7: THE IMPERIALIST STATE OF THE MULTINATIONALS IS NEITHER FASCIST NOR SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC
In the transition from armed peace to war, the confrontation revolution-counter revolution grows increasingly direct and generalized, but there is not, as some claim, a transformation of the democratic State into a fascist State. We are instead confronted by a state, which via restructuring, has experienced a modification in the specific gravity of its fundamental components; at first the peaceful-reformist instruments predominated over the military-repressive instruments, but now, it is annihilation which dominates and subordinates to itself the reformist function.
Fascism and social democracy are oscillating forms assumed by the political power of the bourgeoisie in the period of monopolist national capitalism. We could even say, simplifying to the maximum, that fascism and social democracy have historically been mutually exclusive.
In the imperialist state, on the other hand, the substance of these political forms coexists, giving rise to an “original” regime, which is neither fascist nor social democratic but represents a dialectical overcoming of both.
Some define the phase of transition from armed peace to war as a process of fascization and the political form of the state in this phase as “new fascism”.
Even if these two categories capture some aspects of this phenomena, they are unable to investigate it deeply and introduce significant elements of confusion.
First of all fascism is not a metahistorical phenomena (I.e outside of history), but represents a form assumed by the bourgeois state in a specific phase of development of the productive forces (monopolist capitalism with a national basis), and therefore presents specific characteristics which are not observed in the imperialist state of the multinationals.
The imperialist state, appropriates, perfects and mystifies from the fascist state, the entire apparatus of the preventative counter-revolution, discarding all of its nationalist baggage (intensified national consciousness, autarky).
There is also another aspect which must be born in mind: fascism had to conquer the old liberal state from the “outside”, reshaping it in order to serve its strategic project; now on the other hand the seizure of the apparatuses by the political personnel of the imperialist bourgeois proceeds exclusively along “internal lines”. Therefore the imperialist State is not fascist.
The concept of the “new fascism” is not only reductive but also false, insofar as it does not permit us to grasp the new character of the “concentrated violence” or its organic relationship with the practices of reformist integration.
Others in this phase think they see a tendency towards the transformation of the state in social democratic terms, and are wondering if social democracy represents a way out of the imperialist crisis, and, more precisely, if the PCI can make its way into power. This contains in itself the question of whether or not the PCI is a social democratic party.
There are numerous differences between modern reformism and social democracy and some of these are fundamental. Social democracy is a typical phenomena of that phase of capitalist development in which crisis still follows a cyclical pattern: coming out of a period of depression, capitalism is able to “bribe the labor aristocratic strata” who form the mass base of historic social democracy.
In other words, the possibility of economic recovery gives the bourgeois real room for bargaining with the “labor right”: this results in, among other effects, the integration of the leading groups of the reformist parties within the social bloc which holds power. The alliance between the bourgeois and reformism, is therefore of a social as well as a political nature: the social democrats and the “professional workers” take the side of the bosses because they have real shared interests (resumption of accumulation and restructuring of production), and because they aspire to become bosses themselves, with well grounded possibilities of winning benefits for themselves. Furthermore, the particular characteristics of the State in this period of capitalist history, facilities the entry of social democracy into government, which is always the antechamber of power: the State is still relatively autonomous from the economy, justifying to some extent the illusion that it is possible to seize it and utilize it on behalf of the working class.
These facts are no longer true. The crisis of imperialism is not expected to result in renewed accumulation, because the economy has entered into a phase of stagnation which can only be resolved by war for a new division of markets, and because the economic policies implemented by the states, tend to narrow, rather then broaden the productive base.
Consequently, neither the structural (nature and development of the crisis) nor the subjective (state and government policies) basis exist which could make it possible for the revisionists to be integrated within a social bloc which carries out a policy of a reformist type. Or rather: it is still possible for the revisionists (their leading groups), to be temporarily housed within government, but there no longer exist the conditions for the labor aristocratic strata or the middle classes to be integrated within a power bloc responsible for the management of a type of development, which can no longer be carried out, considering the nature of the imperialist and multinational capitalism of our times. What the capitalists, will in fact grant the professional workers in exchange for their collaboration, if not redundancy payments, layoffs, increase in exploitation and progressive but constant reduction in the purchasing power of the wage?
And anyhow, apart from the material compensation, in what possible development can they be involved, even if only ideologically, when the labor aristocracy sectors have exhausted their progressive potential from capital’s point of view?
The absence of the structural conditions for the formation of a new social bloc for power, does not exclude all the characteristics of this relation, which on the other hand, depends on the situation of the class, and on the other, upon the level of the productive forces.
Although the first to pay the price of the accession to power of the historic social democracy were the peasantry, given the fact that the upswing of accumulation was occurring at the expense of the countryside, now the preferential relationship of the imperialist bourgeois with the revisionists is founded in the identification of the “marginal proletariat” as a variable which it is indispensable to control.
In other words, the professional worker “should simultaneously become both an authentic solder of production, and function as a cop in relation to his own workmates, especially in relation to the masses of marginalized proletarians in the big cities.”
For all these reasons, it is inevitable that the politics of the revisionists must progressively lose all its reformist features, in order to take up open repression: gradually, and independent of the will of its individual militants, the function of the PCI becomes conservative, aimed at the exercise of a rigid control over the labor market, and the organization of a consensus around a model of social and economic development, which because of the nature of imperialism, is incapable of mobilizing and engaging the masses, (as for example fascism managed to do), which forces the revisionists to use coercive means, more and more, and to forcibly impose the consensus, rather then soliciting and interpreting it.
This occurs because, as imperialism is putrescent capitalism, it cannot further develop the productive forces, without derangement of the corresponding relations of production, which means that the necessary of maintaining them unchanged must clash with the will to transform them, and for the reformist traditional worker’s parties, a transformation from instruments of social peace, into instruments of civil war.
From this perspective, it is possible to argue that that the revisionists are in the service of the imperialist State of the multinationals, and that the contradiction with modern revisionism, as well as being antagonistic, must also be addressed on the military level. Already, today thanks to the mediation of the revisionists, militarization extends from the factory to the neighborhood, to interpersonal relationships, to the family, in a chain of hierarchical and violent social relations, dominated by the laws of a repressive society, which imperialism wants to make ever more similar to a concentration camp for millions of producers.
It should also be taken into account, that one of the reasons the alliance with modern revisionism is desirable for the bourgeoisie, is the possibility of a more effective penetration of East European markets.
As well as the political projects of the multinationals in their entirety, the PCI above all serves the imperialist State as an entrepreneur itself: in these cases the role of the PCI ceases to be purely subordinate, and becomes active, taking on the reformist character of an evolutionist and gradualist hypothesis of transition to socialism. The duplicity of the function and nature of the PCI (on the one hand police function and conservative character; on the other rationalizing function and reformist character) is likely the base of its electoral successes and is “required” in the context of a class struggle reaching ever increasing levels of maturity.
The position of the PCI in relation to the monopolies and the multinationals is indirect and passes through the mediation of the State, in relation to the State considered as a capitalist in its own right, the revisionist point of view involves more then one theoretical problem, and finds its justification in the prominent position State intervention has assumed (already during fascism), and continues to assume in the Italian economy.
Underlaying this assessment by the PCI is “the recovery of the analysis of Engels and Lenin on the ambivalent nature of State capitalism, seen on the one hand as the point of maximum development for capital, and on the other, as the point of maximum contradiction (over which there is a political influence), as an expression of a exacerbation of the fundamental contradiction between the ever more social character of capitalist production and the private appropriation of surplus value”. Hence “a kind of optimism on the possibility of an immediate “use” of the instruments of state intervention and in particular the state owned enterprises, for diverse purposes, other then those for which they were created.”
Based on these theoretical presuppositions, which ignore not only the relation between the State and the multinationals (to the point where the revisionists arrive at the fantasy of an alliance between the working class and the state owned enterprises with an anti-monopoly function ), but even the direct interests of the State, insofar as it is a business owner, in the sphere of production, reformism and repression become two sides of the same coin, and the PCI turns out to be an instrument, more or less decisive or more or less accessory, for the division of the working class, the control of the labor market, the organization of consensus and the repression of proletarian autonomy and revolution.
Within the revisionist party, there exists an ambiguity between two tendencies; one which we could improperly as the “left of social democracy” which accepts NATO as well as the system of western values; the other which is inspired by “State capitalism and sees the “compromise” as the first tactical step in this direction. This means that the link between the revisionist party and social imperialism is dependent upon a position of greater strength for the second current in relation to the first.
On a European level, ultra-revisionism seeks to establish itself as an autonomous force, a hegemonic force with respect to the political area where it is seen together with the dogs and pigs of the left of social democracy, passing via the “various Eurocommunisms” in order to arrive at counterfeit Leninist incitement of the Portuguese type. They deal with imperialism as a “inside-outside” force, this is why they inspire mistrust in Carter and his European vassals, who would also be tempted to use them, ambitiously, for the purpose of catalyzing dissent in the Eastern countries; but for the moment, they remain a double edged sword.
The only card held by ultra-revisionism, is a guarantee for the “pacification” of the southern region of Europe, which has lost much of its value, following the development of the liberation movements for independence (ETA, IRA), the growth in the forms of the metropolitan guerrilla (RAF, NAPAP, BR) and the growing generalization of autonomous mass movements.
The unity of Eurocommunism (from the CIA agent, Carillo to De Gaulle’s idiot brother, Marchais) is the unity of opportunism: it is the unity of renegades from Marxism-Leninism, of traitors to the aspiration for emancipation of the working class.