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We have already presented the Alptraum Communist Collective of Mexico in this Review (International Review No 40). We published the theses with which the comrades of the ACC situated themselves and presented themselves to the revolutionary milieu and the international proletariat. The ACC isn't yet a constituted political group, but a ‘collective' in evolution and political clarification. The positions presented in these theses undoubtedly place them within the revolutionary camp. In particular, the comrades reject all nationalism and all national liberation movements.
Here's to Comunismo! It's with joy and enthusiasm that we wish to present here the first number of the half-yearly review of the Alptraum Communist Collective of Mexico: Comunismo.
Comunismo appears at a crucial moment in history: the accentuation of the economic crisis and the existence of a third wave of struggles by an international proletariat which doesn't accept the poverty and growing barbarism of capitalism.
The publication of Comunismo with articles on the class struggle both in Mexico and on the international level are the proof of a militant concern to intervene in the class struggle. It is the proof of the growing understanding; of the ACC comrades of the active role of revolutionaries in the development of the class struggle and the perspective of the proletarian revolution.
Comunismo No. 1 and the emergence of a small revolutionary milieu in Mexico is also the proof that the period is not one of the dispersion and disappearance of revolutionary energies as in the years of the counter-revolution, but on the contrary, of the emergence and regroupment of new forces everywhere in the world in the framework of the historic course towards the development of class struggles and class confrontations, faced with the historic alternative imposed on us by capitalism: socialism or barbarism. The appearance of a new proletarian voice in Latin America is an important step for the international proletariat. Historically, economically, politically and geographically, Mexico holds a central place on the American continent; and the proletariat there is called on to play a great and difficult role in the generalization and unification of class battles between the proletariat of the USA and that of Latin America.
The political will to intervene in the class struggle by the ACC comrades is accompanied by an effort of historical reappropriation and of debate with the international revolutionary milieu. It is to the credit of the comrades to have taken the name of the publication in the ‘30s of the Marxist Workers Group of Mexico, some of whose texts we have already published in this Review (Nos 10, 19 and 20) . Let's remember that the MWG was in contact with the Italian Fraction of the International Communist Left. Comunismo No l contains a text of 1940 denouncing the imperialist and anti-fascist war; the ACC comrades publish a series of discussion texts with the International Bureau for the Revolutionary Party (IBRP) and promise us their response to our critique of their theses in the next issue.
It is thus a positive balance-sheet that we draw of the evolution and the discussions carried out by the comrades of the ACC for 4 years with the international revolutionary milieu. The reader will perhaps be surprised to see us now address some criticisms to the comrades after so many eulogies. But revolutionary activity depends on discussion, contradiction and criticism in order to develop. In the sense that our critiques are situated within the framework of a positive evolution and dynamic, as much on the part of the comrades as on the part of the present historic situation, they may in turn be an active and dynamic factor in the discussion and political clarification.
As a group in evolution, the ACC doesn't yet have clearly defined and finished political positions. It's thus not surprising to find contradictory positions in different articles, and even in the same article. We wish to raise two here. Two which relate to questions of the upmost importance. We are not going to develop our positions here. We simply want to alert the comrades to the contradictions and dangers which, in our view, may lie in store for them if they don't watch out.
1) The comrades remain vague on the entry of capitalism into decadence. They consider that "the system finds itself in decadence" and we can situate the "beginning of the global decadence of the capitalist system after 1858." At least an original assertion, which we have briefly criticized in IR 40 on the ‘economic' level.
We want to underline here the contradiction which the comrades risk getting trapped in. Their affirmation of ‘1858' is abstract and without historical reference. But as soon as they have to support the political positions they defend, as soon as they are obliged to defend in the discussions their correct position on the historic course and the development of class struggle (see the response to the IBRP in Comunismo) they stop referring to 1858 and turn instead to the historic rupture of 1914 and the first world war which marks the passage of capitalism into its decadent phase "by its irreproducible and unique situation in history..." in the ACC's own words.
Don't think that this question only concerns pedantic historians, or that it is only a theoretical question in itself without practical implications for revolutionaries. The recognition and comprehension of the end of the progressive, historical period of capitalism and its entry into decline was the basis of the formation of the 3rd International on the ruins of the 2nd International which died in 1914.It underpins the coherence of all the class positions which the comrades share with the ICC. And in particular the denunciation of the unions as organs of the capitalist state in the 20th century and the movements of national liberation as moments in today's inter-imperialist antagonisms.
2) The second point that we want to raise is on the contradictions of the comrades in their efforts to clarify the question of organizations and political parties of the proletariat. The comrades think that "the question of the organization of revolutionaries and the constitution of the political party of the proletariat are central aspects of all theoretical-political reflection which tries to situate itself in a communist perspective." We agree.
But from here, the comrades - at least in this number of Comunismo - have the tendency to take up the theses and texts of the Communist International and of Bordiga without a critical spirit, and without reference to the differences between the fractions of the left on this question. Comrades of the ACC, you are in danger of falling into the errors of Bordigism:
-- in wrongly affirming the invariance of the communist program (cf International Review No 32) . We are happy to reaffirm the unity and historic continuity of the communist program. What doesn't change, what is invariable, is the goal: the destruction of capitalism and the emergence of communism. The means and the immediate implications however vary and are enriched by the very experience of the class struggle of the proletariat. To give only two examples of these enrichments:
* the impossibility for the proletariat to conquer the bourgeois state and use it for its revolutionary ends, and the necessity to destroy it in order to impose its class dictatorship, is the principle lesson which Marx and Engels drew from the Paris Commune, contrary to what they said before;
* the impossibility of the proletariat using the trade unions in the decadent period, contrary to the 19th century. It is Bordiga and his ‘inheritors' who developed in the ‘40s and ‘50s, against the idea that Marxism had been superseded, the notion pushed to its logical absurdity that the communist program had been invariant since 1848, since the first edition of the Communist manifesto in fact! On the contrary, one of the strengths of the Italian Fraction - which was related to and in agreement with the MWG of Mexico which is now reclaimed by the comrades of ACC - was precisely that it made a critique of the revolutionary wave of 1917-23 and the positions of the 3rd International;
-- in even taking up the citation of Bordiga (I1 Soviet, 21 September, 1919) which said: "....like bourgeois power, the organ of the revolution is the party; after the liquidation of bourgeois power, it is the network of the workers' councils." Here Bordiga committed an error in confusing the political organizations of the proletariat whose role will without doubt be more important after the taking of power by the proletariat, with the unitary organizations of the class which are the workers councils existing on the base of assemblies regrouping all workers; and these "soviets (councils) are the organs of preparation of the masses for insurrection and, after victory, the organs of power," (Trotsky, History of the Russian Revolution)
Comrades of the ACC, this vision of Bordiga and of Bordigism, of an invariant program, and of a party substituting itself for the working class leads today to sclerosis, to the void, to the counter-revolution as illustrated recently by the ‘Bordigist' current.
The regroupment of revolutionaries
The publication of Comunismo and the development of a small revolutionary milieu around the ACC, as weak as it is, confirms the possibility of the appearance and regroupment of revolutionary elements in the entire world, including the countries of the ‘third world'. But for this, revolutionary elements must break clearly, sharply and without hesitation with ‘third-worldism', with all kinds of nationalism and leftism. This is the price for developing a real political clarification and a real revolutionary activity. This is the force of ‘Comunismo'.
The political organizations of the proletariat already existing; (principally in Europe) must be very firm on this indispensable break with all nationalism if they want to assume the task of a pole of reference and regroupment, if they want to aid and participate in the emergence of elements and revolutionary groups. It is one of the essential tasks of the ICC has always given itself, which it has tried to fulfill with its meager resources: "concentrate the weak, dispersed, revolutionary forces in the world, in this period of general crisis pregnant with convulsions and social torment; this is today one of the most urgent and arduous tasks which confronts revolutionaries," (International Review No l, April ‘75) .
It is in this sense that the ICC will help all it can the comrades of the ACC in their militant effort of intervention in the class struggle and in their will to debate in the revolutionary milieu. The fulfillment of these tasks by Comunismo will permit the development of a revolutionary milieu in Mexico and above all in time - and this is the most important ‑ a real political presence in the proletariat. For that, Comunismo is the indispensable instrument for the proletariat in Mexico.
Long live Comunismo!