No to electoral mystifications! For the resumption of the class struggle! For the world communist revolution!
(«Proletarian»;Nr. 9; Winter 2012-2013)
The current global economic crisis which capitalism has the greatest difficulties in overcoming, is only the latest of the economic and social crises that have marked the development of capitalism since the end of World War II. It demonstrates anew that the society based on profit and the exploitation of workers is sinking ever deeper into insoluble contradictions which result in the deterioration of living conditions of the population, especially the great proletarian masses. For capitalists, the economic crisis means the risk of losing some or all of the profits they grasp under the protection of the “democratic” bourgeois state, its laws, its police and its armies; for the proletarians it means risking losing their jobs, their wages, their lives.
While themselves engaging in fierce internecine competition, the capitalists of all countries unite to ensure that the brunt of the crisis falls on the workers: which amounts to ever more exploitation, ever more cuts in welfare benefits (expenditures which are deemed “unproductive” by capitalists, but which are vital to workers, such as pensions, social insurance, etc.. – and which are actually part of the collective wage) in order to extract the supplemental profits essential to re-establishing their economy. If the underpriviliged workers are the most affected, falling into a situation of ever-growing precarity, the more fortunate sectors – including the famous “labor aristocracy” which supports the reformist defense of capitalism – are not spared, and even some strata of the petit-bourgeoisie are threatened with ruin and proletarianization.
One of the most pernicious effects of the capitalist crisis is the growing competition among proletarians, this competition.The war of all against all, is the modus vivendi of bourgeois society, which inevitably leads toincreasingly serious clashes between capitalist groups, between states, to open warfare, to competition between workers, between young and old, men and women, French and migrants; especially now the bitter antagonism between long time residents and “foreigners” is caused and fueled by the bourgeoisie to protect capitalism and maintain its class rule by dividing the working class.
If they don’t want to be crushed by the ever-growing capitalist pressure, the workers have no choice but to unite and organize to oppose the bosses and the state with the strength of their numbers. The bourgeoisie is well aware that they cannot effectively resist its attacks unless they fight and organize on their class terrain, i.e. with classist methods, means and objectives; it’s the reason why it does everything it can to foment divisions, appealing for the defense of the company or nation, designating workers in other companies, other corporations, other nationalities, as competitors or adversaries etc..
But this constant policy of fostering divisions in the ranks of the workers would be impossible without the active collaborationist roles of the reformist political and trade union apparatuses, who, while claiming to defend the workers, sabotage their struggles, divert them into dead-ends and spread the poisons of legalism, nationalism and chauvinism. Yet another example was given 2 years ago at the time of the movement against the pension “reform” in France: union leaders in conjunction with the government, controlled the movement, sabotaging every opportunity to turn it into a real struggle; then, after a carefully prepared defeat, they presented the next presidential elections as the solution, knowing full well that the Socialist Partyhad no intention ofremoving the Sarkozy reform ...
The class war which the bourgeois wages in all countries has two main objectives: 1) to bend the proletariat, which is the living force from which it extorts surplus value, to the needs of capitalism, shackling it on the political as well as the economic terrain to the preservation of capitalism, 2) to suppress, directly or indirectly, all initiatives by groups of proletarians to organize and to wage independent classist struggle to defend their immediate and future interests. To achieve these objectives, the State and all the bourgeois institutions (judicial, police, army, school, church, media ...) are not sufficient: it also requires the constant work of those close to or coming from the ranks of the proletariat: the collaborationist forces of political and trade union reformism.
Reformism, collaborationism, never puts into question the capitalist mode of production and the bourgeois state (and the social domination of the bourgeoisie), it always seeks to reconcile proletarian and bourgeois interests. Even when it takes combative poses, it always makes the defense of the living and working conditions of the proletarians dependant on the interests of the enterprise and the national economy: defense of wages or employment if the company makes Profits! Acceptance of sacrifices in terms of wages, work rate or employment, if they are necessary for the company to be competitive! Acceptance of competition between workers and campaigns against absenteeism if it helps increase productivity, etc..
Reformism, collaborationism, is so necessary for the bourgeoisie that even in times of crisis it devotes significant resources to operate the network of institutions of the collaboration between classes, to finance the trade unions and political parties – not to mention the electoral system and the stipends it means for tens of thousands of elected officials, the huge amount of subsidies to the most diverse associations that contribute to building the ever-famous “social bond” supposed to be able to oppose class confrontations, contributing decisively to the democratic and conservative intoxication of the proletarians.
History has demonstrated to the bourgeoisie that the methods of democracy are the most effective to consolidate its power, by making the exploited believe that it is possible to peacefully defend their interests through democratic institutions, thanks to an (illusory) political equality among all citizens. As a matter of fact, this formal political equality only masks the fundamental inequality of bourgeois society between those who own nothing but their labor-power and the capitalists, to whom they are obliged to sell this commodity in order to live.
Elections are one of the mystifications of the bourgeois democratic system;another is the myth of conciliation between the classes by which the reformists pretend to overcome antagonisms in the name of “social partnership”, and of which nationalism is the logical consequence. Ifin the past it was the right-wing parties and the extreme right who were the harbingers of nationalism, for a long time the same has become true of the left reformist and/or so-called communist parties which side under the national flag , or embrace economic protectionism.
For the proletariat, nationalism means during peacetime sacrificing their class interests to defend the national capitalism in economic competition, and, tomorrow, in time of war, agreeing to sacrifice their lives for this same sordid goal: under capitalism, peace is preparation for war. If the proletarian revolution fails to overthrow it beforehand, capitalism will not hesitate to plunge humanity into a third world war to try to resolve its internal contradictions when they reach an extreme intensity.
Whatever the politicians in government, left or right, capitalism is preparing a future of sacrifices, misery, of tears and blood. No election will prevent the situation that exists today in Greece Portugal and Spain, the situation which is coming in Italy and Britain, will inevitably be the situation of France, the U.S.A. etc.: a situation marked by a capitalist offensive against workers, with cuts in wages and benefits, with wave after wave of layoffs, with growing social despotism and repression. International tensions may hasten the outbreak of new imperialist military interventions, including under false “humanitarian” pretexts as was the case in Libya.
But the workers are not condemned to remain eternally helpless and passive victims of capitalism; they have an immense potential strengthbecause it is by their labor that the whole system operates. For this strenght to materialize, enabling them not only to resist the capitalists and their state, but even to set the goal of smashing capitalism, workers must take the path of organization and class struggle, in a complete break with the policies and defeatist practices of collaborationist reformism.
History has shown that in fighting on its class terrain, in engaging in open confrontation against all exploiters, the proletariat was able to stand up to the bourgeoisie and to overthrow it. It will be able to do so again when it rediscovers its class weapons and organizes around its class party to lead the struggle up until the international revolution and the establishment of its dictatorial class power – the necessary step to uproot capitalism and pave the way for a communist society without classes and without exploitation.
In the same way that the proletarian class movement will be reborn, so also will be reborn the revolutionary class party, international and internationalist! By creating the world-wide proletariat, the bourgeoisie will have produced its own gravediggers!
May 1, 2012
International Communist Party