It is often said that the history of the class struggle in America for the last four decades, that is, since the late 1960’s, is the history of an almost uninterrupted wave of defeats and rollback.Is it then correct to conclude that the working class has lost its battle against capitalism? Should we accept that we are at the point where the reversal of the balance of forces in favor of the working class is no longer possible? Are the struggles that the working class still engages in a sign of its waning, a reflection of a slow, but irreversible process toward all-out defeat? Does all of this mean that the working class is no longer the social force in society that has the potential and historic mission to destroy capitalist relations of exploitation and give birth to a communist world?
The previous article gave an overview of the efforts of the revolutionary syndicalist current in Germany to defend an internationalist position against the war of 1914-18. The Free Union of German Trade Unions (Freie Vereinigung Deutscher Gewerkschaften - FVDG) had survived the war with only a few hundred members in hiding who, under conditions of brutal repression, were, like other revolutionaries, most of the time condemned to silence. But late in 1918 events came to a head in Germany. When the struggles broke out in November 1918, the spark from the Russian revolution of October 1917 ignited the mass action of the proletariat in Germany.
Why write about primitive communism today? The sudden plunge into catastrophic economic crisis and the development of struggles around the world are raising new problems for the working class, dark clouds are gathering over capitalism’s future, and all the while the hope of a better world seems unable to break through. Is this really the time to study our species’ social history in the period from its emergence some 200,000 years ago to the beginning of the Neolithic (about 10,000 years ago)?
We are publishing below our response to the article “Workers’ councils, proletarian state, dictatorship of the proletariat” by the group Oposição Operária (OPOP), which was published in in Brazil, which appeared in the International Review n° 148 (see Debate: The state in the period of transition from capitalism to communism, Part 1)
We are sometimes asked what we mean when we speak of capitalism's "social decomposition". There can be no more graphic illustration of the phenomenon than the situation in Mexico, and more generally in Latin America, created by the scourge of narcotrafic, analysed here by an article from our section on the spot.
This editorial article was written in July 2012, in the wake of the June summit to "save", yet again, the Euro. Six months later, the crisis is still with us as much as ever. The June summit has disappeared from the news headlines, but this analysis remains as relevant as ever.