It's not about on what side you live "better",
but on what side side duty is.
THE CAPITALIST CIVILIZATION CRISIS AND THE “INFERIORITY COMPLEX”
The fire of the 2008 crisis does not go out. The fire is spreading. The planet is creaking. It is not one more recurrent crisis (a financial, industrial, real estate, overproduction of capital, popular sub-consumption, inflationary, commercial, environmental and climate change, demographic, migration etc. crisis). We are living a civilization crisis of Capitalist society as a whole. Hollistic explanations of our present and our future are becoming increasingly urgent (this is why we need a balance on our past). Without memory of the past there will never be hope for the future.
After the 2008 fierce crisis and the sudden transformed of the up-until-recently prophets of free trade and "open regionalism" into "protectionists" and "commercial warriors" (like the USA, Germany, China, etc.), and after the invasions, bombings, economic blockades and imperialist political-military interventions (both by the Pentagon and NATO as a whole) for the last two decades, any serious Marxist analysis of the present can no longer repeat the opportunistic and bland post-Berlin Wall slogans.
We need to retake the initiative in the political projects and also in the theoretical debates, where both the lefts as well as Marxism have been assuming shameful, shy, faint-hearted positions, as if we had an "inferiority complex" against the various fashions of the ideological vanity fair offered by the "Market of the «alternatives»".
From this "inferiority complex" (after the defeat of the European 1968 Spring, the rise of Eurocommunism, reinforced later with Perestroika and the fall of the Berlin Wall) is that we get the not few current disarmaments, "aggiornamentos", ideological capitulations, abandonment of revolutionary positions and, more simply, outright renunciation to try to change the world.
Let's be clear and let go of any euphemism. If it is necessary to resort to the scalpel, then let's go to the operating room at once.
What was proclaimed by (post Marxist philosophers) Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt 20 years ago in their sad and promoted best seller: Empire is completely false: that imperialism, wars, dependencies and national oppressions are over. The international Capitalist system of our present forms a global imperialism launched unscrupulously to the recolonization of the world. Our strategic enemy is world imperialism, being as it is neocolonialist, racist, xenophobic and with strong tendencies towards fascist coordination on an international scale. Not all nation-states are equivalent or symmetrical, since the world Capitalist system has never developed or is not developing in a flat or homogeneous way. And within each nation-state, in turn, there is an internal colonialism, as the Communists of South Africa and the United States put it long ago, as American sociologist (great friend of the Cuban revolution) C. Wright Mills then resumed it, and as later on Pablo González Casanova and Rodolfo Stavenhagen developed and systematized it in Mexico. One must be very ignorant, arrogant and petulant to ignore all that accumulated social knowledge... and decree, with a happy birthday face: "the end of all colonialisms."
Anti-imperialism and anti-colonialism are an everyday ocurrence, nowadays more than ever, despite the pseudo-libertarian juggling of Slavoj Žižek or the dehistorized simplifications of John Holloway. The nation-state continues to play a central role in globalized times: it is the centralized command of capital's dominance over the labor force and the central command of oppressing nations over oppressed communities and nations. And if there are many imperialisms, the American is clearly the flagship of the global imperialist neo-colonialism of our time. Western European imperialisms are its satellites, no less aggressive, no less exploitative, no less racist, but ultimately subordinate.
The “white supremacy” colonialist domination practiced by the state of Israel (with the absolute and unconditional backup of the United States) over the colonized people of Palestine does not belong to the 18th century. It is something absolutely current, although the fashionable literature of the French and North American academies –with their so called "postcolonial studies" that do not discover any new research object, but rather come quite late to study a problem already extensively explored and studied by Marx and his descendants- decree the end of colonialism as something already finalized in history, belonging to a remote past and to museum shelves. And what can not we say of the internal conflicts of the Spanish nation-state, with a central government that threatens to imprison all those who refuse to obey, and subordinate themselves to, the state-institutional heritage of Generalissimo Francisco Franco (including his flag and its ancient monarchy)?
Nor is valid or correct what was proclaimed in the "post-Marxist" salad by the famous Ernesto Laclau, being as it is a social-democratic mixture of mayonnaise and toffee, French deconstructionism, language games of the last Ludwig Wittgenstein and a childlike cartoon of the revolutionary communist Antonio Gramsci, turned into a tender and charming Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Thus, it is simply not true that any political construction should simply articulate itself “hegemonically” (only God knows what this hegemony means to Laclau… it is clear, though, that this gentleman understands the concept of hegemony as being much closer to Benedetto Croce´s than to Gramsci´s; Gramsci himself criticized it harshly in his book: Prison Notebooks) just by putting heterogeneous demands on a chain of empty signifiers inside an elastic bag, liable to be filled by Che Guevara or Matteo Salvini, by Fidel Castro or by Jean-Marie Le Pen and his daughter Marine, by Mao Tse Tung or Donald Trump, by Evo Morales and Hugo Chávez or by Macri and Bolsonaro.
No, between revolutionary politics and counterinsurgency there is a clear and definite line of antagonistic and contradictory demarcation. Not only in their values and in their culture. Also in the way of building a political project. In the class struggle and in politics, not everything is the same nor is everything interchangeable under the all encompasing umbrella of the “populism” label, despite the lucid and scathing tango “Cambalache”, by the unforgettable Enrique Santos Discépolo.
And if a critical balance is to be made, now reviewing rusty or moth-eaten fashions and cliches, it is time to discuss the conventional dichotomy -assumed as a sacred, unquestionable and self-evident axiom- that has been constructed from a dubious equation, in which only a refined, subtle, scholarly and "civilized" Marxism would be placed on one side of that equation; while it´s on the other side that a whole array of rudimentary, crude, rude, beastly and brutal, poorly informed, violent, wild, insurgent, supporting of Jacobin projects and ultimately “barbaric” and "totalitarian" Marxisms should be included, namely Eastern Marxism, Third World Marxism, Bolshevik-Soviet Marxism, Chinese Marxism, Latin American Marxism, African Marxism and Asian Marxism, etc.
This false and artificial antinomy began to be formulated by Maurice Merleau-Ponty in 1955, in the McCarthyist climate of the Cold War and within the cozy French and Anglo-Saxon academies. It was then resumed by Herbert Marcuse in 1958, later recycled again by Erich Fromm in 1961 and somehow, although with some little more critical nuances, systematized by Perry Anderson in 1976. In all cases, despite the erudition of these authors, various political and theoretical options were included in or expelled from that “Western Marxism” with a completely arbitrary and capricious criterion (for example, in the entire famous book by Perry Anderson, not even a single Marxist thinker or a single militant or revolutionary writer from Latin America is mentioned in a miserable footnote... no even one! We do not exist!)
Besides, and this is the most questionable, an unconsciously apologetic tone of the Capitalist West was felt. Yes, the West, that supposed repository of individual liberties and High Culture from which all other Marxisms were alien. In 2001, almost two decades ago, we tried to criticize this galloping Euro-Westernism in a book about Marx and his Das Kapital; a book we published both in the Popular Mothers University of Plaza de Mayo in Argentina and in Cuba (recently translated into Catalan and published in Barcelona), but it has been the Italian communist Doménico Losurdo – who sadly passed away in 2018 - who has managed to build a much more systematic and comprehensive questioning in his 2017 book: Western Marxism.
If it is a question of rethinking the revolutionary tradition of a hundred years of the Communist International, at the very least, to begin with, we should leave aside all this series of diverse geological layers of fashions, best sellers and clichés that have been piling up, not to pave us the way, but rather to obstruct it. Remember: fashions come and go; Karl Marx stays and remains.
THE COUNTER-INSURGENCY OF CONTEMPORARY NEOFASCISM
Fashions aside, we are experiencing a stage of Imperialism in which three things get mixed up:
- • the technological revolutions of late Capitalism (which Ernest Mandel has so well studied).
- • The five world monopolies, explained by Samir Amin: (a) technological, (b) financial markets, (c) natural resources of the planet, (e) media, and (f) weapons of mass destruction.
- • The reconquest-by-dispossession of the world (about which David Harvey has already alerted us).
Based on that monstrous combination, counterinsurgency (effective or preventive, depending on the level of class struggle and balance of power in each particular society) has become a strategy of global domination. From the economic level, to the political-military or to the level of computer science and communications. No one, not even if they intend to abide by the rules of the institutional game, can remain safe. There is general consensus on that, from an academic theorist like Noam Chomsky to operative "technicians" like Edward Snowden or Julian Assange.
Both individual freedoms ("negative freedoms", according to liberal theorists) as well as the hidden realm of people's privacy have vanished with the multiplication of infinite cameras and current communications, systematically monitored and hacked. Orwell´s dystopian novel 1984, which sought to critisize Communism... is the great denunciation of contemporary Capitalist totalitarianism!
Anecdotal and extravagant phenomena such as the Skinhead, the bizarre Le Pen or the Neo-Nazi sects, have now begun to play in the high level of major leagues. They have ceased to be eccentric "curiosities" and aesthetic fashions to become State policies, accompanied and legitimized by a renewed priestly domination theology (furiously confronting the Liberation Theology). And this is not happening in a barbaric, distant and uncultured "dark corner of the world", but in the "civilized" centers where the stalest of the daily politics of world Imperialism is cooked. From the White House (splashed with blood on all its walls, even if they paint it periodically) to the European Parliament.
The cultures of racism and xenophobia go hand in hand with the cult of gratuitous cruelty repeated to death in the TV series (even in children's games!) to get us used to decapitation, to the tearing of bodies and above all... to torture, as if it were something "normal", an everyday thing. It is not! That is precisely the culture of Fascism and Nazism. The "entertainment" industries are less innocent than we imagine. They act since our childhood to get us used to Fascist values: xenophobia, misogynism, racism and infinite cruelty.
THE ALTERNATIVES: INTEGRATED, TOLERATED AND «IRRECOVERABLE»
The resistances and alternatives against Capitalism, Imperialism, Fascism and the entire arc of contemporary dominations are multiple and diverse. They are in sight. Increasingly varied, fragmentary and dispersed. Some are even tolerated and encouraged by the powerful of the planet. They are featured as an "entertainment wink" in the fashion magazines that are stacked in hairdressers or in the dentist's waiting room. Others, on the other hand, constitute a strategic enemy to be monitored, controlled, infiltrated, divided, neutralized and finally, annihilated.
d) LGTBI Communities
e) Movements for de-hospitalization of the demented
f) “Indignant” crowds that occupy Wall Street or the center of Madrid
g) Trade union organizations
h) Revolutionary organizations
i) Many “etc.”…
Whatever the fashions of the stained-glass shop windows of the ideological mall are, or whatever of the most elegant and stylish “Marx overcomers” say (they shine five minutes on TV and then abruptly disappear from the scene), not all prospects of protest and «contestation» have the same capacity to organize and mobilize, neither do they have the same ideological clarity to convene and unite in a single strategic approach and at an international level, the popular anger, the anti-systemic rebellions and the dissent organized against "the new world order", which is every day more chaotic, heartless and ruthless. The flags of the oppressed masses and the social movements on a planetary scale have the most diverse colors, from the green ecologist and the feminist violet to the multicolored LGTBI emblem, among many other expressions of the rebel arena.
But of all the colors and nuances, extremely varied and coexisting, we believe that the red horizon of Marxism remains the most comprehensive, inclusive and integrating theoretical-political-cultural perspective that allows for the articulation and strategic unity all the other rebellions worldwide, which otherwise become, on their own, harmless -even eye-catching, and even ... Why not? ... friendly- so that they do not bother anyone who has a lot of money and ability to exert power. Revolutionary Marxism, on the other hand, remains "unrecoverable" for the system. That is why it is hunted, guarded, punished and silenced.
The social-democratic aspects that live parading on TV as stars of the show play the role of what in Lenin's time was known as "legal Marxism", a cartoon tolerated by the Tsarist dictatorship for not being dangerous in the least. While the "acceptable" and "civilized" dissidents (fragmented and reduced each to their own ghetto) are invited to dialog on TV and parliaments, revolutionary Marxism is imprisoned, tortured, invariably accused of “Narco-terrorist” (¿??) and is even included in a list of STRATEGIC ENEMIES on an international scale. There, the “red alerts” of INTERPOL parade as if they were red cards handled by a soccer referee to expel those Marxisms from the politically correct universe. Which shows that, of all colors, the horizon of revolutionary Marxism remains the most dangerous for the Imperialism Capitalist domination.
That red horizon has a heritage, an inheritance and a history -many times unknown, ignored and crushed- from Karl Marx to the year 2019 [our present], which today are essential to be revisitied, known, studied and put back in the center of the multicolored political agenda 100 years after the Communist International. If it is a question of trying to resume the lost path, after decades of Euro-communist, "post-Marxist", post-modern and social-democratic predominance.
To do so, a pending task must necessarily include a reflection on the entire 20th century. We have to leave aside Euro-Westernist views, which focus exclusively on the two World Wars, the subsequent "welfare state" and the fall of the Berlin Wall, but which unjustifiably disregard the countless neo-colonial conquest wars that took place before, during and after the World Wars, neo-colonialism, apartheid and the countless insurgencies (inside and especially outside Western Europe) which decentralize the usual chronologies.
Today it is clear that ethnocentric racism did not begin with Hitler. The Austrian and brown führer with blond and German aspirations, head of the fierce Nazi genocide, was a big fan of the 1920 book The International Jew, written by... Henry Ford, the symbol and emblem in the United States of the promoted "American way of life". The pestilent ideology of the alleged white supremacy neither began in 1933 nor ended with the triumph of the Red Army entering Berlin in 1945, demolishing the Nazi "impregnable" defenses.
In the United States of America, before, during and after German Nazism, blacks were considered "subhuman." That is why they could not vote, go to the same school whites went to, or have interracial marriage ties. Still in the 1960s, even a black woman would have to give up her seat on the bus to a "white lord". In South Africa, that same type of terrorist ethnocentrism lasted until the victory of the Cuban and Angolan Communist troops in the battle of Cuito Cuanavale [1987-1988]. In Palestine, even today , Palestinians are subdued and colonized in the name of a purported "racial purity" (which offends millions of anti-Zionist Jews worldwide, including me, the author of this text).
Euro-Westernism seeks to suppress by decree the racist practices of the 20th century after the defeat of Hitler, ignoring that in all colonial, peripheral and dependent societies, the great "civilized" European and American powers continue to this day treating the Third World peoples (also known as the Global South) as "subhumans". In the 20th century -it is time to say it loud and clear and without any inferiority complex- it was the anti-colonial revolutions led by Communist parties and other revolutionary Marxist forces that put an end to racism. Before, during and after German Nazism.
And if, at the end of a century after the founding of the Communist International, the entire 20th century must be reexamined from a non-Eurocentric viewpoint, the very history of the revolutionary movement and Marxist theory must also be rethought from the same angle.
COUNTERFLOW HYPOTHESES FOR A BALANCE OF MARXISM
In the theory and political positions of Karl Marx there is a paradigm shift that does not divide his work between a "young Marxist, humanist and Hegelian" and an "old Marxist, economist and scientist". This is an artificial dichotomy that was popularized by the old French school of Louis Althusser, which had an enormous Euro-communist influence (from where current Spanish PODEMOS Party and several other current "reformist" post-Marxisms are born), although at the end of his life, in the book-interview: Philosophy and Marxism, Althusser himself denied it. Marx´s paradigm shift, developed in the "hard core" of Marx's program, actually revolves around the national-colonial problem.
His new paradigm of the materialist (multilinear) conception of history and society, critical of Euro-Westernism, begins with his studies of England's foreign trade, from which he derives his hypothesis and conceptualization of the "Asian mode of production" (expression used by Marx to refer to India and China in his correspondence from June 1853 and developed in his 1857-1858 Grundrisse) that disrupts, modifies and expands his youthful conception of universal history. Later on, on Chapter 24 of the first volume of Das Kapital (first edition 1867) he zeros in on the central theoretical place he gives to the genocide of the original peoples produced by the fierce European conquest of America and the enslavement of Africa (with its infamous traffic of "black skins") when he explains the concept of original accumulation. Without America's conquest... there would be no world Capitalist system, says Marx. It's that simple and blunt. Two years later, in 1869, he deepened this paradigm shift with the reversal of the metropolis-colony equation when he reflected on the link between the colony of Ireland and the English proletariat, as well as in the fiery defense that he performs of the national independence of Poland within the International Workers Association (The First International).
It is the same decade in which Marx unambigiuously defends the anti-colonialist struggle of Benito Juárez in Mexico against the European invading England, France and Spain and, when analyzing the American Civil War, he explains and questions in abundant materials, articles, correspondence and writings, the intimate link between class exploitation and racism. That so-called "white supremacy" is now defended by the president of the United States, haughty and defiant heir of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), as well as by several Western European leaders, shameful grandsons and granddaughters of the Earl of Gobineau and Alfred Rosenberg, who intend to maintain the racial purity of "civilization" in the face of successive waves of immigrant labor force and dark skins from oppressed and dependent societies, whether from Africa, from Latin America, even from "impure blondes" from Eastern Europe.
Finally, the modification of the “hard core” of the Marxian program-project is prolonged in the corrections that Marx incorporates into the French edition of Das Kapital (where he restricts the regularities of private capitalist appropriation of the land exclusively to Western Europe, leaving open the question marks for non-European societies); it is condensed in his correspondence with the Russian populists of the newspaper Anales de la patria [Annals of the Nation] (1877) where he criticizes the "universal philosophies of history" of Western manufacture; it reaches its zenith with the writing of his 1879 Kovalevsky Notebook (his correspondence with Russian radical and clandestine populists, as well as with Vera Zasulich -1881-) his 1880-1882 Ethnological Notes and, finally, his anti-colonial correspondence -practically unknown, even in most comprehensive biographies— sent to Engels and his family during his African stay in Algeria . They are all materials focused on the Third World: Asia, Africa and NuestraAmerica (Our America), always from a sharply critical perspective of Euro-Western colonialism.
This "mature" and "late" Marx has been routinely unknown, disregarded and scarcely studied, both by postmodern, post-colonial and post-Marxist critics and adversaries, as well as by apologists and vulgarizers of his work (those who, with no little arbitrariness, mental laziness and a dubious selection criteria, restricted his writings to the famous: Selected Works). During this "late" period, the most productive of his intellectual work, an acute, lucid, dialectic and fiery criticism emerges, both of Euro-Western modernity and of the genocidal practices of European colonialism, Anglo-Saxon American racism and the intended worldwide "white supremacy”.
Both in the Marxist and Socialist debates (after Marx) around the national culture and the self-determination of the peripheral, colonial and dependent nations and peoples that opened in 1907 with the theses of the Austro-Marxist Otto Bauer on “the question of nationalities”, as well as in the 1907-1911 controversies about the overtly colonialist “Socialism” of the German Eduard Bernstein, the Dutch Hendrikus Hubertus (Henri) Van Kol, the Belgian Emile Vandervelde and other minor reformists (Terwagne, Rouanet, etc.), and also in the 1913-1914 discussions between Rosa Luxemburg and Lenin on the self-determination of nations (discussions where Lenin also debates with his fellow Marxist Jewish Bund, whom he ends up convincing to enter Bolshevism, and discussions that closed provisionally in December 1922 with Lenin´s testament -Lenin´s Testament-, dictated to his secretaries), it is precisely Lenin who recovers and systematically clarifies with greater rigor, depth and radicalism the anticolonialism of the "unknown Marx", elaborating an extended internationalist program -through precisely the Communist International- for the whole world, especially for the peripheral, colonial and dependent. That is, for the majority of our planet and the world population.
Within the Bolshevik political and cultural world and also within the Communist International (founded in 1919), the most original and radical supporter of this systematization formulated by Lenin is probably Sultan Galiev -another unknown figure in history- who promotes the creation of a Communist International of the colonial peoples, proposing a change of global strategy of revolutionary Marxism in order to stop waiting for the eternally postponed Western "messiahs" (common belief to those who attributed absolute centrality to the white "civilization" of Western Europe against the supposed peripheral “barbarisms”) and in order to focus all the Bolshevik energies on the rebellions of the colonial and peripheral peoples, just as Marx had done with Ireland, China, India, Algeria and even with the Mexico of Benito Juárez against the European colonial dominations, and just as Lenin had also formulated in defense of the right to self determination of the nations oppressed by great imperialist powers.
The Third-World perspectives proposed by Sultan Galiev (in controversy with Stalin, who first expels him from the party, then imprisons him and finally –with Lenin already dead– orders his execution) and supported by Lenin within the Communist International since the beginning of the 1920s, will leave an imprint on Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam) and Ahmed Ben Bella (Algeria), two “disciples” of Sultan Galiev. Simply by way of illustration, let´s remember that the Egyptian specialist on Communist militancy, Anouar Abdel-Malek, in his book: Social Dialectics [Paris, 1972] identified and characterized the Third-World strategy of Ho Chi Minh and Che Guevara in the 1960s and onwards as a substitute of the perspective opened by Mirsaid Sultan Galiev [Mirsäyet Soltanğäliev] in the 1920s within the Communist International.
The Marxist theory of dependency, inspired in Lenin's theory of imperialism and born four decades after his death, in the heat of the Cuban revolution and in controversy with both (advisor to the White House) W.W.Rostow´s anti-communist manifesto and ECLAC (Economic Commission for Latin America), lingers on based on extensive reflections of NuestAmerica, Our America (Indo-Latin-Afro-descendant America), this extensive previous sedimentation of peripheral Marxisms, now in Latin American societies and cultures. Particularly on the works of Ruy Mauro Marini, Theotonio Dos Santos, Vania Bambirra and Orlando Caputo (all Marxist militants, as well as theorists). The Marxist theory of dependence systematizes the statements defended by Ernesto Che Guevara, on behalf of Cuba, at the Economic Conference of Punta del Este, the Second Declaration of Havana and several other political-theoretical-programmatic nuclei of the Latin American insurgencies.
In the chronological span that exists between the Bolshevik heterodoxies of the 1920s and the emergence of the Cuban revolution in the 1960s, the main Asian Marxisms, beyond the West, clearly Third World type in nature, display the rebirth of the anticolonial liberation movement on a world scale. They are born in the heat of Vietnam independence war (in a victorious struggle against the domination of the great Japanese, French and later American powers) and the Chinese revolution (in confrontation against the Japanese invasions). Some of their leading theoretical exponents will be Ho Chi Minh (student of Sultan Galiev), Võ Nguyên Giáp and Mao Tse Tung.
From the WWII postwar period on, within both Africa and the Francophone and Anglophone Caribbeans, from their own roots, an anticolonialist Marxism emerges that discusses the culture of the colonial metropolis, appropriating mainly its Marxist cultura and resignifying it from the Third World viewpoint. Such is the case of Aimé Césaire, Frantz Fanon, Patrice Émery Lumumba, Kwame Nkrumah [Francis Nwia Nkrumah], Léopold Sedar Senghor, Amílcar Lopes da Costa Cabral, António Agostinho Neto, Thomas Sankara [Thomas Isidore Noël Sankara], Nelson Mandela Rolihlahla, ("Madiba"), among many others. Many of their political-military struggles and insurgencies, also born after the revival of the radical anti-colonial liberation movement worldwide, directly influenced Western Europe and the fall of Fascist military dictatorships (as is the case of Portugal in 1974).
The contributions of this anticolonialist Marxism will revolve around the defense of blackness, the national-anticolonial liberation program and "African Socialism". It will have notable influence on the Black Panthers, the Afro-descendant community and American Communism, where Angela Ivonne Davis, Malcolm X [El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz], Huey P. Newton, Eldridge Cleaver, Bobby Seale or Stokely Carmichael stand out, among many other revolutionary forces and personalities. Militant and anti-colonial Marxism unites Caribbean thinkers like Fanon, African guerrillas and the American black rebellion. The Cuban-Angolan victory of the internationalist Communist troops over the South African Neo-Nazis (of British and Dutch origin, supported by the “civilized” USA, England, Belgium, Holland and Israel) puts an end to the embarrassing Apartheid, the neo-colonial practice of extreme racism and pretensions of “white supremacy” that lasts… until the end of the 20th century, still half a century after Hitler's defeat before the unstoppable offensive of the Red Army.
Then, from the "mature" and "late" Marx onwards, through the subsequent revolutionary and peripheral Marxisms, which include the heterodoxies of the Bolshevik Marxists in the Communist International of the 1920s, the anti-colonial theorists and guerrillas of "Blackness" and the "African unity" of the 1950s and 1960s, the Cuban revolution, the Latin American insurgencies and its more systematized expression, the Marxist theory of dependence of the 1960s and 1970s, all the way to the contemporary Marxist revolutionary expressions, the criticisms to Euro-Westernism and imperialist neo-colonialism, there is an underlying problem and historical continuity, which is the support base and essential underground from which to reconstruct a communist perspective and a revolutionary strategy in the 21st century.
SEVEN WORK NOTES TO COLLECTIVELY ELABORATE A REVOLUTIONARY STRATEGY IN THE 21ST CENTURY
Whether we like it or not, nowadays nobody acts as an international “guiding party”. Neither the former Communist Party of Russia (which led the “pro-Soviet” universe), nor that of China (once at the head of the Maoist constellation), nor that of North Korea, nor that of the former Albania, nor that of Greece, neither the Communist Party of Cuba (for decades, beacon of Latin American insurgencies and even with direct influences in the Black Panthers of the United States) nor any of the almost ten Trotskyist coordinators who dispute among themselves the name of “Fourth International”. Although there are different affinities, sympathies, intersections and diverse international approaches, world Communism in its different expressions and currents no longer has a Vatican or an ideological Mecca. It is time, then, to rethink our collective tradition profanely if we want to move up and on as one towards an anti-Capitalist and anti-imperialist horizon.
Taking into account that many debates about the 100 years of the Communist International are currently taking place in Western Europe and the United States, this is a humble suggestion from “a dark corner of the world”: it is time to abandon the claims of "superiority" by the European (and North American) left, which, without providing deep and radical social transformations of its own, however, on not few occasions stands out as "the authority" to "judge and evaluate" Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia and any other social process that tries - with various degrees of success - to face imperialism and rehearse some kind of transition to Socialism or at least to a type of non-Capitalist society.
The organizational dissolution of Marxist options into "broad units" (temptation that runs through both classical Communist nuclei and some Trotskyist tendencies) does not add, but subtracts. Beyond the presumably good intentions of those who promote that strategy, the absence of a clear revolutionary definition ends up diluting the Socialist / Communist project in the sticky social democratic swamp.
Our historical enemies handle many and varied forms of struggle. From the parliamentary republic to the coup d'etat, through the "color revolution" and the "lawfare" (the judicialization of politics). Therefore, revolutionary Marxist forces must also consider managing all forms of struggle, adapting them to the specific situation of each of their countries.
Dogmatic sectarianism free and self-referential proclamations free, the strategy of the united front between various expressions of anti-imperialist struggle (revolutionary Socialists, Communists, national liberation movements and several other rebellions) becomes nowadays more urgent than ever.
Perhaps the time has come to recover the founding strategy of the Communist International, especially in its Third World aspects (supported by Lenin even in his Lenin´s Testament and notes issued to his secretaries at the end of December, 1922). This implies striving for the narrow unity of the anti-Capitalist struggle in metropolitan and central societies along with the various anti-imperialist, anti-colonial and national liberation struggles in oppressed, peripheral, colonial and dependent societies. For a long time, most of the North-Atlantic left (including Western European and North American) has been missing a rendezvous with the Third World rebel movements and the Global South. Perhaps it is time to reverse that very serious strategic flaw (and theoretical misunderstanding) if we want to face an imperialist enemy and Capitalist companies that operate worldwide and exploit the workforce, also on a global scale.
For the various social components of the developed Western Capitalist economic-social formations (a proletariat with "stable" employment, an informal and precarious proletariat, a student movement, a women's and LGTBI movement, ecologists, vegans, etc.) never more current than today the slogan: A people that oppresses another people will never be free! Slogan initially formulated in 1810, at the Cortes de Cádiz, in Spain, by the indigenous representative from Peru Dionisio Yupanqui; and later resumed, in 1869, by Karl Marx at the time of defending Ireland's national liberation against English colonialism in the First International and finally systematized by Lenin in his 1914 work: The Right of Nations to Self-Determination).
The unrestricted defense of the right of all oppressed peoples, societies and nations to their self-determination presupposes an active and militant internationalism. No one will be saved alone. All isolation weakens us. We can only defeat our historical enemies in common. Active and militant internationalism is not only an imperative ethical obligation. It is also the touchstone of any realistic, viable and possible revolutionary political project in the 21st century.
Buenos Aires, July 16, 2019.
Buenos Aires, July 16, 2019.