We are Against Capitalism

Introduction to our positions

With this article we inaugurate the series "Introduction to our Positions" that will appear periodically on our website and in the newspaper. Through this series we will try to introduce the reader to the basic positions of the Internationalist Communist Party.

The economic and social system in which we live – capitalism – is based on society’s division into social classes, in turn an expression of the relations of exploitation and domination that make up society. The two main classes are the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. The bourgeoisie is made up of bankers, industrialists and all those who own property from which they can derive an income. This class is the only one to own/control the means to produce goods. On the other hand the proletariat is the exploited class, it is made up of workers, from simple employees, from temporary workers, the unemployed (often casual workers in the black economy), the retired. The working class does not own or control the means of production so in order to live it has no choice but to sell its labour power (material or intellectual) in exchange for a wage or salary. Depending on the country, the historical phase of capitalism and the level of the class struggle, the proletariat can experience different conditions of work and life, without affecting its state of being the exploited class.

Between the two main classes, we find the so-called middle class ("the petty bourgeoisie"), for instance freelancers or traders. They can be wealthy or closer to those of the proletariat, according to the role they occupy in society and the current phase of capitalism. In the '60s ("boom") in Italy, for example, the "middle class" was numerically very large and most of it lived under very advantageous economic conditions. Today, in times of crisis, an increasing part of the middle class is in difficult conditions very similar to those of the proletariat; sectors of the middle class are in fact in the process of proletarianisation.

Under capitalism the production and distribution of goods and services is subject to the will of the bourgeois class. Production is primarily for profit, to increase the capital of the bosses and not to satisfy the needs of humanity.

This system is not a curse or the result of the will of God. Capitalism is the result of history, a history made by human beings, propelled by the struggle between different social classes and the relationship between the mode of production and the development of productive forces. The bourgeoisie and capitalism played a revolutionary role in the past (a bourgeois revolution of course) because, historically, they have allowed us to overcome the limitations of production represented by the feudal-monarchical system, imposing (during the ascent of capitalism) the capitalist economic system in every corner of the earth.

Capitalism then has lived through its own revolutionary phase and a phase of ascent during which it overcame the old monarchist-feudal society. Continuous economic development, the concentration of the means of production and centralisation of capital has led capitalism into a stage of development that Lenin called "imperialism". Imperialism is not a policy but is "simply", in fact, a phase of capitalism, a necessary expression of capitalism. It is a stage of this economic system, characterised by: the domination of enormous giants of production (monopolies), big banks, export of financial capital, the search for areas of low labour costs and the relocation of production, the presence of imperialist powers in constant struggle for economic and political supremacy.

For nearly a century, capitalism, in its imperialist stage, has been the economic and social system present in every corner of the earth. In every country in the world the economy is based on the exploitation of workers. Today capitalism has not only exhausted its progressive character but is also living a phase of generalised, structural crisis: the inevitable culmination of an economic system based on such barbaric, contradictory laws. Just think of the predominance assumed by speculative activities: the fact that large funds have been pushed more towards parasitic activity rather than towards productive activities has to make us understand that this system is now scraping the bottom of the barrel.

Modern capitalism is suffering under the blows of the law of the falling rate of profit (more investment in technology and equipment but less investment in workforce, increasing the mass of profits but decreasing the rate of profit) that it implies an increasing difficulty for the capital invested in be rewarded. Hence capital’s need to parasitically invest in speculation. When the financial crisis exploded, it hit the real economy and dealt a devastating blow to the working classes.

Crisis, growing exploitation, wars and environmental devastation, this system will offer nothing better, just look around and you realise this. Just as capitalism was a historical product, a history made by humanity (the classes), also overcoming it will only happen thanks to an action of revolutionary transformation carried out by humanity (always understood as men and women), a historical action that must have the exploited class, the proletariat, as protagonist. But for a revolutionary historical phase to begin there need to be in place both objective and subjective conditions. The objective conditions are: the crisis of the capitalist mode of production and the political instability of the apparatus of bourgeois rule. The subjective ones: the reaction of the working class and the activity of an international Communist Party. The crisis and the relative deterioration of the living conditions of the workers can, in fact, push the class towards demand struggles, rebellions, riots (1) but any reaction, although strong and widespread, will not lead to a revolutionary change without the presence, the taking root, of the political leadership of the Party. Without the Party any fight will – in the long run – be repressed, sedated by reformism, or reabsorbed into the system (2). Today there is clearly a need to put an end to capitalism, as we have the potential to build a different system aimed at to the satisfaction of everyone's needs. Unfortunately, the subjective conditions for that such a transformation are missing and our task is to work towards the maturation of these conditions. We must therefore work to circulate the communist programme in our localities and in the proletarian struggle, carrying out this work of political intervention with the aim of the construction of an international party of the proletariat, the political instrument of the class struggle.

Battaglia Comunista

September 2015

(1) "Can": in fact it is understood this certainly is the case.

(2) We will return to the role of the Party and its intervention in the class in other parts of the series.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Battaglia Comunista

Mensile del Partito Comunista Internazionalista, fondato nel 1945.