In every European imperialist country by now the bourgeoisie carries out on a large scale the persecution against the immigrants and the population of Arab extraction or Moslem religion. Pisanu (the police minister in the Italian government 2001-2006. ndr) already acts in the wake of Sarkozy, the French police minister: he persecutes and expels from Italy the revolutionary Moslem priests and tries to impose on the faithful, in every mosque, priests who collaborates, that he backs with subventions and with the police. The collaboration among the European governments is strengthening just on the ground of immigrants’ persecution and of the hunt for the Arab and Moslem revolutionaries: European warrant of arrest, European federal police, European frontier guards, European Records, European proscription lists, rules standardization. Target of this persecution is an important part of the workmen. In some European countries Islam is already today the religion of the poorest and most oppressed part of the population. The hunt for Arab and Moslem revolutionaries in imperialist countries fuels and covers the persecution of the communists and of the other local revolutionaries. That on one hand converges on the general restriction of political and civil liberties which affects all the popular masses and which materializes as a persecutory practice that strains the police laws which are proposed and passed in every country. On the other hand, if the communists follow a correct line, just this persecution becomes a development factor for the communist movement. In many European countries the bourgeoisie already turn the hunt for the Arab and Moslem revolutionaries to profit so as to cause the reactionary mobilization of popular masses. It is so evident that we are before a course which, for better or worse, has and even more will have strong repercussions on our struggle to make Italy a new socialist country.
What is it about? Where does it come from? Which line shall we follow?
Every Marxist has to clearly put these questions to himself and to give each of them an answer based on the analysis of the history and of the relations among the “facts”, and which will be verified on the basis of the experience. This is the only method worthy of a Marxist to tackle the matter which reality puts to us. Understand the real nature of the social upheaval progressing in Arab and Moslem countries, decide what to do first of all on the basis of it and give the ideas the protagonists fight their battle with and the ideas they have of themselves only the (transitory) importance these ideas have. Only understanding the real nature of the progressing upheaval, we will be able, on the contrary, to understand the contradictions of the ideas of its protagonists and between these ideas and the revolutionary practice. We can effectively conduct the battle in the field of ideas only if it is clear for us what really they mean, where they come from.
The persecution launched in European countries by the imperialist bourgeoisie against Arabs and Moslems is an emanation of the clash between anti-imperialist democratic revolution progressing in Arab and Moslem countries and the counter-revolution caused and led by USA and European imperialist groups. It is the hottest clash among the ones progressing today. Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan are the hottest spots. Where does this clash come from?
Arab and Moslem countries cover a belt which extends from Morocco to Indonesia. They include North Africa, the Middle East and Southern Asia. They are more than one billion of men and women who live in these regions, with strong offshoots in other parts of the world, included imperialist countries. In France approximately ten per cent of the population originates from these regions. It is a fraction of the population which for the most part belongs to the most oppressed and exploited classes. Its formation is tied up with the old colonial rule (labour and soldiers recruited by the bourgeoisie and carried to the metropolis) and with the recent recolonization which has destroyed and destroys the economic bases of old living and compels local populations to migrate. This part of the population of imperialist countries suffers a three-pronged (class, national and racial) oppression. It is so a rebellion breeding-ground. As long as the communist movement in imperialist countries will be weak, that rebellion coincides and will coincide with the anti-imperialist democratic revolution of more or less recent origin progressing in the oppressed countries, rather than bringing the influence of the metropolitan working class in it, as it happened during the proletarian revolution first wave, when communist movement was strong. The persecution against Arab and Moslem revolutionaries so creates a direct link too, which we cannot evade, between the revolutionary forces’ build-up in imperialist countries and the anti-imperialist democratic revolution of Arab and Moslem countries.
Arab and Moslem countries are for the most part old-civilization countries. Most of them has had a glorious past. In the scope of the slave and feudal system they have for some time been the most advanced part of the whole humanity and have known a long economic and cultural development which has gone so far as to produce a vast merchant economy. But none of these countries has ever made the passage to capitalism, for the lack of the necessary political conditions for a primitive accumulation which definitely made the capitalist mode of production to take root (something like that has happened about the history of Italy too). They have so suffered the development of capitalism in Europe and have become, for the most part beginning from 200 years ago, colonies or semi-colonies of European and American bourgeoisie. World War One has marked the decay of Ottoman Empire, from decades the “great sick one of Europe”, and French and English bourgeoisie shared its spoils out in the Middle East and in North Africa. Zionist colonization of Palestine has been the last of the colonial enterprises USA and European bourgeoisie have subdued Arab and Moslem countries with.
The colonization has in each of these countries coincided with the development of resistance movements. As long as they were directed by old local ruling classes, they aimed for the restoration of the past and were not successful. The October Revolution (1917) and the proletarian revolution first wave caused a significant breakthrough in the resistance of these countries as well to imperialist rule, as it happened in China and in India. Strong communist parties formed in every country, in the scope of First Communist International. The resistance to the oppression and to colonial exploitation changed so its nature. It became struggle of the popular masses against slave and feudal social relations both based on personal dependence relations and against the imperialism the old ruling classes leaned on: exactly anti-imperialist bourgeois democratic revolution. The revolution had its mass base in the poor, middle and rich farmers, in the downgraded workmen’s mass resulting from the decay of old social structures and from the impact of the colonialism, in the artisans, in the wage-earners of the merchant economy, in the merchants and in the national bourgeoisie. The local communist parties gathered up the advanced members of these classes who were decided to unite with the revolutionary working class of imperialist countries because conscious of the fact that only in the scope of world proletarian revolution they would have been able to make get their own country out of the colonial condition. The emigrated workmen and soldiers brought to their country of origin the influence of the revolutionary working class.
The development of anti-imperialist democratic revolution in the oppressed countries put the problem to the communists of which class would have directed the revolution. A left wing, a right wing and a centre formed in the communist movement on this new ground too. The divergences on this ground combined to some extent with the divergences on other grounds in the struggle between two lines which went on during the whole life of the First Communist International.
The left wing asserted that the leading of the revolution had to belong to the working class, through its communist party, closely allied to the poor and middle farmers which constituted the mass of the population. National bourgeoisie was by then incapable of taking the lead of a people’s revolution. The working class had to mobilize and to unite all the classes interested in the anti-imperialist democratic revolution, in a revolutionary front under its own leading to carry out a “new democracy” revolution: exactly a bourgeois democratic revolution directed by the working class.
The right wing asserted that the revolution had to be directed by national bourgeoisie because the immediate objectives of the revolution were democratic bourgeois: the communists had to take part in the revolution under its leading, to recruit the workers and to assert in the revolution the particular interests of wage-earners of them (improvement of the living and working conditions).
The centre hesitated and wavered between the two lines.
If the parties of First Communist International in the imperialist countries wavered between opposite interpretations of the front policy (as illustrated by Umberto C. in his article L’attivitÓ della prima Internazionale Comunista in Europa e il maoismo [ The Activity of First Communist International in Europe and The Maoism ] in La Voce no. 10), in the oppressed countries they exactly wavered between the two lines above illustrated. The two lines, the implications of each of them, the clash between them became increasingly clear during the proletarian revolution first wave. The coming in the 1950s of the revisionists to the leading of the most advanced part of communist movement, the Soviet Union, marked in general the triumph of the right wing also in the parties of the oppressed countries, despite the struggle launched by the Chinese Communist Party led by Mao Tse-tung. The triumph of the right wing in the communist movement tested in various Arab and Moslem countries if the revolutionary ability of national bourgeoisie (which had as its political exponents Mossadeq, Sukarno, Nehru, Nasser, Burguiba, etc.) stood up to facts. The result of that verification was the failure of national bourgeoisie and the decline of the communist movement. In all Arab and Moslems countries the communist parties were destroyed or got reduced to be quite small or even they got dissolved. Almost everywhere Moslem clergy and the other old-style local notables which the imperialists had mobilized against the communists and the national bourgeoisie succeeded in taking the leadership. Some comrades are so indignant at the foul deeds committed by the Moslem reactionary clergy, to confine themselves to the denunciation of them. In fact the leading of the clergy has led the anti-imperialist democratic revolution to bloodthirsty sectarian practices. But we communists to get to the bottom of the situation have in the first place to find answers to the question: “Why we communists have lost the leadership of the revolution?”, or else “Why we communists have not succeeded in taking the leadership of the revolution?”.
As for the reactionary clergy, it had however to ride the wave of the anti-imperialist democratic revolution to take and to keep the leadership of popular masses. Obviously it has done that after its fashion, mediating between its old reactionary social role and the democratic revolution. The latter has gone on strong, so much more that the imperialists have more and more increased their demands and levies, the oppression and the exploitation, driven by the new general crisis begun in the 1970s and freed of communist movement’s pressure. Hamas in Palestine is the clearest expression of a reactionary clergy which takes the lead of an anti-imperialist democratic revolution. An organism launched as an anti-communist factor by Israeli Zionists and by Wahabi monarchy of Saudi Arabia (a sort of Moslem Vatican), two arms of USA imperialist groups, had become the most radical organizer of the war against Zionist occupation of Palestine, the outpost of USA imperialism in the Arab and Moslem world.
The line we communists have to follow both in our countries and internationally derives from the nature of the progressing movements and of the involved forces.
The leading of reactionary clergy is an effect of the decline of communist movement and will disappear with its renewal. Actually the reactionary clergy is by its nature incapable of carrying out the revolution up to the victory for four main reasons.
1. It keeps different kinds of strong ties with the imperialism and depends on it to a crucial degree: it is so liable to be blackmailed.
2. Through force of circumstance it is in every country carrier of reactionary social relations and has to intimidate Moslem popular masses to induce them to leave the present masters (the imperialists) and to submit to new masters (the clergy).
3. Internationally it is incapable of turning the contradiction between the popular masses of imperialist countries and the imperialist groups that oppress them to profit: it attacks them both as if they were one bloc.
4. It is not a carrier of an anti-imperialist solution which can involve the rest of the world: it so creates favourable conditions for the reactionary mobilization in imperialist countries.
These four reasons are objective factors which indicate the shortcomings of Moslem clergy’s leading in the anti-imperialist democratic revolution of Arab and Moslems countries.
Instead the communists of Arab and Moslem countries are today able to mobilize the popular masses in the revolutionary people’s war. They inherit from Soviet, Chinese and Vietnamese communists the skill to turn to profit the contradictions among imperialist countries and the contradiction which in every imperialist country opposes the imperialist groups with the popular masses. So the communists, in the scope of the international communist movement’s renewal, sooner or later will take in every country the leadership of the anti-imperialist democratic revolution again.
As for us communist of imperialist countries, we have to support the anti-imperialist democratic revolution of Arab and Moslem countries and to lead the popular masses of our country to support it.
We have to oppose imperialist aggression, whatever the pretext and the guise it masks with. Who seizes the opportunity from the mistakes of anti-imperialist democratic revolution’s leaders to ally himself with imperialist authorities against it, places himself out of revolution field and becomes instigator of the reactionary mobilization of the masses.
We have to support the communists that in every Arab and Moslem country fight to take again the lead of revolution. They are able to address their comrades in the “language” of their experience of colonized and exploited people by the imperialists and by the local reactionary classes.
In our country we have to support immigrants’ revolutionary movements against the imperialist authorities: it is an aspect of our struggle to build up revolutionary forces and to develop the struggle of workers and of popular masses to make our country a new socialist country.
But above all we have to work for the communist movement’s renewal in the imperialist countries, exploiting the present favourable objective conditions.
We so have first of all to rebuild or to strengthen genuine communist parties, based on Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. This is the key of the solution of every problem of the proletarian revolution.
Lo sconvolgimento in corso [ The Progressing Upsetting ], by Umberto Campi, in Rapporti Sociali [ Social Relations ] no. 34.
La lotta per l’autodeterminazione nazionale nei paesi imperialisti [ The Struggle for National Self-Determination in Imperialist Countries ], by Giuseppe Maj, in Supplement to Rapporti Sociali [ Social Relations ] no. 34.
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