Written by Daniel, member of Liberation
1. The final expression of capitalism, known as neoliberalism, is in a critical situation due to the rapid depletion of an accumulation model based on the exploitation of natural resources such as minerals, the sea, and forest and agricultural resources, which has led to serious environmental consequences and may lead to a possible collapse of society. Currently, there is a debate about how to prepare for this scenario and how to adopt new social forms of production that definitively abandon the conception of the commodity as an object of worship originating in the dichotomy between capital and labor.
2. In contrast, the 20th century was characterized by the failure of socialism inspired by Marxist-Leninist and Maoist theories, which in practice reinforced capitalist relations of production through an omnipresent State and party that also reproduced political domination hierarchies typical of bourgeois society and patriarchy. This process consolidated a new and powerful state capitalist system and, once again, excluded the masses from participation in it. The so-called “proletarian revolutions”, which in theory sought the liberation of the working masses, ended in disastrous and tragic capitalist and bureaucratic counter-revolutions that reinstated capitalism in its most radical expressions.
3. During the 20th century, the struggle for global hegemony of the popular movement was strongly mediated by a working class that was under the influence of Marxist-Leninist parties, which were directed by the USSR. Local communist parties, instead of representing a true alternative to capitalism, became mere tools for transmitting Soviet bureaucratic capitalist interests and imperialism around the world.
4. In the present century, new social actors have emerged and begun to displace union bureaucracies that have been functional to capitalist domination. In this context, antagonistic movements such as indigenous peoples’, feminist, LGBTQ+ and environmentalist movements, as well as the young precariat of the big cities, have emerged strongly.
5. This new composition of the popular movement is characterized by being transversal in its demands, but above all by taking more decisive and disruptive action than in the past. In many cases, this also includes the massive use of political violence, such as self-defense, making them potentially risky for the bourgeois order. These new social movements have emerged in response to the inequalities and exclusions of the neoliberal capitalist system and have questioned traditional forms of political action and struggle for their rights. Additionally, they have generated new spaces for organization and participation that seek to – and achieve – build autonomous alternatives to the hegemonic model of society and economy.
6. The new revolutionary subject is being formed from this social amalgam, leaving behind the exclusive focus on the worker-peasant axis of the 20th century. It is no longer just the factory or the countryside that are the centers of revolutionary power, but also urban neighborhoods and territories. Popular uprisings, which manifest in a multiform and heterogeneous way around the world, are an expression of this new configuration. In the context of these uprisings, as a radical phenomenon of organization-protest, all these new forms of struggle emerge in an offensive and radical way.
7. The new popular movement rises without Gods or masters; it does not tolerate intermediation, and direct action is the preferred method and form of communicating and expressing its grievances. It also does not tolerate the intermediation of parties, much less states that pretend to raise the flags of socialism in its name.
8. This mass movement, recalling Rosa Luxemburg, states that it has its own principles and that like a great river it advances inexorably in the course of its history, anyone who wants to put a dam in the way of this unstoppable advance will be inevitably swept away.
9. The revolutionary political organization, as a conscious expression of the mass movement, has the inescapable task of guiding and orienting it towards the perspective of liberation. This organization does not supplant the struggle, but acts as a catalyst for it. It is essential to always keep in mind that consciousness and struggle are what must turn the class into a “class for itself” and not just an organic instrument of the “infallible party” and its “infallible science”. This avoids the creation of authoritarian structures and encourages the active and conscious participation of the masses in the struggle for their own emancipation. The revolutionary party, which we do not deny the need for at all, is nothing more than the conscious expression of the popular movement itself; it expresses, therefore, its virtues and weaknesses. It is not, in any way, a separate entity from the historical movement itself.
10. The issue of a program is not a matter of the future, but rather begins to be built in the present through the implementation of communist measures that allow for the immediate construction of an emancipated society. The idea of a transition as an “intermediate” stage between capitalism and communism is a reminiscence of the reformist approach of revolution in stages, which has proven to be ineffective in practice and has been repeatedly defeated. Currently, even under the dominance of capitalism and patriarchy, there are organic expressions of communism, such as forms of life that antagonize class exploitation, political domination, and social oppression. Revolutionary strategy and practice consist of generalizing these forms of organization, life, and production as part of the struggle for emancipation. We refer to this theoretical and practical concept as communism of liberation.
11. In this context, the uprisings are an expression of the autonomous and independent popular movement, which with all insolence writes contemporary history; it is the true subject that must be paid attention to.
12. Finally, the territorialization of politics is a fundamental element when rethinking the emancipatory project for the class. It is in the land where the new “revolutionary institutions” will be built in radical and violent opposition to bourgeois institutions.
13. When reconstructing the new popular movement, a genuine and honest experience to take into account is that of self-convened assemblies. It is there, in the very heart of our lands, where the new material conditions must be built and, through solidary, fraternal and revolutionary action, appropriate the indispensable means of production for subsistence (water, land, etc.) and combat internal and external enemies.
14. In this process, which we understand as a long period (decades) characterized by communitarianism, constantly and continuously trying to fight against the hegemonic neoliberal material and ideological burden, that revolutionary power will be formed, which will ultimately banish capitalism and initiate the primary foundation of anti-authoritarian socialism.
15. The construction of the revolutionary political organization is a dialectical process and in no case mechanical. Structured, rigid or uniform stages cannot be defined as the hegemonic Marxisms of the last century did. Moreover, it would be difficult to build a revolutionary organization if there is no minimum social materiality expressed in the popular movement, united in its demands for housing, health, education, pensions and environmental struggles.
16. Although these struggles have been reduced to a minor expression in many places, it is possible that they will take on a new role due to the deep civilizational crisis facing global capitalism. In the case of the Chilean region, we may see intense struggles in the short and medium term that allow us to regain the momentum and popular mobilization that was gestating before the October 2019 uprising. For this reason, we affirm that, as the saying goes, we hope that this defeat will be brief and tactical, rather than strategic as it was 50 years ago in 1973.
17. In this context, I see initiatives like the “communal democracy and popular power” that we are promoting today as nothing more than unified platforms for those who struggle for a classless, anticapitalist, and antipatriarchal society. The concrete praxis of class struggle will determine its course in a scenario of successes and mistakes, but with the firm belief that only with the strength and confidence of the people is it possible to build a dual power against capitalism. The character of this initiative must be driven, above all, by solidarity, fraternity, mutual aid, socialization, and exchange of experiences. We must strongly promote self-management and food sovereignty, popular health brigades, the defense of human rights, and the freedom of political prisoners today and in the future. Our effort is and will be to coalesce and articulate all those popular organizations that, scattered and atomized, heroically resist this period of deep reflux. We must reach out to them, offer our solidarity at first, and then earn their trust through concrete action and build fruitful unity. We must rely on foundations and our own organizations willing to provide technical, medical, and psychological support available to the most needy to confront scourges such as gendered violence, drug addiction, etc.
18. The question of the revolutionary organization is crucial, but as mentioned earlier, it is not simply a theoretical issue, but rather a practical one. As the popular movement matures and grows in organization and consciousness, an advanced detachment in political and ideological consciousness arises that must address, in the face of the masses, the political issues of power and material conditions. It is in this praxis where the revolutionary organization is shaped, born from below, from the very depths of the land. Consequently, the main task is and has always been to develop the popular movement from its own bases. Unlike Bolshevism, this organization does not separate itself from the masses to join the bureaucratic apparatus of the State, replacing one form of domination with an even more terrible version. On the contrary, the goal is to destroy that apparatus, and in each territory, the people and their revolutionary organization will be one. In this sense, the abject mechanism of the 20th century is discarded: first the party, then the program, and the masses follow the path towards their liberation. What we seek is that the party, the masses, the program, and the revolutionary action go hand in hand, as a single historical process, as a single exercise of collective emancipation and liberation.