and to all blacks, mestizo and white new revolutionary spirit felt part of the 2020 George Floyd 2020 uprising.
Recognizing that a movement arose, developed and then ebbed away is great wisdom, as is determinism in its ‘latent’ state (Lenin would have said), i.e. unconscious as a theoretical conception but correct in its approach to facts.
Then the decision to dissolve SM28 group makes this experience far and ahead of most of far left experiences. The Spirit of May 28th aimed to be an informal “party” of a more radical trajectory of what happened magnificent during the first weeks after the George Floyd murder and the consequent uprising and mass revolt. In some way it is correct you considered your self as the ‘party’ in spirit of the George Floyd rebellion, because you could not exist without what happened during that hot summer. Even if it, of course, had its ebb, next events were all different forms and different determinations of the same collapsing world based on the exchange, exploitation, production of value, racism, gender female oppression and nature rape. Also reactionary events, like Capitol Hill January 6th, are part of the same deep crisis that deterministically is combining the chaos and revolutionary factors. Relationships determined by the mode of production are the real subjectivity and these relationships crumbling, I mean the collapsing of the relationships of men and means of production are the engine that drives the revolution. It is not the consciousness, not a class, not a vanguard or a formal party. Human being does not have a free will.
Somehow a ‘party’ always follows action, a ‘party’ cannot exist before action begins to pose goals and questions, which a party is called upon to represent in tasks to be performed, as an awareness of the relationship between the social needs of the masses and the impersonal needs of value production that determines both real society and the class as part of it.
Therefore, class consciousness is a relationship between its needs embedded in the relationship with the mode of production that not only determines them, but also responds to needs through the production of commodities.
This is a historical relationship in which the proletariat can only determine itself as part of the production of value, and its historical ability to form its own viewpoint depends on the stages of capitalist development. The working class and the proletariat are not autonomous and independent because they depend precisely on the production of value and conflictual exchange with the mechanism of general production. It cannot become a revolutionary class, because as such it depends on the laws of the mode of production and exchange, as long as the mode of production is able to provide the commodity as the historical form of human needs.
The way human beings conceive the realization of their needs is through a production of commodities, i.e. a production of capitalist value. The revolution, therefore, does not come about through the action of a class (this was also the case for the bourgeois class of the 17th and 18th centuries, whose ‘point of view’ was nothing more than a reflection of a revolutionary upheaval of the relations of production that had reached a certain point in its historical development), but from the fall of certain relations with the temporally defined means of production because they were inadequate to satisfy new needs.
It is up to the Marxist theory that the proletariat is by itself a revolutionary class, that the working class struggle around the exchange between the profit and the salary drives to the revolution. So if the revolution does not happen, it is due to the traitors of the class leadership or because it misses the external consciousness. You see this is an enlightenment vision of the history, that while the enlightenment thinks the history is made by the idea and the free will, the Communist Manifesto transfers the free will of the men into the free will of the class through its formal party. Anarchism thinks the revolution does not happen because the ‘party’ limits the natural and innate revolutionary essence of the proletariat masses. The anarchist vision has the same Marxist theory limits, but it is representative also of the proletarian individualistic point of view put as a single into the market competition and its oppression. Then in some way anarchism does not go ahead of the single worker alone point of view trying to wake up the single proletariat free will. Anarchism too often mistakes the radicalism of the individual as an anti-system reaction, but it often corresponds to the innate contradiction of the competitive society that leads to conflicts of interest between the individual and the interests of the community or ‘authority’, whereas capitalism has realized a historical form of community through the market. Of course, this is a capitalist community based on unequal exchange, violence, exploitation, oppression, racism and the rape of nature. But it is also that community which, in order to forge itself, has developed as its fundamental basis the free market, the false free will, the selfish self-determination of individuals through their participation in market competition and the accumulation of wealth.
It happened especially in the richer, imperialist countries during the last phase of the pandemic. Many communists and anarchists (as part of all left-wing sects) mistook chaotic social demands as a radical struggle against capitalism because these appeared to be anti-authoritarian. But you who are in the United States would know what Alexis de Tocqueville wrote about the ‘exceptionalism’ of American democracy, about the relationship between individual liberty and democracy as an immanent contradiction that can be compensated for if the accumulation of value continues to grow.
Those movements were a mix of individualist instances at the mass level, but which also included smaller layers of the precarious proletariat within the same protests. These layers of the proletariat were sacrificed by the anti-pandemic recipes, which, while not fighting the root causes of the virus (the paroxysmal exploitation of nature by the productivity of the men), were leaving them with nothing to live on.
This mixing of opposing demands in the same square was very clear if we look at what happened in Trieste with the dock workers’ strikes. The dock workers in Trieste have been a corporate layer of the working class for decades. In spite of that they have always been an important part of the working class and their coming out perhaps could attract and divide that mix, become a referent for the demands of the precarious proletariat, dissolve its mixing with the individualistic demands of other social sectors motivated by the need to continue their participation in the production of value and the carousel of the market by denying the existing pandemic. And this is what actually happened, but not in the way I hoped. The majority of workers went back to the workplace, thus under capitalism’s prescription on how to fight the pandemic, and it happened because capitalism has on its side the evidence of its 500 years of domination, exploitation but also development; the precarious proletariat was left alone and confined; the mass individualist instances (with some worker leaders of the Port at their service) followed the path of Msgr. Viganó (the new “anti Pope” and the anti globalist according to the point of view of other “elites”).
This happened in all the west in a different nuances. And it is normal because the capitalism, within its tumultuous and paroxysmal development, through the combination of industrial revolution, the colonialism, the slavery and the racism, founded a “community”, compensating into its development phase of growth the individualistic pushes animated by the market concurrence and the accumulation of value.
But this relationship and this compensation are crumbling, and with them the “community” of capital is also crumbling, because the production of value is in deep crisis, and this crumbling is coming from its highest point of historical development, in the West, Europe and the United States (and is finding its way to China as well).
As we will see unprecedent revolts again, we will still see again chaotic and reactionary waves, all part of the same causality of the motion.
The acceleration of the general crisis has been opened by a sudden nature world uprising against the productive activities of men, and this acceleration pushes the unitary capitalistic chain into the chaos, where all determined social relations are shaken by earth tremors.
This is really obvious at the higher point of development of the unitary and monist capitalism chain: the United States.
What happened with the George Floyd uprising could not be possible before. It was a sudden rise and fast ebb of a magnificent and unprecedent momentum: the whiteness crumbling across layers of youth white proletariat. It was the first time some whites proletarian were ‘partner in crime’ behind and beside the blacks and bipoc fight against the racism at such scale. It was not possible before. Black Panther Party tradition was trying to achieve white working class solidarity from the point of view of the same common working class immediate interests. But Noel Ignatiev showed it is an expectation that when the crisis comes in, it deploys the relationship between the black worker and the white worker differently from the hopes, and this will happen until the capitalism is able to reproduce the whiteness through the force of the growth of the capitalistic accumulation. At the time, somehow, BPP consciousness seemed advanced and was possible precisely because it was an ideological reflection within a different phase of capitalism, where the assumption that gradually blacks could accumulate proletarian forces including those of whites seemed possible, even if realistically it was a chimera. The deindustrialization and crisis of the 1970s and its capitalist solution through a subsequent leap into the global market and globalization left the BPP forces alone, and this valuable experience passed through the murderous violence of the white capitalist state as the black middle class began to grow and arrived where white allies were leading it: into the wonderful world of the market community.
We are into a different and historical phase now, and any compare between different spaces and times of the history have no sense.
Due to the capitalism is collapsing, the proletariat cannot gradually grows its forces, accumulating and composing a working class across the struggles. Marx, differently by Marxist, dissolved in fact the International First. It was during 1860s years when Marx and Engels noted, wrote and stated they were wrong in regard of English working class and about the Irish proletariat. How did the first international arise?
Marx noticed that new events were happening in Russia and the United States. Events whose trajectory was heading toward a future landscape of revolution, even if it was not that of communism. But these events were reflecting the cracking and dissolving of two different kinds of slavery: the material conditions of peasants in Russia and the reform of serfdom; black slave revolts that sometimes attracted poor white settlers. Then a first movement against the war of the history and animated by the working classes denied to the Great Britain to support the South states into the American civil war. These were events and objective trajectories let be possible the First International.
But immediately later Marx noted things were not going as he hoped. He wrote a violent letter against the US socialist movement about the racism. He and Engels wrote the English working class was at the tail of capitalism even if it was equipped of its mass organization. They argued there was not reason to continue with the First International and things moved naturally toward the International party dissolvement. They were not directly involved anymore with further phases of the working class formal movements, but they were only in some way dragged into.
The formal movement of the proletariat was growing-along with its consciousness-in the de facto name of positivism as a reflection of the powerful growing capitalist accumulation. Then the whole consciousness of the working class was representative of what was forming it.
Marxism after Marx has always had a misconception about racism and slavery. In honor of the positivist view, the formal working-class movement thought that in order to develop, capitalism abolished slavery and the growth of the working-class struggle abolished racism. Marxist theory mistakenly thinks that slavery was abolished in the United States to push African American labor force to serve production in factories and growing Northern industrialism. For them, therefore, slavery was a phenomenon of backward economics totally removed from history. History proves this theory wrong.
The economy of plantations based on slavery was able to create an enormous surplus for the whole industrialism development, but the slavery did not collapse simply because factories masters and industries of the north needed the black workforces.
The intensive agriculture, based on slavery, soon caused a great problem with the fertility of agricultural soil, so a problem with the agricultural productivity. The slave was a fixed asset of capital in human being form and it was a workforce at the same time. An agriculture machine and a laborer at the same time. Then the plantation was properly a capitalistic company (we can see this ‘model’ survives at the scale global level into the modern agrobusiness, while the chains are the anti-immigrant laws). Then what to do with the asset of capital the plantation was still producing in part for the agriculture work and in part as ‘breeding of slaves’? From the other sides of north economy and industrialism development, what are the mainly outputs of industrialism in regard of city and the countryside? Industrialism to grow needs to produces and accumulate tools and machineries and it must to produce especially those machineries needed to increase the agriculture productivity. The countryside produces food for the city and the factory workforce. The agriculture needed to overcome its productivity lack using machinery but the machinery usage meant a contradiction to the plantation’s asset of capital represented by the slavery. North industrialism could not grow without deploying the machinery in agriculture, then without breaking the formal slavery.
The crisis of productivity in agricultural production, combined with industrialism, were the material ground for slave revolts to attract to themselves even limited but significant sectors of poor white settlers and fertile ground for desertion within the ranks of the Confederate army that went to join the fugitives (I do not want to say here something you know better than I do). What happened from 30s, 40s, 50s years of the XIX century was possibile for the above motion, while a social revolutionary process was demanding a radical change of agriculture structure in term of property: the famous 40s acres per mouth promised and invoked by the black slaves, fugitives and the accomplished poor white settlers. The 40s acres of bloodshed soil the North promised but then it did not give to them. The capitalism accumulation of value powerful development had easy life to solve the contradictions and to reproduce racism and slavery in a different forms. The social radical instances have risen from the plantation economy crisis found its solution through the west territories colonization and the European white workforce immigration was the workforce needed for the industrialism powerful development. Even if the new immigrant working class started to radicalize as a class, it got the “salary of advantage” coming from its whiteness and the white privilege. The former black slaves remained confined into the underdeveloped plantation, and still today Afro-Americans mostly live in percentage into the old slaver states. Afro Americans as proletariat workforce entered into the factories in masses after the XX century 30s year, during the period immediately pre the WWII and later.
It is therefore a totally different story from the one that Marxist theorists (because of their outright positivism) have asserted throughout a historical course.
Let me quickly add. The Russian Revolution was to date the first and only event in which the revolutionary process gave land to the “slaves” of the countryside, at least as its immediate action. But the Russian Revolution was, as in the United States, a process pulsed by the powerful impersonal forces of growing capitalism. The Russian Revolution sought to act within this process from the point of view of the exploited masses, and that is why liberals hate communism. While all other revolutions have been conducted from the point of view of the exploiters.
Another reason why liberalism hates communism and Russia revolution is about the bolshevism betrayed the imperialist war front by making peace with the enemy at any cost, even at cost disadvantageous to the economy letting to prevail again the interest of the exploited masses.
Then said that, it is obvious what we seen at the George Floyd uprising, even if it could not be a revolution prelude, it showed, from point of view of the mestizo proletariat, that the whiteness began its crumbling trend, even if violence against the blacks will be more violent. The whiteness is part of what composes and makes the capitalism community and for this reason George Floyd rebellion – linked with the past revolts – remains so important and also a new ahead form.
The crumbling cannot be a linear growing curve. A new event as well cannot repeat and returns in the same form as it was before. So we cannot expect a George Floyd 2.
For this reason, any attempt to build a formal party can only be representative of the past and the reflection of the proletariat’s condition to its ebb or weakness. No formal party and no formal program can be representative of the future, because we will always be surprised and unprepared in the face of events that suddenly happen in different forms and with different fundamental issues.
Lenin was surprised by the February revolution. The Bolshevik party and initial working class organized into the soviets were at that time opportunistically contracting with the state and with the industrial owners organization. It was not Lenin as a leader that changed the things. female workers in textile factories of saint Peterborough started the revolution, the working class sector considered more backward. Then the insurgency at the war front and at the countryside made by poor mujiks betraying the war front and that were occupying the Russia agricultural lands were the causality of the motion met and formed Lenin and Bolsheviks, which made them the voices of the general uprising.
You made correctly to dissolve your group, because a further step or a momentum of uprising cannot be as before, as May 28th was not like the past 60s, even if it seemed behind in term of consciousness, but ahead in term of whiteness crumbling. By the way the 60s consciousness and its determined trajectory was properly the parent of the current black NGO ideology. Frantz Fanon was another result and voice expression of the colored powerful revolution against colonialism, especially of the Africa’s anti colonialism revolutions (another top most important events of xx century from the exploited masses point of view). These revolutions build new nations and new capitalistic communities in Africa. Obama’s father returned in Kenya and wrote a book about the ways for the socialism in Kenya and in Africa. Obama son, in the name of his father became the first black president in USA and he was the first black US president that has bombed with missiles and drones the Africa continent. This is has something to do with what Malcom X wrote about the “field negro” and the “house negro”.
Black revolution and people of colors revolution remains at the core of the revolution that has the communism as a main landscape. But we cannot say how it is going to happen and how in the space and time dimensions it will going to happen. Also conditions about which kind of radical different living will be, a living outside the exchange and production of commodity relationship. Also the subject of revolution it is not about a leadership or any vanguard, it is not about a class subject. The revolution subject is the crumbling commodities relations, the market relations that are breaking the ‘community’ founded by the production of value during its growing phase and that now it is collapsing. Events happened after May 28th, Capitol Hill, Afghanistan withdrawn, the current War, the declining of Europe, the US isolation doing its war from the rest of the emerging markets, also the current Israel crisis is coming from the inside, are all part of this general crisis trend.
We must live inside the water that flows and we are asked to make a frontal battle against liberal theories. In fact, while human being is facing with the abyss of the crisis, these theories have still force to say the capitalism is the only best possible world. We would not oppose an alternative model, we have to show this world is cracking precisely due to its inside laws using the real facts under our eyes. The liberal ideology was always pragmatic and based on facts and violent strength of 5 centuries of historical powerful development, the liberalism was always able to show the capitalism successes. But if it is historically true, the internal capitalism laws are conducting the mode of production to the abyss. Proletarian and exploited masses cannot act rationally facing it, nevertheless a living way not based on the exchange, on the accumulation of value through the commodities production is pushing all towards a new unknown dimension. The path cannot avoid to walk through the chaos. And we cannot anticipate answers until the questions in regard how to live without the exchange and the commodity production are part of the practice action made by the masses as per needs and per their motion inside the capitalism crisis, that will push as unavoidable question. The question will come from the chain of value collapse, like the productivity of soil caused the old way form of slavery could not survive, then another kind of more productive slavery came out.
This a role the impersonally is mandated to the revolutionaries: do not push models because the anticapitalism is not about models; looks to the relations crumbling; face to face fight to liberal ideology, even if we have just only few instruments while they have to their side 500 years of developed violence. We need to be fluid, to stay with exploited struggles per what the struggles are not per our ideological wishes, understating the causality of the motion across its rise-up and inevitable ebbs, while exploited masses are pushed towards the fear of the abyss and unprecedent form of questions will begin to post the “absurd” – how to live without the exchange, the commodity as a need and the productivity for the profit.
I do not have any recipes or a ready toolbox to suggest, because simply recipes do not exist. But the keeping of passionate discussion is needed.
We would not waste time trying to find out which social contradiction will cause a new insurgency and which subjectivity will do the revolution.
Stay ready, stay tight, stay lively, continue to discuss.