It’s Time to Open a New Season of Proletarian Struggle

The following leaflet was distributed by our comrades in Rome on the demonstration of the Alcoa workers of Sardinia against the closure of the last aluminium smelter in Italy. The demonstration was not encouraging in that it was a dominated by corporatism, sectionalism and Sardinian separatism (many of the workers wore nationalist insignia). The demonstration was marked by the way in which both the unions and the DIGOS (state security police) with some help from Fascists within the Alcoa workers sought to prevent anyone joining the demonstration in solidarity with the Alcoa workers. The DIGOS threatened to arrest anyone who tried to “infiltrate” (the word used by both union spokesmen and the police) the demonstration. As one comrade remarked both unions and police did their work in keeping the workers isolated. It is a reminder that the capitalist crisis can lead to reactionary ideology making gains inside the working class. All the more reason why this leaflet puts the opposing case – to think beyond capitalism …

How can the workers of Alcoa, of Carbosulcis and hundreds of thousands of others continue to work and produce according to the logic of profit when South African miners are struggling for less than €400 a month and when they do so are shot out of hand?

Last year opened with a useless general strike on 6 September, a strike which was to be the first in a great season of struggle. Nothing happened; the unions failed, not because their leaders are corrupt – although that’s also true – but because the system of which they are part is itself failing, the possibilities to negotiate are now reduced to a minimum: the interests of the bosses and the interests of the workers are manifestly incompatible.

How can we face up to the problems of the closure of firms, unemployment and the crisis?

With a new referendum over Article 8 and Article 18? With a debate between the political parties, in negotiations and agreements? A change in the law? Through exemplary deeds and self-inflicted wounds? Through bombs, real or fake? Through agitating in media campaigns of panic and paranoia? Using repression by the cops? By waiting for foreign vultures to come in and take over the firm in exchange for cash and ever worsening working conditions?

Let’s Not Kid Ourselves!

The bosses are ready to tolerate and implement any one of these ideas but on three conditions

  1. that however it ends up it is in their interests: that their profits are guaranteed;
  2. that the class struggle doesn’t develop, spread or generalise its strength
  3. that no-one states that there is an alternative to the system, another system where the bosses will have no right to exist.

Comrades, workers, proletarians,

What they are imploring us to do indicates exactly what we have to do to oppose them.

  1. To reject the bosses’ interests in going along with their system; halt the production and transport of goods, jam the system preventing it meeting orders, or producing what has been requested. How? With strikes which damage the bosses as much as possible and the workers less using as a weapon of the picketing the goods yards at ports, stations etc. Remember the interests of the bosses and the firms is based on the blood which they squeeze out of we proletarians.
  2. Generalise the struggle, the struggle of one sector is the struggle of all, there are no permanent or precarious workers, Italians or immigrants, workers in one firm, employees in another, only one big working class which, being propertyless, is being reduced to penury to pay the costs of the crisis. But we are the ones who produce everything therefore we have a weapon up our sleeves. Down with union manoeuvres, let’s organise ourselves from the bottom up in mass meetings with elected and recallable delegates in elected assemblies to make the struggle more decisive, to extend it. Down with self-inflicted wounds and ghettoisation, down with farcical one day strikes and the union bureaucracy.
  3. Let’s emphatically point out that the system cannot be reformed. There is only one solution to our problem, to overcome the profits system, capitalism. To produce to satisfy human needs, to work for our collective well being. Communism (the real version not that in the USSR or China etc) is not only necessary but inevitable because it is the only way out.

Let’s salute the Marikana miners in South Africa whose struggle and sacrifices reminds us of what this system is really all about.

Down with the profits system, wage labour and exploitation – it has failed!

The slogan to raise in the class struggle demonstrations:

We want communism – the real kind

Note to the article

Article 8 is an attempt to bring in law to end national pay agreements and replace them with local ones (similar proposals are being made for health and education workers in the UK). Article 18 is related to the Labour Staute which prevents anyone being laid off "without just cause". It has not yet been abolished but has been weakened to make it easier for bosses to sack people.

Monday, September 17, 2012