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”.
In this concise1953 programmatic text presented at the Genoa Meeting of the International Communist Party, Amadeo Bordiga sets forth a series of theses outlining the perspectives for revolution in the post-war world, and emphasizes that it will have to take place in the West, because of its more advanced capitalism, rather than in the less developed capitalism of Russia, based on Marx’s theory of the increasing productivity of labor and the falling rate of profit, and refers to the absence of a “communist party in the U.S. [with] an integral revolutionary program”, despite the maturity of the objective conditions there, as a “major historical problem”.
An essay on the contemporary crisis (“the real crisis”) as the assault of capitalism against “the territory”, defined in the sense of land in its socially balanced and natural determinations (“metabolism with nature”) as opposed to the commodity real estate, the false, one-sided opposition movements (technocratic tinkering and misanthropic primitivism) that have arisen in response to this crisis, and the possible solution to the crisis that consists in a movement for a “predominantly rural, horizontal and egalitarian” society based on “renewable energies”, “ecological agriculture”, “public transport” and “local production”, among other things.
A provocative introductory essay by the author of Impasse Adam Smith that maintains that the Left, “which has always presented itself … as the sole legitimate heir of Enlightenment philosophy”, with its “religion of ‘Progress’”, “nourished on exactly the same philosophical sources as modern liberalism”, is not only alien to the spirit of the original socialism of the early 19th century, but is also intrinsically incapable of constituting a real challenge to contemporary capitalism, and that “the requirements of a coherent battle against the liberal utopia … render a radical break with the intellectual imaginary of the Left politically necessary”.
Like many Americans, I knew very little about the workings of the American Peace Corps. It wasn’t until I met a starry eyed graduate in Bangkok, Thailand who could only wax poetics about helping the poor set up businesses and take out micro-loans, that I felt I needed to know more.