Revolution or War n° 2

(September 2014)

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« Democracy » is the Working Class’ s Main Enemy

’The growth of the revolutionary movement of the proletariat in all countries has provoked the bourgeoisie and their agents in the workers’ organizations to convulsive efforts to find theoretical arguments in defense of the rule of the exploiters. Among these, particular emphasis is placed on the rejection of dictatorship and the defense of democracy. (Lenin, 1919 [1])

The use of these ’theoretical arguments’ is more than ever on the agenda, above all when the censorship, the ’black-out’, on the reality of the workers reactions through out the world, or still the distortion of these informations, does not succeed anymore to discourage the workers. ’The defense of democracy’ as Lenin says, i.e. the bourgeois democratic ideology, goes along with the increasing massive attacks against the conditions of life of the international proletariat and aims at leading it behind the state and the nation. In a first moment, its goal is to suffocate its struggles of resistance. Tomorrow, it will aim at directly leading it into generalized war. Today, and actually in every country, these ’theoretical arguments’ are developed and concretized mainly through anti-terrorist campaigns and the extreme-right wing ’danger’. The use of terrorist actions and threats does not only serve to provide pretexts for the reinforcement of the surveillance and the setting up of repressive laws every time harder. It justifies them, makes the population trust them, through the argument of its defense and protection that only the state, the democratic state, would be able to assume... while the very terrorist actions are whether created and manipulated, indeed organized, by the police services of the state [2] ; or whether the result of manipulation and provocations of the specialized secrete services of the imperialist rivals. As well, the campaign about the fascist and extreme-right danger – particularly in Europe – aims at reviving the classical democratic mystification of anti-fascism, the very one which led the proletariat into the 2nd Imperialist World War and sanctioned the darkest counter-revolutionary period for the working class. Not only one can see the racist, xenophobes and extreme-right parties, being put forwards as during the last European elections (in France, Hungary, Great-Britain, Belgium...) but we could also notice how the Greek bourgeoisie, advised and directed by its European partners of the EU, made ’inflate’ the fascist group Golden Dawn and with it the false antagonism between democracy and dictatorship at the very moment the workers mobilization was running out of steam and slowing down. Thus it increased the disorientation and the powerlessness feeling of the workers by looking at making them forget the genuine classes’ antagonism between capital and labor, between capitalists and workers.

However, even though the international proletariat remains globally submitted to bourgeois ideology and particularly to democratic ideology, even though the workers struggles are not at the level of the attacks and do not succeed to make capital withdraw them, far from it, even though the Left parties and above all the unions maintain their control on the workers reactions and sabotage them, significant fractions of the class attempt to resist to the democratic traps set for it. This resistance appears clearly during some open class conflicts, during some mobilizations, when the workers in struggle refuse to succumb to the different sirens calling for trusting democracy, to line up behind their (democratic) state and to give up their fight.

It was the case in Greece during the 2008-2012 mobilizations; for instance when the workers demonstrations attempted to surround, paralyze and even invade the Parliament in order to forbid it to adopt dramatic austerity measures. The democratic state even had to utilize the violence of the Greek Stalinist CP’s militia (and not the extreme-right which would have been unable to do so at that time) to fill the police and avoid the workers to invade the Parliament. With less strengths and constancy, other struggles have tended to pose the question of the confrontation with the democratic bourgeois state despite the calls for national unity and for the respect of the state – nationalist and democratic mystifications reinforcing one the other [3].

It was still the case, so much, in Brazil since 2013 in regards to the organization of the football World Cup which is a true nationalist myth in this country. There too, at the very moment the working class was submitting to a massive and permanent propaganda for the Cup organization, this one tended to resist to the calls for national unity and the competition started with great uncertainty. Helped by the whole international bourgeoisie, it suffices to recall the interventions of the International Federation of Football [4], the Brazilian ruling class had to utilize the massive and violent repression to prevent, at that very moment, the development of the workers revolt; in particular when the Sao Paolo subway workers went on strike just a few days before the World Cup with, not only the possibility of paralyzing the holding of the matches, but above all with the perspective of becoming the focus and a factor of unity for a generalized movement of strikes and demonstrations.

And if in various other situations and countries, the democratic ideology succeeded to make derail the workers anger towards the defense of democracy, under a form or another, as during the ’Arab Spring’ for instance, it nevertheless remains that an extremely important fight with historical consequences is taking place. Even more since the democratic mystification does not limit itself to the only apparent ground of the adhesion or obedience to the bourgeois state; nor simply to make believe in pure political democracy (elections, Parliament, etc.) and to deny the reality of the classes’ struggle. Bourgeois democratic ideology goes much further and tends to impregnate all the moments and all the spaces of social life to the detriment of the collective vision and, above all, the collective class action and reflection as Marxism showed and defended relentlessly.

Besides the acceleration and the extension of the capital’s and merchandises’ circulation, the development of the new medias, particularly in the most developed countries, digital TV, Internet, ’social networks’, etc., have enabled a revival of the individualist and democratic ideologies as never before : from the bourgeois principle, ’one man, one vote’ for the elections and the choice of governments, the ideology proper to these technological novelties has worsen the ’bourgeois democratic disease’ by largely diffusing the idea that every one could now have access to information without censorship and, above all and worse, that every one, i.e. every individual, could express as he wants and freely thanks to this media and its ’social networks’. At last, thanks to the new technologies linked to Internet, pure democracy would finally be happening!

So it is also at all levels of social life that the bourgeois democratic offensive rails today; that the democratic ideology is coming in, adapted, not only to counter the development of the workers’ fights back and their affirmation against the bourgeoisie and its state, i.e. at the political level (anti-fascist and anti-terrorist struggle, defense of democracy, etc.), but also on the ground of the daily practice of the workers’ fight that the democratic ideology is propagated up to reach every nook and cranny of society. The danger of this ideological offensive is all the most clear when communist groups, some claiming the Communist Left legacy, also succumb to the pressure and make themselves the apologists of movements such as the ’indignados’ or other ’Occupy’ and so the relays of the democratic propaganda about the assemblies and ’self-organization’ [5], about the primacy of individual expression to the detriment of the collective class expression and struggle.

The political communist groups and minorities, above all those claiming the Communist Left, as highest expression of class consciousness, are nevertheless the best armed to resist to this ideology.

"Setting out from the individual-unit in order to draw social conclusions and to construct social blueprints or even in order to deny society, is setting out from an unreal supposition which, even in its most modern formulations, only amounts to refurbishing the concepts of religious revelation and creation and of a spiritual life which is not dependent upon natural and organic life. (…) Only the appearance of this religious and idealist conception is modified in the doctrine of democratic liberalism or libertarian individualism. The soul as a spark from the supreme Being, the subjective sovereignty of each elector, or the unlimited autonomy of the citizen of a society without laws - these are so many sophisms which, in the eyes of the Marxist critique, are tainted with the same infantile idealism, no matter how resolutely ’materialist’ the first bourgeois liberals and anarchists may have been." (The Democratic Principle, Bordiga for the CP of Italy, 1922, we underline).

The theoretical and propagandistic struggle against bourgeois democratic ideology is at the center of the lessons and experience of the workers movement, from Marx to Lenin, from this one to the Communist Left (particular the ’Italian’ one). This theoretical and political legacy and experience are essential for the massive historical fights between the classes which loom. Since, as far as the proletariat will remain submitted or not to this ideology, it will succeed or not to bring itself out of this capitalist ground and to clear its own revolutionary perspective.

Here is why, it belongs to it not to give in to the anti-terrorist and anti-extreme right campaigns. Certainly, terrorism as well as fascism are also enemies of the working class. But, above all, they are the children, the product, of capitalism and its ’democracy’. Nor terrorism, nor fascism are the main danger for the development of the defense of its class interests and of its fight against capital. Above all, they serve as foil for democracy and its ideology. Most often, they are created, even organized by the democratic state itself. Therefore, the main danger for the working class is thus the lie of bourgeois democracy and the temptation to let itself dragged in its defense in stead of fighting against capital and bourgeois state.

IGCL, August 2014.

(Published on : 9 September 2014)



[1. Thesis on Bourgeois Democracy and Proletarian Dictatorship, 1st congress of the Communist International, March 1919.

[2. The FBI has «encouraged, pushed, and even paid » American Muslims to commit attacks during bogus operations of infiltration. It is the conclusion of a Human Rights Watch report published July 21st (…). « Not only is the FBI targeting American Muslims in anti-terrorism stings, they are prosecuting people who had no intention of committing a terrorist attack until an FBI informant showed up and encouraged or pressured them to do so, sometimes by offering them large sums of money.» In 30 % of the cases, the infiltrated agent played an active role in the attempt of attack (summarized and quoted by Le , July 21st 2014)

[3. It is not new: during the 1st World War, it is on behalf of the defense of the French Republic, of democracy, that the workers were called to go to war against the dictatorial absolutism of the Germain Emperor Guillaume. In Germany, it was on behalf of the war against the Russian Tsar absolutism and the defense of civilized (i.e. democratic) Germany.

[4. Platini, President of the European Football Federation : « We must absolutely say to the Brazilians that they have the World Cup and that they are there to show the beauties of their country, their passion for football and that they can wait a month before realizing social feats. It would be good for Brazil and for the football planet, ok. Well, after all, we don’t control. » (translated by us from French version).

[5. The International Communist Current today, it is enough to look at its apologies of the ’indignados’ movement and of ’assembleism’, is both the most caricatural expression and most dangerous one.