It is proclaimed that: From this time on the two political lines diverged definitely. Rather than the formula being restricted to the sense of conquest of the broadest strata of the proletariat, its meaning would be extended to include the conquest of “the people”, understood in a generic and imprecise sense, in general. But there were other, nonphysical limitations on Gramsci. This fact, moreover, has a very great importance in relation to the Italian situation. What was actually happening, unfortunately, was exactly the opposite.
The fight to keep this line intact, to restore it after years of counter-revolutionary depression, and the fight to rebuild the world party of the proletariat – this is the focus of all our revolutionary energies. The party leadership confirmed this to the Enlarged Executive in The Centre turned down the offer without even checking whether it was feasible. And would even the International, leaving aside the external pressures that weighed on it as a result of inauspicious circumstances, be protected from what the Lyon Theses called “the repercussions the means of action have on the party in the dialectical play of cause and effect”? From the time of the Rome Congress onward, the party had no further opportunities to pronounce on the policies and actions of the leadership.
During this retreat, the leadership was able to maintain the confidence of the working class and to raise the consciousness of lyona vanguard by cutting short all traditional maneuvers in the leadership of the proletariat as practiced by pseudo-revolutionary groups and parties. The peasant therefore remains a serious danger to the construction of the socialist economy, in which he can only become interested through a major development of agricultural productive forces and technology.
Not even an executive group composed of famous leaders is capable of setting the proletarian masses into motion in pursuit of revolutionary objectives. But there is one certainty, a certainty without which one can no longer call oneself a communist: After the defeat of this attempt and up to the 2nd Congress, the gramxci faction was alone in working on the gramsck scale for the creation of the communist party.
If the worst consequences have been avoided this is due to the moderation of the comrades of the Left; who have put up with such a hammering not because they believed it to be in the least bit justified, but solely because they are devoted to the party cause. The communists must take account of this tendency among the masses and be capable of framsci it, developing the positive elements which it contains and combating the particularist deviations to which it may give rise.
The Left leadership of the Italian Communist Party that emerged from the Congresses of Leghorn and Rome was replaced on a provisional basis following the arrest of its main leaders in Februaryand permanently after their acquittal in October of the same year.
Herein lies a remarkable example of the lyobs which, rather than having particular actions derive from principles, prefers to improvise various new theories to justify actions chosen because of their apparent ease of execution and their likelihood of producing quick results. Any conception must be repudiated which asserts that factors of revolutionary consciousness and awareness, which constitute ideology, can be realized in the Party without being realized in a vast number of the individuals who make it up.
The stance taken by the Italian Left at the 2nd Congress and remember it was participating without an official mandate as a mere “current” of the PSI will therefore hardly surprise us. Partial and limited actions are considered by it as necessary steps to achieving the progressive mobilization and unification of all the forces of the working class. But if the formation of the Komintern constitutes an immense historical conquest in terms of organization and tactics, it cannot be said that it has provided such a complete solution to the crisis of the proletarian movement.
Lenin has also produced a fundamental clarification of the theory of the popular movements in colonial countries and in certain exceptionally backward countries. However, the class that appears in the present historical epoch, the proletariat, and the political groupings, which inevitably emanate from it -the party and the State — for them the problem, is modified.
Gramsci was only too aware of what this meant: It is not possible to be a communist or to militate in the ranks of the International if even one part of this is rejected.
And in so doing, the Left was hoping to lay the basis for the International to return to its initial positions on a firmer foundation than ever before. The last and final step would be the victorious proletarian State, which would be most tgesis of all due to the isolated nature of its victory especially in economically backward countries like Russia.
Meanwhile, the Scandinavian parties were busily engaged with their theory of “religion as a private affair”, and inwith the last revolutionary tremor in Germany only a few months away, the entire Enlarged Executive Committee felt the obscure need to scratch this same itch — precisely when there was a pressing necessity to concentrate all forces on a potentially revolutionary outcome to the German crisis, whose negative or positive shockwaves would affect the entire movement.
The Lyons Theses, Amadeo Bordiga
Agreed, but how does one justify the latest bombshell namely the proposal to merge the Red International of Labour Unions with the Amsterdam International Federation of Trade Unions?
It is necessary to state clearly that in certain past, present and thesiss situations, the proletariat has been, is and will necessarily be for the most part on a non-revolutionary position – a position of inertia or collaboration with the enemy, depending on circumstances – but in spite of this, the proletariat everywhere and always remains the potentially revolutionary class and the repository of insurrectional possibilities, to the extent that within it the communist party exists and that without ever renouncing any possibility of strengthening itself and showing itself coherently this party can avoid the paths that seems to lead to an easier conquest of an immediate popularity, but which would divert it from its task, depriving the proletariat of the yramsci lever of its revolutionary rebirth.
The systematic accumulation of an experience which could contribute in a positive way to the resolution of these problems began in Italy only after the War. When the links in the chain start to slacken off, and once this slackening is justified on a theoretical level then all is lost; both the possibility of victory in mounting revolutionary situations, and the possibility of resurgence in periods of reaction.
Gramsci versus Eurocommunism – International Socialism
Suffice to say the formula of the dictatorship of the proletariat has one grzmsci and one alone: But what was the basis for this decision? The aim is not to exclude the possibility in practice, of a communist critique of the other political parties and of a continuous organization in communist bodies of lypns elements derived from these parties: Today, a second step has been taken, and a perilous question is posed: Having victoriously resisted the reactionary wave which sought to engulf it ; having contributed with its own actions to marking framsci first halt in the process of dispersal of the working-class forces elections ; having taken advantage of the Matteotti crisis to reorganize a proletarian vanguard which, with notable success, opposed the attempt to instal a petty-bourgeois predominance in political life Aventine ; and having laid the basis of a real peasant policy of the Italian proletariat — the party today finds itself in the phase of political preparation of the revolution.
It is precisely for this reason that the historical confirmation of the conceptions of the Marxist programme in the Russian revolution has been of such enormous significance and of such great use in routing social democratic revisionism in the realm of principles. In the epoch of the struggle for the proletarian revolution in the metropolises the complete realization of these two conditions allows a fight to develop in these countries which however, locally assumes the form of a conflict between races and nationalities, not classes.
Up tillthe Party set itself no aims other than ones of a democratic character.
The lyon theses (1926)
I as the International Communist Party. This means that in the phase preceding the conquest of power the party must have the masses behind it – above all it must conquer the masses.
As long as the problems of flexibility, and a highly questionable eclecticism are not discussed in depth, as long as this flexibility continues and new oscillations take place, a swing to the left inevitably makes one fear an even bigger swing to the right need we add that precisely that happened in ensuing years?
Theses on the Tactics of the Communist International — presented at the 4th congress of the Communist International. The party must pay particular care to the education of these comrades, who form the connecting fabric of the organization and are the instrument for binding it to the masses.