The Indignados in Spain, Greece and Israel

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From indignation to the preparation of class struggles

In the editorial of International Review n° 146 we gave an account of the struggles that had developed in Spain.[1]Since then, the contagion of its example has spread to Greece and Israel.[2]

In this article, we want to draw the lessons of these movements and look at what perspectives they hold faced with the bankruptcy of capitalism and the ferocious attacks against the proletariat and the vast majority of the world population.

In order to understand these movements we have to categorically reject the immediatist and empiricist method that dominates society today. This method analyses each event in itself, outside of any historical context and isolated in the country where it appears. This photographic method is a reflection of the ideological degeneration of the capitalist class, because All that the latter can offer is a day-by-day resistance, with no hope of success, to the irrevocable collapse of the capitalist mode of production.[3]

A photograph can show us a person with a big happy smile, but this can hide the fact that a few seconds before or after they were grimacing with anxiety. We cannot understand social movements in this way. We can only see them in the light of the past in which they have matured and the future to which they are pointing; it is necessary to place them in their international context and not in the narrow national confines where they appear, and, above all, we have to understand them in their dynamic; not by what they are at any given moment but by what they can become due to the tendencies, forces and perspectives they contain and which will sooner or later come to the surface.

Will the proletariat be able to respond to the crisis of capitalism?

At the beginning of the 21st century we published a series of two articles entitled “Why the proletariat has not yet overthrown capitalism”,[4] in which we recalled that the communist revolution is not inevitable and that its realisation depends on the union of two factors, the objective and subjective. The objective condition is supplied by the decadence of capitalism[5] and by “the open crisis of bourgeois society, clearly proving that capitalist relations of production must be replaced by others.”[6]The subjective factor is related to the collective and conscious action of the proletariat.

The articles acknowledge that the proletariat has previously missed its appointments with history. During the first – the First World War – its attempt to respond with an international revolutionary wave in 1917-23 was defeated; in the second – the Great Depression of 1929 – it was absent as an autonomous class; in the third – the Second World War – it was not only absent but also believed that democracy and the welfare state, those myths used by the victors, were actually victories. Subsequently, with the return of the crisis at the end of the 1960s, it “did not fail to respond but it was confronted by a series of obstacles that it has had to face and which have blocked its progress towards the proletarian revolution.[7] These obstacles led to a significant new phenomenon – the collapse of the so-called “communist” regimes in 1989 – in which not only was the proletariat not an active factor, but it was the victim of a formidable anti-communist campaign that made it retreat, not only at the level of its consciousness but also its combativity.

What we might call the “the fifth rendezvous with history” opened up from 2007. The crisis is more openly showing the almost definitive failure of the policies that capitalism has put in place to try to respond to the emergence of its insoluble economic crisis. The summer of 2011 made clear that the enormous sums injected cannot stop the haemorrhage and that capitalism is sliding towards a Great Depression far more serious than that of 1929.[8]

But initially, and despite the blows that have rained down on it, the proletariat has appeared equally absent. We foresaw such a situation at our 18th International Congress (2009): “In a historic situation where the proletariat has not suffered from a historic defeat as it had in the 1930s, massive lay-offs, which have already started, could provoke very hard combats, even explosions of violence. But these would probably, in an initial moment, be desperate and relatively isolated struggles, even if they may win real sympathy from other sectors of the working class. This is why, in the coming period, the fact that we do not see a widescale response from the working class to the attacks should not lead us to consider that it has given up the struggle for the defence of its interests. It is in a second period, when it is less vulnerable to the bourgeoisie's blackmail, that workers will tend to turn to the idea that a united and solid struggle can push back the attacks of the ruling class, especially when the latter tries to make the whole working class pay for the huge budget deficits accumulating today with all the plans for saving the banks and stimulating the economy. This is when we are more likely to see the development of broad struggles by the workers.[9]

The current movements in Spain, Israel and Greece show that the proletariat is beginning to take up this “fifth appointment with history”, to prepare itself to be present, to give itself the means to win.[10]

In the series cited above, we said that the two pillars on which capitalism – at least in the central countries – has relied on to keep the proletariat under its control, are democracy and the so-called “welfare state”. What the three movements show is that these pillars are beginning to be questioned, albeit in a still confused way, and this questioning is being fuelled by the catastrophic evolution of the crisis.

The questioning of democracy

Anger against politicians and against democracy in general has been shown in all three movements, which have also displayed outrage at the fact that the rich and their political personnel are becoming increasing richer and more corrupt while the vast majority of the population are treated as commodities to service the scandalous profits of the exploiting minority, commodities to be thrown in the trash when the “markets are not going well”; the brutal austerity programmes have also been denounced, programmes no one talked about in the election campaigns but which have become the main occupation of those elected.

It is clear that these feelings and attitudes are not new: ranting about politicians for example has been common currency during the last thirty years. It is equally clear that these feelings can be diverted into dead ends, which is what the forces of the bourgeoisie have been insistently trying to do in the three movements: “towards a participative democracy”, towards a “democratic renewal”, etc.

But what is new and of significant importance is that, despite the intentions of those spreading these ideas, democracy, the bourgeois state and its apparatus of domination are the subject of debate in countless assemblies. You cannot compare individuals who ruminate on their disgust, in an atomized, passive and resigned way, with the same individuals who express this collectively in assemblies. Beyond the errors, confusions and dead ends which inevitably find expression and which must be combated with great patience and energy, what is most important is that these problems are being posed publicly; clear evidence of a politicisation of the masses, and also that this democracy, which has rendered capitalism such good service throughout the last century, is now being put into question.

The end of the so-called “welfare state

After the Second World War, capitalism installed the so-called “welfare state”.[11] This has been one of the principal pillars of capitalist rule in the last 70 years. It created the illusion that capitalism could overcome its most brutal aspects: the welfare state would guarantee security against unemployment, for retirement, provide free health care, education, social housing, etc.

This “social state”, the complement to political democracy, has already suffered significant amputations over the last 25 years and is now heading for its disappearance pure and simple. In Greece, Spain and Israel (where it is above all the shortage of housing that has polarised the young), discontent over the removal of minimum social benefits has been at the centre of the movements. There have certainly been attempts by the bourgeoisie to divert this towards “reforms” of the constitution, the passing of laws that “guarantee” these benefits, etc. But the wave of growing discontent will help to challenge these dykes which are meant to control the workers.

The movement of the Indignants, the culmination of eight years of struggle

The cancer of scepticism dominates ideology today and infects the proletariat and its own revolutionary minorities. As stated above, the proletariat has missed all of the appointments that history has given it during the course of a century of capitalist decadence, and this has resulted in an agonising doubt in its own ranks about its identity and its capacities as a class, to the point where even in displays of militancy some reject the term “working class”.[12] This scepticism is made even stronger because it is fed by the decomposition of capitalism;[13] despair, the lack of concrete plans for the future foster disbelief and distrust of any perspective of collective action.

The movements in Spain, Greece and Israel – despite all the weaknesses they contain – have begun to provide an effective remedy against the cancer of scepticism, as much by their very existence and what they mean for the continuity of struggles and the conscious efforts made by the world proletariat since 2003.[14] They are not a storm that suddenly burst out of a clear blue sky but the result of a slow accumulation over the last eight years of small clouds, drizzle and timid lightning that has grown until it acquires a new quality.

Since 2003 the proletariat has begun to recover from the long reflux in its consciousness and combativity that it suffered after the events of 1989. This process follows a slow, contradictory and very tortuous rhythm, expressed by:

  • a series of struggles isolated in different countries in the centre as well as on the periphery, characterised by protests “pregnant with possibilities”; searching for solidarity, attempts at self-organisation, the presence of new generations, reflection about the future;
  • a development of internationalist minorities looking for revolutionary coherence, posing many questions, seeking contact with each other, discussing, drawing up perspectives...

In 2006 two movements broke out – the student movement against the Contract of Primary Employment in France and the massive workers’ strike at Vigo in Spain[15] – which, despite their distance, difference in conditions and age, showed similar features: general assemblies, extension to other workers, massive demonstrations... They were like a first warning shot that, apparently, had no follow up.[16]

A year later an embryonic mass strike exploded in Egypt starting in a large textile factory. At the beginning of 2008 many struggles broke out, isolated from each other but simultaneously in many countries, from the periphery to the centre of capitalism. Other movements also stood out, such as the proliferation of hunger revolts in 33 countries during the first quarter of 2008. In Egypt, these were supported and in part taken over by the proletariat. At the end of 2008 the revolt of young workers in Greece exploded, supported by a section of the proletariat. We also saw the seeds of an internationalist reaction at Lindsey (Great Britain) and an explosive generalized strike in southern China (in June).

After the initial retreat of the proletariat faced with the first impact of the crisis – as we pointed out above – much more determined struggles began to take place, and in 2010 France was rocked by massive protest movements against pension reform, with the appearance of inter-professional assemblies; British youth rebelled in December against the sharp rise in student fees. 2011 saw major social revolts in Egypt and Tunisia. The proletariat seemed to gain momentum for a new leap forward: the movement of the “Indignant” in Spain, then in Greece and Israel.

Does this movement belong to the working class?

These three movements cannot be understood outside the context that we have just analysed. They are like a puzzle that brings together all the pieces provided throughout the past eight years. But scepticism is very strong and many have asked: can we talk about movements of the working class if it is not present as such, and if they are not reinforced by strikes or assemblies in the workplace?

The so-called “Indignant” movement is a very valuable concept for the working class[17] but this is not revealed immediately because it does not identify itself directly with its class nature. Two factors give it the appearance of being essentially a social revolt:

The loss of class identity

The working class has gone through a long period of reflux which has inflicted significant damage on its self-confidence and the consciousness of its own identity: “With the collapse of the eastern bloc and the so-called ‘socialist' regimes, the deafening campaigns about the ‘end of communism', and even the ‘end of the class struggle' dealt a severe blow to the consciousness and combativity of the working class; the proletariat suffered a profound retreat on these two levels, a retreat which lasted for over ten years.. At the same time, it [the bourgeoisie] managed to create a strong feeling of powerlessness within the working class because it was unable to wage any massive struggles.[18] This partly explains why the participation of the proletariat as a class has not been dominant even though it was present through the participation of individual workers (employed, unemployed, students, retired...) who attempted to clarify, to get involved according to their instincts, but who lacked the strength, cohesion and clarity there would be if the class participated collectively as a class.

It follows from this loss of identity that the programme, theory, traditions, methods of the proletariat, are not recognised as their own by the immense majority of workers. The language, forms of action, even the symbols which appear in the Indignants movement derive from other sources. This is a dangerous weakness that must be patiently combated to bring about a critical re-appropriation of the theoretical heritage, experience, traditions, that the workers’ movement has accumulated over the past two centuries.

The presence of non-proletarian social strata

Among the Indignants there is a strong presence of non-proletarian social strata, especially a middle layer that is in the throes of proletarianisation. As for Israel, our article underlined that: “Another tack is to label this as a ‘middle class’ movement. It’s true that, as with all the other movements, we are looking at a broad social revolt which can express the dissatisfaction of many different layers in society, from small businessmen to workers at the point of production, all of whom are affected by the world economic crisis, the growing gap between rich and poor, and, in a country like Israel, the aggravation of living conditions by the insatiable demands of the war economy. But ‘middle class’ has become a lazy, catch-all term meaning anyone with an education or a job, and in Israel as in North Africa, Spain or Greece, growing numbers of educated young people are being pushed into the ranks of the proletariat, working in low paid and unskilled jobs where they can find work at all.[19]

If the movement appears vague and poorly defined, this cannot put into question its class character, especially if we view things in their dynamic, in the perspective of the future, as the comrades of the TPTG do concerning the movement in Greece: “What the whole political spectrum finds disquieting in this assembly movement is that the mounting proletarian (and petit-bourgeois) anger and indignation is not expressed anymore through the mediation channels of the political parties and the unions. Thus, it is not so much controllable and it is potentially dangerous for the political and unionist representation system in general.[20]

The presence of the proletariat is visible neither as a force leading the movement, nor through a mobilisation in the workplace. It lies in the dynamic of searching, clarification, preparation of the social terrain, of recognition of the battle that is being prepared. That is where its importance is found, despite the fact that this is only an extremely fragile small step forward.

In relation to Greece, the comrades of the TPTG say that “One thing is certain: this volatile, contradictory movement attracts the attention from all sides of the political spectrum and constitutes an expression of the crisis of class relations and politics in general. No other struggle has expressed itself in a more ambivalent and explosive way in the last decades,[21] and on Israel, a journalist noted, in his own language, that “it was never oppression that held the social order in Israel together, as far as the Jewish society was concerned. It was indoctrination - a dominant ideology, to use a term preferred by critical theorists. And it was this cultural order that was dented in this round of protests. For the first time, a major part of the Jewish middle class - it’s too early to estimate how large is this group - recognized their problem not with other Israelis, or with the Arabs, or with a certain politician, but with the entire social order, with the entire system. In this sense, it’s a unique event in Israel’s history.[22]

The characteristics of future struggles

With this vision we can understand the features of these struggles as the characteristics that future struggles will assume with a critical spirit and develop at higher levels:

  • the entry into struggle of new generations of the proletariat, with, however, an important difference with the 1968 movements: while the young then gave zero consideration to their “defeated and embourgeoisified” elders, today we see a struggle that unites the different generations of the working class;
  • mass direct action: the struggle has won the street, the squares have been occupied. The exploited have found in these a place where they are able to live, discuss and act together;
  • the beginnings of politicisation: beyond the false answers that are and will be given, it is important that the great masses are beginning to be directly and actively involved in the great questions of society; this is the beginning of their politicisation as a class;
  • the assemblies: they are linked to the proletarian tradition of the workers’ councils of 1905 and 1917, which spread to Germany and other countries during the world revolutionary wave of 1917-23. They reappeared in 1956 in Hungary and in 1980 in Poland. They are the weapon of unity, of the development of solidarity, of the capacity of the proletarian masses to understand and make decisions. The slogan “All power to the assemblies!”, very popular in Spain, expresses the birth of a deep reflection on the key questions of the state, dual power, etc.;
  • the culture of debate:the clarity that inspires the determination and heroism of the proletarian masses cannot be decreed, nor is it the fruit of indoctrination by a minority possessed of “the truth”: it is the combined product of experience, of struggle and especially of discussion. The culture of debate has been present in these three movements: everything was up for discussion, nothing that was political, social, economic, human, escaped the critique of these immense improvised ‘town squares’. As we say in the introduction to the article by the comrades in Greece, this has an enormous importance: “a determined effort to contribute towards the emergence of what the comrades of the TPTG call a ‘proletarian public sphere’ which will make it possible for growing numbers of our class not only to work out how to resist capitalism’s attacks on our lives, but to develop the theories and actions that lead to a new way of life altogether”;[23]
  • the way to confront the question of violence: “The proletarian movement has been confronted from the beginning with the extreme violence of the exploiting class, with repression when it tries to defend its interests, with imperialist war but also with the daily violence of exploitation. Unlike exploiting classes, the class that is the bearer of communism is not the bearer of violence; and even though it has to make use of it, it does not do so by identifying with it. In particular, the violence it has to use in the overthrow of capitalism, which it will have to use with great determination, is necessarily a conscious and organised violence and must always be preceded by a whole process of growth in consciousness and organisation through the various struggles against exploitation.[24] As in the students’ movement in 2006, the bourgeoisie has tried on numerous occasions to lead the Indignants movement (especially in Spain) into the trap of violent confrontations with the police in conditions of dispersion and weakness, in order to discredit the movement and facilitate its isolation. These traps have been avoided and an active debate on the question of violence has begun to emerge.[25]

Weaknesses and confusions of the struggle

The last thing we want to do is glorify these movements. Nothing is more alien to the Marxist method than to make a certain struggle, however important and rich in lessons it is, into a definitive, finished and monolithic model that must be followed to the letter. We are perfectly aware of the weaknesses and problems of these movements.

The presence of a “democratic wing

This strives for the realisation of a “real democracy”. It is represented by various currents, including some of the right as in Greece. It is clear that the media and politicians support this wing in order to try and get the whole movement to identify with it.

Revolutionaries must vigorously struggle against all the mystifications, false measures and false arguments of this trend. But why is there still such a strong tendency to be seduced by the siren songs of democracy after so many years of lies, traps and deceptions? We can point to three reasons. The first is the weight of non-proletarian social layers who are very open to such democratic and inter-classist mystifications. The second is the strength of confusions and democratic illusions still very present in the working class itself, especially among young people who have not yet been able to develop a political experience. Finally, the third is the weight of what we call the social and ideological decomposition of capitalism, that encourages the tendency to seek refuge in an entity that is “above classes and class conflicts” – that is to say the state, which will allegedly bring some order, justice and mediation.

But there is a deeper cause, to which it is necessary to draw attention. In The 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, Marx states that “proletarian revolutions constantly retreat faced with the enormity of their own aims”. Today, events underscore the bankruptcy of capitalism, the need to destroy it and to build a new society. For a proletariat that doubts its own capacities, that has not yet recovered its identity, this creates and will continue to create for some time the tendency to cling to false hopes, to false measures for “reforms” and “democratisation”, even while doubting them. All this undoubtedly gives the bourgeoisie a margin of manoeuvre that allows it to sow division and demoralisation and, consequently, to make it even more difficult for the proletariat to recover its self-confidence and class identity.

The poison of apoliticism

This is an old weakness which has weighed on the proletariat since 1968 and has its origin in the huge disappointment and profound scepticism provoked by the Stalinist and social democratic counter-revolution, which caused a tendency to believe that all political opposition, including that which claims to be proletarian, is nothing but a vile lie, containing within it the worm of treachery and oppression. This has widely benefited the forces of the bourgeoisie which, hiding their real identity and under the fiction of intervening “as free citizens”, work within the movement to take control of the assemblies and sabotage them from within. The comrades of the TPTG show this clearly: “In the beginning there was a communal spirit in the first efforts at self-organizing the occupation of the square and officially political parties were not tolerated. However, the leftists and especially those coming from SYRIZA (Coalition of Radical Left) got quickly involved in the Syntagma assembly and took over important positions in the groups that were formed in order to run the occupation of Syntagma square, and, more specifically, in the group for “secretarial support” and the one responsible for “communication”. These two groups are the most important ones because they organize the agenda of the assemblies as well as the flow of the discussion. It must be noted that these people do not openly declare their political allegiance and appear as ‘individuals’.”[26]

The danger of nationalism

This is very present in Greece and Israel. As the comrades of the TPTG denounced, “Nationalism (mostly in a populist form) is dominant, favoured both by the various extreme right wing cliques as well as by left parties and leftists. Even for a lot of proletarians or petty-bourgeois hit by the crisis who are not affiliated with political parties, national identity appears as a last imaginary refuge when everything else is rapidly crumbling. Behind the slogans against the ‘foreign, sell out government’ or for the ‘Salvation of the country’, ‘National sovereignty’ and a ‘New Constitution” lies a deep feeling of fear and alienation to which the ‘national community’ appears as a magical unifying solution.[27]

This reflection by the comrades is as accurate as it is profound. The loss of identity and confidence of the proletariat in its own strength, the slow process through which the struggle in the rest of the world is going, encourages the tendency to “cling on to the national community”, as a utopian refuge faced with a hostile world full of uncertainties.

So for example, the consequences of the cuts in health and education, the real problems created by the weakening of these services, are used to confine the struggles behind nationalist barriers by demanding a “good education” (because it will make us more competitive on the world market), and a “health service for all citizens”.

The fear and difficulty of taking up class confrontations

The frightening threat of unemployment, massive casualisation, the growing fragmentation of employees – divided, in the same workplaces, into an inextricable web of subcontractors and an incredible variety of different terms of employment – have a powerfully intimidating effect and make it more difficult for workers to come together for the struggle. This situation cannot be overcome either through voluntarist calls for mobilization or by admonishing the workers for their alleged “cowardice” or “servility”.

Thus, the step towards the mass mobilization of the unemployed, casual workers, places of work and study, is made much more difficult that it might seem at first sight, causing in turn a hesitation, a doubt and a tendency to cling to “assemblies” which every day are becoming more minoritarian “and whose “unity” favours only the forces of the bourgeoisie who work within them. This gives the bourgeoisie a margin of manoeuvre to prepare its dirty tricks intended to sabotage the general assemblies. And this is precisely what the comrades of the TPTG denounced: The manipulation of the main assembly in Syntagma square (there are several others in various neighbourhoods of Athens and cities in Greece) by “incognito” members of left parties and organizations is evident and really obstructive in a class direction of the movement. However, due to the deep legitimization crisis of the political system of representation in general they, too, have to hide their political identity and keep a balance between a general, abstract talk about “self-determination”, “direct democracy”, “collective action”, “anti-racism”, “social change” etc on the one hand and extreme nationalism, thug-like behaviour of some extreme-right wing individuals participating in groups in the square on the other hand, and all this in a not so successful way.[28]

Looking to the future with confidence

While it is clear that for humanity to survive, capitalism must die”,[29] the proletariat is still very far from having the capacity to execute this sentence. The movement of the Indignants has laid the foundation stone.

In the series mentioned above, we said: “one of the reasons why the revolutionaries where unable to be successful in previous revolutions was that they underestimated the forces of the ruling class, especially its political intelligence.”[30] This capacity of the bourgeoisie to use its political intelligence against the struggles is today stronger than ever! So for example, the Indignants movements in three countries were completely blacked out, except when they were given the veneer of “democratic regeneration”. Likewise, the British bourgeoisie was able to take advantage of the discontent to channel it into a nihilistic revolt that served as a pretext to strengthen repression and intimidate any response from the class.[31]The movements of the Indignant have laid a first stone, in the sense that they have taken the first steps for the proletariat to recover its self-confidence and its class identity, but this is still a long way off because it requires the development of mass struggles on a directly proletarian terrain, which will show that, faced with the bankruptcy of capitalism, the working class is capable of offering a revolutionary alternative to the non-exploiting social layers.

We do not know how this goal will be achieved and we must remain vigilant to the capabilities and initiatives of the masses, like that of 15th May in Spain. What we do know is that the international extension of the struggle will be a key factor in this direction.

The three movements have planted the seed of an internationalist consciousness: when the movement of the Indignants arose in Spain, it said its inspiration was Tahrir Square in Egypt;[32] it sought an international extension of the struggle, although this would be done in the utmost confusion. For their part, the movements in Israel and Greece explicitly stated they were following the example of the Indignants of Spain. Protesters in Israel displayed placards saying, "Mubarak, Assad, Netanyahu: all the same!", which shows not only an awareness of who the enemy is but also at least an embryonic understanding that their struggle is waged with the exploited of these countries and not against them in the framework of national defence.[33] “In Jaffa, dozens of Arab and Jewish protesters carried signs in Hebrew and Arabic reading ‘Arabs and Jews want affordable housing,’ and ‘Jaffa doesn’t want bids for the rich only.’ […] there have been ongoing protests of both Jews and Arabs against evictions of the latter from the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood. In Tel Aviv, contacts were made with residents of refugee camps in the occupied territories, who visited the tent cities and engaged in discussions with the protesters.[34] The movements in Egypt and Tunisia, like that in Israel, change the face of the situation in a part of the world that is probably the main focus of imperialist confrontations on the planet. As our article says, “The present international wave of revolts against capitalist austerity is opening the door to another solution altogether: the solidarity of all the exploited across religious or national divisions; class struggle in all countries with the ultimate goal of a world wide revolution which will be the negation of national borders and states. A year or two ago such a perspective would have seemed completely utopian to most. Today, increasing numbers are seeing global revolution as a realistic alternative to the collapsing order of global capital.[35]

The three movements have contributed to the crystallization of a proletarian wing: in both Greece and Spain but also in Israel,[36] a "proletarian wing" is emerging, in search of self-organization, uncompromising struggle for class positions and a fight for the destruction of capitalism. The problems but equally the potentialities and the perspectives of this large minority cannot be addressed in the context of this article. What is certain is that this is a vital weapon that the proletariat has given life to in order to prepare its future battles.

C. Mir, 23-9-2011.

 


[1]. See http://en.internationalism.org/ir/146/editorial-protests-in-spain. Given that this article analysed this experience in depth we will not repeat what we said here.

[3]. “Communist revolution or the destruction of humanity”, Manifesto of the 9th ICC Congress, 1991.

[4]. International Review n°s. 103 and 104.

[5]. For discussion of this crucial concept of the decadence of capitalism, see amongst others http://en.internationalism.org/ir/146/great-depression.

[6]. “Why the proletariat has not yet overthrown capitalism”, International Review n° 103.

[7]. International Review n°104, op. cit.

[8]. See http://en.internationalism.org/wr/347/economic-crisis-murderous-summer.

[9]. See http://en.internationalism.org/icconline/2009/07/Int-Sit-Resn.

[10]. “Since it has no economic basis within capitalism, its only real strength apart from its numbers and organisation, is its ability to become clearly aware of its nature, of its struggle’s ends and means” (International Review n° 103, op. cit.)

[11]. “Nationalisations, and a certain number of “social measures” (such as the state’s taking charge of the health system), were all completely capitalist measures. […] The capitalists had every interest in the good health of the workforce […] But these capitalist measures were presented as ‘workers’ victories’” (International Review n° 104, op. cit.).

 

[12]. We cannot deal here with why the working class is the revolutionary class of society and why its struggle represents the future for all other non-exploiting strata, a burning question as we have seen in the movement of the Indignants. The reader can find more material on this question in two articles published in International Review n°s. 73 and 74, “Who can change the world?: the proletariat is still the revolutionary class”.

[13]. See the “Theses on Decomposition”, http://en.internationalism.org/ir/107_decomposition.

[14]. See the articles that analysed this development of the class struggle in the International Review.

[15] See http://en.internationalism.org/ir/125_france_students and http://en.internationalism.org/wr/295_vigo.

[16]. The bourgeoisie is careful to hide these events: the nihilist riots in November 2005 in France are much better known, including in the politicised milieu, than the conscious movement of students five months later.

[17]. Indignation is neither resignation nor hate. Faced with the insupportable dynamic of capitalism, resignation expresses passivity, a tendency to reject it without seeing how to confront it. Hate, on the other hand, expresses an active sentiment since rejection is turned into a struggle, but it is a blind struggle, without the perspective or reflection to elaborate an alternative, it is purely destructive, a collection of individual responses but without generating anything collective. Indignation expresses the active transformation of rejection with the effort to struggle consciously, seeking the development of a collective and constructive alternative.

[18] See “Resolution on the international situation”, International Review n° 130.

[19]. ICC online: “Israel protests: "Mubarak, Assad, Netanyahu!", http://en.internationalism.org/icconline/2011/08/social-protests-israel.

[20]. ICC online: “Preliminary notes towards an account of the “Movement of popular assemblies”” (TPTG, Greece), http://en.internationalism.org/icconline/2011/07/notes-on-popular-assemblies-greece.

[21]. Ibid.

[22]. “Israel protests...”, op. cit.

[23]. “Preliminary notes...”, op. cit.

[25]. See ¿Qué hay detrás de la campaña contra los violentos por los incidentes de Barcelona?, http://es.internationalism.org/node/3130.

[26]. “Preliminary notes…”, op. cit.

[27]. Ibid.

[28]. Ibid.

[29]. Slogan of the Third International.

[30]. International Review n° 104, op. cit.

[31]. See http://en.internationalism.org/wr/347uk-riots.

[32]. The "Plaza de Cataluña" was renamed “Tahrir Square” by the assembly, which not only showed an internationalist commitment but was also a slap in the face for Catalan nationalism, which considers this place as its crown jewel.

[33]. See “Israel protests…”, op. cit.: “A demonstrator interviewed on the RT news network was asked whether the protests had been inspired by events in Arab countries. He replied, “There is a lot of influence of what happened in Tahrir Square… There’s a lot of influence of course. That’s when people understand that they have the power, that they can organise by themselves, they don’t need any more the government to tell them what to do, they can start telling the government what they want”.

[34]. Ibid.

[35]. Ibid.

[36]. In this movement, “Some have openly warned of the danger that the government could provoke military clashes or even a new war to restore ‘national unity’ and split the protest movement” (ibid.), which at least implicitly reveals a distancing from the Israeli state of national unity in the service of the war economy and of war.