International Conference "Rebuilding the Revolutionary Left to Promote the Socialist/Communist Revolution"/ Agora Galiza-Unidade Popular July 24th, 2019.
LECTURE BY NARCISO ISA CONDE*
Dear comrades of the brave Galician people, Agora Galiza-Unidade Popular:
Let me congratulate you for dedicating this effort to such a transcendental issue.
I have decided to focus on a crucial aspect of this undoubtedly fundamental purpose: the refounding of the new socialist-communist vanguards under the conditions of the 21st century capitalisms, their crisis of decadence and the social restructurings imposed by their degrading evolution as well as by neoliberal programs.
As it has been confirmed at an international, national and regional levels, neither the crises of the capitalist system, nor the spontaneous popular indignations, the social rebellions, the mass mobilizations... not even the displacement of established governments, are enough to create a new power, to build a new system and to guarantee revolutionary transformations; it is then necessary to reflect on a factor that is largely absent in such situations.
I would like to highlight that crises are not enough; that mass rebellions, popular indignations, social outbursts are not enough. Neither are changes of government.
What is necessary is the political factor that embodies and builds the new power: consciousness, organization, driving and articulating force; that is to say, revolutionary vanguards adjusted both to the characteristics of the capitalist-imperialist domination in the present century and as well as to the characteristics of the new social subject of the revolution: the proletariat of these times and the potentially anti-capitalist popular movement in each one of our societies.
This is a matter of paramount importance we are talking about: the organization of the revolutionaries, the transforming forefront that has the capacity to articulate struggles and movements against the established power, the capacity to bring them together, to raise their political consciousness, to strengthen their organization and to progressively turn the exploited and oppressed into a factor of power and transformation of society.
SELECTION, ORGANIZATION, CONSCIOUSNESS...
The vanguard concept implies selection, training, organization, the overcoming of spontaneity; knowledge of reality, mastery of working methods and processes to relate with the people, capacity for scientific analysis; planning, research and struggle techniques; accumulation of wisdom and human and technical resources that make it possible for us to dispute power and hegemony both in civil society and against the oppressive State. It implies resources and means to engage in civil, cultural and political-military struggles.
In these societies, not all the exploited class, not all the dominated social block can access this qualitative level, let alone spontaneously. It is first necessary to organize and shape the most advanced part, without separating it from the class and popular subject, without separating it from the working people and the social movements (class, feminist, youth, environmentalist, migrant, cultural, artistic... movements), presently dominated by the prevailing system; without this advanced part abandoning the direct relationship with the daily lives of the people, their struggles, their needs and desires.
The demand for this type of organization, which could have various forms and specific modalities (according to circumstances, times and conditions in every society or region), is related to the fact that the oppressive order has its own leading vanguard, its organized and qualified forces to oppress, defend, reproduce and attack us.
POWER AND VANGUARD
Those who now deny the need for the revolutionary vanguard, actually deny the creation of a new power and a new system, even if they don't say so. At most, they propose to be a government within the same system, without dismantling the old power and the current domination.
Now, it is not about establishing the power of the vanguard and of the party that supplants the people, a failed formula; but about creating and expanding the power of the workers, of the exploited and oppressed people: the popular power.
A power that is not only state power, but that conceives the new State as transitional and extinguishable; a power that is not just simply taken or stormed, but created and developed by the people, by their assemblies and grassroot organizations, first as a parallel counter-power and then devoted to totally displacing the old as well as the transitional State itself.
And thus conceived, the construction of popular power is paramount for all the forces that fight for true democracy, for the real independence of our small homeland and our big homeland; for the new socialism and the disappearance of the State in the longer term. These goals are inseparable from the construction efforts of the new vanguards.
VANGUARDS IN THE 21st CENTURY
Instead of being governed by the distorted guiding principle of a democratic centralism, the new vanguards should establish a broad internal democracy with a central leadership, seeking to reverse the emphases, except in cases of emergency and in conditions of high repression. And in order for their scientific foundations to be solid enough, the new vanguards must creatively incorporate the extraordinary contributions of the classical writers of scientific socialism and the subsequent developments of this revolutionary theory and global knowledge.
Vanguards capable of vindicating and renewing the concept of sovereignty specific to our nations by incorporating them into a larger, multinational and multicultural sovereignty.
Vanguards embracing the pertinence of a new socialism as a transition to a communist society, which demands a process of re-creation of the revolutionary project as compared to the statist-bureaucratic models that collapsed or regressed to capitalism in the 21st century, in order to dialectically overcome the defeat suffered by the socialisms of the 20th century and endow this new era with a new revolutionary myth.
Vanguards promoting participatory democracy, a second independence and a new socialism; vanguards of the working people and the poor, proletarian vanguards, indigenous, feminist, environmentalist, popular vanguards; sources of combative youth.
Vanguards of all liberations.
Internationalist vanguards, articulated in a GREAT ANTICAPITALIST INTERNATIONAL.
TYPE OF INSURGENCY
With this concept of Vanguard, there is neither room nor reason to renounce global rebellion, global insurgency, the sum of national and regional insurgencies. Nor to deny violent counter-violence, even if it is necessarily preceded and/or accompanied by formidable "peaceful" mobilizations, which, faced with the sharpening of the dominant violence, have their exhaustion point.
The way would necessarily have to be the combination of all the methods, both the improperly called peaceful and the necessarily violent, according to the characteristics of each instance, vanguards and peoples, and with multiple levels of exercising all the forms of action by each component.
This requires a real techno-scientific revolution (including its military intelligence and digital and media warfare versions) in the core of the left and the transforming forces, as it also requires an unrenounceable attachment to the multitudinous character of popular resistances and offensives, until important units and high quality means (capable of helping to achieve a change in the political-military correlation fully favorable to the peoples) are fractured and transferred to the popular-revolutionary camp.
ARTICULATION OF THE SUFFERING MASS THAT THINKS AND THE THINKING MASS THAT SUFFERS.
The necessary transformation depends on the consciousness and organization that this rising conglomerate progressively achieves, and especially the popular block made up of "the suffering mass that thinks" hand in hand with "the thinking mass that suffers", along with the networks of anti-capitalist activists and militants who, integrating all the liberations (class, gender, environmental, ethnic, by the oppressed peoples...) and opposing this domination system, are summoned to play a significant role articulating the transforming thought with the action capable of overflowing the jail walls of the system.
At the very center of all this and permeating all aspects is the challenge of creating new vanguards that can articulate the global rebellion of the excluded, the oppressed, the discriminated against and the have-nots... in a world under the command of a highly parasitic and destructive elitist power.
Such a purpose is, therefore, an unavoidable current challenge for us, the Marxists/revolutionaries, who continue to consider scientific socialism -along with everything new that enriches and complements it- as an essential theoretical matrix to both learn about and know the present world, as well as to articulate all the anti-system rebellions; a challenge for us, who fight to transform it into a direction that allows humanity to free itself from these scourges and survive with dignity.
For us, who remain committed to renewing, enriching and developing it as a guide for subversive and creative action!
* Narciso Isa Conde. Former Secretary General of the Dominican Communist Party (PCD by its Spanish initials), current Coordinator of the Caamañista Movement (MC by its Spanish initials), leader of IZQUIERDA REVOLUCIONARIA (IR) and Coordinator of the Collective Presidency of the Bolivarian Continental Movement (MBMC by its Spanish initials), author of several works, including: REARMANDO LA UTOPÍA and En el Siglo XXI: ¿Cuál DEMOCRACIA? ¿Cuál SOCIALISMO?).
* The Word “vanguardia” in Spanish can be translated as: “vanguard”, or as: “avant-garde” in English. “Vanguard” refers to the leading part of an advancing military formation, while “avant-garde” has a strong sense of challenger of stablished orders and mind opener. Both translations are possible here. Maybe a new “avant-guard”, should be coined to more properly reflect the concept discussed in this lecture.