72nd Council of Delegates of the FdCA
Cremona, 5 July 2009
at the CSA Kavarna, Il Cascinetto
The struggle against racism as a tool with which to build a new inter-cultural, inter-ethnic, internationalist society
Recognizing the struggle against racism as one of the basic instruments for rebuilding social opposition in Italy is a fundamental step in the mobilization that involves all those who are seeking to give a class perspective (and thus having the final aim of emancipation from need) to their political action, in order to develop a political project of equality and freedom that can be widely accepted within society.
We must accept that today, and increasingly so in the future, we are part of a multiethnic, multicultural society where the various segments, the various "communities" that go to make it up do not speak a common language and are driven by the capitalist organization of labour to look for ways to organize, ways to interrelate, values and behavioural patterns that only feed division and separation.
The differences in language, behaviour, eating habits and values of the migrant populations are used by the Right not only to stoke fear and to criminalize the behaviour of anyone who is different, but also to prevent people from coming together on the basis of their class interests, which could threaten the continuation of the system of exploiting the lower classes.
Strategies that fragment society
The progressive concentration of capital and wealth into the hands of an increasingly smaller number of individuals, the development of financial capital and the speculation that damages the workers' wages and pensions - driving them inexorably further into debt and making them increasingly victim of blackmail with regard to their wages and jobs - lie at the root of the current economic crisis. In order to get over this crisis a complete restructuring of productive (and thus social) relations is required. The increasingly authoritarian nature of governments, the elimination of all social opposition even at an institutional level is required by the dominant classes if they are to be able to manage a percentage of the population that is perennially prone to blackmail due to its vicinity to the poverty line, set against a migrant population that is increasingly discriminated against but used by the labour market to keep wages low and jobs casualized. Nothing new up to this point, but today by using the lower classes against the migrants they are able to create greater opportunities for exploitation and power allowing them to repress the fragmented and divided lower classes even more.
Thus, the population distribution on the ground resembles a chessboard, pitting one group of exploited against another, divided by differences in language, ethnicity and values and therefore incapable of developing that class unity that would be necessary and natural if it were based only on the conditions of exploitation.
This social model needs a new type of State, one that can manage these differences. So in the current political phase there is an emphasis on the ethical responsibilities of the political institutions, who are extending the principle of public order to include "moral order" and demanding to govern the rights of status: denying immigrant workers not only the status of citizenship, but also the right to remain in the country, to move around the country, to have their family members join them, to attend schools, to seek hospital treatment, and so on.
Governing the economy and people's minds
There exists a deep link between the management of accumulation and of its processes and strategies of emphasising differences with the aim of preventing class unity. For example, by placing the accent on religious differences, and appealing for support for this from the various religions whose differences and whose peculiarities are praised, by differentiating their enjoyment of rights and their access to freedom of worship, means promoting solidarity-based aggregations on a denominational basis that are by definition inter-class based and thus contribute to preventing re-composition on the basis of interests in relation to the position of individuals in the productive process and in the dynamics of accumulation. In the same way, using the ethnic element as an instrument of cohesion and solidarity means once again developing an unnatural alliance between people of different classes.
These techniques are used to fragment the class and go well beyond simple economic matters as they manage to touch on people's deepest feelings and desires with regard to the personal sphere, the sphere of traditions, memories, individual and group experience.
Thus are laid the premises and the conditions for repressive, racist legislation which, since the days of the Turco-Napolitano immigration law of the '90s up to this year's Maroni Order, have been leaving millions of immigrants at the mercy of chance, of the slave merchants, of the Libyan government, not allowing them to enter the country, locking them up in detention centres, living a permanently clandestine existence from which there is no escape, or being kicked out of the country when they lose their jobs or their homes. No longer human beings, just wandering bodies caught between imprisonment and a casual existence.
Faced with this attack on all sides on the very concept of the human being as we know it, the various Churches and religions dither, consolidated alliances crumble, and political systems plunge into crisis. The response therefore becomes vague, disconnected, inorganic, ineffective and incomprehensible even to our social representatives.
Anti-racism and solidarity as instruments of political struggle
Denouncing the racist, security-obsessed policies of the Maroni Order is not enough. We must prevent them not just from becoming law but (thanks to carefully-planned propaganda hype) from becoming accepted as the norm, the first signs of which we have already seen.
What this means in concrete is that we must:
- build and federate wide fronts of mixed social and cultural associations of Italians and immigrants for the joint struggle against racism, marginalization and clandestinity;
- encourage and incentivate the participation by citizens of non-Italian origin in the social and political life, in trade unions and associations, irrespective of their cultural or geographic origin;
- build legal support and social support networks for refugees, for anyone who is in danger of returning to clandestinity and for the victims of racism;
- counter those forms and expressions of intolerance and racism and of territorial control with the aim of ethnic cleansing and repression;
- guarantee solidarity by means of support structures for clandestine immigrants, precarious immigrants, evicted tenants and other marginalized people;
- build a solidarity network for access to income and support for living and working conditions;
- fight to guarantee access to essential local services for everyone who lives there;
- guarantee the cultural values of everyone, respecting the rights of children and their freedom to build their own personality within the public school system;
- recognize full freedom of worship for all religious denominations, with equal access to places of worship in order to defuse the tensions created by identity-based demands.
Council of Delegates
Federazione dei Comunisti Anarchici
Cremona, 5 July 2009