Amadeo Bordiga

Activism - Amadeo Bordiga

In this short article first published in 1952, Amadeo Bordiga addresses the question of “activism” as “an illness of the workers movement” that exaggerates the “possibilities of the subjective factors of the class struggle” and neglects theoretical preparation, which he claims is of paramount importance because of the need for consciousness to be “expressed in the class party, which is in the last analysis the determinant factor of the transformation of the bourgeois crisis into the revolutionary catastrophe of all of society”, claiming furthermore that, “in the party, consciousness precedes action, unlike what takes place among the masses and at the level of the individual.”

'Communism... is the affirmation of a new community': notes on jacques camatte - Chamsy el-Ojeili

This article by Chamsy el-Ojeili gives a broad overview of the thought of Jacques Camatte from his Marxist phase in the Italian Communist Left tradition to his orientation towards primitivism. There is focus on Bordiga's theory of the communist party, Camatte's rejection of democracy, and his understanding of communism as "Gemeinwesen".

Aircraft carrier imperialism - Amadeo Bordiga

Amadeo Bordiga examines the significance of sea power in modern imperialism after the decline of the land-based feudal empires of Europe, the rise of Portuguese imperialism with the conquest of the Indian Ocean trade routes in the 15th and 16th centuries, the decisive role played by naval supremacy in the World Wars, and its culmination in the contemporary nuclear aircraft carrier strike force, “the terror of the world”, as the global spearhead of the long reach of American imperialism, in this 1957 installment of “The Thread of Time” series.

War and revolution - Amadeo Bordiga

In this 1950 article from the “Thread of Time” series Amadeo Bordiga examines the question of war and revolution in Marxist theory—characteristically emphasizing the epochal shift entailed by the Franco-Prussian War—and the role played by the ideological legacy of the French Revolution in the defeat of the Paris Commune and in the mobilization for and justification of participation in World Wars One and Two, which “were not revolutionary wars, but massacres of the slaves of Capital”.

The historical cycle of the political rule of the bourgeoisie - Amadeo Bordiga

In this article first published in Prometeo in 1947, Amadeo Bordiga examines the history of the political forms of bourgeois rule and posits that it has passed through two stages (the early “heroic” period followed by the “golden age” of bourgeois democracy) and is now entering its third stage, characterized by the eclipse of “private initiative” and the rise of totalitarianism, as was demonstrated by the forces at work in World War Two, concerning which he says that “the fascists lost the war; fascism, however, was victorious”, because the victors are compelled to employ the “authoritarian and totalitarian methods that were first tested in the defeated countries”.

Teaching old dogs new tricks: Counter-theses and theses - Amadeo Bordiga

In this 1952 article from the “On the Thread of Time” series, on the eve of a split in the Internationalist Communist Party, Amadeo Bordiga sets forth his refutations (“theses”) of the innovators who stray from the correct doctrine of Marxism with their “dangerous improvisations” (“counter-theses”) in the fields of history, economics and philosophy—modestly claiming that his arguments might be rendered more “clear and convincing” if one were to devote “seven years” of “study and activity”, “seven hours a week”, to the task—with an ample selection of provocative epigrammatic comments on such topics as World Wars Two and Three, communism, bureaucracy, totalitarianism, ideology, etc.

Value, time and communism: re-reading Marx - Gilles Dauvé

Dauvé re-examines Marx and looks at some of the contradictions in his work on work, value and labour-time.

The factors of race and nation in Marxist theory - Amadeo Bordiga

A book-length essay illustrating the principles of historical materialism with respect to the role of race and nation in the “cycles” that were preconditions for the communist revolution, tracing the human saga from pithecanthropus and Adam and Eve to the Trieste Crisis, with sections on Greece, Rome, the German barbarians, feudalism, the rise of the bourgeoisie, the European wars and national liberation struggles of the 19th century, and the Paris Commune, interspersed with incisive comments on the individual (a “puppet”), the family (it “will be destroyed after the victory of communism”), national languages (they “will perish with” capitalism), etc.

The guignol in history - Amadeo Bordiga

In this 1953 article from the “Thread of Time” series, Amadeo Bordiga addresses the role of the great man or “man of destiny” in history, whose modern representatives he calls “Guignols” (grotesque puppets)—devoid of individuality, vacuous, two-dimensional receptacles for the cult of personality—from Napoleon to Eisenhower, and situates this phenomenon in the context of the historical materialist doctrine of Marx and Engels as expounded in the latter’s text, Ludwig Feuerbach and the End of Classical German Philosophy.

Lessons of the counterrevolutions - Amadeo Bordiga

A 1953 text in which Amadeo Bordiga examines the lessons of counterrevolutions from the defeat of Spartacus to the Battle of Legnano in 1176 and from the Peasant War in Germany of 1525 to Stalinism (“State capitalism is not a semi-socialism, but just plain capitalism”) and recapitulates some “fundamental positions of Marxism”, which he describes as a “doctrine for the understanding of ... counterrevolutions”, since “everyone knows how to orient themselves at the moment of victory, but few are those who know what to do when defeat arrives” and “it is necessary to understand the counterrevolution in order to prepare the revolution of tomorrow”.