Their Crisis and Ours

Leaflet for the general strike on September 6 - This is a translation of the leaflet distributed the length and breadth of Italy by our comrades of Battaglia Comunista. The strike was called by only one of the main three union federations (the General Confederation of Italian Labour) in response to a further budget cut (of €45 billion) in addition to one imposed earlier in the summer. Naturally as in the UK and elsewhere the cuts fall on those least able to pay. Although the strike was in many ways a demoralising demobilisation of the working class, our comrades were able in many cases to engage in discussions with other workers who are becoming increasingly disenchanted with union rituals and are looking for a real fight back.

A general strike in early September has not been seen for decades. Called with less than one month’s warning and in mid-week (unlike the usual Friday strikes in mid-October / November called the 2-3 months beforehand ...) this is suuden change of pace!

The Budget of blood and tears cutting €45 billion launched by the government obviously forces even the recalcitrant CGIL – with many of the grassroots unions in tow - to move in an unusual way, although just last June 28 it had signed the agreement Confidustria-Government- CISL / UIL / UGL which, among other things, allowed the bosses to get out of contracts and national laws on business grounds(!). The notorious Article 8 of the August manoeuvres – against which the CGIL calls us to strike – is the logical development of that deadly agreement.

This, their crisis: falling rates of profit for decades in the production of goods and "real" services have diverted huge masses of capital into financial speculation, which looks like an evil chain letter – a dozen banks and large financial centers that handle money amounting to 10 times the entire world GDP make for the good and the bad times ... The nation states are their stewards and their bodyguards at the same time. These states already indebted on theri own account, filled with money "public" (that is extorted through taxes and exploiting the workers!) those banks in trouble from the start of the financial bubble (2008) up to now ...

For us all this translates itself into working class insecurity, a high cost of living, insultingly low wages, frontal assault on the wage earners in the form of the destruction of national contract and legal protection, of course with the necessary complicity of the unions, drastic cuts to the already miserable public services (i.e. the indirect wage of the workers ... that fruit of the taxes on our wage packet) and the usual attack on pensions (that is, on our deferred salary).

"I, the weakest, am always the usual one to pay, - now that's enough!", "Let the person who caused it pay for the Crisis!" Thunder – in fact – complain the modern Don Quixotes of radical reformism (FIOM, grassroots unions etc..) : we have to reply that the one who pays for the crisis is always the weakest precisely because they *are the weakest!* ... and that the central point is the relationship of forces between those classes with opposing and irreconcilable interests.

Its us or them : this reality is becoming more and more obvious. We have to oppose with our collective uncompromising class rejection of the sacrifices that they want to impose in respect of economic compatibility with their system. So, we should discuss how to do this, beyond "shared recipes" as if we're all in this together!

We internationalist communists think that the way to a revival of class struggle, at least to curb the abuses of the employers, inevitably passes through the leadership of the less resigned, more advanced sectors of the class organised in sovereign mass meetings /struggle committees, etc. fight. They take the initiative to unify and lead struggles in the workplace and in the community around the basic needs of all workers, in ways and means that experience and the knowledge of the specific circumstances indicate to be the most effective. Inevitably, therefore, this struggle *against conformity with the bourgeois economy is outside - if not against - the trade union framework*s, which are at best mere "institutional" filters: e.g. combating job insecurity, getting cost of living increases starting for very low wage earners, against closures and layoffs etc..

We internationalist communists work in this dynamic to create internationalist factory and community groups, where the most advanced workers and comrades cam come together around the perspective of a society without markets, classes and exploitation, where the goal is the satisfaction of human needs and not profit ... that is, communism, and its programme represented by communists organized in their international class party.