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The "indignados" on the streets, for now lacking real proletarian anger

We reproduce below the statement of the comrades of the Internationalist Communist Tendency (ICT) about the demonstrations in the greatest Spanish cities places ; in particular the Puerta del Sol in Madrid. We fully support this statement that we make our own. It's useless thus to provide an other statement to defend the same political orientations. That, in the today period and above all in the one to come which will live inescapable and increasingly massive classes confrontations, the communists can express and intervene with a single voice, cannot but favor the development of the historical fight of the proletariat and the clarification amongst the workers of the historical alternative imperialist war or communist revolution.

In particular, we support the defense of the class character of this movement and, thus, its political dimension, which clearly raises the question of capitalism's destruction and the need for proletarian revolution as well as the means to reach these goals. Moreover, by underlining the class character of the movement, the ICT warns the young, and less young, proletarians who demonstrates, against the dissolution of the proletarian character of the movement in categories such as the "people", the "citizens", the "youngs". It is not but becoming fixed with determinantion as a working class struggle that this movement will be able to develop and, through its development, to defend and indeed make advance, its demands in front of the bourgeois State ; so that it will be able to highlight a true revolutionary perspective. And certainly not by letting itself be trapped on the democratic ground and various and varied democratic slogans such as the organisation ¡ Democracia real, ya ! puts forwards so relaying the intense ideological hype led by the ruling class to the benefit of the bourgeois democracy within the class movements in Tunisia and in Egypt.

Furthermore, against the attempts to present the new "technologies", internet, the "social networks", etc., as the panacea and the motor of the movement, the ICT text defends to the contrary the historical experience of the working class, its methods of struggle and its historical aims : "to strike at it in the very heart of its productive system" ; solidarity between workers with job and those without ; "to expand and radicalise this social conflict on class lines, to revolutionise the whole of society from the bottom up and build a new one" ; "to build a revolutionary vanguard". These orientations oppose and are contrary to the democratic illusions and to the ecstatic celebrations, with not any criticism, of the general assemblies and of Spanish rallies on the city places. They are opposed to their fetishism. They are opposed and contrary to the myth and the trap of self-organisation seen as unique mean and aim.

These are the basic orientations which will enable to foil the traps of the bourgeois forces and will avoid to be driven to dead-ends, in particular into the trap of the "democracy now" ("¡ democracia ya !"). These are the class orientations which, only, will enable to this movement to develop and to affirm the defence of the immediate and material interests of the proletarians, whether they are with a job or without. And above all, these are the orientaions which, only, can enable to carry on this class ground, on the one of the only revolutionary perspective, not only the whole proletarians but also behind them the greatest part of the population.

Finally, last merit of the ICT comrades' statement, it also responds to the expectations of the workers of the other European countries, of the Arab countries, and of the other continents who have their eyes opened to their class brothers in Spain.

In that sense, the Internationalist Communist Tendency really holds the task of the proletariat's political vanguard, the tasks of political leadership, or if one prefers of political orientation. Every time it does so, it can be ensured of our support and participation.

May 30th  2011

The Fraction of the International Communist Left.

The "indignados" on the streets, for now lacking real proletarian anger

The movement of young Spaniards, the “indignados”1, emerged suddenly, but not unexpectedly from the seemingly flat calm of European society. From the day it burst on the scene (15 May, hence the name “15-M”), its ranks have quickly swelled, attracting thousands and thousands of people onto the streets, and even going beyond national borders2. Despite the important and heavy presence of minority political forces of the institutional left, the mobilisation has been largely spontaneous and built through word of mouth and social networking pages rather than through party manifestos.

According to the manifesto of the movement “Real Democracy, Now!” the prime mover of these events, the young people in the streets seem, largely, to want greater democracy and social equality3. To many there is an obvious similarity between the Spanish 15-M movement and the Italian “grillini”4. It is obvious even to its boss Beppe. He wasn’t slow to arrive in the square in Barcelona, pointing out the similarities of their demands — against the party oligarchies, for the exclusion of those accused of corruption from the electoral list and for a participatory democracy — with his. On this level it should also be noted that the main beneficiary of the movement may be the Izquierda Unida5, which is severely handicapped by the current electoral system.

But it is very doubtful that such a description of the movement explains everything. If amongst the various banners in the Puerta del Sol a large black one, stood out proclaiming “The crisis is capitalism”, none of the various postings on the net spoke of it. And few people have correctly understood the social pressures that have led so many young people to take to the streets (or rather squares) across the country. Looking at the most recent figures, we find that in Spain the number of unemployed in March grew by 34,406 compared to February, reaching 4.3 million people (according to the sanitised figures of the Ministry of Labour). In the services sector alone nearly 15,000 jobs have been lost in a month, and in February, the Spanish unemployment rate was already 20.5%, the highest figure in the European Union. If you look at youth unemployment, this affects 44.6% of young people under 25 years. The Spanish government hopes to keep the state debt below 74.3% of the current figure in 2012, provided, however, they are able to drastically reduce government spending and the budget deficit, which is currently 11.4%. Whoever is elected in local elections these days, in particular, will have to deal with budgets already deep in the red. Municipalities and regions account for about half of total public expenditure. In all, there 5200 local and regional entities whose debt is around €26 billion, to which we should add about €4 billion advanced to drug companies supplying state hospitals.The movement, in fact, appears a lot more varied than the descriptions usually given. It is marked by a deep social malaise with its roots in the particular characteristics of the Spanish production system and more generally in the rampant crisis of global capitalism, that has hit the Spanish economy so hard. The real growing evil is capitalism itself, as the young Spaniards in Madrid correctly wrote. This evil growth, parasitic on the overwhelmingly proletarian of the population, certainly cannot be cured through injections of democratic illusions and equal opportunities. The deeper social aspirations that young people are trying to bring to the streets are basically legitimate, and we must support them by participating actively in the demonstrations and encouraging the expansion of the protests. Communists, however, should make it clear that the hope for social equality and a real participation in “democracy” cannot be obtained “Ya!” [“Now!”], without a radical and complete overthrow of the current social system. It is obvious that the rich banker or industrialist will never really on be the same level as a worker or an unemployed youngster whilst the former control of the means of production and the latter can at most hope to find a job where they will be exploited according to “market” conditions.

In any case, we proletarians don’t care about the fate of the system that nourishes itself on our exploitation. Instead we want to throw acid on the roots of this evil growth, we want to strike at it in the very heart of its productive system, looking in every area for solidarity between the workers who work and the many that have lost jobs or have never found them. In Spain and elsewhere, the aim should be to expand and radicalise this social conflict on class lines, to revolutionise the whole of society from the bottom up and build a new one that meets human needs and not those of profit. In Spain and elsewhere, the aim should be to build a revolutionary vanguard, which can unify and give political guidance in this deep social malaise. Otherwise, the plaza (square) has served only as an outlet to contain “popular” indignation, without being able to put forward a class perspective, without leaving a new and more widespread awareness of the conflicting interests in play, without outlining any prospect of broader aims to finally get rid of this system of production which is behind all the current social instability.

Battaglia Comunista #6, June 2011

Internationalist Communist Tendency.

1. Indignados = “angry ones”

2. At midnight on May 21, 25,000 people gathered in the Puerta del Sol square in Madrid, at the heart of the protest were young Spaniards, breaking the ban on demonstrations before the impending elections. At the same time, some 10,000 people demonstrated in Barcelona’s ​​Plaza de Catalunya, and thousands more crowded into the streets of all major cities in Spain.

3. In short, there are many proposals for more democratic reforms: the abolition of several laws that are held to be unfair; including the electoral law, a referendum to confirm all the most important laws, abolition of the monarchy, complete separation between the State and the Church, removal of state funding for religious institutions, separation and no interference between politics and the judiciary; measures against corruption and the excessive power of the ruling “caste”, which includes opening of the electoral rolls, exclusion of those accused of corruption from public office, reform of the financing of political parties, cutting pensions annuities, administrative decentralization, with more involvement of regions, provinces, and municipalities in the management of budgets, more direct democracy through the web and telecommunication networks. The other driving force is the struggle against social inequality: tax reform in favour of lower income, taxation of financial income, nationalisation of banks bailed out with state funding, the limits on job insecurity, the minimum wage. Finally, environmental and pacifist demands: immediate closure of all nuclear power plants and support for alternative energy, increased public transport and a decrease in private car use, cycle lanes and free tickets for the unemployed, and no reduction in military spending to intervene in any war scenario.

4. Beppe Grillo is an Italian alternative comedian who, on the premise that the Italian political establishment was already beyond a joke has started up his one political movement known as “Five Stars” (Cinque Stelle). He is the patron (boss) referred to in the next sentence.

5. The United Left (Izquierda Unida, IU) is a political coalition that was organized in 1986 as several political organisations opposed Spain joining NATO. It was formed by a number groups of leftists, greens, left-wing socialists and republicans, but was dominated by the Communist Party of Spain (PCE). It replaced the latter in the polls and got 9% at its height but has since declined.

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