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  1. Devrim
    There was talk about authoritarianism on another thread in this group. Here is the ICP's take on it:
    Originally Posted by International Communist Party (Il Partito Comunista)

    Return to revolutionary Totalitarianism

    The final political and social victory of democratism over the revolutionary doctrine of the old communist movement was reached when it succeeded in portraying "resistance to totalitarianism" as the task of the proletariat, and of all social strata oppressed by capital.
    This tendency, whose first historical manifestation was anti-fascism (both the war and pre-war varieties) affected all the parties linked to Moscow (and ones like China which broke away) and ended up negating the one party (a form indubitably Leninist and communist in origin) as the necessary revolutionary guide and leader of the proletarian dictatorship. In the "people's democracies" of the so-called "socialist camp", power was in the hands of popular and national "fronts", or of parties or "leagues" which explicitly embodied a bloc of several classes. Meanwhile, the "communist" parties operating in the "bourgeois camp" have solemnly abjured the doctrine that revolutionary class violence is the sole way of attaining power, and have denied the fact that the sole means of maintaining the class dictatorship is through the communist party alone. Instead they flatter other parties, socialists, catholics etc., by engaging in "dialogues" with them, and promising a "socialism" which will be jointly managed by several parties representing "the people". This tendency, which is warmly welcomed by all enemies of the proletarian revolution (Stalinist "communism" rejects anything that reminds them of the glories of the Red October) is not only defeatist but it is an illusion. Just as the proletariat stakes no claim to any liberty for itself under the despotic regime of capital, and therefore doesn't rally around the banner of either "formal" or "genuine" democracy, it will, on having established its own despotic regime proceed to suppress all the liberties of the social groups linked to capital, and this will be an integral part of its program. For the bourgeoisie, struggles in the political arena take place not between classes, but as "debates" between free and equal individuals; the struggle is one of opinions rather than of physical and social forces divided by incurable contradictions. But whilst the bourgeoisie disguises its own dictatorship under the cloak of democracy, communists, who since the time of the Manifesto have "disdained to conceal their views and aims", proclaim openly that the revolutionary conquest of power, as necessary prelude to the social palingenesis, signifies at the same time the totalitarian rule of the ex-oppressed class, as embodied in its party, over the ex-dominant class.
    Anti-totalitarianism is a rivendication of classes which are situated on the same social basis as the capitalist class (private appropriation of the means of production and the products themselves) but which are nevertheless invariably crushed by it. It is the ideology - common to the multifarious movements of "intellectuals" and "students" which infest the current political scene - of the urban and rural petty bourgeoisie and middle classes, a desperate attempt to cling to the historically condemned myths of small production, of the sovereignty of the individual and "direct democracy". It is therefore both bourgeois and anti-historical and thus doubly anti-proletarian. The ruin of the petty-bourgeoisie under the hammer blows of big capital is historically inevitable, and constitutes in a social sense - in the capitalist manner, brutal and drawn-out at the same time - a step towards the socialist revolution in that it brings about the one and only real historical contribution of capitalism: centralization of production, and socialization of productive activity.
    For the proletariat, the return to less concentrated forms of production (even were it possible) could only mean turning aside from its historical aim of achieving a completely social production and distribution. It therefore recognises as its duty neither the defence of the petty-bourgeoisie against "big business" (both equally enemies of socialism) nor the adoption of pluralism and "polycentrism" in politics, which it has no reason to accept on either the economic or social level.
    The slogan "struggle against the monopolies" in defence of small-scale production is therefore reactionary, as is the erroneous petty-bourgeois response to the degeneration of the Russian Revolution which is connected to it. For us, the cause of the degeneration was the failure to spread and extend the proletarian revolution, and the abandonment of communist internationalism, whilst for the petty bourgeoisie, the revolution was a failure from the start because it was anti-democratic, because it installed a proletarian dictatorship. All the equally reactionary movements of the middle-classes see the revolutionary process as consisting of the gradual conquests of little islands of peripheral "power" by proletarian organisms organised in the workplace (and condemned to it); this is the fantastical "direct democracy" (as in the Gramscist and Ordinovist theory of the factory councils). What these theories ignore is the central problem of the conquest of political power, the destruction of the capitalist State, and the need for the party as centralising organ of the working class. For others, all that is needed to realize "socialism" is a network of "self-managed" businesses, each with its own plan arrived at by "decisions from below" (Yugoslavian theory of self-management). Thus the petty-bourgeois theoreticians completely negate the possibility of the "social production regulated by social prevision" which Marx showed to be "the political economy of the labouring class", and which is made possible only by transcending the basic productive cells of the capitalist economy and the "blind rule" of the market in which they find the only, chaotic and unpredictable connective element.
    Before and after the taking of power, in politics as in economy, the revolutionary proletariat does not and cannot make any concessions to anti-totalitarianism; a new version of that idealistic and utopian anti-authoritarianism denounced by Marx and Engels in their long polemic with the anarchists, and which Lenin, in State and Revolution, showed to converge with gradualist and democratic reformism. However, the small producers will receive a very different treatment from the socialist proletariat than that meted out to them under capitalism, which throughout its history has treated this class with the utmost ferocity. But towards small production itself, and its political, ideological and religious reflex, its action will be infinitely more decisive, rapid and, in short, totalitarian. The proletarian dictatorship will spare humanity the infinite amount of violence and misery which under capitalism constitutes its "daily bread". This it will be able to do precisely inasmuch as it doesn't hesitate to use force, intimidation and, if necessary, the most decided repression against any social group, big or small, which seeks to obstruct the fulfillment of its historical mission.
    To conclude: whoever combines the notion of socialism with any form of liberalism, democratism, factory councilism, localism, pluripartyism, or worse, anti-partyism places himself outside history, and off the road that leads to the reconstitution of the party and the International on a totalitarian communist basis.
  2. Edelweiss
    I find it somehow irritating that the text is endorsing the term "totalitarian", after all wasn't that a concept brought up by bourgeois historians to euqate communism and fascism?
  3. Entrails Konfetti
    Entrails Konfetti
    And the party will have a hard time regulating production, since they will be a body above the society of producers and consumers.

    This program to me stinks of the Roman Empire building mentallity; primitive accumulation.
  4. Devrim
    Yes, the reason I posted it was to show that the communist left didn't come from some semi-anarchist 'anti-authoritarian' current.
    It is pretty mainstream Bordigism similar to the 'Theses of Lyons'. I don't agree with it all*, but it does show a really historical tendency**.


    *The full text is here:
    **The ICP had at one point around 50,000 members.
  5. Brosa Luxemburg
    Brosa Luxemburg
    Originally Posted by Entrails Konfetti
    And the party will have a hard time regulating production, since they will be a body above the society of producers and consumers.
    Why does that have to be so? Why can't the party be a tool of the producers and consumers instead of a body "above" them and made of the most class conscious section of the proletariat?