If its discussion was not opened then, this was the result of a decision of the International which the leadership observed out of discipline. The reaction from Moscow was by now almost predictable. We have only a fragmentary record, 75 years later, of the discussions which took place at the 3rd Congress in Lyons. The Left’s Work in the Party Leadership. Yet nevertheless the directives remained cautious and vague for a long time to come.
A more precise evaluation, really in conformity with Marxism’s rupture from the spells of democracy, evolutionism and progressivism, only shows that the bourgeoisie attempts to alternate methods and governing parties in accordance with its counter-revolutionary interests, and that it is often successful in this. As long as the problem of elasticity and eclecticism has not been thoroughly discussed This system is based upon economic determinism, discovered by Marx, which sees in the study of economic relations and the development of the technical means of production the objective platform upon which to build a solid understanding of the laws of social life and, to a certain extent, to forecast its further evolution. It is proclaimed that: It was held that, since the unions were the best point of contact with the masses, each communist party should struggle for trade-union unity and therefore not create its own unions through scissions from unions led by the yellows, nevertheless on the International level the Bureau of the Amsterdam International was to be considered and treated not as an organisation of the proletarian masses, but as a counter-revolutionary political organ of the League of Nations. By giving rational consideration to the reciprocal influences individuals exert on one another, through a critical study of economy and history after having cleared the ground of all traditional ideology, it is possible, in a certain sense to remove the indeterminism of the process that unfolds in each individual. But the objective pressures that had impelled them, unconsciously and involuntarily toward the International would someday be lacking, and the rift separating them from real communists would become an abyss.
The two elements which composed the ruling class, the bourgeois intellectuals on the one hand and the capitalists on the other, were united in their aim of maintaining unity, but divided on the form to be given to the unitary State. This cannot be achieved through formal and mechanical hierarchical decrees, but, as Lenin stated, only through correct revolutionary politics. We were gagged and dispersed: Evaluations of the Italian situation that attribute decisive value to the insufficient development of industrial capitalism are wrong.
The thesiis sign of the counter-revolutionary “star” in the ascendant — sign, not cause will be the ferocious, slimy, hypocritical cannibalism of “Leninist” phraseology, and no-one will practise it with more zeal than the Johnny-come-lately recruits, the “converted” mensheviks, the sackcloth-and-ashes social patriots and the inevitable “yes” men who gathered in the encroaching gloom, they who had been “no” men, or at most “maybe” men, in the great light which we thought would never be blotted out again.
To put it thezis way: The magnificent organ of theoretical and practical battle that had been the party of Red October was now divided by central problems of principle, not merely secondary ones. Thus the peasant still represents a threat to the construction of the Socialist economy, tesis only the large-scale development of productive capacity and agricultural technology is likely to interest him.
Not only must aggression be prevented and pressure is exerted against the bourgeois States as regards their relations with Russia, but most importantly of all, the Russian party needs to be helped by its brother parties to resolve its problems.
Each group has its own need for economic protection and political autonomy; and in the absence of a lyyons class nucleus capable of imposing — through its dictatorship — a discipline of work and production on the whole country, routing and eliminating the capitalist and landowning exploiters, government is made impossible and the crisis of power is continuously open.
The party must pay particular care to the education of these comrades, who form the connecting fabric of the organization and are the instrument for binding it to the masses. This process was encouraged by the development of the imperialist phase of capitalism.
Gramsci versus Eurocommunism
So-called fascist legislation has no purpose other than to consolidate this system and make it permanent. In fact, from a lyosn legalistic standpoint, the fascist regime was legitimate leader of Italy throughout the twenties. A great battle, a lost battle! The 5th Congress of the Communist International, taking place between 17th June – 8th Julyon the one hand reflected the profound confusion of the various parties after two disastrous years of abrupt tactical about-turns and ambiguous edicts; even Togliatti asked for it to be clearly stated exactly what one was supposed to be doing!
It consists mainly of artisans, professional men and State employees.
Transcribed to the www with the kind permission of Quintin Hoare. As the Lyons Theses put it:.
and Introduction to Theses of Lyon
Historically, the party therefore represents the class in the successive stages of the struggle, even if only a greater or smaller part of the class is regrouped in its ranks. In this context, the Italian Left knew that the body of theses it was drawing up which as usual, overstepped the narrow confines of the “Italian Question” and examined the entire, global field of communist tactics expressed a historic trajectorywhich in the space of a few months would manifest itself in China and, due to a rare and for many years unique convergence of objective circumstances, England; in other words both within a semi-colonial country and within the epitomy of an imperialist metropolis.
Eventually alongside the communist parties, self-styled sympathiser parties would be welcomed on a virtually equal footing into the ranks of the revolutionary international.
It is applied in many sections of the International, and is itself a serious symptom of latent opportunism.
All this swaying back and forth that we have briefly traced out becomes the recipe for a betrayal of the proletariat even more nauseating than what occurred in Whilst these other parties, it is true, do not possess direct experience of governmental problems, nonetheless they can help resolve them by acting as a classist and revolutionary coefficient, with experience derived theis from the real class struggles taking place in their respective countries.
The fact that the majority of the Russian Communist Party has already pronounced itself cannot serve as an argument to prevent the International from debating it and giving its own opinion, even if the defeated Russian revolution has declined to request it, which does not change the problem. Far from delaying the proletarian revolution which alone will create these premisesthis state of affairs renders the problems of the poor peasants insoluble within the framework of industrial economy and bourgeois power.
The Lyon Theses lyos therefore not only a point of departure thexis for tgesis present and for the future, but also sum up the history of the stormy years between and In Novembercomrade Gramsci published an article in Avanti! In words that could be applied to Italy today he argued:. This tactical rule is not in contradiction with the relations that were established between the Bolsheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries during the civil war, since the new thesjs and peasant representative institutions already existed.
This is begging the gfamsci and is alien to Marxism, because it disregards the dialectical interplay of causes and effects and the fact that the methods of action the party uses have repercussions on it.
When the Notebooks finally began to appear init tehsis in a truncated, censored form. No matter what the opinions on the political united front, it is a fact that it was irresistible in Italy infor secondary reasons: The attempt having failed, the abstentionist fraction remained the only section of the party which, up until the 2nd World Congress, worked on a national scale for the formation of the communist party.