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- Toma de posición - Statements
Against the economic and social war which the bourgeoisie is waging in all countries against the male and female proletariat, and against the war which imperialism is unable to stop
The oppression of women increases and deepens with the development of capitalism. It is an oppression that extends into all spheres of life. Life between the four walls of the household is a typical world of oppression for women, even in advanced capitalist countries, where women can study, work, 'make a career', run a business. In advanced capitalist countries, women have been drawn into the 'world of labour' which, according to bourgeois ideology, is the starting point of their 'emancipation'. Emancipation from what?, from the four walls of the household, where women have been left for centuries, forced to take care of the daily needs of the "family", that is, of husbands, fathers, children and grandchildren. With the passage of decades, and certainly with the entry of women into the civil struggles forced upon them by the "world of labour" in which capital itself has put them, and with the increased competition among the proletarians - since women's work has always been less well paid than men's -, women have in fact gained a recognition at the social level that was previously unimaginable, to the extent that the bourgeois ideology itself opposed them fiercely by continuing its view of women as inferior beings, as objects of male pleasure, as necessary means to "beget children", preferably "boys", through whom the physical inheritance and the name of the family, which was determined only along male lines, could be secured.
The "world of women" which the development of capitalism blew up by destroying the family by the same means by which it supposedly sought to emancipate women, i.e., wage labour, nevertheless has retained a kind of idealisation; both religion and society have overlaid the world of the family with it.
But wage labour is a typical economic and social oppression of capitalism; while on the one hand it destroys the family by tearing women away from domestic work and the care of children and the elderly in order to exploit their labour power in the production processes and in the valorisation of capital, on the other hand it leads women to broaden their outlook to affairs outside the family, outside the four walls of the household; it leads them to be directly affected by the struggle of the wage-labourers, to become involved in this struggle, to perceive its contradictions, its strength, but also weaknesses of such a struggle, which can become the basis not only of formal but also of de facto emancipation. A struggle that shows that it is strenght, not legislation, that can change the nature of existing social relations.
How have women been changed by their entry into the world of wage labour? It has inevitably drawn them into social and political life, and this has been and is a significant step towards no longer considering themselves and not to be considered as someone who remains rather outside the sphere in which decisions are taken that also affect their domestic life, family life and the future of their children. But the affairs 'outside' the family is a world that no longer depends on the family, on its internal structure, on its cohesion and stability over time, on its determination to persist despite its contradictions; it is the world of capital, in which every social relationship, every family relationship, depends on the laws of capitalism, on its need to transform every human activity, every expression of life into a commodity; every product, every thing and every person has become an object of commerce, of buying and selling. Where is this emancipation?
The "freedom" to sell oneself to the highest bidder applies to both men and women: the commodification of any human act begins with the obligation whereby the proletarian is forced to sell his labour power to a boss. It is clear that this boss, owner of all the means of production and all the land, also becomes the boss of the production of human beings, of the reproduction of the human species. Woman, apart from being the procreator of human beings through an episodic contribution of the male, apart from being - for capital, and therefore for the bourgeoisie - the means of preserving that particular species of human beings whom we call bosses and wage labourers, suffers at the same time from the same fate as any other means of production existing in capitalist society: the fate of overproduction. Since the economic means of developed capitalism go into crisis because their production no longer finds market outlets, the means of production of human beings, especially families and women, also go into crisis because their specific product - children - no longer finds an outlet in the labour market, and therefore in society. And, as happens every time the capitalist economy enters into a crisis of overproduction, the bourgeois system destroys a part - ever larger in proportion to its productive capacity - of the production and the means of production, on the one hand, by leaving the means of production that are no longer profitable to decay and rot, and on the other hand, by destroying a considerable part of the products that remain unsaleable, in order to prepare the place in the subsequent period for new cycles of production, so that they can return to the markets at a profit. Wars, as more than eighty years since the last world imperialist war have shown, are one of the most frequently used means of eliminating unsaleable and unprofitable commodities. And capitalism also counts among these commodities human labour power, wage labourers, their families, their children. There are too many mouths to feed and too many human hands to rebel against a power that is willing to liquidate products and massacre human beings in order to preserve its social privileges and the system of production and ownership it defends.
The war that has broken out between Russia and Ukraine has brought the harsh truth before the eyes of Europeans: the capitalist system cannot be reformed, it cannot be modified, it cannot be transformed from a system that lives only on the exploitation of man by man and that resists only by the use of all kinds of violence, into a harmonious, 'human' system.
The images of the huge masses of civilians fleeing bombed Ukrainian cities in the last eleven days of the war, reported by television stations all over the world, show the forced migration of women of all ages with their children and elderly family members, while the men, who are subject to war mobilization, must remain and must fight for their country; the proletariat, male and female, is called upon for the umpteenth time in defence of its bourgeoisie, to shed its blood and endure all kinds of violence, both on the Ukrainian and Russian sides, no matter who was the aggressor or the attacked: bourgeois war law does not discriminate on the basis of law, but only on the basis of force.
The same homeland which has always exploited and crushed them, which has always deluded them into believing that they can achieve future prosperity on condition that they peacefully submit to the demands of national capitalism, is the same homeland which forces them today to fight against an enemy dressed in a foreign uniform, who speaks a different language or even the same language, who has invaded their homes with tanks and is destroying houses, workplaces, warehouses and crops and bringing hunger to the entire population. It is the same homeland that presents itself as the attacked victim, even though it is the very place where capitalism, in its national variation, exercises its power with all the economic and social violence of which it is capable and which refuses it to be put into question, even though the "enemy", the stronger one, tears down borders and kicks down the doors of homes.
The women fleeing the war want to save not so much themselves as their children, and the millions of strollers in which they take them away from the bombing, to other countries not yet at war, are here as proof not only of their attachment to life but also of their strength to react to violence that was unimaginable only a few weeks ago. They are fleeing with bleeding hearts because they have had to leave everything, their home, their family, their work; in this flight, they carry with them not only their despair and the hope that one day they will return to the places from which they have fled, but also the hope - like all the millions of migrants who have tried to live in Europe - of a life of peace, of a future.
But the bourgeoisie leaves nothing to chance. It uses the masses of these women fleeing the bombings as a vector for its ideology: It opens the doors of its borders in Poland, Moldova, Slovakia, Romania, even Hungary, and of course in Italy, Germany, France and Spain, to welcome the working population, coincidentally of white race, which has never caused any problems in the countries to which it has migrated, has never rebelled, on the contrary, has easily integrated itself and accepted even the most menial jobs that European proletarian women are unwilling to do. And so competition between proletarian women finds another channel through which it can flow. Moreover, this mass of refugee women is used as an example of women who are capable of enduring any hardship, any dangerous situation, any threat to their own lives and the lives of their children, in the name of peace, their country and their family; these fleeing women are counterbalanced by the young women who have remained to fight against the invader.
Democracy, this is the mantra that is insistently coming to the fore from all sides of bourgeois propaganda. The invader is always the evil dictator, the totalitarian, the barbarian, the enemy par excellence. But today's democracy, imperialist democracy, is only a veil over the totalitarianism that characterises the functioning of capitalism in every corner of the world, because no human being can escape its laws: if he wants to live, he must either be exploited through wage labour or exploit the labour of others. Either he becomes a proletarian or a boss. And the struggle for survival unfolds again at each moment as a struggle for the exploitation of the labour of others - so it is the struggle between exploiters, between bourgeoisies - or as a defence against this exploitation - and so it is the struggle against the ruling bourgeoisie. It is the struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, the struggle that has existed ever since the capitalist bourgeoisie triumphed over previous social systems and penetrated everywhere in the world thanks to its industrial production progress, its development and its financial system, and has subjected every population, not only the weakest and most remote from the great commerce, to its laws.
Despite industrial progress and women's involvement in production, politics, business and government, the woman symbolizes both the weaknesses and strengths of social struggle.
Weaknesses because she is still subject to gender oppression, which goes back to ancient times, to the first class societies, and which has been incessantly transmitted from one class society to another, until capitalism. Weaknesses, because in the bourgeois social order she continues to suffer, even though she works like men, from domestic oppression, taking care of the household and the children. Weaknesses, because her natural tendency is to save the life of the children she gives birth to and raises, which generally means safeguarding the reproduction of the species; it is a struggle which, in the society divided into classes, is no longer a struggle of the whole society but an individual struggle. And it is also a strength, because it is precisely her natural tendency to safeguard the reproduction of the species that can assign to the woman a social task of paramount importance in a society in which the community takes precedence over the individual, whereas in capitalist society the woman is, on the contrary, even more tethered to the single family, to the individual and domestic life.
It is precisely in political struggle that proletarian woman can recognize her task in the history of human societies; not in a political struggle conducted, influenced, and organized by the bourgeois ruling class, which has every interest in keeping women subject to the classical dual oppression of domestic and wage labor, but in the proletarian political struggle; that is, in the struggle that the exploited through wage labor are impelled to wage precisely against the exploiters of wage labor. Proletarian women objectively and historically have their place in the struggle of the entire proletariat, without distinction of gender, age, nationality or race. However, to recognize this place is the most difficult thing they must do, because the economic and social pressures of capitalism, which make it very difficult even for the male proletariat to recognize its own class interests clearly distinct from those of the bourgeoisie, make it even more difficult to break with the social and political stereotypes into which women have been thrown by contemporary society.
The fact remains, however, that the same social contradictions of capitalism and its own crisis are and will continue to lead proletarians, men and women, to take up the struggle, in peace and in war, not any longer for a fatherland, for democracy, for civilization, which in fact symbolize total dehumanization, but for real emancipation, a emancipation from the commodification of human life and all its activities, the emancipation that will be exclusively proletarian, because its revolution is the only way out of capitalism and out of the society that has reduced men and women to commodities that can be sold, bought, thrown away or destroyed according to the interests of capitalist profit.
The solidarity that Ukrainian women fleeing bourgeois war receive today, on the borders of European countries not yet in a state of war, is a solidarity that is distinctly different on its immediate level from the treatment that African, Middle Eastern and Asian migrants have received and receive from the same European countries that today indulge in this pageantry of showing their own proletarians that they are "good", "humane" towards proletarians who do not bring social unrest but who, on the contrary, can be exploited as submissive labour. It is certainly a temporary "solidarity", because the war that will blow up the Ukraine is the war that will have long-term consequences, will intensify the imperialist disorder that has come with the collapse of the USSR, will inevitably strengthen the nationalisms of each country more than it may seem today, and which will have to disappear at the first attempts of the proletarians of the European countries to enter the struggle by the means and methods of the class struggle. At such a moment the bourgeoisie will treat the proletarians with the usual repression, all the more so if they are of a different nationality.
The real solidarity that contributes to the defence of the living conditions of today's Ukrainian proletarian women, as well as those of women of Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya or any other country tormented by the wars of the imperialist bourgeoisies, is only proletarian solidarity that is based on the struggle of the proletarian class for its own class interests. Bourgeois and petty-bourgeois solidarity is only the fig leaf for the real social violence that permeates the whole of capitalist society.
Against bourgeois and imperialist war, class struggle!
For the unity of proletarian men and women in all countries in the common struggle for emancipation from capitalism!
For the revival of the class struggle in Europe and in the world!
International Communist Party
March, 8th 2022
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