New Government, Same Bosses

The first fact that emerges from the Italian election results - with the centre-left (Democratic Party or PD) in the majority in the Lower House, a tie in the Senate between PD and Berlusconi’s PDL, and, above all, Grillo’s[1] exploits – is that the country is ungovernable. The smaller groupings, such as those that were supposed to support the grand coalition of the Centre of Fini and Casini[2], were shoved off the political stage. Parties such as the far left PCL Ferrando[3] had to settle for a handful of votes – like the parties of the extreme right – who more than halved their votes compared to 2008.

At the moment there is no way a coalition government can mathematically be put together and there is already talk of returning to the polls, but this will not be possible for the next six months, given the expiry of Napolitano’s seven year term as President. The stock exchanges and markets have not been slow to react as comparisons with Greece abounded as soon as the result was known. None of this detracts from our view that the bus is going to crash regardless of the driver.

To keep a tight grip on the masses in times of crisis, we have once again been treated to demagoguery, easy promises and political shouting matches. Bersani, divided almost to the end between an alliance with Monti or Vendola[4], was opposed by:

a Berlusconi who sent a letter to every home promising to return the household tax (IMU) that, before Monti proposed it, he was about to impose himself and which, during the first phase of the Monti government, he had stressed on several occasions was indispensable to the maintenance of public finances;

a Grillo moving to the left of Bersani – so to speak – with a programme as clear as it was demagogic, which, in a certain way, reminds us of the programme of early Fascism in 1919 (and it is no coincidence that they verbally stood on the left too), in short, a confused programme expressing the aversion of large sections of the population to traditional politics, as well as the class struggle.

At the news of the Berlusca’s election miracle the "people of the left" shed tears of indignation, wondering how Italians can still, despite years of scandals and theft, trust the “Slimy Toad” of Arcore[5], who even during the election campaign did not spare us his sexism. We wonder about the same thing ourselves but we hasten immediately to ask the people of the so-called left what alternatives its leaders have offered, in order to send into retirement Berlusconi and Berlusconism (a legitimate product of the social formation of Italian capitalism). But we do not give advice on elections, and reiterate that you can change the driver, but the bus is still a capitalism that is backfiring, and not just in Italy. The politicians might clash on how to handle the crisis, but it is always within the same economic framework

Finally, to those who accuse us of an easy and sterile abstention, we say that in addition to the refusal of the ballot paper and the ballot box we must now more than ever “reclaim” the streets, schools, places of work, in the sense of giving oxygen and force to the class struggle and the revolutionary party, which is the only real alternative, pointing to the way to overcome this economic and social system. Of course, the 25% who abstained[6] were not even in a small way communist revolutionaries, but it is symptomatic of the rejection of bourgeois politics.

The Grillini feed on the same rejection, and why not? Many come from the “people of the left” ensnared and deceived by hopes of an impossible reformism, which in any case is entirely within the logic of capital. The communist political vanguard has to transform the attitude of anger, rejection, hopes for change and “justice” so badly expressed both by Grillismo, the “Left” and by abstentionism as an end in itself, into a perspective for social change. It is a huge task, no one has any illusions, but there is no such thing as a “third way”.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

[1] Beppe Grillo, a comedian and blogger’s Five Star Movement campaigning on an anti-political platform but without a firm programme obtained 25% of the votes cast.

[2] Fini and Casini are two right wing politicians who were in league with Berlusconi before falling out with him (Fini was leader of the ex-fascist Alleanza Nazionale) to go on to found their own centrist movements.

[3] The Partito Comunista dei Lavoratori (PCL) or Workers’ Communist Party is a union of the ex Stalinist Marco Ferrando (who split with Rifondazione Comunista) and various Trotskyists (it now claims to be part of the Coordinating Committee for the Refoundation of the Fourth International). It has won a few local council seats but remains electorally insignificant.

[4] Nichi Vendola is the leader of the Left Ecology Freedom Party, another split from Rifondazione and if you don’t know who Mario Monti is you have not been paying attention. Bersani the leader of the Democratic Party has oscillated between accepting Monti’s “reforms” and the populist rhetoric of Vendola.

[5] Berlusconi’s Villa Martini is located there.

[6] A record for the Italian republic since it came into existence in 1946.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Battaglia Comunista

Mensile del Partito Comunista Internazionalista, fondato nel 1945.