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|Last update on June 25, 2022|
|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
Medvedev expresses a fanatical and warmongering nationalism. He glares at the “decadence of the West”, ignoring that he also has at home – in Holy Mother Russia, which has reached its maximum state of bourgeois putrefaction – that very world which he claims to combat. The decadence, the degeneration belongs to every capitalism, though dishonestly justified by the heroic and patriotic values of every “culture” and “civilization”.
The war mobilization is fueled, on both sides of the front, in a similar fashion: a nationalist leader, brutalized by the fanatical cult of the fatherland, makes paranoid claims to convince the Russians that the enemies want to destroy them. The shrewd echo of the media beyond the iron curtain repeats “the bear (medved in Russian) wants to kill all Westerners”.
Even this propagandistic poison is the fruit of the collaboration of the capitalists of Russia and NATO to carry out their infamous war against the workers of every country.
On May 20, 2022 thousands of Italian workers went on strike against imperialist wars – not only the one in the Ukraine, but the ones in Yemen, Syria and elsewhere in world. The International Communist Party is circulating this news to give encouragement to workers around the world to take up the struggle initiated by these Italian unionists.
below is the ICP leaflet distributed by our comrades in Rome,
Florence, Genoa, Turin and Milan. Following is our analysis of the
successes and failures of the strike.
The national and general strike promoted by all the base/rank and file trade unions is an important first step towards organizing the struggle of the working class against the imperialist war.
This war is being fought today by proxy in Ukraine, just as war was fought before in Iraq, the Balkans, Afghanistan, Syria, and – in the ever nearer future – as it will be in all countries if the working class, the only one who can, does not prevent it.
This strike is important because it is the first national action promoted by workers’ organizations that breaks with the climate of social discipline, imposed by the bourgeois regime in Italy and in all countries, in order to impose a war on the workers, flooding them with nationalist, patriotic, militarist, partisan, and “resistance” ideologies.
This strike is an action against the new world imperialist war that the bourgeois regimes are preparing before our eyes, with which they want to save the profits of industry and finance, that is, their social privilege and political domination, at the cost of millions of lives.
This strike is important because it is being carried out while the regime unions (CGIL, CISL, UIL) keep the workers immobile, without directing our instinctive rejection of the war towards any unified action of struggle.
But more so, this strike is important because – in spite of the hesitations, the tactics of stalling, and the opportunistic wait-and-see attitude of the different leaderships – all the base trade unions have finally joined in unity. It can and must be the first step of a united campaign – with demonstrations and assemblies inside and outside the workplace – for the construction of a real general strike against the war, which extends the unity of action to the whole of militant trade unionism, involving also the groups of combative workers still framed in the regime unions (CGIL, CISL, UIL) and the militant factions within the CGIL.
Finally, this strike is important because it can and must set an example for workers in all countries to do the same and to aim for an international strike against war.
The victims of the current war are the workers in Ukraine and the Ukrainian and Russian soldiers forced to fight – to kill and be killed – by their respective imperialist regimes and fronts.
But the war is also affecting workers around the world, with rising prices and military spending.
In order to curb the rise in the price of grain, the bourgeois government of India – a country of 1.4 billion inhabitants – has blocked grain exports. This will exacerbate the rise in their price on the international market. Already powerful uprisings are taking place in Sri Lanka and Iran. Worsening living conditions will sweep over workers around the world like an avalanche in the coming months.
The working class will suffer this while the war makes enormous profits for industrialists and financiers. In Italy the biggest groups – Eni, Leonardo, Fincantieri – make enormous profits and they are all state-owned. The Italian bourgeois state is the first to profit from the war!
That is why the workers must prepare to fight in defense of their living conditions, to prevent the costs of the bourgeois war from being put on the working class. To resist paying the costs of the war is for the workers the first act of their defeatism in the bourgeois war, that is, their refusal to fight, the only means of preventing them from paying for it at the price of their lives.
all countries workers are oppressed by the regimes of the capitalist
class, even in those that have usurped the name "socialist"
– China, Vietnam, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba – and in the
so-called democratic ones too. The workers have nothing to defend in
capitalism, including democracy which serves only to mask the
dictatorial regime of capital. They
have no homeland to defend (as
Marxism has shown us since the Communist
of 1848). Rather, they must conquer
in their international revolution, following the watchword:
of all countries unite!"
A general strike “against the war and the war economy” – as the day of struggle was called by the trade unions promoting it – was a small but correct act of condemnation of the war on the part of the working class, in fact represented in Italy exclusively by militant unionism.
At this point it is the only anti-war strike organized by trade unions in Europe, which makes it even more important as well as an example to workers and class unionism in all countries.
It was not able to be a real general strike – that is, a mobilization of the great masses of workers capable of blocking production and the circulation of goods and services – because of the weakness of the militant unions due the inertia of decades of imposed passivity of the working masses.
The Ukrainian War – although still an imperialist war by proxy, like those on the more or less recent past in Iraq, the Balkans, Afghanistan and Syria – marks a decisive step towards a third world war, where the imperialist powers will confront each other directly, involving the workers of all the countries of the world.
This terrible prospect is carefully concealed from the workers by the ruling class’ political regimes, with the aim of making workers to the war unprepared, under the illusion until the day before that it cannot happen. In this action the bourgeoisie is assisted, in a vital way for it, by the regime’s trade unions (in Italy CGIL, CISL and UIL) which keep the working class immobile, lulling it into the illusion that nothing so serious can really come.
Instead, the economic effects which the war is producing, and which have already begun to affect workers, are still developing and will fully unfold in the coming months.
Secondly, the propaganda of the Italian bourgeois regime, siding with U.S. imperialism, strives to make the workers believe that the aggressor of the moment – in this case Russian imperialism – is to blame for the war, focusing on the surface of the problem, so as not to see this conflict as a clash between imperialisms, which is being fought today on Ukrainian territory, at the expense of that population, and by hiding the fact that the war is developing from the contradictions in the capitalist economy and is not provoked by whatever State that first decides to take military action.
This erroneous conviction is also supported among the workers by the bourgeois left and by opportunism, who share the ruling class’s false ideology about the possible peaceful coexistence between states, according to which the natural course of capitalism is peace, sanctioned by rules of coexistence between countries, which only backward policies and foolish men would interrupt. So, to “prevent war” it would be necessary to fight in it, and to win those countries where such policies prevailed.
This mistaken belief is shared by everyone who takes sides on one side of the front in the war between capitalist states, whether anti-American or anti-Russian: it would always be only one state or one bloc of states that would be the cause of the war, not capitalism itself.
Finally, a third element which today holds back the workers from joining an anti-war strike is the lie, spread by all the bourgeois and opportunists, that the working class is weak as a class in the social struggle, especially in the face of such a major issues.
Having said this, indeed precisely because of this, it was and is necessary and proper on the part of the militant unions to promote trade union action against the imperialist war, to combat all these factors that leave the workers defenseless against its maturing and advancing, and to give strength to the instinctive rejection of the war by the working class, following that part of it which has already matured the awareness of the seriousness of this war, of how the real aggressor is not the state under attack, but the whole international working class and how only its struggle can prevent or stop the imperialist war.
The fact that all grassroots unionism finally resolved to join the day of strike and mobilization was therefore a very positive result.
However, in the preparation of the strike, in addition to the difficulties mentioned above, which were already onerous in themselves, there were added the shortcomings produced by the opportunism of the leaderships of the grassroots unions.
The first public action to prepare for the strike was a national assembly held in Milan on April 9th. The assembly was promoted by the following unions: CUB, SGB, ADL Varese, USI CIT, Unicobas. During it, the SI COBAS declared adherence to the strike, but neither the USB nor the COBAS Confederation had done so. The lack of unity by rank and file unionism in joining the strike had repercussions on its preparation.
In addition, at the Milan assembly came the decision to hold united demonstrations on May Day, focusing on propaganda building the May 20 strike. But in Milan, the city where the rank and file unions are the strongest, the local SI COBAS leadership had its members march in separate demonstrations from those of the other rank and file unions. The SI COBAS leadership also never participated in the meetings held to prepare for the strike.
On the other hand, at these meetings one of our comrades, speaking on behalf of the Coordinamento Lavoratori Autoconvocati (CLA), argued for the need to draft a public and formal letter of invitation to all the bodies of militant unionism that had not yet joined the strike. So not only the grassroots unions – such as USB, Confederazione COBAS, ADL COBAS and others – but also the militant factions within the CGIL – "Riconquistiamo tutto", "Le giornate di marzo" and "Democrazia e lavoro" – and the former GKN Factory Collective. This action had not a formal but rather an eminently practical meaning. It would have served as an argument to lead the battle for membership within the unions that had not yet joined. But most of the leaders of the unions promoting the strike spoke out against it.
The adhesion of the USB to the strike finally came, but only on May 6th. And the COBAS Confederation adhered on May 11th. On May 15th, an oppositional faction in the CGIL – “Riconquistiamo tutto” – also issued a statement of support for the strike.
These divisions and delayed endorsements undermined any adequate, serious, determined or united preparation for the strike.
Considering these elements – both the objective ones and those resulting from the opportunism of the trade union leadership – the realization of small united marches held in a number of cities – Rome, Florence, Genoa, Milan, Venice – was an appreciable result which we take as confirmation of the conviction and determination of those trade union militants and workers who feel the need to oppose the imperialist war.
Now the action to be carried out within the militant trade union movement is to fight so that all the trade union organizations that participated in this first day of mobilization against the war start a path for the serious and united construction of a real general strike for the first weeks after the summer, with demonstrations and assemblies inside and outside the workplace, which will broaden the unity of action of militant trade unionism beyond the perimeter of grassroots trade unionism, involving groups of combative workers still framed in the regime’s unions and the militant factions within the CGIL, and allowing a wider participation of workers, members and non-members of trade unions.
The US Supreme Court’s decision is an act of war by the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie against the entire working class, disguised under the deceitful concept of democracy. It is a reaction to the tumultuous and ever changing nature of capitalist society, riddled with the constant fear that production will grind to a halt. Veiled by the facade of “traditional family values”, its real motivation lies in the falling rate of profit and increased cost of wages caused by the labor shortage and by rising commodity prices.
The proletariat’s ability to get abortions comes under fire when capitalism enters its moribund and crisis-ridden phase. We stand in the midst of a prolonged crisis of overproduction that has been ongoing since 2008. The entire system of world capitalism is artificially propped up by the central banks. World capitalism is hurtling us towards collapse and a third world war. And what will the bourgeoisie need then if not more flesh to sacrifice before the altar of profit?
To the capitalist class, the workers are nothing but a supply of labor power, to be exploited for as much profit as possible. The whole question of birth control is reduced to the inhuman and despotic calculations of supply and demand!
And this is what they call “freedom”! It is their class freedom, the democratic dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. It is their freedom to exploit and destroy, to break down the proletariat by overwork and then send them to the slaughter.
Communists have always supported abortion. The Paris Commune of 1871, the first victory of the world proletariat, guaranteed access to abortion along with other sexual and reproductive rights. The Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 gave Russia the freest system of abortion access in history, which the Communist International promised to give to the whole world. Abortion was freely available in healthcare settings for all Soviet citizens from 1920 to 1936. In that year, the tide of Stalinist counter-revolution, which killed the world revolution and brought capitalism back to Russian soil, reinstituted the ban on abortion along with other restrictions on sexual freedom dating to the tsarist period. The reason was a brutal program of unlimited capital accumulation (yet today’s Stalinists, still pretending to be communists, cry crocodile tears over restrictions on abortion!).
Compare the status of abortion in the Paris Commune and Bolshevik Russia to the bourgeois dictatorship that now prevails in every corner of the globe: abortion access is tenuous; it is often restricted to the wealthy if not banned altogether; where abortion is available there is ignorance and stigma surrounding it. This is the nature of abortion under the bourgeois regime, which treats reproductive freedom as only a means to the ultimate end of higher profits!
For the bourgeois opposition to abortion, the aim is clear. Forced pregnancy will further immiserate the proletariat, promote gender inequality, and ensure a larger supply of young workers to be exploited in the future. And the conservatives call this the “right to life”!
For the faction of the bourgeoisie that “supports” abortion, this “freedom” is only a means to exploit a greater part of the proletariat, to plunge working women more completely into the hell of the workplace.
For the liberals and the petty-bourgeois left, the specter of abortion restrictions is also an effective tool to fool the proletariat into participating in their democratic illusions. The Supreme Court’s decision shows how little their promises have meant in practice. We see that the entire bourgeois abortion scheme serves to keep the proletariat in chains, making it entirely dependent on the will of the propertied class.
Those who have sought to secure political rights within the existing bourgeois regime through voting, etc. – a program characteristic of the liberal and faux-socialist activism that has prevailed since Roe v. Wade – could not stop today’s decision, and will never be able to protect the ability for workers to get abortions in the future. Communists recognize that the concept of human rights is a sham perpetuated by the bourgeoisie to subordinate the workers under the yoke of national unity. It is pointless to ask for favors from a State which only exists to oppress us!
Now is the time for militant class action, not voting or petitions. Fight for the unity of action of the working class against the capitalist order! Throw out the collaborationist union bureaucracies which hold you back! Defend your class interests through uncompromising class struggle!