Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Peru - The National Question by Chairman Gonzalo

Speech by Chairman Gonzalo at the conference organized by the Teacher's Union of Humanga, Ayacucho-Perú, 1974

Contemporary Peruvian Society

The character of our society.
The character of the revolutionary process of Peruvian society. 
Bureaucratic Capitalism

What do we mean by bureaucratic capitalism?
Three lines within bureaucratic capitalism. 
The Contemporary Situation of the Country

The conditions under which the current regime grows.
The plans and characteristics of the regime. 

Evidently, it is very important and necessary to analyze the character of Peruvian society; because if we do not have a clear understanding of it, we cannot comprehend and explain adequately the process we are living in today. Thus, it is not possible to understand concrete problems of today and the current political situation, such as the law of education or law of mines, without understanding what the character of contemporary Peruvian society is. Unfortunately, little is known about the national question and this get worse with the gross disinformation campaign launched by the state on this matter lately.

The Character of Contemporary Peruvian Society

Peru is a semifeudal and semicolonial society. Our country became independent in the last century. More than 150 years ago, we were a colony of Spain. We lived subjugated by this metropoly and had no political independence at all. On the other hand, at the beginning of the XIX century Peru was a feudal country and our society was fundamentally based on agriculture, which was the economic base. Of course, there was trade and incipient industrial modalities, but the economic base was feudalism. The society was based on the existence of big latifundios (TNF: large farms or haciendas) that belonged to a handful of people, and upon this kind of property, servitude existed. The peasants were cruelly exploited , and had to give personal services such as working the land of the feudal lord and others, including domestic services, in order to have a plot of land.

Our country was backward, where the norm was the practice of old forms of production and modalities of government that were totally decrepit. At the beginning of the XIX century, the country had two problems, which with certain minor modifications still persist today. First, the the land question, the problem of feudalism, of the servitude of the peasantry based on the latifundia property; and the second was the problem of national sovereignty (our nation was a colony of Spain.)

The struggle for independence raised these two problems. The issue of sovereignty was present in parliamentary debates in which it was proposed that independence could only be assured if the land was handed over to the peasants, also this is proven by the decrees of Bolivar on territorial property. 

However, independence only meant breaking the chains with Spain. Soon thereafter the country found itself controlled and dominated by England. This great capitalist power dominated all of Latin America. What is the importance of the domination of England in our country? Up until independence, we were a feudal and colonial country, but once we became independent although we maintained our feudal base, we achieved a certain political independence. We became a republic despite of the problems inherents to emancipation. England introduces higher modalities of development in the country, capitalist modalities, fundamentally in trade which was tied to the world market of the fertilizer guano (TNF: seabird excrement). As a result, the destruction of feudalism advanced because England brought merchandise and introduced capitalist method of production. On the other hand, England began to control the country and introduced a process of colonialization. The British domination resulted in the beginning of a change: a step toward the formation of a semifeudal and semicolonial society.

In the XX century the United States (U.S.) displaced the English domination in the Americas and becomes the master, around the 1920's. Thus, our country sees itself dominated by another world power, an imperialist power. The U.S. came when it was already an imperialist country, with a developed system of monopolies, and big corporations that concentrate the U.S.'s economy. It was already a power undergoing a colonial expansion in Latin America and even in parts of Asia.

Under the Yankee imperialist domination, our society evolves further its semifeudal character. However, it is not totally destroyed. It continues to survive. In the same manner that under English domination (especially after the war with Chile), there has been a major push toward the destruction of feudalism under the development of a form of capitalism tied to the big monopolies and dependent upon imperialism. In addition to maintaining its semifeudal character, our country continues to be a semicolony; a dominated country that even though has declared its political independence is under the domination of an imperialist power in economic, diplomatic, cultural, and military affairs. This domination turns Peru's declared political independence into a formality.

In syntheis, since the XIX century, Peruvian society has evolved from a feudal society into a semifeudal one, and from a colonial society into a semicolonial one. In this long process, three powers have dominated and exploited us: First Spain until 1821 (although it continued its dominattion for many more decades.) Then England dominated us in a more subtle way. The British even fabricated for us political parties of a bourgeois nature, and organized a better state apparatus in order to subjugate us better with its subbtle domination. It was a subtile domination but no less exploitative than the previous one. Finally, the U.S., which continues to oppress and exploit us, an imperialism that despite all that is said (about "independence,") dominates us on all levels.

When we were a colonial country we had two problems: the land problem and the national question. Under English domination we were a semifeudal and semicolonial society (less developed than the present time), and had two problems: the land and the nation. The land was concentrated in a few hands and servitude continued to exist in the country. In the XX century under U.S. dominattion, we continue to be a semifeudal and semicolonial society (undoubtedly much more evolved than before) but the basic problems of the country continue to be the two mentioned before: the land and the nation. The land question is because the feudal modalities of exploitation still survive and grip our entire society. Thus, our unscientific and superstitious mentality, our ideology in general, as well as our social and political relations, still have many feudal aspects. 

The national question is because we are an oppressed nation, apparently free, but at the bottom, subjugated in many ways.

Therefore, the nation's history from the XIX century to today is the feudal and colonial class struggle that under the domination of English capitalism and Yankee imperialism in succession, has evolved and transformed into a semifeudal and semicolonial society with two basic problems still unresolved: the land question and the national question.

The character of the revolutionary process of Peruvian society

In laying down the character of Peruvian society a question arises: which is the path of revolutionary transformation? Concretely, what is the character of the Peruvian revolution? We have established that today there are two problems: the land question and the national question, from whose resolution the solution of the rest of the nation's problems will derive. The entire national question is tied to the semifeudal and semicolonial character of Peruvian society. Hence, in order for Peruvian society to change, to be truly revolutionary, these two problems must be resolved:

The land question, whose solution demands that semifeudalism be swept away, unless this is done, the land question cannot be resolved;

The national question, whose solution demands sweeping away Yankee imperialist oppression, because if this semicolonial domination is not swept away the national question will not be resolved. 

Therefore, without eliminating semifeudalism and semicolonialism it is not possible to genuinely transform Peruvian society (despite all what they'd been telling us.) Furthermore, what it (TNF: by the ruling classes) being proclaimed today is nothing new. For instance, in 1919 we heard similar siren songs. Consequently, the two tasks that must be carry out in the process of transformation of Peruvian society, scientifically called the Peruvian revolution, is to completely destroy semifeudalism and semicolonialism. These are the two tasks of the Peruvian revolution in its first stage. This means that the Peruvian revolution is antifeudal and antiimperialist. It must destroy the feudal remnants and the imperialist domination. For this reason, the Peruvian revolution is necessarily democratic and national. Scientifically speaking the character of the Peruvian revolution is a national-democratic revolution; democratic because it will destroy the feudal relations of the nation; and national because it will destroy the Yankee imperialist oppression. Thus, in the contemporary semi-feudal and semi-colonial Peruvian society, there is only room for a national-democratic, anti-feudal and anti-imperialist revolution.

Let us analyze the character of the Peruvian revolution in relation to the concrete historical conditions. The two problems of the country (the land and the nation), during the XX century as compared to the XIX century, have big differences. In the last century there was no imperialism like there is today, and there was no international working class capable of leading the revolution, nor was there a developed working class in our country, whereas today, we have a triumphant working class (TNF: the October revolution, China, etc.) and in our country we have a working class with a long history of struggle. These are very important differences in the revolutionary process of our country.

Until the 1920's, the bourgeoisie in our country was in the capacity of leading the process of transformation towards the solution of these two problems, but they didn't. Nevertheless, in our country, before the 1920's, there were great struggles, heroic struggles and continuous uprisings of peasants, mobilizations, and student struggles, and powerful actions of the working class. All of this generated a great process of political struggle in which the ideology of the proletariat began to be spread out and be applied to our reality. The extraordinary figure of Jos‚ Carlos Mari tegui emerges, whose tireless work as a "thinker and activist man" marked a milestone in history. In 1928, Mariategui founded the Communit Party, the Party of the working class in Peru. This period determined a fundamental change in our revolution through which the bourgeoisie, under the conditions of imperialist domination and the existence of a working class forged in struggle, could no longer lead the revolutionary process of our nation.

Thus, the working class has sprung forward and developed, and beyond disputing the leadership of the revolution with the bourgeosie, it is the only class capable of carrying the Peruvian revolution to its triumph. The bourgeois revolution in the country has two periods:

The old bourgeois revolution that was able to be completed towards the beginning of this century, under bourgeois leadership; and    The new bourgeois revolution or national-democratic revolution, or bourgeois revolution of a new type, under the leadership of the proletariat which is the only historical perspective for the country.

After 1928 the proletariat achieved political organization and displaced the bourgeoisie from the historical leadership of the revolutionary process, as the only class that can complete the national democratic revolution. Thus, after 1928 the revolution in the country, the destruction of feudalism and imperialist domination, can only be completed under the leadership of the proletariat, a class that in order to fulfill its historical role must unite with the peasantry in a solid worker-peasant alliance, since the peasantry as a majority, although it does not lead the revolution, is the principal force.

We uphold the position that in the country the proletariat, with its party, must lead the movement, or else there is no national-democratic revolution. If not, let us not fool ourselves, directly or indirectly, we would be serving the enemies of the class.

To conclude, we must point out that there are other theses opposite to what we have explained. For example, there is a thesis that states that Peruvian society is capitalist. This is the most dangerous. If the country is capitalist, the revolution must be socialist, and the proletariat and not the peasantry would be the principal force. This thesis fundamentally changes the extremely important problem, which is the road of the revolution. As we have seen here, there are two revolutionary paths:

   The path of the October revolution which is from the city to the countryside, and this is the path of the capitalist countries by way of a socialist revolution, the path that old Russia took or that France would have to take today, for example; and
   The path of the Chinese revolution, which is from the countryside to the city, and this is the path that semi-feudal and semi-colonial countries follow by way of a national-democratic revolution, the path the Vietnam, among others, is following today. As such, the question of whether the country is semi-feudal or capitalist is not simply a Byzantine discussion, because if we err about the character of society we err on the course of the revolution, and consequently it will not triumph.

The thesis of the capitalist character of Peruvian society has been and continues to be upheld by Trotskyism and positions close to it, nevertheless such typifications begins to be upheld by revisionism in order to deepen its surrender to the regime.

Bureaucratic Capitalism

This question is important for the comprehension of Peruvian society, and ignorance of it is the root of grave political errors. The thesis of bureaucratic capitalism is found in the classics and in Mariátegui, although he used another term.

What do we mean by bureaucratic capitalism?

This is the capitalism that imperialism promotes in a backwards country; the type of capitalism, the special form of capitalism, that is imposed by an imperialist country onto a backwards country, whether it is semi-feudal or semi-colonial. Let us analyze this historic process.

How did capitalism develop in the old European nations? Consider France; toward the end of the XVIII century it was a feudal country, with 20 to 22 million peasants while workers numbered only around 600,000 (from which we can see the feudal passage it had); it was based on servitude of various forms. Nevertheless, within the feudal entrails of France new productive forms, of manufacturing, and capitalist forms were generated, and a class, the bourgeoisie, was gaining ever more force, more economic power, including political influence. We ask: Was France a nation subjugated by another? No. France was an absolute monarchy that contested with England for global hegemony, it was not oppressed by anyone. Its socio-economic and historical conditions had made it develop that way. Did imperialism exist in that era? No. Imperialism is of this century. What existed were countries undergoing capitalist development, like England for example, and France was independently developing a capitalist society. Other countries followed the same path, and when they reached the XIX century, France, England, Belgium, Holland, etc. were capitalist countries that developed independently.

What was the situation of Latin America in the XIX century? When the emancipation of America began (1810), the nations of Europe were already powerful, whereas the Latin American ones had only recently begun to structure their nationalities, a problem that has not yet been concluded. Moreover, soon after becoming independent these nations fall under the domination of a power, namely England; thus their capitalism will develop under English domination, a kind of dependent capitalism. Thus, there is a well-known historical, economic, and political difference compared to the European process.

On another side, the bourgeoisies that develop in Latin America begin to link themselves more and more to the dominant country, in such a way that these weak bourgeoisies, instead of developing independently like the Europeans did, serving the national interests, they evolve as subjugated bourgeoisies, dependent, given over body and soul to the imperialist powers (England or the U.S.) to the extent they even believe in converting themselves into rich men and developed intermediate bourgeoisies, as our history in this century shows.

This latter path is the one taken in Peru. As we have seen, in the second decade of this century Yankee imperialism surplanted English domination.

Three lines within bureaucratic capitalism

Bureaucratic capitalism develops three lines within its process: a landlord line in the countryside, a bureaucratic one in industry, and a third, also bureaucratic, in the ideological sphere. This is without pretending that that these are the only ones.

It introduces the landlord line in the countryside by way of expropiatory agrarian laws that do not aim to destroy the feudal landlord class and their property, but rather progressively evolve them by means of the purchase and payment of the land for the peasants. The bureaucratic line in industry aims at controlling and centralizing industrial production, commerce, etc., putting them ever more in the hands of monopoly with the goal of sponsoring a more rapid and systematic accumulation of capital, to the detriment of the working class and other workers, naturally, to the benefit of the biggest monopolies and consequently imperialism. In this process the forced saving which workers are subjected to plays an important role, as we can see in the industrial law. The bureaucratic line in ideology consists of the process of molding the people, by means of the massive diffusion, especially in political conceptions and ideas, that serve bureaucratic capitalism. The general law of education is a concentrated expression of this line, and one of the constants of this line is its anti-communism, its anti-Marxism, whether open or concealed.

These three lines form part of the bureaucratic path which is opposed by the DEMOCRATIC PATH, the revolutionary road of the people. If the former defends feudal property, the latter proposes its destruction, and it opposes the buying of lands with confiscation; if the former recognizes and fortifies imperialist industrial property, the latter denies it and struggles for its confiscation; if the former fights to ideologically subjugate the people, the latter strives to arm them ideologically; if the former attacks Marxism, the latter upholds that we must guide ourselves by Marxism as the only scientific instrument to understand reality. They are thus two absolutely contrary paths. The history of the country in this century is a history of struggle between these two paths: the bureaucratic path, that is capitalism submitted to imperialism, and the democratic path, the road of the working class, the peasantry, the petty bourgeoisie, and under certain circumstances, the national bourgeoisie. In order to understand bureaucratic capitalism it is very useful to study and analyze the decade of the 1960's, during which the process of the destruction of feudalism advanced more; in this period industry and capitalist relations in agriculture are strengthened. From another side, the class struggle developed greatly; the trade union movement, the peasant movement, and the student movement reached higher levels. Thus a strong trade union movement developed that in a particular moment took localities and bosses as hostages; the peasant movement also had a great apogee, in the second half of 1963 it ran from the center of the country to the south like a trail of gunpowder; and the student movement rose rapidly. In synthesis, the mass struggles have lived through great experiences in this period of political struggles.

Thus, party politics had a great apogee, on the one hand the reactionary political parties entered into grave difficulties and struggles leading up to the crisis of the so-called "representative democracy" in 1967 and 1968, and on the other the left developed a vigorous political life, within which it unleashed the struggle between Marxism and revisionism, which later re-took the path of Mari tegui as a condition to develop the revolution.

Another very important deed which is not sufficiently studied is the question of the guerrillas: in 1965 there was a outbreak of guerrilla warfare, including this zona. The guerrilla movement in the country is part of the national process. It is a primary question that must be highlighted because due to sectarianism, sometimes it is considered as simply the experience of an organization and it is not seen as the experience of the Peruvian people. It is a movement intimately linked to the political process of the country, developed according to petty bourgeois conceptions; it is a great experience that needs to be analyzed from the point of view of the proletariat in order to draw fruitful lessons.

It is impossible to understand our situation and perspective since 1970 without understanding the concrete conditions of the 1960's. There is a good thing: in the last few years, the Peruvian intelligentsia begins to understand the necessity of studying the decade of the 1960's. Only by understanding this period will we be better armed ideologically, in order to understand the current situation.

The problem of bureaucratic capitalism is important because it allows us to understand which is the dominant path that imperialism imposes on a backwards country, on a semi-feudal and semi-colonial country; by understanding this problem we will be armed and equipped to combat the thesis of the capitalist character of the country and its political derivations.

In order to conclude this theme we will deal with the following: some maintain that to hold that bureaucratic capitalism is in the country is to ignore its semi-feudal and semi-colonial character; they say it proposes that the nation is capitalist in a hidden manner. This is an error ignores the laws of social development of our country and of the backwards countries; precisely because bureaucrat capitalism is no more than the path of imperialism in a semi-feudal and semi-colonial country and without semi-feudal and semi-colonial conditions there would be no bureaucrat capitalism. Thus, to propose the existence of bureaucrat capitalism is to propose as a premise that the country is semi-feudal and semi-colonial.

The Contemporary Situation of the Country

Under what conditions does the current regime arise? Let us go back to the end of the 1960's. What was happening? Economic problems: in 1967 the currency devaluation, freezing of credits, etc. An economic crisis. On another side, the struggle of the masses was rising, strong worker and peasant struggles, and we saw daily that characteristics similar to those in the first year of the decade were beginning to present themselves; a future rise in the movement of the masses was within sight. In politics, confrontations and fractionalizing between and within the political organizations of the ruling classes; the famous dispute between parliament and the executive. Furthermore, the elections drew near, creating the junture for many of the nation's problems to be illuminated, even for the parties in dispute, because in their eagerness to get votes the "dragged out their dirty laundry". Ideologically our country had passed through a profound debate of ideas and this greatly clarified what is Marxism and what is revisionism. Furthermore the path of Mari tegui began to be retaken by applying Marxism to the concrete conditions of the country. Aside from the above we must highlight two situations:

1. The economic situation of the country, which is the development of bureaucratic capitalism could no longer continue developing itself in the old way, urging its deepening. It needed to open a wider path so that this process in the form of imperialism would advance; with the previous forms it could not advance. We must not forget that for many years the agrarian problem was discussed, there were even agrarian laws: the Beltran project, the laws of P‚rez Godoy and of Bela£nde. Another question: in the industrial problem the law of the second government of Prado was now insufficient and raised again the necessity of making industrial parks, give a priority to the state role in planning, etc. There is the plan of Bela£nde of 1967 to 1970 that stated the necessity of changing the social condition of the country in order to construct a "new society, national, democratic, and Christian". In conclusion, the process of bureaucratic capitalism needed to deepen itself.

2. In the country there was the so-called "representative democracy", but parliamentarism did not satisfy the needs of the exploiters; the popular masses advanced with relative ease putting the exploiting classes in difficult, although temporary, positions. Thus, they needed to substitute the representative modality, parliamentarism. Was this a typical case that only happened in our country? No. The decade of 1960 implied the fragility of the so-called "regime of representative democracy" in Latin America, the crisis of parliamentarism, and consequently the need to substitute it for state modalities more efficient for reaction.

In synthesis, the economic necessities of deepening bureaucratic capitalism and the fagility of parliamentarism, in the conditions indicated, presented the exploiting classes and imperialism with the necessity of a new political establishment for the country. Thus, the current regime arises from economic, social, and political necessities of deepening bureaucratic capitalism.

The plans and characteristics of the regime

There now exists a socio-economic plan which is little talked about. In synthesis it establishes: the need to reinvigorate bureaucratic capitalism, by way of the efforts of workers and peasants, the former brought about by means of the industrial law and the others by means of the agrarian law. At the same time it proposes the direct and primordial action of the state to open conditions of investment for private capital; the financing of which necessarily comes from imperialism and since this financing is insufficient, it must fundamentally take root from its own resources. This plan clearly illustrates its linkage with the process of bureaucratic capitalism in the country; daily this play is linked to Bela£nde's, and with this the entire system of bureaucratic capitalism of the country.

Very deep between the economic plan and social mobilization, this is another thing that is not very clear. The regime, sanctioning its fundamental measures (in agriculture, industry, and education), has passed to an organizational stage. Today and in the immediate future we develop within organization, mobilization, and participation that the regime is promoting. The social mobilization must be understood linked to the economic process; the same government says that without social mobilization it will not be able to complete its socio-economic plan, and proposes that the social mobilization has a basis, the participation in property ownership. Lately the representatives of the regime talk about social property: what does this serve? This property serves, behind the decoy of participation in property ownership, to mobilize the masses to the benefit of bureaucratic capitalism. For this reason the basis of social mobilization is social participation.

What does this social mobilization serve? Social mobilization is a political instrument in the hands of the regime to strengthen its conceptions and open a "neither capitalist nor communist road", that is, to spread its ideas. Upon spreading its ideas it seeks to "avoid that foreign, exotic ideas become embedded in the masses"; what ideas are they refering to? Marxism. This ideological process is to avoid that the masses learn about Marxism and thus tie them to the bureaucratic capitalist road. Thus, the mobilization is a means of organizing, starting from the property modalities, the masses and channel them into a vertical authority. This is what they mean by social mobilization; it is a masterpiece of the system at the service of their economic and political plan. One of the reasons why the economic plan doesen't advance like they hoped it would is the lack of their so-called social mobilization.

From the above, we derive: the current political situation of the country is centered around the problem of the mobilization of the masses, now and in the immediate future we move within this juncture, which is: who mobilizes and how are the masses mobilized. The government pretends to move them according to their conception; their actions prove it. The regime aims to organize the peasant masses. The law 19400 serves this end, and it aims to organize the workers with the so-called CTRP. "Nationalists, revolutionary participationists"; among the students they create organizations that are born one day and disappear the next. All of this signifies the intention to organize the worker, peasant, and student masses, and it reveals that the contention is happening on and organizational plane.

Nevertheless, despite the propaganda and efforts of the regime and their followers, the struggle of the masses is alive and develops; why? Because the living conditions of the masses worsen as a consequence of the very system. For this reason, no matter how much they scream that it is the "ultra-left" that moves the masses and agitates them, what is certain is that the masses are mobilizing around their own interests, and defend them to the extent that they are conscious. Synthesizing, the social, economic, and political conditions lead to the sharpening of the mass struggle, and the organizational question is one of confronting the serious difficulties before the organizational offensive of the regime, the same one that is incapable of imposing its total control and will have to appeal more to systematic repression (of which there are many and rapidly growing examples).

In conclusion: the ideology and politics of the regime, including organizationally, express a fascist character. The regime's measures, as expressed by their leaders, their style of organizing, their attitudes towards the representative regime, their manner of treating civil liberties, only show one thing: the abandonment of the demo-liberal and representative system and adherence to fascism. The very chief of the sinamos [paramilitary squads set up by the Velasco regime] said that we are in a pre-revolutionary period, and that all the regimes and political organizations have become invalid in the new social conditions.

From another side, the measures applied in politics, economics, and organizationally truly prove that they are laying the foundations for a CORPORATIVIST system. The essence of this question are the organizations on different levels, in which the bosses, the workers, and the state should participate. Three parts in the organizations, which has been defined as a corporation since the last century. This is the way it has been proposed by those who have upheld corporativism since 1920 and this is the way it is upheld today in Spain and Portugal.

Thus, the current regime is a system that has an ideological orientation of a fascist bent and is laying the foundations for a CORPORATIVIST system. It will be said that here is another thesis. It is very clear. There is a thesis that says that this is not certain, some maintaining that we are dealing with a revolutionary bourgeois regime that is completing a stage of the revolution; if we recall what we have seen this is a position without a political, ideological, or economic basis. Another thesis maintains that it is a bourgeois reformist regime, that it is applying reforms. What are reforms? Reforms are the concessions that the people win with their struggles, or they are the by-product of revolution, as Lenin said. Are the agrarian, industrial, or educational laws concessions to the people? This is enough to show the inconsistencies of this thesis.

Finally: when we emancipated ourselves we had two problems, of the land and of the nation, the problem of feudalism and the problem of domination by a foreign power. Many years have passed, and our society has advanced. The people of today are not the people of yesterday. We consider that today, after so many years, we continue having two problems: the land question and the national question. From this the process of transformation in our country is scientifically called a NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION, and this can only be lead by the proletariat.

"All debates are open for those who voice opinions, not those who remain silent." J.C. Mariátegui

"Polemics are useful when they are truly set out to clarify theories and actions, and when only clear ideas and motives are introduced." J.C. Mariátegui

In the final analysis, the October Revolution was not only an insurrection but a revolutionary war that lasted for several years. Consequently, in the imperialist countries the revolution can only be conceived as a revolutionary war which today is simply people’s war - Chairman Gonzalo

Democracy and Class Struggle says with all the celebration of the October Revolution do we really understand what occurred ? 

Was the Russian Revolution an Event or a Process ?

In the video below of Aleksandr Buzgalin of Moscow State University we can see a revolutionary process unfolding from 1905 that takes and wide variety of forms making the Bolshevik Party the most versatile in the art of full spectrum resistance to the Russian State - in fact a People's War of a Protracted type.

Below we publish an important article by Folco R on Protracted Revolutionary Peoples War which explains the theoretical and practical importance of the October Revolution as a process rather than just an event

Gramsci recommends to study the October Revolution in the light of the theory of Protracted Revolutionary Peoples War

The revolution is being built

According to common sense, the socialist revolution breaks out: it is therefore an event limited in time, an insurrection, a riot, a spontaneous popular uprising, as mentioned above. This conception has settled in the common sense because the revolutions up to a certain point in history, on the side of the popular masses, were always insurrections, spontaneous outbursts due upon the completion of the conditions that made it impossible the continuation of existing conditions.

In the common sense, anyway, next to the conception of the “revolution breaking out“ the opposite conception of “ making the revolution” appears. In the first case, the masses rise up against a situation that has become intolerable. Their then is a passive movement: the popular masses are not moved by their internal transformation, but by external factors determined by the action of other classes, such as a body that moves driven by another. In the second case, the popular masses do (i.e., build) the revolution: their one is an active movement.

The activity requires consciousness: inventing, planning, examination in the course of work, stock, determination, in short, to take up our intellectual and moral faculties at the highest level, because revolution is to discover new things and invent, and because the enemy class uses any means, infamy and cruelty to maintain its power .

The two ways of understanding the revolution stand as opposites because the first leads socialist revolution to defeat, the second leads socialist revolution to success. The first way worked actually and for millennia in class-divided societies, but it stopped working in a given historical moment, namely when the conditions were ripe for the abolition of class divisions, namely in Europe in the mid-nineteenth century.

At this time the subject that leads the abolition of classes comes: it is the conscious and organized communist movement (with its political parties, trade unions and other mass organizations). The publication of the Manifesto of the Communist Party of Marx and Engels in 1848 was its “birth certificate“. The conscious and organized communist movement began to make the revolution, it only won when more or less consciously built the revolution, and when it did not do it, it learned the hard way that the revolution, then, was no longer something that breaks out.

It was a breakthrough of historic significance. For the first time in human history, social change was thought by the popular masses implementing it, and not determined by causes outside of them. Consciousness (reason and will) of human beings, their conception of the world, had taken on an unprecedented role. We can, and then we must realize the old dream of building a society and a civilization with rational method, and it is up to the working class to lead this process.(17)

This conception of the world has its foundations in the knowledge that revolution develops (it is done) as war develops (as war is promoted and conducted), and today the knowledge that it is a PRPW, experienced in the oppressed countries in a conscious way by the Chinese Communist Party.

 Under the guidance of the experience of the socialist revolution in Europe in the early twentieth century, Gramsci explains that this strategy also applies to the imperialist countries, and also to Italy .

The class struggle is a war

Gramsci describes the class struggle as a war. He says that the transition from war of maneuver (and from the frontal attack) to the war of position occurs also in the political field and criticizes Trotsky who, in one way or another, can be considered the political theorist of the frontal attack in a period in which it is only cause of defeat.(18)

With the war of maneuver or of movement Gramsci means the war of those who consider the attack as a quick and conclusive operation, as a people’s uprising in which the Communist Party took the lead. It’s a war doomed to failure in the face of an enemy which in turn carries out a planned war, with all the political and military means at its disposal in  large quantities.

Since, in the middle of the nineteenth century, in Europe the conditions for the abolition of classes became ripe, the bourgeoisie has fielded political and military means to prevent this from happening. In the regimes of preventive counter revolution they are mainly political instruments.(19) The more the crisis progresses and the pillars of preventive counter revolution crumble, the more the class struggle openly expresses his character of class warfare (and the clearer it becomes the inconsistency of movementism.(20) Here, says Gramsci , we pass to siege, compressed, difficult, warfare, in which exceptional qualities of patience and inventive spirit are needed.(21) The siege war, or war of position is the PRPW against the imperialist bourgeoisie, and the Communist Party that leads it must have patience, strategic firmness facing any enemy attack and ability to fight for as long as necessary, and inventive spirit, tactical flexibility and innovative capacity which is necessary for those who go in unexplored land, as the caravan of the new PCI is doing.(22)

War and crisis

In § 17 of Notebook 13, the theme is Analysis of situations: relations of forces.(23) Gramsci describes the situation in which the war between classes takes place. It is the revolutionary situation that develops in conjunction with the general crisis for absolute overproduction of capital: Gramsci refers to the first crisis of this kind. There are clear parallels with the situation today, the second general crisis .

Gramsci talks of the ideological, religious, philosophical, political controversies which take place around a thousand phenomena in which the crisis occurs (the various forms in which the resistance of workers, laborers and popular masses is expressed, the various forms of social massacre of the governments of the imperialist bourgeoisie which can be summarized in an undeclared war of extermination waged against the popular masses and, as regards the most striking phenomena, suicides, killing of women, etc.) These controversies make sense only if they are convincing and eventually they show to be true only when they win. In the clash, the Communists are both convincing and winners because they combine the occasional phenomenon to the general issue, namely the crisis; because they have a conception of the world that on one hand has knowledge of the nature of the crisis, on the other hand has a strategy to overcome it (the PRPW).

To convince, that is to win “hearts and minds“ of the popular masses, decides the outcome of the war. Suffice it to look at all the apparatus fielded by the imperialist bourgeoisie to convince the masses that it is right they go to misery and death to save a decaying political class and the financial system that is behind it, run by a lowest group of criminals at the international level and in every country, passing themselves off as the international community (as they pass their wars off as peace missions).

“Once given the objective conditions of socialism, which in Europe have existed for more than a century, the decisive factor for the victory of the socialist revolution, is the subjective conditions.“(24) The conscious and organized communist movement therefore can build the socialist revolution. Gramsci confirms this by sayingthat there are the conditions necessary and sufficient for certain tasks can and therefore must be resolved historically, adding that this must be done because every failing in the historic duty increases the necessary disorder and prepares more serious disasters, namely, that the reactionary mobilization of the masses prevails, that the bourgeoisie is able to impose fascism and war.

Communists must solve their tasks historically, Gramsci says: not doing it prepares more serious disasters. That is to say, the task that the Communists have to solve are posed by the course of history and identifiable by studying the course of history. These tasks must be fulfilled. The society that does not fulfill them incurs disasters more and more severe. The crisis requires that we strive to make Italy a new socialist country. The ruling class and common sense see the negative aspects of the crisis, but all the negative aspects of the crisis originate in the refusal to do what the crisis  requires to do, in wanting to persist in this economic, social and political system, in wanting to keep this material condition, in not wanting to believe and realize the possible future that the crisis requires as necessary.

The economists, unable to see beyond the phenomenon, and the dogmatists, which replace the examination of reality with their own schemes are neither convincing nor winning.

Gramsci insists that it is absolutely necessary to take into account the link between the general crisis and its single manifestations (single local phenomena, of a sector, of the hour, etc.). Only in this way we are able to effectively attack the enemy.

Forcing our action within the details, dispersing ourselves in the single struggles is a weapon of war in the hands of the enemy. Who suffers the ideological influence of the bourgeoisie (the left bourgeoisie and his followers ) easily fall victim to this weapon of the enemy, because the bourgeoisie itself does not have theoretical knowledge of the relationship between general and particular, because they do not have and cannot have a science of the economic, social and political reality (that science would show that bourgeoisie’s reign is over).

The theoretical analysis of reality made by the bourgeoisie is always analysis of details (one-sided analysis), it does not show the link between them, the only one link that allows to understand the true role and meaning of every single detail.

To take into account the link between each event and the general crisis means to frame every single battle, every single campaign within the overall strategy of the PRPW, to build the revolution , because here the question is not to reconstruct the past history but to build the present and future one.

After the analysis of the situation Gramsci goes on to examine the relations of forces, which are divided into moments .

The first of them is the starting point, i.e. the relations of forces between classes in relation to the objective situation, to the economic set up of society and the consequent class composition.

The second moment is when a class begins to become aware of itself as a class, and here it moves firstly on the ground of claims and then on that of the political struggle, that is to say, that the of bourgeois political struggle . This step is shown in the MP as a transition from claim struggle to political struggle in Europe and takes place at the end of the nineteenth century with the formation of large unions and the socialist parties of the Second International.

The third moment is transition from the political struggle to the revolutionary struggle. The working class understands that to defend its interests it is not enough to act in the political context predetermined by the bourgeoisie. The MP explains it as follows:

 “With Marxism workers reached the full consciousness of their social situation. Their struggle became more conscious, until it assumed a superior character. It became a revolutionary political struggle, the struggle to overthrow the rule of the bourgeoisie, to build their own state and, thanks to the power gained, to create a new system of production and a new social order, to eliminate exploitation and its historical expression: the division of society into classes.“(25)

In this third moment the working class understands that its own class interests are the interests of the whole society .

In this third moment, the relationship between classes is inevitably bound to result in a relation of war in the classical sense, that is to say, the relation of military forces. Gramsci indicates that military confrontation is a necessary step for the socialist revolution.

Just this point was the main misrepresentation of Gramsci by the modern revisionists, from Togliatti on, from the eighth congress of the Italian Communist Party (1956) which established the peaceful and parliamentary socialism as the official doctrine of the party.

As for those who, unlike the revisionists, are for the socialist revolution, but not for the socialist revolution which is built as a war but for the socialist revolution that breaks out, Gramsci shows that, according to the experience, it is not foregone that the economic crises automatically generate uprisings.

The worsening of the economic conditions do not necessarily generate the mobilization of the popular masses in a revolutionary sense. On the contrary the mobilization of the popular masses in a revolutionary sense does not require that the economic conditions are to a certain degree of intolerability.

That revolutionary mobilization depends on the action of a party that leads their course from battle to battle, from a campaign to another culminating in the decisive military relationship, that is to say, until the time when the imperialist bourgeoisie who defends its own regime is forced or to leave the field or to resort to civil war. This course is described by Gramsci in detail: we must find the least resistance of the enemy, where the shot is more effective, we must understand what are the immediate tactical operations, ... how you can best set up a campaign of political turmoil, what language will be better understood by the multitudes etc. .

All this is precisely the development of the PRPW in an imperialist country like Italy, of which here Gramsci describes the first stage, the stage of strategic defensive, when the superiority of the bourgeoisie is overwhelming. The Communist Party must accumulate the revolutionary forces. It must gather the revolutionary forces around him (in the mass organizations and in the front) and within itself (in the Party organizations), expand its presence and its influence, and educate the revolutionary forces in the fight leading them to fight. The progress of the new power is measured by the amount of the revolutionary forces gathered in the front and by the level of the forces themselves

In this phase, the main objective is not the elimination of enemy forces, but to gather the revolutionary forces among the masses, and to extend Communist Party’s influence and leadership, raising the level of the revolutionary forces: to strengthen their conscience and their organization, to make them more capable to fight, to make their struggle against the bourgeoisie more effective, to raise their level of combativeness.(26)

 The socialist revolution does not break out

There is spontaneity and there is spontaneism. Gramsci criticizes those who refuse to give conscious direction to the revolutionary process on principle,(27) those who believe that such a direction means to imprison, to schematize, to impoverish the revolutionary process, to take credit of it.

Current example of this movementist trend is the attempt to build an Anti-capitalist and Libertarian Movement (Assembly of Bologna, May 11, 2013 )(28).

It proclaims itself a movement, not in the sense that it just wants to unite different organizations and classes, regardless of their particular orientations in other fields, into a concrete political battle, but in the sense that wants to declare itself against the current state of things (capitalism), but refusing the establishment of socialism, the Communist Party and the communist conception of the world (that is to say, it stands on the ground of the bourgeois left).

It is against something (against capitalism), but not for something (socialism and communism).

Who wants to be “for”, must make plans, organize himself, as well as everybody must do whenever he want to build something, whatever it may be.

It is libertarian, that is to say it proclaims freedom in general, but it does not say “freedom of the masses from capitalism”. It uses the term “ libertarian“ because it is the term used by the anarchist tendencies that reject any scheme, organization, order, rule, discipline, by anybody: even the one that a collective chooses for itself, even the one that the struggle itself requires. It rejects them so far as to give up the fight and remain within capitalism.

The freedom and the movement they are dealing with in this umpteenth attempt are those of the water that is free to move downwards. There is no thought, no reflection, no stock of the experience of those who have struggled before us, why and where they won or lost, there is no plan for the future, and therefore there is no momentum. Everything is reduced, at the end, to the opposite of freedom, to a mechanical reaction (i.e. the way in which a part in a mechanism does not move for its proper motion, but for the pulse it receives from another) to the attack of the enemy, which instead has organized armies (which since the ancient Rome times and even earlier have shown always to be able to win disorganized masses in revolt even if they were in number ten and more times greater), and a plan to maintain his power, etc.

Gramsci explains that this supposed freedom is reversed in mechanical response and expression of subordination to the class enemy, because it does not qualify for itself, for what it wants to build, but for the enemy he opposes , and  therefore depends on the enemy to the way a worker depends on his master. If a group does not strive to create its own science of reality and history, finally its analyses are those of bourgeois propaganda, they are taken from bourgeoisie’s newspapers and books, even if they read them “upside down“ (criticizing them, being outraged, denouncing them, etc.) Those who move in this sense does not even suspect that their story may be of any significance, says Gramsci here. As for the content, they deal with this story using in economic, political, philosophical field criteria and data provided by the bourgeoisie, conform to the bourgeois conception of the world. As for the form, they speak but not act and so they do not run the risk of being proven wrong, or they separate speech from acting, they do not reflect on their own practice, they do not learn from mistakes. When they are successful, they do not use it as a base to build the New Power, they do not even use as a base to move to a higher level of fighting. We saw it clearly last year: after the great demonstrations of 31 March and 27 October 2012, the predominant mood among the promoters was: “And now what do we do?”

The objective conditions that drive the popular masses to mobilize to create the new society (that make necessary its creation because not doing it leads to more serious disasters ) are existing for a long time, that is why popular masses’ movement is spontaneous as the water of the river that goes to the sea. But it is different from the water of the river that goes to the sea, because it regards human beings. They need to represent the way they follow: the water goes to the sea only under certain conditions.

This unity of “spontaneity“ and “conscious direction“, that is of the “discipline” is precisely the real political action of the subaltern classes, as mass politics and not just an adventure for groups that appeal to the mass, Gramsci says, and adds that to renounce to give them a conscious direction, to elevate them to a higher level is to leave the way open to the imperialist bourgeoisie, which deflects the mobilization of the masses in a reactionary direction.

The mobilization of the masses in a reactionary direction (fascism, war) is the result of the resignation of the groups responsible for [the Communists, editor’s note] giving conscious direction to the spontaneous movements and so make them become a positive political factor. Those who deny the principle that the revolution is being built, that must be directed, and directed as a revolutionary people’s war, who is waiting for “ the masses to move” and does not see that the masses are moving (but obviously the way which the oppressed masses can move until they have no conscious and just goal, nor organization or direction), leaves a space that is occupied by the reaction.

All those who today can take the role of government in the country, in National Liberation Committees, in Local Emergency Administrations, in a Government of National Salvation, in short, in organizations that mobilize the masses against the war that the imperialist bourgeoisie moves against them, and hesitate to do so, the more they hesitate the more they are objectively liable for the reactionary mobilization of the masses.

The movementists are opposed to making plans. According to them, says Gramsci, any set plan is utopian and reactionary.(29) Everybody who has gone to movementists showing them as necessary a path to the goal of revolutionary transformation, has been told that the path indicated was an imposition, an attempt to cage, to clip the wings of spontaneous movement, and therefore the plan was reactionary and planning a concrete path toward the revolution was unrealistic .

This type of response is an expression of a general trend, among the popular masses and it is an expression of their subordination, expression of their being still under the influence of the bourgeois conception in their consciousness. It is clear that the bourgeoisie is interested in fighting the development of any plan to overthrow its power, and it is even clearer its interest to declare impossible the goal of overthrowing his power. The most that the imperialist bourgeoisie may grant to the popular masses is the dream of revolution as something that would be needed, but that will never be. Acceptable heroes are those who believed it possible and lost (they were defeated), which proves that theirs was an impossible dream. Rosa Luxembourg and Che Guevara are the best known examples. Who has instead led the masses to victory, like Stalin, who led the victory against the fascists, is “dictator“ and “reactionary“ for bias .'

 Who is only against, waits for insurrection and does not make plans, stands contemplating every spontaneous mobilization of the popular masses then fall into depression when the mobilization ceases. It is inevitable that it ceases: if it is assumed to be a natural thing, it has its beginning and its end, as in the case of a storm, scattering in an infinite number of individual wills, says Gramsci.(30) This is the story of many attempts of coordination in past two years here in Italy: they arise for certain contingencies ("against the crisis", "we shall not pay the debt", etc.), they produce initiatives where the participation of the masses exceeds their expectations (demonstrations with hundreds of thousands participants), which they are not able to handle precisely because they do not have a line, they do not have a “ set plan", hence the promoters hold back as apprentice sorcerers unable to manage the “simple and magical powers" of which on 6 April 2013, on occasion of an important workers’ assembly in Southern Italy, a fifth-grade child was able to speak referring the working class.

In short, for not wanting to get rules in line with the needs reality imposes, that is, for not wanting to learn the dialectic between freedom and necessity, for wanting to stay “free” in the sense that they do not want to frame in any party, that they do not want to follow any plan, much less therefore to attempt an experience until today not successful, the revolution in an imperialist country, something so new and full of risks that to propose it without analysis and without plan is irresponsibility that borders on crime, for wanting to keep this childish attitude unacceptable in any human activity minimally complex, they end up being the opposite of free, that is to say, being puppets in the hands of the enemy.

In § 7 of the Notebook 13 Gramsci says that the revolution as insurrection works for the bourgeoisie from the French Revolution (1789) until the time when the working class breaks as a new revolutionary class (1848). After this date the bourgeoisie therefore ceases to be revolutionary class struggling against the clergy and the nobles and stands in battle against the working class.

The bourgeoisie prepares minutely and technically in peacetime the war against the working class, with lots of trenches and fortifications within the massive structure of modern democracies, both as State organizations or as complex of associations in civil life.(31)

This massive structure of modern democracies is the regime of preventive counter-revolution. The revolution presses, it is an objective movement, and the bourgeoisie builds an apparatus well finished to the least detail to prevent the will and the need for participation and self-government of the popular masses, against the single not enslaved union representative, against the self-managed social center, against any political force that does not accept the pre-arranged canons to participate in the petty theater of the bourgeois political struggle, and especially against the Communist Party, highest expression of the autonomy and independence of the working class and popular masses,. This apparatus is precisely the regime of preventive counter-revolution, applied in the imperialist countries. Against this apparatus, the strategy of the Communists is the PRPW, in which the accumulation of forces and the conquest of new territory (the expansion of hegemony over the popular masses at bourgeoisie’s expenses) is an equally meticulous work that step by step arrives at the actual military conflict.

Gramsci explains why it is impossible to imagine a war of maneuver that breaks through enemy lines and thereby takes over the centers of power when behind enemy lines there is a whole array of which the lines are just the first front.(32)

He says that society has become a very complex structure resistant to catastrophic "raids" of the immediate economic element (crises, depressions); the superstructures of civil society are similar to the system of trenches in modern war ... nor the assaulting troops, due to the crisis, organize themselves in a flash in time and space, much less they get an aggressive spirit. Gramsci recommends to study the October Revolution in the light of the theory of PRPW.

To this we can add that after the victory of the October Revolution the imperialist bourgeoisie has taken all countermeasures it can take to avoid to be caught by surprise by any insurrection .

Those who presume to break into the enemy camp, to sow irreversible panic and confusion in the enemy soldiers, to  organize their troops suddenly, as suddenly to create the cadres or putting existing cadres in leading positions immediately recognized by a population in revolt, those who presume to join immediately this population toward a common goal, they are mystic, says Gramsci.(33) In fact, those who think in these religious terms, they are still waiting for someone else to begin, or for someone to come from outside to bring the revolution, from Russia or China yesterday, from the oppressed peoples today (from Palestine, India, Nepal, or from countries like Venezuela or Cuba, depending on the trends they prefer).(34)

The examination of the positions of Gramsci confirms its anticipation of one of the foundations of the revolutionary theory, that is the strategy of the PRPW, one of the most important contributions of Maoism to the revolutionary science, to the communist conception of the world.(35) Gramsci, in addition to this one, has given other very important anticipations. The ongoing study of the work of Gramsci is recovery of these valuable anticipations that Gramsci worked out, in order to give the right light to his stature as a leader of the communist movement at national and international level and especially to continue his work until the attainment of the objectives for which he gave his life .

Folco R.

1. La Voce del (nuovo)Partito comunista italiano, n. 43, March 2013, p. 5. The texts of La Voce, and the Manifesto Program of the (new) Italian Communist Party( MP), often quoted in this article are all available on the site www.nuovopci.it (see references in Appendix at the end of this article).
2. Manifesto Program of the new PCI, Edition Social Relations, Milan, 2008, in http://www.nuovopci.it/eile/en/in080619.html. From here on MP .
3. Three deviations constantly present also in the parties of the imperialist countries even though they declare themselves Marxist.
Dogmatism: to have a relationship towards Marxism similar to that of a believer towards religious doctrines, taking it as a description of the world but not as science guiding action to transform it.
Opportunism: to participate in the bourgeois political struggle solely or principally to seize the opportunities it creates to improve the conditions of workers in the framework of the system of bourgeois social relations .
Economism: to limit the class struggle to the claims of better wages and working conditions .
4. See in this regard The Eighth Discriminating Factor, published in La Voce n 9, November 2001 and n. 10, March 2002, available in http://www.nuovopci.it/eile/en/discr8/firstprt.html.
5. Gramsci speaks about the transformation of capitalism into imperialism and of the change of the form of the revolution in Prison Notebook [from now on, PN] 8, § 236 and in PN 10, § 9 .
6. MP, page 80, in PDF version (see Appendix; from here on the page numbers are referred to that PDF version).
[You may compare this passage in MP with this one by Amil K.: “Hegemony: Coercion & Consent: Beginning first with the question of hegemony: Dominant social groups maintain their power in two distinct ways: through domination / coercion, and through intellectual-moral leadership / consent. Dominant social groups dominate the classes with which they have an antagonistic relationship by liquidating or subjugating them through armed force (57); but they lead “kindred and allied groups” by providing moral and intellectual direction.” (in www.ri-ir.org, Gramsci’s Prison Notebooks: Towards a War of Position) – Editor’s Note]
7. La Voce del nuovo PCI , n . 17, July 2004, p . 31.
8. MP , pages 80-81.
9. Gramsci speaks explicitly of the need to give conscious direction to the spontaneous movements of the masses, to raise them to a higher plane in PN 3, § 48 .
10. PN 13, § 1.
11. MP, pages 64-65.
12. PN 13, § 1.
13. PN 13, § 1.
14. Of course in favor and “demonstration“ of our line we have to bring and we bring, in addition to the analysis of the class struggle going on today, the experience of the first wave of proletarian revolution, that is to say, both the experience of the successes achieved with the establishment of the first socialist countries (starting from the October Revolution and the creation of the Soviet Union), which for several decades played the role of red bases of world proletarian revolution, and the experience of the defeats we have suffered. We are strongly opposed to oblivion and even more to the denigration of the historical experience of the first wave of proletarian revolution and in particular also of that of the first socialist countries. Ours is a scientific position: we use experience, successes and failures to develop to a higher level the science of the transformation of bourgeois society in communist society, science with which we shall get victory. This attitude clearly distinguishes us from the bourgeois left, even from those of its members who almost call themselves Communist (see for example the founders of Ross@ meeting in Bologna in the Assembly of Saturday, May 11, 2013 ) and also those lovers of “socialism of the XXI century”, local or not, as Luciano Vasapollo and Martha Harnecker who deep down present the important struggle going on in Venezuela and in other Latin American countries primarily as an alternative and negation of socialism of the twentieth century, that of the first wave of proletarian revolution and of the first socialist countries. What would you say, in any other field of human activity, of people who declare that they are determined to pursue an objective, but that ignore, neglect or even denigrate the experience of all those who before them have pursued it because they did not get it?
15. “Not long ago I saw a house. It burned. The roof / lapped by flames. I went over and I perceived / that there were people in there. From the doorway / I called them, because the roof was burning, urging them / to go out, and soon. But they / did not seem to be in a hurry. One asked me,/ while the blaze already was scorching his eyebrows, / what was the weather like, whether maybe was it raining, / whether maybe was wind blowing , if there was another house, / and so on. No answering / I went out there. Those people, I thought, / must burn before stopping with the questions. “ (B. Brecht , The parable of the Buddha on the house on fire).
16. “You will see then how long the world has the dream of one thing, of which he does have only the consciousness, in order to really own it. “ (K. Marx, Letter to Ruge, September 1943).
17. Building society and civilization as a rational method arouses horror in the field of the imperialist bourgeoisie. According to the bourgeois conception of the world this is “restriction of individual freedom“: it is actually denial of bourgeoisie’s freedom. The opposition to the use of the rational method in the construction of the socialist revolution, that is to say the position of those who consider this method restrictive of the “spontaneity“ of the popular masses and of their “insurrection they are waiting for” is an expression of bourgeois conception of the world.
18. PN 6, § 138. The Prison Notebooks contain the most comprehensive critique that as far as I know has been made of what Trotsky meant with the expression “permanent revolution” used by Marx and Engels and of the conception that Trotsky built under the banner of it. It is the most comprehensive in the sense that the criticism is made in the light not only of the tasks of the socialist revolution in Russia and tasks of the Communist International in the 20s, but of the entire historical experience of the communist movement in Europe and Russia since the its founding in 1848.
19 . What are the preventive counter revolution regimes is explained in MP, p. 18 ff.
20. Movementism means to limit the class struggle to the forms of action in accordance with common sense and relationships inherent in bourgeois society, excluding planning and even more the communist conception of the world . In essence it’s equivalent to spontaneism .
21. PN 6, § 138.
22. Gramsci goes back to the opposition between war of position and war of maneuver or frontal, i.e. between PRPW and the insurrection whose outbreak is waited by spontaneists , economists or movementists in PN 7, § 16. Here Lenin is shown as the one who led the PRPW . On the opposite side Gramsci puts Trotsky, Sorel, Rosa Luxemburg.
23. PN 13, § 17.
24. MP, p. 14.
25. MP, p.10.
26. see MP, p. 81. Gramsci refers to the accumulation of revolutionary forces talking about forces permanently organized and prepared for years. (NB 13, § 17 )
27 . NB 3, § 48.
28. See criticism by the new PCI in the Notice to Mariners 18, May 5, 2013 in www.nuovopci.it/dfa/avvnav18/avvnav18.html. [in  Italian language].
29. PN 13, § 1.
30. ibid.
31. PN 13, § 7.
32. PN 13, § 24.
33. PN 14 § 68.
34. The exam is done on the Gramsci’s references to the two opposed forms of strategy of the revolution, that is, the insurgency and the PRPW, listed in the items war of movement and war of position of the Dizionario Gramsciano (Gramscian Dictionary) by Guido Liguori and Pasquale Voza (Carocci publisher, Urbino, 2011).

Monday, October 30, 2017

Trump Admin Continues Threats & Provocations Against North Korea, Laying Groundwork for Nuclear War

The Falange Ideology - The Fascist Movement in Spain

The People's Party of Mariano Rahjoy is  a party that was led and founded by Manuel Fraga Iribarne, a former Minister of the Interior during Francisco Franco's dictatorship. The new party combined the conservative AP with several small Christian democratic and liberal parties (the party call this fusion of views Reformist centre). 

The Prelude to the Russian Revolution.by Aleksandr Buzgalin of Moscow State University

Imbibe the spirit of the Great October Socialist Revolution and carry forward the people’s war to victory Central Committee Communist Party of the Philippines

Central Committee
Communist Party of the Philippines
24 October 2017

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) joins the proletariat and toiling masses around the world in celebrating the centennial of the Great October Socialist Revolution. The significance of this celebration cannot be overemphasized amid the continuing crisis of the world capitalist system. The worsening exploitation of the proletariat and oppressed peoples points to the continuing validity and urgent necessity of waging socialist revolution.

The world pioneers of the socialist system, the Russian workers and their peasant allies, were imbued with the spirit of revolutionary struggle which today inspires our resistance against imperialism and all forms of exploitation and oppression. The principles and lessons crystallized by the Bolshevik Party under Comrade V.I. Lenin now serve as invaluable guidelines for the Party in leading the two-stage revolution, the new democratic and socialist revolutions, in the Philippines.

By the turn of the 20th century, the world capitalist system had entered the moribund stage of monopoly capitalism or imperialism. The capitalist crisis had unleashed widespread unemployment, destruction of productive forces and inter-imperialist conflict. By the time World War I broke out in 1914, the stage for the socialist revolution had been set.

By successively smashing the feudal monarchy, overthrowing the bourgeois state and establishing a proletarian dictatorship, the Russian working class put itself in a position to carry out deep-going restructuring of society, build socialism in Russia, and serve as the consolidated base of world proletarian revolution.

Guided by the Communist Manifesto and other scientific socialist treatises by Marx and Engels, Lenin, J.V. Stalin and the Bolsheviks led the proletariat and people of the Soviet Union in building socialism. In less than four decades, Russia went through the period of civil war and war communism; the New Economic Policy under which the state managed bourgeois transitional reforms to hasten the recovery of industry from the ravages of the civil war and help the recovery of the peasantry and thus consolidate the worker-peasant alliance; followed by one five-year plan after another which promoted rapid socialist industrialization and agricultural collectivization and modernization from 1928 onwards.

Before World War II started in 1939, Stalin described the Soviet Union to be the most advanced country in the world technically. It had surpassed the leading capitalist countries in the economic, social, scientific and cultural fields, as well as in terms of democracy and people’s freedom. During World War II, the Soviet Union successfully repelled the invasion of Nazi Germany and dealt strategic blows to the global fascist forces leading to its defeat and the end of the war in 1945.

With revolutionary prescience, Lenin declared that imperialism is the eve of socialist revolution. Indeed, the victory of the socialist revolution in Russia ushered in an era of epic struggle between the bourgeoisie representing the old decaying capitalist system and the proletariat and oppressed peoples representing the modern socialist system. The 1917 October Revolution served as the global Iskra, the spark which ignited the socialist conflagration across the world through several decades of national and socialist resistance against imperialist wars and aggression, colonial subjugation and semicolonial rule.

The victory of the October Revolution made the Soviet Union the center of the world proletarian revolution. Lenin called on the proletariat in the capitalist countries in Europe to seize leadership of the spontaneous uprisings that arose from the chaos and crisis of World War I. At the same time, he gave particular importance to promoting the national revolutionary wars in the backward countries. In 1919, he led in the establishment of the Third International or the Communist International (Comintern) which served as a center for cooperation, coordination and leadership. It facilitated the establishment of communist parties in countries where these were not yet formed.

In less than half a century from the October Revolution, the socialist camp expanded and covered one-third of the entire globe. From Europe to the the Americas hundreds of millions of workers and peasants were freed from national and class exploitation and oppression. China, the most populous country, would tandem with the Soviet Union, as bastions of the world proletarian revolution.

The emergence and rise of modern revisionism (the new bourgeoisie ideology hiding behind the curtain of socialist rhetoric) has resulted in great setbacks and capitalist reversals since the late 1950s in the Soviet Union leading to open bourgeois rule in 1991 and since the late 1970s in China resulting in all-out social chauvinism and state monopoly capitalism. These reversals, however, do not negate the victories attained by socialism. In fact, the exploitative and oppressive conditions under which workers and peasants are again subjected to as a result of capitalist restoration, underscore the continuing validity and necessity of waging socialist revolution.

On the occasion of the centennial of the Great October Socialist Revolution, it is essential for the proletariat to grasp the theory of continuing revolution under proletarian dictatorship to fight modern revisionist ideological degeneration and prevent capitalist restoration. Mao Zedong profoundly understood Marx’s assertion that socialism represented an entire historical epoch of continuing class struggle and developed Lenin’s theory of the dictatorship of the proletariat to point out the necessity of waging socialist rectification campaigns and cultural revolutions to prevent the bourgeoisie from gaining a foothold within the socialist system and seizing political power from the proletariat.

Armed with this theory, we can fully comprehend the significance of the past century of proletarian revolution and bourgeois counterrevolution and how the proletariat has come a long historical way since the Paris Commune of 1871. With Mao’s theory of continuing revolution, the proletariat’s revolutionary determination will never wane in their resistance against imperialism and all forms of exploitation, oppression, fascism and reactionary rule; their socialist enthusiasm and optimism will always remain high as they achieve greater victories in the future.

Although different in form and intensity, the current protracted global capitalist depression stem basically from the same conditions of capitalist overproduction which impedes capitalist production and expanded reproduction. Such conditions impel the monopoly capitalists to intensify imperialist plunder. For more than 50 years now, the imperialists have imposed a neoliberal policy regime across the world in order to intensify the exploitation of the working class and accumulation of profit.

Since the 1970s, the Filipino people have been subjected to relentless assault of neoliberal policies. This has resulted in worsening economic crisis and backwardness, intensified forms of exploitation and oppression, widespread landlessness, unemployment, contractualization and other forms of “flexible” employment, rising poverty and grave social inequities. The US imperialists continue to exercise hegemony and carry out military and political intervention. It projects its military presence in Philippine waters and anywhere a perceived or contr ived conflict gives occasion.

The Filipino and world proletariat celebrate the centennial of the Great October Socialist Revolution amid grave capitalist crisis. What better way to mark this historic feat than by imbibing its spirit and revolutionary optimism to fuel their determination to advance the proletarian revolution and national liberation struggles amid strategic imperialist decline. The world proletariat anticipates an incoming new era of socialist revival and resurgence.

The Filipino proletariat recalls how they used Marxism-Leninism-Maoism as guide in repudiating modern revisionism and reestablishing the Party in December 26, 1968 on a firm theoretical basis and lead the revolution based on the concrete conditions of Philippine society. The Leninist adage “Without revolutionary theory, there can be no revolution” is indubitably demonstrated by how the Party, imbued with Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, has led the Filipino people from one victory to another in protracted people’s war. It has carried out rectification movements to repudiate modern revisionism, strengthen its grasp of revolutionary theory and strengthen its determination to lead the revolution.

We remain in the era of imperialism, of moribund capitalism, as propounded by Lenin. It is presently in the grip of a prolonged global depression. Amidst the glut of commodities, the proletariat and people suffer from low wages, hunger and lack of necessities. Key global centers of capitalism are invariably inflicted with economic slowdown, stagnation and recessions amid worsening crisis of overproduction. The multipolar imperialist world is marked by increased military spending, frenzied strategic deployment of military forces around the world and proxy wars. Inter-imperialist contradictions between old and emerging imperialist powers continue to heighten.

The US and other imperialist countries are being led by increasingly jingoist regimes which threaten to unleash wars of widespread destruction. The mad man in Capitol Hill ponders plans for the destruction of the world while his minion, the Malacañang mad bomber, plots to cling to power at all costs in the face of increasing isolation from the Filipino people. They chant expletives to the beat of aerial bombs and rockets, while singing praises to neoliberalism, fascism, racism, genocide, ethnocide and misogyny.

Over the past year, the revolutionary movement has withstood the US-Duterte regime’s all-out war of suppression. The Party has strengthened itself ideologically, politically and organizationally and wields the New People’s Army and the united front as its key weapons in advancing the two stage revolution. The national democratic mass movement and revolutionary armed struggle continue to advance solidly.

Despite massive and relentless military campaigns by battalion- and division-sized operating troops, strafing, artillery and aerial bombardment, the people’s army and revolutionary masses have stood their ground, adjusted to new methods, learned lessons, and strengthened their forces in the process. Commands of the New People’s Army at various levels have responded to the call to launch tactical offensives, rapidly expanded and recovered guerrilla fronts, and increased the membership, formations and fighting capacity of the people’s army.

In waging revolution, the Party and all revolutionary forces are inspired by the current struggles and victories of the Filipino people as well as by those of the October revolutionaries a century ago and the subsequent worldwide revolutionary resistance of the proletariat. All Party cadres and members are determined to further deepen and advance their study of the theory and practice of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, and enrich these with lessons from the Philippine revolution.

Hail the Great October Socialist Revolution!

Raise high the banner of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism!

Long live the Communist Party of the Philippines!

Advance the Filipino people’s national democratic and socialist revolutions!

Death to imperialism! Carry forward the socialist revolution around the world!

Long live proletarian internationalism!