[The failed action against Tietmayer occurred on September 20th 1988. The statement translated below was issued in March 1989 and distributed in Rome and Naples. See Paolo Dorigo, Contributo per una STORIA DOCUMENTALE DELLE BRIGATE ROSSE con DVD contenente i documenti citati 2a edizione aggiornata e corretta. p 84. ]
The Red Brigades for the PCC jointly claims with the RAF [see English translation of RAF claim here] the attack on Hans Tietmayer FRG finance undersecretary and point man for the policy decisions and coordinated economic guidelines for the imperialist states of West Europe.
The offensive advances on a united political basis against the policies of W.European integration and expresses the advance achieved by the BR and the RAF in the construction/consolidation of the Combatant Anti-Imperialist Front [CAF] and opens in concrete terms a new stage of development of revolutionary strategy insofar as it defines materially a more developed type of proletarian internationalism. The “alliance policy” puts the anti-imperialist Revolutionary Forces on a level more adequate to the clash with imperialism: the transformations accomplished by the RAF and the BR establish a more mature foundation for the further development of a political/military/organizational project which unifies the combatant anti-imperialist Revolutionary Forces in a common line of attack against imperialism.
The political proposal of the Front emerges and develops on the basis of both the unity of purpose of the Revolutionary Forces in W.Europe and the strategic importance of W.Europe in the interests of imperialism, as well as the contradictions, which originating in the heart of the imperialist system, invest the entire chain in different forms. The general objective intended with the “Front policy” is the weakening and rollback of imperialism.
The shared interest of the Revolutionary Forces which fight imperialism is to encourage revolutionary ruptures, whether they be proletarian revolution or national liberation. The level of economic integration and interdependency of the countries of the imperialist chain, which is expressed in their level of political and military cohesion, makes every corner of the world vital for imperialism, so that detaching a link from the chain becomes impractical outside of a general condition of instability and weakness of the total imperialist system.
This common interest among the anti-imperialist Revolutionary Forces is given objectively even more then subjectively and establishes the political conditions to propose and practice an “alliance policy”.
For the BR for the PCC the construction and consolidation of the F.A.F [Fighting Anti-Imperialist Front] occurs within a broad practice of anti-imperialist policy, forming a more advanced level in the concrete affirmation of a leap in qualitative terms in the proletarian and revolutionary struggle. The central themes of anti-imperialist practice cannot be adjusted to the level of development reached by imperialism without the strengthening of an “alliance policy” which aims to construct political and practical force for the attack on the common enemy with the anti-imperialist combatant Forces of this geopolitical area (Europe, Mediterranean, Middle-East).
The development of the F.A.F must be directed towards the essential objective of accomplishing joint offensives against the central policies of imperialism. This objective is accomplished through successive stages of unification. The activity of attack on Imperialism must follow political criteria according to which the “Front policy” cannot be obstructed by the particularities of analysis or political conception of the different contributing forces. It is not a matter of merging every organization into one, but of tightening the unity made possible in the practice of attack and by common interests and objectives. Therefore, it is clear that the specific trajectory of each anti-imperialist Revolutionary Force cannot be posed as prejudicial to the action of the Front.
And it is this awareness which has enabled the RAF and the BR to construct the preconditions for a forward leap, in both construction/consolidation of the C.A.F and in a more adequate definition of the political proposal which the Front embodies, thus escaping the limits of shallow generalization. The decisive turn is the arrival at a common thesis which identifies (…) in its primary directives, the line of attack through which the Front policy can currently be realized.
It is concrete and practical activity which substantiates the qualitative leap which has occurred, the objectives identified and the realism in the approach to the “Front policy” which define its value as a proposal, its strategic aspect which goes beyond the accomplishment of a momentary unity: it opens a new perspective of development for the C.A.F. The goal is to foster a broader combatant alignment against imperialism with the goal of the recomposition in joint attack of the unity already existing on an objective plane between the struggles in the imperialist center and the liberation movements of the periphery.
The primary directives around which the Front orientates anti-imperialist activity refer to the policies of cohesion aiming to integrate the countries of W.Europe around the interests of the bloc. This forms the heart of the imperialist project, an essential transition for the broader imperialist strategy which aims to actualize a greater degree of integration and accountability among the various countries of the chain.
A strategy which emerges and deepens in relation to the exacerbation of the economic crisis, which is a product of successive impositions and of reciprocal agreement on the general interests of the imperialist chain within an international political context which sees a polarization of interests and opposed camps.
The policies of integration unfold on three main fronts: on the level of economic policy, on the politico-diplomatic level and on the level of counter-revolution.
-the economic policy level includes the coordination of the general terms of governance of the economy in the supernational sphere (IMF, WB, EEC etc). Coordinated measures of support to the capitalist framework, to the monopolist formations and to financial movement are developed as a counter-tendential response to the effects of the economic crisis.
The principle counter-tendential plan which is asserted in response to the generalized recession is, at a certain stage of the crisis, recourse to the special stimulus of rearmament. The recourse to this “economic stimulus” is a real indicator of the advancement of the tendency to war. It characterizes the economic stage closest to the outbreak of war. The economic characteristics it involves, bring with them the conditions to trigger a financial collapse; its temporary efficacy is only due to the immobilization of huge quantities of excess finance capital which find employment in the search for new technological applications in the military sector.
It is the US, which as the dominant economic and financial center, has chosen to adapt rearmament as the “driven force” of the economy. The degree of economic integration existing between the countries of the imperialist chain means that each of its economic movements has an impact conditioning the choices of the countries of the chain. Therefore, the decisions of the US tend to be formulated as the counter-tendential plan of the imperialist chain.
In Western Europe rearmament is not yet an established economic policy, given the degree of severity reached by the economic crisis and therefore the potential for implementation of different counter-tendential economic policies: but is already prefigured as a tendency. The maturation of the tendency to rearmament in W.Europe is not coming to realization on the national level of individual countries, rather due to the level of financing needed it is a plan of European cooperation and coordination. This fact prefigures a more mature and advanced level of political and economic integration centralized in the NATO headquarters. And it is this which is the most important aspect. The increasing importance of NATO as an aspect of multilateral policy coordination which entails a greater European commitment, completely in pro-Atlanticist terms, closely linked to the USA and under its general direction.
-It is on the politico-diplomatic level that the principle aspect of political cohesion in W.Europe manifests. The role played by “European diplomacy” in the context of the Mediterranean-Middle East geopolitical area is that of repairing and legitimizing the incursions carried out by the US at an earlier stage.
In the past military incursions defined the political orientation around which the realignment of European policy was focused within the broader NATO strategy in the area, redefining roles, tasks and responsibilities.
European politico-diplomatic activity is not posited as an alternative to US bombardments and military invasions, but as a compliment, and aims to “normalize” the Middle Eastern region through reparative initiative and support to the general plan for the stabilization of the relations of force most favorable to the imperialist bloc. “Stabilization” is a product of the general political need to end the regional conflicts in order to redefine, within the changed international context, the politico-military hegemony of the imperialist countries, imposing relations of force and primacy within the East/West balance of power.
The Shultz/Shamir plan [see here] corresponds to this need insofar as it is a complex plan aiming to provide a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. It is the foundational-cornerstone around which all the other proposals and suggestions rotate which indicate the different time tables and methods for approaching the question, in order to accomplish a transformation of the Mid-East scenario in a pro-Western direction. The frantic European diplomatic activity congeals definitively around two issues: unconditional support to the Shultz/Shamir plan as support for a global strategy which, beyond any diplomatic formulae, already prefigure the future governance of the area as a transition in the power balance between the two blocs; investigation and establishment of a plan functional to a operational pursuit of those possible political transformations which adjust on different levels, the plans for political and economic stability in the Arab world, as an aspect of the more total “normalization” of the area.
The Marshall Plan for the Mideast proposed by the EEC is situated within the general context of the search for a greater integration between the countries of the Mediterranean-Mideast and Europe; also placing an emphasis on the need to move from bilateral North/South relations to multilateral relations, within which Israel would assume a position as a point of reference for the Arab world. This as the endpoint of a course which simultaneously sees the transformation of Israel from a gang of occupiers into a “legal state” in the European style, respecting human rights and able to control and regulate contradictions through diplomatic and political instruments of mediation.
The counter-revolutionary level is mainly aimed against the anti-imperialist activity of the Front of Revolutionary Forces. It is not just a question of international coordination of repressive intervention through collaboration between the counter-guerrilla forces of each European country but also the use of counter-revolutionary political projects: the project of a “political solution” for the guerrilla, which is advanced with various specifics in the different European imperialist countries is one example. Coordinated measures on the political level which influence the connotations of the relation Imperialism/Anti-imperialism and Revolution/Counter-Revolution in West Europe.
Bipolarity, the division of the world into two blocs, is the dominant contradiction which influences and overshadows international relations. The power balance enshrined at Yalta, defined the global areas of influence, the new international division of labor and of markets on the basis of the Second World War. In the face of the general economic (valorization) crisis which has gripped imperialism this balance is put into question.
Imperialism aspires towards the formulation of a new international division of labor and markets and to a new political balance, a total framework which unavoidably requires the weakening of the Soviet bloc. The internationalization of production and the market has marked the course of development of imperialism in the post-war period, making an inter-imperialist conflict improbable. On the other hand, the Soviet bloc is not only located outside the Western sphere of political and economic influence, but also forms a sufficiently developed environment for imperialism on the industrial and infrastructural levels, objectively receptive and complimentary to the level of development of imperialism. Secondarily the clash with the Soviet bloc has a political significance, aimed at striking a blow against the development model of the socialist countries.
The need for a clash with the Soviet bloc emerges in relation to the stage of development reached by imperialism, which in order to escape the general crisis of overproduction of capital, must necessarily widen its sphere of influence and expand its productive base at the expense of the defeated, destroying excess capital and means of production, so as to start a relatively long cycle of economic expansion.
Therefore, the tendency to war appears as the result of the critical accumulation of all the contradictions of capital. The stages of maturation of this tendency manifest in an accentuation of the contradictions between the classes, between development and underdevelopment, and in particular in a greater polarization within the dominant East/West contradiction.
In this general framework, the Europe-Mideast-Mediterranean geopolitical area assumes a special significance and comes to be defined as the area of maximum crisis in today’s world because it is the point of convergence between the three lines of demarcation which delineate the different planes of contradiction: from the dominant plane East/West, to the plane North/South and the principle plane Proletariat/Bourgeoisie.
On the base of these facts we can hypothesize that the possible war theater will once again be Europe. Moreover, the Mediterranean-Mideast region was not involved in the determination of spheres of influence in the immediate post-war period, and simultaneously, for essentially geographical reasons, Europe has its “natural”, sphere of influence in this area. For these reasons, it appears as the possible point of departure, the “detonator” for a broader conflict.
The conflicts which are determinate in the region, derive their specific political gravity from their political position and balance within the East/West contradiction on the one hand and from the level of development of the revolutionary wars (for national liberation) on the other. The regional conflicts are objectively situated within the framework of the bipolar balance of power and consequently are the terrain of modification of this balance, for the seizure and adjustment of positions of strength. The progressive peoples and Revolutionary Forces independent of ideological factors and of the objectives they pursue, are engaged in conflicts which assume an anti-imperialist character finding themselves in collision with imperialist interventions in the context of their general interests. It follows from this that the Revolutionary Forces in question are objectively located within the total tendency of the Combatant Anti-imperialist Front prior to any subjective determination.
The attack on imperialism subsists in a programmatic unity with the attack on the heart of the State. The question of the State is inescapable for communists, the State is the site of the political relation between the classes as well as the organ of bourgeois dictatorship; the plane Class/State is the principle axis around which the development of the confrontation is articulated; the attack on the dominant projects, the conjunctural heart of the State assumes a fundamental strategic character.
The central criteria which must guide the selection of targets in order to derive the maximum of political and material advantage are: the centrality, the selection and the calibration of the attack.
The centrality of the attack is to be found in its political capacity to identify the dominant contradiction which sets the classes against each other in the conjuncture. The selection of the attack is the capacity to identify the political personnel who contribute to the actualization of the conjunctural program of the dominant policy of the Imperialist bourgeoisie and who play a determining role in the search for a balance between the forces which participate in this project. Its calibration exists in relation to the degree of intensity of the confrontation, to the state of adjustment of the proletarian and revolutionary forces, and to the context of the general relations of force in the country and in the international balance between Imperialism and Anti-imperialism.
The Demitian [ demitiano a reference to prominent DC politician Ciriaco De Mita] political project of reformulation of State powers and apparatuses is the central pivot around which the State on the one hand formalizes the political balance capable of sustaining and advancing the interests and the programs of the dominant fraction of the imperialist bourgeoisie; and on the other stabilizes and ratifies the general relations of force in its own favor, emphasizing their anti-proletarian and counter-revolutionary character. It must be emphasized that the Demitian project does not have a “reactionary” character, to the contrary it aims for the actualization of a “managed democracy”, as the form of rule adequate to the advanced stage of imperialism. In general terms it is inserted within the current tendency towards a redefinition and readjustment of all State functions and institutions in relation to the new terms of imperialist development and the corresponding terms of governance of the class conflict. A tendency which follows successive transitions in the transformation of the character of the political mediation between classes.
This has matured within the historical development of imperialism as a complexification of its role of intervention within economic processes, both in the capacity for conflict management and in further development of the feature of preventative counter-revolution which is a constant policy for the containment of the class struggle.
The characteristics of political mediation, which is to say the means of managing class conflict, assert themselves in relation to the transformation of the institutional instruments and organizations acting to maintain class antagonism within the limits of compatibility, a real institutional cage, so that it never coincides with the revolutionary approach. The transformations in the character of political mediation are the result of both the level of economic development and resultant crisis and the general relations of force which are established between the classes in a reciprocal interrelation, the character of the governance of the class confrontation which is asserted is therefore a synthesis which attests to the class confrontation and is at the same time a point of departure for subsequent stages.
The knowledge acquired in 19 years of revolutionary practice and the lessons of these years of Strategic Retreat enable the BR for the PCC to affirm the necessity and practicability of the terrain of protracted class war, as well as the topicality of the question of the revival of the proposal of Armed Struggle [AS] for Communism as a politico-military strategy for the entire proletariat, it emerges from the capacity which has matured within the strategic retreat to correctly engage with the tasks posed by the class confrontation.
An acquisition which translates into conscious organization and is sufficient to lead the forces deployed on the terrain of A.S, on the one hand influencing the general relation of force between the classes by developing an attack that grasps the conjunctural heart of the Class/State contradiction and on the other the dynamics of the confrontation between Imperialism and Anti-imperialism by making a qualitative contribution to the formation of the C.A.F.
The process of readjustment and reinvigoration has drawn and continues to draw its life blood from the rooting of the strategic proposal of A.S within the fabric of the proletariat, and specifically the recognition by the most advanced instances of the class struggle of the political significance of the BR for the PCC in the confrontation.
The Strategic Retreat has enabled the BR to further explore some aspects of the class war, forcing it to reckon with the particular laws of the confrontation in the imperialist metropoles.
It has gained an awareness of the complexity of the dynamics which regulate the protracted class war, specifically an understanding of the non-linear character of revolutionary war, which on the basis of the revolution/counter-revolution dynamic is affirmed through a trajectory comprised of advances and setbacks, offensives and withdrawals.
The principle which forms the foundation of the strategy of A.S [armed struggle], the unity of the political and the military, is born from the adjustment of revolutionary politics to the form of rule of the Imperialist Bourgeoisie, from the awareness that it is not possible to accumulate political force and then deploy it onto the military plane against the State. From this there follows the necessity of transferring the attack to the State, to its conjunctural heart in the organization of the class on the terrain of A.S, calibrated to the different stages of the confrontation.
The mature development of the practice-theory-practice dialectic has led to the understanding that it is not sufficient to accumulate available forces on the terrain of A.S: leadership of the confrontation necessarily implies the training and disposition of forces, concentrating them around the objectives of the [current] revolutionary stage. The Task of the BR, which is the Revolutionary Vanguard, is the organization of forces around the construction of the PCC, with the aim of equipping the proletarian camp for a protracted struggle for power against the State.
The deepening of the relation revolution/counter-revolution which matured in the 1980s has clarified the primarily political nature of guerrilla operations in the States of the imperialist center. The task assumed by the State of containing the contradictions which manifest in the class relations is that of elaborating differentiated political interventions, calibrated to successive individual stages. The politico-military interventions carried out against the Revolutionary Vanguard are located within this context and put pressure on the body of the proletariat to deepen the separation between the class and its Revolutionary Vanguard. The experience gained in the deepening of the revolution/counter-revolution dynamic has better clarified the immanent nature of the revolutionary confrontation: strategic encirclement.
Strategic encirclement reflects an essential feature of the protracted class war, that is of revolutionary war which is waged within relations of force which are generally favorable to the Imperialist Bourgeoisie, the impossibility of any kind of rear area. At the same time, it is a war which making reference to an “absolute” enemy, lacks a front by definition. What is at stake is the rule of the ruling class.
In this confrontation the bourgeoisie and the State have no possibility of annihilating their counterpart while the revolutionary process can survive and develop into a movement of transformation which overthrows the bourgeoisie and its political power.
The State is aware of this and sharpens its capacity to impede the conjunction between proletarian spontaneity and the revolutionary project. The general political characteristics which have dominated the counter-revolution of the 1980s are successively incorporated and established within counter-guerrilla activity, and this has transformed the characteristics of the confrontation.
There has been an affirmation of a political logic according to which the guerrilla problem must be confronted in decisive politico-military terms, on the one hand seeking out the weak points which manifest in the Revolutionary Forces, in order to transform them into significant military victories which make an impact on the class confrontation, on the other deepening the characteristics of preventative counter-revolution present in the projects and interventions of the State.
The subjective decision for the Strategic Retreat was implemented in the face of conditions of confrontation which revealed the impossibility of maintaining advanced political positions, with the goal of reconstituting the terms for a new offensive. The withdrawal is a law of the dynamic of war: but if it is considered as a defensive act it negates the essence of the guerrilla itself, submitting to the attrition of the enemy and therefore is in fact a step backward.
The Strategic Retreat opens a revolutionary stage in general terms within which the current phase has matured, which is essentially defined by the objectives pursued, namely: reconstruction of the proletarian and revolutionary forces and the construction of the politico-organizational instruments appropriate to equip the proletarian camp in the protracted confrontation with the State with the goal of transforming the current relations of force.
The objectives of the stage of reconstruction define the terms of conduct of the war, the tactical orientation, disposition and organization of forces.
Tactical application is the dynamic element which concretizes and materializes strategy.
Strategy determines the general disposition of forces in the Armed Struggle, tactics informed by the general criteria of strategy specifies the orientation of the force in relation to the programmatic objectives which develop in each situation.
The current revolutionary stage is a transitional stage, although it maintains its general character, that of the steps necessary to implement an adjustment of the proletarian and revolutionary camp on all levels to the terms of the confrontation which is functional to the reconstruction of the conditions for a new offensive and forms the foundation upon which to reverse the current balance of force.
The counter-revolutionary attack of September [On September 9th 1988 the Carbinieri in a major blow against the surviving elements of the BR-PCC carry out raids arresting twenty one people and seizing weapons, explosives and cash] is situated within the development of this transition, inflicting losses which deepen the general characteristics of the stage of reconstruction/construction.
However, the reversal experienced in September is a partial and temporary defeat, situated within the natural ebb and flow of protracted class war: it does not negate the correctness of this political schema but paradoxically reaffirms and enriches it. In fact, it highlights the weak points in the implementation of the political line without putting the political means for confronting them in question. At the same time, it illustrates even more clearly the non-linear character of revolutionary war, during which losses are inflicted and endured.
War has its price: the problem of limiting losses finds a “relative solution” in the strict application of the strategic principles of the guerrilla (clandestinity and compartmentalization), along with the “guerrilla model” in its totality.
ATTACK AND DISARTICULATE THE ANTI-PROLETARIAN AND COUNTER-REVOLUTIONARY PROJECT OF STATE “REFORM”
CONSTRUCT AND ORGANIZE THE CURRENT PHASE OF THE CLASS WAR
ATTACK THE CENTRAL LINES OF WEST EUROPEAN POLITICAL COHESION AND THE IMPERIALIST PROJECTS FOR THE “NORMALIZATION” OF THE MIDEAST REGION WHICH ARE CARRIED OUT AT THE EXPENSE OF THE PALESTINIAN AND LEBANESE PEOPLE
WORK TOWARDS THE ALLIANCES NECCESARY FOR THE CONSTRUCTION/CONSOLIDATION OF THE COMBATANT ANTI-IMPERIALIST FRONT IN ORDER TO WEAKEN AND ROLLBACK IMPERIALISM IN THE GEOPOLITICAL AREA
HONOR TO ALL FALLEN ANTI-IMPERIALISTS
For the construction of the PCC
Translation and notes in square brackets by Joshua Depaolis. Original text made available online at Biblioteca Multimediale Marxista.