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(en) Italy: FdCA Statement - From a victory for inter-classism to a new season of class struggles [it]

Date Wed, 19 Apr 2006 19:26:41 +0300

The right's class project
Over these past 5 years it has become clear that the right-wing coalition that
governed Italy after 2001 was not proof of the virtuous existence of a system
of alternating governments in a bourgeois democracy. It was the expression of a
class project aimed at restoring capitalist, authoritarian and clerical-fascist
command in this country. A devastating and socially well-rooted project which
operated on four main aspects:
* to allow the Italian industrial system to decay as a source of income, wages
and jobs, as nothing threatened profits from surplus value and capital gains;
* to marketize the entire system of protections, rights and freedoms, putting
millions of Italian and immigrant workers at the mercy of precarity and the

* to produce legislation which would destroy the rights and liberties won over
preceding decades and impede the extension of these rights and liberties;

* to criminalize, demonize and repress all forms of opposition and all
opposition movements involved in labour and social struggles as dangerous for
the stability of the country.

This class project became so rapid and destructive during the 5-year period
from 2001 to 2006, that it went far beyond the neo-liberal guidelines laid down
by the centre-left coalition from 1996 to 2001, even going far beyond the
limits of structural compatibility that Italian capitalism could withstand,
faced with the collapse in internal demand, zero growth and the abandoning of
any public support policy for Italian capitalism. Instead, we witnessed the
growth of the personal wealth of government members and their supporters in the
elite. The class opposition was too weak to stand up to the attack, despite the
tremendous efforts of grassroots social and labour movements. The bourgeois
elements who opposed the Berlusconi project were too opportunist to stave off
the destruction of the social and productive fabric, which has now reached
critical levels.

The Union's inter-class strategy

It was therefore necessary to build a wide alliance based on the old
inter-class ideology, allowing the Christian Democratic spirit to find a place
within the Union (1):

* to bring together opposing class interests in a common project aimed at
winning back political power;

* to recognize parties such as the DS (Left Democrats), the PdCI (Italian
Communists) and PRC (Communist Refoundation) as representatives of the
interests of the exploited class in order to stem the rising class autonomy
which workers over the past 5 years had been showing;

* to provide an outlet for the pressure to gain access to the power system by
starving lobbies and oligarchies excluded from access to the levers of
political, economic and administrative power enjoyed up to now by the predators
of the right;

* to involve the exploited classes of Italian and foreign workers in a
wide-ranging project of improvement, restauration and the taking on of
responsibilities (read "sacrifices").

Now that Prodi and the Union have technically won the elections, the
inter-class strategy will be used in order to:

* open a dialogue with segments of the centre-right social bloc;
* exalt the State institutions as the common heritage of all, irrespective of
the coalitions;
* re-distribute political power among the winners;
* enact policies of public support to the economy, to the benefit of
Confindustria (2);
* alleviate and heal the social wounds provoked by Berlusconian neo-liberalism;
* inhibit any potential for demands, protests, opposition or self-organization
on the part of diehards among the exploited classes directed at the new
capitalist rulers.

However, in its work to re-define the capitalist and institutional command, the
true nature of the winning inter-class alliance must reveal itself:

* there are risks regarding the disappearance of anti-Berlusconism, which
glossed over the political differences among the forces of social opposition,
differences which are much wider and radical than the alliance of the Union;

* it will most likely be necessary to involve segments (both political and
economic) of the centre-right, introducing a collaborationist dimension;

* the conditions seem ripe for the victorious bourgeois elements to re-launch
the Italian system on the unequal basis of a new pact of social partnership
which will require its sacrificial lamb (an end to the National Employment
Contract; a free hand to employers on employment; etc.);

* it will be necessary for the winning parties within the Union coalition to
represent the working classes to a point which falls short of the needs of
these classes;

* agreement will be reached with the major "partnership-friendly" unions who
intend to regain their role as partners and re-establish command against the
intolerable examples of workers' autonomy which have appeared both inside these
unions (the case of the FIOM within the CGIL, for example) and in the
grassroots unions;

* a legislative and institutional framework will be required to re-establish
statutory legality and the fiction of the equality of every citizen in the eyes
of the law;

* it is likely that there will be 2 steps in their general approach: first,
restore the country to health; then, soften the demands of the neo-liberal
economy in order to ensure the survival of the workers; this is a policy which
could be acceptable to certain sectors of the centre-right.

The prospects for the opposition movements

This situation of clearing the fog constitutes the basis for new possibilities
and new openings for the grassroots social and labour movements and for
revolutionary political organizations; for a new re-polarization of the
movements of class opposition. The road is open to ensure that the technical
defeat of the right in the April 9-10 elections does not end up as the final
act of all those movements which sprang up in Italy after 2001. The many
grassroots movements who, thanks to their capacity for self-organization and
self-management, have been leading players in the anti-capitalist struggles
(workers' and labour struggles, ecologist and environmental struggles, pacifist
and anti-militarist struggles, migrants' and anti-State repression struggles,
feminist, secularist and anti-clerical struggles) now have the chance to
demonstrate and re-affirm their autonomy and their ideas.

In fact, it is just as important now to continue fighting both against these
authoritarian tendencies which, though beaten at the ballot box, have by no
means been eliminated as a political danger to society, and against the damage
caused by the negative values of the right combined with the negative values of
neo-liberalism (individualism, competition, arrogance, corruption, ignorance,
injustice, the deregulation of civil life, the increasing precariousness of
individual lives, and so on). Given the Union's need for social peace and class
collaboration now that it has won, it is even more important that we promote
and practise the collective values of freedom in solidarity, through the
defence and use of self-organization, through the demand for and protection of
the individual and collective rights of people, workers, migrants. These
movements and this experience of struggle are now facing a future where their
autonomy is threatened. Having realised that elections are not and never have
been a way to carry out any sort of structural change in the political and
economic set-up, we must promote an awareness of the need to launch a renewed
social opposition against the Union government too.

The role of anarchist communists

For anarchist communists and the revolutionary, libertarian left in general, it
is vital that we act in order that the contradictions within the inter-class
alliance can become evident and counteract the phase of class collaboration
that is in danger of emerging. We must promote the political capacity to
express self-organization and conflict of all those with an interest in
struggling and federate in order to carry out a radical change within society
towards self-management and equality.

Federazione dei Comunisti Anarchici
April 2006


Translator's notes:
1. The "Union" is a coalition of the following parties: Democratici di Sinistra
(DS), Democrazia e Libertà - La Margherita, Partito della Rifondazione
Comunista (PRC), Federazione dei Verdi, Partito dei Comunisti Italiani (PdCI),
Socialisti Democratici Italiani, Popolari Unione Democratici per l’Europa,
Movimento dei Repubblicani Europei, Italia dei Valori.
2. Italian industrial employers' federation.
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