YUGOSLAVIA: NOT ETHNIC WAR BUT GLOBAL IMPERIALIST CONFLICT
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Yugoslavia: not ethnic war but global imperialist conflict
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Serbia, another Sarajevo?
With the Yalta pact equilibrium redundant (our party has examined the reasons for that in detail elsewhere), with the mask of alleged «Russian communism» fast dropping away, the assets of the national states and the states without nations, are up for grabs once again. Such is the grim legacy left by 45 years of a status-quo guaranteed by the phoney ideological glue of stalinism.
The threat of the balkanisation of relations between capitalist states, throughout Europe and parts of Asia, can no longer be said to be just one of our inventions and we must deepen our understanding of the causes of the present political «instability». In essence, we remain firmly of the idea that conflicts between states are fundamentally conflicts between classes in other words, we aren't so naive as to believe that the class struggle for Socialism will happen exactly as we would like, that is, just to suit us and keep us happy.
None of the bourgeois rags have failed to draw a parallel between the events in Yugoslavia and Sarajevo. Anyone who has read a single history book will recall that the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Habsburg initiated the 1st World War, which even then we called imperialist - though many in Italy, even today, persist in calling it the 4th war of Italian Independence.
Since millions of proletarians are still incapacitated by opportunist dope (nevertheless there are stirrings), since no political leadership has been provided by those parties that like to appeal to the working class, it seems incumbent on us to emphasise that the factors which led to the 1st World War were very different from those which led to the one now taking place in Yugoslavia:
1) Though it is true that class struggles determine the outcome of struggles between states, the situation now is different from 1914. Europe has become a definitively global power, and though it remains the epicentre of crises, and their acceleration, it has a proletariat that has borne the consequences of 70 years of counter-revolution; in view of which the application of the term thermidorian to this phase, as analogous to bourgeois history, is really bit of a joke.
2) The Western workers during the historical period in question, would be slaughtered in their millions due to their lack of revolutionary response to the Russian 1917. This bitter defeat would eventually be sealed by the betrayal of stalinism, then a second tragic bloodletting would follow the 2nd imperialist conflict when the proletariat would fight on national fronts rather than on its own class terrain. The grave disorientation which was the result has certainly not dispelled by the dismantlement of the Berlin Wall, nor by the events in Moscow in 1991 which have been laughably described as the «revolutionary» August.
3) The upshot is, the menace of the balkanisation of Europe, presently underway, finds workers' organisations (and this is an objective fact) at their lowest ebb both from a statistical and political point of view. There remains only the barely discernible voice of our party, to which is entrusted (you either accept or not) the red thread of the communist revolution.
4) If we briefly refer here to the conditions which Lenin so accurately held to be necessary for communist revolution, we must emphasise that whilst some of the factors have been around for some time others are at present completely non-existent. Thus:
a) the ruling bourgeois class must be experiencing a profound crisis rendering it incapable of long-term perspectives. We need only consider the much reduced profit-margins in our own economy, which are only to be expected from this mode of production. It is suffering from a senile asphyxia which no injection can cure or rejuvenate; and this despite the great promises, which are still just promises, of an unlimited market in the Russian El Dorado. In fact exaggerated and facile optimism has been honed to a fine art in the present intoxicated climate. A crisis for the bourgeoisie, then, undoubtedly exists, but we must take account of the fact that they can tolerate a certain margin of discomfort as long as they avoid a head-on clash with their historic enemy. But the proletariat is currently all wrapped up in organisations, including both political parties and nationalist unions, that are linked to the bourgeois state. This fact is due in no small measure to the reformist politics of opportunism.
b) The western working-class, after its genuine but confused stirrings in 1969, has fully borne the brunt of the normalising manoeuvres of the various states. Since then, only in only very few regions have real fights broken out and even there these were restricted to economic terrain, and/or creating a national network. In fact we are thinking of the events in Poland, despite the inevitable political outcome which everyone knows, nor should we forget the recent strike actions of the Russian miners, whose role in recent certainly events merits further investigation.
c) The great Workers' battalions have gone to ground at the moment, diving for cover to avoid the daily bombshells dropped on their heads by the fake workers' parties: parties which are now ashamed to be designated as such, and are falling over themselves to change their names to «democratic» as quickly as possible.
d) The historical party of the revolution is unfortunately reduced to minimal proportions, but, even so, we shouldn't delude ourselves (we haven't so far) that we can «bridge the chasm» between party and class with subjectivism and pubroom plotting as some foolishly assert.
Right now, we who were accused in the twenties of «revolutionary nihilism» might be accused of the same thing again. It wouldn't surprise us, but we should say that at present there is all the more reason for not creating, in our heads, historically favourable situations for revolution: it would be a funny kind of materialism if we did - even if it were dialectical!
We contend that the balkanisation of states (and classes...) is a side-effect of a profound, drug-addicted social crisis, and that the extension of the struggle between opposed regionalisms corresponds to the nowadays armed attempts to corner the sources of finance for the development of capital in the respective areas.
The working class, which is bound to suffer most from this conflict, will be forced into forming, once again, its own, autonomous, class organisations until finally it re-establishes organic links with its historical party.
Are we sermonising? Talking of utopias? We are not afraid to say that we base our convictions on our theorems, and that these take into account the collapse of fake socialism. This view, for many, is too catastrophic to contemplate. The Revolution is a practical question that only those equipped with the fundamental theorems will be able to lead. For us though, leadership is a historical phenomenon and not simply to do with leaders per se, and neither is it to do with battles between great persons, or for that matter between all the various movements.
Whatever the circumstances, we do our bit and carry out our function without harbouring the vain illusion that statues will be put up to commemorate us. Luckily such statues wouldn't last long anyway before being topped if the current wave of statue demolishing is anything to go by; hopefully though, in the future, it will be the working class doing the demolishing and not manic bourgeois democrats. Those who don't attain that level of revolutionary maturity - as we said in 1966 a propos organic centralism and the life of the internal modules of the party - end up settling for the milk and honey of market anarchy, with all its by-products.
Source: «Communist Left», no.5, 1992, p. 3,4, translated from «Il Partito Comunista», no. 195, September 1991
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