Bordiga, the Leninist who put his hopes in the Axis

25 posts / 0 new
Last post
AnythingForProximity's picture
AnythingForProximity
Offline
Joined: 27-12-17
Dec 27 2017 17:04
Bordiga, the Leninist who put his hopes in the Axis

http://www.avvenire.it/agora/pagine/bordiga-

An interesting piece on Amadeo Bordiga from the Italian newspaper Avvenire. According to most accounts (like Bourrinet's), Bordiga ceased any and all political activity in the period from 1930 to 1943, refusing even to so much as discuss politics with his former comrades. (Bourrinet quotes a typical reply of his to friends who approached him about the subject: "I am happy to live outside the sordid and insignificant events of political militancy [...] I made of my life an observatory for the exclusive service of my spirit.") This attitude has been variously interpreted as logically following from Bordiga's views (whether valid or not) on the possibility of communist activity in Italy during that period, or (less sympathetically) as evidence that Bordiga had been scared into submission by the fascist regime. However, Festorazzi shows that there was someone whom Bordiga was willing to discuss politics with, quite openly and on multiple occasions: Angelo Alliotta, an informant of the fascist political police, whose reports are still available from the Central Archives of the State in Rome. Some of Bordiga's most interesting statements as reported by Alliotta and quoted by Festorazzi:

Quote:
Il 10 giugno (data della dichiarazione di guerra di Mussolini) fu dunque per me quello che si dice un gran giorno. Ora però che Hitler si è ammosciato incomincio a perdere la fiducia che avevo riposto nell’Asse per lo strozzamento e l’abbattimento del così detto colosso inglese, cioè per il maggior esponente del capitalismo. Hanno paura di far crollare l’Inghilterra, hanno paura perché sanno che con essa crollerà tutto il sistema capitalista. […] Spero ancora che Hitler non rinunzierà alla lotta, e andrà fino in fondo, sino alle estreme conseguenze.
Quote:
Therefore, June 10 (the date of Mussolini's declaration of war) was for me what you call a great day. But now that Hitler has grown soft, I begin to lose the trust I had placed in the Axis to strangle and pull down the so-called British colossus, that is, the greatest exponent of capitalism. They are afraid of bringing down England, they are afraid because they know that with it, the whole capitalist system will collapse. [...] I still hope that Hitler will not renounce the struggle, and will go all the way, to the extreme consequences.
Quote:
I grandi e autentici rivoluzionari del mondo son due: Mussolini e Hitler. Ma il passato di Mussolini dimostra che il Duce è stato sempre contro la plutocrazia e contro le democrazie, che paralizzano la vita delle nazioni.
Quote:
The great and authentic revolutionaries of the world are two: Mussolini and Hitler. But Mussolini's past shows that Il Duce has always been against the plutocracy and against the democracies, which paralyze the life of nations.
Quote:
Stalin, alleandosi con Londra e con Washington, ha tradito la causa del proletariato. Del resto io posso dire di essere in questo d’accordo col Duce, quando egli afferma, come ha fatto nel discorso del novembre ultimo, che, se un uomo c’è che ha voluto diabolicamente la guerra, che l’ha prima preparata e poi suscitata, questo è il presidente americano. Dal mio punto di vista chiarisco però che Roosevelt non è altro se non l’esponente del supercapitalismo che mira alla conquista di un imperialismo totalitario.
Quote:
Stalin, allying himself with London and Washington, has betrayed the cause of the proletariat. Moreover, I can say that on this I agree with Il Duce, when he says, as he did in his speech from last November, that if there is a man who desperately wanted the war, who first prepared it and then instigated it, it is the American president. From my point of view, however, I clarify that Roosevelt is nothing but the exponent of supercapitalism that aims at the conquest of a totalitarian imperialism.

Avvenire being a Catholic newspaper, this might seem like an attempt at character assassination, but the quotes above are consistent with Bordiga's other statements as reported in independent sources (e.g., Bourrinet again: "If Hitler can make yield the odious powers of England and America, while making thus precarious the capitalist world balance, long live the butcher Hitler who works in spite of himself to create the conditions of the proletarian world revolution").

Noa Rodman's picture
Noa Rodman
Offline
Joined: 4-11-09
Dec 27 2017 19:37

The (unmentioned) source is evidently historian Roberto Gremmo's 2009 book Gli anni amari di Bordiga. Un comunista irriducibile e nemico di Stalin nell'Italia di Mussolini, from which the same passages are quoted by Bourrinet in an abridged history of Italian left communism (first part, in French, October 2015 version): http://www.left-dis.nl/f/resum.hist.gci.pdf

AnythingForProximity's picture
AnythingForProximity
Offline
Joined: 27-12-17
Dec 27 2017 22:06

For a critique of Gremmo's book from the positions of the Italian communist left, see the following article, which also details Bordiga's friendly contacts with other political police informants:

http://www.avantibarbari.it/news.php?sez_id=6&news_id=226

el psy congroo
Offline
Joined: 17-11-16
Dec 27 2017 22:45

Can anyone elaborate on the extent of Bordiga's collaboration with the police? He knew they were cops? Many of these comments sound like something a censor would say. I just want to be sure of this when Bordigists dispute these claims. I know it's controversial because I've used the quote about Hitler and Mussolini in the past but the only sources were the ICC and M. Dupont.

AnythingForProximity's picture
AnythingForProximity
Offline
Joined: 27-12-17
Dec 28 2017 14:51

There was absolutely no collaboration in the sense of betraying former comrades, naming names, etc. Bordiga was willing to talk about politics with people whom he knew to be police informers, and was secure enough in his standing with the regime that he could be reasonably sure that whatever he had to say would not land him in jail. The Avanti Barbari article above quotes from Bordiga's letter from March 31, 1946, addressed to the attorney general at the Special Section of the Assize Court of Rome. As far as I can understand the context, Bordiga wrote it in defense of Bruno Cassinelli and Virginio Troiani, who were accused post-war of collaborating with the fascist political police. Bordiga said that Troiani had provided him with legal aid in a case unrelated to politics, and that he had understood at the time that Troiani "was an unofficial informer of the political police, well-connected around Bocchini and Senise" (compresi che si trattava di un informatore ufficioso della polizia politica ben introdotto presso il Bocchini e il Senise). He admitted that he had discussed the political situation with him, but during these exchanges, Troiani had done nothing that "could compromise him either as a police agent or as a self-professed friend of the regime" ([...] non lo poteva compromettere né come agente di polizia né come protestato amico del regime).

Leo's picture
Leo
Offline
Joined: 16-07-06
Dec 29 2017 02:23

I'm not sure if the quotes above can be taken as Bordiga's actual positions; it seems to be more likely that he told people he thought as informers what he wanted them to report (and the source of these quotes are these reports). In the Avanti Barbari article it's said in a quote that Bordiga kept his true views to himself. Of course the political position of the International Communist Left which had members who perished in concentration camps and spent years in fascist or Nazi prisons and later the International Communist Party against all sides in WW2 is well known, and it's telling of Bordiga's real views that he never defended such nonsense positions within the organizations he was an influential member or supporter of. Since its earliest days, the Italian left defined fascism as a reactionary movement of the big bourgoeisie which was absolutely not revolutionary in any way. These were the positions Bordiga personally defended publically in congresses of the Communist International, and continue to defend after he resumed political activity in 1943.

el psy congroo
Offline
Joined: 17-11-16
Dec 29 2017 10:40

These are just excuses really. Dude blabbered to the cops on a regular basis. There were plenty of pro-revolutionaries in that time, certain anarchists, who set much better examples in their lives. The fondness for Hitler and Mussolini is disgusting. Marxism for ya..

Leo's picture
Leo
Offline
Joined: 16-07-06
Dec 29 2017 17:21

What a person has said to people he thought were police informers, based on the reports written by the latter, should not be taken as an accurate representation of their political views. I don't think Bordiga had a choice in talking to people working for the regime that wanted him under control: his choice was doing this in "liberty" or in prison, and keeping his views to himself or openly exposing them in these talks; and the latter option would have landed him in prison. It is not disgusting to feed a police informant disinformation in order to avoid repression; perhaps it isn't particularly heroic to do so either but he doesn't deserve to be treated as if he actually became a collaborator by publically taking a pro-Axis position - which he never did, in fact publically Bordiga always acknowledged WW2 to be an imperialist war. It seems to me that the worst Bordiga can be accused of here is lying to police informants about his views. I don't find that disgusting, though if he said those things in public, I do think disgust would be justified.

Anti-marxist anarchists love using things like this for lack of better arguements against marxism though (for example claiming Marx's personal letters about Lasalle to be equal to Bakunin's publically anti-semitic position that favorably claimed the massacre of Jews to be an inevitable consequence of any revolution). As for Italian anarchists during WW2, many of them went on to join partisan groups lead by Stalinists, social-democrats and other bourgeois parties and incidentally the best of them went on to develop a cooperation with... the "Bordigists".

AnythingForProximity's picture
AnythingForProximity
Offline
Joined: 27-12-17
Dec 29 2017 16:57

Yes, Bourrinet, in the article Noa linked to above, also states that the quote about the two "great and authentic revolutionaries" in particular is "too flattering to be honest" ([t]rop flatteur pour être honnête). However, I have no reason to doubt that Bordiga's sympathy for the Axis was genuine; there are multiple lines of evidence for this:

(1) Bordiga expressed similar views to people other than police informants: Bourrinet quotes from a post-war letter in which Mario Paone, a Socialist, recollects a conversation he had with Bordiga back in 1940 or 1941, during which Bordiga explained that the Axis was less of a danger than the democratic imperialism of Britain and the United States. Then again, this is hardly conclusive, since it was said in response to Paone's favorable statements about American democracy – perhaps Bordiga thought he was talking to an agent provocateur.

(2) It might well be that Bordiga only told the informants what he wanted them to report, but the question remains why he would have wanted them to report that. If he had merely wanted to assure the OVRA that he posed no threat, surely the explicit praise of Hitler's conquests would have been an overkill; the statements he made to his friends (Bourrinet again: "any illegal activity in the Kingdom is today [...] sterile and useless") would have sufficed. If he had wanted to present himself as a supporter or sympathizer of the regime (and there is no evidence that he ever attempted any such pretense; he certainly wasn't fooling anyone), then justifying his support for the Axis in terms of communism – e.g., by openly saying that Hitler was only worthy of support because he was working "in spite of himself" to bring about the world revolution – would have completely defeated the purpose. On the other hand, if there had been an understanding between Bordiga and the regime that as long as he refrained from any political activity, he was free to voice his true (i.e., internationalist communist) views in private, it should have been unnecessary for him to qualify these views with regime-friendly statements of support for the fascist powers.

(3) Bordiga himself never gave any indication that he had been intentionally trying to mislead the informants about his true views – quite the opposite, in fact. Quoting again from his 1946 letter to the Assize Court:

Quote:
Le mie tesi che non avevano altro di abile che la esatta corrispondenza a quanto pensavo non hanno mancato di trascendere la modesta competenza e preparazione di questi specialisti di polizia politica.
Quote:
My theses [voiced in the conversations with Troiani], which had nothing more ingenious [in them] than exact correspondence with what I thought, did not fail to exceed the modest competence and preparation of these specialists of the political police. (emphasis mine)

(4) Leo is not entirely correct when he or she says that Bordiga "never defended such nonsense positions within the organizations he was an influential member or supporter of". In Raddrizzare le gambe ai cani ("Teaching old dogs new tricks", Battaglia Comunista 11, May 29, 1952), which was published three years after Bordiga became a member of the Internationalist Communist Party, he wrote that Stalin, by allying himself with Britain and the US,

Quote:
collaborated in the conservative outcome of the war by preventing, with an enormous contribution of military force, the catastrophe at least for the London government that emerged for the hundredth time intact from the storm of war. Such a catastrophe would have been an extremely favorable condition for the collapse of the other bourgeois states, beginning with Berlin, and for the outbreak of revolution throughout Europe.

It is difficult to interpret this in any other way than as saying that the victory of the Axis would have been the preferable outcome.

(5) The theme of Anglo-American imperialism being the most dangerous exponent of capitalism, whose military defeat (even if at the hands of a totalitarian imperialism) would create favorable conditions for the revolution, was a constant in Bordiga's post-war work. Aside from the article cited above, he also maintained this position in his debate with Damen.

Leo's picture
Leo
Offline
Joined: 16-07-06
Dec 29 2017 19:37

I think there is a huge difference between considering Anglo-American imperialism as the most powerful and dangerous exponent of capitalism compared not only to Axis but also Stalinist Russia (a consideration which was in fact proven correct as the Ango-American block was not only far older than its rivals but also went on to outlive them all), and actually hailing Hitler and Mussolini as revolutionaries and supporting their war effort.

Quote:
It might well be that Bordiga only told the informants what he wanted them to report, but the question remains why he would have wanted them to report that. If he had merely wanted to assure the OVRA that he posed no threat, surely the explicit praise of Hitler's conquests would have been an overkill; the statements he made to his friends (Bourrinet again: "any illegal activity in the Kingdom is today [...] sterile and useless") would have sufficed. If he had wanted to present himself as a supporter or sympathizer of the regime (and there is no evidence that he ever attempted any such pretense; he certainly wasn't fooling anyone), then justifying his support for the Axis in terms of communism – e.g., by openly saying that Hitler was only worthy of support because he was working "in spite of himself" to bring about the world revolution – would have completely defeated the purpose. On the other hand, if there had been an understanding between Bordiga and the regime that as long as he refrained from any political activity, he was free to voice his true (i.e., internationalist communist) views in private, it should have been unnecessary for him to qualify these views with regime-friendly statements of support for the fascist powers.

In fact, the quotes in the original post put forward a point of view against internationalist communism and revolutionary defeatism and signify actual support for the Axis war effort whereas the quote from Bourrinet about Hitler working "in spite of himself" is made in reference to the common expectation among the internationalist communists at the time that the war would be concluded with a wave of proletarian revolutions, like the last war. In fact, nowhere in the quotes in the original post is Bordiga talking about internationalist communism or world revolution: He's not saying he anticipates the defeat of both sides, he's not saying he anticipates or hopes the imperialist war to turn to class war, he's talking about things like "life of nations", and in fact the opposition of one side against the plutocracy and supercapitalism of the other: positions which all left communists would have considered an open betrayal of everything internationalist communism stands for had they been defended openly. I don't think it's a coincidence that the only people Bordiga spread such nonsense to were these informants. In fact I think reporting regime-friendly statements of support for the fascist powers was the main thing the police infiltrators would be interested in the whole exchange and though it is of course possible that these informants falsified or exaggerated statements in their reports for whatever reason, it nevertheless seems that Bordiga gave them what they wanted to hear, and used language and concepts they would understand and relate to (as I've never seen Bordiga talk about "life of nations" anywhere else). And I think it should also be considered that Bordiga in fascist Italy was a former political prisoner, who was not a member of any organization, who was simply working professionally and who nevertheless was open about not having changed his internationalist communist positions. A former political prisoner living in such conditions is a hostage and it is impossible to avoid surveillance by the regime, under constant threat of repression (which of course, wasn't nearly as bad in fascist Italy in general as it was in Nazi Germany - communists, anarchists and many others in Nazi Germany weren't exiled to beautiful coastal islands).

I haven't seen any direct evidence that there was an understanding between Bordiga and the regime that as long as he refrained from any political activity, he was free to voice his true (i.e., internationalist communist) views in private, but I'd be surprised if Bordiga would put his trust on such a freedom. As Bordiga hasn't actually written anything directly supporting the Axis war effort or describing Mussolini and Hitler as revolutionaries (though he's written a number of texts which defended the opposite views), in fact if it is only in the reports of these informants that he's taken these positions whereas the organizations he was involved with always denounced the war itself, and all sides that participated in it, I think there is reasonable cause to think he was telling the informants what he wanted them to report so that he would be left alone by the regime. He may not be fooling anyone about his true convictions, but may well have fooled the regime to think that he wouldn't join with the rest of the Italian left communists who were taking an openly internationalist position as they did in the previous war and thus posed no threat against the war effort - in fact he couldn't have joined them if he defended these positions openly and would be denounced as a traitor (as left communists proved they were ready to do so when a false rumor spread that Bordiga supported the advance of the Red Army in Eastern Europe).

Quote:
My theses [voiced in the conversations with Troiani], which had nothing more ingenious [in them] than exact correspondence with what I thought, did not fail to exceed the modest competence and preparation of these specialists of the political police.

I don't know what theses Bordiga is talking about here, however I'm sure the quotes above did not exceed the modest competence and preparation of these specialists of the political police so I don't think Bordiga is referring to these positions which he never defended elsewhere and which are completely contrary both to the political tradition he was a part of and the positions he himself defended throughout his life. In any case Bordiga didn't make this comment on Troiani's reports at the state archive quoted above which wouldn't be available to him or anyone else at the time.

Quote:
"collaborated in the conservative outcome of the war by preventing, with an enormous contribution of military force, the catastrophe at least for the London government that emerged for the hundredth time intact from the storm of war. Such a catastrophe would have been an extremely favorable condition for the collapse of the other bourgeois states, beginning with Berlin, and for the outbreak of revolution throughout Europe." It is difficult to interpret this in any other way than as saying that the victory of the Axis would have been a preferable outcome.

Bordiga is saying here that the preferable outcome would be the collapse of London as well as Berlin, "the outbreak of revolution throughout Europe", not victory of Axis over the Allies in general and Axis domination instead of Allied domination over Europe. I think it's clear that there's miles between this position and what Bordiga said to the informers.

AnythingForProximity's picture
AnythingForProximity
Offline
Joined: 27-12-17
Dec 29 2017 19:53

I admit I find it hard to understand how anyone could look at the quotes given by Bourrinet and Gremmo/Festorazzi, and see not a clear (if disturbing) continuity, but rather a "huge difference" between praiseworthy internationalism on the one hand and despicable support for imperialist war on the other.

Leo wrote:
In fact, nowhere in the quotes in the original post is Bordiga talking about internationalist communism or world revolution

Except in the first one, of which this was the entire point:

Quote:
They are afraid of bringing down England, they are afraid because they know that with it, the whole capitalist system will collapse.
Leo wrote:
He may not be fooling anyone about his true convictions, but may well have fooled the regime to think that he wouldn't join with the rest of the Italian left communists who were taking an openly internationalist position as they did in the previous war and thus posed no threat against the war effort

He had no need to fool the regime into thinking he wouldn't do this, because he did not do it. Bordiga did not resume political activity and join with other Italian left communists until 1944, well after the fall of fascism in Italy. He posed no threat to the fascist war effort.

Leo wrote:
Bordiga is saying here that the preferable outcome would be the collapse of London as well as Berlin, "the outbreak of revolution throughout Europe", not victory of Axis over the Allies in general and Axis domination instead of Allied domination over Europe.

Bordiga is in fact saying both: the domination of the Axis over Europe would be much more fragile and unstable than that of the Allies, thus creating the right conditions for "the outbreak of revolution". That's what would make it the preferable outcome. The collapse of London as well as Berlin, yes, but in a specific order: first London, then Berlin.

In fact, if you believed that the victory of the Axis would rapidly bring about the revolution by destabilizing the world capitalist system, while the victory of the Allies – the most entrenched of all capitalist powers – would put it off until some distant future, you could half-ironically refer to Hitler and Mussolini as "revolutionaries", revolutionaries who were only revolutionaries "in spite of themselves". I think that's exactly what Bordiga was doing.

Leo's picture
Leo
Offline
Joined: 16-07-06
Dec 29 2017 20:37
Quote:
Except in the first one

Bordiga isn't talking about internationalist communism or world revolution in the first quote, he's talking about an axis victory somehow bringing capitalism down simply by bringing Britain down - there is no mention of revolution, the working class, internationalism or communism.

Quote:
He had no need to fool the regime into thinking he wouldn't do this, because he did not do it. Bordiga did not resume political activity and join with other Italian left communists until 1944, well after the fall of fascism in Italy. He posed no threat to the fascist war effort.

I think he started getting involved in 1943 with the Fraction of Naples, which was the year other left communist organizations like the Internationalist Communist Party as well as the anarchists partisan groups started operating as well, indeed in the period Italian fascism was collapsing, but the Axis war wasn't finished yet and Mussolini was still in power in Northern Italy thanks to German support. Bordiga didn't keep to what he had told the informants, as the Fraction Bordiga was involved with was opposed to the Axis as well as the Allies and considered the war to be imperialist in nature. Indeed he posed no threat to the fascist war effort and despite a brief resurgence of class struggle in Italy, the war did not lead to a revolutionary situation anywhere.

Quote:
Bordiga is in fact saying both: the domination of the Axis over Europe would be much more fragile and unstable than that of the Allies, thus creating the right conditions for "the outbreak of revolution". That's what would make it the preferable outcome. The collapse of London as well as Berlin, yes, but in a specific order: first London, then Berlin.

In fact, if you believe that the victory of the Axis would rapidly bring about the revolution by destabilizing the world capitalist system, while the victory of the Allies – the most entrenched of all capitalist powers – would put it off until some distant future, you could half-ironically refer to Hitler and Mussolini as "revolutionaries". I think that's exactly what Bordiga was doing.

Yes, he is saying London before Berlin, but Berlin before anywhere else as well since he explicitly says "beginning with Berlin", and in any case nowhere is he talking about domination of the Axis over Europe in the quote you are referring to, or even domination of Axis in Britain. An outcome of the war that's not conservative, that's revolutionary would mean the collapse of London would be like the collapse of Russia in WW1, that is if we take the quote in the context of the actual positions Bordiga defended in his texts rather than try to link it to statements he made to police informants in the past. Besides it shouldn't be forgotten that the context of this quote is Bordiga lamenting about the Soviet Union contributing to the stability of Europe instead of disrupting it by letting Britain and Nazi Germany fight it out, but he's definitely not saying the Soviet Union should have joined the war as an ally of Axis which is exactly what someone who actually believed in those things he said to the informants would argue. I consider Stalin's Russia to be no less imperialist than Nazi Germany or the United Kingdom so I don't sympathize with Bordiga's point here, or in fact in any of the quotes discussed in this thread.

Nevertheless I don't see a continuity between what Bordiga told the informants and the other quotes because it seems to me interesting, for example, that Bordiga omitted his thoughts on the fall of Berlin and the subsequent fall of Rome as well which is implied when he was talking to his informers. Nor is he talking about the anti-supercapitalist, anti-plutocratic and revolutionary nature of Hitler and Mussolini, ironically or otherwise in the later quote. Indeed, wishing far the fall of Berlin right after London (that is before the US, USSR etc.) would not be in line with considering the regime in Berlin and Rome any of those things. Generally, the other quotes don't contradict the generally internationalist and revolutionary positions of the communist left which Bordiga subscribed to (which took a clear position of opposition to all sides in WW2 as internationalist marxists did in WW1, and I presume you know it is this perspective that has always been defended in all the works of this current in its various incarnations), despite being wrong in certain ways.

The positions Bordiga took in his discussions with the informers, however, had they been his public positions, would be going so much further than being mistakes that they would have been considered a betrayal by the left communists which is probably why Bordiga has always voiced contrary views in his works.

Anarcho
Offline
Joined: 22-10-06
Dec 29 2017 20:33

So as well as being for the crushing of Kronstadt and for party dictatorship, Bordiga wanted the Axis to win?

What is it going to take for libcom to finally realise that he and his followers are not libertarians nor, for that matter, communists? Why they are given space here is lost on me -- resources wasted which could be used for genuine libertarian communists.

Quote:
Anti-marxist anarchists love using things like this for lack of better arguements against marxism though

It is not like Marxism has just proved anarchists correct? Whether it is becoming reformist with social-democracy or becoming the dictatorship over the proletariat, I guess actual evidence matters little for "scientific" socialists...

Oh, but I forgot, for the followers of Boridiga having a dictatorship over the proletariat is fine -- as long as they are the dictators.

So, again, these people are neither libertarians nor communists -- why are they here?

AnythingForProximity's picture
AnythingForProximity
Offline
Joined: 27-12-17
Dec 30 2017 00:35
Leo wrote:
he's talking about an axis victory somehow bringing capitalism down simply by bringing Britain down

I guess you could interpret the quote this way, which makes no sense whatsoever, and which wouldn't even serve the purpose of telling the informants what they wanted to hear. (Based on his political history from the 1920s onwards, the secret police would know very well that when Bordiga was speaking of the "capitalist system", he was not excluding Mussolini's Italy from it, so the phrase "the collapse of the whole capitalist system" would still not qualify as regime-friendly by any stretch.) Perhaps Bordiga was trying to confuse the secret police by his sheer incoherence? Or you could see the quote in light of the scenario Bordiga put forward in Raddrizzare le gambe ai cani, with which it is perfectly consistent: a scenario in which the collapse of Britain, brought about by Nazi Germany, creates conditions for the proletarian world revolution, which then brings down all the other capitalist states as well. Which of these interpretations is more likely? For what it's worth, I don't think that the fact that Bordiga did not use the word "revolution" in that particular sentence means very much.

Leo wrote:
I think he started getting involved in 1943 with the Fraction of Naples

That's possible; I got the 1944 date from the Bourrinet book (p. 70 of the version uploaded to Libcom), which is not entirely clear on this. In any case, I don't think it contradicts anything I wrote. The OVRA knew very well that Bordiga had not renounced his communist positions; trying to convince them otherwise would probably have been futile, and we have no evidence that Bordiga ever attempted to do so. He did not need to, anyway, since he was able to lead a relatively comfortable life in exchange for abstaining from political activity – a bargain that he kept his end of until the final fall of the fascist regime in (southern) Italy. You wrote so much yourself:

Leo wrote:
Bordiga in fascist Italy was a former political prisoner, who was not a member of any organization, who was simply working professionally and who nevertheless was open about not having changed his internationalist communist positions

So it is extremely unclear what Bordiga would have been trying to achieve by praising Hitler and Mussolini – unless he was expressing what was more or less his honest view of the situation.

Leo wrote:
the Fraction Bordiga was involved with was opposed to the Axis as well as the Allies and considered the war to be imperialist in nature

I don't think that for Bordiga this was as much of a contradiction as you seem to think. He might well have believed that the war was imperialist in nature while also maintaining that the victory of one imperialist bloc offered much better prospects for the revolution than the alternative.

Leo wrote:
in any case nowhere is he talking about domination of the Axis over Europe in the quote you are referring to, or even domination of Axis in Britain.

Yes, he is not using those exact words – so what? What else if not the military victory of the Axis in World War II was "the catastrophe at least for the London government" that Stalin's Russia prevented? World revolution? Clearly not, because the catastrophe in question "would have been an extremely favorable condition for [...] the outbreak of revolution", which wouldn't make any sense if it referred to the revolution itself.

Leo wrote:
An outcome of the war that's not conservative, that's revolutionary would mean the collapse of London would be like the collapse of Russia in WW1

That's one thing that the phrase "not conservative" could mean. It could also mean that the defeat of Britain would create a more precarious capitalist world balance (which is what he actually said in another quote that you don't seem to have any problem with) that would present conditions ripe for world revolution.

Leo wrote:
but he's definitely not saying the Soviet Union should have joined the war as an ally of Axis which is exactly what someone who actually believed in those things he said to the informants would argue

There's no point in reading too much into what he is not saying in that essay; he simply doesn't go into the question of what the Soviet Union should have done at all.

Leo wrote:
it seems to me interesting, for example, that Bordiga omitted his thoughts on the fall of Berlin and the subsequent fall of Rome as well which is implied when he was talking to his informers

While I think Bordiga was able to be relatively open in his conversations with the informers (again, since he was already known to the police as an unrepentant communist, without this having too much negative impact on his everyday life), I can understand why he wouldn't want to unnecessarily provoke them by putting too much emphasis on these particular implications of his views.

Leo's picture
Leo
Offline
Joined: 16-07-06
Dec 30 2017 03:02

The International Communist Party does not defend a dictatorship over the proletariat, they write:

Quote:
The negative characterisation of workers’ dictatorship is clearly defined: the bourgeois and semi-bourgeois will no longer have political rights, they will be prevented by force from gathering in groups of common interests or in associations for political agitation; they will never be allowed to publicly vote, elect, or delegate others to any «post» or function whatsoever. But even the relationship between the worker – a recognised and active member of the class in power – and the State apparatus will no longer retain that fictitious and deceitful characteristic of a delegation of power, of a representation through the intermediary of a deputy, an election ticket, or by a party. Delegation means in effect the renunciation to the possibility of direct action. The pretended "sovereignty" of the democratic right is but an abdication, and in most cases it is an abdication in favor of a scoundrel.

The working members of society will be grouped into local territorial organs according to their place of residence, and in certain cases according to the displacements imposed by their participation in a productive mechanism in full transformation. Thanks to their uninterrupted and continuous action, the participation of all active social elements in the mechanism of the State apparatus, and therefore in the management and exercise of class power, will be assured...

The Paris Commune established as most important principles (see Marx, Engels, Lenin) that its members and officials would be subject to recall at any time, and that their salary would not exceed the wage of an average worker. Any separation between the producers on the periphery and the bureaucrats at the centre is thus eliminated by means of systematic rotations. Civil service will cease being a career and even a profession.

Source: http://www.international-communist-party.org/BasicTexts/English/51PrDict.htm

It seems to me that this is a design which doesn't actually allow for a party to be in power in the conventional sense because it's the entire class that's in power and there is no act of delegation as it's a system based rather on rotation than elections. The ICP text goes on to define the role of the party to win over a majority to the slogan: "All power to the Soviets!", and the only way there can be a rule of a communist party in this scheme is through having the support of a majority in the soviets even if it's the party itself that animates the establishment of a soviet regime by consistently defending the dictatorship of these organs. I think the only way a party can rule in such a system is as a political guide that is a part of the class in power, not as an hegemonic power over the class itself.

Also, I've read online that Bordiga didn't actually take a clear position on Kronstadt, he said he lacked information about it though of course his impression of the events were based more on the Comintern side of the story. I personally think that Kronstadt was a tragedy, and not a "tragic necessity" as some "Bordigists" claim, but an avoidable, unnecessary tragedy, and I think a study of Kronstadt shows that the Bolshevik Party were wrong to suppress it. In my opinion it is clear that there is a contradiction between Lenin's position of comradely coexistance with ideological anarchism which, while for some groups like the All-Russian Federation of Anarchist Communists meant they experienced no suppression until 1925 despite being openly supportive of Kronstadt and critical of its repression, there were many ideological anarchists who were often falsely accused of being bandits and terrorists by the Cheka and wrongly repressed. In my opinion, the suppression of anarchist youth organizations and anarcho-syndicalist unions and the repression of Makho's peasant movement was unnecessary and wrong as well so long as they recognized soviet power and were willing to participate in the soviet system. Though of course there is a Bolshevik side of these events as well who had better, more internationalist and class oriented politics than even the best of the groups they were suppressing and who were facing a civil war and imperialist encirclement and who, for example in the case of Kronstadt, suffered far heavier casualties than the rebels, I absolutely don't see any reason to make a virtue out of these mistakes which in the end harmed the revolution itself.

This being said, I don't think marxism or the communist left can be described as libertarian or authoritarian. I agree with Marx when he says: "All socialists see anarchy as the following program: Once the aim of the proletarian movement – i.e., abolition of classes – is attained, the power of the state, which serves to keep the great majority of producers in bondage to a very small exploiter minority, disappears, and the functions of government become simple administrative functions.” Though Lenin and the communist left afterwards didn't really take up the term anarchy in the way used here afterwards, I believe it's appropriate, and in line with the soviet system described above as well as Lenin's "Under socialism all will govern in turn and will soon become accustomed to no one governing".

AnythingForProximity's picture
AnythingForProximity
Offline
Joined: 27-12-17
Dec 29 2017 23:20

----- just a polite request to please stay on topic rather than start yet another anarchist-Marxist pissing contest -----

Leo's picture
Leo
Offline
Joined: 16-07-06
Dec 29 2017 23:33
Quote:
So it is extremely unclear what Bordiga would have been trying to achieve by praising Hitler and Mussolini – unless he was expressing what was more or less his honest view of the situation.

Avoiding having to go through state repression again? Why would he share his honest view of the situation only with people he knew to be police informants but never shared it with anyone else he talked to or never defended it elsewhere?

Quote:
While I think Bordiga was able to be relatively open in his conversations with the informers (again, since he was already known to the police as an unrepentant communist, without this having too much negative impact on his everyday life), I can understand why he wouldn't want to unnecessarily provoke them by putting too much emphasis on these particular implications of his views.

I expect he would have been arrested if he had done so, or perhaps if he had not said what he did even. It was exactly because he was an "unrepentant communist" he was under surveillance. I don't think he had any obligation to accurately expose his positions to the informants who wanted to talk to him and reported the conversations to the fascist police.

Quote:
Yes, he is not using those exact words – so what? What else if not the military victory of the Axis in World War II was "the catastrophe at least for the London government" that Stalin's Russia prevented? World revolution? Clearly not, because the catastrophe in question "would have been an extremely favorable condition for [...] the outbreak of revolution", which wouldn't make any sense if it referred to the revolution itself.

The catastrophe he's talking about is the London government not emerging for the hundredth time intact from the storm of war, so he is talking about Britain being effected by war and losing it, but this doesn't necessarily mean a victory of Axis over the United States or the USSR, and was something Bordiga predicted would lead to a revolutionary situation in Britain as well as in Germany right after it.

Quote:
There's no point in reading too much into what he is not saying in that essay; he simply doesn't go into the question of what the Soviet Union should have done at all.

Well, he is talking about what the Soviet Union has done, and here's what he says about it's earlier alliance with Nazi Germany, making it clear that he was opposed to this: "When the war broke out, Moscow signed a pact with Berlin: this historical reversal, accompanied by Marxist arguments about the imperialist and aggressive nature of the war waged by London and Paris, in which the self-proclaimed communist parties were called upon not to participate, will never be subjected to the criticism it deserves."

AnythingForProximity's picture
AnythingForProximity
Offline
Joined: 27-12-17
Dec 30 2017 11:35
Leo wrote:
Avoiding having to go through state repression again?

Then why keep provoking the police with things like "the collapse of the whole capitalist system"? Why not just regurgitate whatever the police presumably wanted him to say, instead of carefully qualifying it with statements like: "From my point of view, however, [...] Roosevelt is nothing but the exponent of supercapitalism that aims at the conquest of a totalitarian imperialism"?

Leo wrote:
Why would he share his honest view of the situation only with people he knew to be police informants but never shared it with anyone else he talked to or never defended it elsewhere?

We're running round in circles here, since I've been trying to show that he did share those views with people other than police informants (like Paone, or the as-of-yet-unmentioned Alfonso Leonetti), and that he did defend it elsewhere (like in the 1952 Battaglia Comunista article, with echoes of similar arguments in his letters to O. Damen), but we seem to disagree on how to interpret the evidence.

Factor in the fact that under the surveillance of the Italian fascist state, he might have wanted to sound more enthusiastic about the Axis than he really was, and that in post-war Italy (especially as a member of an organization composed of many people for whom the fascist regime did not mean a comfortable middle-class existence in Naples, but rather imprisonment, exile, and internment in concentration camps), he might have wanted to sound less enthusiastic about it than he actually was, and the picture that emerges is one of remarkable continuity.

Leo wrote:
The catastrophe he's talking about is the London government not emerging for the hundredth time intact from the storm of war, so he is talking about Britain being effected by war and losing it, but this doesn't necessarily mean a victory of Axis over the United States or the USSR, and was something Bordiga predicted would lead to a revolutionary situation in Britain as well as in Germany right after it.

I just find this to be an incredibly tortured interpretation of the quote, which reads into it many things that are just not there: the relative positions of the US and the USSR in the chronology of the collapse, the "right after" part, etc.

Leo wrote:
Well, he is talking about what the Soviet Union has done, and here's what he says about it's earlier alliance with Nazi Germany, making it clear that he was opposed to this

Yes, both options (i.e., alliance with either imperialist bloc) were bad from Bordiga's standpoint. However, they almost certainly weren't equally bad.

Leo's picture
Leo
Offline
Joined: 16-07-06
Dec 30 2017 05:12
Quote:
Then why keep provoking the police with things like "the collapse of the whole capitalist system"? Why not just regurgitate whatever the police presumably wanted him to say, instead of carefully qualifying it with statements like: "From my point of view, however, [...] Roosevelt is nothing but the exponent of supercapitalism that aims at the conquest of a totalitarian imperialism"?

I don't think statements like those provoked the police at all, especially considering that they were tied only to an axis victory and nothing else of the sort of things Bordiga defends in his writings to accompany an actual collapse of the capitalist system, that is workers councils, a communist party etc. Of course being known as an unrepentant communist, he had to justify the nonsense he had to say somehow.

Quote:
We're running round in circles here, since I tried to show that he did share those views with people other than police informants (like Paone, or the as-of-yet-unmentioned Alfonso Leonetti), and that he did defend it elsewhere (like in the 1952 Battaglia Comunista article, with echoes of similar arguments in his letters to O. Damen), but we seem to disagree on how to interpret the evidence.

Yes, I agree we're running in circles. What I'm saying is that there is a noticeable difference, even a contradiction between what he told the police informant Aliotta, that is what is quoted in the original post, and all the other quotes mentioned, to the extent that:

Quote:
Yes, both options (i.e., alliance with either imperialist bloc) were bad from Bordiga's standpoint. However, they almost certainly weren't equally bad.

This isn't even true for example when you consider the position as reported by Aliotta, since alliance with one bloc - never defined as imperialist in discussion with Aliotta - would be good, not bad. This is not consistent with any of the other statements we are discussing here, which clearly define Axis as an imperialist block and the Soviet alliance with Axis and then Allies are both denounced without being compared. In fact, Bordiga's position in his letters to Damen is that the Anglo-American block is more powerful and well-rooted than the Soviet block but even then he doesn't defend the Eastern block against the West despite pointing out that it is weaker and newer.

Quote:
Factor in the fact that under the surveillance of the Italian fascist state, he might have wanted to sound more enthusiastic about the Axis than he really was, and that in post-war Italy (especially as a member of an organization composed of many people for whom the fascist regime did not mean a comfortable middle-class existence in Naples, but rather imprisonment, exile, and internment in concentration camps), he might have wanted to sound less enthusiastic about it than he actually was, and the picture that emerges is one of remarkable continuity.

I think you're reading way too much into what a former prisoner told someone who reported his words to his former captives and seeing connections between these to texts and quotes where clearly different and in some cases contradictory views and perspectives are defended while ignoring all other evidence, that is the body of Bordiga's work when he was politically active where he voiced irreconcilable opposition to fascism as well as democracy. Honestly, I think assuming he wanted "to sound less enthusiastic about it than he actually was" in texts he voluntarily wrote for his organization in order to save the argument that he was sincere and honest in his inescapable conversations with police informants is absolutely absurd. And you're neglecting the fact that Bourrinet says Bordiga shared the positions of the International Communist Left against the war which declared it to be imperialist as did the Fraction he was involved with starting from 1943. Exactly because he was as a member of an organization composed of many people for whom the fascist regime did not mean a comfortable middle-class existence in Naples, but rather imprisonment, exile, and internment in concentration camps (in the case of his comrades in territories under Nazi control), I would take the simplest explanation to be true: that his true views on fascism and Nazism are what he wrote in public documents as a member of such an organization rather than the reports made by a police informer.

AnythingForProximity's picture
AnythingForProximity
Offline
Joined: 27-12-17
Dec 30 2017 15:32

I rest my case with the observation that the simplest explanation is not that Bordiga (1) decided to confuse pretty much everyone he talked to in the period from 1936 to 1943 with an outrageous mix of communist and pro-Axis statements that served no obvious purpose, being neither reflective of his own opinions nor convincing as a display of loyalty to the regime, and then (2) went on to write a well-developed internationalist analysis of World War II years later that was – purely by accident – suspiciously similar to those earlier statements. Rather, the simplest explanation is that Bordiga had only one view that he stuck to, namely that the victory of the Axis would precipitate the revolution by destabilizing the capitalist world balance, and was therefore more desirable than the alternative, which would put off the revolution for a very long time (a prediction that proved to be correct).

I find all of this interesting because some groups and figures descended from the Italian communist left have tended to have an essentially moralistic understanding of internationalism, treating it as a test of character for both individual revolutionaries and revolutionary organizations, with World War II being the hardest test of all. Think that one outcome of an imperialist war, the victory of one faction of the bourgeoisie over another, would be less bad than the alternative? Well, that's all it takes to betray the working class and pass into the camp of the counterrevolution. So it's ironic that this moralistic conception of internationalism was totally alien to Bordiga himself, the founder of the whole current. Bordiga absolutely did think that the victory of one side in World War II was preferable to that of the other side, and it is pretty surprising which side he identified as preferable, to say the least.

Leo's picture
Leo
Offline
Joined: 16-07-06
Dec 31 2017 03:38

I too rest my case, repeating that:

Quote:
(1) decided to confuse pretty much everyone he talked to in the period from 1936 to 1943 with an outrageous mix of communist and pro-Axis statements that served no obvious purpose, being neither reflective of his own opinions nor convincing as a display of loyalty to the regime, and then

This point, again lumps not only what Bordiga told genuine communists and the informants together, ignoring the contradictions, the most important of which is that that there was nothing communist about what he told the informants, nor did he speak highly of Mussolini or eulogized him and Hitler as revolutionaries to anyone else, considering fascism and Nazism to be transitory forms of capitalist and bourgeois conservation, a correct assessment, compared to the more enduring model of classical Western democracy which in fact went on to assimilate fascism and Nazism to a great extent during the Cold War.

Quote:
went on to write a well-developed internationalist analysis of World War II years later that was – purely by accident – suspiciously similar to those earlier statements.

I find your insistence on the supposed "similarity" of the argument in that article which you distort by ignoring the fact that the quote is about Soviet intervention in the war and Soviet alliance with Axis has been condemned a few sentences earlier, and the earlier quotes reported by the police informer strange. Simply, there is nothing similar between supporting the leaders of a block as revolutionaries and condemning them as imperialists, between celebrating a war and condemning it regardless of what one might speculate on the effects of the outcome.

Quote:
Rather, the simplest explanation is that Bordiga had only one view that he stuck to, namely that the victory of the Axis would precipitate the revolution by destabilizing the capitalist world balance, and was therefore more desirable than the alternative, which would put off the revolution for a very long time (a prediction that proved to be correct).

Once again, I think it's established that of the three imperialist blocks, Bordiga considered the Anglo-American one to be the strongest and most capable of establishing a stable order by putting off any prospect of a revolution. However nowhere except in the reports made by that police informer did Bordiga actually defend the idea of an Axis victory in the war, and you're, once again, ignoring that his later article speculated on a revolutionary conclusion of the war which would see the fall of Berlin after that of London - but before anywhere else.

Quote:
I find all of this interesting because some groups and figures descended from the Italian communist left have tended to have an essentially moralistic understanding of internationalism, treating it as a test of character for both individual revolutionaries and revolutionary organizations, with World War II being the hardest test of all. Think that one outcome of an imperialist war, the victory of one faction of the bourgeoisie over another, would be less bad than the alternative? Well, that's all it takes to betray the working class and pass into the camp of the counterrevolution. So it's ironic that this moralistic conception of internationalism was totally alien to Bordiga himself, the founder of the whole current. Bordiga absolutely did think that the victory of one side in World War II was preferable to that of the other side, and it is pretty surprising which side he identified as preferable, to say the least.

Bordiga and the communist left of which he was a representative and a leader rather than a defining founder, defended "this moralistic conception of internationalism" in all their public and internal texts, and never the idea of a red-brown front that is clearly implied in what Bordiga was telling that informer. Speculating about how a revolutionary instead of conservative outcome of the war, (that is an outcome similar to that of WW1, not the outcome of WW2 but with an Axis victory) is one thing, considering the beginning of the war a great day and praising Mussolini and Hitler as genuine revolutionaries is something entirely different - the latter is a position completely in line with the social-chauvinists who Lenin, Luxemburg and others including Bordiga condemned during WW1 and which, I repeat, would have made Bordiga no different than Bombacci, that is a traitor in the eyes of the communist left had this been his public, sincere position rather than something he told an informer (and in fact, something an informer reported to the state) in what undoubtedly contributed to him avoiding further harassment by the regime. During the period of his inactivity as a former political prisoner in fascist Italy, Bordiga's life was disturbed several times by interrogations, arrests or police provocations. If the report is accurate, what Bordiga did, making such a statement in order to avoid further imprisonment, though understandable, is something which itself warrants criticism - perhaps, Bordiga should have gone to prison rather than saying such nonsense to a police informer. He was the proponent of a patient approach of waiting for the next generation and didn't recommend anyone to get caught up in acts of martyrdom and heroism. In all honesty, he hadn't had that difficult a time in prison (that is in exile on an island town, a far kinder fate than a concentration camp in Poland or even an isolator in Siberia) to warrant saying these things to avoid it, but he had given up all political activity and was focusing entirely on his professional life so it's clear that he nevertheless didn't want to be in the hands of the regime again, to whom he owed no truth.

On the other hand, the fact is if Bordiga was sincere about all those things he told that informer, he was well capable of acting on such convictions in fascist Italy, in fact such a pro-Axis activity would have been promoted by the regime itself, he wouldn't be the only one to collaborate with the regime without changing all his former convictions and his name would add a good deal of prestige to the regime. So why didn't Bordiga become another Bombacci? As an unrepentant yet unorganized communist Bordiga managed to have a social life so much that the Fascist police noted in July 1939 that "…Bordiga in Naples finds always new sympathies even among his adversaries, and meets a broad adhesion in the camp of the intellectual middle-class" however no one who talked to him from this period, other than a single police informant, reports Bordiga celebrating the war and hailing Mussolini and Hitler as anti-plutocratic revolutionaries. Indeed, instead of taking the road of a red-brown alliance, Bordiga broke his promise of non involvement in political organizations to the fascist regime and got involved with the Fraction in 1943, an organization which was clear in denouncing all sides of the war and exposing its imperialist nature, that is an organization which took "this moralistic conception of internationalism" that is supposedly "totally alien to Bordiga himself", in fact an organization which was far more sympathetic towards the partisans than it was to the fascists (and indeed, Bordiga and other left communists predicted and strongly criticized Togliatti for disarming the partisans). On the question of the war, the Fraction Bordiga was involved with was without ambiguity: They put ahead the need for "proletarian internationalism" and "the transformation of the imperialist war into revolutionary civil war". They expressed no sympathy towards the Fascists or the Nazis and despite being against anti-fascism and democratic fronts, they considered certain movements of partisans positively expressed "the attempt at a class revenge, at an autonomous demonstration of revolutionary forces..." I think it's clear that the direction of the voluntary organizational activity a person takes is much more indicative of their sincere convictions than what they told agents of the regime that had recently imprisoned them.

Entdinglichung's picture
Entdinglichung
Offline
Joined: 2-07-08
Jan 2 2018 16:44

btw.: German council communist Willi Huhn also wrote in 1939 some disturbing stuff in which he declared support for Germany's war against Poland

Noa Rodman's picture
Noa Rodman
Offline
Joined: 4-11-09
Jan 12 2018 13:03

Do you have more info about that E.? I could find on google snippet view (Siegfried Prokop 1997, p. 28) that Huhn indeed supported Hitler's war.

Quote:
Die Sowjetunion sei eine imperialistische Macht, der Marxismus diene ihr nur als Vorwand, werde verfälscht, und es gäbe für einen Marxisten keine höhere und heiligere Aufgabe, als unter der Führung Adolf Hitlers in diesem Krieg den Sieg zu erringen. Das sei bei Huhn zusammen gegangen: marxistische Theorie und absolute Bejahung von Hitlers Krieg.
...
Jedoch führte das dazu, daß die drei in Gegenwart von Huhn nur noch philosophierten und vorsichtig wurden. Die Folge sei aber auch gewesen, daß sich die drei von Huhn nicht lösen konnten; denn wenn sie sich jetzt von ihm gelöst oder ihn links liegen gelassen oder ihn mit Verachtung behandelt hätten, das hätte ihn zum Denunzianten machen können.

The council communist who actively supported Hitler in the war.

Dyjbas
Offline
Joined: 15-05-15
Jan 12 2018 20:10

Here's what Onorato Damen, of the Internationalist Communist Party, wrote about Bordiga's attitude towards the Axis (tldr: it was never the position of the party which had an internationalist policy; Bordiga himself briefly entertained the notion only to abandon it after the war, some Bordigists revived his hypothesis later on):

"One final note, which we hold to be particularly important, regards the attitude of Bordiga to war, and to reject the theoretical deformations by Bordiga’s epigones attributed either to him, or to the communist left in general, which on this issue, as the foundation of its revolutionary strategy, has all its papers in order.

So what is the attitude that the comrades of Programma Comunista [periodical of the group which was headed by Bordiga after the split of 1952] say they have had and continue to have in the face of war? Here’s how they put it:

“We wrote about war, for example in “The historic course of the proletarian class movement”: “War is undoubtedly a result of social causes (we would say primarily economic) and its military outcomes fit as first order factors in the process of transformation of international society, interpreted from the materialist and class point of view.” There are historical phases in which it is our duty to influence as much as we can a certain outcome of the war. In others, absolutely not. The outcome always interests us.”

And, by way of illustration, they add:

“The accusation that we wanted an anti-American victory in the Korean War, does not make us either hot or cold, and only a fool can interpret it as “intellectual sympathy”. We went much further: we went as far as saying it would be more advantageous for the resumption of the class struggle in the world, that America and its allies were defeated in World War II. Can it be said that we have an “intellectual sympathy” for Nazism, or just love paradox? Everyone can see the result of the Anglo-American victory: the oppression of the whole world, blurring the viewpoint of some to such an extent that they believe that it can determine everything that happens even in the remotest corner of the earth!”

Dialectics here are used with a sly purpose, dishonestly trying to deflect from their own ideological and political error in order to justify it. Whoever wrote this rubbish, picked up in a hurry in the filth of bourgeois culture, must have in his veins the social-patriotic blood that, in anticipation of the next imperialist war, already feels inclined to turn its back on the Leninist slogan of “revolutionary defeatism” by disavowing any attempt to distinguish the only strategy that puts all the protagonists of the war on the same level of responsibility, excluding none, whether the American bloc, or the Russian or Chinese bloc.

He who dares to say, “we went as far as to say it would be more advantageous for the resumption of the class struggle in the world, that America and its allies were defeated in World War II” is lying and knows it, and hasn’t even the political honesty to take responsibility for what he writes by signing it. Anyway, we can demonstrate that none of the militants of our party, from its foundation to the split of 1952, (including therefore the comrades now in Programma Comunista) ever solidarised with these positions, and never expressed opinions of this kind in written or oral statements.

It is true that there was a vague hypothesis that Bordiga formulated before or during the war, but once the war was over, he returned to his old mathematical “vice” of supposing that historical events could be understood according to the laws of probability without thinking about the future inexperienced imitators who would use it with no regard to context thus turning a simple laboratory hypothesis, even if badly put, into a political line to be implemented.

And they add, smugly: “Everyone can see the result of the Anglo-American victory”. Would they perhaps prefer, we ask, the victory of the Italian-German axis in the context of the class struggle? Chauvinism apart, the very formulation of this hypothesis is repugnant and indicates a huge ignorance of the imperialist phenomenon which the proletariat has no choice but to try to defeat." (1975)

AnythingForProximity's picture
AnythingForProximity
Offline
Joined: 27-12-17
Mar 20 2018 23:47

An interesting connection: Christian Riechers, a follower of the above-mentioned Willy Huhn (he penned the latter's biographical sketch for a posthumously published collection of Huhn's texts, Der Etatismus der Sozialdemokratie: Zur Vorgeschichte des Nazifaschismus, which identified the "war socialism" of the WWI-era SPD as a precursor of the Nazi regime), knew and admired Bordiga, and wrote an obituary for him back in 1970:

http://libriincogniti.wordpress.com/2018/02/27/christian-riechers-obituary-for-amadeo-bordiga/