20-THE INTELLECTUAL RESERVE ARMY
We define the intellectual reserve army as the areas of the intellectual “black economy”: temporary, occasional and supplementary work. This labor-power, because of its characteristic high level of education is an unstable force, found in the most varied locations in industrial society, in which it expresses its subjectivity in totally diverse forms. Students are also located within this social area, who not constituting a class themselves, reflect in the school all the divisions and segmentations of the classes which they represent.
In past years, during full economic expansion, to the extent that the organic composition of capital increased-which in that period was compatible with the growth of the productive base-the problem was posed of a transformation in the quality of labor power, hence the necessity for capital of promoting mass education, to an extent sufficient to produce an educated workforce, capable of functioning in an advanced industrial society. This has given rise to the formation of a new social figure coming from the subaltern classes and with a level of education predetermined by the needs of industrial production (technical and professional schools, night school training): the mass-student. This type of student has now become the majority component in the schools which themselves, facing the escalation of the crisis have become real “parking lots” for the potentially unemployed with little prospect of assimilation into the productive fabric.
This “precarity” is now a tendency which reflects the incompatibility for the imperialist bourgeois of combining mass education with a savage reduction in the level of employment. Understanding this means that the movement of the mass-students is now one of the driving forces of the revolutionary movement along with the working class.
21-THE PETTY BOURGEOISIE
While setting out the discourse on the class composition of the metropolitan proletariat, we should also consider those elements of the petty bourgeois who, over the course of the crisis come to objectively gravitate around the proletariat. It is no coincidence that revisionism tends to very confidently claim this bloc with a political and ideological correlation placing it on a preferential plain in which it is an ally of the labor aristocratic and professional worker strata. This strata is articulated as:
-the traditional petty bourgeois linked to small production and small property (artisans, small business owners, small farmers, etc), is currently on the brink of extinction but is still characterized by a profound political instability.
-the new petty bourgeois. The analysis here must be more careful because it is no longer a question of a superseded mode of production, but of a product of the current mode of production: mature capitalism.
It is extremely stratified, in fact it extends from strata of practically manual work (see the clerks of large retailers etc), who suffer from exploitation and harmful working conditions; to teaching staff and not in the public schools [?]; to broad white collar strata (small and medium bureaucrats, state and private); until you come to the technical specialists in the management, surveillance and organization of labor. The elevated level of internal fracturing and polarization induced by the class struggle further disarticulates this social strata, in its political placement it can be summarized as follows:
-the lower strata are allied to the working class, those still linked to manual labor.
-vacillating, with the characteristic instability of the more traditional petty bourgeois, the intermediate strata (teachers, employees).
-objectively anti-proletarian, the upper strata (concerned with the control and organization of labor), who by the way are an important element of revisionist politics.
The women of all segments of the proletariat, occupy a inferior, subordinate and worse paid position in relation to men. Moreover they suffer from the serfdom of domestic labor. Women’s labor including that performed in the home is therefore antagonistic to capitalist society. The awakening of woman’s struggles and the implicit and explicit content of these struggles will be increasingly weighty and important within the revolutionary movement. The bestiality of the capitalist relations of production and of their social aspects has stirred up this enormous social force; the weapon of radical critique and radical critique with weapons has finally reached even the final tabernacle: the domain of the family and the man-women relation, a domain of decisive and fundamental importance for opening the door to the transformation of life and the world. We could say that with the entry of women onto the stage of the revolution all the forces are now mature and for the pigs it is truly the beginning of the end!
Undoubtedly the subjectivity of the MPRO like the rest of its composition is not homogeneous and between these diverse components a political and ideological struggle is carried out.
We are speaking of “contradictions among the people” and their existence does not run counter to or exclude a unity around the strategic goal.
We fight for the subjective recomposition of the Offensive Movement of Proletarian Resistance around the program of attack on the imperialist State and the construction of the Combatant Communist Party.
Some have alleged that the proliferation of armed groups annoys the Red Brigades. If we were not certain that this is another attack in the strategy of the psychological counter-guerrilla, in an attempt to isolate our organization, we would love for the enemy to be that stupid. In reality they know that the tendency of a part of the proletarian vanguard to arm itself is unstoppable, that in fact it is bound to spread; what terrorizes them is really the possibility that it overcome the limits due to the objective situation of disaggregation in which the armed struggle emerges, and congeals itself as the strategic leadership of the revolutionary process and organizes into a Combatant Party.
Clearly the propagandistic attack of the enemy is aimed at obstructing as much as possible, this awareness in the vanguard of the class, shamelessly mystifying the terms of the political proposal which our Organization addresses to the entire vanguard. We are not alone in doing this, but it is certain the Red Brigades always fights and works for the construction of the Resistance Movement, because the communist vanguard will seize the historic opportunity which it offers for the realization of a formidable growth of the revolutionary process.
This brings us back to another question around which there has been a great deal of confusion: the construction of the Combatant Party. We have to remove from our minds as soon as possible, and once and for all, the idea that the development of the armed struggle towards generalized civil war, towards the protracted people’s war, can be a spontaneous process. The class war emerges spontaneously from the specific conditions and the particular and general class contradictions produced by the imperialist system. The need to resist restructuring emerges emerges “naturally” within the working class and the proletariat and pushes the vanguard to arm itself and fight the progress of the crisis of the government which creates the objective situation in which we find ourselves; that is the existence of a substantial minority of the revolutionary proletariat, which has created the conditions of a creeping civil war, as a real form in which it expresses the movement of armed resistance. Rooting the armed struggle in the proletariat, building its capacity for strategic victory, is not a spontaneous process.
Creating the conditions for an alternative power, strategically organizing the revolutionary potential of the proletariat is a conscious process and a forcible operation of the communist vanguard. It is therefore to take up the task and responsibility of guiding the proletariat, to set oneself at the head and take up the leadership, to construct all the articulations of proletarian power, if you want, as we do, for the generalized civil war to be a victorious trend and not the usual useless massacre. The history of the proletarian movement in our country, can be seen, in the final analysis, as the history of its failures; in fact if there is a constant it is precisely that when the struggle becomes class war, and constitutes itself as an alternative power, the enemy wins the game, if the proletariat is not able to equip itself with a strategic leadership and organization.
This is actually the current task of the communist vanguard, and it is the construction of the organization we term the Combatant Party.
We utilize Social Practice as the criteria of objective truth, convinced that all thought in accord with objective reality enables success, while on the contrary that which is not in such accord leads to failure. “There is but one truth, and the question of whether or not one has arrived at it depends not on subjective boasting but on objective practice. The only yardstick of truth is the revolutionary practice of millions of people.” [Mao, On New Democracy. Translator's note]
Taking the criteria of social practice as the criteria of truth and therefore also of the validity of revolutionary action leads us to affirm this general principle: “When the proletariat wages a struggle against the bourgeoisie if it acts in isolation or in a dispersed manner, its struggle fails; it is victorious if it acts unanimously and in unity.” And thus we are led to recognize the condition of weakness of the proletarian movement of offensive resistance, namely, that the considerable dispersal of forces caused by the sectoral placement of most of the combatant nuclei which closes their action within the restricted limits of the specific situations of which they are an expression.
Too often, this armed initiative, dilutes its destructive efficacy, albeit with exceptional force, in relation to objectively secondary contradictions. Consequently, the politico-military initiative of these nuclei, besides not making a deep impact on the preventative counter-revolution, hardly makes possible a strategic breadth and a dialogue on the central question which the metropolitan proletariat must confront in this period: carrying out a distarticulating attack on the imperialist restructuring of the State.
The stabilization of this situation of extreme fragmentation on the subjective level, which some notorious opportunists now even theorize, inevitably favors a reflux towards political tendencies whose primary characteristic is “armed spontaneism” and which in some cases leads to the exultation of the conditions which determine their tactical weakness, and to the refusal to play a politico-military vanguard role in relation to the most advanced strata of the proletariat. Thus, at its lowest point, armed initiative risks remaining imprisoned within a purely “military” determination, because it is incapable of representing a political perspective of liberation.
Picking up the gun is a necessary but insufficient condition for the development of the protracted revolutionary class war.