Frequently Asked Questions
Which is the origin of your working group?
In the past, some of us supported different organizations, while others joined our group with no political background. We got to know old militants who experienced the revolutionary period after the First World War and took part in the foundation of the Communist Party of Italy in 1921, and we worked with them. This fact was of great importance, as it gave us not only a great spur to go ahead, but even a 'physical' connection with the Communist Left, which during its sixty years life fought against both Social Democracy (starting from 1912) and Stalinism (starting from 1924-26). However, since the Communist Left always claimed its continuity with the Marxian doctrine of the history development, we prefer not to limit our 'genealogy'.
Why do you state that the Internationalist Communist Left has died out?
Several groups refer to the historical heritage of the Communist Left (non only in Italy). Some of them believe they are the actual continuance of that current. This is understandable, but we are bound to say that the Communist Left, which once was a real international force, is extinct by now. The great historical cycle, which enabled the Communist Left to perform its fundamental role for such a long period of time, is composed of four well delimited periods: 1) from 1911 to 1919: rejection of the Social Democracy and Anarco-Syndicalism; 2) from 1919 to 1926: attempt to constitute the World Communist Party; 3) from 1927 to 1945: defence of the theoretical heritage and the physical continuity of militants during the worst phase of counter-revolution; 4) from 1946 to 1970: restoration of Communism as science of the social becoming. Each of these periods has seen the Left acting in different organizational forms, respectively: 1) as a circle and fraction of PSI; 2) as a branch of the World Party; 3) as an external fraction of the World Party; 4) as a new organized revolutionary party. For sixty years, an even physical continuity existed between old and new militants, that is organizational structures arisen from hard selective struggles. All this passed definitively away and cannot be re-established by the good will of militants who have been studying (since 1921) texts stating that: "Parties and revolutions can be only run, not created".
Which is the difference between your organization and other Communist groups or parties?
You'd better wonder what Communism is and what being a Communist means. Unfortunately the existence of thousands of different 'Communist' groups and parties all over the world proves that this basic question has been answered in various ways. It is obvious that each person will interpret subjectively the innumerable differences. Anyhow what distinguishes above all our organization from the others is our flat refusal of greatly abused categories such as democracy, anti-fascism, parliamentarianism, frontism, freedom, human rights, individualism, trade unionism, democratic centralism, labourism, anarchism etc.
Why do you refuse to be called 'Bordigists' even though you present yourselves as the continuers of Bordiga's work?
We are not 'Bordigists', nor 'Leninists', nor 'Marxists, nor anything else. We are only Communists. We hope that the refusal of epithets deriving from personal names will become sooner or later a usual practise, in accordance with the advice of Marx, Lenin and Bordiga themselves. It is a serious theoretical mistake to ascribe personal names to the historical results of a movement that continuously changes the world by involving billions of people.
Why don't you take part in the debate among Communists?
A 'debate' is always a 'comparison' of different arguments. Therefore those who 'debate' questions end by accepting the main democratic principle, that is: prevalence of an opinion over all others by a majority of votes. The soundness of a thesis must be proved not by an exchange of opinions, but through well-established experiences to be set in a general theoretical system. Capitalism itself, which drives rationally tremendous productive forces inside a worldwide industrial net, relegates debate and democracy to places out of the real world, like parliaments where cretinism can peak without harming the Capital.
Which were the relations between the 'Italian' Communist Left and Trotsky?
Even though it did not share their policy, especially regarding the question of the United Front, the Left gave its unconditional support to Trotsky and the Russian opposition. This was one of the unavoidable choices in order to try to rescue the Comintern. Unfortunately it was impossible to form an international opposition able to reverse the situation. Our conduct earned us the accusation of 'Trotskyism', which was considered slanderous then. Trotsky was a great revolutionary and a major military head, but the last period of his life, during his exile and till his murder by a Stalinist agent, cannot be held up as an example of scientific rigour.
What makes you think that the 'national question' does not exist anymore?
This is not correct. Today more than ever, several national problems rise all over the world. We are convinced though that the present geohistorical context excludes any possibility of alliance between proletariat and bourgeoisie in national revolutions. As proved by recent history (but it would have been possible to realize it also theoretically), nationalist revolts do not aim at overthrowing the general status quo. On the contrary, they perfectly integrate in the plans of this or that imperialism. In fact any popular struggle, even armed, tends to turn into a mere partisanship supporting one power against the others. Worse still, many 'fronts of national liberation' show reactionary aspects by claiming resources or privileges for the local bourgeoisies and petty bourgeoisies.
Why didn't you join the Anti-Imperialism Committees against Gulf and Kossovo wars?
Since Communism is not a movement in opinion and class struggle is not a democratic phenomenon among the others, Communists join every proletarian organization only for carrying out practical actions and never for questioning theory and strategy. Even more so in case of formation of a 'Committee Against the War': Communists could never collaborate with 'chatterers' who urge people to fight without specifying what to do practically against bombardments, military invasions, international alliances, nationalist involvement of proletariat, etc. War is a too serious matter to be vaguely discussed between groups with no univocal policy: on the contrary, a 'Committee Against the War' should undertake to organize material forces for avoiding the war or turning it into a civil war. Any other tactical solution must be considered as outside the Communist movement and the interest of proletariat. In the past, moreover, several pacifist committees spread confusion about the nature of wars (see, for instance, the Kossovo War, which has been firmly opposed by some pacifist organizations and at the same time supported by some others as a 'humanitarian war'). Obviously we do not change our mind about the classic 'democratic cretinism', even when the bla bla moves from parliaments to popular meetings.
Don't you think that the proletariat has gone a bit soft in the richest countries and that the Third World has become a fertile land for revolution?
No, we don't. Revolution is a material event, founded on human production and reproduction. In some countries, it proceeds from riper conditions, which act therefore as the 'launching pad' of revolution to the rest of the world. This does not exclude that great social revolts might take place in underdeveloped countries and then crush even the headquarters of imperialism. We must consider also the possibility that, in the distant future, a real Communist Party might attain the political power in a big peripheral country (as happened in Russia in 1917). Nevertheless, we are sure that a radical economic and social change will come only from the most developed countries. The Russian Revolution failed just because it was not supported by a revolution in Western Europe.
1) You have no practical activity strictly in contact with the working class and after all you are 'pedantic and hyperurarian'. 2) Your theoretical activity is inadequate and your fear to not detach yourselves from real world makes you 'hyperpractical'.
These opposite ways of interpreting our joint work is quite meaningful. There is no human 'practical' activity which is not guided by theory, except for those biological functions in common with animals (even if we grant for the sake of argument that human reproduction and production can be separated). It is therefore an absurdity, not only for a Communist but for everyone, to deal with theory and praxis as sealed off from each other.
Speaking of party's work, the organic centralism seems to be a mystic trick of your school. Isn't it?
All the complex living world acts organically. Mankind had to pass through hierarchic and class organizing forms, suitable to certain epochs and modes of production. Obviously, human society will call for a more advanced organization in the future. Confirming Marx's advice, the modern theories of systems and complexity show clearly which sort of new social intellect will supplant the present one. As always happened in the course of history, the revolutionary party will simply anticipate the characters of the coming society.
What do you think about 'x' organization?
We are not interested in classifying and criticizing the positions of groups which have no particular influence on the forces of revolution. We prefer to act differently. If we have to face organizations like the existing ones is because at the moment reality cannot offer anything else. In the current situation, one does what is in his capacity and what he considers to be right to do. When the class war will shake the whole society, the political struggle assumes a quite greater importance: then neither group x nor our organization will be what they are now.
What is your opinion on Gramsci?
The word 'opinion' is outside the Marxist way of analysing political events. The current of Ordine Nuovo was dragged to the foundation of the Communist Party of Italy by a world revolutionary movement and joined the programme of the Communist Left without assimilating nor understanding it, as proved by the historical documents and by the prompt support given to Stalinism. Since the beginning of the discussions within the world movement, the little centre minority leaded by Gramsci embraced a traditional and democratic policy (see, for instance, its attitude towards Fascism). So we have to consider facts, not to give opinions. The centre leadership undoubtedly helped in destroying the organic relations within the party by availing itself of Moscow's strong support. In the end, owing to his conduct (as well as his writings, which testify to a certain influence of the philosopher Benedetto Croce), Gramsci cannot be counted among the Communist militants.
Why don't you organize yourselves into a party?
Parties and revolutions cannot be 'created' by anyone: they rise and develop from mature conditions, which drive men to organize themselves for achieving well stated goals. It is better to say that parties and revolutions could be run by Communists as conscious part of the revolutionary process, but on condition that there is a close tie between the historical dynamics and the contingent birth of the formal organization.
Isn't it a self-contradiction to work inside the traditional and corporative trade unions?
No, it isn't, simply because at the moment no other kind of trade union (that is 'non corporative' and 'non traditional' labour organizations) can exist. Communists have always been for the unity of workers' movement and they have always promoted union demands in working contexts. So they have always taken part in the union activities (even clandestinely, where necessary), fighting against any reactionary aspect of the existing trade unions and trying to influence the proletarians. Modern trade unions have irreversibly become an integral part of the bourgeois State, and they undoubtedly play a main role in the whole capitalistic system, but their contradiction is that they cannot avoid to defend, in some way, the life conditions of the working class, even if their only purpose is not losing their control on them. We are also absolutely contrary to the formation of trade unions on an homogeneous ideological basis (communist, catholic, anarchic, etc.), as somebody still asserts: any direct organism must be open to all proletarians and it must not constitute an expression of political currents.
Speaking of the role of the individual and his influence on history, you often mention the 'theory of Battilocchio'. Someone says that such a theory is completely outside Marx's thought and that it is to be considered as a trick of the Left.
It is not a 'theory', but a materialistic way of weighing the human factor in history. According to Marx, men make their history but, while each of them pursue his own aim, the final result does not depend on the specific individual acts. When you study the determinants of human action, you have not to dwell upon individuals (even if they are eminent leaders) but you have to center your attention on the forces springing from the social subsoil, that is to say from the mode of production and circulation. These forces move whole peoples and classes. We obviously invent anything. Moreover, it is interesting to notice that the concept of individual as 'history and theories maker' was already demolished by the sharpest bourgeois revolutionaries (e. g. Denis Diderot).
You give out your publications in exchange for money and you use to attend even book fairs. So you seem to write for 'paying readers'. Are you getting mixed up in business?
Let's try to reverse the question. There are not so many Communists running the risk of being mixed up in business all over the world, while billions of men live in accordance with the market ideology (it occasionally happens that some Communist comes out of the mass and breaks off the general involvement). Your question presents therefore a subjectivist defect: no one becomes a Communist 'of his own will', but after having undergone strong determinations which have led him to adopt a counter current attitude. It is pure idealism, which assumes mystic aspects, to think that one can choose not to be conditioned by market and economic ideologies. Persons are obviously influenced by various events, but the most important thing to be pointed out is that the present society, just because of its advanced and involving capitalism, will always produce Communists.
How many are you?
When we say we are not an 'organization' but a working group, we also intend to keep our distance from the habit of attaching importance to 'numbers', which do not depend on the good will of individuals. Today nobody knows how many people are working for Communism all over the world. Besides, it is impossible to 'add up' the representatives of the future society. The overwhelming majority of those who contribute towards revolutionizing the present social form does not expressly support Communism. Obviously there is a great difference between the periods in which a formal revolutionary party can exist and the periods in which such a party disappears, breaking up the organizing continuity. Even so, the historical party was supported by people who give their joint contribution to revolution anyway. At first sight this seems hard to believe. Someone has pointed out, for instance, that only those who are conscious to represent the future revolutionary movement can be considered as Communists. It is true and fully corresponding to what stated in the Communist Manifesto. However, nobody can 'chose' to acquire the so-called class consciousness. When the historical situation is unfavourable to direct revolutionary manifestations, the modern society advance revolution indirectly. "They are working for us", the Communist Left used to say. We can cite the end of colonialism as an easy example of this: decades of struggles and propaganda of more or less revolutionary parties did not even scratched the old colonialist powers, which were demolished instead by the irresistible world achievement of the anticolonialist U. S. imperialism.