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Italy's political autumn is opening with a "tit-for-tat": on the one hand, there are the demonstrations of Umberto Bossi's Lega Nord (which has by now become the leading "workers' party" in Northern Italy) against the Italian Cgil -Cisl-Uil Trade Union Confederation and in support of the secession of "Padania"; on the other, the counter-demonstrations of the unions and the "left" in general, which are more or less explicitly in defence of the national bourgeois state.
At the time of writing, we are in no position to predict the degree of support that will be given to these different initiatives, but one thing is certain: the fact that the proletariat of the different parts of Italy are gathering behind different banners means that there is a risk that they will end up fighting among themselves, to the advantage of the forthcoming settlement of accounts between the capitalist forces dividing the Italian bourgeoisie and the Italian State.

Given the lack of the class coefficients necessary to overturn the situation, it is probable that the September demonstrations will provide us with a clue of the "new" goods "globalised capital" is preparing to launch on the political market: the reactivated proletariat is to be diverted in the direction of supporting the reactionary bourgeoisie and against other members of the proletariat.

This is a challenge that can be expected not only in Italy, but also throughout the West: not because the other imperialist countries are facing the same risk of disgregation as Italy, but because all of them are harbouring the same two "forces" that are driving the Italian proletariat to the edge of the abyss: the crisis of the world capitalist system and "reformism".
The first is spurring governments and industrialists to withdraw the concessions made during the post-war years and to divide the ranks of the proletariat. The second is increasingly revealing itself for what it is: an organiser of defeats that leaves the working class unarmed and defenceless against the blows inflicted upon it by its class enemies. This has been true in Italy over the last twenty years but also, mutatis mutandis, throughout the West. And with what result?

The workers are being forced to react because of their material conditions. Given their experience of the failure of the gradualist, in stitution al and parliamentary policies of their traditional political references, they are turning to the "new" right-wing organisations in the hope of having their demands heard. These organisations, on their turn, are trying to mobilise the workers who are fighting to satisfy their own class needs (e.g. to fight a parasitic state) in order to reach their entirely capitalistic objectives.

The increasing dissatisfaction of the proletariat with the State is thus becoming a fundamental means by which the bourgeoisie promotes the relentless regeneration of its own State even in the face of the risk of traumatic ruptures. What the "new" right is seeking is a State that serves not only the dominance of capitalism in general, but also the interests of national or micro-national capitalisms in the increasingly aggressive inter-imperialist competition for world control. The proletarian contribution to this regeneration is also a powerful weapon for disciplining the bourgeoisie itself, as well as its current political representatives, in the same cause -following the historical teachings handed down by fascism.

The other side of the same coin is the fact that the different elements of the proletariat are also being turned against "external proletarian enemies" (the immigrants in France, Germany and Italy; the "southerners" in Italy; the Walloons in Flanders) with the aim of diverting and eviscerating their resurgent antagonism, and making them a manipulable mass for the future. Once again, this is not only true in Italy, with the current rise of the Lega Nord and proliferation of various "southern" or "unitary" leagues, but is also true mutatis mutandis in the France of Le Pen, the Belgium of Vlaams Blok, the USA of Buchanan, etc.

What are the conclusions that can be drawn from all this? That these workers are permanently lost to the proletarian cause? That the revolutionary proletarian struggle is dead and buried for ever? Absolutely not. Even if these "new" right-wing parties manage to induce the activated workers to turn against each other, this will be nothing other than an interlude during which all of the intermediate solutions to the problems on the table will burn themselves out. We will then see the return of the historical alternative: brotherhood between the metropolitan proletariat and the disinherited masses of the oppressed countries, or mutual slaughter! Socialism or barbarity!

All sincere class militants (however few and however isolated) must therefore work as from now: firstly, to reacquire the communist programme and reconstruct a militant international class organisation, and then to reunite the various fragments into which the proletariat is being divided -whatever the bourgeois colour of the groups in which they temporarily find or will find themselves. The task is to detach their proletarian memberships and lead their united reorganisation on the only possible basis of a revolutionary war against capital and for the international dictatorship of the proletariat.

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