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(en) Italy, Federazione dei Comunisti Anarchici (FdCA) On the Transitional Period - Basic Strategy Document I. (1/2)

Date Thu, 04 Aug 2005 08:42:35 +0300


Introduction
One of the most difficult problems of "revolutionary socialism"
(by which we mean the ideas of those comrades who were to develop
in the 19th century a strategy for a socialist revolution) is the
period when society moves from a capitalist social structure
(economics, politics and ideology) to a "communist" social structure.
The period, or better still, the phase of transition. There is no
shortage of slogans regarding this question. There is an
abundance of empty polemics and academic opinions. But
what there isn't is clarity.

Given the confusion and resulting polemics, it is essential to
clarify the matter fully - the phraseology, the vocabulary, the
concepts and the strategy, not with the aim of convincing, but
only for the sake of clarity with regard to what is necessary and
useful for engaging in politics nowadays and with regard to the
correct behaviour in the transitional phase.

First and foremost, we must clarify one basic point: anyone
who is against the capitalist system and who wants to build
socialism cannot but foresee a transition from one to the other.

Elsewhere, we have examined the political system under
which we live, together with the existing political forces and
the methods which must be used in order to build anarchist
communism. In fact, the way in which we relate to our current
social situation, in other words our attempt in real and concrete
terms to produce a revolutionary alternative to western
capitalist society (the current historical stage of development)
is a key to working out a way to lead to a transition.

For reformists, the transitional phase is part and parcel of their
way of making politics. In effect, through the "legal" structures
of today's bourgeois society, the reformist socialists (social
democrats) are already living the transitional period and,
according to them, they are already beginning to live in a
socialist society, without the need for any shocks to the
system.

We agree with them in believing that everything that happens
today can bring us closer to or further from socialism.
However, as far as the problem of the transitional period is
concerned, we view the transitional phase as a precise moment
and, though its limits are indistinct, it is very different period
from the one in which we struggle for socialism in a capitalist
society.

For us, the transitional period has a precise beginning point
which corresponds with the moment in which the BASIC
STRUCTURE OF POWER IS NO LONGER ABLE TO
IMPOSE ITS WILL UNCONDITIONALLY.

For revolutionary socialists, contrary to the reformists, the
transitional period begins at a precise time on a precise day, in
other words when the revolutionary socialist "party" takes
power, pushing out the bourgeois power, and ends at a precise
time on a precise day, in other words when the party's
education of the people is complete.

We agree with them in believing that the length of the
transitional period depends on the people's education in
socialism, but we differ sharply in believing that socialism
(understood as a society without State) does not begin after the
transitional period but during it and that therefore the authority
of the State must end at the moment the transitional period
begins.

For anarchist communists, the transitional period is at one and
the same time the final phase of the struggle against capitalism
and against every other form of power (and is thus a time of
harsh, military struggle) and the initial phase of the building of
a "new" society (and is thus a time of re-building both
politically and of the administration of society, and of the
ideology and consciousness of citizens).

This period of transition will come into being when the
struggle of the mass organizations (which anarchist
communists are members of in their own right) within the
capitalist system is characterized by revolutionary protest and
action involving wide sectors of the exploited, and when the
inability of the existing system of government to provide
human beings with a decent life permits a general revolt by the
majority of the exploited.



Internationalism

Anarchist communists believe that the division of the world
into over 300 nations is the result of capitalism's economic and
ideological needs. Anarchist communists belong to no
"fatherland" and consider themselves citizens of the world.

A just society in only one nation is unthinkable. The economy,
military strength and ideology of power can be destroyed
providing there does not exist in the world any place where
they can survive.

For this reason, our basic strategic programme does not allow
for the existence of "socialism in one country", as
Marxist-Leninists would have us accept. It does not, however,
follow from this that the revolution must break out at the exact
same time in every country of the world. It simply means that
the period of transition will not come to an end until all the
various forms of power have been abolished everywhere.

Accordingly, therefore, it must be part of anarchist communist
strategy to develop the anarchist communist international and
to work towards the development of supranational coordination
between the mass organizations.

The aim of the anarchist communist movement is to eliminate
cultural, ethnic and racial divisions at an international level.
But this does not mean abolishing (by force or otherwise)
"traditions" and the various types of culture. It means ensuring
that they are not obstacles to the unity of the proletariat.

The problem is therefore a practical one and must be seen
under two aspects: on the one hand, the material difficulties
that arise and on the other hand, the political role that the
organization must have.

The material difficulties derive first and foremost from the slow
evolution from the national to the international. The objective
is federalism, not of nations but of zones with different cultures
and languages, and there is no doubt that the forces of reaction
will seek to use these divisions in order to destroy the
revolution.

It is important to maintain the cultural identity of a "people"
and even to strengthen it so that social cohesion can develop
and lead to the overcoming of national barriers.

Where capitalism tends to make society into an anonymous,
controllable mass, it is our task to use this exploitation in order
to defeat nationalism.

If each federation is able to find a path to revolution and make
it believable to the masses, it will surely find itself needing to
increase its forces, conditioning the choices at an international
level and thereby levelling the various timescales and levels of
maturity that exist internationally. This is not to be understood
as interference, but as a more advanced practical indication
which can inspire those at lower levels to work harder -
without losing sight of the fact that different levels of
consciousness do not mean that one is higher and the other
lower.



Foreword to the following paragraphs

Dealing fully with all the problems regarding the transition to
socialism is impossible if, as is the case with this document of
basic strategy, we deal with the transitional period as the
moment of destruction and construction following the violent
revolutionary break with the capitalist system. This moment,
the length of which we cannot determine, will have (and
perhaps definitively resolve) the problems that anarchist
communism and the historical experiences of the proletariat
have thrown up and bequeathed us and about which we can
say nothing today, unless it is to think about them again in
light of the errors that have been made and of our current
strategic development as a revolutionary organization, and of
the revolutionary experiments being made by the exploited
today.

But it is because of just this that we find ourselves, today, as a
revolutionary organization and as organized militants of the
mass organizations, examining the problems and possible
solutions leading to the revolution and the alternative to
capitalist society in which we foresee forms and methods
which will probably exist in the period of transition.

It is because the transitional period is the culmination of a slow
and inexorable revolutionary action that we are asking
ourselves here and now about those problems which, once we
come across them and resolve them one by one with a political
strategy, will allow both the exploited and ourselves to reach
the transitional period consciously and capable of victory.

This is why we must detail here and now, in this document of
basic strategy, the basic points which must be clear to us and
on which we are confronting, and will continue to confront,
capital.



Towards the overcoming of the capitalist economy

The first aspect of the economic problem regards acquisition,
and with that the possibility of modifying the various economic
conditions throughout the world.

In fact, in order to create a new form of economic organization,
it is necessary to know the way economic mechanisms work,
from information technology to distribution. A new social
development also requires a technical ability on our part to
resolve complex problems regarding the organization of labour
(both manual and intellectual). Knowledge of the capitalist
mode of production certainly does not mean that a slow
modification of the situation is required, but this knowledge
linked to the role that every person has within it, allows us to
face the problems in a more global, less approximate way.

In fact, if capitalist organization changes, then the class
structure will change in part, too. We will find ourselves faced
with an increasingly changing situation which determines new
social conditions.

The current form of organization would seem to be in some
respects perfect; the fact that wide sections of the class are
trapped by consumerism and by the petit-bourgeois aspects of
life raises further questions: how to maintain class unity with
regard to aspects of primary economic interest?

If we are to require a new society to overcome the purely
intellectual or purely manual nature of labour, then large
sections of those who are currently privileged need to be
habituated to this. Disaffection at work and "inhuman" work
must be combated in order to create the equilibrium which can
bring the best out in everyone. Certain jobs will still have to be
done in certain conditions, but it will mean that even the
condition of the scientist, pure and abstract, will make much
more sense if it has a precise goal - the socialization of labour.

It is also a practical socialization, which enables a different
management of wealth and knowledge. With the increase in
divisions and of different interests within the class, a
programme which gives us the credibility to say "we can live
differently" becomes increasingly difficult.

If our society is able to provide a life fit for humans and if this
can be demonstrated relatively, then our ideas for the
organization of labour will seem credible.

The timescale of this change is important because it will
depend on our immediate reaction to the past, which will allow
us to overcome many obstacles. The immediate control of key
positions in the economy must be able to ensure the possibility
of immediately beginning the process of rebirth of production;
the deeds of a "heroic" revolution are left to the past, a class
that seeks security does not think of the revolution as a future
but (perhaps) as the satisfaction of material and intellectual
interests.

The concept of economic revolution will have to take on
different features, not because certain models are necessarily
wrong, but simply because capitalism has experienced them
and has developed forms of protection against them.

For this reason, it is up to us to look for a way to develop the
class struggle which is capable of getting the better of
capitalism in all its various and changing forms.

But if we are not to fall into the trap of reformism or unrealism,
we will need to provide each economic sector with an
alternative form of management which can be updated and
modified accordingly every time it is seen to be no longer
effective.

The right use of the contradictions that capitalism creates is to
ensure that these contradictions do not cancel each other out
but that they go in the same direction. We must understand
that interests, which are often particular and limited, are not
enough to keep a movement alive. The desire for change must
be tested and verified over time together with debate and the
experience of the class. The class in its entirety.

The way in which economic life will have to be re-organized is
important.

One of the first steps we must take is collectivisation, but we
must be careful that it does not degenerate into a new
hierarchical order with forced collectivizations. It needs to
penetrate every sector carefully. And where there are pockets
of resistance, they must not be crushed, but absorbed.

The new form of organization will establish which products are
possible to collectivise and which are not. In a society which
tends to decentralize wide sectors, it will be difficult to
overcome private property, which will be confused with artisan
labour, considered as free and therefore as a "class aspiration".

Capitalist society is able to take on different forms without any
significant effect on capitalist organization. For this reason we
too will have to adopt different methods and timescales before
we can overcome capitalist society.

Though the acquisition and expropriation of the means of
production remain as a firm basis, this does not mean that
without changing the substance we cannot (for obvious
reasons) look for parallel routes.

The problem remains, however, during the initial phase, at the
moment when new power relations are formed between the
now conscious class and the capitalist organization which can
make use of economic blackmail and repression. Overcoming
this will be proof that the class has reached a level at which the
transition can begin, that is to say the ability to acquire the
means of production, one road towards the building of
socialism.



Destruction and construction

During the transitional period the battle against capitalism is
mixed with efforts to construct a new society.

This means that the essentially critical position of
revolutionary class-struggle militants will have to be associated
with a constructive capacity that these militants are today in a
position to use only within political organizations (both specific
and mass), but which they will, during the transitional phase,
have to use with regard to the problems of society - hospitals,
industry, distribution, etc.

First of all, though, we need to eliminate any
misunderstanding there may be regarding this problem.

We will therefore systematically divide the enemy front into
three different aspects which will require three different
attitudes on our part: capitalist ideology, police and economy.

Today, all three are indistinguishable but in the transitional
period, each of these three aspects of capitalism will play a
distinct, specific role and will have to be defeated and/or
replaced, each in a different way.

The ECONOMY, or rather the productive structures as the
physical sites of the production and distribution of goods, must
not be destroyed. We must take them over, make them
function and be able to manage them.

This task, both during the transitional period but above all
immediately after the start of this period, will belong to the
revolutionary mass organizations, which will gradually have to
involve all workers in the management of production and
distribution.

The POLICE (or rather, capitalism's military defence
structures) will have to be militarily defeated (and not
abolished through the physical extermination of its members)
and we will have to replace it with some force OTHER than
the revolutionary army if we are to defend our gains in liberated
areas, above all in the early phase.

In fact, while it is true that defence of the new society will be in
the hands of the single members of that society, it is also true
that as long as capitalist ideology exists, it will be necessary to
have an "organization of people" which is responsible for the
control of social order.

In order to ensure that false socialists do not appropriate this
concept in order to create a new police force which can control
and "lead" the revolution, in the neighbourhoods and towns
where a need is felt for it, the anarchist communist militants
(as militants and not as an organization) will need to do all they
can to ensure the formation of autonomous, ZONAL groups
firmly under the control of everyone living in that zone, which
can carry out the tasks of control.

It is essential that specialized bodies are not created and that it
is local communities who entrust this task, with a precise
mandate, to a certain number of comrades who will be
responsible for their actions and whose mandates can be
revoked at any time by the community itself. It is also essential
that from the very beginning, these groups slowly but surely
evolve towards their own extinction.

The IDEOLOGY of capitalism cannot be defeated by any
army. It is the only thing that must be completely destroyed by
each of us and within each of us.

The struggle against the individualist, selfish and violent
ideology that over many years capitalism has sown deep in
everyone's mind, will be the toughest task and the most
difficult battle we will have to fight.

It is an invisible enemy and one against which violence will not
be the main weapon, nor the most appropriate on every
occasion.

Understanding and unmasking what capitalist ideology really is
and eliminating it completely, will be no easy task in a period
(such as the transitional phase) when consciousness is not yet
fully mature and in which the violence necessary for other
things will only be an obstacle to the victory of the new
ideology.

More than this we cannot say: this battle will not see the
victors on the streets and the defeated in prison. All humans
will either still be prisoners of the lowest and most repressive of
the lies that capitalism has spread, or else they will be free
form the oppression of their own past.

In this area, more than in any other, the battle that each of us
faces will be at one and the same time isolated and collective
and no-one can win or lose without greatly influencing others.



What revolution is

Many of those who cry for revolution and declare themselves
to be revolutionaries have not reflected much on what
revolution really means. Beyond the rhetoric, the risings suns,
the noble heroes and the flags flying in the wind, the revolution
is both a violent act (and for that reason anything but pleasant)
and a liberating act. It is an act of great political maturity.

Violence: If it were possible to convince the capitalists that our
ideas are good, then we would be non-violent. But for the very
reason that we want to abolish every form of violence, we are
against the violence of this society and we feel the need to
defend ourselves when it attacks us and we want to destroy it
when it is possible. Violence, however, is and remains a
necessary method that we are forced to choose and is not, and
must never be thought of as right or wrong irrespective of the
reason it exists for. Violence is good only if the reasons for it
and the aim of the violence are good.

We must be wary both of those who prefer to allow the weak to
go on suffering just in order not to have to use violence,
considered negative in the abstract, and of those who prefer to
use violence even if it would be better and more effective to use
another way to resolve a problem.

We need to remember that the end of the transitional period
must be the end - FOR EVER - of every form of violence,
otherwise the society which has come into being cannot call
itself socialist. Furthermore, every form of violence that is
pointless or unjustified will only serve to delay the moment
when humanity can truly call itself free - above all free from
violence from any quarter.

A liberating act: The revolution liberates us from the infamous
past that it the history of human beings. As such, it is not only
a violent but a glorious and vital event. But in order for it to be
a liberating act, it must be the fruit of a desire for change and
not only for destruction. It is not only an act of rebellion but
also an act of liberation and reconstruction. The revolutionary
event must not only be a moment of anger, it must also be
conscious of its function as a progression along the road to the
freedom of all human beings both as individuals and
collectively. The new society will be liberating not only for
those who were previously exploited, but also for those who,
for economic and social reasons, did not previously feel the
need for it. These people will have to be won over by the
liberating power of the new social ideas, and the liberating
power of the ideas of brotherhood and solidarity will be the
only weapon against the vice of violence and the fear of the
future.

Freedom from oppression must translate into social
reconstruction and along the way, even those who were
crushed during the violent phase will have to be helped up
again by their very enemies and, just as everyone else with the
same rights and duties, will have to contribute to the victory of
justice and of the new humanity with no class divisions.

An act of political maturity: Without political consciousness of
the act being carried out, there can be no transition to a
communist society. The revolution, therefore, cannot arise out
of a mere act of anger - this can only be described as a revolt
and a revolt can only be the spark for a revolution if it is
accompanied by the desire to obtain a goal.

The desire and the instinct for a completely different society is
neither a bourgeois fact nor a philosophical concept, but an
indication of political maturity.

Motivating an act, such as the revolution, only on the basis of
analysing the immediate causes that provoked it, means
relegating the materialistic analysis of the situation to the same
level as the analysis of the physical phenomena whose effects
can only be predicted on the basis of other previous physical
phenomena.

While it is true that the revolution is an economic fact, it is also
true that the motivations which drive human beings, and above
all the exploited, to act are not only of an economic nature.

The revolutionary act, as an act carried out by human beings,
is both an economic and a social act, in other words it is an act
determined both by economic causes (and the desire to change
them) and by social causes (and the desire to build new social
relations between human beings).

Our clarification of the too-often distorted and clichéd
concept of revolution and our conception of the revolution
must never become separated from the fact that the drive
towards the revolution is also a drive towards social justice,
towards the realization of values that are diametrically opposed
to those which exist in this society, and therefore non-existent
today, living only in the memory of past revolutionary
experiences and in the desire for a different future.

The idea of a society that is completely new and different with
respect to the existing one, that we can and must today
envisage and that will come from the revolution, is not
something to be scorned. It is an act of the highest political
consciousness and must lie at the heart of the violence of
revolution if it is ever to be thought of as a socialist revolution.

In conclusion, the political consciousness of revolutionaries is
not a consciousness of the politics one is forced to engage in
within a bourgeois society. It is the consciousness of and a
serene and deeply-felt desire for a new society, for a social and
ethical order which does not exist today and which remains to
be built.



The transitional period

The transitional period presents two basic problems - the
military defeat of the bourgeoisie and the building of a society
without classes. These two problems co-exist and interact
from the moment the revolutionary process begins, but we can
distinguish an early phase during which the central problem to
be solved will be the former, and a latter phase where the main
problem will be the later.

First there is capitalism, then there is communism.

The move from capitalism to the period of transition is begun
after an insurrection. But while it is true that in order to
embark on the transitional period, an insurrection is required,
the opposite is not true. In other words, not every insurrection
can lead to a period of transition. In fact, it must be added that
any basic strategy that considers insurrection as a method in its
own right for ushering in the transitional period would be
wrong and would be damaging. Insurrection must be
considered only as the moment which naturally occurs at the
start of the earlier phase of the transitional period.

In effect, what is important to clarify is that because the
specific organization of anarchist communists will have to
behave differently once the transitional period has begun, it
must carefully analyse every insurrection and be prepared to
behave according to whether the insurrection is believed to
remain just that or it is destined to spark off the transitional
period. In fact, it is of the utmost importance for the specific
organization to survive these insurrections and not destroy
itself each time.

The basic strategic criteria which must underlie every
eventuality (keeping in mind that it is unrealistic to assume
that a transitional phase will begin at the same moment all over
the planet Earth, but will instead begin only in certain
territories) is that there must be a socialization throughout the
world of certain elements of continuity, by means of the
international mass and specific organization. It is a mistake to
think about defending or completing the transition within a
limited territorial area. It is therefore equally mistaken to
believe that the international forces of counter-revolution can
be successfully fought by concentrating the revolutionary
forces and experiences solely in the territory where the
transition began. In fact, just the opposite is needed: local
political strategies must be put into place in order to achieve
this international socialization, obviously seeking to destroy the
strong points of the international counter-revolution.

In effect, we must be able to act in the (too-often undervalued
and forgotten) case that the transitional period begins outside
the country and not only if it begins in our country.

If it begins in our country

In this case the insurrectional act may arise from one of the
following situations:

1. a right-wing coup d'état to which the entire left
responds with compact force, eliminates the need to
reconstruct the pre-existing status quo and moves towards the
road to a new type of society;
2. an electoral victory of the reformist left, followed by an
autonomous decision of the grassroots factory committees,
neighbourhood committees and school committees for mass
direct action designed to obtain (both through legal means and
by force) all that "socialists" consider to be right;
3. a radical general strike, supported and promoted by radical
forces against a social democracy that is incapable of
distributing the wealth of the country and of maintaining social
justice.

If it begins in another country

In this case, the revolt of the proletariat oppressed by
imperialism will provide a state of precarious economic
equilibrium. The moment an exploited zone ceases to be
exploited, the exploiting countries will have to reduce their
internal consumption and increase the exploitation of the
weaker classes. It is thus necessary to support in every way the
struggle of oppressed countries and ensure that in our country
it becomes impossible to impose a strategy of increased
exploitation by defending tooth and nail the economic
conditions of the working classes.

This will be the starting point of our struggle, which will later
have to be directed towards transforming the structures of the
political management of our country, seeking to turn every
strike into an insurrection and every insurrection into a
revolution.

The beginning of the period of transition, in other words the
destruction of a political power which is able to manage the
politics, economy and ideology of a society without any great
problems, is however only a challenging of one precise type of
power which is historically defined and linked to an extremely
precise class of people.

At this point, in a situation of an increasing clash between the
old power that wants to regain lost ground and the oppressed
classes that want to stop this from happening, there will
develop a new clash: the clash between those who want to
build a new power with the support of the oppressed classes
and those who want to abolish power by splitting it up into
fragments - one fragment for every human being.

It is thus necessary, in order to continue to be anarchist
communists during the transitional period, to consider as
enemies both the bourgeoisie and the bureaucracy and also the
members of Marxist-Leninist parties. History has confirmed
unequivocally the need for this.

Now, having distinguished two enemies (the old power and the
supporters of a new power), we must specify that during the
first phase of the transitional period (the insurrectionalist
phase), the main enemy is the bourgeoisie and therefore we
will find ourselves in solidarity with the Marxist-Leninists. But
this solidarity with those who fight our common enemy must
be exclusively military, and must be aimed at the essential and
absolute need to preserve the autonomy of all the anarchist
communist structures and the clear distinction from those of
our ally-enemies.

The physical, political and ideological distinction between
anarchist communists and others must be clear and we must
always be ready not only to defend ourselves but even
(whenever necessary) to attack our allies should they threaten
our physical, political and ideological existence.

In the first phase of the transitional period, we can consider
ourselves victorious if we have defeated the bourgeoisie and
have not been destroyed or reduced to impotence by the
Marxist-Leninists. We must be perfectly aware that what
matters most in this first phase is not the ideological struggle
(which will be in our favour, in any event) but almost
exclusively the military struggle and what matters here is not
ideology, but STRENGTH and numbers!

In the second phase of the transitional period (the construction
of a socialist society), things will be very different with respect
to the first phase.

The struggle against the supporters of the State (understood as
an apparatus for the direction and control of the functions of a
whole society), though remaining a military matter, will
essentially be a political matter linked more to the success with
which our ideas are accepted than to our ability to withstand a
military clash.

Anarchist communism cannot be applied by force (though it
must be defended by force) and so, in this phase we will have
to make efforts to convince the unconvinced of the correctness
of our ideas, both through the practical application of them and
through discussion of our ideology.

We must allow everyone to experiment and to make mistakes
(as long as they do not fight us) and welcome into our ranks
those enemies who have changed their minds (ex-bourgeoisie
or ex-Marxist-Leninists) without ever forcing anyone to
behave as we would wish, but patiently waiting for everyone to
become convinced slowly but surely of what the whole of
society can achieve.

If this happens, socialism will be born out of spontaneous
social relations and natural economic relationships and in that
way we can gradually build a socialist ideology.

The final act that we can and must predict today is the
abolition of our own military force. It will probably happen
naturally, but its extinction, when the moment comes to create
it, will have to be clearly set out and foreseen, just as its
creation will be.

After this, there will be the new society. No classes and
therefore no class antagonism and, maybe, new problems for
humanity, finally free from oppression.



The specific organization during the transitional period

The transitional period will be the definitive moment of truth,
the unarguable verification of our theory and strategy, as long
as our tactics are not wrong and the ratio of strength is not
overly unfavourable to us.

In any case, no-one can tell what will happen during the
transitional period and therefore no-one can predict anything
precisely.

The economic and social characteristics of that historical
period are neither predictable nor imaginable at a rational,
scientific level. Furthermore it is perhaps unwise to make
precise predictions in order not to fall into the error of
presaging reality with a prediction that can only be purely
ideological or theoretical.

One thing, though, is certain: if our anarchist communism is
right, things will go according to our wishes. But if it is wrong,
who knows what will happen.

Two things can invalidate this concept:

1. committing serious tactical errors
2. strength ratios which are overly unfavourable to us.

If the movement of all revolutionaries and/or our organization
make tactical errors, if the strength ration within the
revolutionary forces is unfavourable to us, then the task that
awaits us is first and foremost to try with all our strength to
oppose the errors and improve our strength ration. But it is also
necessary to define (starting now) something that the historical
experience of anarchist communists in Russia and Spain
indicates as being of the utmost importance, that is to prepare
and organize, during the transitional period, an organic plan (to
be put into action should the libertarian revolution be defeated)
for the survival of the specific organization and the mass
organization.

Russia and Spain showed that when a revolutionary process is
in progress, anarchists are not always, despite the enthusiasm
and trust, able to express themselves completely. While not
forgetting the errors made by the anarchists themselves, we
should remember that in Russia the strength ratio of anarchists
to Leninists was inferior, while in Spain, the revolutionaries
made many tactical errors on a political and military level.

What happened must teach us that we have to be ready for
defeat when the transitional period begins. We have to be ready
to retreat with the fewest possible losses, to re-organize and
attack again in some other part of the world, at another time,
the same struggle. Because it is not necessary, in fact it is
downright dangerous, to allow ourselves to be destroyed and
every member of the specific organization needs to know that
should the anarchist communists be defeated in one country,
the anarchist communists in 300 other countries are about to
begin the same battle and must use the experience and the
lessons learnt from our defeats, perhaps more so than from our
victories.

THE FIRST TASK OF THE SPECIFIC ORGANIZATION
DURING THE TRANSITIONAL PERIOD IS TO FORESEE
AND ORGANIZE A RETREAT AND DEFEAT.

At this stage, having established that it is impossible to predict
what will happen and having foreseen the worst, we need to
define all the firm points that we can base ourselves on during
the transitional period because while it is true that nothing can
be predicted, it is also true that we can give ourselves the
required knowledge and organization to allow us not to make
the same errors again.

In the transitional period, the specific organization finds itself
with two needs. The first is to exist and become stronger so
that it can carry on its work of spreading anarchist communist
ideas as efficiently as possible. The second is to weaken itself
to the point of ceasing to exist, as its existence is incompatible
with a society in which there is no class conflict.

Thus, on the one hand it must grow stronger while, on the
other hand, should that happen, it must cease to exist.

In order to clarify this apparent paradox, we must refer to the
two phases of the transitional period: in the first phase (the
apex of the clash between classes), the specific organization
must not only become stronger, it must also have a "military"
form; the second phase (the elimination of class antagonism)
is made possible thanks to the strength of the organization, but
having completed its task, the specific organization must
dissolve and extinguish itself.

For the extinction of the specific organization not to be a vain
illusion and for the organization that we ourselves built not to
become an impediment to the realization of our aspirations - a
society without classes and without power - it is essential that
we clearly and simply establish how to strengthen the specific
organization without it becoming an organ of power, and how
it is possible to ensure that its extinction is part of its very
nature.

In the first phase of the transitional period, the specific
organization must do what it has always done, that is to say:

1. to bring the experience of past struggles into the current
struggles;
2. to act as a centre for debate and as a link between
militants;
3. to act as a pole of attraction for those new militants who in
the latter phase of the class war will flock to our organization
and who will have to be carefully selected, informed and added
to the rest of the membership;
4. to act as a centre of debate for all the problems that may
arise and clearly indicate and propagate the tactic it
recommends, and also denounce and combat the errors that
will surely be made during the period;
5. to clearly indicate allies and possible allies and support
them unreservedly, but also to indicate just as clearly our
enemies and fight them with every means;
6. to support and participate in the military clash against the
bourgeoisie and against all those who try to force a State (even
a democratic one) or a dictatorship (even a proletarian one) on
the triumphant revolutionaries.

If we consider the first four points, we can easily see how, as
the social and political conditions change (that is, in the
second phase), it becomes increasingly important to have a
place (the specific organization) that is distinct from the rest of
society, where certain questions can be tackled. In practice, as
society itself gradually changes, it can become "the assembly"
for all decisions and proposals.

This means that NATURALLY, and for objective reasons, all
citizens (including the members of the specific organization)
will find themselves actually having to carry out the functions
of the specific organization.

But this is only possible as long as there are no enemies
(organized bourgeoisie or supporters of the State) who fight
this new democracy. In other words, it is possible only if we
enter the second period of the transitional phase.

As far as the last two points above are concerned (e and f), the
problem will be dealt with in the section dealing with the
military question.

To conclude the question of the specific organization's role in
the transitional period, we can hypothesize a technical
possibility for the extinction of the specific organization. As the
constructive problems gradually overtake those of the physical
struggle, the militants of the specific organization will find
themselves operating increasingly in their workplaces, within
the structures of the new society. It will therefore be possible at
some precise point for a congress of the specific organization
to dissolve itself into the structures of the new society once
they are able to coordinate all or most of the problems
regarding the whole of society.
=============================================
Federazione dei Comunisti Anarchici
Basic Strategy Document
(Approved by the First Congress of the FdCA, 1985)

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