Notes for an internal and external discussion
The crisis and capital’s plan
The crisis that has hit our country is part of a general crisis that is striking all the western economies. It would take the form of a general crisis of overproduction if capital were not extremely concentrated, therefore able to control production and the market. If this control prevents classical forms of overproduction, a surplus of goods which finding no market lose their value, it cannot however prevent this devaluation process from transferring itself from goods to the capital invested in their production, which is underutilized with respect to its capacities. Thanks to that control the higher costs of this underuse are offloaded on to prices, exacerbating the normal inflationary process.
The invested underutilized capital then goes through a devaluation process which in turn causes a lack of incentive to invest, with the result that capital in the form of money devalues in turn, because its ability to transform itself into raw materials, means of production and wages to produce profit undergoes an underutilization; invested capital being partially inoperant, the circulating capital also, money capital’s rate of interest decreases in proportion to this inoperability. The crisis moves from the production system to the credit system. More mobile, money-capital devalues and reacts to this devaluation by giving rise to a series of speculative manoeuvres on the currency market, with the result of not being able to change the overall picture and also inducing the monetary crisis. The overall devaluation has a synthetic representation in the dollar crisis that constitutes the global currency reserve of capital.
At a social level this devaluation leads to a decrease in the active working population compared to the population as a whole: if, due to a series of institutional rigidities, they are not sacked, neither are they hired, and in fact the data agree that unemployment is a phenomenon that affects half the young.
The more or less drastic reductions in production that capital has been forced to make derive from various factors, some of which are traditional, such as competition from outside the western European countries; it is known, for example, that in a series of basic sectors, from steel to alimentary products, competition from this external band has been felt by imposing drastic reductions. Other factors are less traditional and inherent in the very model of capitalist development centred on the production of durable consumer “goods”. Now, the expansion of the internal market has reached its limits and the great cycle of the car, refrigerator, etc. appears to be nearing the end, not only but this model is dangerously exposing capital to an ever tighter conditioning by “worker demand”, that is, the mass of wages, that constitutes the market for those “goods”. This conditioning risks making wages an “independent variable” from the trend of the cycle, in the sense that the upward wages trend to support the internal market cannot be interrupted at will and continues to advance on its own regardless of production conditions. The acrobatics that Lama [Luciano Lama, secretary of the CGIL, Italian General Confederation of Labour] is forced into to put a brake on this dynamic are well known.
Capital’s plan to get out of this impasse, so-called restructuring, seems orientated on the one hand towards freeing itself increasingly from labour costs and “worker demands” in the western economies, and this objective can be achieved if the system no longer bases itself on the production of mass consumer “goods” but on the means of production and services, i.e. by operating a technological leap with a higher capital composition, i.e., having the new cycle run from the nuclear industry, war, electronics, telephone, etc.. On the other hand, relocating investments in traditional products to the outer band where labour costs are very low and there are still enormous possibilities of market expansion. Political concerns deriving from the concentration of large masses of workers whose control is becoming increasingly difficult, also play a part in this plan.
Capital’s plan is bold and not without difficulties. First of all, investments in new sectors with a high level of capital are taking place on such a large scale that they are not within everyone’s reach, in other words money capital in search of investment is abundant compared to investment opportunities in the traditional sectors, but not compared to the possibilities of investing in new sectors. Not only that, this new investment contains all the risks of innovation, and requires considerable scientific and technical experience but above all a safe market given the breadth of investments. Liquichimica [Liquochemical Biosynthesis, a group of industrial settlements built in the ‘70s in a program of industrial investments and practically never entered into operation, giving the territory the appearance of a small “industrial cemetery”] is not in the lead but gives an idea of the risks involved, especially as the market for new “goods” is rather uncertain. The war industry, also the Italian one (Agusta among others) has armed a hateful tyrant like the Shah with a powerful army, and there can be doubt that this will continue and a “safe” market like the Iranian one is turning out to be a swamp that will swallow up many illusions. The same goes for the nuclear industry: of course, once they are installed it will be impossible to dismantle the nuclear power plants, but what is happening everywhere, including in Austria lately, is the difficulty in installing them. In Italy, if the bureaucratized dunces of new capital, the PCists [Communist Party], were not insising the centres would probably be built by Ansaldo [Ansaldo STS, signalling and integrated transport systems] dunces, but not for the internal market.
The huge amount of capital required, the most sophisticated technologies, new energy sources such as uranium, objectively give the USA the lead in this restructuring process and give the big American banks, to which the capital accumulated by most of the oil producing countries converges, a decisive position. A guide that nevertheless seems to be encountering resistance in the strongest national economies, such as Federal Germany and Japan, which, thanks to an integrated working class, are managing to export an incredible mass of products and create formidable credit in the balance of payments. The US is asking these countries to change their development model. The EEC area is linked to US hegemony on one side but is also strongly influenced by the stability and strength of the German economy, “the next period will decide whether by this type of tug of war we will emerge with the strengthening of the hegemony of the USA or with a more acute phase of contrasts”. The situation is in full swing, as shown by the latest agreements on the monetary snake and the acceleration of the construction processes of the European State, unforeseen and underestimated phenomena that suggest a strengthening of the German influence and a not completely homogeneous system of the multinationals.
The other part of capital’s plan, the dislocation of traditional production, appears the most compromised in the Leninist analysis. The limitations that Western capital would find in the area of “social-imperialism” and the decolonized countries would push it to find a way out in the war. The situation actually seems to be reversed following the latest developments in China: its forthcoming entry into the western area is greatly extending the boundaries of an intervention of western capital to the point of reversing relations between the two imperialist areas, putting in serious difficulty — and effectively likely to lead to nuclear catastrophe — the Soviet Union, whose aggressiveness is accentuating more or less everywhere, the latest clamorous fact being support for Vietnam in the invasion of Cambodia, obviously presented, even by our own PCists, as the liberation of Cambodia!
If we add to this renewed encirclement of the USSR the absence of any internal opposition within that regime, the dangers of the use of nuclear war appear to come more from “socialimperialism” than from the western area, especially as appeals to the “labour movement” against the encirclement would not have the echo of the Leninian appeals of 50 years ago.
The fall of so many models of intelligibility and prediction must make us cautious when we venture on to the terrain of imperialist conflicts. To establish one’s action on this swampy ground could be lethal for the revolutionary movement.
What can probably be expected is that restructuring will aggravate or leave unaltered the most explosive phenomenon induced by the crisis: mass unemployment, which, in Europe and the USA, has continued to grow with the consequence that the working class, once comprising the majority of the population, is now tending to shrink considerably as the number of those who, instead of producing, simply consume or, in the impossibility of doing so, expropriate in any way they can the owners of capital and income, so are in favour of generalized expropriation. It is evident that the phenomenon is not all positive for the revolutionary movement because on the other hand a sizeable sector of the working class is increasing its corporate tendencies, closing itself up in defence of its “privilege”.
“New fascism” in Italy and Europe
The Italian situation, substantially homogeneous to that of other Western countries, has a few characteristics that make it particularly explosive. First of all, Italian industrial capitalism, always strongly subjected to financial capital with the progressive statisation of banks, found itself in the fortunate situation of having massive capital to invest without exposing itself to serious risk or control given its solid links with the political class that has invaded the State. The type of entrepreneur that has emerged in this situation is characterized mainly by the ease with which they operate speculative manoeuvres, promoting bankruptcy operations in production, sure of being able to count on compliant bailouts from their State friends with the inevitable endorsement of the opposition interested in “saving” jobs. The hundreds of trillions burned by these entrepreneurs can no longer be counted, as are the companies to be “saved”, from Montedison to Liquichimica. The ease with which these public and private figures dissipate public money with absolute impunity says everything about the “constitutional” political forces, those who fill their mouths with the rule of law. The State, as equilibrator of the internal situation, has become the element of major disequilibrium, not to mention the effects, not strictly economic but also of economic importance, such as the generalized corruption that has gone as far as to involve proletarian layers and constitutes the political-patronage prop, the mass base of the Christian Democratic regime. Of course, the situation has reached the point of rupture and its failure to collapse, feared by the hacks of the regime, is flaunted by them as proof of the solidity of the regime. If, in spite of everything and everyone, we have not reached collapse, we owe it partly to the international structures that support Italian capitalism and partly to the reactivation of the forms of exploitation of the last century, real black labour, especially in the South, that has allowed part of capital to survive and grow on mass unemployment, partly to the permanence of medium-small productive structures in which probably the best of Italian capitalist production is to be found.
The Moro-inspired operation of the association of the PCists with the majority [ground-breaking alliance between the Christian Democrat Party and the Italian Communist Party] as well as the new parliamentary power relations was most likely dictated by the need to counterbalance in some way the more strictly clientelar internal Christian Democrat forces by putting a halt to the process of dissipation, involve a substantial part of the working class controlled by the PCI in the operation of restoring entrepreneurial business criteria in the large State-owned enterprises, impose on the Christian Democratic staff that it keep a minimum of control, and finally give power to the executive to adapt political choices to the present requirements of restructuring, its dynamism, in the face of which the political world has the figure of the pachyderm. As soon as they became associated with power, the PCists, after ideologizing the centrality of parliament, did everything possible to undo it, giving their decisive contribution to the political life that was taking place at the level of government, commissions, decree-laws, bodies separated from the direct dependence of the executive. What passed, one wonders, between the sclerotic parliamentary debate on nuclear power plants and the speed with which the ministry of industry completed the agreement with the Canadian State on behalf of the Italian nuclear companies; what is happening between the Fiat-Algeria agreement for the construction of a large car plant in an exceptional market such as the North African one and the State’s decision on financing the operation? Relations between State bodies and public and private multinationals are becoming increasingly direct, a simple passing of decisions for the notary ratification of parliament.
This process of executivisation has already been studied in the process that led to the advent of fascism. Poulantzas writes: “While the democratic parliamentary form of the State initially still seemed intact, with the beginnings of the process of fascistization relations between the ruling class and the other classes on one side and the State apparatus on the other, no longer pass through the political parties but acquire a more and more direct character ...”, which results in the reinforcement of the role of the real State organs: police, administration, justice and the executive. These State organs are becoming increasingly independent. In this way the constitutional legal order system is being overturned. Power is moving from parliament, which the parties still turn to, to the State organs themselves.
The processes of transformation of the Italian State cannot be seen in isolation from the international context, both for the strong commercial and financial dependence of Italian capitalism, and the ever closer relations that its State organs are forging with the other European bodies, both for effective military integration at the NATO level, right to the concrete perspective of the European State.
The RAF comrades predicted that the decisive phase of fascistization in Europe would probably not take place before this had become a precise political tendency in the USA: “In the USA we can already see the beginnings of this development every day ... As for us, there is not much time left!”. In the perspective of the establishment of the European State, due to the hegemonic influence of Federal Germany the transformations in the German State are decisive and in all probability the new European State will be a product of Germanization with a constitution that will be the synthesis of the “special” constitutions that have accumulated on the bodies of the original ones.
Hence the importance of following the transformations of the German State after the ’8. Croissant defines the product of these transformations “new fascism”, a regime in which the use of force, going beyond limits previously considered legal, the abandonment of the bases of the rule of law are being directed and prepared centrally: “characteristic is the fact that the apparatus of State repression no longer only has recourse to simple violations of the law ... or that it is augmenting the use of violence ... but that the classification of each individual citizen is scientifically designed, prepared and implemented with force ... The means of this strategy is psychological warfare with the use of mass media”.
The French May insurrection led, in negative, this whole process of transformation of States, which had undoubtedly been taken by surprise. How many of those proposing insurrection as the product of a long period of cultural revolution simply forget that the exceptional laws and the start of the psychological war were launched in the aftermath of ’68 against that cultural, anti-institutional revolution, not against guerrilla formations. “The transitional period is still far from over: it could only be cut short now by the massive and brutal use of all the means of repression”. Who wrote these words, R. Dutschke, deluding himself that it would not come about, was also its first “illustrious” victim. If in Germany the psychological war extends to legalizing and covering torture and murder, in Italy, the counter-insurrection project was started by the State apparatus with the Piazza Fontana massacre, the attempt to make responsibility fall on “dissent” and thus forcibly get the population to identify with the State through terror and disorientation. The State apparatus, of a strong fascist composition, could only resort to their traditional models, the military coup, the old fascism, and had the opposite effect, that of encouraging the development of counter-violence throughout the national territory. The new fascism, in Croissant’s meaning, has taken the place of the old and is working with a certain virulence with the “perfect two-party system” DC-PCI and with the levelling-implementation enforcement of all the various productive apparatuses of opinion, the press, radio, television: “The repressive apparatus of the State is seeking, through the levelling of the mass media to make people believe in the population’s consensus, their roots in it and in the expression of their power”. What they have not been able to do with fascist violence, the State apparatuses are now trying to plant in the midst of the people, relying on the mobilization of the PC apparatus, on whose shoulders falls the unleashing of the psychological war today.
The process of the transformation of the State in the direction of the new fascism has not only found the PCI consenting, but is now being pushed to its extreme consequences; all the institutions of the much-proclaimed “participation”, from the neighbourhood to the factory councils, were (being fictitious) easily distorted to the new aims of social, political, repressive control. From the unions to the institutional councils, everything has become the transmission belt of the orders of the central apparatuses. The tennants’ leaders, an institution Croissant fears, are among the objectives of the committee for republican order promoted by the PCists in Bologna, while waiting for the neighbourhood policeman its functions are being carried out by the territorial sections of the PCI. We investigate, we read ... The same Christian Democrat renewal, the Hiltonians, *****a direct expression of the private multinationals, were surprised and displaced by this invasion of the State and its roles by the PC apparatus, with embarrassment rejected the advances to form voluntary supervisory militias in factories, neighbourhoods ... Faced with the development operated by the PCI, the Hiltonians have rediscovered the value of liberalism! Mazzotta writes: “In my opinion, the PCI is tending to become a new regime” with a triple role: “A role of force of order against an explosive situation ... A role of repression against social tensions ... Finally a role of guardian, for a return to protectionist conceptions and closure towards free relations with the rest of the world”. After thirty years of Christian Democrat regime, the Hiltonians are rediscovering the values of parliamentary dialectics in the face of the invasion of the PCist hordes! Mazzola, DC expert on State problems, fears that a political alliance with the PCI “would essentially lead to a regime aimed at closing rather than widening the spaces of freedom and inexorably criminalizing dissent: a regime that would then be dominated by the PCI and would become a sort of consecrated democracy”. The goal of the Hiltonians is transparent: to return to the democratic dialectic, pushing the PCI back into the opposition, after overcoming the overall crisis in the country. The objective of the PCI is exactly the opposite: to establish the new regime of historic compromise by using the overall crisis of the country as the “objective enemy” against which the political alliance should be asserted as indispensable.
The transformations taking place at State level are objectively playing in favour of the PCist strategy of a strong State apparatus, efficient, programmer in which to insert a compact staff respectful of the leadership, with a statist ideology.
Beyond the advantage of a party strongly dominated at the top through its apparatus, in a phase of restructuring the PCI has the decisive advantage of controlling a substantial part of the working class, that worker aristocracy that is the pivot of restructuring; not only that, but the control is now also lapping up the band of middle managers of State enterprises in the name of which the PCI is demanding respect for the criteria of professionalism and entrepreneurship against the middle-high State bourgeoisie of uncertain professional origins, haphazard, but certainly thieving. It is on this block of forces at the level of the large State enterprises that the PCI aims to relaunch Italian capitalism in the international context and thus constitute the essential prop of the new regime. It is obvious that the entrepreneurial card of the return to profit is also considered decisive to limit the strong dependence on American and German capital, with its inevitable (in the immediate) political counterparts of the Straussian kind (which the right-wing DC is particularly sensitive to) and with the aim of relaunching, along with the Italian economy, its political presence in Europe and role of mediation with the “socialist” countries, something not seen negatively by German social democracy. The Hiltonian accusation of protectionism is probably out of place, it is shown by the “critical” adherence (which is still adherence) to the monetary snake. It is true that the PCI, which is playing its trump card in the capitalist revival of Italy, are more concerned with the economic counterparts of adhesion to the SME [small and medium enterprises] than the political ones, which the DC seem more sensitive to, which after looting everything possible, is more modestly hoping for a political-repressive anchorage to the new European State and increase, if possible, dependence on the stronger western economies.
The Party-State and the workers’ opposition
Both the processes of State restructuring (reinforcement of the executive, independence of the State organs from parliament, establishment of the psychological war) and the processes of economic restructuring see in the PCI a promotional force that is not secondary to the Christian Democrat one, especially in the factories, where the role of the PC bureaucracy in favouring collaboration and control of the police is fundamental. The comrades of the BR who theorize the centrality of the DC in this process are likely to be displaced by the role of “Berlinguerians” that stands out in their own factory agenda. It would be wrong in this phase of implementation to assess the strength of a party by electoral criteria, the role of the PCI is central and will become the relationship of parliamentary strength, on pain of the collapse of the State and the economy.
The strongly ideological management of power, made necessary by the crisis, is moving in the same direction. It is clear that only a “left” ideology can play this role among the mass of workers: “austerity”, “sacrifice” in the name of the national interest are false values that only the “left” can impose, “if once the worker lived a life of hardship to buy the car, the refrigerator, he continues to live a life of hardship to buy his role within a structure (the party) that tells him to make sacrifices for the ‘progressive construction of socialism’ ”. If there is a project on which imperialism can support the “fascist” mobilization of the masses at this stage, this is the Berlinguerian project of austerity, sacrifice, the sense of the State, of the class that becomes State, etc. The “Party-State” with its myriad of union and party bureaucrats, its factory councillors, neighbourhood, regional councillors is already a working reality and the struggle against the “Party-State” is already underway a little everywhere.
The new State that is being installed in the midst of the proletarian masses is the internal enemy of the revolutionary movement that must be swept away before it fully consolidates and carries out its counter-revolutionary function, and this is particularly urgent in the factory where it forms the last trench of the ideological protection of capital. If it is true, in fact, that capital has gradually lost the bridgeheads that it had placed in the family, school, etc. it still has them, and firmly, in the very heart of its genesis. In recent years everything has been put in question, dominion has been flushed out even from the most hidden folds of consciousness, but the root of all these alienations, the production of goods, has remained practically outside. There are sensational and dangerous examples, such as that conference of all the factory councils of the armaments industry called in ’76 to discuss the proposal of “parliamentary control of war production” and was deserted because the factory councils, on admission of a CGIL trade unionist, feared that renewed control could lead to some decrease in production, then and now in great ascent. The worker’s interest is almost exclusively addressed to working conditions because they affect him directly, while the consequences of what he produces are shared over the whole of society, as general impoverishment of resources, pollution and of course profit, that is, the possibility of an extension of the infernal cycle. But working conditions are the trough in which pigs, reformists, sociologists, psychiatrists wallow. It is the terrain of mediation par excellence, of compromise, claiming, bestism, it has improved but always within given conditions, which are never questioned. What bosses and reformists fear is not the vindictive maximalism of the “new left” but opposition without mediation, absolute non-collaboration: we do not accept the conditions given, or guards at the gates, or boundary walls, or cards being stamped, or timekeepers observing and so on, we do not want the conditions of forced labour or its results, useless and socially harmful objects.
The great discovery made by Nanterre in ’68 is that protest yields when it is done directly and immediately in the places where bourgeois power is exercised. The revolutionisation of school, the family, medicine, prisons, the relationship between the sexes is not postponed to the aftermath of the economic and political revolution. The model according to which the revolution must first subvert property, after which everything will come as a consequence, is dead and buried just like the “democratic” model of political action as indirect deferred action, action that now dwells only in the PCI and its factions. It is a whole series of movements that are imposing and spreading a new sensibility that Duverger calls more subversive than revolutionary “insofar as the revolution implies the coherent project of a new society”. Subversive because it goes to the root of things and recognizes the different institutional alienations as specific forms of that same structure of alienation that is exploitation. “If capitalism can survive one, two of these protests, it can only die with their multiplication because this multiplying converges in its dynamics towards and against the roots of capital. To believe that it will survive means that the link between profit and the institutions is not necessary and rigorous.”
We believe that it will survive if protest does not cross the threshold of the factory, here the new subversive sensitivity is spreading but slowly, precisely because the young people, in which it is particularly alive, either reject factory work or if they embrace it they soon become virtuosos of absenteeism. And absenteeism must also be assessed for what it indicates negatively, i.e. the absence of a community of struggle in which to recognize oneself and which makes the factory interesting as a place of protest.
In the 1960s the sudden interruptions, the wild cat strikes, created a certain ungovernability; the union on the verge of bankruptcy after years of giving in easily managed to ride the sixty-eight ebollution and revive the trade union model, with its bureaucracy, verticism and delegates. If all that caused many workerist myths to fall, this does not mean that the factory is a single body with its Party-State and various transmission belts. The contradictions that have entered the trade union world of the new easy-going soviet-style syndicalism of Lama are plain to see but the immediate appearance of trade union maximalism (which the supporters of the USI resurrection also adhere to) shows once again how difficult it is to abandon the terrain of claiming and in the end the trade union model.
If one can speak of worker opposition, this has been revealed in sabotage. The phenomenon was developing at Fiat as sabotage to the plants but is present in the north and the south in attacks on Italian and foreign multinationals, on the finished product, on computers, causing colossal damage to the plants. The detractors of armed struggle underestimate the phenomenon because it would not be the work of the producers but of the armed groups, as if these should necessarily be external to the factory! Instead it is the most important “terrorist” phenomenon in recent years, even if it is the most “underestimated”. Why? We think that this undervaluation by power is desired and hides its extreme apprehension and fear that it will spread. We cannot explain otherwise, at mass-media level, the different treatment that power uses in cases of internal and external attacks on production, in the first case it minimizes the fact until it is spent by the length of the investigations, in the second it airs the trumpets of the terrorist hunt. But there are also reasons attributable to the ideology of comrades who limit their scope and meaning. This is the case of sabotage to the finished product that coincides with the threat of layoffs: the company has difficulty in disposing of accumulated production and threatens to lay off the workers, the accumulated product is set on fire and the threat recedes. That concomitance gives a purely defensive character to the message coming from this action: to guarantee the continuity of the occupation we can resort to any means, even the destruction of capital, in the same way that the capitalist, when he sees his profit threatened, uses the destruction of goods so as not to lower the price. Instead of enriching itself with the meaning that it objectively has, the action is impoverished by the concept that the continuity of the labour-capital exchange relationship must be maintained at any cost, with recourse to destruction on one side or the other if profit or wages come into it. On the other hand, the anonymity that often surrounds acts of sabotage at Fiat would seem dictated by a mistaken subjection to the “average” conscience of the workers, political isolation is feared because “there may be loss of wages, the workers would be ‘pissed off’, etc”. In this way, however, the reasons of ideology combine with those of power to make sabotage expire as a “method of struggle” in defence of the immediate interests of the working class. Marx had already warned against the tragicomedy of immediate interests. The kind of contradictions one can find oneself in in the defence of immediate interests is well illustrated by the case of Alfa [Romeo].
At the capitalised common-sense level, Alfa cars are appreciated for a number of characteristics that should rather induce us to reject them. First of all, the use of expensive materials required for the high stress to which they are subjected due to the speed and acceleration of the vehicle; high energy consumption. These characteristics affect the social negatively, unless we consider the highway scourge that this speed contributes as something positive; in turn high consumption takes away energy from other uses and pollutes the environment irreversibly. If these considerations were not enough reason to reject this commodity, we look at who it is destined to, essentially the middle class who often confirm their status through their possessions, not to mention the most loyal customers, police and carabinieri who use these assets to kill proletarians. Not only that, Alfa’s accounts are always in the red and we come to the absurd case of the State taking resources from other sectors to sustain the losses.
The Alfa workers have remained the only ones propping up a production that is diverting enormous resources in means, materials and men from social use, nailing a not-inconsiderable part of the proletariat to unemployment and hunger. Anything but homogeneity of immediate interests between one side and the other of the proletariat! These interests, of course, could be reconstructed by refusing the production of commodities at the root. A large part of the workers, on the other hand, closed up in defence of their own corporate interests, are even asking for more investment in the sector and have made themselves available to work on Saturdays as well. In response to the block of order that has been created in the factory and the most flagrant collaboration, the autonomous guerrilla has supported the non-collaborationist minority with several attacks on branches and the finished product that practically nullified the production increases achieved by Saturday work. In this case sabotage exemplifies how it can become the specific form of resistance of non-collaborating minorities and, freed from the defence of immediate interests, acquires the meaning of radical opposition to the production of merchandise.
Its recovery derives directly from the conditions of capitalist production in its “mature” phase, which seem to be reproducing the same conditions of marginalization that characterized the appearance of the machine in its phase of ascent.
Since living labour is always more marginal than fixed capital, it is relatively easy for the boss to buy the collaboration of a few who set in motion a huge mass of dead labour. Revolutionary workers cannot objectively be a majority, democracy does not make sense for the disproportion of forces: on the one hand capital has millions of workers whose work has been objectified in machines or been replaced by them, on the other, a few thousand workers to put them in motion, a disproportion that allows capital to corrupt a more or less conspicuous part at any moment. In this situation revolutionary workers find themselves submerged in a sea of “scabs”, not vice versa, but precisely the concentration and intensity of capital exalts the role of these minorities, because they can redeem their marginalization by “hitting in the heart” not only the vigilantes of the new or old political class, but above all dead labour. If this moloch is not jammed, the past accumulated work extorted from entire generations of exploited, will bury us.
On the clandestine organisation
Establishing bridgeheads in the factory to strike the heart of capital and the nascent “Party-State” is the primary task facing combatant organizations at this stage, if they want to finally operate that welding between the struggle against exploitation and the anti-institutional struggle. The guerrilla in the factory can only be grafted on by the clandestine organizations. The objections that reach this approach from many parts of workers autonomy are still hovering on an abstract level; it is said: we do not want to become professional guerrillas, separate from the movement, we want to make the self-organization of the struggles grow, foster more violent forms of struggle at the real level, that of the base, and this is only possible by living the life of all the others and arriving at the armed struggle along with them, so that the elevation of the clash is not a fictitious spectacular fact, but a mass, real one. This is a serious objection that says a lot about our own goal, that of organizing many revolutionary cells, “a counterpower of small nuclei that work independently in different situations, struggle, intervene, defend, are part of the mass political work” but ignores the fact that the comrades inserted in the supporting structures of capital are still moving in very dirty water, exposed to the repression not only of the factory hierarchies, their internal and external police, but also the union and parties’ entire spy network: engaged in factory work they have little chance of procuring means and structures and in the absence of an adequate organizational structure they are led to forms of self-limitation. The growth, spreading, development of nuclei of counter-power can only be promoted by the clandestine organization. In this, they knit together theoretically and practically the nuclei that will develop in the factory and those active in the territory, against the essential services of capital, the banks, real estate, mass-media, barracks, prisons.
If this is a fundamental part of the activity of the clandestine organization, only to this can equally important tasks make reference, such as the liberation of imprisoned comrades, the least fictitious possible attack on the structures and personnel of the political, technical, military personnel involved in the key ministries for economic restructuring, psychological warfare and repression. The sabotage of the central brain of motorization exemplifies this sector of activity. These central structures are the most delicate and therefore the most protected, thus require real “military” actions, necessary whenever an armed and attentive enemy is faced, supported by a network rich in information, means, etc. It is clear that the central structures cannot seriously be attacked until the social war has greatly strengthened the guerrilla, but this must not prevent the opening up of contradictions, the continuous wear and tear of these apparatuses also with direct actions aimed at the centre. The Moro operation has been criticized in various ways, but none of the effects attributed to it by its critics have come to pass. It was said that it would be the end of the guerrilla and instead this has further generalized, it was said that it would not destabilize anything, while in reality the political framework became somewhat more shaky and the operation had the undoubted merit of revealing in all its danger the block of power that was forming, the features of the so-called party of death. We do not agree with the ideological trappings of the operation, the “people’s prison”, the “trial”, the “sentence”, “the execution”, an unnecessary and macabre imitation of the State and its violence, but these are frills, not the substance that lies in the ability-maturity of the revolutionary movement as a whole (and the Red Brigades recognize themselves as part of this movement) to strike a blow at the centre. Who doesn’t remember, moreover, the criticisms that the same movement was making of the BR before the Moro kidnapping? And it was not only the voice of the critics, it was a popular voice: they hit low, those that don’t count, the real murderers remain in Rome in peace. Of course, the blow to the centre has woken up the Roman politicians locked in their bunker Montecitorio to blather on justice and freedom with tanks outside the door; perhaps, some ask, if we had let them sleep a little longer ... It is a serious objection but it does not come from the critique-critiques, the clandestine movement paid the price for the psychological war that was unleashed, the suspicions, the hunt for the brigatista, reawakened police vocations, but on closer inspection it was a price that had to be paid in the short term because there is no doubt that in Moro’s presence, the cotton wool accumulated around the association of the PCists would have led to the regime of historic compromise without the lacerations that it carries today and the great counterinsurgency operation would have been unleashed.
The guerrilla of everyday life
Critics of daily life rebuke armed struggle as having reiterated politics, extremizing it; denying the sociality of the movement in order to distort it and secure its political representation, re-proposing the old Bolshevik model of political revolution that entrusts the revolution of the economy, society, daily life to a phase of proletarian dictatorship, in reality dictatorship of the party, this time a combatant party, with results that are plain to see, the daily life of the young man of Rome certainly has nothing to envy of that of the young Muscovite, indeed ... It is clear that the more strictly Leninist forces, the BR, have marked this tendency to “freeze” the movement in the separate dimension of the political. Generally the extension of armed struggle and its social objectives, the dispersion of forces on to secondary contradictions rather than their concentration on the attack on the State, is not approved by the comrades of the BR for tactical reasons, but capital is not only economy, politics, repression, it is also ideology, mystification, lies, drugs, spectacle, every aspect of its domination must be struck. So for this reason the forces of total subversion must come into play and the social war acquire depth and breadth, only in this way will the revolutionary movement be able to create a situation of irreversible non-return, making all the old instruments of domination, its structures, its apparatus, useless, cutting deep into the old body of dominion. If the wound is superficial, the old body will start functioning again. If the political class is eliminated but the old structures of domination are left intact, who can guarantee that another political class will not be tempted to appropriate them? If the banks, money and all the rest are not abolished, who will guarantee the disappearance of the profit economy? Certainly it is necessary to arm spirits as well, “to purge oneself of introjected values and ideologies, conquer remotion, affirm desire, refuse the alienations that turn us into things, vibrate with passions”, but the subject who is better armed spiritually always ends up worse off against the world of things and officials of things that dominate us with their rhythms, roles, ghettos and will be rejected in everyday life. The community rediscovered for a moment, a day, a month in the struggle is soon dispersed and the subject finds himself alone again, with the usual problems and moreover the anguished sense of what has been lost; the ideology of highs and the molotov alienation are born on the same terrain. Whoever was waiting for the second wave after May was disappointed: the here now never turns up twice.
“Insurrezione” is proposing once again the uninterrupted flow of the critique of everyday life to the practice of its subversion. There is no detectable leap in the middle, no before, no after. The germs of recuperation that can be seen operating in the action of the armed formations, are not equally identified in the ideology of the trip, in the reduction of radical criticism to a cultural exercise. We know that commodity production and ideological production proceed hand in hand. A practical, immediate destruction of goods is possible, because they are an objective fact, objectified labour to be precise. On the contrary, ideology is part of the human material base, a real infiltration into subjectivity, its narcotic. In the face of it only the old Maoist adage “advancing wave upon wave”, seems to work, in the sense that a continuous adaptation of critique to the multiplicity and reproduction of situations in relatively new forms is necessary. We cannot then fail to glimpse the specific attempt of capital to separate the two terms of the problem: on the one hand a critique of arms increasingly projected into the universe of the political indifferent to the human condition, on the other the arm of critique diluted in the cultural exercise that is not only abstract, but worse has the defect of being the monopoly of the new professionals of culture, the passionless cynics. Is it not true then that the machine gun is missing from the guerrilla fighter of daily life? The here now, the forcing that is operative starting from today.
Fictitious autonomy and real autonomy
What is most criticized in the area of autonomy is the inability to grasp one’s everyday life as substantially organic to the capitalist way of life, of which it reproduces the normality of the rhythms, cycles and situations of the ghetto. It is precisely this normality that represents the most serious pitfall for the capacity for resistance and rebellion of individuals, that most delays the effective secession, autonomy achieved as subversion operating in every moment of daily life. What appears to be movement is a circle that is continually closing in on itself, stagnation, weakening the capacity for emotion and revolt. We will not be the ones to discover boredom, frustration, the sense of powerlessness, the coldness of stupidity and the fictitious. An assembly, a meeting are often an offence to intelligence, but one remains due to the false opinion that underneath there is ground to be rediscovered, something to save, that in any case political matches are being played there. It’s false. Everything has already been decided by daily inertia, the tiring duties of militancy, the ideology of accumulation, the commitment to struggle as a guarantee of the revolutionary outlet. The false antinomy between work and leisure is reproduced with the division between the time of militancy and alternative life, but the misery of this alternative is all measured on Saturday night in the piazza, the discontent, the recreation of private life for couples, families and tribes. Autonomy’s ambition to be an alternative to the project of combatant forces is legitimate but dubious: this will perhaps exist in some of its groups and members, for us it is above all a way of being, a swamp of contradictions. More than a political line, it is a phenomenology that it is a matter of fighting, this logic of the Marxist mole that one wants to imagine working away because nothing can be seen around one or at least nothing that one would like to see develop. A logic and a method, that of the assemblage of the most heterogeneous personal dispositions but all generally attested on the other side of a decisive choice of total struggle and a definitive rejection of ideology and politics understood as a context of incessant mediation as an end in itself: acting on the comrades’ psychology, their feelings of guilt, the need to make themselves useful, feeling militants committed to escaping the void of separate liberatory practices (hippyism, individualistic tavern philosophers, “desiring” whims), on being able to consider themselves supporters of the “terrorists” without running the risks and feeling a bit inside history with the alibi of the most advanced discourse.
Only (and excuse our critique-critique of this primacy) real autonomy as an armed project against all the aspects of social life, the constitution of a network of resistance and attack on the vital centres of the system of exploitation and death, living with fullness in the awareness of already being partially outside the tentacles of capital can permit the beginning of this journey of liberation. But also here, at the level of the operating subject as at the social level, it is necessary to cut the bridges with everyday normality, create a situation of non-return, clandestinise oneself. And here we must also dismantle the images of convenience that have been created around the clandestine organizations, it is thought that the work of the guerrilla can only be conducted so as to undergo pressure, instrumentalism of oneself and others. But the motivations pushing many comrades towards armed struggle are the motivations of their own liberation. As the German comrades of the Revolutionary Cells pointed out: “We believe that the total war against the system of domination of man over man encompasses simultaneously and in equal measure the struggle against the capitalist system that is within us. The urban guerrilla, armed in the best and most militarily organized way, is destined to fail if it has not undertaken this total struggle ...”. The guerrilla group that undertakes this total struggle takes on all the characteristics of a common army, an underground society that fights hierarchical divisions, labourers and bosses daily, not only for theoretical but essentially practical reasons: a guerrilla formation resists if it adapts to ***its very definition, an idea to which new heads always grow, to the principle that each of its members is “capable of and wanting to direct it — that each one can come to act alone, that each one is the group — possibility and will that in turn is a collective, not an individual process — the guerrilla is the group, which means that each individual learns in the collective process that is the practice and in general we learn that way, in the clash, since this forces us to learn and change ourselves to achieve this: the guerrilla is the group”.
If “revolution is abandonment of the spectacle that passivizes, which makes one object, it is multiplication of critical subjects able to recognize themselves more and more (and less and less the avant-gardes of the show) the ability to act creatively”. ****“Nothing is better than the guerrilla that lives only if there is a multiplication of critical subjects (and the jails are full of these subjects) and lives despite those who only consume it as a spectacle, victims of the mass media. If violence is a show “that is consumed in the shadow of survival” every village, every city has its stage and its actors; violence is a spectacle for everyone, provided they have the will.
The movement of ’77 and the guerilla
The difficulties in which the movement finds itself after the great wave of ’77 are in some analyses imputed to the guerrilla that would have expropriated mass violence, increasing the consumers of the spectacle of violence, distorting the movement by giving it only political content. First of all, the same movement of ’77 did not come from nothing, it has its own history, which, and it is hard to deny it, the actions of the guerrillas also influenced. If we had limited ourselves to irony, in Rome Lama would have held his rally at the University and what became a historical event, the expulsion of Lama from the University, would just have been a disturbed rally, perhaps intelligently, but still a rally, so a victory for Lama and his acolytes. It is difficult to separate the movement of ’77 from all that has been said and done over these years, especially by the armed groups and the autonomous guerrilla.
Since then the movement has progressively lost the streets; the repressive apparatus, born and developed against the street demonstrations, has come out in full force. This was predictable. The attempt by the autonomia to reconquer the streets at the military level was immediately revealed to be unworkable. After eroding the streets, power closed meeting places, newspapers, radios, began the systematic hunt for autonomy. That was also predictable. The critique critique of Milan (we are referring to the authors of “Insurrezione”) highlights the movement of ’77, rightly, but contradictorily, hides its consequences. One wants the expulsion of Lama, the siege of Bologna, but does not want the repressive consequences. These, if there are any, should be attributed to the guerrilla. A nice inversion! Like the other, that the guerrilla takes away legal space from the movement, it accelerates its criminalization.
We have already said that the exceptional laws were enforced after ’68, against the movement, and at a time when commodities were still a solid vehicle towards consensus. Today, power needs to ideologize, to convey messages concordant and converging towards consensus to people. The dominion of the fictitious can only be totalitarian, just as it takes just one note off key to break the spell in a symphony, at a nice meeting of Tronti on the working class becoming State, one almighty raspberry is enough. The opposite hypothesis can then be made: the movement would have already been routed, its offices, its newspapers, its radios, if the guerrilla had not acted as a lightning rod, drawing all the repressive apparatus on to itself. Power’s aim in this phase is to isolate the guerrilla, eradicate it from the movement and distort its contents and social and cultural roots, and to do this it cannot criminalize the movement because today it would find welcoming it a developing underground society. The movement has the space of the guerrilla, if this collapses, it will swallow it. Imagine General Dalla Chiesa’s men freed of their “institutional” duties. The critique-critique that tends to isolate the guerrilla from the movement is perfectly functional to the plan of repression that uses violence against the guerrilla and uses critique (from Asor Rosa to cynics without passion) to isolate it. Critique-critique, who knows everything, does not know that by isolating the guerrilla, he is also preparing the conditions of his own precipitation into clandestinity, unless capital, in its great ingenuity, as today it cannot recognize its friends and tortures, kills, pursues the terrorists, tomorrow will not be able to recognize critique-critique as its only enemy, and guarantees it chairs and stages.
The critique-critique of Milan is not the only flaw in the panorama of the authentic, there is also critique-critique of Catania who, unlike the first, has decided to occupy “the editorial” area of armed propaganda: we refer to the article that appeared in n. 21 of “Anarchismo” that after having established the generalization of illegal behaviour and the pre-revolutionary character of the current phase, at last wants to say a clear word on what the revolutionary tasks of the anarchists should be. Given the premises one would have expected an answer like this: the anarchists must start to rebel. None of this: anarchists must push the exploited to rebel. In the malevolent interpretation this might mean: it is the same old thing, the Leninists, the Stalinists, the workerists rebelling, why should the anarchists have to limit themselves to pushing others? who will push the anarchists? Won’t they find themselves outside history yet again? In the benevolent interpretation: pushing the exploited to rebel in the only way possible, i.e. by rebelling, not with rivers of ink. Let’s take this interpretation as good and carry on. Unless a return to old forms of individualism (respectable if practised, but questionable) rebelling means organizing oneself if you do not want to expose yourself to massacre and if you want to give a minimum of continuity and light to action. Critique-critique leaps over this trifle with a flight into nothingness: he writes: “Anarchists must understand that the only alternative to the BR is not an anarchist organization (AR or whoever) but generalized armed struggle, pushed to the insurrectional level, a much more significant fact than the highest achievements of the historical organizations”. What does it mean? Nothing, or something worse, shit or thereabouts. On the one hand rivers of ink are consumed, to pay “cautious attention” to the “Stalinist” organizations to highlight the counter-revolutionary potentialities, then it turns out that the problem is not that of organizing the non-Leninist forces but of “generalizing” the struggle. Given that the anarchists have not yet taken a position, is not organizing the non-Leninist forces part of that generalization? Apart from this, what is the point of saying that generalization is an alternative? From what is known most of this “generalization” has been conveyed and promoted by Leninist organizations who rightfully hold the hegemony, or does “Anarchismo” think that all these people who are rebelling are pure fruit of nothingness or of reading the magazine? or do they think, like critique-critique of Milan, that the insurrectional fire will burn all the forces that started the fire to leave free expression to critique-critique? The anarchists who thought seriously about the Russian revolution had far less optimism. Berneri, reflecting on popular insurrectional action, saw more anarchist “effects” than anarchist “intentions”: “I do not think, he wrote, that the function of the anarchists in the revolution should be limited to “suppressing” the obstacles to the manifestation of the will of the masses : I see serious dangers and not a few difficulties in municipal and corporate selfishness. It should be added that the popular initiative does not always maintain its momentum beyond the insurrectionary period, so much so that there is little to fear of ‘letting go’ on the administrative political terrain. Being with the people is easy if it comes to shouting: Viva! Down with! Or if it’s simply a question of fighting. But the time comes when everyone asks: what do we do? We need to give an answer. Not in order to be leaders but so that the crowd does not create them”. Critique-critique should know that it is no longer a question of shouting Long live armed struggle, long live armed joy: armed struggle does its own propaganda, it does not need cultural rackets, nor is it just about fighting any old way, in any group as unfortunately happened for many anarchist militants of the past. Getting organized is more than just taking up arms, giving yourself a more or less clandestine structure and starting to fight. It also means giving an answer to the decisive questions of the revolution.
Makhno never blamed the failure of the anarchist movement in Russia on the Bolshevik repression. Let’s listen to him: “Anarchism had no clear and concrete opinion on the main problems of the social revolution ... On the occupation of the factories it had no clear and precise conception regarding the new production and its structure. Regarding the communist principle ‘from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs’ the anarchists never tried to apply this in reality. They did not know what forms the revolutionary activity of the workers should take and what relationship should exist between the masses and their ideological centre. To shake off the yoke of the authorities is right but we must also know with what means to consolidate and defend the conquests of the revolution. It is precisely these shortcomings that distance the anarchists from the activity of the masses and relegate them to social and historical impotence”.
Towards a revolution without a model
On the walls of Bologna the words: USSR, China, Cuba, Vietnam, appeared with four crosses above them. Models have seen their day and are collapsing one after the other and not only political models, but also models of thinking and predicting political events. After so many ideological acrobatics to bring unexpected events to within their models of intelligibility (and the many fallen) everyone has become more cautious. To the extent that the idea of the model is nothing other than the ideological form of power, there is nothing to do but rejoice in its liquidation, because this means it is possible that a new form of thought will be born. The death of models and thinking up models frees up thought. Models are both instruments and forms of the exercise of power, as the French gauchistes say models are “little bosses” that we have in the brain. “Whenever a human being, a new group contests power and tries to imagine a different life, models see their social base reduced: they resist only because they have not lost their economic base, which is the concentration and pseudo-rationality of the productive forces. The liquidation of models passes through the deepening and acceleration of this conflict, that is, of the ***concentration between what individuals are forced to do and what they could do without being forced”. “ Controinformazione”, as was “predictable”, has gratified us as a singular, utopian phenomenon in the panorama of realism and apodicticity. There are two types of thinking and two types of individual, on the one hand the professionals of politics who think and act according to models and concepts, on the other those who strive to think without models, utopians and sweet poets. We would belong to the second category but we would be a singular phenomenon, relegated to the margins of the polis, as Plato proposed. “Controinformazione” still reasons according to models and, moreover, idealistic ones because it presupposes that ways of thinking can exist independently of the historical and social conditions of their emergence. One should know how to say ***why and where realistic and where utopian thought is formed in society. The realists, as we know, cut a very thin figure in May, they limited themselves to giving voice to the claim of one thousand francs a month; May belonged to the utopians, those who said: what matters is being realistic, demanding the impossible. Not accepting the split between the “real” and the dream without a model, but wiping out the former in the name of the rights of the latter. The change for which the real is opposed is not another real or another model, but a utopia that is taking place before our eyes. What prevents us from seeing it are our intellectual habits. To see it, moreover, we must contribute concretely to doing it.
****A model is something that exists: from whose contemplation the form of a thought or an action is born, but today there are no models. What we are looking for is not a model but a project, an anticipated reality, something that does not exist; it is said that utopian thought is inefficient, but the arguments in terms of efficiency are in essence arguments that have come out of capitalism and which must disappear along with it. It’s a sort of cop in the brain. After all, every topic of this kind comes out after a remotion: would I do or say this or that, but it would be useless, unrealistic, inoperative, so I shut up. The revolutionary project is precisely this initial remotion, it is what capital silences. And as always in such situations, when what has been removed is made explicit, one notices that instead of being an enormity or a scandal or something inconceivable it is quite the contrary, obvious, simple, accessible, achievable.
It has already happened in history that “decadence” and rotting were such that new relations of oppression appeared as liberators only because they proposed something else. But capitalism has made oppression penetrate all areas of existence and this has made it possible for the first time in history to question the global and universal fact of domination, which certainly does not mean that new relations of oppression cannot appear liberators but that the battle between revolution and counterrevolution has a wholly new stance in history, the disappearance of oppression itself. The utopians are asking for the impossible?
Socialism and communism
Communism is the advent of the realm of gratuitousness, the disappearance of money, of exchange value, the end of the mercantile plague that has pervaded every turn of human existence. Abolition of the economy with all its categories: wages, price, profit. “Stasis of economy” the economic operators of the fictitious would say or “alternative management of the economy” but the economy is no longer there, the laws of having are no longer recognized, credits and debits can no longer be collected or paid.
The objections cannot be counted, worse they do not even stand! “Without money what would we do?”. The whole economic universe appears to us as natural as air and water. If capital materializes in the flow of goods, cheques and banknotes, forests of TV antennas, anti-guerrilla helicopters, the megalopolis, it is also representation: by acquiring all the physicality of men, becoming blood and thoughts, it remains and reproduces itself because it is such in the head of each one, because it imposes self-representation mediated by the inorganic forms in which it manifests itself. That this colonization is not total, that indeed the containment is often followed by an inversion of tendency, a dissolution of its power to subjugate consciences is only the sign of resistance opposed by human subjectivity in revolt. As proof of this there is a whole series of acts and behaviours that the revolutionary movement has begun to practice in a widespread manner, looting, self-reduction, house occupations, rent strikes, all aimed at depreciating the function of money, to create a “really different thing” not starting from a pure and simple rejection of the current world, but using, transforming what this world produces, wastes.
Precisely because the dominion of the economist is the dominion of the fictitious and capitalist representation, it is necessary to show all the uselessness of money to the “civilized” sick with the philosophy that “it has always been like this and always will be”. The fascination of money consists of the opportunities it offers, very few indeed for the great majority of proletarianised, the only real opportunity granted is miserable survival, even if the mercantile spectacle encourages the exchange of one’s servitude for the most useless and absurd objects. So communism, which is the unlimited satisfaction of human desires and needs, full realization of the freedom to live according to one’s own pleasure and inclinations, will abolish these mechanisms of constraint.
The communist indication cannot therefore be separated from the immediate visualization of the possible communitarian reorganization, the consequences that it will imply in all fields of social life of the expiry of the communist project along the process of the revolutionary war. They are not few, both among those who practice or theorize armed struggle, and in the universe of autonomia that place communism as the aim of their programme and their choices of life and struggle. But all too often these are partial indications, which do not clarify in depth the necessary overcoming and the distinctive lines of the new world that can already be defined through the motions of the heart, the intelligence of the elementary truths that dominion has permanently veiled preventing us even from thinking that it was possible to change the state of things beyond the recognized limits. The daily experience of the reports, writings and documents of the revolutionary area leave us with the doubt that we are not going beyond the indication of counterpower, of rights but not better specified fulfilment of needs, some elements of the program are all still within the economy as a separate reality or in problematics of alternative management of the mercantile reality. And the doubt becomes atrocious when we hear a perspective of communism mediated by the worst tradition of vulgar Marxism: the “socialist” way of producing, wage equality, generalized assistance, nationalization of the means of production and exchange, State management of the economy, the political dictatorship of a party or, in the sovietistic variables, self-management of the factory by the workers and an executive body with imperative and revocable mandate of the individual councils. Let’s be clear about this, this is socialism, a not unrealizable variable of capitalist development in its earlier phase, a form of productive and social organization partially realized in the current structure of the western capitalist area and ideological support of the Eastern one. Even if we believed that such a society of work, the production of “use values”, depersonalization and regimentation for the construction of a “better tomorrow” could be realized in its entirety, we could only line up “against socialism”. A collective debate on the content of communism, making an effort to visualize the new human community, the landscape that will be transformed in such a radical way that you can hardly imagine it, defining the great lines that will distinguish it, the elements that tend to prefigure it, becomes all the more important.
The revolutionary movement cannot limit itself to extending and perfecting the exercise of arms and critique of the existent to establish itself on the “negative”, but must question itself on the world that can be created starting from needs, desires, dreams, from the violent and liberating pursuit of everything that society denies, but also starting from the possibilities that society lets us perceive, that thought taken entirely from the laws of the existent refuses to see. What is most striking today in fact is the apparent contradiction between the maturity of communism on the material level and poverty of the idea itself. This contradiction that though being apparent is no less harsh or easy to resolve, because such apparence appears to be rooted in the logic of capitalist development, in the perversion of the productive forces, which have produced a real colonization of thought, a mutilation of the capacity to understand and want more from the will than the interests of power and its officials. Marxism distorted in the guise of determinism can no longer represent a real rupture and theoretical alternative to this logic of capital: the idea seems to adhere totally to reality, the conception of the future community that arises from needs and desires no more than from*** the possibilities of their realization that often reduces itself to the enunciation of a slogan.
Certainly the idea of the future communist society implies such destruction of perverted forces, such a total overthrow as to instill dismay and disbelief, more than fear and distrust of those who suggest it superficially. Yet capitalism itself has accustomed us to continuous, inhuman, profound destruction: its wars have destroyed entire cities, immense productive forces, but it has rebuilt them in greater numbers and has increasingly bent them to its dominion. A sign that the level of generalized social knowledge is such as to allow the immense task of eliminating the horrors of capitalist industrialization and commercialization, the total reconstruction of cities and the restoration of nature. Perhaps the need for profit is stronger than the new vital need for liberation?
Guerrilla and/or insurrection
From the beginning the armed struggle in which we recognize ourselves has not presented the characteristics attributed to it from a certain theoretical side. It is instead a social war, the opening up and development of a clash between the forces of a communist movement that has manifested itself in Italy since ’68 / ’69 and the new dominion that capital is preparing, a confrontation necessarily conducted in the forms of guerrilla; this, taking root in the “movement”, will find forces and motives that do not distort it in the separate dimension of the political and do not transform it into a mere counterposition of an apparatus for the conquest of power. After all, the margins of this possibility are shrinking more and more; if someone has decided to involve sections of the labour movement and the PCI through the destabilization of the political system, starting a civil war process with obvious and very undesirable international alliances, he had to change his mind for two reasons, first because the PCI is essentially “Berlinguerian”, second because the international alliances are no longer there, China is really close! Ideology, as we know, is slower than practice but sooner or later “revisions” will not be lacking.
It is therefore appropriate to ask oneself who determines the timing of the precipitation of the crisis. Only when the social war has spread its full potential and all the ideologies of the transition to socialism have fallen under the hammer of criticism, only then will the phrase “bring the attack to the heart of the State” finally acquire its full meaning.
We cannot predict what the winning outlet could be. A classic insurrection? Some are theorizing this and this certainly cannot scare libertarian communists. Of course, it will be an “insurgency” which, precisely because it has begun to manifest itself, must be encouraged with continuity of initiative that the legal or semi-legal struggle no longer allows, it must be brought alive, a project of incessant shaking up of daily normality determined in conditions adapt at participation, what is unacceptable is the counterposition between the guerrilla and insurrection, the idea for example that the former can negatively affect the second. We also think that precisely in the unlikely hypothesis of a sudden insurrectionary participation or of a “great stoppage” like the French May, the absence of militarily and theoretically prepared active groups may be fatal to the event leading to defeat or self-extinction. Detroit, Paris, Gdansk, Bologna! spell out the authors of “Insurrezione”. Let’s leave aside the analysis that would highlight the diversity of situations or their importance, we would rather not hear this singsong logic any more: “and the years pass, the children grow up, the mothers whiten*** ...” on the other hand it is historically demonstrable that The action of armed and / or illegal groups favoured both the revolutionary outlet and victory in the final squeeze.
Striking the heart of dominion: banks and State
The forces of total subversion will then have to fully hit the heart of the State, before it can rise again in another guise. “The more our action is resolute and rapid, the less blood will flow”. So first, then, the more determination and absence of democratic scruples, the vital elements of social organization will be eradicated, the less the problem of an authority that regulates, directs and arbitrarily reorganizes itself. The resolute action of the revolutionaries, their initiative also unilateral is the only one that can allow the self-organization of wider layers of proletarians and then of the population as a whole. “ The defection of some of those who would be initially hostile, into the camp of universal selfmanagement is the touchstone which will enable us to reckon the success of the first measures we adopt and of their advantages to all….Nevertheless, one must take into account those conditioned by hierarchy whom the habits of slavery and self-disgust, deep-rooted suppression and the taste for sacrifice push to their own destruction and to that of all the advances in the realm of actual freedom. It is for that reason that it is a good idea if, from the outset of the insurrection, internal enemies (trade union chiefs, party men, workerists, scabs) and external enemies (bosses, managers, cops, soldiers) can be neutralised.”
“The revolution of everyday life will blot out ideas of justice, punishment and torture, which are notions dependent on exchange and fragmentation. We don’t want to be judges, but, by destroying slavery, masters without slaves recovering a new innocence and gracefulness in living. We have to destroy the enemy, not judge him. Whenever Durruti’s column freed a village, they would assemble the peasants, ask which were the Fascists and shoot them on the spot. The next revolution will do the same. With perfect composure. We know there’ll be no-one to judge us, nor will there ever be judges again, because we will have gobbled them up.”
La rivoluzione, all’inizio, avrà comunque bisogno di molti ostaggi per neutralizzare soprattutto le rappresaglie esterne. Le strutture centrali dello Stato saranno fatte saltare immediatamente decapitando il corpo della repressione-amministrazione e impedendo così non solo una possibile riorganizzazione della controrivoluzione ma anche le tentazioni autoritarie. “) Provision should be made for the destruction of buildings and hostages in the event of a threat of repression. Whatever cannot be readapted for the advantage of all may be destroyed: in the event of our succeeding, we can always rebuild—in the event of our being defeated we shall hasten the ruination of the commodity system.”. ) From the very outset our endeavour must be to prevent any backsliding, and to burn behind us the bridges of the old world, by helping to eliminate banks, prisons, asylums, courts, police stations, administrative buildings, barracks, churches and oppressive symbols. Not forgetting dossiers, files, identity papers, hire purchase agreements and payments records, tax forms, financiers’ paper-mills and the like.”
Ratgeb (Vaneigem) puts at the base of his project general self-management by the assemblies of the revolutionary workers who will occupy the factories during a general wild strike destined to spread over the entire capitalized territory and transform itself into insurrection. This is not a pure re-edition of the old council projects because Ratgeb does not entrust decision-making to the self-organized class but to subjectively revolutionary workers and does not theorize the self-management of mercantile production. He means by general self-management the radical reorganization in the anti-commercial and libertarian sense of society. It is clear at this point what divides us from him: first of all, his is an all-French view that does not consider the specificity of the clash in act in Italy; secondly, he is completely extraneous to those analyzes which, even from different angles, have repudiated the factory as a pole of aggregation of social insubordination and a place of organization of the forces of revolt; thirdly, he refuses to such an extent the idea of worker integration in the logic of capital and that of the perversion of the productive forces to attribute to the factory producer the role of historical revolutionary subject and to re-establish the myth of the general strike May’s experience revealed in its inadequacy. Much is however what unites us to Ratgeb and to all those who try to see in order to change. The minimum condition is the acceptance of the war, the basic discriminant the verification of its communist content.
“La fine della merce significa la nascita del dono in tutte le sue forme. Le assemblee di autogestione generalizzata organizzeranno dunque la produzione e la distribuzione dei beni prioritari. Esse registreranno le offerte di creazione e di produzione da un lato, le domande individuali dall’altro. Dai prospetti aggiornati ciascuno potrà prendere conoscenza degli stock disponibili, del numero e della ripartizione delle richieste, della localizzazione e del movimento delle forze produttive... Le fabbriche saranno riconvertite e automatizzate o, nel caso dei settori parassitari, distrutte. Un poco dovunque officine di libera creazione saranno messe a disposizione di tutti i talenti... Le costruzioni inutili (uffici, scuole, caserme, chiese... ) saranno, su decisione delle assemblee di autogestione generalizzata, distrutte o preferibilmente trasformate in grandi collettivi, depositi, alloggi di passaggio, labirinti e terreni di gioco... Trasformare i supermercati e i grandi magazzini in centri di distribuzione
Therefore, abolition of the economy, in Ratgeb’s project, destruction of the banks and gold reserves. Immediate destruction of the power that is based on money and gold, we must expect a very violent reaction of the middle class which has put all this power in the safes and strongboxes of the banks, the proletarians on the contrary can only look favourably at this measure, in the bank they usually go there to pay bills to the middle class. If the revolution resists this violent reaction, it will have passed the first barrier. On the other hand, let’s ask ourselves: what alternative is there? Alternatively there is only the control of the banks and the whole economic apparatus to “guarantee the final victory of the revolution”. But we know that this defines the birth of a State, the beginning of the compromise, a dynamic that starts from the taking of the Winter palace and arrives at the prestige games of the Nep, the commercial treaties with the “capitalist” States and all the rest. The revolution will bring about such a devaluation of the currency that its possession will mean very little, different is the situation for the prized currencies and the gold with which the possessing classes abundantly adorn themselves, it will be a question of raking it and destroying it or preferably keeping it from somewhere in such a way that it can be quickly destroyed in the case of defeat. Its custody could prove useful for opening up some breach in the international front of the counter-revolution, the glitter of gold works wonders in the eyes of reactionaries.
Italy is largely dependent on the international economy in some basic sectors, the food sector above all, that is decisive in the revolutionary process. In order to guarantee the victory of the insurrection, control of the agricultural sources of supply is fundamental: in the whole central-northern area the political social organization of the agricultural producers (from farms to small owners) is functional to the existing system and is interested in its maintenance. The production-distribution integration of the agricultural cooperatives, especially those in Emilia (freed from the grip, not only ideological, of the PCists) can favour the revolution if it does not abandon itself to boomerang acts. As Ratgeb rightly notes: “Senza la coscienza dell’autogestione generalizzata, il saccheggio nel migliore dei casi è una forma incoerente di distribuzione. È un atto separato delle condizioni rivoluzionarie in cui la collettività, che crea i beni, li distribuisce direttamente ai suoi membri. Per altro, rischia, causando carestia e mancanza di prodotti utili, di ingenerare confusione negli spiriti e provocare un ritorno ai meccanismi della distribuzione mercantile”.
However, we must expect a not very favourable reaction of the average owners who will have to be replaced at the head of their farms but it will probably not be possible to survive without a great migratory movement towards the countryside, which coincides with the process, also essential, of re-humanization-communistisation of the territory. This movement, already existing today especially among the young people and variously hindered, will find some structures already ready, using what the middle class have built on the liquidation of the countryside, in particular “second” houses empty for almost the whole year, in addition to the older structures, largely abandoned but still habitable. A good part of the campaign can then be revived in a short time by a movement that, being largely of urban origin, will be in serious difficulty if it has not already acquired the basic notions of agricultural technique and transformation, notions that, however, together with those of alternative nutrition, are spreading. All that, in its partiality is today recovered and controlled, will reveal tomorrow its possibilities of liberation, even at the alimentary level.
Once this first barrier has been overcome, others will immediately replace it. Concentrated ass production, requires enormous amounts of energy. It is true that capitalism itself is tending to deconcentrate and build medium-sized units, it is true that many socially harmful productions will cease, it is true that energy waste, especially the motorway, will cease, but the productive structures that will need to be converted and automated, even medium and distributed throughout the territory, and therefore in the possibility of using all the energy resources of the territory, will in any case always need an enormous amount of energy. The revolutionary movement is opposed, and rightly so, to nuclear projects to avoid the definitive contamination of the biosphere and its complete militarization as the fulfilment of the rationally and monstrously totalitarian project of capital. A maggior ragione, nuclear energy is inconceivable in communism. Italy has become the dustbin of Europe, a huge amount of oil is transformed into finished products, at the beginning the revolution can use these enormous reserves, but it will certainly be facilitated if it will inherit structures that exploit other forms of energy clean, the wind, the sun, as clean as it is intrinsically communist and of which we fortunately abound, which will eventually lead to a regulation on the whole territory of the water regime, devastated by capitalism with the known consequences of water scarcity and floods at will .
Once this barrier has also been overcome, another one immediately arrives: our industry is largely a transformation industry, but what will we be able to transform if raw materials are lacking? Here we really need to fund dare fondo a all our resources, reactivating a whole series of mining activities that capitalism has abandoned because they are “uneconomical”, that is, unproductive profit, especially in Sardinia, Tuscany, Valle d’Aosta, not to mention the South, stripped of armsdi braccia but not yet of the treasures of the subsoil. By reactivating the extractive industry, eliminating huge waste and using the dismantled production facilities to the bone, both as materials and as means of production, we would also have a good autonomy here that would allow us to resist.
“Il lavoro forzato – scrive Ratgeb – produce soltanto merci. Ogni merce è inseparabile dalla menzogna che la rappresenta. Il lavoro forzato produce dunque menzogna, esso produce un mondo di rappresentazioni menzognere, un mondo capovolto in cui l’immagine tiene il posto della realtà. In questo sistema spettacolare e mercantile, il lavoro forzato produce su se stesso due importanti menzogne:
“– primo, che il lavoro è utile e necessario, e che è interesse di tutti di lavorare;
“– secondo, far credere che i lavoratori sono incapaci di emanciparsi dal lavoro e dal salario”.
Communism is finally the abolition of work. But this will not be possible at the beginning of the revolution other than partially. The obstacles that capitalism faces in the automation of entire production processes are not of a technical or economic nature, they are rather of a social nature: it should free masses of workers and, in order not to be overwhelmed by their protest, should assist them in such a way that would spread such disaffection to work throughout the social fabric that could be lethal to him; how many still forced to work in semiautomatic production would all ask to be assisted, an unsustainable situation would be created. Capitalism practices the abolition of labour only as a controlled increase in unemployment. The enormous capital accumulated in mass production, in the face of this block, has continued to wander and penetrate all the interstices of the social and private sectors to make a profit. If the revolution breaks at a point this spiral it could turn this huge mass of means, materials and men today invested in the domain of social and private to the social liberation of work (which is quite another thing to the automation of the production of goods). It is a perfectly immanent possibility for the ongoing technological processes. Of course, at the beginning, only some processes can be automated, others will have to be reconverted and deconcentrated. Deconcentration, as well as allowing the use of local energy forms, etc., as well as encouraging automation, allows a drastic reduction in working hours and a collective involvement in it. Thinking, for example, of drastically reducing working hours in a highly concentrated company is unimaginable; let’s say that two hours of work shifts are carried out and everyone must be involved in the production to prevent the “pleasures” of this activity always falling on the shoulders of a part. Thinking of a change every two hours is absolutely ridiculous, the dislocation of masses of people every two hours would cause a paralysis in the factory while the city would fall into total chaos and the means of transportation of these people would soon become a general damnation. All that is inconceivable at the level of great urban concentration becomes perfectly possible at the level of medium-small concentrations on the territory. People live near production and the two-hour shift is perfectly conceivable. The collective involvement will be the decisive spring in the automation of these units because the whole community will want to free itself from the slavery of work, not just one part.
The disappearance of the mercantile economy will bring with it the abolition of all those fictitious activities that are today a large part of the “new” occupation, the so-called tertiary, and will return millions of individuals to idleness and sensitive activity (whose need returns not by chance in the diffusion in the “tertiary” of the most disparate hobbies). In this light the contradictions of a classical self-management perspective are clearly shown, namely the contrast between the unbearable fictitious that permeates the tasks related to the increasingly integrated sphere of production and circulation of capital and the idea that these accountants, these manovali difigures, forced to a repetitiveness of senseless gestures, no less alienating than assembly line work riscontro nell’ambito familiare, or their daily feedback in the family, can be limited to “occupying” these places as if there was something to save in them, to be reconverted, to be managed “autonomously”. If the May had the merit of breaking the myth of the blue coveralls with the extension of the movement of the occupations to the “tertiary” workers, it also demonstrated that the unification of the occupied proletariat had established itself on a line of common will to participate and of power within the enterprise, insufficient to question work and its content.
Modern metropolises are the expression of a hyper-development, capital in its urban concentration; agglomeration of skyscrapers (headquarters of business centres, banks, insurance, etc.) of supermarkets, luxury shops, trendy meeting places, can well be considered centres of mercantile consumption, not only by virtue of the transformations that have taken place in the modalities of domination, but above all for how these citadels impose with their progressive extension the seal of an ostentatious and irreversible power, of a malevolent magnetism that conveys in different times and with different functions a socially diversified mass but united in a forced presence that is passive consensus (the active one unfortunately does not lack but is less total and mined with contradictions), inertial confluence in a “forum” where the ghosts of the community of capital touch with dismay without being able to know each other or be able to meet o fingono di incontrarsi in a collective recital whose only mediation is the commodity. The grandeur (if we want the “height”) of these megaedifici is not only a function of greater exploitation, higher profits. It is a threatening message, a constant invitation to surrender that the daily experience of permanence and passage in these centres of command of capital allows you to listen in all its terroristic resonance: “I am your God, you will have no other god other than me”.
But it is the city as a whole that directly recites, in the conformation assumed starting from the bourgeois assumption of the management of its development, the verb of submission, of dehumanization. Cities are therefore to be destroyed radically, not as a possibility of socialization of human relations, but as a total denial of this possibility. And that capital has long since destroyed the countryside, both in terms of the dissolution of the peasant communities and as erosion and contamination of a properly natural area, is a truth acquired for some time.
Communism will therefore be re-humanisation of the territory, its remodelling on the needs and desires of the realized human community, not the simple integration of irreversibly colonized entities. There will no longer be a city or countryside but a widespread distribution on the territory whose la cui scansione scansion in urban areas or freer areas will be determined by the free choices of the community and individuals.
Communism will turn the present reality of the capitalized territory like a glove. In the immediate future it will proceed with generalized expropriation. The insurrectional manifestos prepared by Babeuf during the conspiracy of equals were of a “frightful practicality”: “Il Direttorio insurrezionale, considerando che il popolo venne sempre lusingato con vane promesse e che è tempo di provvedere alla sua felicità, decreta quanto segue: Art. 1. Ad insurrezione finita, i cittadini poveri che sono attualmente male alloggiati non rientreranno nelle loro case, ma saranno immediatamente installati in quelle dei pubblici nemici. Art. 2. Si prenderanno nelle case dei ricchi tutti i mobili necessari per arredare convenientemente le dimore dei sansculottes”.
The choice will be free but you will have to put seals at the doors of the non assegnati unlicensed “popular” apartments and the population of “popular” homes will be invited to move. Institutions such as the IACP will be erased as a shame from the past like the very concept of a popular home. The business centre will be razed to the ground immediately. When most of the inhabitants have abandoned the casoni of the ghettos, their destruction will be begun. The provisional nature of the same occupation-reappropriation movement must be clear from the first moment. The logic of the “neighbourhood” and particularly of the workers’ district must be fought tirelessly. It configures a reactionary and mystified view of the movement space of the revolutionary struggle and sanctions the perpetuation of the current territorial structure.
Capitalist architecture does the work of urbanism in further breaking down the community so that it is hard to believe that behind the thousands of windows, of doors, the miles of walls live little more than ghosts. The architecture (and this characteristic is accentuated with the intensification of the class war) makes visible the separateness, the shattering of the community into many separate existences, without the possibility of meeting other than the great blackmail of the social contract, the gymnasium of the rooms ambienti, associations, classes, classes, school falansteri phalansies, factory, office.
Communism will open these doors, open the windows, tear down the dividing walls. The house as a nest of the autonomy of passions, the plurality of talents or of the emotional dispositions. The house big and luminous as the house of the gods that Marx claimed for the proletarians and against the “proletariat”, never followed on this path of freedom. — “And what kind of life will you establish? — The same for everyone, I will make the city one house, knocking down all the partitions so that one can move freely from one to the other “. (Aristophanes).
At besieged Munster, the doors of the houses were open night and day, by imposition the writers of history write and there is no evidence to state the contrary, since the history of communist attempts was almost always written by its enemies and that in the case specific the extermination was almost total. So it has already happened that the asserters of the abolition of “mine” and “yours”, the subjects of the new-found community, the proletarians who were looking for a new life and not better working conditions or pieces of ownership in the social order, made a city into one house. In almost all cases of proletarian or peasant communities, not yet bent by capital, the house of one was the home of all (and the signs are still read in the permanence of certain traditions). The communists will present this simple libertarian truth without slaves to lean on, without religious or secular ideologies with which to mutilate it.
Communism is reconquering time to a human dimension.
Time is now the time of capital: “time is everything, man is nothing, it is only a carcass of time”. (K. Marx). The “large” motorway and railway buildings, i.e. the shortening of travel times, depend on the value production cycle. It is no coincidence that the myth of speed and dynamism, together with the glorification of mechanism, expresses a need for a reduction in the turnover time of capital. Capital deflates and inflates like an accordion the circulatory flows in its metropolis according to its rhythms; urban traffic, for example, is not a problem of the life of the cities but a realization of capital, which manages to make appear what is one of the most obvious and monstrous manifestations of its existence as a normal thing, a problem of municipalities.
“Non c’è che il presente che possa essere totale. Un punto di una densità incredibile. Bisogna imparare a rallentare il tempo, a vivere la passione permanente dell’esperienza immediata. Un campione di tennis ha raccontato che nel corso di una gara aspramente combattuta ricevette una palla molto difficile da prendere. All’improvviso egli la vide avvicinarsi al rallentatore, così lentamente che egli ebbe il tempo di giudicare la situazione, di prendere una decisione e di effettuare un colpo da grande maestro. Nello spazio della situazione il tempo si dilata. Nell’autenticità il tempo si accelera. A chi possiederà la poetica del presente capiterà l’avventura del Piccolo Cinese innamorato della Regina dei Mari. Egli partì alla ricerca di lei verso il fondo degli oceani. Quando tornò a terra, un uomo vecchissimo che tagliava le rose gli disse: ‘Mio nonno mi parlò di un ragazzino scomparso in mare che aveva precisamente il vostro stesso nome’”. (Vaneigem, Trattato).
Everyone suffers daily the absurd contradictions imposed by the dictatorship of the stopwatch: a hitch, a delay raises anger and protests, is a stretch of rope that must be added to the punishment of the mind and body imposed by this invisible judge. The rhythms of dead time (appointments, commitments, deadlines, etc.) are such as to exacerbate exasperation. Trains, urban and suburban transport, nothing must stop the anxiety of not arriving in time. But what would being late matter to me if the whole complex of social existence did not require me not to give it to me? If everything is free, if you can be lazy, if you can go slowly, if nothing cries “faster”, those glimpses of life that escapes, that lost knowledge will become a real opportunity for relationships to be enriched. The alarm clocks no longer ring, there is nothing that crucifies the freedom to set one’s own time. In communism, time will all be available for this reconquest of time.
“Il sistema mercantile impone le sue rappresentazioni, le sue immagini, il suo senso, il suo linguaggio ogni volta che si lavora per esso, cioè la maggior parte del tempo. Questo insieme di idee, di immagini, di identificazioni, di condotte determinate dalla necessità di accumulazione e di rinnovamento della merce forma lo Spettacolo, in cui ciascuno gioca ciò che non vive realmente e vive falsamente ciò che non è. È per questo che il ruolo è una menzogna vivente e la sopravvivenza un malessere senza fine... I giornali, la radio, la televisione sono i veicoli più grossolani della menzogna. Le immagini che ci dominano sono il trionfo di ciò che non siamo e di ciò che ci scaccia da noi stessi...”. Il comunismo, essendo la realizzazione dei sogni e dei desideri, non saprà che farsene dell’industria dei sogni e dei desideri, così come realizzando il significato finora compiuto dall’espressione artistica renderà priva di significato la riproposizione della stessa, ma chi intenderà realizzare in questo modo le sue fantasie potrà disporre di tutto l’equipaggiamento necessario: “Ciascuno ha il diritto di fare conoscere le proprie critiche, le proprie rivendicazioni, le proprie opinioni, creazioni, desideri, analisi, fantasie, problemi... allo scopo che la più grande varietà possa determinare le migliori possibilità di scontro, di accordi, di armonizzazione. Le tipografie, litografie, telex, radio, televisioni passeranno nelle mani delle assemblee e saranno messe, a questo scopo, a disposizione di ogni individuo... Nessuno si batterà senza riserve se non apprenderà dapprima a vivere senza tempi morti”.
Communism is the abolition of all kinds of jails: prisons, mental hospitals, orphanages, convents, hospices, and every institution capable of judging and condemning: there must be neither tribunals nor “red” prisons; rejection of the concept of re-education itself, of an obvious pedagogical derivation linked to the vision of civil society.
During the civil war there may be necessities that can entail particular forms of compulsion such as the temporary concentration of prisoners and hostages, and a more drastic alternative will be provided: elimination of the infamous of the repression and the most dangerous and ignoble representatives of the counterrevolution in the political, economic and institutional field and immediate disarmament and dispersion of the middle classes, of simple soldiers, sending them to their places of origin. What sense would the maintenance of only one prison as a self-defence means have? And even when this sense was recognized, it would not be less ignoble than ancient shame. Every existing prison will be razed to the ground, both its symbolic status and its memory of a place of oppression, and it is almost always its architectural form volta all’orrore that turns to the horror of punishment and imprisonment does not even allow us to think of a different use. The same will be true for police headquarters, courts, prefectures and in most cases for administrative buildings. In communism there are no kindergartens, nor schools nor universities, because the continuous creation of one’s own conditions of existence accompanies the learning of a non-separate and constantly changing reality. Communism does not pose the problem of the education of children because the conduction along the road of generations is a path of inhuman perversion of which we will lose the traces.
The priests will do well to eclipse themselves as soon as possible: their reappearance would lead to “deplorable” excesses that no historiographer could record. Therefore, let the Catholic centres and parishes stay away, evacuated or burnt according to places or situations. San Pietro or the Duomo of Milan could make a great cascatone cascade. With regard to hospitals, communism tends to health through the suppression of medicine. It is clear that in the immediate future it will be necessary to strengthen the means to heal the guasti failures produced by capital. Despite its evolutionism and its positivism the indications of Jean Grave still have their validity: “The doctors have noticed that, during the tumultuous periods, the diseases had much less effect among the agitated peoples: and this is true because the struggle, movement, enthusiasm develop the vital forces of the individual and make him less vulnerable to the blows of disease. The long revolutionary period that humanity will have to go through, exalting in the individual all the passions that give it vitality, contributes in large part to eliminating those morbid germs that drag humanity towards decadence. The future society, by bringing man back to his natural conditions of existence, will emancipate it from the diseases and will lead it back to the path of progress “.
Utopia e realtà
It is difficult to deny that the communist project, here sketched out in some essential lines, does not already live today in the movement underway. We have pruned so many peculiarities above all because most of the problems that will be put into practice can not be resolved other by reawakened creativity: anticipating today the solutions, even if only by imagination, would completely contradict the assumption that lies at the bottom of the project itself. , an act of trust in general creativity, whose awakening is the aim and at the same time the condition of revolution.
The project lives in the men who have burned old world vessels behind them, in assaults on banks, prisons, courts, barracks, commissariats, churches, merchandise, in the capture and liquidation of hostages, spies, the infamous. The struggle against the State, its central structures of repression, control and administration of men will warn the revolution of the immense dangers of its survival and will push tomorrow to the rapid decapitation of this monstrous apparatus both to prevent a possible reorganization of the counterrevolution and to prevent any authoritarian temptation . The struggle against democracy will feel the revolution of its immense capacity for “recovery”, it will warn it that even before, with more determination and the absence of democratic scruples, the vital elements of the social organization will be eradicated, much less the problem will arise of an authority that regulates, directs, arbitrarily reorganizes. The resolute action of the revolutionaries, their unilateral initiative is the only one that can allow the self-organization of wider strata of proletarians and then of the population as a whole. Of course we must deal with the conditions of hierarchy that the habits of slavery, the contempt of oneself and the anchorage to inhibition, the taste of sacrifice lead to its destruction and destruction of all the progress of concrete freedom. That is why it is and will be useful from the beginning to neutralize the enemies of the interior and the enemies of the outside. The struggle against merchandise will finally free the revolution from the transition, from the anchorage to the laws of its reproduction.
The more the negation is and will be radical, the stronger the internal and international reaction, we will touch the world unity of the capitalist mode of production. The barriers that were mentioned to be overcome require time and the revolution, at any point on the capital planet, unless you moderate your radicalism, will have to face at best an economic boycott that could make many regret the good times of the dominion of merchandise. Capital leaves us in eredità the unilateralized world of the division of labour, the revolution will have to immediately spread to the indispensable area of its survival and development, and this implies a line of unequal development of the class war. The guerrilla must accelerate the times of its internationalization if it does not want to succumb to the “laws” of uneven development.
The new European State will accentuate that unilateralization and at the same time the repression of the rebellious “provinces”, they must break the isolation by propagating the guerrilla so that the times of the European State are also the times of its subversion.
Abolition of the economy
Ratgeb (Vaneigem) bases its project on the general self-management by the assemblies of the revolutionary workers who will occupy the factories during a general wild strike destined to spread to the entire capitalized territory and become insurrection. This is not a pure re-edition of the old council consiliari projects because Ratgeb does not entrust decision-making to the self-organized class but to the subjectively revolutionary workers and does not theorize the self-management of mercantile production. He means by general self-management the radical reorganization of society in the anti-commercial and libertarian sense. It is clear at this point what divides us from him: first of all his is an all-French optic that does not consider the specificity of the ongoing conflict in Italy characterized by a creeping civil war and a very high level of State repression that imposes a different strategy on the revolutionary movement: secondly he is completely extraneous to those analyses which, even from different angles, have repudiated the factory as a pole of aggregation of social insubordination and a place of organization of the forces of revolt; thirdly, he refuses to such an extent the idea of worker integration in the logic of capital and that of the perversion of the productive forces to attribute to the factory producer the role of historical revolutionary subject and to re-establish the myth of the general strike the May experience revealed in its inadequacy. There is much however that unites us to Ratgeb and to all those who try to see in order to change. The minimum condition is the acceptance of the war, la discriminante di fondo the verification of its communist content.
The end of commodity will usher in the era of GIFT in every form. Thus the assemblies for generalised self-management will see to the organisation of production and to the distribution of priority goods. They will keep tally of offers to create and produce on the one hand and of the requirements of individuals on the other. Records kept scrupulously up to date will enable every person to have an insight into available stocks, the number and allocation of orders and the whereabouts and movements of the productive forces. … Factories will be reconverted and automated, or, in the case of parasitic sectors, destroyed. Almost, everywhere, small workshops for free creative labour will be at the disposal of everyone who wants to use them…Parasitic buildings (offices, schools, barracks, churches...) will, on the decision of the selfmanaging assemblies, generally be destroyed or, should they prefer, turned into collective granaries or warehouses or temporary dwellings or playgrounds... Supermarkets and department stores will be turned into outlets for free distribution and a study will be made in each area into the convenience of stepping up the number of small distribution outlets.
Therefore abolition of the economy, in Ratgeb’s project, the destruction of the banks and gold reserves. Immediate destruction of the power that is based on money and gold, we must expect a violent reaction of the middle class who has put all this power in the safes and safes of the banks, the proletarians on the contrary can only look favourably these measures, they usually go to the banks to pay bills to the middle class. If the revolution resists this violent reaction, it will have overcome the first barrier. On the other hand, let’s ask ourselves: what alternative exists? Alternatively there is only the control of the banks and the whole economic apparatus to “guarantee the final victory of the revolution”. But we know that this defines the birth of a State, the beginning of the compromise, a dynamic that starts from the taking of the Winter Palace and reaches the prestigious games of the Nep, the commercial treaties with the “capitalist” States and everything else. On the other hand, the revolution will bring with it such a devaluation of the currency that its possession will mean very little ben poco al pari della sua distruzione like its destruction, different is the situation for the gold reserve and precious currency, why destroy these? They do not suffer the same devaluation and constitute a point of strength of a revolution that does not have, say, European dimensions. Certainly it must be kept so that it can be quickly destroyed in case of defeat. Our economy is very dependent on others in some basic sectors, the food sector above all that in the revolutionary process is decisive. In order to guarantee the victory of the insurrection, the control of agricultural sources of supply is fundamental: in the whole central-northern area the social political organization of agricultural producers (from farms to small owners) is functional to the existing system and interested in its maintenance. The production-distribution integration of agricultural cooperatives can favour the revolution if it does not abandon itself to boomerang acts, Ratgeb rightly notes: In the absence of an appreciation of universal selfmanagement, pilfering is, at best, an incoherent method of distribution. It constitutes an act divorced from revolutionary conditions in which the group that creates the goods distributes them directly to its members. Thus there is the risk that, by fostering shortages and scarcity of useful products, it may sow confusion in people’s minds and bring about a reversion to the mechanics of commodity distribution.
However, we would have to wait for a not very favourable reaction of the middle owners who will have to be replaced at the head of their farms but it will not probably be possible to survive without a great migratory movement towards the countryside, which coincides with the process, also essential, of re-humanization-communization of the territory. This movement, already existing today especially among young people and variously impeded, will find some structures already ready, using what the middle class has built on the liquidation of the countryside, we are refer to the “second houses” empty for almost the whole year, in addition to older structures, mostly abandoned but still habitable. A good part of the countryside will therefore be re-inhabited within a short time and could be revived by a movement that, being largely citizens, will be in serious difficulty if they have not acquired the basic notions of agricultural technique and transformation. Notions that together with those of alternative nutrition are spreading moreover.
In the probable case that this migratory movement does not unfold at the necessary pace, a gold reserve, provided that some countries are willing to not hinder the revolution, could be of great use in the first phase, especially to ensure that famine does not kill the revolution.
But once this first barrier has been overcome, others will immediately replace it. Mass production, concentrated, requires enormous amounts of energy. It is true that capitalism itself is tending to deconcentrate and constitute medium-sized units, it is true that much socially harmful production will cease, it is true that the motorway waste of energy will cease, but the productive structures that will need to be converted or automated, even if medium and distributed throughout the territory, and therefore in the possibility of using all the energy resources of the territory, will in any case always need an enormous amount of energy. If the revolution will not be cut short by the famine, it could quickly be damaged by the lack of energy. The revolutionary movement is rightly opposed to nuclear projects to avoid the definitive contamination of the biosphere and its complete militarization as the fulfilment of the rationally and monstrously totalitarian project of capital. A fortiori, nuclear energy is inconceivable in communism. Italy has become the dustbin of Europe, an enormous amount of oil is transformed into finished products, at the beginning the revolution can use these enormous reserves, if it has good relations with some Arab countries that are relatively independent of American imperialism or Soviet it can also be supplied for a certain period, is certain but if it does not inherit structures that exploit other forms of clean energy, it must immediately turn towards their creation, especially the wind and the sun, as clean as inherently communist and of which fortunately we abound, as well of course as hydroelectric power, of which we also abound, which will eventually lead to a regulation of the whole territory of the water regime, devastated by capitalism with the known consequences of water scarcity accompanied by its opposite, floods at will.
Even if this barrier is overcome, another one is immediately placed, our industry is largely a transformation industry, but what will we transform if we are to lose our raw materials? Here it will be necessary to dare davvero fondo really fund all our resources; for iron minerals we depend on the third world, we must maintain good relations with these countries if we do not want to stop our production shortly, unless we reactivate a whole series of mining activities that capitalism has abandoned not because unproductive but only unproductive of profit, especially in Sardinia, Tuscany, Valle D’Aosta, not to mention the whole South of which capitalism has stripped only the arms but hides treasures in its subsoil. By reactivating this part of the mining industry and eliminating the enormous waste and using the dismantled production facilities to the bone, both as materials and as means of production, we will also here have good autonomy here that would allow us to resist.
Obligatory work produces only commodities. Every commodity is inseparable from the lie which it stands for. So, obligatory work churns out lies, produces a world of lying representations, a topsy-turvy world where the image takes the place of reality. In this spectacular, commodity system, obligatory work produces two important lies concerning itself:
— the first lie is that work is useful and necessary and that it is in everyone’s interest to do so;
— the second lie is the make believe story that workers are incapable of shrugging off wage slavery and work, and that they cannot build a radically new society, one based on attractive, collective creativity and universal selfmanagement. (Ratgeb)
Communism is finally the abolition of work. But this will only be partially possible at the beginning of the revolution. The obstacles that capitalism already faces in the automation of entire production processes are not of a technical or economic nature, but rather of a social nature, should free up masses of workers and, in order not to be overwhelmed by their protest, should assist them but in this way it would spread such disaffection to work throughout the social fabric that could be lethal to it, in addition to the fact that those still forced to work in semiautomatic production would all ask to be assisted; in short, an unsustainable situation would be created. Capitalism practices the abolition of labour only as a controlled increase in unemployment; the enormous capital accumulated in mass production rather than being invested in the abolition of labour wander in search of the most absurd investments, penetrate all the interstices of the social and the private in order to make a profit. If this domain is broken at a point these useless productions disappear, besides freeing the social from the grip of death, of the inorganic forms, we can divert all this enormous mass of means, materials and work from the dominion that they exercise on the social and turn them to the social liberation from work. This is a perfectly immanent possibility in the ongoing processes; certainly at the beginning only some processes will be automated, for others it will be necessary to proceed with a reconversion of the production process; its deconcentration allows a series of advantages, as well as allowing the use of clean, local energy forms, it allows a drastic reduction of working hours and a collective involvement in it. Thinking, for example, of drastically reducing working hours in a large-scale company it is unimaginable, say, for example, that you work two-hour shifts and everyone should be involved in mass production to prevent the “pleasures” of this production always falling on the shoulders of a part, thinking of a change every two hours is absolutely ridiculous, the dislocation of masses of people every two hours would cause a paralysis in the factory while the city would fall into total chaos and the means of transport of these people would soon become a general damnation. All that is inconceivable at the level of great urban concentration becomes perfectly possible at the level of medium-small concentrations of village, country, small city or section of the big city. People live near the factory and a two-hour shift is perfectly conceivable. Collective involvement will be the decisive spring in the automation of these units because it will be the community that wants to free itself from the slavery of work, not just one part.
The contradictions of a classical self-management perspective show themselves well in the contrast between the unbearable fictitious that permeates the tasks related to the increasingly integrated sphere of circulation and production of capital and the idea that in these contabili accountants, these manovali della cifra numerical manoeuvres, forced to repetitiveness of senseless gestures no less dehumanizing of assembly line work in the factory or of their daily riscontro nell’ambito familiare response in the family, can limit themselves to “occupying” these places as if there were something in them to be saved, reconverted, managed “autonomously”. If May had the merit of breaking the myth of blue overalls with the extension of the occupation movement to the “tertiary” workers, it also demonstrated that the unification of the working proletariat had settled on a line of common but insufficient will to participation and power within the company but not to put in question its role as employees, work, its content.
****Modern metropolises are the expression of a hyper-development, the capital in its urban concentration, the centres of consumption and business, agglomeration of skyscrapers (headquarters of business centres, banks, insurance, etc.) of supermarkets, luxury shops, fashionable meeting places, can well be considered centres of mercantile consumption, not only by virtue of the transformations intervened in the modalities of domination, but above all for how these citadels impose with their progressive extension the seal of an ostentatious and irreversible power, of an evil magnetism that it conveys in different times and with different functions a socially diversified mass but united in a forced presence that is passive consensus (the active one unfortunately is not lacking but less total and mined with contradictions), inertial confluence in a “forum” where the ghosts of the community of capital si sfiorano touch with dismay without being able to know each other or pretend to meet in a collective recitaplay la whose only mediation is goods. The grandeur the (‘height’ if we want) of these megabuildings is not only a function of greater exploitation, higher profits. It is a threatening message, a constant invitation to surrender that the daily experience of permanence and passage in these centres of command of the capital allows you to listen in all its terrorist resonance: “I am the Lord your God, you will have no other god beyond me”. But it is the city as a whole directly that recites, in the conformation assumed starting from the bourgeois assumption of the management of its development, the verb of submission and dehumanisation. Cities are therefore to be destroyed radically, not as a possibility of socialisation of human relations, but as a total denial of this possibility. And that capital has long since gia destroyed the countryside, both in terms of the dissolution of the peasant communities and as erosion and contamination of a propriamenteproperly natural area, is a truth acquired a long time ago. Communism will therefore be the re-humanisation of the territory, its remodelling on the needs and desires of the realized human community, not the simple integration of irreversibly colonized entities. There will be no more cities or countryside but a distribution spread throughout the territory whose scanning into urban areas or freer expanses will be determined by the free choices of the community and individuals without any planning, but according to a harmonious reunion between base and derivedrift, through the intelligence of a reconstruction of their conditions of existence based on creative passion, technical resources, the humanisation of nature.
Communism will turn the present reality of the capitalized territory inside out like a glove. Expropriation will proceed in the immediate.
The insurrectional manifestos prepared by Babeuf during the conspiracy of equals were of a “frightful practicality”: “The Insurrectionary Directory, considering that the people were always flattered with vain promises and that it is time to provide for their happiness, decrees as follows: Art. 1. When the insurrection is over, the poor citizens who are currently poorly accommodated will not return to their homes, but will be immediately installed in those of public enemies. Art. 2. All the furniture necessary to furnish the residences of the sansculottes will be taken from the homes of the rich “. The immediate occupation of the “best” buildings of the homeless, by young people who intend to abandon forced family cohabitation, groups who believe they want to experiment with community forms without the constraints previously imposed by capital, those who find themselves forced into dilapidated or otherwise oppressive houses, those who for any reason intend to move from their previous residences, will be made possible by the obvious abolition of all real estate and land ownership and by the complete suppression of any opposition in this regard. The requisition of the files and the counter-information of the area will provide the basis for the realization of this basic need, which at the procurement level will have to weigh in large part on the expropriation of the landowners in grand style. The choice will be free but seals should be put on the doors of the unlicensed “popular” appartments and the population invited to move. Institutions such as the IACP will be erased as a disgrace of the past like the concept of “social housing”. The business centre will be razed to the ground immediately. When most of the inhabitants have left the ghetto houses, their destruction will begin. The provisional nature of the same occupation-reappropriation movement must be clear from the start. The logic of the “neighbourhood” and particularly of the workers’ district must be fought tirelessly. It configures a reactionary and mystified view of the space of the movement of revolutionary struggle and sanctions the perpetuation of the current territorial structure, product of a development that communism precisely wants to break.
It would seem impossible that behind the thousands of black holes and dimly lit windows, doors and miles of walls, something other than a ghost can live. Thousands of existences imprisoned in their anguished sleep, in their separate stories, without the possibility of meeting that is not the great blackmail of the social contract, the gymnasium of environments, associations, classes, school falansteri phalansies, factory, of office.
Communism will open these doors, open the windows, break down the partitions. The house as a nest of autonomy of passions, plurality of talents or emotional dispositions.
The big luminous house like the house of the gods that Marx claimed for the proletariat and against the “proletariat” (proletarian condition and its self-valorization), never followed on this path of freedom. Errors of youth! — And what kind of life will you establish? — The same for everyone. I will make the city one house, knocking down all the partitions so that they can move freely from one another. “ — In besieged Münster, the doors of the houses were open night and day, by imposition the historians write, and there is no evidence to state the contrary, since the history of communist attempts was almost always written by its enemies and that in the specific case the extermination was almost total. So it has already happened that assertors of the abolition of “mine” and “yours”, the subjects of the new-found community, the proletarians looking for a new life and not better working conditions or clippings of ownership in the social order, made of a city only one house. In almost all cases of proletarian and peasant communities not yet bent by capital, one’s house was the home of all (and the signs are still there in the persistence of certain traditions). The communists will present this simple libertarian truth without slaves to lean on, without religious or secular ideologies with which to mutilate it.
Communism is reconquering time to a human dimension
Time is now the time of capital Time is everything, man is nothing: he is at the most time’s carcass. “time is everything, man is nothing, man is only a carcass of time” (K. M.). The “large” motorways and railways, i.e. the shortening of travelling time, are a function of the cycle of the production of value. It is no coincidence that the myth of speed and dynamism, together with the glorification of mechanism, expresses a need for a reduction in the turnover time of capital. Capital inflates and deflates the circulatory flows in its metropolis according to its rhythms like an accordion; urban traffic, for example, is not a problem of the life of the cities, but a realization of capital, which succeeds in seeming what is one of the most obvious and monstrous manifestations of its existence as something normal, a problem for municipal councillors.
“Only the present can be total. It is a point of incredible density. We must learn how to slow time down. How to live the permanent passion for unmediated experience. A tennis champion has recalled how, during a very hard-fought match, when he had a difficult and critical return shot to make, he suddenly saw everything in slow motion — so slow that he had plenty of time to weigh up the situation, judge distances and make a brilliant return. In the space of creation, time dilates. In inauthenticity, it speeds up. Whoever possesses the poetry of the present will experience the same adventure as the little Chinese boy who loved the Queen of the sea. He went to look for her at the bottom of the ocean. When he returned to the land he met an old man cutting roses who said to him: “My grandfather told me of a young boy lost at sea who had just the same name as you.” (Vaneigem, Trattato). Everyone suffers the absurd contradictions imposed by the dictatorship of the stopwatch every day: a hitch, a delay can raise anger and protestation, is a stretch of rope added to the punishment of the mind and body imposed by this invisible judge. The rhythms of dead time (appointments, commitments, deadlines, etc.) are such as to exacerbate exasperation, force us to suffer for the slightest inconvenience, make lack of friendship and love tragic. Trains, urban and extra-urban transport, nothing must prevent the anxiety of not arriving in time. But what would it matter to me if the whole complex of social existence did not require me not to give it to me? If everything is free, if you can be lazy, if you can go slow, if nothing cries “faster”, those glimpses of life that escape, that lost knowledge will come back to being a real opportunity for relationships to be enriched. The alarm clocks no longer sound, there is nothing that crucifies freedom to set one’s own time. In communism, time will be available for this reconquest of time. Places to work on the march. Will be slowed down and quiet, the fast surge will define a situation of real need, and for those who have assimilated as a permanent need to go fast there will be velodromes or large expanses reserved for the thrill of the race. Depletion of the public car with no preestablished directions and generalization of the driving, and optional supply with constant work of propaganda in favour of prototypes with universal opening and start-up keys so that everyone can use any means when and where they need it. Return of vehicles such as bicycles and horses.
In communism, time will all be available for this reconquest of time. The fake contraposition of privilege between public and private vehicles does not call into question the forced directions of the times and places on which to engage the march. In the transformed road network of the communist territory everything will proceed slowed down and quiet, the fast surge will define a situation of real need, and for those who have assimilated as a permanent need to go fast there will be velodromes or large expanses reserved for the thrill of the race. Depletion of the public service with the spread of small “buses” without preestablished directions and generalization of the driving practice, creation of the electric car (and gradual disappearance of those with petrol) and optional possession with constant work of propaganda in favour of prototypes with universal opening and start-up keys so that everyone can use any means when and where they need it and the opportunity presents itself to them. The return of vehicles such as bicycles and horses.
Communism being the realization of dreams and desires will not know what to make of the industry of dreams and desires (cinema, television, photo-novels), just as realizing the meaning that has been achieved up to now by artistic expression will make the repetition of the same meaningless, but whoever intends to realize this way, his fantasies will have all the necessary equipment.
“Ciascuno ha il diritto di fare conoscere le proprie critiche, le proprie rivendicazioni, le proprie opinioni, creazioni, desideri, analisi, fantasie, problemi... allo scopo che la più grande varietà possa determinare le migliori possibilità di scontro, di accordi, di armonizzazione. Le tipografie, litografie, telex, radio, televisioni passeranno nelle mani delle assemblee e saranno messe a questo scopo, a disposizione di ogni individuo.
“Nessuno si batterà senza riserve se non apprenderà dapprima a vivere senza tempi morti.
“I giornali, la radio, la televisione sono i veicoli più grossolani della menzogna. Non solo essi allontanano ognuno dal vero problema – del ‘come vivere meglio’ che si pone concretamente ogni giorno – ma in più spingono ogni individuo in particolare ad identificarsi con delle immagini artefatte, a mettersi astrattamente al posto di un capo di Stato, di una vedette, di un assassino, di una vittima insomma a reagire come se fosse un’altra persona. Le immagini che ci dominano, sono il trionfo di ciò che non siamo e di ciò che ci scaccia da noi stessi, di ciò che ci trasforma in un oggetto da classificare, etichettare, gerarchizzare secondo il sistema della merce universalizzata.
“Esiste un linguaggio al servizio del potere gerarchizzato. Non solo nell’informazione, la pubblicità, le idee artefatte, le abitudini, i gesti condizionati ma anche in ogni linguaggio che non è posto al servizio dei nostri piaceri.
“Il sistema mercantile impone le sue rappresentazioni, le sue immagini, il suo senso, il suo linguaggio ogni volta che si lavora per esso, cioè la maggior parte del tempo. Questo insieme di idee, di immagini, d’identificazioni, di condotte determinate dalla necessità di accumulazione e di rinnovamento della merce forma lo spettacolo in cui ciascuno gioca ciò che non vive realmente e vive falsamente ciò che non è. È per questo che il ruolo è una menzogna vivente e la sopravvivenza un malessere senza fine”. (Ratgeb).
In communism there are neither kindergartens, nor schools, nor universities, because the continuous creation of one’s own conditions of existence accompanies the learning of a non-separate and constantly changing reality. The mystification of the sciences will end up in the dustbin with all the ideological waste it has produced. Communism does not pose the problem of the education of children because the conduction along the road of generations is a path of inhuman perversion of which we will lose the traces. However (in the immediate) it is clear that children will be educated in a libertarian climate without any family or social oppression. They will belong only to themselves and their autonomy must be encouraged immediately.
Communism is the abolition of every kind of jail: prisons, mental hospitals, orphanages, convents, hospices, hospitals and any institution that judges and condemns: there must be no red courts or prisons; a rejection of the very concept of re-education of obvious pedagogical derivation linked to the vision of civil society. ***A danger that is restored with the modern anti-asylum and anti-prison conception of the social custody of “minors” in territorial structures — (CDQ-CDZ) — or the invalid treated at the expense of the collectivity outside the hospice, the old medieval or precapitalist figure of the tolerated marginalized and, in the case of the “mad” a sort of re-edition of the village idiot. During the civil war there might be necessities that could entail particular forms of constraint such as the temporary concentration of prisoners and hostages, a more drastic alternative will be provided for according to more drastic alternatives: elimination of the worst (usually officers of the forces of repression) and the most dangerous and ignoble representatives of the counter-revolution in the political, economic, and institutional field and immediate disarmament, dispersion of the middle cadres, simple soldiers, in this case sending them back to their places of origin or their progressive introduction into the structures that the communist revolution will come to give itself in the course of the struggle. Clearly all those elements, mechanisms such as money, commodity exchange, the pursuit of success, hierarchy of values, the desperate affirmation of identity in some role that leads to either so-called “crime”, or the daily overwhelming race for power, and the real possibility for the counter-revolutionary forces to use their own forces against the revolutionary movement clearly disappear in declared communism. If you cannot sell or buy, if circulating capital has disappeared and lost all value, if material goods are freely available to all, if you do not know what to promise to whom, what person or group of people will be able to act against communism, relying on whom, with what military prospects (when the availability of arms will be returned to the community in a total way, under the provisional control of the communist fractions that will actually have put themselves against the old world)? What sense would there be then in maintaining even just one prison, albeit intended as self-defence? And even if this was recognized, it would be no less ignoble than the ancient shame. Every existing prison will be razed to the ground, both its symbolic status and its memory as a place of oppression, as almost always its architectural structure specifically aimed at the horror of punishment and imprisonment does not even allow us to think of a different use. The same will go for police stations, courts, prefectures and in most cases for municipal and similar buildings. What prostitution could then exist with the disappearance of money, generalised gratuity and the liberation of human relationships and sexuality?
The priests will do well to flee the scene as quickly as possible; their reappearance would lead to “deplorable” excesses that no historian, no recuperator could record. So, far away the catholic centres and parishes cleared out or burnt according to the places or situations. The Milan Cathedral or the more modest but historically infamous Cathedral of Turin could take a great tumble. With regard to hospitals, communism tends towards health through the suppression of medicine. It is clear that right away it will be necessary to strengthen the means to heal the breakdowns caused by capital. The system of pavilions and wards or the division into hospitals and private clinics will no longer be tolerable. In spite of his positivism and evolutionism Jean Grave’s remarks still have some validity: “Doctors have noticed that, during periods of tumult, diseases had far less effect on the aroused people: and this is true because the struggle, movement, enthusiasm develop the individual’s vital forces and make them less vulnerable to the blows of disease. The long revolutionary period that humanity will have to go through, exalting in the individual all the passions that give it vitality, will contribute in great part to eliminating those morbid germs that drag humanity towards decadence. By bringing man back to his natural conditions of existence, the future society will emancipate him from disease and lead him back to the path of progress.”