AGAINST THE CAPITALIST CATASTROPHE
The capitalist catastrophe continues to intensify everywhere, reaching heights increasingly more incompatible with life on the planet. War spread across the length of the world, massive starvation, the intensification of exploitation, an uninterrupted cascade of suicides, objectification of all social relations, violence between and against proletarians (sexist violence, racist violence, violence against children and the elderly…), packed jails, the destruction of the Earth, increasingly more toxic food, the destruction of health, etc. The antagonism between capitalism and life has never been so devastating. Neither has there ever been a such a large disproportion between the imperious necessity of a social revolution and the little intention of assuming it.
The only subject capable of solving the problems of today through a radical transformation of the society, the proletariat, shows itself incapable of putting and end to all this catastrophe. In spite of what it endures and experiences in the flesh, in spite of rebelling over and over again against the living conditions that it endures, provoking social explosions which cause the social peace to tremble in one place or another, like what we have experienced in Iran or Nicaragua, there exists a whole series of factors which impede this subject from affirming itself as an international force in order to impose its revolutionary solution to the huge problems from which we suffer.
Decades of counterrevolution and social peace have quartered the proletariat, maximizing the processes and mechanisms of capitalist reproduction which veil the very existence of the social classes (above all that of the proletariat) as such dismembering the unitary critique developed historically by this social class. The same capitalist totality upon which the reality which we live in unfolds appears fragmented by a series of ideologies which particularize each problem that this system creates, seeking a particular solution to each one of them. Consequently, specific movements are launched which approach these partial problems and try to resolve them. But not only isn’t there any solution possible to every problem taken separately, but furthermore this fragmentation at the same time alters the real content of these problems. Like so was constituted the ideology of the man’s oppression of woman, the oppression of the white race over the other races, the destruction of nature by the human being…, codifying reality under these ideological parameters. In struggling by means of a partial category, the distinct movements situate on the plane of specific groups which compete between themselves for a greater recognition of rights on part of the state. The competition between commodities is expressed politically as the competition between separate identities, all in benefit of the “transversal” politics of value and its governmental management. Like so the unitary critique of capital is displaced, a critique which contains at its core the denunciation of each aspect, not as a particularity but as an expression of a totality which determines each part, and questions the social order which reproduces all these problems.
The development of this society is closely linked to the development of the isolated individual. The generalized mercantile society excludes and dissolves all community which is not the community of money and develops everything which maximizes the social isolation. Everything which it unites it unites in separation, that is the essence of this world, and its manner of living, democracy. The effect which this reality provokes in the human community, destroying its social nature, atomizing it into isolated individuals with opposing interests, is increasingly more terrible. The citizen is today the luminous example of how mercantile development and the isolated individual develop in a parallel form. This development not only brutally negates the human community but presents huge obstacles to the struggle against capitalism, since the affirmation of this individual goes in the direction opposed to the development of the organization of the only community which opposes capital, the community of struggle, which comes from a collective being, of a revolutionary social class, the proletariat.
In this context the proletariat has enormous difficulties for acting and recognizing itself as a class. Its very being, as well as its rich historical process of struggle and its program, appears totally negated in history, be it by the deforming or hiding of this historical reality.
The dynamic of capital itself and its ideological forces project a social activity in which our class is negated as a subject, reduced to that which it is in the process of production and reproduction of capital, and to that which it is claimed it will be eternally: a simple object of capital; a simple mercantile force of labor, which can be put to use or disposed of according to the necessities of production; a simple a spectator of social occurrences.
Precisely this reality entails that the proletarians themselves believe themselves to be anything but proletarians. One is made to believe that they are not proletarian because they are employed, another believes that they are not because they are unemployed, those from further off feel themselves to be farmers as opposed to workers, another believes themself to be a merchant because they are a street vendor, many others feel too young or too old to be proletarians, there will be those also who because they are women feel less concerned by the question of their class, or feel racial oppression to be more determinant than that of class and instead of feeling like a black proletarian, latino proletarian or asian proletarian, feel black, latino, or asian… and for those who overcome these most elemental forms of immediate negation of the proletarian reality there will be other more political-ideological forms of this same negation such as that of feeling “anti-imperialist”, “anti-neoliberal”, “palestinian”, “jewish”, “cuban”, “leftist”, “french”, “yankee”, “aymara”, “kurdish”, “croatian”, “first-world worker”, “feminist”, “anti-racist”, etc.
These identitarian conceptions present themselves as social-democratic forces which oppose the process of the constitution of the proletariat as a class to negate the catastrophe of this world. The perspective of class is diluted as such in an entanglement of identities and fictitious communities which live subsumed in the community of money.
At the same time, politicism continues to be one of the essential ideologies against our class. It reduces the question of social transformation to occupying the State, be it by the electoral path, be it by violence, in order to implant a series of measures which “would question the capitalist society” and would offer a “real and immediate alternative”. But the State is not a neutral organ which can be used according to the will of this or that leader or party, it’s the organization as a force of the current society, that of capital, and whoever it is that takes possession of this State is determined to act within the capitalist framework. Far from directing the state, they are directed by it. Therefore all the politicist measures are no more than different forms of the development of capital that don’t question any of the foundations of this society or present any type of real alternative. Look at Cuba, Venezuela or the current independentist process in Catalonia.
Self-management is postulated as an alternative to politicism; nevertheless it’s nothing more than its replica upon the productive terrain. If politicism reduces everything to the public sphere, self-management does the same in the productive sphere, trying to change the world without destroying power, advocating for the producers to take the means of production, just as they exist, in order to make them function without bosses, without the bourgeoisie. But this “alternative” keeps the social basis of capitalism intact, since under it there continues the development of autonomous units of commodity production, exchange, money (or “time bonds“, “labor vouchers”), meaning, capital, exploitation and all the fundamental categories of this society. To consider that the exploitation and the capitalist oppression emanate from the individual bourgeois is to not comprehend that the bourgeois is a functionary of capital, that capital, as “automatic subject“, is that which directs production. The experiences in Argentina at the beginning of the 21st century with the “recuperated” factories, or others more current like Rojava and its cooperatives, show us how self management is capable of liquidating our struggles and giving new vigor to the capitalist economy. Self management just as much as politicism leave intact the capitalist social relationship which must be destroyed.
Of course, for the maintenance of this society it’s also essential to make believe that all those of us who suffer the current terrible living conditions have a lesser evil to defend. There’s always something worse to look at which justifies the submission to the current society, the more or less critical support of the representatives of capital, or the renunciation of the struggle for any small crumb. Someone who lives in the asphyxiating capitalist social peace is shown the terror of war; Those who cede their life to work in order to eat are shown the unemployed with no resources who are at the breaking point in hunger; to those who want to act outside of and against the union political game “other forms of doing politics” and the “infallibility” of “direct democracy” is extolled; to those that question the left it is shown how bad the right is; to another they say that democracy is better than dictatorship; those that struggle are incited to abandon the struggle after receiving any small crumb… Like so it is hidden that everything forms a part of the same, that they are moments of the same existence subsumed to wage labor, to money, to value.
Where the proletarians rebel, launch themselves against the hell in which they live, like the struggles developed recently in Nicaragua or in Iran, global capital seeks to deny the revolutionary perspective and impose the capitalist inclination in its multiple variants. It tries to enclose the struggles and transform them into struggles against this or that government, this or that dictator, against this or that measure or arrangement, tries to transform the revolts of our class into war between bourgeois projects, to negate all questioning of this system and so absorb everything which opposes it. The summum of this repolarization is the imperialist war in which the struggle of the proletariat is driven to a struggle between bourgeois fractions, just like we currently endure in Syria, just in like other countries in the last decades.
These factors and limits of the current struggles, which imply that all the struggles end up channeled, liquidated or revitalizing capital, extend the belief in the impossibility of a social revolution. This belief becomes a material force for the conservation of this world, driving many of those who struggle to draw back from that which an international revolutionary process demands in order to become submerged in a possibilist and localist dynamic without any perspective, which ruptures the unity of the immediate struggles of our class (the struggle against the austerity measures, against the evictions, against the repression, expropriations…) from the historical struggle for the revolution.
It’s certain that the conditions of life of the proletariat bring it to overcome these obstacles over and over again and affirm itself as a class, violently opposing the current society, in spite of all the weaknesses which we bear. Nevertheless, the local framework is hardly surpassed, and only as an exception is a regional one assumed. The rest of the worldwide proletariat is not concerned by these struggles, doesn’t assume the fight which develops in one place or the other as its own fight. So an infinite amount of struggles develop in complete isolation, which are finally repolarized and/or crushed by global capital (Syria, Brazil, the Mapuches…). This issue reminds us constantly that our class cannot generate a more revolutionary perspective than assuming its struggle on a historical-universal plane. Proletarian internationalism is not a nice motto of the past, but the very terrain upon which the revolutionary struggle unfolds.
In spite of all these difficulties, in spite of all these forces and elements which act against the constitution of the proletariat as a revolutionary force, there’s no other perspective, there’s no other exit from the capitalist catastrophe than the social revolution. We don’t have doubts that the capitalist catastrophe will continue advancing and making life on this planet increasingly more impossible. Neither do we have doubts that the struggles of our class will continue reproducing themselves here and there. Nevertheless, what’s fundamental is not to perceive this evidence, but to assume and structure these struggles as one same international struggle to tear down capitalism, using the accumulated historical experience to overcome our own limits and weaknesses, as well as to denounce everything which impedes international and internationalist action against capital and the State. It’s the only real route to defend human needs against those of capital. The reforms, the hopes and dreams which justify the rejection of the revolution, are nothing more than forces for the conservation of the current world. We don’t have any other path to exit from this pit than to denounce and smash these mechanisms for the defense of capitalism which obstruct the organization of our community of struggle. To organize ourselves together –outside of and against all the structures of the State– in the struggle against this system of death, in the defense of human needs against those of capital, in the affirmation of humanity against the capitalist objectification. Everything else is walking towards the abyss to which this society drives us.
The affirmation of the human being against the absolute dehumanization which the proletarian condition contains, this is the essence of the constitution of the proletariat as a class in order to negate the social classes, the State and capital.
Let’s organize the struggle of our class internationally, against the global catastrophe of capitalism, against the whole society of classes!