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.”
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”.
In this 2009 article, Roland Simon of Théorie Communiste subjects Anselm Jappe and, more generally, the current known as “Value Critique”, to severe criticism, claiming that their emphasis on the “commodity” and “value” causes them to misunderstand the Marxist critique of capitalism and to harbor erroneous views about “a kind of value that is no longer value” because of an alleged decline of the proportion of labor in each commodity caused by increasing productivity, and that their “‘focus’ on value and the commodity causes us to ‘forget’ that value is capital” and that the goal of capitalism is not even just surplus-value but rather the reproduction of capitalist class relations.
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.
In the article that follows I pose the question of how it came to be that self-identified ‘active’ Lithuanians have come to a tacit collective consensus on the ‘passivity’ of the unruly masses that surround them? In what ways has the economic and political context in Lithuania shaped the ‘actives’ collective diagnosis of the rest—the majority—as the unthinking ‘passives’?