Ten Theses on the Communist Project Today

This documents and the one preceding it on Basic Programmatic Theses were prepared in English by the Internationalist Comrades in Greece and offered by them for discussion.

  1. Only the proletariat’s conscious struggle for its own emancipation can lead to the overthrow of capitalism and to the creation of a communist society. Communism is a radical project that emerges as a necessity from the real social relations and it draws its force from a rational and ethical liberating dictate: the constitution of the human species in a community, the creation of a universal society governed by the principle of justice, conceived as a universal relationship of equality and collectivity among people.
  2. Proletarian revolution is not a spontaneous process that is caused automatically by the living conditions experienced by the working class under capitalism, which unfolds just as spontaneously towards a classless society through its own objective logic of things, regardless of the intention of the actions of the social subjects who are animated by the selfish desire to promote their own social position. Social development is not a mechanical process; revolution is not the work of the ‘invisible hand’ and social liberation is not a selfish affair. The proletariat is not, of course, a purely moral subject and it cannot exceed the empirical determination of its will. However, this will, in order to be a liberating will, must be universal; it must stem from the need for a radical overcoming of bourgeois society and to raise the issue of creating a society of human species. Communist liberation cannot be accomplished if its protagonists, the hundred of millions of proletarians, don’t have a high degree of awareness of the purpose of their activity.
  3. Social conscience is not an idol of the external objective world. Human action is not a response to the stimuli of the environment. The proletariat cannot achieve revolutionary class consciousness through its direct experiences. The given social relations define the world where humanity lives in and, therefore, exert a decisive influence on it. However, the decisive factor in how human beings act is not the influence of the environment, but the attitude that they adopt against the environment. The liberating claim of communism is rooted in bourgeois society, but it can be posed by the proletariat only if the proletariat forms a corresponding subjective dimension of the existing social contradictions, realizing its radical needs and formulating radical demands.
  4. The liberating project of the proletariat can not be taken for granted; it is neither a direct product of immediate conditions nor a result of theoretical education. The revolutionary consciousness of the proletariat - its constitution into a class for itself, into a class for humanity - is shaped by the social act through which the social subject becomes conscious of the objective world and of itself. The proletariat has the ability to realize that it has radical needs, which have to do with its universal being as an oppressed class that can not be met within the existing bourgeois form of life, pushing it forward to make radical demands, to put an end to the life of capital and to create communist society. The proletariat does not discover its condition and its needs through communist theory, but the theory itself illuminates and cultivates its consciousness to the extent that it is a consciousness of these needs. From here stems the role of communists as the most resolute part of the working class movement who represent the interest of the movement as a whole. The general class interest is summarized in the abolition of private property and wage labour. However, the removal of alienation can not be realized within the framework of alienation itself. To develop a universal emancipatory demand for freedom the proletariat must rise above the level of economical struggles, which don’t abolish but reproduce alienation, and to rise to the realm of political struggle that aims at the overcoming of bourgeois society, to the abolition of all alienating mediations. This is the significance of the consolidation of communist consciousness of the proletariat outside the realm of the economic conflicts between workers and employers through a political proletarian vanguard, on the strict condition that the proletariat is constituted as militant community against capital.
  5. The social project of communism will never become a reality if it is not a conscious need and a conscious demand of the will and praxis of the proletariat. The revolutionary process is a conscious act of the proletariat and not a mechanical automatic process that occurs independently of the consciousness of the proletariat. The outbreak of a big crisis as a culmination of the contradictions of capitalism is not sufficient to cause its collapse, forcing the proletariat to act in a revolutionary way. The collapse of capitalism and the advent of communism are not deterministically inevitable. The abolition of capital is the self-emancipation of the proletariat. The abolition of capital and the establishment of communism must be a deep inner need of the proletariat in order to act as a revolutionary class. The formation of the proletariat into a social subject is not given and guaranteed, but necessary and possible. The social contradictions of capitalism and the various sufferings that cause to the world of labour are a necessary but not sufficient condition for social revolution.
  6. The modern deepening of capitalist decadence poses objectively the dilemma ‘socialism or barbarism’. The question is the solution to this dilemma by the proletariat [the proletariat to realize this dilemma], who - despite its unparalleled numerical strength and its unprecedented global dimension - appears deeply alienated and, therefore, it presents a serious inability to constitute as a class for itself. The transition of capitalism from formal to real domination of labour to capital has led to a form of alienated subjectivisation which - through consumerism, atomization, quantification and instrumentalisation of interpersonal relations - places the proletariat in the community of capital (capitalized society). Capital now represents the totality of social relations and forms a total representation of the world in the form of relations between things, which is reproduced, in turn, inside the social body, who understand the world through the logic of capital. Capital has now been converted into a representation between things internalized by human beings. This process leads to a progressive destruction of people as social beings. The modern decline of capitalism is more and more closely interwoven with the decline of the human species. Marx’s estimation of the proletariat as the modern decadence of man finds its full confirmation in the modern global capitalism. The question is whether the proletarians will revolt just because they are the wretched of mankind.
  7. The contradiction of bourgeois society is found inside the alienated social self in the form of a conflict between the possibilities of self-realization of man in an authentic form of collective life and the reality of bourgeois society that distorts freedom and sociability of the human subject. The central matter is whether the social subjects conceive and experience this inconsistency, otherwise social emancipation, despite its inherent moral value, can not be a realistic demand. If these social subjects are absolutely selfish, steadily orientated to the pursuit of their individual interests, then they cannot overcome the selfishness of bourgeois society and they cannot raise the demand of the realization of a communist society. This contradiction can only be overcome through the demand for the radical transformation of the totality of capitalist relations. The communist revolution is a radical one. Radical revolution means radical negation and radical negation means universal meaning.
  8. Human characteristics are not confined to humanity’s relation with nature and the process of objectification of the environment as a manifestation of the nature of the human species’ but they include, as an integral element, the relationship between human subjects. However, the inter-subjective relationship can not be incorporated into the general category of objectification of the world, because it loses its specificity and degrades human sociality - as a predominantly human species’ characteristic - to a mutual relationship between things. The alienation of social relationship within bourgeois society cannot be understood simply as autonomisation of the objectification of actors (society of associated producers) or oppression of the actors by their objectifications (alienation). The alienation of social relationship also concerns the establishment of an individualized and selfish type of pseudo-community between people, the consolidation of an ‘anti-social sociality’. Withdrawal of alienation means re-constitution of the social relationship based on the values ​​of freedom, equality, collectivity and solidarity as re-appropriation of ‘human-essence’ by human beings. Consequently, the communist-project cannot be confined to radical needs arising among producers in relation to nature, work and social wealth – which are related to the relationship of the subject with its activity and the world under the light of the substantial appropriation of this world. In short, the mutual satisfaction of producers’ needs is not a sufficient condition for the constitution of a free society.
  9. At the heart of modern communist project of emancipation should be the realization of the fact that the existing civil relations collide with the expectations of social subjects for an authentic human social relationship as a necessary condition for the withdrawal of all forms of alienation. In this way, emancipation is not only about the spheres of production and distribution of social wealth as a partial request, but as a universal project of setting up a new society based on the values ​​of a human community, embracing all spheres of human life.
  10. As a global project of liberation, communism raises the demand for a radical transformation of all social relations through a new form of life. The demand for universal re-constitution of society may take the form of authentic political democracy, as Marx put it, in the sense of a democracy that is truly social, of a collective, self-governed community that transcends the typical form of parliamentary democracy and removes the distinction between citizen and individual that prevails in bourgeois society. Human emancipation consists of a universal human existence, the reunification of the dispersed human being with itself through the elimination of all mediations, private property and the State, which alienates one human from another and from themselves. In true democracy, private property becomes collective and the political state disappears, taking the form of politeia, an organized form of social life in which the universal human being realizes freedom and autonomy through active participation in the human community, of a contemporary kosmopoliteia.

March, 2013

Internationalist Comrades

Tuesday, May 21, 2013