With the formation of the imperialist State the antagonistic character of the class contradiction fully reveals itself, and is further exacerbated by the contradiction between the global interests of imperialism and the particular interests of the area (inter-imperialist contradictions), therefore, the forms and instruments of domination must necessarily be strengthened and refined to the maximum degree.

Instructed by the popular struggles of the past and present on a planetary scale, aware of its strategic weakness, and the tactical strength provided by its enormous apparatus, the imperialism of the multinationals has the single objective of prolonging its survival: the prevention and annihilation of the revolution before it can unfold in all its power and mobilize all its forces is its vital strategic project: the preventative counter-revolution.

With reformism, small concessions to metropolitan “aristocrats”, it seeks to block the proletarian struggle before it reaches a dangerous point, in order to recuperate and reserve it within its own “development”; simultaneously, pacifying the rear area, to carry out the annihilation of that part of the proletariat which cannot be “bribed” or recuperated within its development.

Reformism cannot be separated from annihilation. It is not a different thing. Reformism is not a policy of the working class, but a policy of the imperialist state against the metropolitan proletariat.

The imperialist State of the multinationals, therefore presents itself as a reformist-repressive structure, highly integrated and centralized. On the one hand, the peaceful instruments, the purpose of which is secure the consent of the masses: institutional parties, unions, mass media….on the other, the military instruments with the objective of annihilation: special nuclei, special tribunals, special prisons, that is to say the forces of generalized repression.

Both are operational and coexistent parts of the same policy. Both are forms of one and the same state.

In other words, Santillo is Lama’s twin!

This coexistence of reformist-repressive functions, undergoes, depending on the phase in the economic cycle, qualitative transformations of some importance, but not such as to undermine the substance of the imperialist state.

In the period of economic expansion, the imperialist State, displays above all its human face, and peaceful reformism hides its steely fangs. In this period, peace prevails, but it is an “armed peace”. On the contrary in the period of economic crisis, it is mainly weapons which appear and the relation State-society is increasingly militarized. This does not mean that the imperialist State renounces the use of reformism. Except now, having lost its material base, it becomes “pure ideology” and tends to assume the function of “controller of the masses” and “anti-proletarian police”.

In this period, the confrontation between revolution and counter-revolution becomes increasingly generalized and enters into a new phase: war!

The process of preventative counter-revolution which characterizes the movement of the imperialist bourgeois in this phase, requires from the revolutionary forces a new elaboration of the strategy for the seizure of power, and therefore also of principles and forms of organization.

There can no longer be a political phase separate from the military one, because in the imperialist State of the coexistence and functionality of reform and annihilation, the only possibility of practice on the political terrain of confrontation is that with a weapon in hand.

The insurrectionary strategy of third internationalist origin, becomes a part of history and the guerrilla arrives on the scene, the protracted class war.

In the period we have defined as “armed peace”, (namely the expansionary phase of the cycle in which the use of reformist instruments prevails over that of openly repressive ones) the tactic of armed propaganda predominates among the revolutionary forces, while in the period of “war” (namely the crisis phase of the cycle in which the instruments of repression and annihilation of antagonistic class practices are predominant), the practice of revolutionary civil war prevails among the revolutionary forces.

Translators Notes:
Emilio Santillo: police official with counter-terrorism responsibilities in the 70s.

Luciano Lama: Secretary of the CGIL 1970-86.

antagonistic class practices=comportamenti antagonistici della classe