this delicate moment of its life and its development, and they weigh the dangers and, if there are any, advantages of participation in elections to be able to judge the issue seriously.
Over feelings and habits, there are the great duties of the hour, that allow no weaknesses, no conversations, no accommodations, but require firm, frank, rectilinear resolutions, exclusively inspired by the supreme interests of the proletarian cause.
1. “The resolution of your Congress on participating in elections to the bourgeois parliament is in my opinion perfectly correct, and I hope that it will help to achieve unity in the Communist Party of Germany, which has just split on this issue”.
From “Il Soviet”, 3rd year, number 4, February 1, 1920
«According to the British National Cyber Security Centre, hackers linked to the Russian government have attacked British, American and Canadian organizations to steal information about the testing of a vaccine against the coronavirus» - ANSA.
«The State Department has announced that it has obtained the indictment of two alleged Chinese hackers accused of stealing information about the research for the coronavirus vaccine» - The Washington Post.
When the whole of humanity is in distress and suffering from the spread of an epidemic whose development is impossible to predict and whose consequences could prove catastrophic, capitalism finds it entirely right and legitimate that the protection of business secrets should hinder and delay the preparation of a vaccine.
Every discovery, even if partial, every result of difficult experiments and data collection and analysis, the result of the work of an army of technicians and scientists engaged in difficult study, is not the property of the workers, but of the capitalist masters. And if the workers dare to talk about it outside the corporate environment, they are liable to criminal charges, according to the law, and for damages, like thieves, like the worker who pockets one pair of socks out of the thousands she makes every day.
The clinical trials are also kept secret, multiplying infinitely the number of poor people who must be subjected to the test of effectiveness and tolerability. Each "firm" proceeds against the others, does everything in its power to damage them, divert them, delay them.
Its hurry is not to get there first to save lives from a horrible death by asphyxiation, but to win contracts. The vaccine must not be the most effective and the safest, but the one that arrives on the market before the others. And they speak of prices from $40 (Reuters) to $210 (Bloomberg) per dose!
Of course, we do not confuse Russian and Chinese hackers for a new Robin Hood, as they also steal secrets to sell them.
Humanity, now fully international, needs to free science and technology from the anguish, arbitrariness, and demented selfishness of capital, which now tyrannizes the world of the living as a monstrous alien force.
Free it, yes, but not to decamp from materialism and the scientific method, to fall back on ignorance, irrationalism, the rejection of the unity of knowledge and the experimental method. No, not to go back from bourgeois science, but to go further, to overcome it in diligent study, towards a knowledge and practice for the first time truly disinterested, open, and, simply, human.
The pandemic has not dampened the confrontation between China and the United States in the waters off the Chinese coast.
The spread of the virus among US sailors stationed in the Pacific has limited the operational capabilities of their units, allowing an increase in the activity of rival military apparatuses. A significant case is that of the aircraft carrier Roosevelt, which with over 800 infected remained stuck in its Guam base, but four aircraft carriers were also infected, including the other aircraft carrier in the Pacific, the Ronald Reagan, which operates from Japan.
This momentary US difficulty was used by China to conquer strategic positions in the disputed areas. It conducted several operations to demonstrate its strength, moving air and naval equipment there. In recent months, Chinese ships have plowed through the waters of the Strait of Formosa and undertaken actions in the waters of the China Seas, including the sinking of a Vietnamese fishing boat, and in early July conducting a large military exercise around the Paracel Islands. Last April, China went so far as to formalize its control over Paracel and Spratly Islands with the creation of two administrative regions for them, the Xisha and Nansha districts, which are part of Hainan province.
Beijing’s military activism on the seas was accompanied by a squeeze on Hong Kong, despite numerous and prolonged protests of the autonomist movement, which were severely repressed by the Chinese authorities. The recent national security law that Beijing has imposed on Hong Kong aims to bring the former British colony back firmly under the control of the Chinese center and to put an end to the protests used by Western powers, primarily by American imperialism, to engage China.
In fact, Chinese imperialism, before it can commit itself to questioning the current world partition, needs to settle the home front, taking into account those areas where centrifugal tendencies are present, such as Hong Kong, Xinjiang, and especially Taiwan.
Precisely towards Taiwan, China has increased military pressure in recent months with an ever-greater number of operations in the Strait, featuring naval exercises and landings, and on several occasions trespassing in Taiwanese waters and airspace. In April alone, the Liaotung aircraft carrier and its strike group crossed the strait in twice, forcing the Taiwanese army to send planes and warships to observe it.
Nor was the response from the United States lacking: US military ships crossed the Strait on at least seven occasions this year, a clear warning for Beijing. Another warning was the recent arms sale from the United States to Taiwan, not so much for the quantity (because we are talking about supplies worth only 180 million dollars, a small fraction of the more than two billion dollars in armaments sold last year) but because the announcement of the sale came on the same day that Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen, who won the elections last January as head of a party fiercely hostile to Beijing, was sworn in for her second term. Another military deal for Taiwan worth a total of 620 million dollars was approved by the US State Department in July. With Lockheed Martin being the main arms supplier to Taiwan, China has decided to impose sanctions against the US company. Also in July, in support of the positions of Taiwan and other states involved in territorial disputes with China, the US deployed two aircraft carriers and their respective combat groups in the Philippine Sea.
The People’s Republic is not ready to risk a war with the United States for Taiwan, despite the rapid development of national capitalism that is fueling and requiring substantial rearmament, with investments in air, naval, missile, information, and other forces. At the moment the games in progress do not shift the balance of forces that much. The two imperialisms are different sizes. On the one hand, there is a young imperialism that claims the role corresponding to its economic weight in the imperialist partition. Its political and military power has to be imposed in the surrounding regions before launching onto the open seas. It is already competing for islands and islets with the other states of the region, smaller in tonnage but supported by the United States. On the other hand, there is the United States which, although a declining imperial power, pursued by the rise of new large and medium powers, still represents the only true world gendarme, capable of imposing its military presence in all corners of the world and still maintaining superiority in the Pacific.
The current skirmishes exist in the context of a profound crisis that is shaking the capitalist mode of production, whose only solution can only be a huge destruction of men and goods to allow a new cycle of capital accumulation. The next world slaughter that capital is preparing will see, as already happened in the Second World War, the Pacific region among the main theaters of confrontation between the imperialist powers.
But, while at the time of the Second World War the Far East was still a geographical area with a predominantly peasant population, today the spread of the capitalist mode of production has amassed hundreds of millions of proletarians in the Asian metropolises, who, exploited by the national bourgeoisie and by foreigners, have no homeland. United with the proletarians of the other capitalist metropolises, they form the great world proletarian army that will destroy this decrepit and infamous bourgeois world forever.
Bourgeois organizations are pushing both the provincial and federal governments to intervene quickly to limit the economic damage that could be caused by an extended standoff between Montreal Port workers and the Maritime Employers Association.
The federal government refused to intervene despite repeated requests from the Patronage and the Quebec provincial government. Remember that the Port of Montreal is under federal jurisdiction (Government of Canada) and that workers are not protected by anti-scab law.
In addition, on the side of local 375, a truce took place on August 21, 2020, after 12 days of strike and picket. However, the strike was going very well and the situation was in favor of the workers of the Port of Montreal. In fact, the Conseil du patronat du Québec (CPQ), the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal (CCMM), the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), the Federation of Quebec Chambers of Commerce (FCCQ) and the Manufacturers and Exportateurs du Québec (MEQ) began to fear the worst, and the economic damage was already being felt.
Despite this refusal, a 7-month truce was signed between the union and the employer. What can be frustrating for the stevedores on strike is that they had the balance of power (the strike was starting to cost the employers dearly) and now risks losing it, leaving the MEA to organize its response in 7 months. The union reportedly acted out of fear of losing its right to strike if the situation continued as rumors of Canadian government intervention began to be heard. The longshoremen are therefore returning to zero and if the union strategy turns out to be the same after the truce, the marathon towards a new agreement is not about to end. The unions in Quebec are very good at this game: to let a fight get bogged down, run out of steam, and thus see workers vote for a bargain convention in the face of what seems to be an endless situation.
The NBA continues to trudge its season along in its Orlando resort bubble, in the hopes to crown a champion. Perhaps it will be “comrade” Xi’s esteemed ambassador, LeBron James! In any case, while all the dribbling has gone on, the NBA has also made a concerted effort to show how they are the sports league of the people. Yes, the multibillion dollar sports and media entity with ties to the great capitalist powers (10 percent of revenue from China!) want you, the black American that makes up the majority of its audience, to know that they stand with #BlackLivesMatter.
And just like #BlackLivesMatter, the NBA wants you to fight by not fighting.
In the wake of the Jacob Blake shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the NBA players in the bubble boycotted their playoff games for two days. There were no real demands, and any “concessions” made were vague at best. The “results,” as it has now been spun, are that the players were able to get the people “pay attention” to the issues. Of course, seeing as how America is in an election year, the people have been bombarded nonstop with “the issues,” including from the NBA, which has slathered sanitized social justice all over their branding in the wake of this summer’s #BlackLivesMatter protests.
The action that people have been called upon to take has been as predictable as ever: vote. Vote, vote, vote. The wheelers and dealers of the NBA have made several pleas to their viewership to vote in November, and are creating organizations to get people registered (gotta brand as much cattle as you can!)
The proletariat, let alone the black proletariat, cannot find words of liberation in their hero figures. Their heroes will only ask that they consent to the system that continues to kill them, for it is that system that gives these heroes their platform, their status, and most importantly, their money.
Workers of America and the world, reject the pleas of your heroes. Build your own organs of power, and don’t be led like cattle to the ballot box!