The monarchy of Felipe VI or the Third Republic are only forms of government of the bourgeois class, and therefore of exploitation and misery for the proletariat
(«Proletarian»;Nr. 11; Winter-Spring 2015)
The abdication of King Juan Carlos in favor of his son Felipe has no other purpose than the restructuring of certain aspects of the form of the State. 6 years of economic crisis, together with the corruption scandals of the royal family and the increasingly pronounced discontent of broad sectors of society towards the monarchy, were enough to challenge the current model; which coming about during the period of transition from Francoism to democracy, has for 39 years played its role in ensuring the submission of the proletariat to the requirements of the bourgeoisie under the cloak of democratic collaboration between classes.
After the death of Franco, a previous crisis – the so-called oil crisis –, caused a significant increase in clashes between proletarians and bourgeois on the terrain of the immediate struggle for wages and living conditions, as well as some «social» issues that had generated a groundswell of tensions in the last years of the dictatorship (the situation of women, the Basque and Catalan questions, etc..). In addition, the example of neighboring Portugal where the long colonial war had finally put an end to the dictatorship and rendered the struggle of broad layers of the working class uncontrollable, weighed like an infernal specter on the spirits of the Spanish and European bourgeoisies. The so-called «democratic transition» was a great social pact dominated by the figure of the king, but actually led by the simultaneous support of European and American bourgeoisies and collaboration of all sectors of the regime and the opposition. Its purpose was to act as a guarantor of the Government of the bourgeoisie which have to deal with the aggravation of the class struggle, at the same time as to address the urgent need to reorganize the strategic sectors of the national economy to defend its position in inter-imperialism competition; a task that would not be carried out if the State form had continued to be that of the «organic democracy» operating since the end of the civil war.
It was necessary to achieve democratic reform in order to give a semblance of reality to the fiction that the proletariat could see its aspirations fulfilled not by struggle, but by collaboration with the bourgeoisie guaranteed by elections, a parliament, a constitution and a parliamentary monarchy. It was an indispensable condition to demand sacrifices from the proletariat for the supposed common good through the democratization of the state and the smooth running of the economy. The German bourgeoisie through its Social Democratic Party, the French bourgeoisie as the power with the most interests in Spain, the United States itself and of course the so-called democratic opposition (which went from Basque and Catalan nationalism to the far-left parties including the PCE, united in the Democratic Platform) collaborated elbow to elbow to ensure that institutional reform was done as cheaply as possible (although, of course, there were inevitably costs, but which were incurredwithout problems; the transition was not so peaceful: there were hundreds of victims during this process).
In the final analysis it was a remodeling of the Franco system (in fact already very different from the one established in 1939), directed by the State apparatus itself, hand in hand with the democratic parties, charged, thanks to their influence on the proletariat, to make sure the workers observed the social pact.
Thus, the monarchical constitution was accepted both by sectors of the Franco regime which was the form taken by the domination of the bourgeois class for 40 years, and by «workers’» parties which submitted the proletarians to the discipline necessary so that everything would take place without too much difficulty.
Indeed, those parties with the PCE and the PSOE (Socialist Party) in the lead, imposed order, including in the streets by attacking without hesitation any strike or protest that would have put a risk even some secondary aspect of the reform, forcing the proletarians to put the «national interest» before their own interests and also to collaborate in the «dirty war» against ETA militants…
Those who now call for the Third Republic, not only were the source of the monarchical constitution, but also defended it tooth and nail against all those who opposed it.
Today Juancarlism is finished. The personage of the king was generally discredited because of a growing loss of confidence in public institutions and the series of scandals in the royal family. For the myth of democratic cooperation to remain, the king who had focused discontent in recent years had to go. His abdication aims to ease tensions, to restore the top echelons of the state and renew confidence in it, in a word to make a country in crisis a little more governable.
At the same time that the monarchy represented by Juan Carlos was discredited so as to become a source of tension rather than social cohesion, this widespread discontent affecting the proletariat as well as some sections of the petty bourgeoisie, found its political expression in an old and new parliamentary left which defends the democratic illusion that a change of the model of the State – the transition from constitutional monarchy to bourgeois democratic republic – could improve the living conditions of the people. This illusion is based on two points.
On the one hand is the idea that the republic is the ultimate expression of democracy, democracy being the regime that is farthest from capitalism and which consequently would definitively avoid crises and misery. On the other hand is the fantastic belief that the deterioration of the living conditions experienced by the proletarian class which constitutes the majority of society in the capitalist world, is not the result of a crisis caused by the falling rate of profit of enterprises, but a scam by the ruling elites to defraud the popular classes of their social and economic rights.
By this logic, the republic would be able to reorganize the country so that all classes could live in harmony without fighting against each other, for the greater glory of the national economy (which of course would work in the people’s interest).
The maneuver is the same as in 1978 with the monarchical Constitution: to make believe that through democratic reform all classes will be able to coexist peacefully and that therefore there should not be struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, but a democratic conciliation (monarchical yesterday, Republican today). This is what the Spanish bourgeoisie seeks by the abdication of Juan Carlos. The perfect equivalence between the republic and the monarchy is clearly demonstrated by their respective supporters who use and re-use the same arguments and have the same goals. The republican parties which have proposed a hypothetical Third Republic did so in total respect to the monarchical 1978 Constitution, the supreme law by which the bourgeoisie sanctioned its domination over the proletariat: convening of a referendum, democratic modification of the state, central role of parliamentary assemblies in this whole process... They want the state to reform itself, to change its attire to better fulfill its class role. In fact it would be a new edition of the famous hara-kiri committed by the Francoist parliamentary assemblies to give way to a constitutional monarchy. In both cases, it is basically to defend the bourgeois State, whatever its form.
The interests of the proletarian class cannot be met under the monarchy of Felipe or under the Third Republic. For The proletariat what is important is not the form adopted by the bourgeois State, but the very existence of that State which imposes and promotes the interests of national capitalism, both in terms of the internal situation and internationally in its dealings with foreign imperialisms.
This does not mean that the proletariat is indifferent to the form of the State, which depends on material forces including the confrontation between classes which plays a central role. We cannot exclude the possibility that tomorrow, as a result of a worsening of the proletarian struggle, the bourgeoisie under the pressure of this struggle, gives the state a republican form. It would then be a way to temporarily lower the social tension and bring the proletariat onto the path of submission to the political power of the bourgeoisie.
This is what happened in 1931, when the bourgeoisie found itself unable to govern the country by monarchical means; it took it only a few municipal elections to put an end to Alfonso XIII and impose a government of republican parties. A year later, the Republic murdered peasants in Viejos Casas; the following year the proletarians of Alto Llobregat, in 1934 the workers of Asturias and in 1936 began the massacre of the revolutionary proletariat which was completed by the Franco regime.
Proletarian aspirations cannot be met by the capitalist system and its State. It is the capitalist system itself which opposes the proletariat to the bourgeoisie, which generalizes social production but submits it to the categories of private property and wage labor, which periodically plunges the proletariat into poverty, which use it as cannon fodder in wars, which destroys it when the workforce becomes supernumerary and is no longer usable by the national economy.
The proletarian class brings with it a new mode of production which will rise on the ruins of the current mode of production.
But to impose this new mode of production, it will have to first destroy the bourgeois State, whatever its form, totalitarian or democratic, monarchical or republican, because this State is the instrument of political domination of its class enemy. It will replace it with its own class State – which is no longer a State in the usual sense of the term (Engels) – and through this intermediary exercise its dictatorship over the remains of the bourgeoisie and the classes allied with it which will never abandon the field without a fight to the end.
This dictatorship is necessary not only to break the resistance of the bourgeoisie, but also to act despotically in the economy to lay the groundwork for the socialist transformation of society, a transformation that will obviate the existence of the State to the extent where the disappearance of social classes (and not merely the end of the confrontation between classes proposed by the reformers of all kinds, as if the existence of classes was eternal) will bring about the disappearance of the need of any form of political coercion.
In confronting the monarchy or republic dilemma, the proletariat has only one alternative: to constitute itself as a class for itself and therefore into a political party to go forward to its historic goal, the communist revolution.
When confronted with the Republican proposals intending to bind the proletarian class in an interclassist fight alongside bourgeois and petty-bourgeois with the stupid aim of putting an end to class antagonisms, the only response of the proletariat can be in beginning to struggle for its immediate demands against the bourgeois, large and small; in fighting back against the attacks suffered during the crisis by attacking the interests of its enemies; in creating and developing its class organizations including only proletarians and breaking down the pressure that competition exerts on wages and living conditions; in following the path which, from the defensive struggle ascends, thanks to the intervention of the class party, to the general political struggle, class against class.
Against the red and gold monarchist flag and the republican tricolor flag, only the proletariat can raise the red flag of the social revolution for the conquest of political power, the destruction of the bourgeois state and the liquidation of the capitalist mode of production.
Down with the monarchy, the republic and all forms of the bourgeois state!
For the resumption of the class struggle!
For the communist revolution!
International Communist Party