For Polish Workers the Path to Socialism is One of Armed Insurrection

Image - Workers climb aboard a tank in the streets of Poznan; later the tanks turned on the workers

From Battaglia Comunista Number 6, July/August 1956


Three years after insurrection in East Germany, the Polish proletariat has resorted to arms to defend its right to life and liberty.

The workers who were beaten on the streets of Poznan and mown down by the armed tanks of the ‘communist’ government have risen up against the regime of exploitation and servitude imposed by the iron laws of state capitalism and not against the idea or institutions of a socialism which doesn’t exist in Poland, which doesn’t exist in Russia, which is non-existent in all the countries conquered... for socialism by the bayonets of Stalin’s army.

If, yet again, insurgent workers have attacked and destroyed the party and government headquarters; if they have torn up and burnt the red flags and banners dear to the heart of the international proletariat, this is because these emblems - which have been wrenched away from proletarian traditions - are used to confuse workers about socialism all the better to deceive them; they have become symbols of exploitation and tyranny and have long since ceased to represent their original cause. Thus they have been treated with contempt and destroyed as the symbol of the most oppressive capitalism.

Just like yesterday in Berlin, today Poznan is the proletarian response. It’s also the marxist reponse to throw right in the face of those stupid reformists, Kruschev, Togliatti and Nenni who, hungry for office and a quiet life, desperately seek to bolster the regime of property with their talk about peaceful coexistence, of the parliamentary road to socialism and about the futility of revolutionary violence. Meanwhile under their feet the working class earth has begun to tremble with the harbinger of great historical earthquakes and the workers are compelled to pose the problem of how to defend their own interests in terms of violence and armed insurrection in the very country... of socialism.

“When the revolt breaks out”, declared a spokesman for the communist bureaucracy, “we don’t waste time talking about democracy; we concentrate on getting the soldiers in”.

Italian workers!

Now it is clear that the path to socialism is not the bastard and social pacifist one of Nenni and Togliatti. Rather it is the one indicated by the smoking and bloodstained barricades of Poznan, whose combatants and heroes the reactionary police of the Stalinist apparatus will attempt to defame as instruments of American imperialism.

This is the second eruption by workers who have shaken the foundation of a regime which puts the weight of forced industrialisation exclusively on their shoulders. It is the practical confirmation of the validity of the theory anticipated by Marx and Lenin. The day of the collapse will come. It cannot be denied because the world of labour and human progress cannot afford to be thrown back into barbarism and death.

For each Commune that succumbs another will rise up.

Long live the Commune of Poznan!

Internationalist Communist Party, 1956

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