AGAINST THE INTERNATIONAL ATTACK OF THE BOURGEOISIE
LET US RECONSTRUCT THE INTERNATIONAL PROLETARIAN ARMY
As militant communists in the OCI, engaged in the battle against capitalist
exploitation by the side of the proletariat, we warmly welcome this international
meeting in Paris.
An increasingly, global world economy and bourgeoisie that imposes its anti-proletariat policies throughout the world by means of its supranational institutions (from the IMF to the World Bank), now makes the total lack of any international coordination of the proletariat intolerable.
One of the crucial reasons for no longer delaying a coordination of this type is the general crisis, marked by violent contradictions, that has been gripping the world capitalist economy for the last twenty years, and the consequences that this has had on the political and economic conditions of the working class.
Hard-won episodes of economic recovery are followed by periods of increasingly profound recession, and the competition among Western capitalists to snatch slices of the market from each others hands has escalated beyond all recognition. All of this has led to a vicious attack against the living and working conditions of the Western proletariat and an increase in the super-exploitation, looting and oppression of the poor masses in the capitalistically weaker countries. The incredible increases in productivity that the exploitation of the working class has provided now means that unemployment continues to grow even when the economy goes through one of its periods of recovery.
In all of the countries of the West, from Sweden to Germany, the immediate future promises new cuts in public expenditure and welfare state, a ruthless drive to ensure a devastating reduction in labour costs by whatever means, and even greater exploitation as a result of longer working hours and further increases in productivity.
And yet there is still a widespread conviction among the proletariat of all countries that this is just a temporary situation destined to be overcome by appropriate improvements made at a national level with the contribution of all of the classes interested in the well-being of the country.
This state of mind is above all due to the actions of reformist parties, which have been teaching the proletariat for years to think in narrowly national terms, and have spread the idea that there is no possible alternative to capitalism (even though, of course, it needs to be improved).
But given that all of the major countries are afflicted by the same problems, the root cause is clearly international in nature. We find ourselves faced by an increasingly integrated world economy in which, for example, it is possible to transfer enormous amounts of financial capital (more than can be found in any State budget) in no more than a fraction of a second, and companies look at the entire planet as a source of possible outlets, not only for their products, but also for their productive investments (because they can then take advantage of the best conditions for increasing the value of their capital).
It is this mechanism of a fully global capitalist economy that has come unhinged, and it is the relentless and impersonal laws of the world market which force capitalists everywhere to mount their ruthless attacks against their own proletariat in order to remain competitive and off load onto the shoulders of the workers the costs of the international crisis that they find themselves totally unable to overcome in any way.
All of the solutions offered to the working class at a national level are illusory. They only serve the various bourgeoisie as a means of imposing further sacrifices on the proletariat, in the name of the interests of the country but, in reality, to sustain their own policies of economic, political and military penetration and create divisions and conflicts among the proletariat of different countries, in order to weaken them and make it easier to bend them to their own class interests. It is no accident that, at the same time as they are launching their offensive against the conquests of the workers in Western countries, they are also multiplying their military suppression at the revolts of the oppressed masses and trying to impose new methods of looting and starvation wages (as, for example, in ex-Yugoslavia) in order to keep their profits high and further blackmail the workers in the metropoli.
What has to be understood is that no national recipe of any kind can keep the effects of the international crisis at bay and, even more, that no possible solution exists that can reconcile the interests of capital and labour. At a time of crisis, these interests become even more conflicting and antagonistic: profits and competitiveness can only be defended by destroying the living and working conditions of the proletariat.
The workers must place themselves at the level of conflict imposed by capitalism, directing their efforts and energies towards the reconstruction of an international proletarian army. It is only by recovering the international unity of the working class that it will possible to oppose the offensive of bourgeoisie which, however divided it may be in terms of competition, acts in unison against the proletariat by crudely intensifying its exploitation and oppression everywhere. Every blow that Governments and employers can inflict against their own workers represents a further weakening of the proletariat as a whole and, viceversa, the defeat of bourgeois plans in a single nation reinforces the international workers' movement.
Over the last few years, the working class has everywhere given proof of its willingness to respond to the attacks against it: from the Italians against Berlusconi to the French against Juppé, and from Britain to Germany. These struggles have demonstrated the strength of the proletariat when it is united, but they have also highlighted the urgency of its unification in an international front and the joining of this with the struggles of the masses in the East and South of the world.
However, any discussion or action in this sense must be based as from now on real power relationships: that is the independent organisation of the proletariat and mobilisation and struggle - the proletariat's unique point of strength.
There must be no false illusions about using bourgeois institutions or the parliamentary route to thrust back the capitalist offensive. All of the political parties in the West that have taken the electoral and parliamentary road have ended up by adopting an attitude of loyalty towards their own institutions, which has first led them to subordinate the workers', interests to the compatibility between these and the national economy and then, step by step, to the progressive renunciation of pieces of their own political programmes.
The interests of the proletariat can only be defended outside the ambit of parliaments and bourgeois institutions, which are in any case becoming increasingly emptied of their decision making power by capitalism itself. As we are constantly reminded by the obsessive propaganda of our economic masters: "the markets vote every day and can oblige governments and parliaments to adopt those measures that are not just necessary, but indispensable for setting national economics to rights".
Our response to the attempts of the bourgeoisie to divide and set in conflict the proletariat of different countries must be a united international working class struggle, which involves reconstructing an international organization to lead the proletariat in this direction and towards the affirmation of working class power over society.
The consequent defence of the interests of the proletariat cannot be undertaken within national horizons, nor on the basis of a logic that proposes to improve capitalism by making it more "human" and thus simply limiting the most odious of the effects of its dominion over the working class. It is necessary to attack the causes of the exploitation, oppression and insecurity.
Capitalism, if it has ever been so, is certainly no longer reformable in this age of monopolies and financial capital. Despite all of the attempts at reform made during this century, we have not managed to avoid two World Wars, attacks against and the looting of dependent countries, nor frightening recessions that put the very survival of the proletariat in doubt.
We are today seeing a higher level of violent conflict between the social character of production and the private character of its appropriation. In a desperate attempt to cling on to its class privileges, the bourgeoisie is trying to react to this conflict by economically and politically suffocating the proletariat and moving towards mass destructions of a new and terrible kind. However, the exploitation, oppression and inhumanity that this provokes also create the conditions for an even more extensive struggle which, once the proletariat has taken political power, can put an and to capitalist exploitation. The prospect of communism therefore becomes not only a concrete possibility, but also an urgent necessity. because it is the only solution capable of definitively liberating the proletariat and with it all mankind from capitalist barbarism.
We members of the OCI feel ourselves directly involved in this battle and will do everything that we can to contribute towards the international reunification of the proletariat. We take today as an opportunity of establishing preliminary contacts with other communists committed in the same sense.
ORGANIZZAZIONE COMUNISTA INTERNAZIONALISTA