68th Council of Delegates of the FdCA
 

Cremona, 27 April 2008

CSA Kavarna in Via Maffi 2

Final Document

 

The Third Republic: news?

The short-lived Prodi government made practically no difference to the country's economic and social situation, the result of five years of pillage by the "House of Freedom" [1] government from 2001 to 2006. In its 20 months of existence, its priorities of balancing the books and bringing the country into line with European policy were held to be more important than any policy, no matter how weak, of redistributing wealth to the employed or any policy that would lead to an increase in social rights and civil liberties. Part of the responsibility for this policy line goes to those parties with the "Union" [2] that later went on to set up the "Rainbow Left" [3] coalition. Their annihilation in the elections speaks for itself. The Democratic Party now dominates the political scene and has become electorally stable. The Italian right has confirmed its hold over the country, though the international economic situation that threatens recession should prove to be a brake on its designs. The employers' federation, Confindustria, is heartened by the government's stability and will now seek once and for all to put an end to national labour contracts, knowing that it can count on compliant unions like the CISL, the UIL and even part of the CGIL.

Social struggles, capital and the State

Anarchist Communists believe it is worth repeating on occasions such as this in the aftermath of these elections, that it is only by developing the struggles in the workplace, in schools and in the community can the social classes who today are exploited and impoverished by neo-liberal policies succeed in keeping the bosses and capital at bay. But victory or defeat in the struggles does not depend on how many seats the Left has in Parliament, but on to what extent the struggles (in the form of organized, political and mass struggles) can defend and preserve a great enough environment of political freedom to move, in order to ensure those basic freedoms which can allow the exploited classes' opposition to grow and develop.

Every day, outside the newly-elected Parliament, the daily social conflict goes on, grassroots bodies organize and struggle in the workplaces and in the community, opposing the social and cultural degradation forced on us by neo-liberalism and repressive, security-obsessed policies. Today's Parliament, just like yesterday's, represents much less than social conflict and is increasingly just a meeting-place for political parties to rubber-stamp the policies of the bosses. Governments and parliaments have never been neutral; they are places where economic and military power, the power of social control and the power over the media are all concentrated in order to enable the exploitation to continue. So the conditions that are necessary to resist this devastating attack can never be built in the corridors of power.

The situation in Italy and internationally

The anarchist communist political organization does not base its analysis of election results on principles but on the more concrete plane of real dynamics; thus, in order to fully understand what is happening in Italy today, it must be seen in the light of what is happening elsewhere in the world.

In areas where capitalism is strong and developed, particularly in Europe, the national forms of bourgeois democracy have by now become outdated structures of dominion, since the processes of globalization increasingly require the strengthening of supra-national decision-making centres and the management of economic resources on a macro-regional level. Everything that globalization has done over the last 15 years (the concentration of power and of wealth, the creation of vast, continental commercial areas, the new division of labour within these areas with migratory fluxes, massive processes for the expulsion of manpower, the planned creation of poor areas, areas surrounding military conflict zones, etc.) confirms the need for social opposition to be carried out strategically, on an extra-parliamentary and international level.

This does not mean that national government policies no longer exist or that they cannot be fought and defeated by social opposition. It means that if it seeks to be successful, this opposition must develop outside and in contrast to bourgeois parliamentary institutions and on an international level.

The traditional anarchist communist call to fight capital and the State (capital's political face) is thus still a valid call. We must always favour the extra-institutional terrain because only thus can there be the direct involvement of the masses in the struggle and only thus can their political consciousness develop.

So is this the Third Republic?

The parties that won the elections of 13-14 April are the victors in a clash that is entirely an internal affair within the Italian bourgeoisie. It is a clash into which they have dragged classes and sectors of the people whose interests and history have nothing to do with the bourgeoisie, and whose support was won by means of political and ideological propaganda which hoodwinked them into believing that the bourgeoisie and the workers share common interests. The institutional Left was massacred and paid dearly for the ambiguity of the inter-class alliances of recent years. While the disappearance of the institutional Left from Parliament may be considered a defeat for the cultural climate in Italy and the resulting vacuum may be cause for worry, as may the fact that even such a weak guarantor of democratic rights such as this has now disappeared, the effects will be felt less in the ability of the grassroots to mobilize and more in the Rainbow Left's claim to represent the movements and in its role as mediator with the institutions. The political class that led it has not survived the ostracism that it all too easily accepted from the Democratic Party.

And although the DP was defeated (no surprises there), it has been confirmed as a powerful centrist political force of the sort that is needed to turn Italy into a country that can better respond to the demands of the global markets. While it is a minority in Parliament, it does also represent certain social sectors and interests that coincide with the People of Freedom, which in turn will thus have to take the DP into consideration.

Berlusconi is back in government (without ever really leaving) much strengthened by the providential success of the Lega Nord, even in the factories. Yes, the factories, where the culture of solidarity and collective class interests has been washed away by individualism and by desperation for immediate gains, where the proposal for wage ceilings and fiscal federalism is presented to the workers as an inter-class form of geography-based redistribution of income.

The political circus is preparing itself for a farce where all that is at stake is a continuation of the current power set-up, with the non-secondary effect of turning the political-institutional game in this country into simply a copy of that in the other European countries, sucking all the life out of the Italian workers' movement, a movement that has up to now been one of the most vital and radical, constructive and original.

As for us, faced with a road that has been clearly marked out for some time (going from Berlusconi to Berlusconi), we feel strengthened and surer than ever of the need to dedicate all our energies to the class struggle, to the defence of the workers (including precarious and immigrant workers), to the reconstruction of their organizations, ready to defend our freedom for political action, even though we know this freedom will soon face new limits.

Our objective remains that of strengthening class unity with all those whose political and social activity is aimed at promoting, stimulating and motivating all forms of self-organization, seeking to unify the various struggles, to build networks and multiple poles of collective resistance and solidarity in the wider battle against Capital and the State.

Council of Delegates
Federazione dei Comunisti Anarchici

27 April 2008

 

Notes:

1. Casa delle LibertÓ, centre-right coalition made up of Forza Italia, Alleanza Nazionale, Lega Nord, and various other christian-democratic, republican, social-democratic and neo-fascist parties. The coalition regrouped under the new name the "People of Freedom" (Popolo della LibertÓ - PdL) for the recent elections. It is planned to transform the PdL into a single party later in the year.

2. Unione, centre-left coalition made up of Democratici di Sinistra (DS), Democrazia Ŕ LibertÓ, Rifondazione Comunista (PRC), Federazione dei Verdi (Verdi ), Partito dei Comunisti Italiani (PdCI) and various other social-democratic, radical and christian-democratic parties. The centrist majority of the Union merged into the new Democratic Party before the recent elections.

3. La Sinistra - L'Arcobaleno, left-wing coalition consisting of PRC, PdCI, Verdi and Sinstra Democratica (split from DS).